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Colic? Not Getting Satisfied with Breastfeeding?

This is my second request about this topic because my baby just doesn’t seem to be settled. I'm now starting to wonder if he’s just a colic baby. He cries constantly and is always not satisfied how much he eats. I feel like I feed him sometimes up to 3 ounces every hour. I've expressed it to bottle-feed and constantly breast-feed him. I usually will breastfeed until I'm so exhausted then go to the stockpile that I've started because I'm so drained feeding him ALL the time. He arches his back constantly with gas, and throws his hands all over the place like has never ate before. I can never just lay him down when hes awake or sleeping he will wake up and start screaming. He constantly always has to be held and usually walked around. I can usually get him to calm down, but is a combo of walking and turning around a lot and eventually back to the breast to settle him to pass out, just to have him wake up again 10 minutes later screaming. Is this normal?? My other kids were formula fed and NEVER were like this.

I have read up on colic and evenings are worse with his crying. He sleeps terrible during the night and is up every hour and a half and feeds for a solid hour sometimes more. I’ve tried gas drops when its his fussy times, but honestly I can’t even tell what’s working anymore. I'm really tired of going this route if this is how breastfeeding goes, how in the world is this possible to manage when the baby is hungry THIS much and unhappy??? I really could use some sleep AND a happy baby!

Btw- We have talked about supplimenting formula or possibly switching to it sooner then expected if it helps this situation...BUT...With all of the scares with Melamine and the Cynacuric Acid found in the formulas, I just don't trust a powder anymore let alone the government to tell us whats ok.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My sister-in-law had the same problem with her third little boy, she eventually found out it was because she was eating and drinking dairy and it was upsetting his tummy. So that is something you could look into.

Sounds like reflux to me. Get you lo in to a pediatric gi. they will give help you out a ton. my dd has been on prevacid and some other things since two weeks. they really do make a difference!

J., it sounds more like to me that he is still feeling hungry than colic. They do have organic formula that is supposed to have different standards in preparations and you can get them at any health food store or they even have them at wal mart. Good luck

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J., you are doing great! Sometimes we mom's really need to hear that. I'm the mother of 4. You would think that #4 would be a breeze for me. Your discription of you son sounds just like my baby boy. I was at my whits end just like you. My baby's doctor recomended "The Happiest Baby on the Block" by Dr. Harvey Karp. It's a book and video. Look at your library for this. The movie is the first step. It shows you exactly what to do to calm your baby. The book then goes into detail explaining what is going on with your baby and how you can literally fix the problem. Please try this for you and your baby. Colic is in my opinion harder for the parents then it is for the baby. You can do this! E.

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Oh, Honey, I know this is difficult.

My son did this, too, 13 years ago. Check out the website one of the other moms gave you (colicsolve--something like that) and call a lactation specialist--your local Le Leche League leader, or a local Doula.

Check his position and his suction. If he's not latched on properly he'll suck in air which will hurt.

Also, allowing him to cry will cause him to swallow air so be sure you're prompting the breastfeeding and not waiting for him to demand it. This also means that once he's started crying, he's on the cycle.

Remember breastmilk metabolizes better and quicker that formula, because your milk is specific to him and not general to a population. So he needs to be nursing every 2-3 hours from start to start at first...don't put him on a formula eating schedule--they are different because baby has to work harder to break down formula.

What you put in your body, he's putting into him. Try lowering your dairy intake for a few days to see if there's any difference.

Remember, there are many positions to breastfeed in. You don't have to sit up to breastfeed. You may want to lay down when you nurse him at night...or just as often as possible.

IMPORTANT: If you're baby is this young, try to give up on having too many expectations and setting a schedule for him. TUNE into HIM. If he's one that needs to be worn, get something to wear him with--a WRAP, SLING, or POUCH, not a back pack type--and wear him throughout the day so you can get things done and your baby can feel secure.
GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK, TOO. Right now your job is to heal and bond with your baby. The dishes and vacuuming just have to wait. ANYONE can do those things, a neighbor, your mother, your husband, a teen in the area, but NO ONE can heal you, NO ONE can build your relationship with your baby, NO ONE can foster your intuition...that's all on YOU.

Now you MUST remember, that your milk is dependant upon your availability to nurse. It's all supply and demand.

You're baby will have growth spurts around two weeks of age--where he's going to be wanting to nurse 24-7 in order to build a bigger supply--DO NOT try to minimize your feedings, this is IMPORTANT!!! This doesn't last forever, only 2-3 days, unless you're trying to do everything the exact same way as a formula baby...they eat differently. This will also happen at 6 weeks, 12 weeks, 6 months, 9 months, and pretty much every 3 months...in order to signal to your body that baby needs more, and a different combination of nutrients and larger amounts of protein, and several different things. So the whole "supplementing" thing is really only going to work against you. Just submit to the demand feeding and let him guide you. (I'm thinking it's possible you're trying to do things the same way you have with the other children you bottle fed, which I could see would be frustrating)

Also, remember, babies breastfeed for MORE than hunger. They like the feel of your skin, the way you hold them (which is VERY IMPORTANT to development), the sound of your heart beat (which is why many prefer the left breast, and looking into your eyes.

You cannot prop your breast and leave a baby alone to do other things, so there's much more Mama involvement required--these things encourage a relationship with your baby and also kinda force you to sit your butt down so your body can rest and heal.

OH, and you might want to take him to a CHIROPRACTOR. Sometimes the doctor yanks and pulls so much on a baby's head at birth that they put the bones in the neck into a painful position causing a baby not to nurse well. Find a Chiropractic doctor who commonly works with infants and you MAY have your problem fixed in minutes!!

I hope that you find this helpful.

1 mom found this helpful

Even though it has been almost 10 years, I remember what this was like! My first daughter was sooo fussy and colicky and nursed constantly and didn't sleep for long stretches, and it was exhausting. First of all, please believe me that it will get better. Second, it has nothing to do with breastfeeding, and I''m sure that if you were formula feeding, your baby would probably be even more fussy! Your baby's temperament is simply different than that of your other babies.

As for books, the best book we found was by Dr. Sears called "Parenting the Fussy Baby and High Need Child." (I have since passed it on to my best friend for her fussy one.) The new edition is called "The Fussy Baby Book.' Also, I strongly advise you NOT to follow the "Babywise" method. I read it when it was given to us by well-meaning friends, but it just seemed wrong, and I know it would not have worked for my fussy, high-need baby (nor would I have tried it with any of my other babies).

I hope you will hang in there with breastfeeding. Most likely your little guy is not simply nursing for food but for comfort as well during this difficult time. If you need support, find your local La Leche League. They usually have a wealth of resources! I hope you will check in and let us know how things are going, at least after you get through the first 3-4 months (usually colic gets better after that).

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I second most (if not all) what Regina said.. try different hings, you never know what will do the trick (and lastly if it is true colic, it will pass in another couple montsh).

but don't give up on breastfeeding yet...if your baby has a sensitive stomach, breastmilk is best... (not dogging formula.. just saying, try changing your diet first)... plus growth spurts are just plain awful! but his constant demand for food is increasing your production, it should get better in a day or two).

also, if you are wondering how much he is getting, go get him weighed! most hospitals have a lactation consultation center (with nurses to help and scales to weigh your baby). (or call the la leche league, they'll help you find a place to go). you go when you know he'll want to eat. plus a fresh diaper on him, weigh him.. feed him and then weigh him again. you can do this daily if you need to.. it really helps ease your mind, when you know how much he's drinking. I think formul feeding gets your mind set on ounces and quantity too much, don't get hung up on the numbers... he's getting more from your breast than you know.

good luck!


My second baby was like this. I don't think this is due to breastfeeding (though I could be wrong). My first was breastfed and she was happy as a clam. I just had my third baby and he's also happy as a clam. As far as I know, formula may worsen the problems with gas. It's usually harder to digest than breastmilk, so chances are he's actually doing better with your milk than he would with formula.

Here is a link to a website by Dr. Sears.
I tried to copy the link directly to the "fussy babies" section, but if it didn't work, go to that link. The thing he points out is that we often chalk fussiness up to colic, but sometimes the fussiness is something else like reflux, food sensitivities, or some other problem. He also gives advice on multiple ways to soothe your baby. I found this site very helpful.

I'll share my own story with my fussy baby. Maybe it will help. My daughter didn't seem satisfied with feeding, she had LOTS of gas, she spit up constantly, she arched her back regularly, and when she wasn't sleeping she was usually crying. She also wasn't gaining adequate weight (she dropped to the 2nd percentile), but her height and head circumference were always in the 50th to 70th percentil. She would fall asleep totally exhausted from crying. Fortunately her exhaustion would help her sleep about 3 hours at a time. I talked to the pediatrician about it and until she was 4 mos old he kept telling me it was colic. Then he saw her arching her back and crying when I tried to nurse her after her vaccinations and he prescribed medication for gastroesophegeal reflux. For some babies it really helps and within a few months they can go off. Our daughter continued to spit up until she was 9 mos old. She still spit up sometimes after that. She still had lots of gas, and developed problems with diarrhea. The doctor kept saying that some babies with reflux take longer to heal than others, and some just have to take meds their whole life. My husband and I did't feel settled, but we're not doctors, so we figured he knew what he was talking about. We tried to trust our doctor, but we really should have trusted our instincts. We finally took our daugther to another doctor and discovered her food allergies. We didn't think we had food allergies in our family trees, but once she was diagnosed we heard tons of family stories about food problems and about people with diagnosed food allergies. She is doing great now.

Hope this is helpful. It's hard enough to get used to taking care of three (at least it is for me), but when the baby doesn't seem well I'm sure it's even harder.

I wish you the best,

Hello. You have had lots of great advice. Just wanted you to know that you are not alone! My second did the same thing. She has reflux and now with meds. she is 100% better! She is a very happy baby now! I would call your Dr.'s office Monday. The sooner the better for you and your baby! Good Luck and Happy Holidays!


I would strongly recommend you learning more about reflux. This sounds like silent reflux to me. Both of my twins had it and they were miserable for months. They were new babies when I got their issues figured out.

Also, intolerance to something in your diet could be making the reflux issue worse and thus you may benefit from trying a total elimination diet, though that could be extreme for now. When I was learning about this, I found the forum on www.infantreflux.org to be exceptionally helpful. Those moms seem to know everything. Lots of good information there about all sorts of things.

Ultimately, my babies went on the www.marci-kids.com recommended dose of Zegerid for their reflux and on Neocate for their MSPI (because I couldn't breastfeed). Good luck in your search for your answer to your baby boy's problems and helping him feel better. Please let us what you end up doing and how he does!

We had a smiliar situation when our twins were very young. Our pediatrician put them on Zantac and it really worked well. Both calmed down (our daughter was worse than our son, but he had it pretty good too). I would ask your pediatrician about it and see what they say, don't try going this alone, get some help!!
Good Luck....D.


It sounds like your little boy my be experiencing heart burn (silent gastric reflux). You can do some detective work by changing your diet. (kids with reflux either eat constantly or very little, they arch their back are very unhappy and do not sleep unless in an upright/reclined position). I have had 2 babies with this.

3 things.
1) eliminate caffiene, chocolate, garlic, citrus, tomato, high fat foods, from you diet (takes 2 weeks to see a real difference)....you may need to eliminate diary too.
2) Make an appt with your pediatrician to discuss possibility of silent reflux.

3) Gas drops can be your best friend!

Keep in mind that formula takes longer to digest and therefore can cause more reflux/heartburn.

Try to stay relaxed. let the baby sleep in his car seat or in a bouncer that keeps him reclined. If you suspect reflux you need to see a pediatric gastroenterologist.

Hang in there,

Sorry to hear about the challenges you are having. I'd be happy to put you in touch with someone who has helped other Mom's with colicky babies. In 18 months, I've seen about 100 amazing things with the all natural Nikken technologies. I can send you some testimonials specific to colic as well as sleep. The magnetic pet pad (also has far-infrared in the fabric) fits well into a crib.

Trust me, I was a total skeptic at first until it helped me with my insomnia and arthritis pain. I have really bad periods and need to heavily medicate the first few days, but now I don't take any drugs and just use a back flex magnet on my belly. That could also help too.

Pro sports people use these technologies to stay at the top of their game. Others use it for preventative health and wellness. Many have used it to get their lives back from chronic pain, fibromyalgia, fatigue and more. I use the technologies on my children and my pets (can't have a placebo effect and my dogs are 15 1/2 and 14 year old lab mixes). I can't do justice to what I've seen here, but email me with your email and I'll be happy to send you my amazing things list, info specific to babies and colic and sleep, and more. www.nikken.com/trost lets you see some of the products, but contact me and I'll tell you how to get them for the best price.

Take care,

Sounds like reflux to me. Get you lo in to a pediatric gi. they will give help you out a ton. my dd has been on prevacid and some other things since two weeks. they really do make a difference!

I can see you've gotten tons of suggestions, but here are my best ideas:
It sounds like you've got a high-need baby, who may be struggling with reflux. It also sounds like your baby is very, very lucky to have a sensitive, responsive mom who is doing everything she can to meet his needs in the best ways. Good for you! I know you're exhausted, so I'm all the more impressed with you!
Consider calling your local La Leche League Leader. I could not survive motherhood without them. You can see their Web page by following the "find local resources" link at www.llli.org. But here are the names and numbers of the LLL Leaders in Aurora (Southeast): Laura: ###-###-####; Heidi: ###-###-####; Melissa: ###-###-####; Ellen: ###-###-####; Jenny: ###-###-#### and in Central Aurora there's: Leah: ###-###-####; Carmen ###-###-####; and Cori: ###-###-####. All LLL services are free and all Leaders are experienced breastfeeding mothers who have been through a rigorous accreditation process. They are easy to talk to and friendly, and will be able to reassure you that you will somedy feel rested again (I promise!). LLL also has meetings where you can get mother-to-mother support and accurate information--the moms at LLL have helped me through lots of questions, and it's so nice to be validated! Also, most LLL groups have a lending library of books and DVDs that anyone can borrow for free. I noticed someone else recommended "The Happiest Baby on the Block" DVD--I think that's a great one and it's in many LLL group libraries! Maybe you could ask if it's available when you call a Leader for your breastfeeding question.
You may find a baby sling useful to keep your baby happy if he needs lots of contact and movement. Lots of moms at LLL meetings "wear" their babies in slings or other carriers--it's like having a third arm so you can help your other kids, too, and get things done around the house.
It's good to remember that swallowing is a reflex and breastfeeding is a confidence game. He will keep drinking milk as long as it's in his mouth, but that shouldn't convince you he wasn't getting enough at the breast. Sucking is also a reflex, and a soothing way to reconnect with you, so his wanting to nurse is not necessarily a sign that something is wrong.
If you are nursing your baby on cue and allowing him to "finish the first breast first" before switching sides, so he gets lots of the creamy, high-fat hindmilk, and he is having at least 5 to 6 really wet paper diapers per 24-hour cycle and at least 2 soiled diapers (with anything the size of a U.S. quarter or larger qualifying as a "stool") and he seems to be gaining weight, you can feel confident your supply is meeting his caloric needs and he is processing it well.
I wonder if he is getting lots of foremilk (the thin, high-water, high-protein milk that comes out first) and not as much of the high-fat hindmilk? Fussiness and greenish stools are signs of this, but it's easily fixed. Nursing on only one side per nursing session can help the baby get more hindmilk, which should keep him satisfied longer. Moms used to be told to switch sides every so often, but now we know it's more important to watch the baby, not the clock.
Your baby is still very young and you are very much in the "investment" period of breastfeeding, when it doesn't seem convenient at all. This will pass and you will soon be able to enjoy more of the many benefits of nursing.
Have you considered laying down to nurse so it isn't as exhausting? My first baby was very high-need and also had some intestinal trouble and it was my salvation to lay down and doze while he nursed.
My pediatrician told me he dicourages the use of Mylicon and other gas drops because a side effect is. . . gas.
I personally do not trust manufacturers of a commercially-produced product to tell me what's best or safest for my baby, either, so I relate to your concerns about artificial baby milk. Your milk is the superior food for your baby in every way.
Consider consulting with a breastfeeding-friendly pediatrician (your LLL Leaders might have suggestions) to rule out genuine health problems, and then seek help from LLL and/or a IBCLC-certified lactation consultant. Hang in there--it gets better, and even wonderful! I am sorry you're so tired and frustrated. You are really paying your dues now, but they will come back to you. Hang in there and keep us posted. I'll be thinking of you.

Sounds like what happened with my little guy. Turned out he was allergic to dairy, soy and corn. Once I eliminated all those from my diet, he turned around almost instantly. It was good that I continued to breastfeed because once we figured out what it was we just eliminated those from my diet

First-make sure you have some support! A couple of ladies mentioned La Leche League-give it a shot if you haven't already.

Get a list of as many trigger foods as you can that could be causing a reaction. With my fourth, we finally figured out that it was tomatoes that set him off! He went from always screaming to a much better baby. Most people find that dairy makes a big difference, and chocolate is another big trigger. Often when breastfed babies act this way, it is due to a sensitivity of something mom is eating.

Another thing that often causes gas and discomfort in babies is that they are getting too much foremilk and not enough hindmilk. Are you feeding baby off of both sides when he eats? If so, try feeding him off just ONE side at each feeding. So often women breastfeed by the clock and nurse off one side for 10 minutes then switch for 10 minutes, unfortunately that is not usually the best way to go. Let baby nurse off just one side at each feeding and let him suck for as long as he wants. The thicker fattier foremilk will be more settling to his tummy, so that may help. If he is not getting enough of that and is ending up with too much foremilk, that will make him gassy and uncomfortable! Make sure your milk supply is enough so that he really is getting enough to eat.

Also, like someone else mentioned, the gas drops may be making it worse!

Have you tried wearing him? Like in a sling or a wrap....that is also one thing that has helped a ton with my fussier babies. They are more content, sleep better and though still prone to be a bit more fussy (as some kids just are!), they dealt much better with everything when they spent plenty of time on me during the day-and wearing them allowed me to still get things done.

As one who is not a fan of medicating as a default, I would try many of these other suggestions before turning to that or even before trying a switch to formula. BUT make sure that you are consulting with your pediatrician to find out if there is an underlying problem that needs to be addressed, and if so, get it treated. If you are worried about GERD or something of the sort, it would be wise to check with a pediatric gastroenterologist and they will be able to do some thorough checks to find out exactly what the problem may be if he ends up diagnosed under the general blanket of "refulx", so that it can be treated more specifically and not just generally.

Kudos for keeping with it, and good luck! (and remember that it will get better!)

You have got some good advice already. My son was really bad and try burping more to get the gas out. watch what you eat and cut out all dairy! Take turn with your hubby cause you need to sleep!
C. B

Try getting him on a schedule. If his little tummy hurts, feeding him every hour probably doesn't help much. Really try to spread out his feedings to 2-3 hours if you can. I found that the book "On Becoming Babywise" was very helpful. Loves and Hang in there!

Go to your local library and check out the video "The Happiest Baby on the Block." You can buy it online, but you only need to watch it a time or two. It will teach you the five S's of getting your baby to sleep. Works like a charm.


I am so sorry you have had to go through this! My daughter had colic....she would just scream from about 5pm until about 8pm (my husband thought she hated him b/c it started when he got home :( ) If it is colic, it usually goes away at 12 weeks. I know this seems like an eternity when you're going thru it! My suggestion would be to 1) make sure you are not nursing him to sleep...they won't learn to self sooth and put themselves back to sleep when needed 2) I'd get a copy of the Happiest Baby on the Block (DVD...what new mom has time to read a book?) by Harvey Karp. Even if it is colic, you can get some peace. 3) Try to get him on some kind of schedule where he eats, stays awake and then you put him down (sleepy, but awake...look for the signs, a yawn, droopy eyes...). We did Babywise and it seemed like having the schedule helped alot. My daughter knew that she would eat, play, sleep and that was our routine. Another great resource is Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby.

They'll figure it out, but sometimes they just need a little help. For us, it seemed like my daughter could read a calendar...12 weeks to the day, she stopped screaming (but all the other techniques we continued and we had a baby that slept through the night at just under 3 months and continues to be a fantastic, happy girl at 5 years). Good luck, it is tough and you are tired, I know.

The symptoms you are describing sound exactly like my son when he was a newborn. It was exhausting for everyone in the household. I took him to his pediatrician and she said it was acid reflux. I thought this sounded so odd for a baby until I found a book called "Colic Solved" here is a link - http://colicsolved.com/
There is a little valve on the top of the stomach that hadn't matured enough to close on it's own so the stomach acid would leak into the throat and irritate it. One reason they want to nurse all the time is the warm fluid feels good on the sore throat. Then they get too full and force more acid up the throat. This causes them to arch their back in pain. After going through this and doing tons of research on it I total believe that colic and acid reflux are the same thing. My son was and still is breastfed at 11 months, this has nothing to do with breastfeeding if you were feeding formula you would probably still have the same issues. I did cut all dairy out of my diet for a few months and this made a differance as well. I would highly recommend a visit to the pediatrician.
The doctor put my son on Previcid and after about 2 days he was a totally different baby. I was very nervous about putting him on a prescription at only 1 month old but am so glad I did he was so much happier. The good news is most babies outgrow this at around four months old.

Hey J.,
it could be a list of things. The more stressed you are the more he will feel that. Swaddling tightly ....i mean relly tight. Remember how squished he was in you belly? This should help a lot. He may be alergic to dairy. Also when he is swaddled he feels like he is being held so you can put him down. Make sure you tuck his arms down so he can't get out and will feel secure.
Good luck and god bless

My first son had awful colic---every evening we read the baby care book about crying as we passed him for one of us to another. When I stopped drinking milk (when advised by my doctor) at 3 months, the worst of the colic stopped, so I would try that first. And I stopped ALL milk products, no cheese or ice cream. He was very sensitive to whatever I ate and cried when I had spicy food or onions. He did grow up to have a lot of allergies or reactions to foods.

He was born pre term (5 weeks early) and while I was in the hospital they brought in a breast pump so I could nurse for 10 minutes on each side and then give him a bottle of expressed milk with a premie nipple. They said not to feed him more often than every 3 hours. I think that my body needed the time to make more milk.

One other thing I did that helped for the late afternoon feeding when he would be crying is drink about 3 to 6 oz of beer. My pediatrician advised me to try this. He said that the beer would help my milk let down and the hops helps you produce more milk. I could feel the let down happen, and my baby would stop crying. I only did that one time a day.

Good luck!

Hi J.,

Have you tried changing YOUR diet? The baby could be reacting to something you eat...such as milk. There is milk in EVERYTHING! I didn't personally have this issue, but several friends of mine have had babies with milk sensitivities while breastfeeding and after completely eliminating milk from their diets, their babies improved greatly. Look online for help with eliminating milk from your diet. I bet you will have a much happier little guy after a few weeks. It takes a few weeks to get all the milk out of your system and you must be diligent and patient.

Best to you and I hope you figure it all out!


My baby was pretty gassy and my husband found these pro-biotic drops that we have been giving him. There are also tablets that you can take that will secrete in your breast milk that will also help him.


They are proven to reduce pain from gas by quite a bit and I have noticed an improvement with my son. Your pharmacist can order them for you and have them the next day. You give them 5 drops a day. I hope this helps you!

Have you talked to your doctor about this? Are you watching what YOU are eating? What you eat will also go through your milk. Onions, garlic and spicy foods will make an unhappy baby when nursing. Look for a La Leche group in your area. They are a great support when it comes to nursing. They helped me nurse all my babies with no bottles. Good luck, please remember you must take care of you so you can take care of the babies.

Colick ends around month 3 or 4 if that is what it is.

You know your baby. If he seems happier held upright and around his stomach, and cries tons, especially in the evenings, it is colick.

Don't be scared of formula. Just be scared of Chinese manufactured formula. That is what all the media hype is about.

If he is acting like he is starving, maybe you should switch totally to formula and see if he is more satisfied. Boy babies tend to eat more than girls.


It sounds like colic to me too. Colic isn't just being fussy; you can tell that your baby is in real pain or serious discomfort. There are a few things you can try that may help. One is to restrict your diet. My daughter was really colicky and the doctor took me off dairy, wheat, eggs, nuts, beans, chocolate, any hard to digest vegetables like broccoli, and soy. All of these foods are common allergens. I had to stay off of all of them for 1 week and then I could slowly introduce them back in one at a time. It turns out my daughter reacted poorly when I ate nuts or chocolate. She was still colicky when I didn't eat them, but the intensity increased when I ate nuts and chocolate. She finally outgrew the colic at about 3 months, but she would still scream if I ate chocolate or nuts until 4 months. One of the suspected causes of many colic cases is that the intestines are not fully formed yet so digesting food is very painful for the babies. I think this is what happened with my daughter. If this is the case with your son gas drops and formula would not help. As far as the eating goes, he is probably comfort eating. My daughter ate a ton when she was colicky and I think it was because she found it soothing; it was a coping mechanism.

Also, talk to your pediatrician. He will probably have some other things you can try. I noticed someone mention reflux and that is a definite possibility.

Hang in there, it will get better. It will be a rough couple of months, but it will get better. I have read that colicky babies deal with stress and pain better than the average person when they get older. I know that my daughter does and I always wonder if it's because she had to put up with so much pain as a small infant. She is a wonderful, happy, easy going girl now.

Have you talked to your Pediatrician about reflux ? Nursing or bottles help soothe reflux which is a reason they feed so often. I would just talk to your Pediatrician.

It very much could be your diet too, my daughter reacted to everything I ate, I mean everything! I couldn't take it at about three months and we went to Nutramigen formula because I was literally on bread and water. Nutramigen helped her tremendously like a 180 degree transformation!

Try supplementing with formula too if you want at night. You are still giving him breast milk still but he will have more feeling of full then do Mylicon drops after each feeding.
Hugs, you need some rest for sure! :) Good luck

First off congratulations on your new little boy.
I feel for you. We had a colicy baby and this sounds so familiar. The gas drops for us were hit and miss for us. I had started off nursing and due to the lack of sleep and the fact that she had a lazy sucking reflex I had to switch to formula, but I think dairy in my diet made things worse. If you do switch to formula do not feel bad, it is exhausting when you have a hard baby so if do talk to your pediatrician I am sure he/she can recommend a good safe brand. We used a lactose sensitive formula and that seemed to help her a lot even more than me avoiding dairy. I would also agree that perhaps your little boy may be having reflux. ( I took care of a little one that had medicine and it help her a lot) That could explain why he doesnt like to be laid down, so try keeping him in his car seat or baby seat. It also seemed to help with my little girls gassy tummy. As for the colic if he is, just remember it will go away even though it seems like an eternity. We found that a good swaddle helped and she loved motion, so she lived in her swing, in a carrier or in her car seat on the washer ( thats how I could fold laundry) . Remember there is no shame in letting him cry for a few minutes if you need to walk to the other side of the house. ( I even would have to step outside for a minute) It tears up us to hear our babies cry and not be able to sooth them, but a quick breath sometimes helps settle you and they feed off of our emotions too. Remember you are not alone and we are cheering for you. Good luck

Our baby #2 was that way. We watched the video "The Happiest Baby on the Block" by Dr. Harvey Karp. It was an instant cure. Turns out he probably could have benefitted from Xantac as well, but we got our much-needed sleep. Congratulations. I hope things improve soon.

I am guessing it is an allergy. Try eliminating allergens from your diet, dairy, wheat, soy, etc. Also try giving him homeopathic Chamomilla 30C in a clean mouth No food/drink 30 min. before or after. Hope this helps!

Hi J.,
This sounds just like my first little guy. We thought it was colic too, and it might have been (which can be related to gas) but I found that MY DIET especially DAIRY really effected him terribly. So I just took out as much dairy from my in-take as possible and that seemed to help. Also, our chiroprator showed us a way of helping our baby reduce the pressure of gas in his little tummy after he would eat. (My husband always had the best touch with this, so that helped me) Lay your baby on your lap looking up towards you/the ceiling legs towards your tummy. Grab his ankles/calves and rotate his legs and pelvis in a circular motion. This helps get the build-up of gas moving and they will fart and poop and feels so much better. Also after this, try massaging his abdomen just to the left or right of the naval and that also help relieve some pressure. It really sounds like he is getting plently of food from you, but is using your breast as a pacifier (the best one around :-) ) and might actually be getting to full of a belly, just making his gas even worse. The poor guy and you must just be exhausted! Good luck and let me know if you need any further info. about (what we like to call) the rig-a-ma-roll.

try belly rubing in circular movement or lay the baby tummy on your lap and do the circulal movements. Baby heating pad for wormth on the belly also a mint like candie cain when your loving arms a holding your baby that little fold is releving persuer off his belly when you lay the baby down the body is relaxs and the air is back and it hurts.hope this helps God bliss you and your baby

Here's a couple of things I thought about. I feel so bad for you, you must be completely worn out.

There is a possibility that your baby may be suffering from reflux. My babies both did and acted similarly to yours. Once we got them on some reflux medications it made all the difference. Talk to your pediatrician. Some doctors are more willing to treat than others. If yours won't let you try something and you feel like it's worth trying, find another doctor who will. Let the doctor know how desperate you are. I'm not huge on medicating babies, but I don't think it hurts to try and if it doesn't work you can always stop the medication. My son took Zantac then two years later my daughter took Prevacid. The prevacid was more expensive, but a lot nicer because it was only once per day.

Another thought I have is that you could be eating things that are bothering your baby. I learned through experimentation that my babies did not respond well to my breastmilk when I consumed dairy products. It was rough trying to eliminate them, but after about 4-5 months I was able to add them back in. It takes a while for the dairy to get out of your system. I elminiated all of the possibly trigger foods at once (dairy, chocolate, citrus, broccoli) and then added them back in one at a time to see which ones seemed to bother the baby. It was so clear when I tried dairy that it made the babies so gassy and miserable. Make sure you get enough calcium though if you eliminate dairy.

The other thing I thought about is that by breastfeeding your baby so frequently he may not be getting completely satisfied. The breastmilk contains foremilk and hindmilk. The foremilk doesn't contain the high fat content of hindmilk. If he's nursing frequently but not completely emptying you, he may be missing that really important (and filling) fatty hindmilk. Do you feel completely empty when you're done nursing? If not try feeding him on just one side at a time.

Good luck to you! Hang in there and make sure you talk to your doctor about your concerns!

I had a similiar experience with my 3rd breastfed baby, and it turned out that the dairy i was eating was causing her discomfort. I eliminated dairy alltogether for a few weeks, and she got astonishingly better. THen i added a piece of cheese or something simililar to my diet here and there at 4 months and no problems! SOme babies just can't digest the cow's milk proteins. Pretty much was a milk allergy. I am still breastfeeding and can dairy again, so luckily it was short lived. I am still suppelementing with the A.R nutrimigen lipel formula from enfamil that has the milk proteins broken up better for her digest. best wishes!

Hi J.
This sounds very familiar to me. After talking with our pediatrician we figured out it was Acid Reflux. A little medicine twice a day did wonders for our little one. Just something you might want to talk to your pediatrician about. Hope this helps :-)

My sister-in-law had the same problem with her third little boy, she eventually found out it was because she was eating and drinking dairy and it was upsetting his tummy. So that is something you could look into.

J., it sounds more like to me that he is still feeling hungry than colic. They do have organic formula that is supposed to have different standards in preparations and you can get them at any health food store or they even have them at wal mart. Good luck

WOW!! J.! These symptoms ALL remind me of my little girl! (She is 6 mos now). The arching back, crying during and after feeds, breastfeeding every hour trying to console, no sleep for you, major frustrations, etc etc of what you just described! My mom is a RN V, so she knows what she is talking about. She told me to immediately go to the doc because it sounds just like reflux! I called, made an appointment the next day, and that was what she was diagnosed with! The doc prescribed her some Zantac (generic form, with insurance: $5/month) in liquid form. Just gave her the drops in her mouth in the AM and PM. It was like I had a new baby! It wasn't my milk, it wasn't formula, it was reflux..the milk gets caught in their throat and it hurts, that is why they cry and arch their back after and during feeds. some babies projectile spitup, but my little girl didn't. so there are different I guess you would say degrees or levels of reflux. This reflux is very common. We used to just say the baby was colicky, but now they are figuring out it is signs of reflux.
While talking with some friends at church, many have had this problem. they tried different formulas. some say they liked soy (isomil or prosobee) others said they liked Enfamil A.R. (if baby is spitting up a lot). But get in to a doc, get a RX if this is the case, and you will see a difference that first day!! AND continue to breast feed as long as you can for those immunities. My little girl is now 6 mos, and we got through this, and are still breastfeeding AM, noon and PM, and supplementing with Enfamil Lipil. I think that is the reason we were the only 2 who didn't get the stomach flu at Thanksgiving (throwing up and diarreah). My poor 4 yr old got it too...terrible stuff.
Anywho, FYI....Zantac was the miracle drug for us for the 1st month, then she went back to what she was doing before. If this happens, work with your doc and see if they will prescribe I think it is called Prevacid. Always make sure you get things in liquid form, don't try and mess with cutting tablets in half stuff, way too stressful with a crying baby. You might have to see a GI doc (gastro intestinal)
GOOD LUCK!!!! This is soooooo stressful, I KNOW! But if it is reflux, it is curable and they will get better once they are sitting up more. Also, try and keep him upright after feeds, and get one of those foamy things at Babies R Us to lay him down for sleep in. This keeps him more upright...like a 30-45 degree angle...that helps a lot tooo.
PLEASE let me know if this works!!! You are not alone!

PS We went to Disneyland when she was 2 mos. I was breastfeeding her, 1st full day at the park, just went on 1 ride (Pirates), she was crying really hard, but I felt her with lots of gas, so I went down to change her in Bear Country, thinking she had a poo, and I go to take her out of the sling...she was not breathing and blood was coming out of her mouth! I screamed call 911, we went to the ER, had to stay 24 hours, and she was fine. But I think this was the precursor to this reflux...she probably got milk in her throat and couldn't breathe...even the GI specialist couldn't figure out what happened. She said she cried so hard she broke a blood vessel. But about 3-4 weeks later, she was diagnosed with reflux, and I wonder if it was all related....so go see your doc NOW!!! Good luck!!!

The fussiness may not have anything to do with getting enough to eat, but if you are concerned about your milk supply not being enough you can drink lots of water, eat well, and take the herbal supplements fenugreek and blessed thissle.

But what you are describing does not sound like a baby who is not getting enough milk to me, he may be sensitive to food that you are eating that gets passed to him in your breastmilk. Try eliminating all milk products for a week and watch for any changes, then re-introduce milk into your diet to see if it made any difference. YOu can do this test with other foods to figure out if one of them is causing problems. Whatever you eat a lot of may be the culprit, so you can start with your favorite foods, just do it one by one so you can figure out what the problem food is. Keep in mind that if he is sensitive to foods then breastfeeding him is really important, formula would cause problems for him as well since babies that are sensitive to dairy can't tolerate cow's milk based formula and are very often allergic to soy as well. Your milk is SO much better for him.

Tell you baby's doctor about your concerns and have him look into acid reflux, babies wiht acid reflux always want to be held upright and hate to be put down because this allows more acid to flow up the wrong way. Just think how miserable you would be if you had heartburn every time you laid down!

It may also be helpful to take your baby to a chiropractor who is experienced with babies. Many babies are out of alignment from a traumatic birth, if he was breech or if foceps or suction was used during his birth, or if your pushing stage of labor was really long and difficult, he could be hurting from that still. I work for a chiropractor who has adjusted babies and had the parents call and thank him because their baby is finally not crying all the time!

I hope that this helps, I know how hard it is to have a fussy baby, my second baby was like that. I just HAD to be holding her and walking with her all the time to keep her happy, even though she was perfectly healthy she just needed lots of movements and lots of attention from mommy! I used a sling and it really saved my sanity, she could just sleep in the sling while I did other things and I still had my hands free. When she learned to walk at 10 months old I realized taht she just wanted to go, go, go all the time and that is why she was so unhappy just laying or sitting on the floor (she never really crawled well) and so of course she would want me to walk with her until she could walk on her own!

I feel for you. My collicy daughter really benefited from infant massage. There are certain massage techniques that settled her tummy and made her a much happier baby. Consult a licensed massage therapist, they can show you how to help your baby's hurting tummy. I loved the techniques, it really worked for me and my other two children as well. Good luck.

My mom found with colic babies if she ate yogurt before nursing it would help make sure yogurt is active cultures.

I say continue as you are you can try to change your diet if you think that is the problem. However I would suggest talking to your pediatrician. The main thing is that if you are going to try formula because baby is having issues then you want to make sure that it is monitered and that things check out. He could simply be allergic to things could have reflux. Both will require some help from the doctor to figure out the issue. The other thing is that if you are exhausted and not getting any rest worn out from constant feeding that is depleating your own resources then also check with your doctor. Lastly if you feel that you just can't do it, remember the best thing for your baby is a mom that is rested and available. If you are to the point that you can't do that breastfeeding then you may need to swich to formula o start supplimenting. I have known many mothers that use formula that have very healthy kids. Don't beat yourself up if you are feeling overwhelmed. Some babies are harder than others when it comes to feeding as well as respond differently than others to what they are fed. It is apparent that you love your child. Trust your gut and talk to your doctor about how to find out the issue. Good luck. My heart goes out to you.

I'd continue to use gas medicine...I found some are better than others. I started out with gripe water but moved to an off brand of Gas X which worked really well. You can give it to them after each time they feed.
Also, I'm with you that breastfeed is hard in the begining. I felt like it is all I ever did...but I worked full time (brining my baby to work with me most of the time) until he was 4 1/2 months. He is now almost 10 months and I never had to use formula and he is still breastfeeding. It gets SO much easier...don't give up. Also, if your baby does have colic...breastmilk is usually easier on their tummies. I had times where he was SO hungry and I just didn't feel like I had enough milk. After trying and trying to feed him, I'd give in and give him a couple ounces I stored in the freezer. Then I'd pump and put him to the breast again. If you use a bottle, you should pump. The breast can get more full than the baby likes and they might not keep a latch, or if there isn't as much milk as they want...you need to pump even just to stimulate so you will produce more milk. Good luck!
I just wanted to add one more thing. When my boy was little and was fussy we would go in the tub together. The water running would calm him as I got the tub ready. Then in he would come and I'd help him float. He enjoyed this. It also got his legs moving which helped the gas move out. Remember this is the environment babies are use to. Then after I am him had relaxed a bit I'd breastfeed him. The warmth of the bath would help with my milk and the calmness of it all would help my son. When he was really small I'd latch him where he wwas kind of sitting (proped on me) so he was in the water and so was I(imagine him feeding on the right breast and sitting off to the right of me with his tummy against my right side). Bath feeding has really been a saving grace. If he'd fall asleep I'd sometimes just pull him on my chest and put a blanket on him and lay there and enjoy it.

I applaude you for continueing with your breastfeeding there really are so many benefits its astounding... but when it's difficult it's hard to hand in there so GOOD JOB!!
First remember that breastmilk is completly digested within 2 hours so he should be hungry more often than on formula which is not digested well and keeps him full longer than it should.
two, I would definitly look into la leche league or look for a lactaction consultant.. if you can't find one call a local midwife or your local pregnancy center and ask if they know of anyone.
three, I've seen the gas drops constipate babies if used much so that could be a problem as well
four, you might try baby massage on his little tummy. My little man loved it when he was tiny and still does. You can find info online about it, it's really no big deal and it's a great bonding time. Another trick is using one of these two products:
Gripe Water you can usually find it at health food stores and here is a link to it online so you know what it is:
or teething tablets by Hylands or Humphry's (I love these, and you can use them no matter how young the baby. You never know if they might be teething!)
http://www.hylands.com/products/teething.php (If you look hard you can always find these at walmart)
http://www.amazon.com/Humphreys-Teething-Tablets-135-pell... (these are almost identical to hylands but they are sometimes hard to find.
HTH and good luck,

Hi J.:

My son didn't have colic or classic reflux; however, he had "silent reflux" where the acid goes up the nasal passage and back down the throat -- causing him to choke and wheeze and gasp. Because of hormonal changes, it only occured at night. (Fortunately, I had a pediatrician who was familiar with silent reflux, and didn't think I was an overanxious new mom when I brought my robustly healthy baby in to the doctor in the middle of the afternoon!)

We tried several antacids -- none of which put even a small dent in his reflux. He was, like many babies, also very gassy.
The two things that really made a difference for us were his sleep positioning and nursing pattern.

I slept holding him upright or on his left side, so that his esophagus was higher than his stomach (I'm not that much of a martyr -- I had LOTS of pillows ;-) Eventually, I found a sleep positioner that helped keep him on his left side (I know there are some safety concerns around sleep positioners -- but he had good head control at that point.)

The other thing that made a big difference was my nursing pattern. At one point, I was switching breasts too frequently, which caused me to over-produce milk. When an infant nurses, they drink foremilk first, and then hindmilk, which comes out later in the feeding. The foremilk has less calories and is higher in lactose than the hindmilk. So, a baby drinking mostly foremilk is getting less calories per ounce and and more lactose, which all newborns are intolerant to in varying degrees.

Because breasts produce milk based on frequency of nursing, not "total output", the solution is nurse until you are completely empty on one side before switching to the other side. Within a few days of using this pattern, my production had lowered to keep pace with my son's intake. My son was drinking up lots of creamy hindmilk, and was much less gassy and going longer between feedings.

I got info on it from the Dr. Sears breastfeeding book and helpful friends, but I think most breastfeeding books have a section this topic.

This advice may not help with a truly colicky baby, but time will almost always help. At 5 1/2 months my son just outgrew the reflux, and we've both slept well since. And I have an 18-year-old nephew who was the colicky "baby from hell". He grew into a wonderful, chubby toddler, and his parents survived (after logging lots of highway miles ;-)

Good luck!

I would talk to your doc. about acid reflux. I was reading that most kids with colic actually have acid reflux. Both of my kids had acid reflux my doc told me to get liquid gaviscon which is an antacid 10-20 mins before I feed them. It helped so much with the spit up too. I tried gas drops too but they don't work on acid reflux. The doc can prescribe med's too. As my kids got older it got a lot better as they esophogaus matured.

My little one was the same way. It was a combo of hyperactive let down and reflux. they want to nurse all the time because it soothes their throat and it is comforting. But then they get over full, and it upsets the reflux...what a wonderful cycle! Go to the doctor and tell them what is going on. It is nothing you are doing!!! I felt horrible because I couldn't soothe my baby, and was so grateful when I finally knew what was going on... If they try to give you previcid, ask if you can have Pepcid instead...the previcid tastes horrible and you have to give it to them an hour before they eat...plus it's in pill form and you have to dissolve it in water...it's a pain. She is a completely different baby on Pepcid, and it has been wonderful. Good luck! You are doing great!!!

It's a lot like my newborn. We found that she is allergic to milk protein or gluten, not sure which, that are both found in breast milk (the milk protein in large quantities.) We switched to a hyperalergenic formula and the arching, crying, freaking out is nearly all gone. So is the constant eating. Apparently, they eat so much to try to soothe their tummies, which just makes it worse. Sad to give up BF but baby is happier. Guess BF isn't ALWAYS better.
Our pediatritian is more alternative than most with an emphasis on nuitrition. Dr. Roy Steinbock in Boulder.
Best of luck.

You've gotten a lot of good responses. There was one about probiotics which is what I was going to suggest. You can find them at health food stores. I agree you should stay with breastfeeding if at all possible since whatever it is doesn't sound like a breastfeeding problem and would likely get worse on formula. I would also agree with Happiest Baby and checking with your doc on reflux.


Babies with reflux and/or colic sometimes eat more often than they need to, because they're using the breastmilk to soothe their sore tummies. Then the extra milk makes their tummy hurt more, so they nurse more. And on & on.

I have 9-month-old who has milk-soy protein intolerance (MSPI) and he nursed like crazy in the beginning and was gaining almost 2 ounces A DAY(!) because of eating so much. Once I pulled dairy from my diet, things calmed down (he stopped arching & crying at night) within a couple of days.

The things I'd consider are:
food allergies/intolerance
overactive letdown (I mention that one 'cause you talked about him throwing his hands all around)

Here are a few web sites to check out:

I would try to figure out the problem before you switch to formula. Usually if a baby is sensitive to your milk, it's only going to be worse with formula. And the hypoallergenic ones (if it ends up being an allergy) are insanely expensive.

Congrats on the new little one! Hang in there and best of luck! I hope you find a solution soon!

From one J. to another...wink.

My daughter was a lot like your son sounds. I ended up doing 3 things -

She started crying at 2 weeks. Several people told me that it was too early to be colic, but I think anything that involves CONSTANT crying is put under this heading.

The first thing I did was eliminate milk out of my diet. COMPLETELY. I read labels on every kind of food I put in my mouth. Milk can take 2 weeks to get out of your system, unlike other foods which are around 24 hours. It is one of the biggest "allergies" for infants. This seemed to work for us. It was super hard, but worth the sacrifice for me (plus I lost 70 pounds!).

I also started taking her to a pediatric chiropractor. I swear by Dr. Beth Lancaster (in Pueblo) and think she is the best thing since sliced bread. She contends that babies twist and turn all sorts of wrong ways when coming down the shoot and need some help straightening out. I would recommend her (or any pediatric chiropractor) for any newborn and any child having health issues. It's not a scary thing - not like an adult going in and getting twisted and contorted. The chiropractor will hold the baby and gently push in different places. Dr. Beth used to put my son to sleep during adjustments.

There is also a way to hold a colicky baby to help calm them. The vacuum cleaner makes a noise that can be calming, but here's the hold. Let's see if I can explain it... Hold him on your left side in the cradle position while standing. Rock back and forth like a guitarist in a rock band (fairly roughly, but not roughly enough he is going to be injured). Say SHHHHHH SHHHHHH SHHHHHHH into his ear while rocking.

Someone in my La Leche group told me that one, and it was when the colic was subsiding, so I don't know how effective it would have been during the height of our misery.

Check out kellymom.com and askdrsears.com. Get a sling (if ya don't have one) and "wear" your baby during the day.

Sorry this is so long. I just remember what it was like and feel so bad for you to go through it. Colic usually subsides around 12 pounds or 3 months. It's a long time, but it will stop! Good luck. I'll be thinking about you!

Are you swaddling him tightly???? that helps with the crazy arms and gas. Have you looked at what YOU are eating. You already have 2 others. So, you know what foods are the gassiest.
IF I were you...I would nurse him for 20 minutes on each side then offer him one ounce of formula for every other feeding for a few days...a few days so that you can rest up enough to increase your supply. I had similar problems with 2 of my older kids. Yes, breast milk and breast feeding is the best BUT formula takes a bit longer to digest and may just get you and the baby through this so that you can settle into a more relaxed nursing pattern.
good luck!
oooohh...Also, try a super hypo allergenic formula like Pregestimil or Prosobee by enfamil.

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