Former Awesome Baby Has Become a Terror at 11 Weeks Old - Help

Updated on October 11, 2006
L.Z. asks from Chicago, IL
26 answers

Hi - my 11 week old was totally on a schedule with napping and eating. About 4 days ago, he could no longer nap (routine did not change) and he screams uncontrollably starting around 5PM which I assume is because he's overtired. We checked for teething and that is not the case. If he were going to be colicky, the experts say it would have started several weeks ago. He falls asleep for catnaps but wakes up with any sound or movement (i.e. he can fall asleep in the Baby Bjorn but as soon as I stop walking or try to put him down, he wakes up). He used to be such a happy baby...now he seems so unhappy and inconsolable. Nothing I do works and the old routine doesn't cut it. I feel like a terrible mom because he seems so miserable and I can't meet his needs. I am willing to try just about anything. Has anyone else had a similar experience? Any advice?

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L.L.

answers from Chicago on

I have three and had one go nuts at 5pm for a month or two. I found out he had a problem with my breakfast. I had a cup of half caf half decafe in the morning with my cereal. It would go through me in to the milk and be digesting in him at 5pm. My pediatrician at the time when I told her it was in the evening at 5pm, said what are you having for breakfast. I was devastated that I was the cause of so much grief.

L.

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C.W.

answers from Chicago on

Hi L., I really think its colic"gas". Try the over the counter remedy. I forget what its called but its in the baby meds section.Look for or ask phamisist where to find it on the shelves.I always include it with any baby shower gift I give. IT WORKS. Good luck, C.

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L.J.

answers from Chicago on

you are a wonderful mom, and i don't even know you. Take deep breaths. My daughter seemed to have this behavior around 12 weeks. I think it was her formula? are you breast or formula feeding. Maybe it is the formula. Just a thought. Also my daughter has severe gas. Good luck with everyting?

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S.H.

answers from Chicago on

The "experts" told me that breast fed babies don't usually have colic and that turned out to be untrue for my baby. There are so many mysteries surrounding colic, that you should not rule it out. Maybe you should consider trying a new formula or changing your diet if you're breastfeeding. With my colicky child, we spent hours bouncing on an exercise ball to soothe her. It's time consuming but it was the only thing that made the crying stop in the evening. Good luck!

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A.M.

answers from Chicago on

Hey L. -
Don't despair! The same exact thing happened to me, and she became awesome again a few weeks later. I read everything I could, but nothing made sense, and when I asked my doctor she just said that it happens sometimes, likewise for the other moms I asked. My daughter is 20 months now, and in that time
there have been periods where there's no explanation for her change in behavior, but I have had to remind myself that she might just not be feeling well, and screaming like a banshee is the only way that she can express it. You might want to ask your doctor if he/she thinks it could be relieved with a little infant's tylenol. The other thing that happened to my daughter a little later was gas pains. I can't remember the name of the drops that my doctor gave me, but I'm sure that yours will know if that's the case.
Good Luck!

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B.D.

answers from Chicago on

Hello L.,
It could be a number of things. I know that my son around that age was put on mylocon drops for infants he had a real gas problem. Just like your child he wanted to be held and held a certain way. We took him to the dr and they told us to try the mylocon drops. At that time we start to by the bedtime lotion with lavander, they even have bath wash that is suppose to help calm babies. We just gave him a bath then rubbed him down and put him to bed when he got that fussy. I do agree that if you are breastfeeding write down what you are eating it could be that. Good Luck!
B.

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A.

answers from Chicago on

You may want to try reading the book Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child by Dr Marc Weissbluth.

It has helped me alot. Especially with my now 2 year old daughter. When she reached 12 weeks she wouldn't sleep for longer than 4 hours at a time at night and naps became irregular in length and were completly off schedule. I could tell you what I tried but it is all in the book.

Working mother of a 2 year old girl and 6 month old boy.

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K.

answers from Chicago on

Hello! I was not sure if this was correlated with any vaccines. They can have a negative effect on babies. Also any trauma can cause changes. Check out www.icpa4kids.org
Dr.K.

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C.

answers from Chicago on

I just want to say that does NOT make you a "terrible mom" in the least!!! You are doing your best to comfort your baby, just as we all do out of love for our babies. Babies can't tell us what's wrong, so all we can do is work with what we know to figure it out. I don't really have any new suggestions. Sounds reasonable that it could be an allergy, colic, gas build up... I would check with your peds office. Hang in there!!! It'll get easier soon!!

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B.V.

answers from Chicago on

I know you will probably hate to hear this, but my daughter went through the same thing at about 3 months. It finally ended when she hit the 4 month mark!!
I am a first time Mom too and was freaking out!! All I could do was try to get her to take naps and if it failed just try again the next day. She would only cat nap as well and ended up screaming at around 5ish everyday!! Some days it even started earlier!!
I felt like she was reverting. I would try to put her down every 2 hours to try to get her some sleep so she wasn't so miserable at night. She even started waking up several times through the night. Car rides helped a bit. My husband and I would spend countless hours on the weekends driving around together in the hopes that she would fall asleep. Wasn't cheap considering the cost of gas and all the fast food we ended up eating!
Her swing would help get her to sleep sometimes too. I would just have to tip toe around a lot because she was getting up at the slightest noise too.
The good news is, that just when I thought I couldn't take it anymore, it stopped! Just like that! Now I can put her in crib when she is awake and she puts herself too sleep (most days). I honestly think that at three months there bodies must be going through some extreme growth spurts or something.
I wish I had more advice to get you through it but all I can say is hang in there, it is going to pass soon. And don't beat yourself up about being a bad mom because you are not alone! I felt the same way and am finally regaining some confidence! It's very hard but the end is in sight!!
I would love to hear from you again at the 4 month mark to see if you have the exact same experience that I had.
Hang in there!! :)

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T.H.

answers from Chicago on

Ahh, parenting is so hard sometimes and I swear the first 3 months are one of the hardest stages. There are several good suggestions below but I just wanted to ask, is he still hungry maybe? Hope something works out for you...

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N.L.

answers from Chicago on

I swear my daughter grew horns right when she turned one. She stopped napping at her normal schedule, became whiny, and started with small temper tantrums. All part of growing up. Now at 17 months, she shows her own dramatic personality and throws some fits, but has started a new napping pattern and routine. My daughter would refuse naps in her crib after 1, so we allow her to sleep on the couch, in our bed, or on the floor for her naps, which are 2-3 hours in length. You will find what works best for your son and become familiar with his new routine. Good luck.

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A.G.

answers from Chicago on

This is the right time for your babe to be experiencing a growth spurt, which can cause all sorts of reactions -- fussiness, growing pains, hunger, belly aches, etc. Your little one is quite young to really be on a schedule... these things change so often in the first few months of life. You're doing a great job of trying to soothe him. Wearing him in the baby bjorn or a sling is a great way to keep him comforted and still be able to go about your day. Be wary of changes in your diet if you are breastfeeding or other signs of food sensitivity. Does he like bathtime? Maybe let him lay in the water for a while if it calms him. How about massage?
Most likely, this is a short phase that will soon pass (though I know that doesn't make the crying any easier to bear). Best of luck!

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A.A.

answers from Chicago on

Your son is WAY too young to be considered a "terror" or to be on a schedule for that matter. He's communicating his needs to you the only way he can. If he needs to be held - hold him - you can't spoil a baby! Step back and relax a bit, take a break if you need one. In his own time your son will fall into a routine of his own.

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S.R.

answers from Chicago on

Hi L. -

We losts naps about that time too and we weren't on a routine by any means before that, but he was a great napper and would just fall asleep when he needed to. I started tracking when he started to show sleepy signs and found out that he could not make it to the usual 2 hour mark, but only 1 1/2 hours. I could not get him to sleep for the life of me other than by letting him nap in his swing. When I put him in there with the fish and music on, he would go into the zone and fall asleep within 10 minutes. But, I had to catch it before he started to get overtired. So the first point that he yawned or had the red ring around his eyes (he was too young to rub them at that point) he was in the swing. He was a great napper again and would take 1 1/2 to 3 hour naps in the swing. That worked like magic for a couple weeks, then he got really fun and social, and didn't want to take naps because he might miss on the fun. So I had to move the swing to a dark room. Worked for about 2 weeks then he would scream when he saw me approaching the room because he didn't want to nap. So we had to change the routine again because then if he napped, it would only be for 20 minutes. Now I have to use the Dr. Harvey Karp soothing techniques to put him for a nap, I put him in his crib now that I have curtains and a skylight cover to make it nice and dark. We are back down to about 5 to 10 minutes of soothing at his sleepy signs. He got up to 30 minute naps with consistently and now he is up to 50 minute naps. But developmentally he is 4 months (he was premature) and he shows sleepy signs at sometimes 45 minutes, sometimes 90 minutes. So I just watch him and put him down when he shows he is tired. You might also find nighttime to become problematic because my little one was overtired from not day napping so had really interrupted night sleep from being overly tired. I am not a cry it out mom, so the books I have been reading recently and that helped my sanity and soothing techniques are Sleeping through the night by jodi Mindell, Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp (really really really get this if you are having trouble calming him) and The No Cry Sleep Solutions Book and the Baby Whisperer are suppose to be good too, but they have not come in for me yet from the library. I just did a request for the books at my local library branch and they ship them to your branch (when they don't normally carry it). So then you can see if you want to invest in them or not.

Best of luck! I became very overwhelmed when I felt like I was fighting with him to nap all day long. Even though we have a routine now, it is very taxing so my husband has to really help with putting him down for naps on the weekends since I just need a break by then. Just think, as soon as you get that down, he will start teething (that is where we are at right now I think). they can showing teething symptoms for like 2 weeks before the tooth appears. I just met a mom last week that said her child teethed at 11 weeks, so it could be that. But talk to your doctor about the ear ache thing and try the mylicon for gas (you can buy it over the counter and I swear it helps our gassy boy). If he is breastfeed, I don't think they get ear aches?? Also you might want to research acid reflux. Our little guy has it and it really starts to gear up around 3 to 6 months. I think a lot of doctors just jump to that though and give meds, so do some internet searching and look at it from a symptom basis. Our guy has silent reflux so we didn't see the throwing up, but just realized all the pain was in when we starting really paying close attention to his behaviors and when he was having them.

Good luck.
S.

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K.B.

answers from Chicago on

No offense, but Ashlee A's response seemed a little harsh! It is very difficult to deal with a crying baby all day long. I did it with 2 kids of my own.
Anyway--my second child turned out to have acid reflux. I am not saying your child has that, but you can go to www.zantac.com and click on symptom checklist and see if the baby has any signs of that. Otherwise I assure you that this will eventually pass with time. YOU ARE NOT A TERRIBLE MOM!!!! Hang in there and do what works for you.

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M.M.

answers from Chicago on

My daughter wouldn't sleep whenever she had an ear infection which was really the only way I could tell that she had one.

If an infection isn't the problem I would try breaking his routine. Try putting him to bed about 15 minutes earlier than normal - before the break down occurs. Hopefully that will snap him out of funk.

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H.J.

answers from Chicago on

First, you are a great mom cuz you are trying to help your child.
My daughter was never diagnosed colic, and she was I say. We switched Doctors after the fact. We bought a gas relief medicine, did not work. She even took Zantac, which helped a lot. I stopped breastfeeding and switched to formula, and this did help a little. And by the way, she was 9 or 10 weeks when this started. Same thing, Dr. told me no way was she colic. And same thing, this started at 4 or 5 pm, and lasted all evening. or for about 4 hours at a time. I had to hold her the entire time, if she was set down for a second, it was worse. My poor husband rarely saw her happy. She would arch her back, like she was uncomfortable, and would just wail. In the end, we just waited it out, 4 of the longest months of our lives. We have a wonderful Dr. now, the Pediactric Specialists in Crytal Lake. There could be a problem with milk too. Could be anything. I even went as far as taking her to the hospital to be checked out, and they found nothing. I would look at colic babies and try some of their technics, I really feel this will be helpful. And do try differnt dr's, a second, third opinion may solve this.
I hope this works, and if you can, please, have someone else come in and hold him while he cries, so you can relax for 10 whole minutes, and go longer if you can. Or even set him down and take deep breaths. I know how you feel and its just awful. I wish you all the luck, and feel free to email me anytime to talk. ;-) ____@____.com

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H.M.

answers from Chicago on

Hi L.,
You’re not a terrible mom...just a stressed one. You should call the Dr and just ask...write down the different things you have noticed. I found out at 8 weeks my daughter had reflux. She also couldn't tolerate caffeine or dairy, we'd have a screaming fest every night from 5pm-9pm until I eliminated those things from my diet. I also found out she had sleep apnea. Thank goodness I was keeping track of all the strange things..she is 5 and a half months now and still on a monitor for sleep apnea!! It is always good to take note of things that change your child’s behavior. I also go throw strange periods with her when she goes through a growth spurt...like crankiness and feeding frenzies! She eventually gets over it, but it takes me a while since I work full-time. :)
Hang in there!

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R.

answers from Chicago on

Hi L.,
One of the most frustrating things about my girl her first year was that every time I thought she was in a "routine" after a month or two she'd get into a new pattern or stray from her routine for a while. Just long enough to drive me up a wall! All my knowledgeable mom friends would say "This too shall pass!" which was no comfort at the time when you're sleep deprived and can't figure out what's up with your baby.
I'm wondering what your pediatrician would say. Have you asked?
Kind regards,
R.

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T.S.

answers from Chicago on

L.,

First and most important...you are NOT a terrible Mom!

I'm thinking ear infection. Our son was the same way and he had them all the time (has tubes now - all gone!). Call the doctor and have him checked out. It doesn't hurt.

Good luck!

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A.S.

answers from Chicago on

I agree with Ashlee.
Plus, routines never last for long, and your baby is WAY too young for any routine or to be a terror. Teething pain begins long before you see any teeth emerging. Follow your baby's cues. Also, read "The Happiest Baby on the Block" by Dr. Harvey Karp.
Amy

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Y.

answers from Chicago on

I would suggest calling the doctor. They are there for when you have questions. Your son may have an ear infection or something along those lines. At this age they will have you bring him in. It is better to be safe than sorry. I had kids that had ear problems and it definitely affected their sleep habits.

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R.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi L.,
I had a similar problem with my son and it turned out to be a milk allergy. He was allergic to the milk protien in my breast milk. After a couple of weeks on no dairy he was much better and back to being super happy:) It is rather common and pretty easy to do. You should check with you Ped. and see if he is sick first and ask if he isn't sick you should ask if milk might be the problem.
Hope that helps.
R.

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L.W.

answers from Chicago on

Hi L.--I had the same problem with my son, thoguh his on set at about 4 weeks and went for a month and half of pure torture until we figured out what was wrong. I woudl say to check for a milk allergy (if BFing, you eliminate dairy from your diet for at least wa week and see if tha tmakes a difference), or maybe it's reflux, which was what my son had. Does your baby arch his back while feeding, cry while feeing, spit up a lot? If so, you shoudl check into the infomration on-line on reflux and see if your son matches up. good luck!

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D.V.

answers from Chicago on

I'm thinking gas. Try to put him on your shoulder and pat his back for a burp. It might not happen right away so give it a couple of minutes. To avoid this, try Gripe Water and/or burping in the middle of a feeding. Bouncing my knees while she's on my shoulder calms my baby down.

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