Earlier this week, I told you about my unexpected birthing experience of having a C-section. Today, I wanted to talk a little about fussy babies. Have you ever experienced an extra fussy baby? I hadn’t until this one. Sure, babies cry and they want to nurse all the time, but why would this baby not be happy for anything? The only thing I could do, all day, every day was nurse him. Sometimes that didn’t even work. If I tried to get up, he cried. If we were in the car, he cried. If I walked around, he cried. If I wasn’t nursing, he cried! I was about at my wit’s end and resolved to nursing my days away. It was actually nice to know there was something I could do to keep him somewhat happy, but it sure made the rest of my job as wife and mother a bit challenging!
|One Week Old|
I started doing some research, trying to figure out what I could do to help him be happier. Other people gave me their advice on things that worked for them and I tried many of them, some of them helping temporarily. Finally, one day, while I was checking him out, I ran my hand over his head. His head didn’t feel like my other babies’ heads. His head was lumpy. He had a couple of big knots on the back sides of it. I tend to feel my babies and toddlers’ heads for some reason, so I was very familiar with the fact that his head felt very different than the rest of my babies. So…..that got me researching on the good ole internet. I can’t remember what all I searched that night, but I know I was researching why babies would have lumps. I had been exposed to some information on cranial sacral therapy for infants at a La Leche League conference a few years ago and that kept jumping into my mind. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that he either needed chiropractic care or he needed a cranial sacral adjustment. I decided to start with my chiropractor because I had been going while I was pregnant and it would be relatively easy to start going again.
The chiropractor was intrigued that I had noticed the lumps and agreed that his back could be out of alignment. He checked him and sure enough, he was out. He sent him home, saying, “I bet he sleeps a lot better tonight”, but he didn’t. I was a bit perplexed and disappointed, thinking that he would automatically be better. I took him back the next week and he was out again, but his lumps were A LOT smaller. This time, it was easier to get his back into alignment, so we thought it may stick. Soon after that 2nd visit, he gradually started getting happier and his lumps on his head disappeared. Now he smiles all the time! He still doesn’t sleep very well during the day, but I’m resolved to the fact that some babies are just like that. At least he’s happy most of the time while he’s awake! (If you’re interested in learning more about ridges and lumps on a babies head, this chiropractor has some great information on her site about cranial sacral treatment and why babies would need it).
|Now he’s happy!|
Even though chiropractic care was the answer for us, I know that it won’t be the answer for everyone. Here are some other ideas that we tried. If you’re dealing with a fussy baby, you may need to try several different things to see what works.
- Swaddling - this is one thing that did allow me to put him down for a while. I’ve never really swaddled my babies because I could never figure out how to get that blanket tight enough on them. Finally, on #6, I figured it out. My friend Elizabeth blessed me with an extra large receiving blanket and the baby was wrapped up tight! Here’s a YouTube video that could help you to figure it out if you need to learn! I watched it several times!
- Gripe Water - You can buy this at Walmart or Amazon and some people swear by it. I did buy some and it seemed to lessen the fussiness a bit, but not enough to make me think it was the answer. On the bottle it says: ”Safely and naturally relieves stomach discomfort and gas occasionally associated with colic, upset tummy, hiccups and teething.”
- Wear Your Baby – Sometimes babies just can’t settle down unless they’re right against mommy. Invest in a good sling or wrap. I have an older Over The Shoulder Baby Holder that I use when baby is wanting to be awake and alert. If I’m out and about and think baby may nap on me, I use my wrap. It’s similar to a Moby Wrap. If you’d like to watch a video on how to tie one on, go here.
- A Cradle Swing – Some babies find that the rhythmic side to side movement of the cradle swings are just the right touch to get them drifting off to sleep. For us, it is the only place he sleeps without me for more than 15 minutes. He rarely sleeps during the day, but evening time comes and all of a sudden he knows how to sleep again. He usually spends a few hours in it, before I take him to bed. We have the Fisher-Price Starlight Papasan Cradle Swing and we absolutely can’t imagine life without it!
- Check Baby for Thrush – My baby had a bad case of thrush (white patches inside the mouth, covering the tongue, cheeks and sometimes lips). It can be painful for baby to nurse when he or she has thrush. We tried Gentian Violet which has always worked with my other babies (but be prepared for a bright purple mouth and staining if you try it). When that didn’t work, we asked for a prescription of Nystatin from the doctor. It didn’t work either, so he finally gave us oral Diflucan. He took that for a couple days and all of a sudden his white patches were gone! He had one tough case of thrush. No wonder, with all the antibiotics I had in my system!
If I hadn’t found the answer I was looking for, my next step was to eliminate caffeine, then dairy and any other allergens to see if it was a reaction to something I was eating. Thankfully, I didn’t have to do that. He’s still not the happiest baby I’ve ever had and I wish he’d nap a little better during the day, but his improvement has big enough to be happy with! I’m thankful to have extra hands here to help me out. I have many volunteers each day to hold the baby for me so that I can get something productive done! They do a great job helping me out!
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What tactics have you used to calm YOUR fussy baby?