Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Is he a "Good" baby? Or Bad?

I NEED answers. I can't take it anymore. WHY OH WHY OH WHY IS THIS BABY SCREAMING? I cut out dairy - he screams. I cut out gluten - he screams. Husband wants me to cut out meat, greens and tomato sauce. There's nothing left. He is burped, changed, fed - he still screams. I get him good and asleep after rocking and jiggling him. I lay him down - he screams. I dare to put him down so I can go to the bathroom - he screams. I put him in the car to go somewhere - he screams. I thought babies were supposed to like car rides. Not him. At night, he draws his knees up, grunts, turns red, cries and cries and cries.

He wets diapers more frequently than any baby I've ever ever known. And can't stand being the slightest bit wet. He screams. He will be sound asleep and wet a diaper and scream. I'll change him and 5 minutes later he is wet again. He can't have a "normal" bowel movement - just these little squirts. After each tiny one he insists on being changed.

I take him out and everyone says how cute he is. And yes, he's adorable. But then they ask, "Is he a good baby?" What is the answer? How can a baby be "bad"? It's not his fault that the only way he can communicate is to cry. Is he considered "bad" because he cries a LOT and doesn't sleep AT ALL? Or am I bad because he does this? I typically say, "well he's a baby" or "he's a bit fussy."

Yesterday I had a doctor's appointment and the nurse asked if she could hold him. With my first child I was hesitant to let anyone have her. With this Baby, I'd likely hand him to anyone with halfway clean hands. "Take him," I said. She offered to walk him around the halls while I met with the doctor. "Great," I said, feeling not a single pang of guilt at letting him out of my sight. When it came time to leave, I have to confess that the thought of just leaving without him crossed my mind. Just for a second.

With my daughter, I grabbed her as soon as she let out a peep. With Baby, I dawdle in the bathroom, desperate for a few more moments. I wait until the peeps have turned into blood-thirsty cries, just to have a few more moments. I turn on the radio loud when driving to drown out the cries. I pray constantly - more of a begging, "God, make him STOP."

I think I slept maybe 3 hours Sunday night. Last night probably 1 1/2 hours - and not more than 20 minutes straight. Most was a dozing off of sorts while jiggling and rocking a baby.

Husband and I are all out of sorts. He comes home from work and I try to hand Baby off. I try to get dinner ready for Daughter and spend time with her. But then Husband thinks Baby is hungry and he's back with me. Or Husband needs to do something. So I don't get much of a break.

Husband yells and curses. He gets mad. It's something I ate. It's the d**n doctors who don't know anything. I need to do this or that. I retreat into silence mostly. Although at 5 am this morning I think I cursed back.

I spend hours online looking for answers. I think I'm trying too many things at once. Cutting out dairy, gluten, weaning off nipple shield, pumping, increasing milk, one-sided feeding. Ugh. So I think I'm just going gung-ho on dairy and not gluten. At the very least the new grocery shopping list will give me something to do besides pace the floor. If I have a plan, and something to do, I will survive. When I start feeling hopeless (which usually kicks in at midnight after 2 hours of screaming) then I'm in trouble.


Ethereal Highway said...

Enola, I one of my children had similar tummy problems. It was due to feeding issues. I had to give him formula. In his case, the put him on soy for a while until he was able to handle regular formulas. It was either that, or risk his nutrition. It was SHOCKING how fast the poor kid stopped screaming when I put him on formula.

I have a relative who is a pediatrician. He once said something very interesting when asked his opinion about breast feeding. He said it's good for the baby if it's good for the mother.

Anonymous said...

Enola...my oldest..a daughter had colic. It seemed she had about 4 hours...6PM - 10PM every evening when it was almost unbearable. Her screaming was off the charts. On top of that, she was a preemie..so she ate every 2 hours for what seemed liked months. It was such a trying time...and to top it all off,I was depressed and we didnt realize it.

My heart is going out to you. I really do remember what that was like...all of the guilt and associated feelings. You are so strong though. You will get through this.

I wish I could help.


Anonymous said...

First of all, do you have earplugs? I found Amy's screaming to be so grating on raw nerves, and earplugs helped me (and husband) get through a little better.

Secondly, I wonder about trying formula, too. Formula is so much better than it used to be. And there are varieties that are supposed to be especially easy on little tummies.

Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

Our pediatrician told us to let the baby cry for 15-20 minutes. If he/she is still crying after that then there is something that needs to be addressed.

Babies are pretty at training us.

Thank You Lord that You have established peace for us.
Isiah 26:13

Thank You Lord that You will continually grant us peace in every circumstance.
2 Thessalonians 3:16

Thank You Lord that in peace we wiol both lie down and sleep, for You care for us.
1 Peter 5:7

Thank You Lord that a sound sleep from You has fallen on them.
1 Samuel 26:12

Marj aka Thriver said...

Oh, my God, Enola! I'm so sorry. This sounds so much like my son I can hardly believe it. Basically, for seven months, if he wasn't latched on to me, my son was screaming. And I think we both know, we're not talking about those little, quiet babies who just whimper a little bit--THIS IS SCREAMING! My husband actually videotaped it once because he thought, later, we might not remember it or believe it was really that loud. Oh, I remember! It's been almost twelve years now, and I remember!

I wish I had some magic technique I discovered that would help you. Our son detested the car, as well. So much for getting 'em to sleep on the road. Aaaccckkk!

I had this hunch that, with our son, it had something to do with being too stimulated. He was MUCH worse, after I took him somewhere. He was always one of these babies that took it all in...and no matter what was going on...for how long...he never fell asleep like other babies did. He'd just look and look and take it all in until he'd explode. It was almost like he got overstimulated and then just had to scream to burn it all off or something.

Years later, after much research and desperate searching, our son was finally diagnosed with Sensory Integration Dysfunction. He's the kid that can't tolerate the tags in his clothes, the seams in his socks, the smell of turkey (LOVE that one--especially at Thanksgiving), etc. etc. etc.

All I can say is that if you start to suspect something like I've just described with my son, don't wait until he's in third grade to finally get some help. Be assertive and DEMAND that your doctor get you a special exam with an occupational therapist who specializes in this sort of thing.

A good book on it is "The Out-Of-Sync Child."

Just a possibility. Although my son DID have reflux (big-time projectile) and was on Zantac...it was NOT the colic that caused so much discomfort...it was the sensory integration thing.

You are all in my prayers, Enola. Big Time. Gentle Hugs (((((((Enola))))))) I DO know how you feel (at least some) and have cursed God and had some of those same feelings you describe. You are only human--it's okay.

beauty said...

This reminds me of my firstborn and how he had colic for the first few months of his life. I think I got an average of 3 hours of sleep each night; I thought he'd never get any better.

I heard they have pills for colic now, but they sure didn't back then in the seventies.

I hope you can figure out just what's going on--I know how frustrating it is to be sleep deprived on a regular basis.

(And no, I don't think there's any such thing as a "bad" baby. He's got to be crying for some reason.)

Anonymous said...

Some other ideas -- some babies like swings, some like slings, some like to be swaddled tightly...

It does sound like the poop helped a lot, so maybe it's mainly digestive. Slings, swings, baby hammocks, bouncers, etc that keep him somewhat more upright might help gravity help move things along?

Tamara (TC) said...


I have no suggestions. Just wanted to send good energy, prayers and say you are in my thoughts.


Strong and determined said...


My first child was the same way. And I kept thinking - is it me? What am I doing wrong? It was my first child, (I now have 3) and so everyone thought they needed to point out how to fix it. I came across a book at the time that really helped. Maybe you can see if your library has it. I felt SO much better just being able to read something that didn't blame me, and explained solutions for 'High Need' babies. B-T-W, this child is still a high need teenager - but he also sleeps through the night. :) My heart goes out to you!
The book - The Fussy Baby Book: Parenting your high need child by William and Martha Sears

lawyerchik said...

On, Enola, I feel so bad for you and your new little one! Not having had any children ever myself, I have no advice or anything - just I am sorry that he isn't tolerating the feeding, and that his tummy is still upset.

I do remember my youngest brother had problems with his digestion. I don't know what my mom did - although she mentioned something about pumping first and then feeding (I have no idea how that would work), and also about switching to different types of formulas as well (I think it did turn out to be an allergy).

When he graduated to solid foods, she used real "human" food (grown-up stuff) and put it in the blender instead of using canned or jarred baby food. He did much better on that....

Hope you can get some real rest and that your little one can get some relief.