Can Babies Sense Stress Brought About Their Colic or fussiness?

Stressed Mother colic or fussy baby

Are you hiding your stress because your baby has colic or seems always to be fussy? You are not alone! We get it. We are not in the business of solving happy baby syndrome, right!

I know that the stress you feel is real. I have experienced it myself with my colic babies, which is why I am so passionate about this subject. Sometimes we feel stress but think we are good at hiding it. But consider this bit of trivia.

Most doctors and psychologists believe stress is felt by a child, according to a survey by the American psychology Association. ”Children absolutely sense a parent’s stress,” says pediatrician, Dr.Ginsburg from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

I believe that my baby also could sense my stress and when colic was constantly making her fussy, I could not help but feel stressed, and it contributed to the anxiety.

As parents we feel we are able to shield our baby from the stress, but are we? In an abstract done by the University of Turku Finland, 1443 women were confidentially questioned about their stress levels before birth, and then their questionnaires were compared with the health of the baby after 3 months old. The study found a correlation between negative stress experiences during pregnancy and colic. P Rautava, H Helenius, L Lehtonen, University of Turku, Finland.

I mention this study because it is hard for me to believe after birth, my little one did not feel the same tension, stress and emotion as I did. I would love to see a study on the effect of a mother or father’s stress on the symptoms of colic after birth.

Happy Mother and Baby

In the mean time, I get it. You are feeling overwhelmed, and stressed. So let’s use these simple thoughts to make you and your baby feel better while you are dealing with stress, colic and fussiness.

1.  Take a moment. It is amazing how I feel if I just go to a place I know I can just “be” for a minute. If someone could watch my baby, I went for a walk, or sometimes just a small amount of time in the kitchen, not doing, but being. Does that feel right for you?

2.   Find the funny. It is hard when your baby is crying constantly but this experience will pass. If you can smile at the moment, smiling relieves stress, science or not. I know it is true. Remember this will be a great story to tell when your child has a first born.

3.   Remember you are not doing anything wrong. So you might as well dance with your child. I say this because sometimes we are so stressed we huddle and protect, hold and almost smother. Yet your baby is anxious to see the world and is easily distracted by new things. What better way to see those things than by the spinning of mother as she dances in the room.

4.   Talk to your baby. I found cooing and talking to my baby relaxing. Of course nothing worked as good as getting rid of the crying, which is why I invented Happi Tummi, but talking to your baby is healing for you and the baby.

5.   Call a friend. There is nothing like a friend to make you laugh at the hardship you are enduring.

We can do this. We just have to make sure we are ready and up to the challenge. Remaining stress free is probably impossible, but a little effort goes a long way in making our stress lessen, and I think our babies know it. Do you agree?? I would love to hear from you.

Nanette is the founder of Happi Tummi, and learned about colic, fussiness and gas first hand. She is the mother of two, both afflicted with colic. Email us, we love to hear of your experiences, and please express any thoughts on other subjects you would like us to write about.