Cry Baby

You see that face?  That’s pretty much the state of Wes to which we’ve become accustomed.  Did we just happen to “get” a particularly fussy baby?  I don’t know: I hate even labeling him that way so soon, but he sure has been hard to handle now.  What happened to our Week 1 dream baby?  Apparently, that first week is always a honeymoon, so the experts say.

I would say that what we have here is a “colicky” baby, but “colic” is another term I despise.  Oh, it’s real enough I am sure, but people talk about it like it’s a specific ailment — like the flu or thrush — except it isn’t.  It’s just a “catch-all” condition where baby cries for “more than 3 hours a day at least 3 days a week for at least 3 weeks in a row.”  By that definition then we can’t yet tell if we’re dealing with real “colic” or not, since it hasn’t been three weeks quite yet since the serious crying-for-no-known-reason spells began.  And if it turns out it is, what the heck is one even supposed to do about it?

We did think for a moment that we’d had some success making a happier baby by 1. switching formulas (from Similac Advanced Early Shield to Enfamil Gentlease) and 2. switching bottles (from Playtex Drop-Ins to Dr. Brown’s).  Apparently gas is a real issue for us (we have a bit better success now getting burps out of him, though we still struggle — and when we don’t get them out, he’s clearly uncomfortable, waking right up after just having fallen asleep or crying unti letting out the big one).

Of course a day or so after making our changes and thinking we’d solved all our problems, Wes became ravenously hungry, going from requiring food every 3 to 4 hours to demanding it every 1 and 1/2 to 2: if this isn’t one of those mythical growth spurts the books talk about, I’ll eat my hat.  So just as we think we’ve got one thing covered, another springs up (and another: it appears Craig is now coming down with some crummy bug to boot).

I think we’re at the end tail of said spurt though (I pray, I pray), and I’ll be better equipped to gauge then if the switch in formula and bottle made a real difference, though even then I won’t ever really know if just the sheer fact that Wes is getting older is to thank for his outgrowing all that fussiness (but if it’s the bottles, oh how I’ll bow to the altar of Dr. Brown!).

And yet today, so far, it’s been a lovely day (she writes, as Wes peacefully naps in his bouncy seat beside her).  I’m looking forward to more.



3 thoughts on “Cry Baby

  1. My mom swears by anise for the colic. She gave us (little sister and me) anise and then my older sister always gave to my nieces. Never had a problem. Sometimes the “old home remedies” work. If you want to try it out, let me know and I will have my mom explain it to you.

  2. Ah… all of this sounds so familiar. I feel like I was playing the same guessing games just yesterday. Ultimately, we gave up on labeling or even trying to determine exactly what was wrong (not enough burping? Too much? My overabundant milk supply? Not enough naps? It was never-ending)… and just focused on figuring out what was most likely to calm Finn down, like loud white noise in his ear and dancing with him in the Bjorn to — yes — Reggae. Those things changed, too, though, and the evening cries stopped JUST like they say, at right around 3 months. Wes is not “a fussy baby;” he’s adjusting. He WILL grow out of it, don’t worry.
    He is so precious, Lou; even in mid-cry, I want to kiss that scrunchy nose!

  3. It is VERY normal and not colic necessarily for babies to go through a fussy stage from 4-12 weeks or so. Nate was a wreck every night from 4-8 weeks and then magically it got better. For us, I noticed he seemed overtired and overstimulated so it helped to tone everything done in the evenings. We dimmed the lights, muted the tv and sang to him. If that didn’t calm him down we held him and let him cry for a few minutes and then he’d be good. It seemed the more we tried to calm him down with toys and noises and this and that the worse it got. When we just let him let off some steam as we cuddled him in the calming environment things went much better. At the worst of it we found putting him in the baby bjorn in a dark room while gently bouncing and running the blowdryer calmed him down, but we thought of that as the nuclear option when all else failed 🙂 It will pass!

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