When does it get easier?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 08-16-2008, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi ladies. I have an 8 week old son who I adore. However, I am so exhausted!! It feels like he never sleeps. He doesn't go more than 2 hours at night without waking up. HE NEVER NAPS during the day. I've tried everything. The only way he sleeps is in my arms for 20 minutes. If I try to put him down, he cries hysterically. I am primarily breastfeeding, but supplmenting with 6-7 oz of formula each day. I am just SO tired. He is VERY gassy. I've played around with my diet and I've changed his formula a few times to try to fix that. He only poops every 3-4 days, and only with the help of a suppository! Sometimes he seems happy, but generally he just seems uncomfortable. I know that he is overtired a lot, but he just won't sleep. WHEN DOES THIS GET EASIER!? Everyone keeps telling me, "Hang in there, it will get easier." When?? I love my baby, but I truly don't like parenting! Is something wrong with me??
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#2 of 28 Old 08-16-2008, 09:12 PM
 
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With all my babies it got easier around 6 months. That seems to be the *magic* month for me. I know it's hard. Those early months can be very trying! But really, it does go fast even though it doesn't seem like it when you're in the midst of it. Hugs mamma.
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#3 of 28 Old 08-16-2008, 09:13 PM
 
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It'll get easier, mama! I know it's tough. 6-8 months is magical. MAGICAL!
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#4 of 28 Old 08-16-2008, 10:10 PM
 
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It does get easier but easier varies. not much help huh?

If your kiddo can nap in arms, try a sling and grab a book and rest with him.
I went stir crazy cuase my first kiddo only napped in arms but after fighting with her for 2months, I finally gave up and let her sleep in arms. Finally, she got the sleep she needed, though I was restless. Then when she slept better during the day, she slept better at night.

I so hear what you are saying! I wondered the same thing and now I have three kids.

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#5 of 28 Old 08-16-2008, 10:22 PM
 
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Those first few months can be so hard.

For me, the turnaround comes when they can sit up. Not only because you can prop them up in the middle of the floor with some toys and have your hands free, but also because you can use the backpack and some different carries in the sling.

I always look at it this way-- it's God's way of making sure new mamas take plenty of time to sit down and rest. I read a lot of library books during the first five or six months.

You may want to revisit the supplementing as well. If it isn't medically indicated, it may be causing you more trouble than it's worth. Formula is harder for babies to digest and can cause constipation and gassiness. And breastfeeding can help you both relax and rest.

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#6 of 28 Old 08-16-2008, 10:29 PM
 
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I found with both my kiddos there were a few milestone points at which things seemed much better than before. One would definitely be around 3 months, when they get more interested in the world around them and more likely to be happy to be put down for a (short) while. And I agree with the other mamas that around 6 months is another time when things suddenly seem to shift into "life is easier" mode.

My first dd only napped in arms for the first 6 months of her life. I just went with it and ended up watching lots of TV series' on DVD (lol). When ds came along I already had dd to keep up with so sitting around watching TV with a babe in arms just wasn't gonna happen. He ended up taking almost all of his naps in the baby carrier (a mei tai was what worked best for us, but every babe/mama is different).

One piece of advice I would give is to try to get out of the house as much as possible. It doesn't seem like such a drag to have your baby napping in a carrier on you all the time if at the same time you're out walking, shopping, sitting in a cafe reading a book (if your babe will let you sit that is, lol), etc.

If your LO is very gassy/uncomfortable (and therefore fussy which probably leads to mama being exhausted and frazzled) you might want to consider either not supplementing with formula (perhaps giving expressed breastmilk in a bottle instead?), trying a new formula, and/or trying a different type of bottle (I've heard that Dr. Brown bottles are good for gassiness). I know that formula can be a lot harder on the wee digestive systems than bm. Having the break of giving one formula feeding might not be worth it if it leads to fussy/gassy babe.

Hang in there mama! There is light at the end of the tunnel - I promise!

ETA: I don't know if you're already co-sleeping, but if not you might want to give it a try. My dd slept in a basinette by the side of the bed and later in her crib which was in the same room as us. DS, on the other hand, has slept in the bed with us from day 1 and it has been SO much easier, and I've been able to get SO much more sleep and feel SO much more well-rested. Just rolling over onto my side to give him the boob, still lying there in my comfy bed is miles better than having to get out of bed, get baby, bring her to my bed to nurse her then carefully try to get her back in the basinette without waking her. I'm a big time convert to co-sleeping, lol!

Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

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#7 of 28 Old 08-16-2008, 10:36 PM
 
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Hang in there, Mama, hang in there.

My DD was the queen of the cat nap - I started trying to remember the 5 S's (Shhhh (sound), swing (any motion), sidelying, sucking and swaddling) and things got better.

DD had to be in a very deep sleep before we attempted to put her down/move her. Arms limp, the breathing pattern change, the whole nine yards. She was swaddled for more than a year. She's 23 months old now and we still use a white noise machine for naps and night. I nursed her down and then we popped in a pacifier because it was the only thing saving my sanity. She slept on her side until she could roll over on her own, and has been a tummy sleeper ever since. Up until about 3 months ago, I was rocking and singing to her to get her down for he naps.

Do what you have to do to get her to nap during the day. If that means a swing, a car ride a few times a day, a stroller walk, carrying her in a sling, whatever, get her to sleep - it'll make your nights more tolerable.

Don't put her down until after the 25 minute mark - 20 minutes is a baby's light sleep cycle length, so just when you think that surely she's been asleep long enough for you put her down, she's really in a light sleep cycle, and if anything changes during that light sleep, she's GOING to wake up.

Or at least, that's what we dealt with for several months. It got better around the time she started sitting up, taking more predictible, longer length, better organized naps.
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#8 of 28 Old 08-17-2008, 04:22 AM
 
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If you've got a sling or mei tai I would highly recommend either. All of my babes were high needs until 3-4mos and the only way they napped was being carried or in the car. At least then you have your hands to do other things while you wear them. I also second a pp mention of revisiting your decision to supplement if it isn't for medical reasons as it could be making babe even gassier/more constipated (the iron in formula is often the culprit in constipation). Hang in there Mama- I have been there and it truly does get easier!
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#9 of 28 Old 08-17-2008, 09:20 AM
 
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I think as a new mom every age and stage differs. I found I "coped" better after 12 weeks. I finally knew my son a little more and was relaxing into parenthood. But just when you think you're into a pattern and routine it changes. Every week is a different challenge.

My favorite age is 9 months-15 months. I feel 15-2.5 is rough as anything! And 3 and 4 is a breeze.
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#10 of 28 Old 08-17-2008, 10:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
Those first few months can be so hard.

For me, the turnaround comes when they can sit up. Not only because you can prop them up in the middle of the floor with some toys and have your hands free, but also because you can use the backpack and some different carries in the sling.

I always look at it this way-- it's God's way of making sure new mamas take plenty of time to sit down and rest. I read a lot of library books during the first five or six months.

You may want to revisit the supplementing as well. If it isn't medically indicated, it may be causing you more trouble than it's worth. Formula is harder for babies to digest and can cause constipation and gassiness. And breastfeeding can help you both relax and rest.



this is what i thought of first. mommy milk, i believe i heard around here somewhere, has stuff to relax baby IN IT. more mommy milk=more relaxed baby.

not that taking him off of formula will fix the whole thing...but it could help...especially if he is not sleeping/not sleeping long because of gas pains. that is what consistently woke up my ds when he was younger (now 14.5 weeks). he'd wake up we'd burp and move his legs around, give him some more nursies and he'd fall right back asleep.

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#11 of 28 Old 08-17-2008, 10:59 AM
 
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Have you looked into a hind milk imbalance? Thats what i had and my baby was gassy and uncomfortable, with green slimy/frothy poos. We fixed it using Block feeding, nursing at one breast for all feeds for a period of hours before switching.

There is nothing wrong with you either, some people just do better with different ages, and some babies are a bit easier. For example my mum really hates the newborn phase, loves the baby just not the stage, whilst i love it.

I would consider my baby to be a very easy baby, but even she wont sleep very long out of my arms, and there is no way i can get her down without her being in arms. Can you feed him sid laying? thats what i do at night, that way i can doze or sleep whilst she sleeps in very dim lighting.
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#12 of 28 Old 08-19-2008, 05:10 PM
 
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Oh my, you sound like me. I really did not enjoy parenting a newborn and I spent a lot of time thinking "what have I done?" and was pretty certain that I had messed my life up! However, for me, month 5 was magical. All of a sudden DS could entertain himself for a few minutes - heaven! Alas month 6 was not so good again (we weathered a nursing strike which ended after the emergence of 2 teeth and he learned to crawl). However, since month 7 things have been fabulous. It is still hard and I still have basically no free time (except at work - ha ha) but I can truly say that I enjoy being a parent. Hang in there momma. You can do this.
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#13 of 28 Old 08-19-2008, 05:48 PM
 
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We just hit three mos, and it is a tiny bit easier. some things that have helped me: Wonder Weeks book, long walks in the Moby wrap listening to podcasts (i feel more connected with the adult world this way and get time "alone"), side-lie nursing during the day so i'm in a position to nap if he falls asleep.

that said, it's still freakin' hard. i'm pinning all my hopes on 6mos.
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#14 of 28 Old 08-19-2008, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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THANK YOU ladies for giving me hope!! I appreciate all of your encouragement and suggestions. Just to answer a few questions:
I do co-sleep! It's been wonderful
I have a carrier (the Infantino), but he's growing out of it, so it's time for a new one!
The whole breastfeeding thing: I am a registered nurse who has had experience working with lactation consultants. I have tried EVERYTHING to up my supply... fenugreek, protein, frequent (and I mean frequent!) feedings followed by pumping. I have had blood work done. For some reason, I have a TRUE supply issue. I would be thrilled to exclusively breastfeed!! It's all I want!
My little man continues to be fussier and fussier each day! I've done an elimination diet, switched the formula (we are down to only 3-4 oz a day!!!), etc. The 5 S's don't work. He won't take a pacifier (as hard as I try!) I've even resorted to trying to teach him to suck his thumb!
He HATES (and I mean Hates!) his carseat and the car. (We are on carseat #3!) Taking him to his doctors appointments or out is hell as all he does is scream in the car. This doesn't bode well for taking him for walks either!
He does like his sling, however. But... how much can a girl walk?

I am praying you are all right and there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. I hate to feel like I'm wishing his infancy away... but I am!
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#15 of 28 Old 08-19-2008, 09:20 PM
 
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Actually, slinging him around the house may help a lot, and let you get things like a load of laundry or running the dishwasher orr whatever done.

Have you tried a nurse-in - 3 days of lying in bed with him and all you do is nurse the whole time, as long and as frequently as you can possibly get him to latch on? Many women on here have reported surprising success using this method.
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#16 of 28 Old 08-19-2008, 10:09 PM
 
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8 months was our magic point. Before that, DD was just like you described... wouldn't nap, wouldn't let us put her down, etc.

But at 6 months it got better, and by 8 months she seemed more happy than ticked. Now, at 14 months, she's a smiley-happy little girl.

Be strong! Just keep saying, "This too shall pass!"
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#17 of 28 Old 08-19-2008, 10:17 PM
 
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I HIGHLY recommend a blue celery sling. I wore my dd in it constantly (in the cradle position -- the far left picture in the first page of the link) for her first few months. She really liked to be worn, and walked. So, I would sling her and do laps around my house and then take off the sling with her in it (very carefully ) and place her in a curved 'bouncy' chair. It was the only way to get her down...as soon as she felt she was laying 'flat' in a bed she woke. Not sure if that helps or would work for you, but I recommend it, the sling is amazing, because it forms to your body and the material makes it really easy and comfortable to wear for long periods.

Good luck, hth!
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#18 of 28 Old 08-19-2008, 10:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
For me, the turnaround comes when they can sit up. Not only because you can prop them up in the middle of the floor with some toys and have your hands free, but also because you can use the backpack and some different carries in the sling.
My dd was crawling before she learned to sit up. no propping for us.

To the OP - . I don't know if it gets easier per se as there are new challenges with each stage; but I think you just get more comfortable, more adjusted, etc. You're doing great I'm sure!

Casey, wife to Danny, mom to Olive : and Darcy : .
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#19 of 28 Old 08-20-2008, 12:38 PM
 
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I think around 6 months it got a lot easier. Sure, there are issues now that weren't issues before... but in general, this age is soooo much easier than 3 months.

~*Have more than you show, speak less than you know*~

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#20 of 28 Old 08-20-2008, 12:45 PM
 
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There is some relief at 3 months (at least for us) but the real payoff is 6 months and then again when they learn to crawl. Ds is sooo much more content now that he can be mobile!
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#21 of 28 Old 08-20-2008, 01:17 PM
 
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Nothing is wrong with you! But does the doctor say all is good with your baby? The gas and infrequent BMs sound like something that should be able to be helped! My 6-week old still eats and sleeps erratically, and has reflux... but I do get sleep sometimes. You need some too!
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#22 of 28 Old 08-20-2008, 03:22 PM
 
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Both my babies have been gassy, even though they were exclusively breastfed. And I've done the total elimination diet with both too, to no avail. So I have some suggestions.

I'm assuming you already know about the elemental formulas (Nutramagen (sp?), etc.), which should help if the digestive issues are related to the formula.

Have you tried chiropractic? That can be a huge help. I also really like craniosacral therapy (you can search for a practitioner here). My friend's ds had horrible food intolerances and ended up on an elemental formula which made him really constipated. One CST visit and the issue was resolved.

That said, neither chiro nor CST resolved the gas or infrequent poops for us (although they both helped). What finally did it for dd1 was homeopathy. When she was 9 months I took her to a holistic ped who uses homeopathics, and her gas went away - THAT NIGHT. No kidding. Not that it was gone forever. It came back in bouts and we would have to fiddle with her remedies and it has only really been gone for good (knock on wood) since she was around 2.5 years old. But I don't think I would have lived without homeopathy. I never believed in it until I finally tried it out of desperation and I was so blown away that my whole family now sees a homeopath and I am a total convert. The poops didn't stabilize quite as fast though (she was pooping once every week or two, which is supposedly "normal" for bf babies, but she was clearly uncomfortable). They started coming more frequently right away, but it probably took a few months before she started pooping every day.

So dd2 came in May of this year, and sure enough, another gassy babe (this time with reflux too! fun!). The reflux was resolved with the elmination diet, but not the gas. So back to the homeopathy. This time it didn't work as fast, but we are seeing steady improvement and at 3.5 months she is much less gassy. I'm wondering if part of it is an immature system, which is why the homeopathy didn't have as immediate an impact as it did with dd1.

Another thing I can't live without is gripe water. Have had the best success with Colic Ease (I don't even want to think about how much money I've spent on that stuff over the last 3 years ). Don't use as much as they say, though. At 8 weeks, I was probably only giving dd2 10-12 drops at a time. I now give her between 1/4 and 1/2 tsp, but am not having to use it as frequently.

It sounds like a lot (or all) of his fussiness may be due to the digestive stuff. But another thing to consider is birth trauma. DD1 had this (deep suctioning at birth due to mec staining, which caused an oral aversion and 4 months of screaming when I nursed her, in addition to just being super high needs). CST resolved that too. I wrote about it here if you're interested. Second baby was an accidental UC, and holy cow is she different! Except for the digestive stuff, she is the happiest baby I've ever met. Some of that is surely personality, but I have come to believe that our births can have a profound impact on us. In fact, I've revisited my own birth on several occasions during CST sessions (I wrote about one of those here). So that's something else to consider as a possible cause for the high needs behavior.

So, to recap:
Chiro
CST (addresses physical and emotional / trauma issues)
Homeopathy
Gripe water

A word on homeopathy ... I truly believe you must see a qualified homeopath. You can see the same symptoms in people but they can be caused by different things. A remedy that will help one person may do nothing for another for that reason. I have never really had luck with the homeopathics I buy at Whole Foods (Hylands, etc.). A homeopath can determine the underlying cause and choose the best remedy(ies). Also, the homeopathics I get from my homeopath are a different potency than what is available "over the counter". So I really recommend seeing a professional, and keep looking if you're not happy with the first person. Homeopathy is an art, IMO. In fact, I would suggest visiting the Finding Your Tribe forum for your area, and asking if anyone has suggestions for a chiro, CST and homeopath.

Good luck! It's hard - I know, I've been there. I thought the second time around it would be so easy because I knew what to do. Ha! It was still really hard. But it is getting better as time goes by.

Mama to M (7/05) and S (5/08) my surprise !!!
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#23 of 28 Old 08-20-2008, 06:02 PM
 
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I agree with some of the other posts...you might just have to wait this one out. Not the best news, I know, but I have been there and it feels like it is never going to end, but little by little it gets better. My DS was very gassy and had very strange poop and difficulty sleeping(up every 45 min to 1 hour at night). Then when he hit 4 months, one day it was like his little digestive system matured and he suddenly had perfect EBF poop and didn't wake up at night screaming in pain. I also had tried the elimination diet and all that stuff and nothing seemed to help before, I think it was just his system needed more time to mature. After that, he slept better, but was still up at least every two hours, sometimes still every hour. Then low and behold...just last week...he slept from 7pm until 5am and has been sleeping 6-8 hours at a stretch every night sense. He is 9 months old. Nothing changed, I didn't do anything differently, it just happened on its own. I never would have believed it, but they really do sleep eventually!!!!

Good luck and I hope you have some success with whatever you try! Sounds like a swing would not be helpful since he does not like the carseat? My LO would only sleep longer than 15 min or so in the cradle swing(side to side movement) for many months. I would nurse him to sleep and then I could transfer him to the swing and the movement would settle him. Might be worth a try!
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#24 of 28 Old 08-20-2008, 07:30 PM
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I can't read all the replies, but I learned to swaddle at 8 weeks and it was a lifesaver!! Also, I recommend reading the NCSS for help with geting lo to nap alone (if you desire). Things got easier around 3 or 4 months, but things got much easier around 6 months, and now 10-12 months have been really pretty good. Hang in there mama!!
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#25 of 28 Old 08-20-2008, 08:33 PM
 
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I echo the co-sleeping responses. Do it for naps, and especially at night. My babe still gets some evening fussies at 12 wks, and will only settle down if I take him into our darkened bedroom (with a sidecarred crib attached to our king) with our lullaby cd playing. He nurses much better in the evening in our quiet, dark bedroom as opposed to the living room with the lights on bright and all the noise my almost 5 yr old makes!! Lately I have laid with him nursing while I watch the olympics on tv with the sound off. He falls asleep so much easier now.

Cosleeping is easily the best way for babe and Mommy to get rest, he and i do the nursing thing at night and neither of us really even wake up for it! I feel so much more rested in the morning. Try it Mama!!

Wife to Hank , Mommy to Gabriella 6.5 yrs Anthony 28 monthsand 3 angels wait for me in Heaven Praying to be a Proverbs 31 woman!!
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#26 of 28 Old 08-21-2008, 01:53 PM
 
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If he is happy in your arms, then I would keep him there as much as possible. I would invest in a colleciton of baby carriers rather than just one. A Mei Tei or wrap will be the most comfy for you for extended wear and you'll be truly hands-free. I have a two month old too and she spends a lot of time in the Mei Tei and the wrap. I also have a ring sling for quicker trips.

Also, it sounds like your son may have a medical issue - have you talked to your doc about it?
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#27 of 28 Old 01-16-2014, 01:56 PM
 
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Go to a cranial sacral specialist or a chiropractor. If he has latch issues the cranial sac can help. If he's uncomfortable everywhere he may be out of alignment; which either could help with.
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#28 of 28 Old 01-16-2014, 04:02 PM
 
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Hello Alexbell915! Welcome to Mothering!



Married to a wonderful woman since 2010. Baby boy C arrived in June 2013!

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