Anyone else dealing with colic/fussyness? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 03-30-2009, 11:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am only recently admitting Ramsey is 'mildly' colicky- and that's after an evening of endless efforts to calm him....I've found the information on what IS colic to be conflicting; as compared to fussiness, high-needs, etc. But the definition I happened to read today fits him perfectly, so I'm going to 'label' it.
This is my first baby like this! The other two were ridiculously calm, content, and satisfied.
I'm coping fine, I do find it exhausting at times. And I just wish he was happier. For his own sake, even. I feel bad that he has to cry so much.
I also feel guilty that he 90% of the time loves the swing. Why does a mechanical device make him happy when I can't? I'm trying desperately not to over-use it. However, it doesn't make sense to make him keep crying in my arms, trying different things hour after hour when setting him in the swing would calm him. He gets carried, held, snuggled, and nursed a lot, but when it comes down to the persistant crying I can't always calm him, but the swing can. I don't like that. It makes me feel bad.
Anyone else dealing with it, or admitting it?

Amanda; mama to: Axel (Dec/04), Evangeline (Apr/07) and Ramsey, (Feb/09) born unassisted! Jethro Vader (Apr/11) and #5 due April 2014. 
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#2 of 16 Old 03-31-2009, 12:28 AM
 
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I'm not dealing with it this time around...I got one of those super sweet easy babies this time. Did I say she's sweet...wow...I am SO thankful.

Anyway, LAST time was AWFUL. My second baby cried nearly hysterically lots and lots. Now we know that that was just part of his personality..."when you're up you're up and when you're down you're down", but I digress...

The swing was just about the only thing that "fixed" him, too. I felt like an awful mama to not even be able to calm my own baby, or keep my house clean, or play with my toddler. But ds was so LOUD and inconsolable it just made the rest of life impossible. But, if I could get out to the yard swing, I could swing him (the higher the better) and he would stop crying. I felt like a prisoner to that swing.

BUT...

he is the sweetest and most fun little boy ever now. He's 22 months and a goofball. We have the BEST time.

SO...

hang in there. You are a good mama, and the whole point is not to make our babies fit a mold of AP or whatever ideal you hold in your mind, but to do what is best for our babies. If the swing is best, then the swing it is. NO guilt...you ARE in tune to his needs and THAT is what matters...not some AP ideal that doesn't fit your baby.

Hugs...I've been there and it's exhausting and draining, and emotionally terrifically difficult, but you really still are just what he needs and loves and wants.


"If you keep doing the same things you've always done, you'll keep getting the same results you've always gotten."

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#3 of 16 Old 03-31-2009, 11:29 AM
 
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I wouldn't say my baby is colicky, but lately she's been more fussy overnight and isn't sleeping for very long stretches (but seems to sleep great during the day!). Like yours, though, she loves her swing and her bouncy seat. I understand completely how you feel. Most of the time, she would prefer to be in one of those seats rather than in my arms and I'm incredibly jealous of these mechanical devices.

I had images of what our days would look like... me wearing her most of the time, us snuggling in bed at night... Unfortunately, she doesn't like the baby carrier unless she's asleep when I put her in it and she'd much rather sleep in her swing or bouncy seat than with me. I'm also trying to limit it, especially at night. I do not want the swing to become her bed. Lately, I've started letting her fall asleep in the swing or the seat, once she is completely passed out I will move her either to the bed with me or (more recently) the bassinet next to our bed. She has to be dead to the world for this to work though, which can sometimes take a long time.

I guess the PP is right though... I'd rather have a happy baby in her swing than a screaming baby in my arms. And that is exactly what happens when I try to rock her or walk around the house with her. And to me, it feels no different than letting her CIO which I am totally not okay with.

Mallory. Happily married to Joe since 6/25/05. Loving my adventure with my girls, Owyn Samantha, born 3/1/09. dust.gif and Greta June, born 11/2/11  babygirl.gif

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#4 of 16 Old 03-31-2009, 02:01 PM
 
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My babe also likes the swing -- a lot! I recently watched the DVD -- Happiest Baby on the Block. It's also a book. It gave us some great advice on how to soothe our fussy baby and help her sleep better. It has really helped so far.

The author is a doctor and his advice makes a lot of sense. He also stopped my guilt about the swing!

I don't know if it applies to colicky babies too but I don't see how it can hurt.

I didn't get the sweet angel baby, I just think she's pretty typical--fussy and fights going to sleep sometimes but not all the time.
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#5 of 16 Old 03-31-2009, 03:11 PM
 
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nak

not sure if its true or not, but i read somewhere that colic symptoms may be tied to bowel immaturity. So i'm trying to watch my diet and eliminate anything potentially irritating... But I know what you mean about relying on the swing. A loves the vibration of her bouncy chair--sometimes she prefers it to me and it bothers me too. But its better than her screaming all night keeping DH awake too.

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#6 of 16 Old 03-31-2009, 04:02 PM
 
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I wholeheartedly second the suggestion to try the tips in Dr. Harvey's HBotB book/DVD. They can't hurt, though some may need to be adjusted for your babe (like Guinevere didn't respond well to loud shushing but softer shushing worked great).

And the elimination diet is a great suggestion too.

Please don't feel guilty about using a swing, if it's working. Some babies respond better to a consistent swinging motion (like they had in the womb). Others do better in arms. The key is following your baby's cues and meeting his specific needs.

Hang in there mama.

SAHM to Guinevere (04/05/06) and Eowyn (02/13/09)
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#7 of 16 Old 03-31-2009, 05:32 PM
 
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Personally, I've tried the tips from Happiest Baby on the Block. Owyn doesn't like to be swaddled, she freaks out when her arms are confined and gets hot/sweaty pretty easily. Sometimes the shushing works, but it's pretty hit or miss. She likes to swaying/shaking (jiggling?) but it doesn't put her to sleep, just calms her... sometimes.

It can be frustrating because she sleeps so sound during the day. Not necessarily all day long, but when she sleeps during daytime hours, she is out. But at night she is more restless and doesn't seem to sleep as well. The main difference... I put her down when she sleeps during the day. She sleeps in the bassinet most of the time during daytime hours whereas she is in bed next to me at night. We have tried to bassinet a few times at night... I need to get used to it more than she does. I want her next to me, but I don't think she is doing well sharing the bed with us. She likes her space when she is sleeping and I think being in bed with us is keeping her from sleeping well.

Anybody else ever had a baby that did not take well to co-sleeping? My baby just hasn't been very AP friendly!

Mallory. Happily married to Joe since 6/25/05. Loving my adventure with my girls, Owyn Samantha, born 3/1/09. dust.gif and Greta June, born 11/2/11  babygirl.gif

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#8 of 16 Old 03-31-2009, 06:07 PM
 
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my first born was this way. I think he was overstimulated. Laying him down by himself was the only way I could get him to stop crying, and the swing. I think it is just their personality and they get too much input from us and need some alone time. Hugs.

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#9 of 16 Old 03-31-2009, 11:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have read 'The Happiest Baby on the Block', when I had Evangeline, even though she was not fussy at all. I believe I remember most of it; at least the basics, but I will look through it again if I get my hands on it again. Unfortunately, we DO do ALL of the 5 'S's', and most even at the same time. They might work for a few minutes when he's in his 'cry zone', or they might temporarily put him to sleep. I guess, though, if I didn't do any of them we'd be a mess, so obvioulsy they do work.

I read the study on probiotics last night, so I picked up some today to try. The study also eliminated dairy in the diets of the mothers, but recommended the probiotics even without the elimination diet, so I'm going to temporarily cut it out- but plan to reintroduce it after a bit.

As I said, it's not severe, it's pretty mild colic I think. But I'm going to try writing down how he is during the day, just to see if I can figure out a pattern. Right now he seems unpredictable both in his crying and mood and the responsiveness to our efforts.

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Personally, I've tried the tips from Happiest Baby on the Block. Owyn doesn't like to be swaddled, she freaks out when her arms are confined and gets hot/sweaty pretty easily. Sometimes the shushing works, but it's pretty hit or miss. She likes to swaying/shaking (jiggling?) but it doesn't put her to sleep, just calms her... sometimes.

It can be frustrating because she sleeps so sound during the day. Not necessarily all day long, but when she sleeps during daytime hours, she is out. But at night she is more restless and doesn't seem to sleep as well. The main difference... I put her down when she sleeps during the day. She sleeps in the bassinet most of the time during daytime hours whereas she is in bed next to me at night. We have tried to bassinet a few times at night... I need to get used to it more than she does. I want her next to me, but I don't think she is doing well sharing the bed with us. She likes her space when she is sleeping and I think being in bed with us is keeping her from sleeping well.

Anybody else ever had a baby that did not take well to co-sleeping? My baby just hasn't been very AP friendly!
Yes, my other babies! We BOTH never slept that well when together, but they always slept beside the bed if they weren't in the bed. With both other kids I only brought them in bed part-time, but brought Eva in more than Axel. Don't feel bad! I'm a firm believer in whatever gives everyone the best sleep (aside from cio and down-the-hall of course) . If she's right there beside you and you're responding to her needs, that's great- she just might need her space! Keep in mind that the bassinet IS 'co-sleeping' (if it's in your room, ovbiously), just not bedsharing.

Amanda; mama to: Axel (Dec/04), Evangeline (Apr/07) and Ramsey, (Feb/09) born unassisted! Jethro Vader (Apr/11) and #5 due April 2014. 
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#10 of 16 Old 04-14-2009, 01:28 AM
 
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I *think* I'm ready to label my little Leah as a colicky babe as well. She's only this way at night and we have to do some odd things to get her to calm down (putting her in lots of weird positions and rocking/swaying/shaking). it's definitely a workout.

Leah is our fourth and is really challenging what we know as parents. She hates bathtime, car rides, massages and her bouncer. She also hates to lay on her back UNLESS she is asleep in our bed. It's the craziest thing.

I feel like a failure as a mom since most of what I know to be good/best for my kids she absolutely hates (snuggling, sling riding, lovely baths followed by a warm oil massage). She also doesn't like to be swaddled. From day one she was unhappy with having her arms restrained.

We are seeing our MW on Wednesday and I'm calling the chiropractor to see if we can get her in there, too. There has to be SOMETHING I can do to help her.
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#11 of 16 Old 04-14-2009, 12:52 PM
 
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The last few nights (in fact I can't remember the last time this didn't happen) Owyn has really been fighting sleep at night. I can't figure out what she wants. We do a bath later in the evening, then do a nursing session around 8 and she'll sleep on and off the rest of the evening. Sometimes just in my arms, sometimes in the bassinet. Usually after she eats (during the day and evening anyway), she doesn't immediately fall asleep, but usually does after she burps. I just snuggle her to sleep.

However, our nights are just not working that way. We all head to bed for the night around 10 or shortly after. I'll feed her again and burp her. Then the screaming starts. She cries and cries every night. Sometimes it's for an hour, sometimes it's for 4 hours. She's had a stuffy nose, so before I do that 10 o'clock feeding, we do a little saline and suck out her nose really good. That upsets her, but she is usually quickly calmed when I feed her after. But once she's done eating, she just screams. Rocking her doesn't help, walking around the house doesn't help, all the Happiest Baby... tips don't help. I thought maybe it was the stuffy nose and she just wasn't comfortable (which it still may be), so I have her sleeping elevated to try and help that.

Last night was just awful. She was screaming uncontrollably, tears and everything. I try feeding her again and she screams at the breast. I've tried burping her again, and she screams. Nothing I do seems to help. Every night, she just eventually seems to wear herself out and falls asleep. I feel like she is CIO, which I hate, but I'm holding her, I'm cuddling her, I'm trying to soothe her. I even try the swing and bouncy seat to see if it will help and it doesn't either. I try just laying her down, maybe she doesn't want to be held. That doesn't work.

This is happening every night and I don't want her to have this bad association with going to bed at night. It only happens at night when we go to bed. She doesn't fight sleep like this during the day. I can't figure out what the problem is. I've tried doing the bedtime nursing in the living room where she usually eats and putting her to sleep out there then going to bed. But she wakes back up screaming when we go to bed. I've thought about food sensitivities, but wouldn't she act that way all the time if that was the problem? This is only at night. I hate that she is crying herself to sleep and I feel horrible for not being able to soothe her...

She's such a happy girl and good sleeper during the day. I can't figure out what it is about bedtime that sets her off...

Mallory. Happily married to Joe since 6/25/05. Loving my adventure with my girls, Owyn Samantha, born 3/1/09. dust.gif and Greta June, born 11/2/11  babygirl.gif

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#12 of 16 Old 04-14-2009, 01:08 PM
 
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Mal this is just a thought but maybe she is overtired? Some kids have very small windows in which you can get them to sleep and if they pass them or get woken from the falling asleep they hit overtired really fast.
I am learning this with my dd. If she gets a good 3 hr nap in the afternoon then we have about 1-1.5hrs of awake time and then we need to start trying to get her to sleep.
Maybe Owyn needs to go to sleep earlier than you? You could try nursing her at 8 and then swaddling her and rocking her (or whatever works) to sleep right then. Use the fact that she's calm and sleepy from nursing to your advantage. Make sure she is in her pj's and has a night diaper on before that nursing session. You don't want to do anything to wake her back up. If she does hit overtired i.e. screaming, arms and legs moving very fast, rapid breathing, then swaddle her up so she can't hit herself in the face to wake herself up and so that it's easier to hold her and rock, walk, bounce whatever it takes. Once you've got her asleep don't put her down for at least 20-30 min. She will need a little longer to get past the light sleep phase once she's overtired.

I'm not saying it's not an allergy or that she doesn't need to see a chiro but this is something you could try tonight. If it doesn't work you are no worse off.
If she's stuffy you could try putting her in her chair once you've got her sleeping still swaddled. My dd still has a stuffy nose and she chokes and can't breathe when flat right now. Also I think because she's not breathing well she's having some reflux issues. She is vomiting a lot more. I've been sleeping her in her chair next to my bed so I can hear her and see her but she can still breathe well.

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#13 of 16 Old 04-14-2009, 02:44 PM
 
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I think she definitely is getting overtired. She hasn't been getting a good nap in lately because of her cold, she just can't breathe real well. The bouncy seat is where she sleeps best. Before she got this cold we had started working on getting her to nap in the bassinet rather than the bouncy seat. DH is ready for her to start sleeping there at night rather than in bed with us and I'm okay with that as long as she sleeps good in there. So, we've been trying to get her used to sleeping in there during the day in hopes that we'll soon be able to get her to sleep in there at night as well. So, now between the cold and learning to sleep in the bassinet and not in her seat, her naps have been more like frequent cat naps.

So, maybe we need to put the bassinet on hold for now and just let her get that good nap in the seat if that's where she's sleeping best? At least until this cold goes away anyway... My goal in the evening is to get her to go down for the night at 8. That's also what we've been working toward. We do the bath around 7:30 and start trying to go to sleep at 8 when I nurse her. We just started this routine a week ago though, so she hasn't quite gotten used to it yet and doesn't always fall asleep real well at 8 yet. But we're trying and keeping the routine in hopes that she will catch on.

I hadn't been swaddling because she didn't like having her arms confined the first few weeks when we did swaddle. But I have her swaddled right now and she seems pretty calm and just fell asleep that way. I'll definitely try swaddling her again tonight when I try to put her down for the night.

Sigh... I just hope her cold goes away soon and hopefully that will help things out... I feel so defeated by the time she does go to sleep at night and so guilty that she spent that time crying...

Mallory. Happily married to Joe since 6/25/05. Loving my adventure with my girls, Owyn Samantha, born 3/1/09. dust.gif and Greta June, born 11/2/11  babygirl.gif

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#14 of 16 Old 04-14-2009, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mal, I hope things settle down for you soon! The advice I've been getting is 'do what works' with the sleeping and swing or bouncy seat, and if she's sick I'd especially stick with that. Like Nillarilla said, I'm not saying it's not something else like the overtired, but maybe it's just her 'fussy time'? Some babies get it later in the evening then the usual 7-9 time. By 'it' I mean a blocked period of crying, where not much soothes them, or temporarily. I know it's frusterating and makes you feel like a failure, but try not to feel guilty! You are NOT CIO- I believe that CIO has to be deliberate and used as a tool- which you are not doing! You are trying to stop her crying, and you are comforting her- it's her choice to cry! Some people even say that there might be a reason for the crying, not necessarily a problem. (like letting out all the stimulation or stress from the day) She doesn't have any symptoms of reflux does she? I'm just thinking at night you're trying to put her down flat after feeding her- maybe during the day you're keeping her more upright?

Ramsey's still the same- the most consistant trait is 'unpredictable'. Sometimes I call it 'colicky' (a bit, I always say) sometimes I say 'high needs' or 'fussy'. I've been doing so much reading on it and to everyone it's something different. To me, the period of crying where nothing helps is the colicky part (or even normal 'witching hour') but the general fussiness, constantly moving, sensitivity and trouble falling asleep is 'high needs'. Some days are better, others more fussing. Thankfully he's great in the late evening and night- no problems. He can fall asleep by himself, without even his soother! I don't know that the probiotics are helping. I also realized I have a forceful letdown; which could explain the refusing the breat, crying, sputtering and choking at the breast, and gassiness.

Amanda; mama to: Axel (Dec/04), Evangeline (Apr/07) and Ramsey, (Feb/09) born unassisted! Jethro Vader (Apr/11) and #5 due April 2014. 
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#15 of 16 Old 04-15-2009, 10:36 AM
 
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Has anyone tried an elimination diet? We have and its been pretty successful. It's funny though because the things that trigger her fussy/colickyness are the same things I couldn't stand to eat in my first tri with her- tomato, onion, and dairy. I wondering if there is anything to that?

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#16 of 16 Old 04-15-2009, 01:09 PM
 
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Last night went so great! I have felt so bad because with the holiday and everything, we have been incredibly busy and out of the house almost everyday. So, yesterday I did not get her out at all, we stayed home and in our pj's all day long. I got Owyn to take a 2 1/2 nap in her bassinet! I got her all swaddled and snuggly, rocked her to sleep and held her for about a half hour before I laid her down and she got a great nap in finally!

Last night, we did her bath at the regular time and I let her hang out while she was in a good mood before feeding her to go to sleep. I was worried because she just screamed at the breast when I tried nursing her a little after 8. I was afraid we were in for it again. But, apparently she just wasn't all that hungry. She snacked for a minute and started pulling off and screaming. So I wrapped her up in the blanket and rocked her until she fell asleep. She slept (in her bassinet!) until I went to bed at 10. She finally ate a good meal at 10 and went right back to sleep. The rest of the night is fuzzy for me, I think she woke at 12:30 and ate then again at 4:30... not really sure But she woke up at 5:30 ready for the day! I was afraid that would happen with her getting that extra two hours of sleep in the evening, but I'll take her waking up at 5:30 over screaming until 2 anyday!

Her nose is sounding a little better, we haven't had to use the saline and nose sucker nearly as much as we had been over the weekend. So, hopefully she's finally getting over this cold. We're supposed to join some friends for dinner tonight, but I'm a little anxious about messing with her bedtime now that we finally got a good night in... We'll see how today goes...

By the way, the swaddling really seems to be our miracle worker. I've noticed lately she is trying to deliberately move her arms around. She's really trying to get her thumb in her mouth. But now that she's actually trying to do things with her arms instead of just randomly moving them around, she's even more spastic. She smacks herself in the face a lot and her arms are flailing around more. So, wrapping her up real tight in the blanket is really helping her sleep longer. At least it did yesterday... today is another day! Thanks for all the advice, it really is helping!

Mallory. Happily married to Joe since 6/25/05. Loving my adventure with my girls, Owyn Samantha, born 3/1/09. dust.gif and Greta June, born 11/2/11  babygirl.gif

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