Gas/Colic/Inconsolable Screaming/Baby not sleeping

RheannaRheanna Registered Users Posts: 2,614
We've been dealing with this since Thursday. Any tips? I've done white noise, swaddling, belly laying, side laying, holding her the way deezee mentioned (on my arm on her belly), Mylicon, baby massage, bicycling her little legs, pushing her legs up against her belly.

Basically, I had been doing everything "right" or "by the book" to get my baby to be happy and to sleep okay and on her own, and suddenly all of it quit working and this time things have been bad for 4 days now, so I'm going to call the pediatrician tomorrow if still no improvement. I'm starting to feel a little nutty because this kid literally doesn't sleep or stop crying unless she's being held, despite the fact that I didn't hold her all the time and I put her down every. single. time she fell asleep and lots of times put her down when she was drowsy and let her get herself to sleep. The last 3 days when I do this, she wakes within a couple minutes and screams nonstop until she's held again and then screams off and on even while being held. She's acting like she's in pain, drawing her legs up, grimacing, screaming sometimes in her sleep and then going back to sleep.

She doesn't have a fever. I've checked it at almost every diaper change today and it's always right around 98.0-98.5 (rectally). In addition, she hasn't had a bowel movement since yesterday evening. It was soft and normal, as all of hers have been, and her ped said even one every other day was considered normal for a formula fed baby, but she was going several times a day, so it isn't really "normal" for her. Then again, nothing is really normal for her at this point, as the same thing yields different results almost every single time.

But I'm worried about her and starting to feel loony from all the screaming and the lack of sleep. Yesterday, I was determined to not just sit around and hold her all the time so as to not "spoil her" so I put her down whenever she was drowsy, she woke up, she screamed, I tried to soothe her, she screamed, I tried to let her cry a couple minutes thinking maybe she would calm down and drift off, she screamed louder, I picked her up, and voila, awake again for a few until she'd drift off and we'd begin the cycle once more. Besides the 3-4 minutes she'd sleep in my arms until waking up after I put her down, she was awake 13 1/2 hours straight. Seriously. That can't be normal or good for a 3 1/2 week old infant.

So today she's been held a lot more, which has cut down on her screaming and allowed her to rest some, but she still won't calm down when she's not being held. I did break out the baby carrier today and discovered that she likes it and it does allow me to get some things done, but still. The radical change in her last Thursday that's now lasted 4 days cannot be just some normal thing, can it?

I don't know if it's colic that lasts all day, or if she's gassy (well I know she is because she farts a lot and acts like she has belly pain), or if her formula isn't agreeing with her (maybe causing the gassiness), or if she's just a monster baby that will make my life hell until she gets older, but last night at about 4 am, I began singing songs (akin to the "Mommy's going to l ose her effing mind if you don't stop crying all the time" one I sang last week) about how "Mommy's getting her tubes tieddddd" or "This is the baby that never sleeeeeps" (to the tune of "The song that never ends" from Lambchop). Like iris said in my other thread, I sit and think that I have ruined my life and this won't be better, even though I know it will pass, and I almost regret having her, and then I cry because I feel that way and what kind of horrid mother thinks those things - even though I know it's a normal way to feel too.

In my more sane moments though, I just feel bad that my baby seems to be hurting and I want to fix it for her. I know the pediatrician is the best person to ask, but I guess I'm just looking for some support right now. Thanks for tolerating my "OMG my baby is terrible" threads.


  • geekygeeky Registered Users Posts: 4,995
    It can't hurt to check with the pediatrician and you definitely want to rule out any problems, but it's pretty normal for a colicky baby. Hold her as much as you need to. Let her sleep in your arms (or the baby carrier) if she will sleep. Don't feel bad about the fact that you are "supposed" to put her down when she is asleep. If she will only sleep on you, then you let her sleep on you. You can teach her to sleep on her own in a few weeks or a few months, when she settles a little. Let her sleep on your chest at night, if that is what you need to do. You won't sleep well, but it is better than not sleeping at all at night.

    It is absolutely impossible to "spoil" a 3 week old baby, so you just give her what she needs and do whatever you need to get by. "By any means necessary" is the motto for the first few months. By meeting Ava's needs now you are creating a secure foundation in her. From that foundation comes discipline, independence and all that jazz. But she has to be developmentally ready for all that. Right now, developmentally, what she needs is to be held, a lot.

    (FYI, I held and carried Nadia constantly for the first few months. She would not tolerate more than a minute in the stroller until she was something like 5 months old. She is not spoiled at all, and very independent. )
    To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
    I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

    Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
  • ninja dogninja dog Registered Users Posts: 23,780 Curl Neophyte
    I wish I had some good advice to offer, but I know absolutely nothing about babies.

    I hope everything improves as...of....this...second! (Waves magic baby-soothing wand.)
  • SigiSigi Registered Users Posts: 2,379
    I'll bet she just likes to be held a lot. All of my kids were like that for a while. I think a little part of you putting her down is that she wasn't asleep enough yet. I always waited like 15-20 minutes before I put 'em down, and then after I put them in the basinette I placed my hand on them for a minute or two for the warmth and security (does that make sense?).

    Also, is she dressed warmly? Even though we keep our indoor temp at about 70, we finally figured out that Soren always needed to have a onesie underneath his jammies (and socks inside the footed jammies too), or if he was wearing clothes, he needed long sleeves. He just liked to feel warm, I guess. Is she still wearing hats? I think we stopped using them once they didn't stay on anymore, but that'll help if she can still wear them when you lay her down her head won't hit the cool sheets.

    I'm so sorry you guys are having such a hard time adjusting. If I lived closer to you, I'd let Ava scream in my ears so you could get some rest. Also try the paci again.

    ETA: My inlaws swear that chamomile tea (cooled, of course) is the secret to curing a colicy baby. Another trick is to take her outside, or open the front door and stand there. My old boss taught me that one and it would work sometimes.

    Oh, and another thing that is going to sound totally ridiculous... but all 3 of my boys liked to be rocked/soothed when I was standing up. They totally knew if I was sitting down. So with all three babies I found myself standing up and bouncing them or swaying from side to side or just sh-shing in their ears. But heaven forbid if I sat down to do any of those things, they'd let me know that's not how they like it. LOL. And everyone gave me crap for "spoiling" them like that too, but I'm the one that has to deal with them 24/7, not them. So if you find some trick and people give you sh!+ for it, just ignore them.
  • sarah42sarah42 Registered Users Posts: 4,034
    I found that my babies (especially DS1) liked being worn in a sling (cradle position) and walked around when they were cranky and screamy, and sometimes nothing else helped.

    Also, my philosophy is that when you're at your wits end, there's nothing wrong with letting the baby lay in the crib and cry for a few minutes while you gather your composure, maybe wearing earplugs or listening to music. I think that's better than letting yourself get completely frustrated.
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Registered Users Posts: 31,259 Curl Connoisseur
    Some babies just need to be held, and if that's the only way she will sleep...I'd hold her. Keep trying to lie her down, but don't be surprised if she isn't ready for it for a while.

    I would call the doctor tomorrow. It can't hurt to have her checked out, especially the ears and tummy.

    Hang in there. It really does get better. You and Ava really will get to know and understand each other much better as time goes on.
  • DarkAngelDarkAngel Registered Users Posts: 2,671 Curl Neophyte
    Sebastian has to be held for naps too. He can be sleeping soundly and will wake up within about 30 seconds of being put down. I basically gave up and now exist to please him. I just finished rereading The Happiest Baby on the Block. Dr. Karp talks about how babies are basically held for 9 months and then we expect them to be independent on the outside. Some babies need more holding. Sounds like Sebastian and Ava fall into that group.

    Does she have a swing? I am about 50/50 at being able to put him in the swing and he won't wake up. It works best if he is swaddled and I put the swing on high.

    Three and half weeks? I believe that is exactly when I made my post about how much Sebastian hated life and me. Must be something magical about that point developmentally for them. He's gotten better. Or maybe I have gotten better at coping. You will too.

    My newest trick is an mp3 of ocean sounds. I break it out whenever he is having a rough time. I even have it on my phone so I can play it at night. It really does help. I don't know how but it seems to soothe him. You will find what works for Ava. It just takes time.

    Definitely give the ped a call. It may be nothing but it may be something the ped can fix.

    "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel
  • inheritedcurlsinheritedcurls Registered Users Posts: 2,954 Curl Connoisseur
    Oh sweetie, I'm so sorry. I remember these days with Chas. I remember feeling totally helpless. I agree with everyone else. Take her to the doctor to rule everything out...Chas ended up with Acid Reflux. Also, don't feel like you will spoil her by holding her or putting her anyway she will sleep. I wish I had known this...because Chas would sleep in the swing and I was too scared that he would get used to it so I wouldn't let him sleep in there more than hour. I swear I probably would have gotten a full night's sleep if I had just let him sleep in the swing. I have other friends that have let their little ones sleep in the car seat just because that's where they slept best.

    Now Addison only fussed when she was cold. Took my sister pointing this out. The child went to bed with a onesie, socks, fuzzy pj's and about 3 blankets (still does). Then she slept.

    Hang in there and keep venting with us. We've all been there...we feel for you. Lots of love and hopefully good sleep.
  • sweetypiesweetypie Registered Users Posts: 86
    Since you mentioned that your sweetie is having gas so perhaps it is painful. Make sure you mention this all to your ped perhaps he can change her formula.

    I've notice that babies pick up from our moods. If when you hold her and your scared or tense or up tight she feels it. Stay calm sing her songs or talk to her in a smooth calming voice.

    When my sweetie cries I just hold him close and whisper in his ear,that everything'll be all right, it's ok, etc etc
    or if necessary i'll sing a little, but by all means if you've had enough or so uptight go ahead and put her down in a safe place until you're feeling better or let someone else hold her

    With my first, I used to put my slightly worn t shirt inside the bed with him. hope this helps

    Hugs again.

    BC May 2009
    less product is enough
  • kg91308kg91308 Registered Users Posts: 327
    My nephew is just shy of three months and has colic bad. When SIL took him to the doc she said to get gripe water (not sure if you can just buy it or if it was a script), but it seemed to work a little. They also found that he had an ear infection and as soon as that cleared up, the other ear started. He also has a fever off and on, but when he is feeling fine he is a very happy, smiling baby. Maybe call the doc? Good luck! My SIL is going through the same things and says all the same stuff you are, so you are not alone. He's starting to get better and Ava will too!
    Keep smiling, it makes people wonder what you're up to! :toothy10:
  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Registered Users Posts: 5,656
    It can't hurt to call the ped just to rule out or address a medical issue. I also agree with the previous posters who said it's perfectly fine to hold/wear her as much as necessary and that it won't spoil her - I especially agree with what DarkAngel said about how we carry babies (on the inside) for 9 months so it's normal that they expect to be carried on the outside for a while after birth. I also agree with what Sigi said about maybe waiting a little longer to try putting her down. When Solomon was a newborn, we had to be sure to wait a full 10 minutes before attempting any sort of transfer, so he'd be in a deep enough sleep.

    Also, you said you've tried swaddling... have you tried not swaddling too? Abram loves being swaddled but Solomon always hated it.

    Lots of hugs. I know it's hard, but you both will adjust and it will get better.

    ETA: Also try different kinds of movement when you're holding/walking with her. Swaying doesn't always work with Abram but bouncing usually does. I'll sometimes put him in my wrap and sit and bounce on an exercise ball.

    And one more thing.... DH and I are much more easy-going this time around because it's our second. We used to get so flustered when Solomon would cry, but this time DH identified the 4 reasons that Abram (or any baby) will cry: hungry, needs to burp, needs to be changed, or tired. It seems kind of obvious but sometimes when I'm in the middle of a crying spell I don't think as clearly, so it helps to remind myself to address these 4 reasons.
    Faith, 3Aish redhead
    Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy :love5:
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Registered Users Posts: 31,259 Curl Connoisseur
    One way I found to put a sleeping baby down with less risk of waking was to first warm the crib with a heating pad and then put the baby down in the warm spot (removing the heating pad, of course). For my winter babies, I often put the heating pad in their bed while they were up at night being fed to keep their spots warm for them to return to.

    You must always remember to remove the pad when the baby is in there though.
  • deezee02deezee02 Registered Users Posts: 1,509
    I agree, I do not feel there is any reason to worry about spoiling your baby while she is this young...hold her if that is the way you can get some peace.

    We also look for the four things pixie mentioned. I have noticed sometimes she only has about 1 hour between naps and she starts to get cranky.

    Callie likes to be bounced and swayed (yes at the same time and yes you will look crazy) while she is being held or worn.

    I have noticed many differences in the way I parent my two children, and along with that, i follow the rules a lot less with DD and we are such a happier family with less stress (I found the older DS got the more relaxed I got).

    Come swag with me!
  • mayimmayim Registered Users Posts: 2,301
    sent you a pm, rhe. hugs,

    coarse, thick 3a
    modified cg


  • CurlyCanadianCurlyCanadian Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 10,904 Curl Connoisseur
    No advice here really, but my nephew is 6 weeks old and Christmas Day was the first time he slept for more then 20 minutes without being held. He went for 5 hours soundly sleeping on the ottoman in the middle of the living room with 20 people and 3 big dogs milling around :lol: Since then hes averaging about 4-5 hours at a time now!

    Do what you need to to get through will get better :)
    I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.
    Audrey Hepburn
  • fuzzbucketfuzzbucket Registered Users Posts: 996 Curl Connoisseur
    I have to run, but just wanted to say, you cannot spoil a baby by meeting its needs. Do what you have to do, Mama! Huge hugs to you from the mom of a very high needs first child.
    Hair type: 3A/B
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  • goldygoldy Registered Users Posts: 5,463 Curl Connoisseur
    DarkAngel wrote: »
    Three and half weeks? I believe that is exactly when I made my post about how much Sebastian hated life and me. Must be something magical about that point developmentally for them. He's gotten better. Or maybe I have gotten better at coping. You will too.

    There is something about that time... with colic there is a the rule of 3s....... starts about 3 weeks of age, crying lasting at least 3 hours, 3 times a week... and colic usually subsides around 3 months of age!

    Rheanna, sounds like some great tips in this thread, and no you cannot spoil a baby (as others said).

    I have found with A that he cannot be up for more than 2 hours before he needs another nap... getting him down for a nap before he starts to get fussy is so helpful (and I usually get him asleep by holding him and walking around the house). But it took me a while to learn his cues that he is tired.... but you'll learn Ava's, it just take time to learn your baby's particular needs.

    As others said, the three things to check for are: Is she hungry? Is she tired (when did she last nap and for how long)? Is her diaper dirty/wet?

    For us I try to get A napping before he gets overtired, stop stimulation before he gets overstimulated, regularly check/change his diaper before it's soaked, and feed him before he gets hungry (screaming hungry).

    Poodlehead wrote:
    Ah, it all makes sense now. Goldy is the puppet master! :lol:
  • RheannaRheanna Registered Users Posts: 2,614
    Thank you all, yet again. :)

    The last few days have been full of ups and downs. Things sort of go back and forth, so I don't think it's colic or any physical health issue. MOST of the time she stops crying while I'm holding her, and I know with colic, it's pretty much inconsolable for hours at a time. I think she's just a needier baby than some and now, with the advice I've read here and the reading I've done online about how you can't spoil a newborn (despite what many people will tell you).

    Geeky pretty much summed it up for me and that's the approach I've been taking and there are still times I can't put her down, but the way I handle it is working better for us. As I said in my other whining I-can't-do-this-thread :lol:, I've finally realized I am not the one in control. She is. I have no control at this time. That's hard for me, but realizing it has made my life a lot easier the last few days.

    Sigi, she's the same way about seeming to know whether I'm sitting or standing. There's times she wails when I'm seated and is fine when I'm walking around, even if I'm bouncing or rocking while I'm sitting down. I'm assuming it's just the range of motion if I'm up and walking around. It probably feels like being in the womb more to her? I don't know, but like Dark Angel said, I pretty much exist to please her at this point. :) I need to get her one of those onesies that says "If I ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." :lol: She is dressed warmly. I've tried putting more clothes on her and she gets hot and cranky, so I guess she doesn't need to be super bundled.

    What you said about holding her longer is true. That has helped the past few days. I read too that their sleep cycles are dramatically different than ours, and when they first go to sleep, they are in light sleep for about 15 minutes (that time when they roll their eyes around, grin or grimace, and in general look as though they need an exorcist). When in light sleep, they startle really easily and wake really easily, so that explains that. I do the same thing when I put her down. I say "shhh" to her as I'm carrying her to her bed, continue to say it as I put her down, keep my hand under her a minute and then slide it out slowly and put it on her chest while still "shhhing" her.

    Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't. The night before last, I tried off and on for about 5 hours to put her down before totally giving up. She woke up and cried no matter what I did, no matter how long I held her after she dozed. Last night, I did nothing different but she slept for 4 hours the first time I put her in her bassinet. When she woke up, she was soaked, so I changed her, fed her, and got her back to sleep. I held her about 5 minutes and I was so exhausted, I tried to put her down. She didn't budge and she slept another 4 hours after that. Go figure. I'm learning to expect nothing and be pleasantly surprised when things go well. :lol:

    DA, she does have a swing. That's actually where she is right now. When she won't tolerate being laid anywhere else, she often will tolerate the swing. Sometimes. At the moment she is making all sorts of little baby noises and moving her arms back and forth, so I'm not sure if she's rocking out in her sleep, or about to begin screaming. :)

    Pixie, I have tried not swaddling because SO was absolutely convinced she hated it for whatever reason. He seems to think that since *he* wouldn't like it, she doesn't either. He's like, "I don't think she likes having her arms bound up like that..." but she does. It helps. My niece did hate to be swaddled, like Sol, so I know what you mean. You're also right about the 4 major reasons they cry. I didn't realize that at first and now I've realized that she cries when she's tired a lot and her eyes will flutter open and closed. She doesn't seem to enjoy going to sleep very much. Or staying asleep for that matter.

    RCW, that's a great idea. I think I have a heating pad somewhere around here... need to look for that and give it a try.

    To everyone else, thank you all for the tips and especially the encouragement! It's so nice to have somewhere to vent about this and to know that others have been there too. And to be reminded that it will pass. (((((HUGS))))) to all of you! People really should talk about the challenges of motherhood more, instead of simply romanticizing it.
  • RheannaRheanna Registered Users Posts: 2,614
    And because I'm shameless, here's a couple pics of her :)
    [IMG]file:///F:/DCIM/100SANPH/SANY3594.JPG[/IMG] SANY3591.jpg

    Taken yesterday, 4 weeks old


    We were both tired, lol.

    And from a couple weeks ago just because I think it's too cute:

  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Registered Users Posts: 31,259 Curl Connoisseur
    Awww...she's too cute. Amazing how such a cute tiny pink thing could turn your world so upside-down. ;)
  • CGNYCCGNYC Registered Users Posts: 4,938 Curl Connoisseur
    She is so stinkin cute I want to smooch her and you look great!
  • sweetypiesweetypie Registered Users Posts: 86
    Such a cutie :)
    Glad to hear you guys are both doing better

    BC May 2009
    less product is enough
  • irociroc Registered Users Posts: 7,890 Curl Neophyte
    She is just adorable! Sometimes as new mothers we're just too tired to enjoy their cuteness!

    Something I wished I learned with my first - it's really not worth it to 'force' them to do things in an attempt to form some structure.

    I listened to everybody else with my first little cherub.
    - didn't want her too 'used' to being held - didn't want her in the habit of being held or rocked to sleep - wanted her to learn to soothe herself, put herself to sleep - yadda, yadda, yadda -

    When I had Bella, I just let her call the shots. If she wanted to be held all the time, I held her. If she wanted to nurse constantly, I let her. If she wanted to sleep, didn't want to sleep, wanted to sleep in her bed, in the swing, in my arms, whatever, I didn't schedule a thing. By the time Bailey was a couple of months old, I knew every nap/sleep schedule she had. With Bella, there was no set time when she would sleep. And I would just nurse her the second she woke up.

    I was more rigid with Bailey, and she/it was definitely tougher on me. I don't know if it's nature or nurture, but I followed Bellas cues and wants for everything and she was the easiest baby ever. She just never cried.
  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Registered Users Posts: 5,656
    She's so adorable!!!! And I have the same Boppy slipcover :)
    Faith, 3Aish redhead
    Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy :love5:
  • Brown_Eyed_GirlBrown_Eyed_Girl Registered Users Posts: 1,353 Curl Neophyte
    She's adorable! And Lydia was the same way with wanting me to stand up and bounce and sway. I often ate dinner standing up and bouncing with her in the wrap. :shock:

    Like the others said, don't worry about spoiling her. Current research shows that babies who are held more cry less (overall).

  • curlyfries007curlyfries007 Registered Users Posts: 2
    Try gripe water. We had a simlar problem with our daughter around that age and gripe water seemed to help along with a combination of belly massage (massage downward) and bringing her knees towards her body. She still cried during the process, but as a short time she was able to calm down with cuddles and go to sleep.

    Good luck and hang in there. It will get better.
  • curlyfries007curlyfries007 Registered Users Posts: 2
    Try gripe water. We had a simlar problem with our daughter around that age and gripe water seemed to help along with a combination of belly massage (massage downward) and bringing her knees towards her body. She still cried during the process, but in a short time she was able to calm down with cuddles and go to sleep.

    Good luck and hang in there. It will get better.

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