Second Time Around

***Anecdotes and advice from a Supermom of 12 children

My second daughter was every bit as colicky as her older sister had been, though I'm thankful that she stopped crying at three months. Much better than the nine months of hell big sister gave us, her parents. Of course, I didn't know she'd stop crying at three months and assumed I was going to have a repeat experience. I freaked out. I cried so long and so hard my face swelled up into a kind of hideous, red, blotchy face balloon.

A Good Plan

My husband did something intelligent and bought me a six-pack of beer. Brewer's yeast is supposed to be good for nursing moms, right? He figured the alcohol would distract me from my hysteria and the yeast would get my milk supply up and running. This turned out to be a very good plan. I tied one on—got good and drunk! I sang some bawdy sailor songs and got the hiccups.

My family was there to help with the baby, so my splurge didn't cause any harm and did a lot of good. After that night, I found it easier to cope. Still, I don't recommend you try this method unsupervised—and nothing stronger than beer, please.

Coping with Colic

The new baby cried unless I laid her across my abdomen. I used her as a hot water bottle to soothe my after pains with great effect! This reminded me of an old Steve Martin gag: "It's a baby."

"No. It's a hot water bottle."

"Stop! You're both right—it's a baby AND a hot water bottle—Cries with hysteria and soothes your after pains, too!"

The early days were hard. I knew how to care for a baby, but I had to learn how to care for more than one child at a time. Some say that three is the hardest: you don't have arms to hold them all. But for me, three was the lucky charm. THAT was the baby who didn't get colic!