September 03, 2008,
K.S. asks from Austin, TX on September 01, 2008
7 Weeks Old & Wants to Be Held 24/7
My son is 7 week old he will only let you put him down for 5-10 min. at a time, he does have silent acid reflux. When we put him in anything (even upright in his swing or bouncy) he starts screaming this horrible scream (very different from his regular change my diaper etc. cry) his face turns blood red and he almost can't breath. We bought a wedge for his bassinet, no go. We even tried the co-sleeper in our bed. He sleeps with me on the recliner or in bed in my arms. Someone is always holding him, he will start daycare in 5 weeks, I don't have the option to be a stay at home mom :(. I am very worried, I will not take the CIO road. Our doctor said it was because of the acid reflux but I'm concerned it goes beyond that. Also he was enduced 2 weeks early and was in the neo natal unit for a week with low blood sugar, my husband and I were there holding him round the clock, maybe this started the cycle? He is breastfed and supplemented, he falls asleep constantly and is very difficult to wake up so feeding will sometimes take an hour or so. Any advice is welcome.
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Wow, thank you for all the replies! Everyone has been so helpful. I don't feel so alone and like I've done something wrong. He has been taking Prevacid for a little over a week and just now starting to see results.
The past 3 nights we have swaddled him tightly and left his feet open, (he apparently doesn't like his feet covered, my husband figured this out over the weekend) and put him on the wedge up top between my husband and I, I'm happy to say I haven't had to hold him all night, this is a big step (we did try this weeks ago and he wouldn't have it). In the next night or so we will purchase the soothing sounds teddy bear and try to put him in his bassinet next to me on the wedge and see if he's ready.
I do have a sling that he disliked the first few times I tried it but now he seems to be ok and goes to sleep. My husband has also been carrying him in the bjorn and he's ok with it now (he didn't like that either). Maybe we tried everything too soon or he just has to get comfortable with it, but I can for sure see he's quickly getting comfortable, he's started smiling and cooing, wow talk about feeling reassured your headed in the right direction.
He went to the Dr yesterday and got his shots :( but did very well. He weighs 10 pds so he's getting enough breast milk (load off). He eats for 45 min every hour to 1.5 hours very tiring but, when my supply catches up, it won't last much longer and it's worth it. For supplementing we went through every bottle and have come to love Dr. Browns, wow what a difference (started these over the weekend)! The Dr said to try to get him in his bassinet and then around three months move on to the crib if we like. I'm taking it slow and I now believe baby will do it when he's ready not when I'm ready.
As for daycare we are going in for a visit Friday and will voice any concerns, he's already changed so much in the last few days, I'm sure he will be fine. I do know they don't keep them in their beds all the time and I'm going to arrange to go up during the day to breast feed for the first few weeks. What ever happens will be the best thing for him.
Again, thank you for the wonderful advice, this was my first post. I even found out my best friend is a member!
E.L. answers from Houston on September 02, 2008
Good for you that you and DH held him constantly early on--no doubt in my mind that this helped him tremendously to grow and will help him his entire life. Have you looked into buying a baby hammock to sleep in? Look at www.ambybaby.com and you can find them used occassionally on ebay or craigslist. They are fantastic. Keep goin', Mama! Best wishes from another Mama.
K.R. answers from El Paso on September 01, 2008
I just had my third after 12yrs... But my new baby was like that and what I did was swaddled her really tight and she felt like she was back in the womb. I found that to be very helpful. Goodluck
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S.H. answers from San Antonio on September 01, 2008
Have you tried Kangroo Care? That means that you carry baby under your shirt, between your breasts most of the time. It is unbelieveable what this will do to help baby's breathing, temp, attiude and sense of security. Perhaps the postion along with being cuddled (with your arms free to do other things) will help?
Most people will place baby between breasts, wrap a long strip of cotton cloth around you and baby to secure his position.
your body temperature will actually drop to make his temperature correct, or vice versa. Blood tests on babies who are kangarooed show that their levels of stress hormones are considerably lower than babies who spend more time on their backs.
Who knows, it might even help with the reflux. Men can do it, too. It is great that your husband is an equal partner.
kangaroo care also works wonders for bonding in families with difficulties (teen parents, etc.)
As far as wanting to be put down, I know it is a hard adjustment but in my opinion a 7 week old baby wants to be held because you are the only safe thing he knows. Your body smell is familiar to him. You're the right temp and he loves the vibration of your chest when you talk. Babies should be held. It isn't a matter of conditioning. It is survival. He's a smart little guy.
While studying to beocme a lactation consultant I read a study which proved that the stress hormone levels of babies who lie in a glass crib directly next to their mothers are significantly higher (as tested in the blood) than those who are touching their mother's bodies.
You're probably on to something with the differing sound of this cry. Trust yourself. I'd try another doctor if this one isn't exploring your concerns. Try the Kangroo care, though, and see if it helps.
Congratulations on your little baby. I hope this helps.
2 moms found this helpful
S.T. answers from Houston on September 02, 2008
My babies have had silent reflux also (well, three of the four.) My oldest was like yours, cried all the time unless I was holding her. I couldn't sleep because I'd drop her but I learned with my third to wear a sling and that would hold her in place on my chest so I could sleep. Anyway, as I said my oldest had to be held all the time and she was in the NICU for the first two weeks of her life. But I didn't have the luxury of being there all day like you (I was recovering from a classical (naval to pubic line) c-section and I didn't have a car so I went up twice a day.
I know that she was left to cry all the time in the NICU. They had these little swaddle type things but she hated them and wouldn't stay in them...but that's how I was able to get #4 baby to sleep or settle without being held so it's worth trying. I got my swaddle blanket at a resale shop but I know that Babies R Us and Target have them in different sizes.
Also, my oldest we later discovered has sensory integration problems and Asperger Syndrome. I felt awful when I learned 2 years later what her problem was because I DID end up letting her CIO every night, sometimes for hours, because I didn't know what else to do. She wouldn't SLEEP! She had special needs that no one had suggested and I'm sure I would have done things differently.
Meds did help her a lot though. I also like Gripe water. Babies with reflux shouldn't sit straight up, only recline. I like the bouncy seat and swaddle the baby in receiving blankets and put the baby in the bouncy (no, his legs won't be able to go through the holes swaddled) and have a carseat head roll or a blanket to stabilize the head. He may cry, but lightly bounce him for 5 minutes or so and see if he settles. Then you can use your foot to bounce it and have some reading time or whatever while he gets used to feeling secure AND not in mom's arms.
I did not put her in daycare. I felt that there was no way that they would care for her needs properly. I've worked in lots of daycares, in lots of infant rooms, and those with special needs were always neglected. We didn't want to, but when you have ten babies to two teachers, it's really hard. Those that took a long time to eat never ate all their bottle- if they fell asleep we put them down and dumped the bottle. So we moved into my inlaws house and lived there 3 months until we found a place an hour away that was cheaper to live in. Hubby was making only $30,000 but we made it work. It was a real struggle and we had to give up high speed internet, cable, a second vehicle, ect but it was what was best for the baby. Since I don't know your situation I certainly am not judging you, just telling you what we did.
Feel free to PM me.
S., mom to five- ages 5,4,3,1 and due in March with #5! At least three are on the autism spectrum.
1 mom found this helpful
P.F. answers from Austin on September 03, 2008
Hi K., all 7 week old babies want to be held all the time! And I think it's because they really do need to be held all the time. Try to just enjoy it, smell his little head and feel him breathing. There's no way you can 'spoil' him, don't worry. He's a little guy, and ya'll didn't start any cycle by holding him so much at first. Seriously, they need that. By giving him the closeness he wants he'll bond with you, know that he can trust you to take care of his needs, and feel so much more secure later.
Also 5 weeks from now, when he starts daycare is very different developmentally from right now. He may not cry so much about being put down then. Make sure the daycare workers will hold him when he cries, find out their policy on that. And find a place that you feel is nurturing to your baby.
Just as an aside, we successfully did the 'cry it out' thing when our first son was 10 mos old, and when our second was 12 mos old. That option really comes much, much later.
Try not to worry, remember this parenting stuff is HARD! But we're all there with you, or have been at some point.
1 mom found this helpful
H.B. answers from Houston on September 02, 2008
Don't blame yourself - your baby is telling you what he needs, which has nothing to do with "conditioning" or anything you've done to this point. I applaud you for not wanting to CIO! He needs you and he needs the comfort of being held, especially at this early age. I would definitely invest in a good baby carrier (http://www.thebabywearer.com/ is an excellent resource for choosing one, and http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Houston_Baby_Wearers/ is a local group for hands-on help), and wear him as much as you can. It will free you up to do things you need to do while still meeting his needs!
As for daycare in 5 weeks, I would focus on meeting his needs NOW, which may well change in the next 5 weeks. I would also see a chiropractor for his reflux, which may well be a cause of his high needs. You can see http://www.icpa4kids.com/ to find a pediatric chiropractor in your area. It has made a WORLD of difference in my reflux babies, and is often covered by insurance, as well.
Definitely keep co-sleeping with him, as it is so good for him (and you!) in so many ways. It will also help when you go back to work and aren't with him during the day, as he may need to nurse more at night (so easy when he's right next to you!) and it will help him reconnect to you. Here are some good articles on sleep to check out: http://askdrsears.com/html/7/T070100.asp
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P.H. answers from Austin on September 02, 2008
Babies this young cannot be spoiled, nor are they cognitively able to try to manipulate you into getting their way, so don't let anyone steer you down either of those roads, for starters. I've heard that NICU babies are very into touch and being held, often by anyone, which will make it easier to leave him later. It's good for them in so many different ways (brain development, etc.), which shows us once again that babies really do know what they need. And you are listening! Good for you! Hearing that different cry lets you know he's trying to tell you something. I don't have your magic answer, but keep asking, and I'd look deeper into the reflux. Can your doctor recommend anyone else or something the reflux could be "masking" that is making your son really uncomfortable? Maybe it's colic....and we all know there's no cure for that!
When my first son was born I slept with him in my arms for weeks. Maybe not still at 7 weeks, but I was sure I was going to ruin him as a good sleeper forever. My dear mother assured me how fast babies grew and changed and what seems like forever suddenly changes. You are going back to work in 5 weeks. That's a long time in a newborn's development and routine, etc. I would slowly work toward changes you need starting now, but relax because he'll likely just suddenly stop fussing. (And if not, keep asking your doctor for help and find another one if s/he isn't taking your concerns seriously.) The sleepy eater is also very frustrating (been through that with my second son) and had to always feed him in a diaper only so he was a little less cozy. Does he have a strong suck so you are producing enough milk? Is his growth and development otherwise on track? Since he was early find out what a typical 5-7 week old is doing and if he is very off the mark, tell your doctor about that as well.
I hope you get some good advice from all the moms out there. Keep holding him for now, wear him in a sling or snugglie, and talk to him calmly. He knows you (and your husband ) best and needs you to help him get through this rough time.
P. (mom of three boys)
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R.B. answers from College Station on September 02, 2008
Despite what people say, it is impossible to spoil a new baby with being held almost constantly. I've read that babies who are held on demand in the first 3 months cry less in the next 3 months, and still less in the next 3 months, etc., and that was definitely true for my 1st and 3rd (my 2nd was an extremely easygoing baby). Like you, I slept many nights with my 3rd on the couch with the baby on my chest, but rest assured it doesn't last forever. Just give your baby what he needs right now, which is apparently constant contact with you! Definitely try a sling of some sort--I loved the Hot Sling from Target, and my baby was instantly happy (and usually quickly asleep) when I put her in it. But also trust your instincts if you feel like something beyond the reflux and normal fussiness is causing the crying. Good luck!
1 mom found this helpful
L.B. answers from Corpus Christi on September 02, 2008
I hurt for you as I was there also. It could be as simple as the fact he hears your heart beat. There are stuffed toys out there that mimic your heart beat. Try one and see. I am sure that you are tired and just about ready to hand him off to someone but they are such a wonderful gift. Your baby just has a mind of his own. Good luck.
A.P. answers from San Antonio on September 02, 2008
I was in your exact place 19 months ago. My youngest son had acid reflux. He was diagnosed at 2 weeks of age. He cried 24/7. We held him all the time. He hated his swing,bouncer and car seat. After many sleepless nights, I finally placed him on his belly to sleep, and he did a lot better. We were seeing a specialist, and he told us that babies with reflux are the exception with back to sleep. We tried him on different meds and changed doses many times. Finally at 6 weeks we found the right dose. Pepcid worked great until 6 months and then he was on Axid. I know it is hard to have a baby cry all the time. He was also breastfeed. And we even tried diff formulas to see if maybe he had an allergy to breastmilk. Actually he did worse with formula. So I continued breastfeeding. I promise it will get better. I would talk to your pedi about it. Is he on any medication? Hang in there.