Fussy Baby

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Being alone with baby most of the time in the day made me really efficient. Bathing became a luxury and the same goes for shitting and pee-ing. At times, I had to put her in her pram and watch me shower! She adores the sound of the shower and would keep quiet for a bit.
I was pretty much getting into the routine of things...feeding every 2hrs and by dawn, i'd be doing the laundry, washing the cutlery and preparing her bath before the next feed. at night, she was also able to sleep for 3 and sometimes even 4 hours through! Then thereafter, I'd be preparing the ingredients for the day's meal. All was well and peaceful until Week 5/6. Things got little haywire. Lil bub decided not to feed every 2 hours at night and instead changed to an 1hour. at one point in time, it was every half an hour! Again, i was doubting my milk supply. I mean how can those muscles and glands be producing that quickly? Seeing her tugging at my nipples wasnt a pleasant sight too as it could mean my flow was slow. NATURALLY! that aside, I was exhausted, but I pressed on and refused the frozen EBM which I so painstakingly expressed at wee hours of the night. It wasn't only 7-11, it progressed to beyond the 11th hour...things got so intense I ranted to friends, both online and off. Only to be slammed by a good male friend for spending too much time online and complaining about how tough this whole fiesta is. What else did he expect me to do whilst feeding? Talk to her i did, but i was too tired to even carry her. At times, i would be patting till i suddenly jerked awake! It was scary and I had to find things to distract myself -- namely, the computer, my phone and the television. Vices perhaps, but definitely needed in this case. Also, these were my sources of mental respite. Thank God for the invention of Whatsapp as it was an online mommy forum for me. I seeked solace and comfort in the advices many gave over Facebook. Seriously the men just dont get it!! I can't be generating negative energies and passing them on to the lil bub thus I had to rant it off and give good vibes to the lil one. On top of that, fellow mommies were very helpful and they certainly reached out to me in times of need, with links to articles and video clips. So what is so wrong with being online 24/7 even if I was. Does that make me less of a mother? In all honestly, I may be blogging, but it's coz lil pumpkin's right in front of me, getting ready to feed any moment. I can't possibly be doing anything else.in fact, this post was crafted eons ago and saved as draft as I simply didnt have the time to complete. Had to revisit almost 6 times before publishing! So dude, if u r reading, pardon the raging hormones, but perhaps more empathy could be given?

Anyhowz, to make a note of things, again, credits to the informative kelly.com, below is what I've found:

My baby is fussy! Is something wrong?
What is normal baby fussiness?

Whether breastfed or formula fed, during their first few months, many babies have a regular fussy period, which usually occurs in the late afternoon or evening. Some babies' fussy periods come so regularly that parents can set their clocks by it! The standard infant fussiness usually starts at about 2 to 3 weeks, peaks at 6 weeks and is gone by 3 to 4 months. It lasts on "average" 2 to 4 hours per day. Of course, there is a wide variety of normal.

To distinguish between "normal" and a problem, normal usually occurs around the same time of day, with approximately the same intensity (with some variation); responds to some of the same things each time, such as motion, holding, frequent breastfeeding, etc.; and occurs in a baby who has other times of the day that he is contentedly awake or asleep. Normal fussiness tends to occur during the time of the day that the baby usually stays awake more, the most common time is in the evening right before the time that the baby takes his longest stretch of sleep.

What causes babies to be fussy?

If you feel that your baby's fussiness is not normal, it's never a bad idea to get baby checked by the doctor to rule out any illness. A common cause of fussy, colic-like symptoms in babies is foremilk-hindmilk imbalance (also called oversupply syndrome, too much milk, etc.) and/or forceful let-down. Other causes of fussiness in babies include diaper rash, thrush, food sensitivities, nipple confusion, low milk supply, etc.

Babies normally fuss for many reasons: overtiredness, overstimulation, loneliness, discomfort, etc. Babies are often very fussy when they are going through growth spurts. Do know that it is normal for you to be "beside yourself" when your baby cries: you actually have a hormonal response that makes you feel uncomfortable when your baby cries.

Comfort measures for fussy babies (many fit into several different categories)
Basic needs
  • Nurse
  • Burp baby
  • Change his diaper
  • Undress baby completely to make sure no clothing is "sticking" him

Comforting Touch

  • Hold baby
  • Carry baby in a sling
  • Give baby a back rub
  • Carry baby in the "colic hold" (lying across your forearm, tummy down, with your hand supporting his chest)
  • Lay baby across your lap & gently rub his back while slowly lifting & lowering your heels
  • Lay baby tummy-down on the bed or floor and gently pat his back
  • Massage your baby

Reduce stimulation

  • Swaddle baby
  • Dim lights and reduce noise

Comforting Sounds

  • Play some music (try different styles and types of voices to see which baby prefers)
  • Sing to baby
  • Turn on some "white noise" (fan, vacuum cleaner, dishwasher)

Rhythmic motion / change of pace

  • Nurse baby in motion (while walking around or rocking)
  • Give baby a bath
  • Rock baby
  • Hold baby and gently bounce, sway back and forth or dance
  • Put baby in a sling or baby carrier and walk around inside or outside
  • Put baby in a baby swing (if he's old enough)
  • Take baby outside to look at the trees
  • Take baby for a walk in the stroller
  • Go for a car ride
  • Set baby in a baby carrier (or car seat) on the dryer with the dryer turned on (stand by him, as the vibration can bounce the seat right off the dryer onto the floor)

One of the most interesting things I've seen in the research regarding infant fussiness is that almost anything a parent tries to reduce fussiness will work, but only for a short time (a few days), and then other strategies need to be used.

If you nurse and it doesn't seem to help, then try other comfort measures. If you pick him up or nurse him, and baby is content, then that was what he needed. If it works, use it!