Baby Cries Constatnly

Updated on December 20, 2006
M.S. asks from Trenton, NJ
43 answers

Need suggestions for a 2.5 week old who cries OCNSTATNLY on an emergency level for EVERYTHING. The only time he is quiet is after I feed him and when he is sleeping. I BF religiously every 2-3 hours around the clock, I change him and make sure he is comfy but his screaming is taking a toll on me. I do let him scream in order to take care of business at times but he acts like he is dying. I swaddle him, he has a swing, crib, vibrating cradle and a host of other things to interest him but he just loves to scream at the top of his lungs. The pediatrician said that he is just a sensitive child. HELP!!! All suggestions are welcome.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thanks for all of the suggestions and help. I appreciate it. He is getting enough food because I can produce almost 4oz at each feeding. The white noise works sometimes and I have been toning down the stimulation for him with low lit rooms and such. I am going to have him tested for food allergies. BTW my diet is very bland and mellow with little to no dairy. The doctor described him as a sensitive child. - thanks

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.P.

answers from Lewiston on

Ahhhhhh yes. My daughter (youngest of three) had colic. She cried from when she was born until she was three months old and found her thumb. I was soooo happy to have a little girl, and soooooo ready to send her back where she came from.

I used to lie in bed, totally exhausted, with my arm under my pillow and my little fingertip in her mouth... she used to suck and cry and suck and cry.

So while thumb sucking isn't a great thing... compared to a crying, screaming, collicky baby... wahooooo!

this daughter, is now 22 years old, rarely cries, and steps away from her masters degree in business management.... and let me tell you, I was the one doing the crying as I paid those college bills (hahahaha)

hang in there honey, it gets better!
D.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.C.

answers from Boston on

Try a hair dryer, vacuum cleaner, oven fan. You can buy cds online of these sounds. For some reason, they soothe the baby. My friend swears by it.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.L.

answers from New York on

Some babies like to be worn in a sling...you can try wearing him to soothe. If he is uncomfortable due to gas, you can try Grippe water to relieve gas pains. Good luck...it sounds like a very challenging situation. You can also pay a sitter to give you a break!!! Take care,

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.N.

answers from Boston on

Hi M.,
congrats on your newborn. babies cry that is their nature but its very exhausting for us to try and figure out what they are trying to tell us since they can't speak for thenselves. he could be a colicky baby and there are some remedies that might help if you look up colic on google. my son is 3 months old and was the fussiest baby from the get go until i elimated milk and dairy products from my diet while i was bf and amde all the difference in the world. he had a sensitive stomach to my milk so now he is on soy formula. try elimating dairy for a week and see if it makes a difference. you should be able to tell if that is the problem within a few days. i am sorry i couldn't offer more advice but he eventually will outgrow this phase. just love him and hold him as much as possible becuase you never get this time back and it goes by so fast. good luck with him. if you need someone to talk to my e-mail [email protected]____.com good luck and take a deep breath "this to shall pass"

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.L.

answers from Portland on

First I would like to say that the suggestion about formula is the worst thing that you could tell a women who is tired with a crying baby. For us moms who continued with breastfeeding we remember how hard it was in the first few months and someone suggesting that formula might make things better is not what we needed when we were trying to establish breastfeeding. VERY few women can not produce enough milk for their babies.If M. was in this small percentage her baby wouldnt be gaining weight and the doctor who told her that her baby just had a fussy personality would have talked to her about ways to increase milk supply. Formula does make babies sleep longer sometime but its only because its hard to digest. M. congrats to you for breastfeeding I know its really hard right now but it will get much easier. Contact LLL if you need help. Formula feeding your child will not make them stop crying and it might make things worse. You might think of cutting gassy foods and dairy from your diet. Things should calm down around 6 weeks or so. These first few weeks can be really hard. Id suggest keeping stimulation LOW. A lot of babies get overstimulated and then cry lots. You could also try GRIPWATER you can get it at any natural health food store, its contains herbs to help with digestion. Everytime that your baby starts to cry I would lay them on there back and hold there feet as if they were getting there diaper changed and push there knees up towards stomache. Rotate the knees in a cirle. This will help work gas out. Remember that babies pick up on energy so keep your calm. I know this is hard when you have been listening to screaming all day but remember it wont last forever. Have you tried a sling? Sometimes babies like to be worn all day and that calms them. If you are in the Portland area U can borrow my MAYA WRAP because my son is bigger and likes a different carrier now. Make sure that you are putting your baby down for lots of naps, dont let him/her get overtired. She prolly needs to nap every 1 or 2 hrs. Good luck email me if you want to borrow my sling.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.

answers from New York on

My baby cried constantly also. Even when held. I tried the Gripe Water. It worked beautifully. I breastfed also. The Gripe Water seemed to calm the stomach and he would also sleep some after that. It's all natural. Good Luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.G.

answers from Boston on

First you want to be certain that there isn't a problem. I would try giving him Milicon drops. these are over the counter gas drops that you can safely give to infants. He may have some gas that you are unaware of. Another possibility is that he gets hungrier than you think. You may want to try supplementing with formula a little. Not sure about your feelings on that. But if he's quiet right after a feeding and then screams a lot after that, he may just not be getting enough food. If you are sure it's not gas and not hunger, then I would just hold him as much as you can and talk to him in a soothing voice when you can't hold him. Let him know you're there for him even though you aren't holding him. He's still too young for the "crying it out" method, but if this persists I would recommend that once he's a few months old. Hope this helps!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.S.

answers from Bangor on

Not to go against anything your son's PDr. says but when my second son was born he was very "sensitive". It turned out he had a very good reason to scream, he not only had a comunicating hydroseal but a hernia as well. This was not "discovered" by the Dr. until he was 15 mos old and was refusing to walk even one step. As soon as this was surgically repaired, (and I mean within an hour or two of the surgery), he not only walked, he was RUNNING! Be vigilent, don't just take "he's sensitive" ask for a second opinion. In the long run it may save your ears, sanity and alot of guilt later on as well as make him alot happier sooner. Good luck.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.T.

answers from Boston on

I can't help but wonder if he is alittle colic. My sixth baby threw me through a loop. I had no idea what it was and what caused it. She just screamed at a certain hour every night for about three sometimes four hours straight. Nothing would make her quiet down. The doctor said that it usually starts at about one to two weeks and continues to about six weeks. Ask yourself these questions, does he start at about the same hour everyday/night and continue for a certain number of hours? If this is the case, then relax. It will be trying but it will also end. I carried my daughter the whole time, that late at night there really wasn't too much else to do. Good luck.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.S.

answers from Bangor on

Congratulations on your baby! Remember, it's not just you and your baby. I only have 1 baby but it was really tough in the beginning and it gets easier. One thing that I read about in "The Baby Whisperer" and found to be true for my daughter was about being overstimulated. Someone mentioned above white noise working and that is why. Things like the TV, people talking and other noise, bright lights etc can really get them overstimulated. I would close the shade, put a dark blanket over the window in her room (I don't have curtains), swaddle her and just hold her while sitting still. That would sometimes be the only way I could get her to settle down. She hated her swing and bouncy seat too. She loved to be carried in a snuggly and sling all the time too. Whatever works. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.A.

answers from New York on

HI,
I BF my daughter also and it seemed she was a fussy one too. and I figured out that it was because she was hungry ALL THE [email protected]!!! I tried the 2-3 hr thing but sometimes she just wanted to nurse every damn half hour. I think she also had gas and wasn't really happy unless I was rocking her or feeding her. try one of the bouncy seats with the vibration. I had on that had lights that lite up when they kick their feet , or for reall young it just does a little song and dance for them to watch. The seat vibrating and BF when ever she cried works. Hope it helps, but sometimes it is just their temperment... my lil one was very demanding, but after 3-4 weeks she calmed down.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

W.D.

answers from Boston on

Hang in there.. it's so hard being a new mom.. your baby could be colicky.. try running a vaccuum cleaner and see if that quiets him down.. or use some "white noise".. static on the radio, a sound machine, any kind of hum from maybe an air purifyer.. run the dryer, stuff like that.. if that works, then you have a colicky child.. they do eventually grow out of it, but it's hard. Or you could try feeding him sooner than 2 hrs, maybe he's not getting enough from you yet.. or even supplimenting with formula if you aren't producing enough.. I had to do that. I did change over to formula after a couple weeks because my son just didn't get enough from me. Try those things and see if they work... it may give you back your sanity.. good luck

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.C.

answers from Springfield on

does your little one...spit up? my son did and it turned out he had acid reflux triggered by my diet now i just watch what i eat he still spits up but it doesnt hurt. also my son liked to eat much more often then every two to three hours...for the first month and or more it was more like every one to two, and really he just wanted to suck so we gave him a pacifier. are you sure your milk production is up enough for his appetite? lots of questions perhaps visiting a lactaion consultant may help with a lot of them.....look for a local breastfeeding support group in your area! mine saved me!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.

answers from Boston on

Sometimes babies are reacting to something in your milk. The most commom one is cows milk. Cow milk protein is very hard for them to digest. I just elimated milk and saw a big improvement. I have known other mothers that had to eliminate all diary. Your pedetrician might not be the best match for you if that is all the advice you are getting. Might want to try another peditrician. Good luck. It gets better - after 3 months or so.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.D.

answers from New York on

I breastfed my 4th baby (2 yrs ago) and from about that age to about 4-5 months, she was the same way, none of my other kids were like that... finally took her to the ER cause I thought she had the croup, she was crying so much, I had her in the bathroom with the steam on for the shower thinking she couldn't get enough AIR the way she was wailing and flipping out. I seriously thought she had a breathing problem or something! But she had COLIC, and your baby may very well have it, too. Don't despair, though it's TRYING to say the least, there will be a time when it goes away as mysteriously as it began. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.M.

answers from Boston on

Congratulations to you on your newborn.!!!! This is suppose to be a great time however some of us get little sleep and feel that we are not doing a good job. I tried breast feeding one of my boys and found out I just simply wasn't producing enough milk to satisfy him. After only 2 weeks, I decided to try formula and he was an angel baby from there on. Formula sometimes can help ( it fills their belly up). If you were breast feeding not only to feel closer to your baby but perhpas finacially you are unable to buy it. There are programa available such as WIC program to mothers to get formula and other things. Or ask your pediatrician for some samples, drug stores have coupons also. But sometimes you just have a baby thats cry. It sounds terrible I know. But if your mother instinct tells you something is worng and you can just feel it, call your pediatrician , dont worry about bothering him/her you are not the first mother to have these questions and a good pediatrician will welcome your questions and answere then. Bravo to you for having all the gadgets to soothe him. Soemtimes baby dont like movement so if you put him in the swing and he cries but he doest with the vibrating cradle then you know he perfers that. He is new to this world. You didnt have these gadgets in you while you carried him so they are different movements to him. Perhaps some classical music or dimming the lights for a while might help also. As far as your sleep, the best advice I EVER got was "sleep when baby sleeps". If you are not home alone ( a spouse or boyfriend ) with you, ask that they help out while you lay down. Maybe you can pump before you lie down, Gently put a pillow over your ear. You are not being mean you are just blocking out the cry so you can sleep and know that the other person will be there to get the baby. Dont worry about house work. When people come to visit they are going to see you and the baby not how much laundry you have or if the dishes are done. If you have family ask that they perhaps can come over to help you out. YOu can do this. It's natural and just by reaching out shows you have a sensible mind to want to learn. Best of luck.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.L.

answers from Rochester on

The best thing I did while breastfeeding my girl (for 15 months)was to drink camomille tea. That would help calm her down.

Maybe your baby needs to be close to you as much as possible. Have you tried a sling?

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.W.

answers from New York on

M.,

Your baby sounds like he has colic. All 5 of mine had it and I do sympathize with you. It could be something that you are eating that is not agreeing with him too, try a very bland diet and stay away from gassy foods, that is wicked on their stomachs.
I found that if I used one of those front baby carriers where the baby is snuggled up against your chest and can hear your heartbeat that helped a lot. Another thing is try taking long walks 2 - 3 times a day with him in the carrier, the fresh crisp air does him and you good. Lastly if you are lucky enough to have family who can step in for a few hours to let you have some time to yourself for sleep then grab them. I did not have that luxury, but my husband was great about helping.
One other thing, I would talk to another pediatrician for a second opinion, sometimes they see a new mom and don't take them seriously. This happened to me with my 3rd child, then after a few months my pediatrician saw for herself what was happening and I being me threw it in her face. In this case he was not only colicy he would projectile vomit every single time he ate. She tried to tell me I didn't know how to feed him, she did it and he vomited all over her and the exam room. I laughed in her face, but that is me. All I'm saying is the pediatrician does not live with you and they don't realize all the time. My pediatrician put my son on special drops to help with the colic and we had to put him on special formula as well. With my last 2 I had to breast and bottle feed in between because they nursed constantly all night or they would scream for 18 hours a day. I hope I am of some help. Hang in there, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it does improve. LOL Now my older son screams for the car. LOL
Hugs,
T.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.S.

answers from Boston on

Congratulations on your Newborn, my son did not have colic but when he does scream uncontrollably, it is usually caused by gas. I formula feed but I have heard that breastfeeding can also make babies very gassy. I give my son Mylicon with every feeding and that seems to help, but in the beginning before I figured out that it was gas pains, he did scream a lot. My sister did have a baby with colic and she tried everything, I believe the colic just stopped after about eight weeks, but she said they were the longest eight weeks of her life, Good Luck and I hope my suggestion helps.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.G.

answers from Boston on

Hi M. my name is S. my daughter is 13 months now but believe me my daughter was the same way she was colic and it was very tough first what formula is the baby one? my duaghter could not have any milk based formula she would eat ecery hour and a half to two hours. her doctor changed it to soy but then that constipated her so she was in more pain. so on my own i tried the nutramgien made by enfamil was was on that from 2 1/2 month till 11 months. and she was wonderful it was the best thing i did and if u get WIC they pay for it with a letter from the doctor. the only thing with that formula is it is about 25.00 a can i would try one can for a few days see how he does and if it works then get but believe me it does get better good luck any more questions about this feel free to email me [email protected]____.com

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.P.

answers from New York on

Hi M.! Sorry you're having a hard time. My youngest is now 10 months, but reading that brings back the stress of the first weeks. It is hard. I don't have anything new to say, I just was reading over what was here and wanted to reiterate...if you're drinking a lot of dairy, try cutting that out. I remembered that there was a time my son was crying a lot and that was it!! Hopefully things will calm down adn you'll have some sleep soon. Hang in there. It does get easier!!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.H.

answers from New York on

M.,
I feel for you and know first hand about being sleep
deprived. My son ,who is now 5, only slept 1hr. at a time
day or night. He screamed constantly and would not stop for anyone or anything. We had him back and forth to the Dr. every
few weeks. I even began video taping his crying to show the Dr. we were not spoling him or he wasn't sensitive. It was really awfull to deal with, but we had to wait until he was 18mths. old before we got an answer. To make a long story short, he stopped eating he would not eat ANYTHING. Then he got diareha for 2 weeks and it became bloody. Then the Dr.
sent us to Yale In New Haven and they said he had bad acid reflux. He was old enough to chew so they gave him an adult
strength chewable and within a day or two he stopped screaming for no reason, sleeping for 4-6 hrs and eating like a horse.
What a releif for my family, we could all finally get some rest. Please look into the acid reflux with the Dr. it just might be the baby is in pain and they have no other way to tell
you other than screaming. Acid reflux in babys is harder to
diagnose I was told because the symptoms are so much like bad
colic. My son actually lost about a pound and got pretty sick
it was scarry. But they do grow out of it by age 2 or 3
and as long as you keep it under control it will be manageable.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.

answers from Providence on

Hi M.,
Have the doctors checked to see if your baby has colic. My daughter had colic and that is what she did. Does he seem to spit up alot. My daughter use to spit up most of her bottle, then cry and bring her knees to her belly, like she had a belly ack. When you hold him try pulling his legs up to his belly to see if he stops crying. That use to help my daughter.
Good Luck. If he does have colic it is tuff for the first 3 months. K.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.S.

answers from Boston on

Hi! My son is now almost 6 months old, and reading through your question made me remember how our first months were! My son would SCREAM anytime he was awake and we could not do anything to calm him. Finally, after seeing the doctor many times, he was diagnosed with reflux (GERD) and is on Pepcid for it. The prescription has changed our lives! After about a week on the Pepcid, the screaming and colic stopped and he became more of a "normal" baby. Even now, we can tell when he is outgrowing his dose because he will scream again like he did when he was really little. I hope that this helps..good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.F.

answers from Boston on

the baby might jsut be a crier and u might have to hold them all the time for a little while but there only 2 1/2 weeks old a little longer and maybe there will stop... there is notthin more that u can do . Unless there not eattin enuff food... litle a little more or rice in the bottle of the bottle a little sugar on the nipple or on the pas.... (bibbie)... Sorry ..

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.S.

answers from Boston on

ur son could be callickie baby cause babys like that will cry alot . does he stop if u put him in differnt postions?

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.B.

answers from Providence on

I second what one of the other posters; have you tried wearing him? There are some GREAT wraps/slings for newborns; one I love is a Moby. If you wear him, you could at least get some things done around the house.
I also agree that he may have some food sensitivies. Sorry to ask, but how are his BM's? If they're yellow/orange, he's ok, but if there's any green/mucus, there may be issues, namely milk inbalances (foremilk/hindmilk) and food sensitivities. Many mama's need to go on elimination diets to BF their babies if that's the case. google "elimination diet" and you should get some great info.
Best of luck to you. It gets better!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.K.

answers from New York on

M., I really dont think this is colic...if it has been going on for his whole short life (colic usually first appears between 3 - 6 weeks old. I will suggest three things....buy Dr, Harvey Karp's book "The Best Baby on the Block" he advises swaddling, swinging, a whole series of things to do that will calm a baby down...maybe have DH read it since it sounds like you have your hands full. Also, how does he behave after a feeding? Are you sure he is getting enough? I hate to say that to a new Mom because 95% of the time Mom is making enough, but she is nervous she is not....but, that said, maybe he needs to eat longer, or more frequently, if that shuts him up - I'd try that first. Also, someone mentioned dairy products - dairy and wheat are the two most problematic foods for infants, try cutting one out of your diet, if after three days he is quiet - then that was the culprit. Also the chamomile tea cant hurt! It will get easier! At this age, I would feed this baby every time he cries.
J.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.D.

answers from Syracuse on

I found that swinging in the car seat works, and it helped me work off those pounds! It a little hard on your back though.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.P.

answers from Lewiston on

I can relate to the sleep deprivation! My daughter is 5 weeks old and I feel like I BF around the clock and for at least 3 to 4 hours in the middle of the night she is not satisfied - crying and making my husband and I crazy! I can't really give you any advice since generally nothing works to calm my daughter down other than holding her - and at times that doesn't work either. I just hope they grow out of it sooner rather than later!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.W.

answers from Buffalo on

make sure that there is no medical problem and then if thats all clear try turning some music up and rocking, were you stressed out during your pregnantcy? baby may be a stress baby and the crying wont stop if that is the case, but if the baby is completely healthy i cant figure out this one

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.P.

answers from Hartford on

If you are breast feeding it might be something that you are eating that is giving him a belly ache. I know that my friends daughter was awful until mom cut out cheese and other dairy...then the crying stopped!!! Try eliminating things from you diet. Also they have gas drops in the infant isle of the drug store. We used those on my little guy and they worked great!!! Hope it helps!!! And just remember, this phase doesn't last forever....

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.A.

answers from Springfield on

I had same problem. It is Gas! Get Myocin drops (they work). For me, it turned out to be dairy products in breast milk. I had to stop eating all dairy. Then he began eating every 1.5 hour. So doctor had me switch to Soy formula and he's been a dream ever since. Talk to your doctor.

But within 3 feedings on formula I saw a big difference. Try it and see.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.K.

answers from Hartford on

Some things you might try:

eliminate dairy from your diet, as that might get to him through your breastmilk and irritate him. Wheat is another thing that you might eliminate if dairy does not seem to make a difference. A La Leche League leader might be able to guide you through the process.

Try colic tablets from Hylands. They are a homeopathic remedy that is generally considered safe for newborns that might help if you use them consistenly.

My last suggestion - earplugs and a good babysitter to help you get a break!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.M.

answers from Boston on

is your baby on formula or nursing? if hes on formula he may be allergic and having a belly ache try switching up the formula also i have a sister in law who used formula and didnt read english and was not putting water in the liquid . she was just giving it to him straight so just make sure the formula is measured properly. i personally never used formula but i do know mant people who had to keep switching brands or low iron high iron and such until they found the right one. good luck
angelica

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.

answers from New York on

Being a new mom is very hard adn the books, people and magazines do not prepare us properly for it, but most crucially other moms do not tell us the honest truth. It is hard work and very demanding and tiring physically and emotionally and baies need us around the clock. I am not sure if anyone has told you but that is what new babies do. they have no means of communicating except to get your attention by "crying". Your baby has just undergone an enormous change in its environment that he doesn't quite understand and it frightens him. Your baby resided in a tight, dark, wet, warm environment where he was fed constantly and never experienced hunger or had to cmmmunicate when he was hungry. He now lives in this loud, bright, unknown world. Wouldn't you be confused and frightened too?

I am a breastfeeding mom of a 26 month old. You need to feed your baby on demand and not on a schedule. That is why your baby cries. Who says that a newborn must live on a schedule. How would you feel if you were fed when you were nto hungry or you were not fed when you WERE hungry? Every breastfeeding reference or authority that is legitimate will tell you to feed on demand. You have to watch for the cues. Go to askdrsears.com and look up parenting, newborn care, breatfeeding and night parenting information. I am sorry to tell you but you will not sleep again for a long time. Every child's needs are different. You can not feed your baby, especially at this age, on a regimen. Your baby is a unique human being and functions distinctly different from all others. You have to meet his needs as such. You need to breastfeed him at the first sign, but in order to do that you have to learn what the cues are. That is why he gets as you pu tit hysterical. He is only desperaytely trying to tell you that he needs care. PLEASE put yourself in your new child's position. He is so brand new I can't imagine that you already have run out of patience and are feeling frustrated by the crying and letting him "wait until you take care of business". I am sorry I don't mean to be rude but what other business is more important than caring for a new, frightened little person that doesn't understand the world around him and has no means of communication except to cry. If your baby is crying at that level you have waited too long. You need to please learn about what the cues are. What happens is if he gets that agitated then it becomes more difficult for him to come down enough to be able to latch on properly and it feeds into his agitation even more.

My daguhter was a big baby and she fed around the clock 24 hrs about every hour adn a half fro t hefirst three months. That is what parenting is. I know it is scary adn tiring adn frustrated. I amnto trying to make you feel more scared or bad a bout it but moms do no ttell new moms to be that it is difficult and it is unfair to not do so because we do not prepare each other emotionally to deal with teh great demand phisically, psychologically and emotionally. It does get better even if at tiems it feels as if it never will.

You need to get help from relatives and friends so you can rest and not have to do other chores besides the baby. Sleep when he sleeps. Stop all else just nap alongisde him while he does during the day to get your rest. Try a sling carrier while at home to do chores (no cooking please). It recreates the womb environment (it is a snug and tight fit, it is warm b/c of your body heat adn most importantly he can hear yoru heart beat which is what he heard around the clock in yor womb). My daughter used to sleep for hours in it to the point where you could hear her "purring". Put yourself in your child's position so oyu can understand hwo desperately he needs your care adn patience. Read up on Dr. Sears. Knowing what causes teh behavior adn understanding it at a basic intellectual level helps to deal with it emotionally. It isn't your baby that is the nature of newborns. Read Nighttime Parenting by Dr. Sears it saved my life. And please for those who will say that you are nto producing enough milk for your baby's needs: women produce milk on demand. If your bay's needs are beign met yo urbody will automatically adjust to his feeding needs and even prepare fro added supplies during growth spurts. That is why it is essential to feed on demand. Fromula is nto the answer feeding on demand is. Please contact your local La Leche League they will really help. Look it up on the internet under lalecheleagueinterantional.com. Even more than colic I just htink your baby needs a different feeding relationship with you and to be picked up and held more often than every three hours and maybe for longer periods. All babies are different and need different levels of comfort to feel secure.

Sorry about the typos. Get help, read up, get rest, take a deep breath and good luck.

Best wishes for you, your baby and your new family,
R.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.R.

answers from Rochester on

you might want to try a white noise machine. good luck!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.B.

answers from Boston on

Congratulations on your baby! I am also from Londonderry, so I read your post first. My son was what I would term 'high needs' at first - I couldn't put him down at all, not even for a couple of minutes without him screaming. I read your a breastfeeding every 2-3 hours - are you going by his hunger cues rather than the clock? Try not to schedule feedings. 2.5 weeks is just before the first big growth spurt, so he would have been looking to nurse a lot so that he can increase your supply - let him do this. The next growth spurt is 6 weeks old. Check out www.kellymom.com for information on growth spurts and a host of other helpful breastfeeding tips.

I didn't have a sling when my son was young, but it is something I plan on doing next time around - do you have one?

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.D.

answers from New York on

M.,

You poor thing!! You must be exhausted and at the very end of your rope. I remember thowse first few weeks.

1. Babies are very sensitive to their environment, and to changes in it. Your baby just undertook a huge change of environment. Try to think of the womb, and what it was like in there. It's dim, warm, loud, and there's little room and lots of noise and motion. It takes some babies more time than others to acclimate. Some babies are more upset by this change than others are. Try to make your environment match the womb.

2. Babies who have a lot of distress often respond to the five S's
a. Swaddling
b. Shushing
c. Sideways holding
d. Sucking
e. swaying

Those are mechanisms to trigger the baby's calming reflex. Babies at this age are neurologically incapable of self-soothing, so if he gets upset, and doesn't get help calming down, he gets more and more upset because he doesn't know how to comfort himself. Take a look at Dr. Karp's The Happiest Baby on the Block for a better understanding of these techniques and why they work.

3. There is validity to the idea that a baby's food can affect their temperament, but if it's the formula, you will usually have other clues like excessive spitup, excessive gas, diarrhea, or something gastro-intestinal to go with the crying.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.A.

answers from Boston on

Why Babies Cry
How to soothe your little one -- and yourself
By Charlotte Latvala

I was so prepared for my first baby. I had survived Lamaze classes, knew how to operate a breast pump (at least in theory), and had enough diapers for quintuplets. What I didn't anticipate were the hours of crying: I came completely unglued at the sound of Mathilda's heartrending wails. I vividly remember sitting in my new rocking chair, holding her on my shoulder while she screamed and I sobbed, thinking it was never going to end. "Why did I have a baby?" I blubbered more than once. "I'm not cut out to be a mother."

Every new mom has been there. Your baby is shrieking, you have no clue how to calm her, and you would give your life savings to someone who could tell you how to stop it. "I remember one night when Carly was a newborn, and she screamed from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.," says Sally Maxson, a mom of two in Chippewa, Pennsylvania. "The only time she would stop was when I nursed her. It was one of the most stressful times of my life."

What's important to remember is that all infants have unexplained periods of fussiness during their first few months. "Crying doesn't reflect on your parenting skills," says Marc Weissbluth, M.D., author of Your Fussy Baby. "Crying is universal behavior, in all cultures. As I like to say: 'Birds fly, babies cry.'"

Still, realizing that baby tears are normal doesn't make them easy to live with. But there are ways to get your baby — and yourself — through this tough period, once you know what you're up against.

The lowdown on crying
Babies can't tell us "I'm hungry," "I'd like to get out of this car seat," or "This itchy tag is driving me crazy!" So they cry. The challenge is not to take it personally. Marjorie Carlson, a mom of three, ages 10, 7, and 4, in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, came up with a method that helped her empathize with her babies. "I tried not to think of their cries as annoying sounds," she says. "I imagined it was their way of saying 'Mom, I need you!'" But then, it might sound like your baby needs you all the time. In fact, a newborn cries for an average of three hours a day, peaking at around 6 weeks. By 3 months, your baby's crying will probably subside to about one hour a day.

Of course, even a short crying jag can seem like an eternity to any mom, especially one who's exhausted and overwhelmed. "When you're in the postpartum period, five minutes can feel like two hours," says Maureen O'Brien, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist with The First Years and the mother of 11-year-old twins. "At the same time your baby is going through the initial crying period, you're adjusting to your new role as a mom, dealing with sleep deprivation and postpartum hormones. It's all bundled together: the baby's crying and your own ability to cry on a dime."

What the tears do to moms

It's not your imagination: Your baby's cries affect you in a way that other aggravating noises (chain saws, barking dogs, a too-loud television) don't. "Moms have a biological response when babies cry," says Robert Sears, M.D., coauthor of The Premature Baby Book. Their infant's cry triggers release of the hormone prolactin, dubbed "the mothering hormone," which creates an urge to pick the baby up and meet his needs. So it's actually a good sign that your baby's wailing gets to you like nothing else, Dr. Sears says.

Because we're wired to respond this way, we moms tend to be tough on ourselves when our babies keep right on crying. Tara Feaster of Bronx, New York, felt guilty when she couldn't immediately soothe her newborn daughter Cassandra, now 17 months. "I felt like a terrible mom and that my baby deserved better," she says. Even more experienced moms feel the pressure. Christine D'Amico, a mom of three (Max, 6, Charlie, 4, and Francesca, 1) in San Diego and the author of The Pregnant Woman's Companion, says that her babies' cries often pushed her to the limit. "I would obviously never do it, but I realized why kids get shaken to death," she says. "You reach that really frustrated place, and you just don't know what to do."

The fine art of baby soothing

Fortunately, there are as many ways to calm a crying baby as there are, well, crying babies. My daughter Mathilda, now 9, settled down when my husband, Tony, rocked her on his shoulder — but only if he stood on a certain squeaky floorboard in our living room. Her brother, A.J., now 7, was a rocking-chair man. And my 1-year-old, Mary Elena, fussed in the rocker but loved to cruise around our floor in her stroller. Other infants will only quiet down with a drive in the car, an hour in the baby swing, or after being tightly swaddled. Dimming the lights, turning on relaxing music, or stripping a baby down to her diaper are other tried-and-true methods.

You may need to experiment to figure out what clicks. When her 4-month-old daughter, Hannah Olivia, cried for three hours, Nicole Leon of Hollywood, Florida, tried rocking, feeding, and walking, but nothing worked. In desperation, Nicole ran a warm bath and got in with her baby. "It did soothe her, so we spent the rest of the afternoon there," she says. "Now I know that whenever she gets fussy, a bath always works." Don't underestimate the power of distraction either. "Cassandra always stopped crying and shifted her attention when either of our cats walked by," says Feaster.

It may seem counterintuitive, but adding even more noise to a crying baby's environment may help calm her. "Carly fell asleep to white noise during her first six months of life," says Maxson. "We would run the sweeper or turn on my hair dryer. It was the only thing that worked consistently."

Play around with various positions, too. Some babies are happiest slung over a shoulder, but others enjoy being held across your forearm, tummy down, like footballs. You can also try humming or singing while you hold your baby close; in addition to the sound, the vibrations from your voice box can be soothing to her.

Needless to say, don't overlook the obvious problems. Make sure your baby is dry, fed, and burped. "One day, my two-month-old daughter, Phoebe, had been crying for a long time," says Denise Mussman of St. Louis. "Finally, I rubbed my fingers gently along her spine, starting at the bottom and working my way up. She let out a tremendous belch, and then she was fine."

Don't neglect yourself

No surprise here: Babies can pick up on our tension and stress. It's a vicious cycle. The baby cries, his mom gets anxious, he cries even harder. To break the chain, you've got to figure out a way to soothe yourself, whether it's putting on headphones for ten minutes or (ideally) handing the baby off to a trusted friend or relative while you take a hot shower or just a much-needed break.

Another vital step: Do your best to get out of the house and spend time with other people. There's something about the act of socializing — even if it's just exchanging pleasantries with a coffee-shop clerk — that brings us back to reality. (Also, babies in strollers are less apt to cry; they love motion, fresh air, and a change of scenery.)

Sometimes, too, a reality check is in order. Logging the actual minutes of crying can help put things in perspective, says O'Brien, because you're likely to discover your baby doesn't cry as much as you think she does. "It's also a good way to track when her fussiest periods are and help yourself remember which soothing techniques work and which don't," she says.

If all else fails — you've tried everything, your baby is still crying, and you're in danger of losing control — put her in a crib or another safe place and take a time-out in another room. Crying alone for a little while won't hurt her.

The big picture

No matter how awful your baby's crying seems, take heart. It will soon be over. I used to be appalled when well-meaning strangers (usually older women) would stop me with my fussy newborn and say, "Enjoy this stage; it goes so fast." What planet were they on? Enjoy being sleep-deprived and constantly frazzled? At the time, I thought their comments were further proof that there must be something wrong with me. But now, with two more kids and almost a decade of perspective under my belt, I understand what they meant.

After three months, your baby's crying jags will be less frequent and much more comprehensible; soon she'll be cooing, blowing kisses, and saying "Ma-ma" and "Da-da." Even if you never become an expert at decoding her cries (I could never distinguish "hungry" from "overstimulated"), the crying phase will soon be over, and you'll be on to other challenges — like listening to her chatter nonstop through the toddler years.

3 things not to do
• Pop in a pacifier right away. Yes, it might quiet him, but you don't get the chance to figure out what's really wrong.

• Rush to feed him. If you stick a bottle or your breast in your baby's mouth every time he cries and before you're sure he's hungry, you could be showing him that eating is a way to comfort himself. That can eventually lead to overeating.

• Try too many different ways of soothing at once. It takes a while for soothing techniques to work. If you quickly change positions or swaddle and then unswaddle immediately, your baby will probably become more agitated.

Decoding the wails
Hunger? Boredom? Exhaustion? Forget trying to figure out the nuances among the different types of cries, says Robert Sears, M.D. "Most newborns have only one cry — loud and demanding," he says. But keep these general guidelines in mind:

• When he's hungry, a baby will quietly fuss and squirm. If he isn't fed, the cry will escalate. (Unless he's a newborn, and then the big wails are likely to start right away.) If he's in pain — from gas, teething, or illness — your baby will probably have a piercing cry. He'll be difficult for you to console, and usually wear a pained expression.

• Newborns have a very distinct, high-pitched wail. They take in short, rapid breaths and let out a short crying sound each time they exhale. Older babies begin to breathe in deeper when crying, so each cry is longer.

Parenting, March 2005

Charlotte Latvala wrote "Family Traditions We Love" for the February issue of Parenting.

Source: www.parenting.com - Excellent tips on all stages of the child from birth to 12years old.

Soothing Secrets
Moms share their best baby-calming tips
By Julie Tilsner

Of all the things you were worried about before your baby's arrival, comforting her probably wasn't one of them. Of course you'd know how to calm her tears — and what would she have to be fussy about anyway? Reality check: The average infant cries anywhere from two to three hours a day, and any pediatrician will tell you that a huge percentage of phone calls come from parents desperate to calm their cranky charges. Sure, you can go through the proverbial checklist of possible problems: Is the baby wet? Hungry? Tired? But for the times when you've exhausted those possibilities and your baby is still crying, turn to these inventive ideas discovered by weary moms like you. These twists work on the same principles as soothing techniques in standard baby books, but may be easier for you to manage. Here's to some peace and quiet at last:

Steady motion
The standard advice: Gently bounce or rock your baby from side to side.

Why it works: The experts call it "vestibular motion," but most moms don't need big words to understand that moving a baby up and down and around as you hold her almost always helps, at least for a bit. The rhythmic swaying is calming because it resembles the movement that infants got used to in the womb, says Paula Elbirt, M.D., author of Dr. Paula's House Calls to Newborns: Birth Through Six Months. But any mom who's ever done some midnight pacing with a wailing baby knows how exhausting that can be.

How moms add their own twist: Dana McMahan of Richmond, California, has her husband, Josh, to thank for a way to keep their twins in motion that doesn't involve walking: "We used to do that awkward bounce-and-hold as we walked around the room with our girls," she says. "But Josh figured that if he was going to bounce, he might as well sit down. So he sat on a fitness ball and held the girls in the crook of each arm, with their heads against his chest. It worked so well that we've used it ever since!" Emily Strong of Little River, California, discovered that using her stair-climbing machine calmed her 14-month-old, Eliza, who was miserable with an ear infection. As she waited for Eliza's meds to kick in, Strong held her and stepped up and down on the machine. "Thankfully, it worked when nothing else would distract her," she says.

Noisemakers

The standard advice: Turn on a fan in the nursery.

Why it works: A baby's developing neurological system isn't able to tune out surrounding stimuli yet. White noise helps shut out everything else.

How moms add their own twist: Jill Whalen of Ashland, Massachusetts, stumbled into her kitchen late one night with her crying baby. She turned on the tap to get a drink of water — and Timmy, 1 month old, stopped crying. She turned it off, and he started up again. On, off, on, off. And so it went, until his crying tapered off. Radio static worked equally well, and Timmy spent the first three months of his life listening calmly to nothing on the radio. "I just discovered this by mistake!" Whalen says. "I wish somebody had told me about it earlier."

Other moms find that, contrary to common wisdom, noises that are considered triggers for crying can be just the opposite. Jen Grogono figured out that her baby not only didn't pitch a fit in a restaurant, but the background din actually put him to sleep. The Austin, Texas, mom dined out a lot in those early days.

Unfortunately for Joyce Grzybek of Ramsey, New Jersey, her infant son, Kevin, quieted down only to the sound of the vacuum cleaner. But at least her carpets were spotless. Tape recordings of running water or the vacuum may work just as well (but your house won't be as clean).

Let's ride

The standard advice: Drive your baby around the block.

Why it works: You're actually combining steady motion and white noise, so it makes sense that a car ride can do the trick. But it's hardly convenient at 2:30 a.m.

How moms add their own twist: Baby-equipment manufacturers do a brisk business selling vibrating bouncy seats, but many moms make their own versions of the white-noise-movement combo. Cheri Schulzke, a Pleasant Grove, Utah, mom of four, turned to her clothes dryer whenever her babies wouldn't stop fussing. "I put the bouncy seat on top of a towel on the dryer, turned it on, and watched it work its magic. They loved the movement, the hum, and the warmth," she says. (Stay close by if you try this with your baby; the seat may bounce around.)

Sometimes even the notion of motion works. Deborah Phillips spent a lot of time driving her daughter, Megan, 6 weeks old, around the block of their Snohomish, Washington, home to calm her down enough to sleep. But late one desperate night, she simply brought the car seat inside and set it on the living room floor. "She nestled right in and fell sound asleep," Phillips says. "I could've saved a lot of gas if I'd thought of this earlier!"

Tune in

The standard advice: Play or sing soft lullaby music.

Why it works: Gentle, rhythmic melodies are time-tested calmers, that's for sure. If you sing a particular song at night as your baby drifts off to sleep, she may start to connect it to nodding off, so try that song first if she's fussing.

How moms add their own twist: Elisa Mikiten of Berkeley, California, says she knows several moms who rely on Bob Marley to soothe their babes. "I've also found that Paul Simon's Graceland works," she adds.

If a CD isn't handy, don't let a limited vocal range keep you from singing: Even if you're tone-deaf, the soft, crooning nature of your voice can calm your baby.

When Kim Frank of Albany, California, was pregnant, she spent a lot of time listening to a popular drumming circle that jammed every day in a local park — maybe that's why her son, Lev, 9 months, instantly quiets whenever his dad starts to play his West African drum.

The right touch

The standard advice: Give your baby a gentle massage.

Why it works: Touch stimulates pressure receptors in the brain that calm your baby. Research shows that long, smooth strokes work better than short, brisk ones.

How moms add their own twist: "One trick that worked with my two girls was to stroke their cheek with the tips of my index and middle finger," says Rajean Blomquist of Huber Heights, Ohio. "My older daughter, who's now 10, still asks me to do this whenever she's feeling stressed."

My own daughter, Anna, loves a back scratch — never a massage. It calmed her down in her earliest months, and five years later it still succeeds at putting her to sleep fast.

Many moms swear by the water method: giving their baby a bath. Use either an infant tub or the sink, and support her body the whole time. The sound of the running water and the warm touch on her skin will do the rest.

Tone it down

If you've tried everything and your child is still worked up, maybe you're trying too hard. Some young babies don't like to be handled as much and need to be left alone before being able to fall asleep. "Sometimes they just need to cry a bit before they conk out," says Ann Froese-Fretz, R.N., director of the Fussy Baby Clinic of the Children's Hospital, in Denver. "We don't recommend letting an infant under three months cry it out, but it's okay to let her fuss for five minutes. You need to give her the opportunity to figure out how to soothe herself."

At times, visual overstimulation may be the problem. Froese-Fretz once treated a child whose parents had set up a beautiful nursery, decorated with tartan plaids. "But their baby went nuts — it was too much," she says. Once the parents removed the mobiles, covered the crib bumpers, and replaced the sheets with plain ones, "the change was miraculous — like they had a different baby."

Most important, when you stumble upon a strategy that works, stay with it. Trying something different every five minutes can backfire if it overstimulates her. Limit yourself to two or three methods that seem to work best at soothing your little one — if one fails in one instance, try the other, instead of introducing several new techniques. "You almost always get results after a day or two if you stick to a consistent pattern," says Froese-Fretz.

Of course, no method is absolutely foolproof. Keep in mind that temperament is a big factor, and some babies simply weren't born to be soothed — you can rock them all day long and they'll still only calm down a bit. If that is the case in your house, don't forget to tend to your own psyche. And remember that this too shall pass.

Help For You: Mom Soothers
• Have an out. Ask your partner, a grandparent, or a friend to relieve you before the situation becomes overwhelming. If there's no help available, put your baby down in her crib for ten minutes and leave the room to escape her wails. It's always better to let her cry alone safely for a few minutes than to risk your losing control. Or try wearing earplugs: You'll still hear her, but the sound will be muffled.
• Don't feel responsible! There's only so much you can do. If you've ruled out a physical reason for her crying and you've done your best to try to calm her, realize that this is something you just have no control over.

• Take care of yourself. While your baby sleeps, forget the chores and take advantage of the quiet instead: Relax by taking a bath, chatting on the phone with a friend, taking a nap, or doing something you enjoy, such as reading or knitting.

Parenting, March 2005

Julie Tilsner is the author of Planet Parenthood and Attack of the Toddlers.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.M.

answers from Lewiston on

Update:
I was just sent a link about GER and it made me think of you- you may want to check it out, look at Dr. Sears' signs and symptoms, and try some of his suggestions. http://www.askdrsears.com/html/10/T106004.asp

Oh don't I hear you! My dd was colicky for about a month when she was a month old. She had started out so quiet...then bam! Cry cry cry- and she would look into my eyes and look terrified and I would wonder why I couldn't help her. Sometimes you have to actually put baby down for a minute- the rocking and shushing could be adding to the already overstimulated baby's stress level. But it will pass I promise. I had to change the position I held her in a few times during her fits. Then I sat and rocked her forward and back in big arcs and said shhhhhh. It was so hard to do, but it worked. I also wore her in a wrap or sling most of the day. Now she is a happy, healthy, friendly baby and she hardly cries ever. She still loves to be worn, but she will play for long periods by herself, too. Just remember- a month of crying is a small price to pay for a lifetime of love! Keep reminding yourself that this is a tiny portion of her life that she'll need you for. And congrats to you!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.P.

answers from Albany on

have you considered the possibility that he may have collic. it's very bad gas problem that can be so painful that he will cry constantly cause he is in so much pain. they usually have or can get it in their first few weeks. they cry constantly and non stop. its something you could consider asking the doctor at your next appointment,and see what he says. and if that is the problem he could give him something or give you ideas on what to do with it to make it better on him.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.V.

answers from Philadelphia on

Congrats on the new baby! I agree with trying the Mylicon drops but if you are BF I would also take a look at your own diet. Thing you eat can be passed on to the baby and might be giving him gas or upsetting his stomach. However, you did say he was quiet after feeding so I not sure this is related to BF. Seems there may be another cause. If your gut is telling you something is wrong then go with it. As we all know babies do not come with instructions - we as Moms just have to trust our gut! If you are not happy with the peds diagnosis search for a new one.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches