30 answers

8 1/2 Month Old Cries Constantly and Wants to Be Held..

My 8 1/2 month old son cries constantly during the day if I am not holding him. I know babies cry, but this can’t be normal. I feel like I have tried everything. I have attempted to let him cry but he's super stubborn and can go FOREVER. I have discussed the problem with my doctor and she suggested early childhood intervention which is more for babies with developmental problems or delays, or other medical issues. But I am exhausted and will try ANYTHING. The nurse that came to my home was wonderful and told me that she thinks my son is super smart and is getting bored. That makes sense but also doesn't help much either. She also thought he might have reflux, all the symptoms she described- spitting up (he doesn't do that a lot but does), breath smells like sour milk, hiccupping after meals, crying wanting to be held, arching back, waking up at night screaming for no reason- my son has them all. I called his doctor and she says that the main concern for reflux is spitting up and since he doesn’t do that much and isn’t losing weight they wouldn’t do anything. So should I take that answer and continue to think his crying is behavioral rather than something medical or should I get a second opinion. I have done the Dr. Mommy research on the internet. You know where you try to diagnosis your child yourself. I have found that some babies can have serious reflux without spitting up. I also found that it can make them extremely fussy. I am just frustrated and want to help my son whether it’s treating his boredom or his reflux. I think it’s a little of both… Any advice would be helpful and much appreciated.

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So What Happened?™

First of all THANK YOU for all the responses. Boy have we been busy. My son is now 10 months old and is thriving, crawling, cruising, talking, and playing on his own. I found out that the nurse at the doctor's office had been the main problem when I was trying to get through to the doctor about my son and his reflux. Now my doctor is clear that my son is suffering from reflux and he is on prevacid. YEAH!!! It was almost an immediate change when he started this medicine. I also realized that my milk supply was way down due to my pregnancy, and I started supplementing with formula. He was hungry as well as hurting. I felt terrible, of course, but glad that everything is working out now. He still has severe separation anxiety, but the crying has gone down tremendously!!! Again thank you for all the advice, I really appreciate it. Now I have to get back to planning the big 1 year birthday, too exciting! Take Care!

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My daughter cried also when I put her down as a baby. She also did not want to stay in her bed and slept as little as possible. This wore me out. She quit crying when she learned to crawl and walk. She is much older now and this behavior was very fitting of her personality. She wanted to be in the center of any action and loves being with people (just like her dad!!!).

Has he started to get in his teeth? Little ones can be very unhappy for a while when their teeth are trying to come in.

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I have a 4 month old with the exact same problem. She cried all the time and always wanted to be held. She ate a lot too. She was diagnosed with reflux and was on every medication available. One day my mom was watching her and when I went to pick her up, she told me to call the doctor immediately because her crying was not normal. I called the pediatrician who told me to go to Texas Children's Hospital because she didn't know what else to suggest. We went to the ER, and the ER pediatrician told us to just "wait it out" and eventually it would get better. I started to cry because not only is my baby miserable, my whole family is because of all the crying. I think in a last ditch effort to seem like he was trying to help, he suggested giving her 3 ml of Maalox. I was not impressed, but I was desperate and ready to try anything. So, I tried it and she is a completely different baby. She laughs and smiles now. She only cries when she's hungry. She will actually sit in the bouncy seat and jumparoo for about 10 minutes at a time (which is heaven for me since she screamed the second I would put her in those things before). Ask your pediatrician about trying the Maalox. I don't know if it will work for your son or if your pedi will say it's OK, but it has worked miracles for me and given me a ray of hope (and my sanity back). Good luck and let me know if it helps!

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Switch doctors!!! We went through a very similar situation. I won't go into the long, drawn out details but it ended with us finding a wonderful new doctor who treated our son with Mylanta and Previcid (both of which are very safe). Reflux is very common and often not associated with spitting up. Most doctors just treat it symptomatically- DON'T do the UGI test, it is unreliable and horrible to put your child through. Try Dr.Elizabeth Reidy if you are in Austin.

Good luck! There are plenty of doctors who will help you get to the bottom of what's going on. Don't give up!

1 mom found this helpful

i am a mom of 3 kiddos - 2 boys ages 10 & 6 and a 2 yr old little girl -- all 3 of my babies had reflux and cried and hurt though only my little girl "failed to thrive" and was put on medication which caused all kinds of other problems -- so, whatever you do, don't give up -- you're a mom and you MUST listen to those gut feelings/instincts - your baby deserves to be healthy (and happy) - check with the pharmacists at people's on westbank dr. (in austin) www.peoplesrx.com - check with a nutritionalist like dr. luepnitz in austin www.lonestaroncology.com- check with an acupuncturist like jennifer crain at the goji seed in austin www.thegojiseed.com - a lot of reflux can be related to food allergies or sensitivities - check with an occupational therapist like the ones at kidworks therapy www.kidworkstherapy.com -- keep trying, you'll find the answer for your baby

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My son has reflux and does not spit up alot but he was put on prevacid...I would express to your doctor you want something done.. if they do not give him any help change doctors... no need to let your baby suffer good luck

I think you need to get a second opinion and/or a new pediatrician. This sounds very much like reflux, and there are things that will help with that. Not doing anything to help him and you is unacceptable. Don't take no for an answer when it comes to your child's needs and health!

It sounds as though your son has an upset stomach. Have you tried switching him to Soy Formula? I had to do that with both of my kids and their stomach problems improved greatly! The Mylicon drops helped, also. I hope this helps!

for your babies sake, please, please, please don't take no for an answer from your doctor! there is no harm in insisting the doctor order the test and finding out for sure, regardless of outcome. it sounds just like how my baby was before she started on reflux medicine. she very rarely spit up but had all the other symptoms. i waited about a month or two after my friends told me it sounded like reflux. she took the test and we found she had severe silent reflux. since she's on medicine she's a different child. i felt so awful knowing she was in pain and i could have treated it sooner. good luck!

it seems obvious he has colic..what is he eating? if it is breast milk, then eliminate colic producing items and if it is formula, then try raw goats milk, which is the best alternative in my humble opinion. hope this helps. one thing for sure; it is not boredom. it is either pain deriving from his diet or something wrong physiologically.

My daughter cried also when I put her down as a baby. She also did not want to stay in her bed and slept as little as possible. This wore me out. She quit crying when she learned to crawl and walk. She is much older now and this behavior was very fitting of her personality. She wanted to be in the center of any action and loves being with people (just like her dad!!!).

hang in there! my first son was so fussy, i had to hold him all the time and wondered if i would ever survive. he is amazing now. try to take some alone time if you can to "recharge your battery". when he is fussy try to remember he is not being a brat but is really upset for some reason. babies at that age dont cry for no reason, something is wrong. and get a 2nd opinion. try something that may relieve his discomfort. good luck!

I can totally relate...my little guy(and boys seem to be worse about the sleeping) would wake in the night until he was 18 months...I would give him some milk or water because I could hear his belly rumbling. I would rock a little while and then put him down...I had a good chair and could hold him and sleep if that happened...I know you are super tired because you are preggars...if thats the case, take him to your bed. He will not get spoiled...my litle one is 2 and 1/2 and he is in his big boy bed, doing great...good luck

If you're not happy with the answers your son's doctor is giving you, you need to get a second opinion.

I just took my daughter to the doc this week to talk about her spitting up--she basically starts spitting up (usually not a lot) as soon as she's done eating and will spit up as many as 6 times before her next bottle. I've been getting her next bottle ready only to have her spit up! She's 7 months old, and I felt that by now the spitting up should have at least slacked off.

Her doctor took me extremely seriously and started the diagnostic process. He gave me several printouts that discuss reflex and other possible causes of her symptoms (she's a very happy baby, so we don't have the crying issues, but she does sometimes arch her back and fuss when she spits up) and we discussed a flow chart to help us diagnose exactly what the problem is (these came from an online referral system his clinic subscribes to). We're holding off on blood work and other tests until we see how step one goes--we've switched her to soy formula to see if it's a milk protein intolerance; based on this morning I'm going to say no 'cause she's still spitting up--but he did already order x-rays to make sure it's not a structural issue (it's not--and I got the answer on the x-ray from him the same day). So I think there's a lot more your son's doc could be doing to determine if this is a medical issue, and you might need to get another doc to see if that's the case for your son.

My daughter had/has painful reflux. She was even hospitalized for it after birth for 8 days. She still has issues to this day. But, as a baby, she was very happy. She had her painful cry after eating, etc. But, she had her stubborn cry as well. It's hard to tell the difference sometimes. I would just keep trying things out. When you are pretty sure that nothing is painful and that he is just manipulating you, then you have to become more stubborn than he is and let him cry - giving him no reason to. New area, new toys, etc. Mylanta Supreme Cherry (1/4 tsp-1/2 tsp) did wonders (our doctor took her off of zantac and put her on mylanta). But, teaching her that Mommy couldn't entertain or hold her all of the time did wonders as well. My friends would ask me how I could get my kids to stay in a playpen and not cry. I made sure I didn't overuse it and that I did eventually rescue them. But, that they didn't get out just because they were crying. They soon learned to be content and Mommy would get them as soon as she could. I at times treated my daughter as if she were in pain, come to find out she wasn't. I treated her as if she was being a brat, and come to find out she was in pain. Sometimes, it is a guess - just try to make sure that it is a good and educated guess. Reflux shouldn't be hurting your child all of the time - so I know for a fact that your son is not always in pain and just wants to be held. That's normal, but needs to be taught otherwise. It's a bad habit. And, many times, being held doesn't stop the pain it just helps soothe them. I only say that to help you understand that you're not always stopping the pain by holding them. Most of the time, they need to be on their stomach to let the gas out...or sitting up. You can rub his tummy and play with him without holding him. If he's truly in pain, this will soothe him as well. If he's insisting on being held, and rubbing his tummy or playing with him isn't distracting enough, and the Mylanta doesn't seem to work...then I would assume that he's not in pain. Whatever you do - do your best with the information that your son gives you - and don't beat yourself up when you make the mistakes. Your son won't remember and it won't scar him. The only one who hurts in the long run is you and only if you let it bother you. You won't always know and you will make mistakes. It's not the end of the world and your son will survive. I would feel so guilty when I was "wrong". But, what was I supposed to do? Spoil him just because he might be in pain - no that would be wrong too. Just make sure he's getting medicine, sits up and still for 1/2 hour after eating (no walking around with him, etc.) and that his position changes when he seems to be in pain. Then, do your best to teach him the values and character you want for him. Part of that is that you don't always get your way. Try to stay balanced - and you will guess right most of the time.

Go to another doctor --- check for allergies, check his thyroid - my oldest - had these same issues -- and did not find out until he was much older he had hyperthyroid -- rule it out now - some states are even doing a thyroid test at birth these days. Keep a food diary - if you are breastfeeding -- keep track of what you are eating - Don't give up -- but don't just take 1 Doctor's opinion. I had a small trampoline - that I spent alot of time of just holding him and gently bouncing -- it seem to help calm him. His being fussy -- is signs of him having a need - and since he can't tell you in any other way - it is frustrating -- but you will handle it and it will get better.

THIS IS THE TIME... Seperation anxiety is probably setting in. With my son it hit at 9 months, 8 with my daughter. I couldn't even go to the bathroom without screams echoing from the halls. I used to even leave the front door open wide while getting groceries out of the car and just crossing the threshold of the door would send my son screaming into thinking I was ABANDONING him!! LOL
My son had reflux for a little while, but was usually accompanied by vomiting or spitting up (when he was real little). I would go more in the seperation anxiety direction. All kids go through it. I would finally have the kids sleeping through the night, then it hit!! Also, when they get close to a year old, they also start to dream, as if you didn't have enough to worry about. They dream about things that happened durring the day, a commercial or anything, but inmature brains don't translate the images so well (as I've been told). Things can be really scary for a little child. Growing independence, exploring on their own, it's all kind of scary to them but exiting! AND NOW YOU WANT TO LEAVE THEM ALONE IN THE DARK?? He He. It's just night time, but since their new found imaginations are running wild... so will the scary things in their little lives. The dark is scary and mom leaving (walking out of the room) is also scary.

I was told once that it is a good time to play the peek-a-boo game (if you haven't already). Hide toys under blankets and ask them to find the toy, put the toy in a cupboard and ask them "where did it go?" "See, it's not gone, we just couldn't see it." Do the same with closets (you can hide yourself) and the bathroom too. This gets them used to the idea that you didn't abandon them, they just can't see you..... worked for me.
As for the seperation thing, they will grow out of it, promise, just takes a while.
Good luck, it's so hard to not worry with the first child anyway, but by the time the second comes, things just wont seem so hard or scary!

Thank goodnes there is MamaSource. I had a baby like that and knew that it should be more fun to have a baby than it was. I had a baby that cried all the time (it felt like it) was always needing me to be entertained, wanted to be held, took 3 hours to get to sleep at night, arched his back and wanted to be fed a lot. He was a big baby (10lbs 12oz) at birth. He did not loose any wait and still he did have reflux. Reflux does not mean spitting up. It just means that the acid is popping up out of their stomach to the esophagus. It is really painful. We used a good baby formula. It was called Nutramigen. You can get it at the supermarket and at the BabySuperstore (BR'U). It is really good and made a big difference.
Go to a really good gastro doctor and a different baby doctor. If a doctor does not fix the problem find one who will. Don't wait. Never let your child suffer.
When my son was 12 months old we left America to live in a different country. I went to see our paediatrian the week before we left to say goodbye. She told me my son was a special child. Yes he was. He was autistic! She had not bothered to tell me until that she suspected something. Why is it that we find it easier to sack our garden guy if he screws up but not our doctor? If you feel like something is not right but can't get an answer find someone else. There are some great doctors out there and they will not stop until they get the answer. Good luck. Things will be better soon.

That certainly sounds like reflux to me, too. All three of my kids have had it. Not much spitting up in any of them and no weight loss, but arching of the back, heavy crying and miserable! We tried the Maalox route that someone mentioned, but it didn't work for us. Our nurse practitioner told us about it and said it was a miracle for some of her patients and didn't do anything for others. It's worth a shot! We elevated the head of the bed and also had him sleep in the bouncy seat. Your son may be too big for that now, though. It took us two medications to find the right one for all our kids. Prilosec worked the best.
As for the boredom, my 8 month old seems to be dealing with some of that, too. I just try to change his scenery every once in a while, going from exersaucer to bumbo to just sitting up on his own with different toys at each "station." It doesn't have to be a lot of toys either. He's usually happy feeling one and looking at it and trying to put it in his mouth.
I hate to say this, but you may want to look into a different pediatrician. I don't like having to medicate my kid everyday, but I'd rather have him comfortable and all of us happy. I feel like you should have a doctor who is willing to listen and research what is going on with your child. She sounds a little dismissive. That's just my opinion, though.
Good luck! I hope you get this resolved soon!

it sounds like it is reflux, if you think about how uncomfortable you are when you have heartburn, imagine how horrible it is for a baby. My 2nd daughter had it, and she wasn't much of spitter, but I could tell she was just down right miserable after feedings and throught the day, when she burped, etc.
Plus laying down flat at night really aggrevates heartburn.

My dd was given Zantac, whic was horrible and peppermint flavored, which is totally gross for a baby. But she took it 2-3 times a day for about 3 months, and finally the heartburn cleared up on it's own.

You might want to talk again with your pedi or seek a second opinion. I'm sorry your little guy is so miserable right now. Hang in there, and I hope you get a resolution soon.

hi D.,
check out this website www.DailyHealthJuice.com ,
Dr Robert Stone, had reflux for many many years of his life
He found relief with a fruit from Southeast asia.
dr templeman and dr V.Johnson has audios on this site and I suggest you look into these xanthones that are very powerful for our bodies.
This is not a drug, it is a fruit, a God given fruit for us to heal our bodies.
My granddaughters since they were babies have been drinking this juice and their allergies are gone.
it is wonderful

I will keep you in our prayers.


you should definitly get a second opinion. my youngest son was diagnosed with reflux @ 2 weeks of age. the diagnosis was made on crying 24/7 and not sleeping. he never spit up and was gaining weight because all he wanting to do was nurse. they said babies with reflux want to suck all the time to swallow the acid that comes up. he was on meds until 10 months old and started up again at 13 months until 16 months. he is now 17 months old and is doing great!! talk to your pedi about it again and tell him you want to try somekind of medication, we used pepcid and axid the second time. good luck. i completely know how you feel, i've been there. you know your baby better than anyone else, so push for what you think is right!!hang in there, it will get better with the right treatment!!

when as an adult we get heartburn, we are not spitting up. The same is probably true for your son. He could have severe heartburn/refulx. My 3 month old has it and we are currently trying to get the insurance to get her some prevacid. I would speak with your dr. again and if he/she is still unwilling to even check it out, then switch drs.

get a second opinion,if the nurse thought that was it and spent time with him then that his your best bet

the arching back can also be colic, (gassy tummy,very uncomfortable) but if he settles down when you pick him up and doesn't cry any more than that is not the problem. if he still cries after you pick him up, and still arches his back, then write me back and i will give you the sure fire way to naturally cure his gas (colic). good luck.

Again, definitely seek a 2nd opinion. While I'm not a physician, I can tell you that my own son was diagnosed with acid reflux even though he rarely spit up and was gaining weight perfectly; his pediatrician placed him on two different medications for reflux. The constant crying stopped since the pain was obviously gone and his cries then became more "normal" for us after that.

The other thing to try is to see if your baby can somehow sleep tilted. We adjusted our crib mattress to tilt it slightly so that he wasn't lying flat on his back while sleeping...that helps reflux as well.

Good luck and follow your instinct here...if you've never experienced acid reflux, let me tell you that it can be horrifyingly painful. I have a very bad case of it myself and, even while medicated, I sometimes have a round of it at night when sleeping on my stomach. If it's reflux, you really do not want him to experience that level of pain.

Good luck!

I would get a second opinion. It is easy to just give a diagnosis and walk away but when a baby is upset and in distress as you are stating, it puts you in a terrible amount of distress as well. When it comes to the health of our children, taking care of health issues is a major concern and not one to just dismiss as being "normal fussiness". I would get the second opinion. Good luck!

Have you tried Mylicon Drops? They worked wonders for my son. Also, maybe a soy based milk formula.

Hi! I am sorry you are dealing with this. Both of my children had reflux. How long has he been showing reflux-like symptons? My kids started the continual crying at about 6 weeks and it lasted until about 6-8 months. My son's lasted longer. They do make medication for the relux but they like to have them off of it by 6 months, which is why your doctor might not of discussed it with you. My son was also a baby who need a lot of stimulation, in fact he still is super active. And he gets really bored fast if he isn't in motion. What the nurse said is probably right on. It is really hard I know it. My son, I don't know if it is true for your or not, is also super sensitive to the moods in the family. So if we are super stressed out or upset, it makes him act the same. I don't know if you are feel super stressed, but my guess with a baby on the way and a little guy who is alway fussy, you might be. See if you can de-stress the situation a little if that helps any and other then that try to get him out for walks or whatever to stimulate him some. I know you can't be entertaining every second it's impossible. I just wanted you to know I've been there too, and it does get better. My son is two now and is such a giggly wiggly little man.

I'd try to get a second opinion on the reflux from another doctor. If he has all the symptoms, just because he isn't losing weight doesn't mean it is not causing him pain or discomfort. How does he act when you hold him? Is he happy as a clam or just quiet? ECI should have given you some advice on how to handle this even if he doesn't qualify for services.

Some kids do have a harder time comforting themselves though, but it sounds like your "mommy intuition" tells you there is something more so I'd look for more info from the doctor and/or ECI.

By the way, do you use one of those exersaucer things? I know at about that age my son would be content in that for at least a little while, even though he also LOVED to be held and hated to be put down for very long. By the way, he turned out fine, and he is a "cuddly boy" who still loves to be cuddled even at age 6 :) .

Ask your doctor for a sample of the reflux medicine. (I use axid) My doctor didn't think that she had reflux since she was gaining weight, but she always cried and I was always holding her. I don't give her the whole dose the doctor prescribed but the little bit I do give her has made her a wonderful happy baby.

Has he started to get in his teeth? Little ones can be very unhappy for a while when their teeth are trying to come in.

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