Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Help for a Fussy Baby- Part 1
I've had a difficult time keeping up with blogging lately. While there are a number of reasons for this, one of the major contributing factors has been that I have a fussy newborn.
This has meant that I have hands that are too busy holding a baby to be able to type, and a sleep deprived brain that really couldn't put together intelligible sentences, even if I could sit down long enough to "put them on paper."
Since this is my fourth child, I've learned a little with each one and have a few tricks up my sleeve... it has, however, taken all of those tricks (and more) to finally get some help for my fussy little boy.
Using What Worked With Baby #1
Before we had our first child, my husband and I watched a video adaptation of "The Happiest Baby on the Block," by Harvey Karp. I highly recommend this book or DVD to any new parent. It gave my husband and I a set of tools that immediately helped us to feel more competent as parents. The tools and tricks we learned were very helpful with our first few children. My favorite was realizing the importance of swaddling for helping a baby to feel secure. (This was made even easier when we discovered swaddling wraps!)
However, our usual bag of tricks was just not working for this little guy. We still swaddled him and sometimes used white noise, etc., but for him swaddling only worked to keep him calm, not to calm him in the first place.
A friend suggested (and let me borrow) her Moby wrap. Both this and our Baby Bjorn have been very helpful, but they still mean that I have a baby attached to me at all times, and they don't really provide "night time relief."
Generally, if nothing else is working, I always resort to nursing. My mom suggested that, perhaps, he sometimes just needed to suck, and not really to nurse. I agreed, but couldn't get him to take a pacifier. My mom tried and, go figure, he took the pacifier from her. Once I knew he would take it, I was able to get him to use it occasionally, but only if he was just a little fussy, and only for a short time.
However, it still seemed like he was fussing because he was in pain. As a parent, there is nothing worse than seeing your baby in pain, so I kept searching for a solution.
Taking Tips From Baby #2
My second baby had a lot of gas. When he fussed, I assumed that gas was the problem and gave him Mylicon. I thought that perhaps gas was the problem with this little guy so I looked up "gassy baby" on the internet and saw that many parents recommended gripe water instead of Mylicon.
I bought some gripe water and gave it to him using a medicine syringe. The gripe water was a big help. Whenever my little guy would start to fight and struggle (generally right after a feeding), I would give him a little bit of the gripe water and he would seem to calm almost instantly. It also seemed to help him sleep. The first day that I gave it to him, he slept for 5 straight hours at night and then 4 straight hours during his first nap. I was certain that I had found my miracle! (FYI this has also been a "miracle cure" for baby hiccups!)
Although the gripe water helped, this was, unfortunately, not the end of the story. Read the rest in my post, "Help for a Fussy Baby- Part 2"
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