Our daughter Olivia was born April 6th 2020. At the hospital, everything seemed great. Olivia came out just fine and had an Apgar score of 9 out of 10. We were ecstatic about how healthy she was. We took her home less than a day after.
We started to notice something was wrong with Olivia almost immediately. She constantly cried whenever she fed, always arching her neck and back. My wife was unable to provide enough milk via breastfeeding, and we were forced to move to formula to compensate. She still seemed to have problems even with formula, and it affected her sleep as well. It was hard on the baby and on us. We just didn't understand why the baby was having so many issues.
After a couple days we finally called the hospital and spoke to the pediatrician. They told us our baby was basically "colicky" and had "reflux", which in doctor speak essentially translated to "we don't have a clue what is wrong with your baby except it cries a lot and has issues". It was extremely frustrating to basically be told there really wasn't any sure solution and just to "wait 4 to 6 months and she'll be fine". We'll, 4 to 6 months is an eternity when you are hearing your baby cry in pain and you are running on zero sleep.
We of course did not accept the wait and see approach and decided to be more proactive in finding solutions.
The first thing we did was attempt to find the right formula. We tried quite a few, including some that were for lactose intolerant babies. In the end though, what worked best was actually getting a German brand called Holle. We were quite surprised at how much of a difference it made. The baby's appetite and weight improved, and she was able to feed with less crying or arching of her back.
We also researched and started using a probiotic called Evivo that a lactation consultant recommended, and it also seemed to help with the babies colicky moods and sleeplessness. I had no clue about how different bacteria in our guts affected our mood and health, but it seems there's a lot we still don't understand about the body. Luckily the folks at Evivo have done all the research on what's best for a growing baby.
Another thing we made sure of was to get the right swaddle. For us the Nested Bean swaddle was a god send. Easy to take on and off, and a nice snug fit. It makes a huge difference in getting the baby to sleep.
There were also other products we came to find were invaluable such as a good baby monitor, a UV sanitizer, and a heated water kettle that made things so much easier during our journey, things we didn't even realize were out there until we got tired of doing things the hard way.
Ultimately our daughter did get better, and her collicky behavior and refux subsided. But it did not happen overnight, and it took a lot of patience and perseverance, and trying out a lot of different ideas and products. In the end, it was all worth it, but we definitely learned that simply accepting the "just wait it out" mantra is not always the right answer. Sometimes you can and should be proactive.
This is why we created this site, to help other parents with advice and recommendations. The ideas and products we recommend to other parents are ones we ourselves have tested and tried with our own baby, and we have faith and trust in. We hope you will find them as useful as we did!