4 month old CIO in our arms no matter what we do - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 34 Old 12-03-2008, 11:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I guess this isn't really CIO becuase we stay with her, but almost every bedtime our 4 month old screams, anywhere from 10 min to an hour. She seems to associate crying with sleep, but usually only in the evening (mostly goes down fine for naps). She gets into this unreachable spiral where nothing helps...not nursing, not distractions, not cuddling. We start putting her to bed as soon as she seems tired, so I don't know how to prevent it if it's overtiredness. Help! I feel awful for her, I worry about her brain development from the stress, and it makes every even stressful for us.
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#2 of 34 Old 12-04-2008, 12:31 AM
 
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Sometimes a baby will cry and you can't figure out what to do to make the crying stop. That's not CIO, that's just life with a baby. I know it's hard, really! My child cried for the first five months of her life (like, all the time. I have no pics between birth and literally five months old because she never. stopped. crying) and it was awful. Big hugs.

I do think she sounds overtired. What time do you normally start getting her to sleep? Try a half hour earlier. It's so tempting when they're small to just go with the flow, and I am not not not!!! suggesting you impose a schedule, but if there's a flow to your days, especially your evenings, it does help. It's never too early for a bedtime routine. This isn't something you rush, it can be a good hour leading up to bedtime (bath, quiet time, lights low, singing, etc). If your baby is still melting down, start a little earlier or just keep on with your bedtime routine.

Our daughter has never been a good sleeper, but as I tried everything, adapted over and over, have read EVERY BOOK ON SLEEP IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE, and have the benefit of hindsight, I'm hoping we can make it easier on our next one (should this one ever go to sleep and let us make a "next one" ).

Bit big hugs. It's hard when your baby cries, but you will figure it out. You're responding to her all day and night and doing everything you can. I don't think evening difficulties are going to hurt her in the long run nearly as much as they hurt your heart right now.
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#3 of 34 Old 12-04-2008, 12:40 AM
 
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It isn't CIO if it's in your arms.

My daughter was colicky. I learned at some point that I couldn't always keep her from crying, but I could always keep her from having to cry alone. Do what you can - don't make her go through it alone - but understand that you won't always be able to stop the crying. It will help with your sanity.
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#4 of 34 Old 12-04-2008, 12:46 AM
 
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There also are some babies that really do need to be put down when they are tired. I'm not suggesting you put her down and leave her alone completely at this age, but she really might need to just not have so much stimulation in order to relax. If you haven't tried it a bed in a dark room with you just sitting nearby but not doing anything is worth the chance.

FWIW my mom insists that no matter what she did I needed to cry for 10 minutes and then would fall asleep...same 10 minutes if she held me, rocked me, fed me, or left me in a crib. I just needed the crying release. Crying itself isn't always bad, and some kids need to let go of extra stress that way, letting her do that in a way that's safe and doesn't feel abandoning may be what she needs, in which case you ARE meeting her needs.
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#5 of 34 Old 12-04-2008, 12:48 AM
 
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I would change the title from "CIO in our arms" to "crying in our arms" because it's not CIO. Sounds kinda colicky.

My DS was like this. We did everything we could. I kept trying different things, some things helped a bit, while other things did not help. Bouncing (on an exercise ball or in arms), swinging, driving down in the car seat, putting him in the car seat on the clothes dryer (for the movement), rocking. I found out when he was 12 months old that he had been having a lot of gas from foods I eat that I'm sensitive to. When I got tested for those and then stopped eating those foods, both our problems got a lot better.

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#6 of 34 Old 12-04-2008, 12:56 AM
 
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My youngest was the same way at that age. He always cried at bedtime, even though we were with him.

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#7 of 34 Old 12-04-2008, 12:24 PM
 
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My dd2 was like that. Have you read The Happiest Baby on the Block? He was a website too. The 5 S's seriously worked miracles in this house!

A word of advise though, it may take a few minutes for your baby to settle down enough to be calmed by the 5 S's once she is as upset as she is getting.

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#8 of 34 Old 12-04-2008, 01:29 PM
 
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Ds2 was a colicky baby, and it was always the worst at bedtime. Then, when he was 4 months old I tried eliminating dairy from my diet and he was a different baby after just a couple of days.

Sometimes babies are crying for a physical reason. Sometimes they just need the in-arms time to work out an emotional issue, like birth trauma and nothing but time will help. Some do need less stimulation and to be set down for a bit. Sometimes you never know why they are crying like that, and just do the best you can.

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#9 of 34 Old 12-04-2008, 01:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by avivaelona View Post
There also are some babies that really do need to be put down when they are tired.
Yes.

For some babies who are easily over-stimulated or who will eventually make it obvious that they have sensory issues, too much touch can be unpleasant or even painful.

Please don't worry that you will scar your baby if you set her down for a little bit, to see if it will help. I think it's in our nature to try to stroke baby's head and talk to baby if the crying won't stop, but in a few cases this loving touch will make baby more agitated and uncomfortable.

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#10 of 34 Old 12-04-2008, 03:18 PM
 
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Happiest Baby on the Block is definately worth checking out if you haven't already.

I know it's been said before, but just keep it in your mind that a baby crying in arms is better than a baby crying alone. She needs to know you're there for her, even when it's rough.

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#11 of 34 Old 12-04-2008, 03:47 PM
 
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she might just be working out the stress from the day, she's learning a lot at once. it might be over tired and not wanting to sleep at the same time.
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#12 of 34 Old 12-04-2008, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the helpful words...I've just read so much about cortisol and stress I worry that even crying in our arms feels like CIO. I worry about what it's doing to her brain, but there doesn't seem to be anything we can do about it. Anyone had a baby like this that turned into a well-adjusted child? I hope?
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#13 of 34 Old 12-04-2008, 05:55 PM
 
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If its at night it is often referred to as the 'Witching Hour'. Its a very normal phase for most babies, and as long as your there with them it is not CIO, and you are doing all you can.

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#14 of 34 Old 12-04-2008, 06:21 PM
 
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If its at night it is often referred to as the 'Witching Hour'. Its a very normal phase for most babies, and as long as your there with them it is not CIO, and you are doing all you can.
: I've also heard it called "grandma's hour".

I've also read about "Crying in Arms" which helps a baby release stress. I found it very helpful when DS was going through it. If nursing, rocking, wearing, etc. weren't working than I would sit on the edge of our bed, and hold him while he cried while taking deep breathes. He almost always calmed down within 30 min max. (as opposed to crying for hours previous to this.)

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#15 of 34 Old 12-04-2008, 06:23 PM
 
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Thanks for all the helpful words...I've just read so much about cortisol and stress I worry that even crying in our arms feels like CIO. I worry about what it's doing to her brain, but there doesn't seem to be anything we can do about it. Anyone had a baby like this that turned into a well-adjusted child? I hope?
Isn't there a study somewhere (I'm terrible at remember who did the studies, sorry!) that showed that the cortisol levels of a baby crying while being held are the same as a baby who is not crying? And those of a baby left alone to cry are through the roof.

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#16 of 34 Old 12-04-2008, 08:42 PM
 
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Isn't there a study somewhere (I'm terrible at remember who did the studies, sorry!) that showed that the cortisol levels of a baby crying while being held are the same as a baby who is not crying?
No offense but...and? Sometimes babies just cry. They just DO - I would say MOST babies have spent some time crying for no reason the parent can work out. If you've done everything there is to do, there is no reason to beat yourself up or feel guilty. Sure, you're still going to hate it and it's going to suck but being "AP" does not mean your baby will never cry. It's NORMAL.
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#17 of 34 Old 12-04-2008, 10:09 PM
 
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Yes, babies do cry, including AP'd babies. Being in your arms while it happens will greatly reduce the stress. And my daughter cried LIKE CRAZY and she is very happy and well adjusted. Relax about this - it will be OK.
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#18 of 34 Old 12-04-2008, 10:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post
No offense but...and? Sometimes babies just cry. They just DO - I would say MOST babies have spent some time crying for no reason the parent can work out. If you've done everything there is to do, there is no reason to beat yourself up or feel guilty. Sure, you're still going to hate it and it's going to suck but being "AP" does not mean your baby will never cry. It's NORMAL.
You need to read that post again. You are saying the exact same thing.
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#19 of 34 Old 12-04-2008, 10:34 PM
 
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I've always wanted to be able to respond to a question like this.

My baby cried all.the.time. There were something like 24 babies born in our hospital the night she came into the world and she was the ONLY one who cried the entire time. It didn't stop for 3 1/2-months. People made very helpful comments; I quote "she will probably always be a high-needs child." THANKS.

She will be 5 years old the end of February. She is one of the happiest, funniest, most flexible kids I know. It didn't take that long, though. It ended literally overnight at 3 1/2 months. I did not do anything different. I did not change my diet. We continued to have sleep issues for a long time, but the crying stopped. I night-nursed for 2 years and believe me, we got very little sleep (well, I didn't get sleep. She must have).

But she became the kind of kid other people commented on as "the happiest baby they knew." Go figure. I have NO IDEA why she cried the first few months (very healthy; no allergies, illnesses, nothing). She did have a very complicated labour with an induction, after a successful version at 42 weeks! So that might have given her a rough start.

But she is most definitely NOT high needs! Not that it would be terrible if she had been, but it really wasn't what I needed to hear back then and it certainly didn't prove true for us. Good luck!
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#20 of 34 Old 12-04-2008, 10:36 PM
 
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No offense but...and? Sometimes babies just cry. They just DO - I would say MOST babies have spent some time crying for no reason the parent can work out. If you've done everything there is to do, there is no reason to beat yourself up or feel guilty. Sure, you're still going to hate it and it's going to suck but being "AP" does not mean your baby will never cry. It's NORMAL.
I think she is trying to make the OP feel better because she is worried about the baby's stress. The poster said that the cortisol level of a crying baby in your arms is the same as a baby who is not crying.

OP, I don't know if you are nursing but I was and had the same problem as you. I dreaded 8:00 because my LO would start unconsolable crying. I tried everything then, like honeybee said, I eliminated dairy. It stopped the next day and only reoccurred once when I forgot and ate a bunch of chip dip that had cream cheese in it.
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#21 of 34 Old 12-04-2008, 10:40 PM
 
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Thanks for all the helpful words...I've just read so much about cortisol and stress I worry that even crying in our arms feels like CIO. I worry about what it's doing to her brain, but there doesn't seem to be anything we can do about it. Anyone had a baby like this that turned into a well-adjusted child? I hope?
MY dd is 23 months old and cried nonstop for hours untill about 3 month ago. And i find her to be a extremely well adjusted child. She is very outgoing, very polite, and very very bright.

She would cry when we held her, cry after she ate, cry when we rocked her, and there was no getting her to sleep unless i was wearing her or put her in the car (and sometimes that would even take 2 or 3 hours). I agree with the pp that sometimes baby's (especially ones that are prone to over stimulation) NEED to cry to release pent up energy and stimulation. Imagine if you had been working all day on 8 cups of coffee, and going going going, and seeing new things at every turn, and constant chaos, and then all of a sudden while all of those things are still going on someone told you it was time to go to sleep, oh and you had no idea what sleep even was. As an asult on days like that i have to give myself plenty of wind down time, and read a book and take a warm bath, or i just keep going until i crash, but babies have no way of being able to wind themselves down, so you have to help them, and then its kida left up to the baby to figure it out, and so if they need to cry to let off that last little bit of steam as long as you are there and making the best decisions for your child i think that they will be very well adjusted.

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#22 of 34 Old 12-04-2008, 11:49 PM
 
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I FEEL YOUR PAIN!

This was totally my little girl--a colic-y baby (nearly) every evening. She would scream and cry and often no amount of nursing, singing, rocking, walking, dancing, driving or dietary changes would change a thing. It was terrifying for me as a first time mom and I thought it would never end.

It does! And the good news is, it will probably end VERY SOON for you. In the Baby Book, Dr. Sears addresses this (among other) type of colic. He suggests creating predictable bedtime routines, massage and evening walks. The latter was sometimes helpful for us--I don't know where you're at, though; it's not exactly evening stroll weather here in Detroit now! Dr. Sears also said that this type of colic usually ends around 4-5 months. In my case, that was bang-on. I remember her being like a month, and two months, and three, and reading that going, "You mean I might have to deal with this for THREE MORE MONTHS?" and thinking that that was like an eternity. I'm sure you hear this everywhere you go (I know I do) but it PASSES SO QUICKLY.

Take breaks whenever you can by giving daddy or grandma or someone else a turn, and be patient and loving and know that it will pass. Also, PLEASE, don't stress yourself out worrying about cortisol levels!!!!! As others have said, when you have eliminated possible problems, it is perfectly possible that you just have a fussy baby who needs extra love. I promise you that this phase will pass quickly and your baby will be JUST FINE!

For the record, my dd is now 19 months and she is as cheery a babe as could be. I think those early months are distant days for both of us!

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#23 of 34 Old 12-05-2008, 02:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It is so good to hear all of your perspectives. Thanks for reminding me not to be neurotic. I just feel so bad for her when she goes into that spiral, but I do need to remember that this too shall pass...
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#24 of 34 Old 12-05-2008, 12:34 PM
 
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Try getting into a bedtime routine, not a schedule, just a routine. That has helped our LO so very much. It just seems to give her structure and so she knows what's coming next.

Also, another really good book that has saved us as been Dr. Sears Fussy Baby Book. Even if your child isn't a high needs child like he describes, I think the suggestions he offers can be applied to any baby. We had Marion pegged as a colicky baby for sure because of the non stop screaming, but within 48 hours of starting constant baby wearing and co-sleeping (two big things he suggests) we had started to see a whole new baby emerge. We still have our huge crying jags (naptimes are like torture around here) but at least now I feel that I have a lot of tools to help me to cope.

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#25 of 34 Old 12-05-2008, 01:21 PM
 
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You need to read that post again. You are saying the exact same thing.
Quote:
I think she is trying to make the OP feel better because she is worried about the baby's stress. The poster said that the cortisol level of a crying baby in your arms is the same as a baby who is not crying.
You're right, my apologies

I read it as "Isn't there a study somewhere (I'm terrible at remember who did the studies, sorry!) that showed that the cortisol levels of a baby crying while being held are the same as a baby who is not BEING HELD?
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#26 of 34 Old 12-05-2008, 01:30 PM
 
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Thanks. I HAD a baby who would scream and scream. I used that little piece of research to console myself, and hoped the OP could do the same.

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#27 of 34 Old 12-05-2008, 03:20 PM
 
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Thanks. I HAD a baby who would scream and scream. I used that little piece of research to console myself, and hoped the OP could do the same.
Hey, do you remember where you saw that study? I'd never heard of this one before and I'd love to read it, since I had a baby who cried a lot.

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#28 of 34 Old 12-05-2008, 04:34 PM
 
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I HAD a baby who would scream and scream.
Same here, which is why I can be a little touchy about it.
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#29 of 34 Old 12-05-2008, 05:00 PM
 
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but within 48 hours of starting constant baby wearing and co-sleeping (two big things he suggests) we had started to see a whole new baby emerge.
I don't know if this would help the OP but this helped my dd1 immensely. Around 8 weeks, she started the classic crying hour in the evening. Then I read in the Dr Sears book about babywearing more and babies having a "hold quota", if you will. Worked like a charm and we never had the crying hour again.

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#30 of 34 Old 12-05-2008, 09:35 PM
 
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Yes, they can turn out just fine! My sister was "colicky" as a baby, and now she is a surgeon at 27. Don't let it worry you for the long term.

Question: are you drinking cow's milk? Our DD used to shriek at night, about 6 -9 PM or so, and I found that switching over to goat's milk really helped. She doesn't cry much at night anymore (8months) but now she's teething, so that is hurting her a bit.

I found that eliminating cow's milk, getting a white noise machine, holding her chest to chest and slow dancing to soothing music really helped to calm our DD's cries.

Hang in there Momma, you are doing the right thing by comforting your baby.

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