June 26, 2008,
T.H. asks from North Las Vegas, NV on June 25, 2008
Being Able to Put Baby down Without Crying or Fussing
I am trying to give my daughter the best advice about her new baby (first time mom)but I wanted to enlist a few suggestions from anyone out there who has any other great ideas. It has been a few years for me, and either my babies weren't like this, or I don't remember going through this. First of all, my 5 month old grand daughter is beautiful, sweet and very smart. (spoken like a true Grammy). My daughter is a fantastic mother, she is very attentive, is breast feeding, listens to advice well and adores her baby. There is such a fine line between taking good care of your baby and spoiling them. I am a total believer in holding your baby as much as you can, and being a very hands on mother, (sitting down and playing with her often, reading to her, etc...) which my daughter is already doing with her daughter. Here is the problem...my daughter is unable to get much of anything else done because the baby wants to be held so much. I know, I know, then HOLD her... they grow so fast and she needs to drink it all in, I've already given that advice, but sometimes, she can't sit her down for even 5 minutes. She has 2 step children she needs to attend to as well that are spending the summer with them. Don't get me wrong, the baby loves to play in her jumperoo, bumbo seat, swing, etc... but if she isn't in the mood, she just wails. After a diaper check, teething tablets, feeding time, nap, etc.. it doesn't seem to matter, if she doen't want to be put down, she fusses and sometimes screams like she's being hurt. I don't remember going through this and want to give my daughter good advice. My instincts are to tell her to let her cry a short time. (I don't think a 5 month old baby should be allowed to cry too long to the point of turning red, going hoarse and losing her breath, which she starts to do if she cries that long), but what exactly is acceptable and healthy for a 5 month old to cry it out? Also short bouts of letting her fuss and cry haven't seemed to help at all. When mine were older (toddlers), and tried the temper tantrums etc, I was able to talk to them and we nipped it in the bud, but you can't explain anything to a 5 month old. I am at a loss as to how to help my daughter get through this. She is getting so frustrated at not being able to get much done except feed and hold her. The baby doesn't nap well either. She will sleep longer if being held, but after being put down in her crib, she usually will only sleep 15-30 minutes. It sometimes appears to be seperation anxiety but it isn't just wanting her mommy, because as long as someone holds her she is fine, even though mom is her first choice. We have been told it could be gas and being held soothes her belly, but she already gives her mylicon. If my memory serves me correctly her and her brother never went through this, so I'd like some help on this one.
L.Y. answers from Las Vegas on June 25, 2008
I thought I was going crazy when I first had my son. I could not believe how difficult it was to get him to sleep! He is 15 months now and sleeps about 10 hours a night. He still wakes up once or twice for his bottle, but since we keep him in bed with us we can just reach over for his bottle on the night stand.
I REALLY don't like the idea of letting a baby "cry him/herself to sleep". I know several families who have done that and it seemed to work for them. But I felt very strongly from the beginning that I would not do that. Ty, my son, stays with grandma during the day and she lays on the bed and sings to him until he goes to sleep. She also leaves an air filter on for background noise so he doesn't hear their voices and wake up. I usually lay with him in the bed in a VERY dark room with the air filter going and just let him toss and turn for a while until he goes to sleep. Other nights, I stroll him around the house in his stroller with all the lights out (the darkness is key) until he goes to sleep. Once he is asleep, I wait a few minutes and then transfer him gently in to the bed. Some parents may think this is starting him on bad behaviors that will be difficult to break later, but I completely disagree. It is all about how you handle the situation. Creativity is so important with kids and helping them adjust to new things. Once he is old enough to communicate with me, I will start having him sleep in his own bed. I will likely go to his room with him, read a book, and lay with him until he goes to sleep. Then we can transition to having him go to bed on his own as he gets older. But if you make the transition fun, it makes it so much easier for kids. ... But to make a long story short, I recommend strolling her around in a very very dark part of the house. Good luck! I know how difficult it is!
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M.S. answers from Las Vegas on June 26, 2008
You sound like the best kind of grammy! I like the advice you're giving your daughter. Not only do I agree with you and parented that same way but my kids were BOTH like your daughter's first.
My husband still jokes that when he'd get home from work each day, I'd still be sitting in the same spot I'd been in when he'd left (at 4 a.m.!) in my pajamas, with the kids still nursing, and that I'd say, "Hurry, take them! I've been needing to go to the bathroom for HOURS!" Ha ha ha!
Even though he exaggerates a little bit, I know that if I were to go through it again, I'd WEAR my babies constantly. I'd still not put them down if they needed me but I would help myself out a little bit more by getting a good baby sling. See my friend's website for some tips: http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/jaminacema/436617/
The other thing is one thing that I did right...I used to be pretty type A about my house but I put that on hold for my babies. I kept it really simple and took the pressure off myself. We spent most of our time playing and going to parks and walking and napping and reading stories...hmmm...we're still doing that! But do you know what? Before I knew it, my kids were big enough to help me straighten up and my house was clean again!
PS: By the way, it's not gas! If it is, then my son has had gas for 10 years! My daughter mellowed out pretty early but my son is still pretty intense.
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T. answers from Las Vegas on June 26, 2008
My now 20 month old son was like that until I did an elimination diet. Turns out he is intolerant to dairy and allergic to soy and he was getting those proteins through my breastmilk. Once I got those out of my system and his, he was a whole new, happy baby. The intolerances had inflamed his GI tract and he was in pain so he wanted to be held all the time. He also had silent reflux (which is reflux minus all the spitting up - it would go into his esophogas but not out of his mouth) which improved dramatically with my diet change and medication (Prevacid) for him.
In my opinion, if the baby wants to be held constantly and isn't sleeping well, she's probably in pain and it is probably diet related. I looked at this list
http://www.askdrsears.com/html/8/t083301.asp of the most common problem foods and I looked at my diet and decided what I thought were the most likely problems. I eliminated dairy, soy, eggs, chocolate, caffeine, fish, shellfish, nuts, citrus and tomatoes. My son was SO much more comfortable within about a week and by the end of the first month, he was a different child. Then I started adding foods back one at a time and was able to add back everything but dairy and soy (which he still can't eat). If he wouldn't have improved, I would have added gluten and corn to my list next and gone from there. If you do an elimination diet and you don't see improvement within a week or so, you are either not effectively eliminating something from you diet (soy and dairy are hidden in many other foods) or you haven't hit upon everything bothering your baby and you need to expand your list. How do you maintain a diet like that? It really isn't that hard. I ate mainly "whole" foods. Meat, beans, potatoes, rice, veggies and fruit. If you want more info, email me directly ____@____.com
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