Fussy (colicky?) 3 week old

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My 3 week old daughter has been extremely fussy the last week. She pretty much cries non-stop when she's awake. I suspect gas, as she seems to have trouble burping and often pulls herself off my breast in the middle of a feeding and cries (while refusing to latch back on). She's otherwise a good eater and is gaining weight nicely (6lb 6oz at birth, now 7lb 10oz). She also cries unless she's being held... and when we do get her down in the baby papsan after falling asleep, she never stays down very long. Any tips/advice? My husband & I are already at our wit's end?

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Lence - posted on 11/01/2009

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I wouldn't be that worried. My daughter was 6lbs 2oz...and She was exactly the same. It started about the same time too...when you hold her place her stomach on your forearm and her one arm hangind under your armpit so that her head is also on your forearm closer to your elbow. This feels good on her stomach especially if she is gassy. Make sure you get her to burp and give her gas drops after every feeding...it says do not exceed 12 doses so it is safe. You can even put it in there bottle. Also try to feed her on a schedule don't let her cry too long to eat because they will take in more air when you feed her because she is breathing so hard and drinking fast. Which will get her gassy again. She doesn't know how to burp yet so just keep hitting her on the back until she does half way thru feeding and at the end. and you'll have a happy baby. I had problems in the beginning too now she gives me signs to let me know when to burp her. Its so cute. This will last probably 3 months. Mine did but my doctor also told me to calm her down from crying is vaccuum with her in my had or rock her in the bathroom with the fan on or in the car put the radio on a "AM" station with static it will calm her down. I guess it makes a familiar sound when they used to be in your belly. Good luck This all worked for me.

Nyki - posted on 10/31/2009

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Quoting Michelle:

I know some mothers will tell you to let her cry; I don't believe in that. Take a look at the book The Happiest Baby on the Block. The author talks about the missing 4th trimester. May I suggest that if she wants to be held; then by all means hold her. You will not spoil her. I know it's difficult to hold all the time so look into wearing her. I'm not talking about a carrier or sling. Look at www.gypsymama.com . They have a pdf that you can download to your computer. I went to Wal Mart and got 7 yards of strong cotton blend fabric, cut it in half because you only need about 30 in width. Only cost me $11. Our son loves it when I wear him and he is 10 months old. There are so many ways to wear and I can even wear my 3 year old at 35 lbs. If you do it correctly then you can wear her and barely know it. I found that it also helps keep people from touching and wanting to get close when he is on me and out in public.
Remember, you are doing nothing wrong; I am sure you and your husband are great parents. Stay strong, it can't last forever.
One other thing to try that I have found is huge. The more flustered I get, the more upset our son is. Sing to her, tell her about your day or about things going on in the world. Just relax, this to shall pass :)
I do hope that you may find comfort in this and I hope this has helped give you some ideas. If you ever need to vent or need a 'shoulder' please feel free to write me.
Michelle


 

Kristin - posted on 11/01/2009

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Grissom had colic for the first 3 months of his life and it was miserable. He was also extremely difficult to burp... things that helped us a lot: swinging in the swing, being worn in a sling, a luke warm hot water bottle on his stomach, and gripe water. The gripe water, seriously, was the life saver. You can buy it at most pharmacies (we used a brand called baby's bliss)... it is a natural mixture of fennel (licornice) and some other herbs that are natural stool softners and gas relieving agents. There was some debate on it that I found, some had baking soda in it (for gas) and some didn't, some research and opinions were for it, some were not... we were so desperate though that we tried it and, I kid you not, he was calm, quiet, and content within about ten minutes of taking it. Talk to your doctor and see what she thinks about it if you're interested. It helped us a lot. Also, don't forget to offer help from people - a constantly crying baby is very trying on both you and your husband... ask people to help yoou out if they offer (and if they don't) It's ok to take a break!

Carol - posted on 10/30/2009

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you need to bring her to your doctor, shes still very young and they will most likely tell you it is colic, but theres no way for any of us to tell through the internet.

with all the flu's and such going around right now, you're better safe than sorry.

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Cara - posted on 11/02/2009

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my daughter was 3 weeks when she started to get reflux, zantac works great! ask your doctor about it. does she throw up after eating... not spit up but her whole feeding? I had to research and basically diagnose my daughter because they kept saying "colic"! but i think thats just a word that means they dont know whats wrong with your child. I hate that word. Sometimes you have to find the answers yoursself. good luck mamma!

Jennifer - posted on 10/31/2009

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Mine daughter had the same thing, colic/gas. It started after she was two weeks and continued to about 3 months. I had to watch what I ate no onions, broccoli, MSG, less diary, etc. We also bought a swing and that saved our lives!!!!!!!!! She slept in it and it just calmed her because of the movement. It is tough but just take a day at a time, it will pass. Good luck! Keep nursing and P.S. the doctor couldn't do a thing (just told me to watch what I ate).

Tracy - posted on 10/31/2009

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Seek some advise from your dictor of health profesional, if needed ask for support from a breastfeeding counsellor, or a support group just in case the octors miss any tell tale signs that bf mothers or counsellors may pick up on. but stay calm and stay positive, I invested in a baby sling when my baby was very fusssy and would not settle, it meant I could carry on with life and she settled as she was close to me, good luck

Leslie - posted on 10/31/2009

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I bought one book before I had my daughter because every blog I read had good things to say, not mixed or a negative comment in there. It is Happiest Baby on the Block. I know you probably don't want to read much right now, but that book's techniques and the specific ways to stimulate your baby's calming reflexes work every time. My baby is 6 weeks old now and she fusses when she is tired before she goes down, but barely ever cries for more than a few minutes. Don't put her down in the Papasan. Swaddle her after a good feed, even if you have to wake her up a little to do so, then rock her and walk her and put her down when her eyes have been closed. The book is genius! Not a schedule book, a give your baby exactly what she wants and needs book. My personal success with my daughter was with the "Jello Head Jiggle" described in the book.

And, a friend of mine with four kids told me to get that burp if I can. I burp my daughter half way between feeds too. She does that pull off and tosses her head back and forth thing. My girlfriend said you can pat them on the back like you're hitting a tom-tom drum. She said lots of people do it a little too gently because they don't want to hurt the baby. I also gently lie her back, then sit her up and that pushes a burp up and out sometimes:)

Get the book! If the techniques in there don't work, then go get her checked out for sure as she could have an allergy or something else that is bothering her. And, listen to the author, sometimes you have to try things in different ways, white noise needs to be louder than you would think, and some of the techniques take some time to work.
Good luck!

Nyki - posted on 10/31/2009

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Michelle's advice is the best thing. I agree with her 100% I still find wearing my DS when he is fussy to be the greatest tool, next to nursing to settle him quickly and let us both rest. He's nearly 11mo now, and when I get out the wrap - he actually comes over to me and puts his arms up. He loves it.

I used the Simply Good Cozy Wrap (http://www.simplygood.biz/151437) until my DS was about 6mo. Then I switched to the Bundleboo (http://www.bundleboo.com/) b/c the stretchiness of the first one made it uncomfortable once he reached a certain weight.

Hope that helps, and remember to do what comes naturally; don't worry about everyone else - It's your baby you want to see happy not them.

Jessica - posted on 10/31/2009

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try a wind drops before you feed her, also she could have thrush in her mouth, check insdie her mouth for little white spots and redness. my son had a pretty big spot on the roof of his mouth when he came home from the hospital and had trouble with breastfeeding he would latch for the first few minutes then cry and cry and would latch back on.

Kristi - posted on 10/30/2009

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My son started to fuss at feeding at about 2 and a half weeks. He doesn't have colic, which is characterized by at least 3 hours of unconsolable crying at least 3 nights a week, but he does have gas and reflux which he sometimes experiences every day, just for short periods of time. The symptoms are the same as colic. It definitely interferes with his nap schedule; he often wakes after just 20-30 mins of sleep (and about 5 minutes later will fart or fill his diaper). He will also have trouble with feeding if he gulps air when he swallows. When he does this he'll start to get agitated and won't be able to feed until he's burped again. I have to use a combination Mylicon gas drops, tummy massage, warm baths, and walking/cuddling to calm him down when he gets like this. Sometimes any of those work or none of them do and we have to just hold/walk him until his tummy calms down. Everything I've read about the subject says that it will get better as his digestive system matures and he spends more time sitting up and this has been true. He's 3.5 months old now and he's better at burping himself when he's sitting or on his tummy. He even opens his mouth and tips his head back when he wants to burp. He also doesn't cry as frantically when his tummy hurts; he has a specific cry and behavior when his tummy starts to hurt and the moment I reach for him he already becomes calmer because he trusts me to do everything I can to ease his discomfort.

I also cut back on dairy products (much as i hated to) and I noticed that about 2-3 days after I did that his symptoms seemed to decrease. He still has problems gulping and burping but I do think the milk protein irritated his system more.



I wish I had better advice for you about sleeping, my son still takes 30-40 minute naps 4 times a day and he can get overtired some days if his tummy is particularly agitated. He will often sleep for 12-13 hours at night to accomodate this schedule. My doc says this is ok since he seems to be getting his requisite 15hours and all babies are different in their sleep requirements.



Try not to get too frustrated, take turns with your husband, and keep in mind that it will get better.

Jackie - posted on 10/30/2009

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I just wanted to add to Michelle's post about wearing babys. The wrap she is talking about is the ONLY wrap/sling that doesn't hurt my back. I have an upper back issue right between my shoulder blades that is triggered by the slightest thing even just sweeping. I can carry a baby any size for hours in that wrap. Its even great for sitting down and relaxing. Because your hands are free but the baby is close to you and your heart so they are more relaxed. The added benefit if the baby is colic the baby is upright thus helping relieve some of the pain and in the right position to get the gas out. Also you can burp/rub her back as you walk and do things around your house or just sitting watching tv with only one hand. I don't know how I had two kids without that wrap! Any time my girlfriends/sisters babys are cranky and mom is tired I'm the first one putting my hand saying.. give me the wrap and you relax!

[deleted account]

I second Michelles suggestion. The authors name is Dr Harvey Karp (Google Him), he has a book and a dvd that demonstrate ways to settle fussy babies.



And yeah, everything Michelle said... (one wise woman)

Venessa - posted on 10/30/2009

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I had the same problem with my daughter! It wasn't until I saw blood in her stool a couple of months later that her doctor suspected a milk protein allergy. I had to stop eating ALL dairy..cheese, yougurt, milk, chocolate. After 3 weeks her symptoms improved. She's a year old now and can have dairy in small doses. Good luck!!

April - posted on 10/30/2009

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Do you think something in your diet is upsetting her? Do you eat a lot of diary or maybe even brocolli? My son could not tolerate broc.

Elizabeth - posted on 10/30/2009

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You may have a mixture of problems here, not just colic. My little girl had colic pretty bad, and she was very hard to burp. Some signs of colic: Crying, Pulling the legs up, and Flailing. The problem is those signs are also signs of, uh, being a baby. However, I think colic may not be the issue...



One thing that may be going on is that she may not be getting enough sleep, especially if you pick her up immediately when she cries. The reason I think this is because she's crying DURING the breastfeed. Colic usually hits a bit after.



Babies cry a lot when they're tired, and worse, they'll flail around, which wakes them up (hence wrapping them in muslin is good until about the months), so they're even more likely to be overtired. I'd suggest wrapping your baby up in muslin, laying her on her back, and walking out of the room for 10 minutes. Let her cry for 10 minutes, it won't kill her. If she settles, you know it's probably sleepiness.



For uncontrollable crying, I used this pattern:



1) has baby got a clean nappy? No go to #2.

2) is baby too hot or cold? No go to #3

3) is baby hungry? No go to #4.

4) Baby is tired.



Even if the baby just woke up, believe me, it's probably baby is tired. They need unbelievable amounts of sleep, especially in the first few weeks, and if they don't get it, you'll have... an uncontrollably crying baby with no obvious cause.



EDIT: I would just like to add - trust your gut. If you think she's sick, see a doctor asap. However, if this is just normal and she's otherwise healthy as indicated... I'd guess overtired.

Michelle - posted on 10/30/2009

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I know some mothers will tell you to let her cry; I don't believe in that. Take a look at the book The Happiest Baby on the Block. The author talks about the missing 4th trimester. May I suggest that if she wants to be held; then by all means hold her. You will not spoil her. I know it's difficult to hold all the time so look into wearing her. I'm not talking about a carrier or sling. Look at www.gypsymama.com . They have a pdf that you can download to your computer. I went to Wal Mart and got 7 yards of strong cotton blend fabric, cut it in half because you only need about 30 in width. Only cost me $11. Our son loves it when I wear him and he is 10 months old. There are so many ways to wear and I can even wear my 3 year old at 35 lbs. If you do it correctly then you can wear her and barely know it. I found that it also helps keep people from touching and wanting to get close when he is on me and out in public.

Remember, you are doing nothing wrong; I am sure you and your husband are great parents. Stay strong, it can't last forever.

One other thing to try that I have found is huge. The more flustered I get, the more upset our son is. Sing to her, tell her about your day or about things going on in the world. Just relax, this to shall pass :)

I do hope that you may find comfort in this and I hope this has helped give you some ideas. If you ever need to vent or need a 'shoulder' please feel free to write me.

Michelle

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