Worried About My 3 Month Old

Updated on March 13, 2012
A.L. asks from Andrews, SC
23 answers

Hi mom's,
I am a new mom and i'm new to mamapedia. I hope that you can all help me.
My 3 month old will barely eat, unless it is watered down baby food, she will not drink formula. And she will not go to sleep, she lies in her crib and screams and cries until she manages to roll onto her stomach. I continuously roll her back onto her back, as my doctor told me that she is too young to sleep on her tummy. And if anyone but myself holds her, she screams. I cannot put her down for a nap without the neighbours coming over to make sure that she is alright (i live in an apartment). Sometimes she will sleep, but only if she is very tired, on the floor, and my dog comes and goes to sleep beside her, she will sometimes doze off with him.
Is this normal behaviour? My doctor has told me not to worry and to just keep rolling her onto her back, and pretty much force feeding her formula. But she won't swallow the formula, and if i insist that she does she simply pukes it up almost immediately and then begins to scream.
Any advice?

yes i have tried MANY different kinds of formula, she won't eat it. Yes she is gaining weight but only started too after my mother suggested trying a tiny bit of babyhood in baby water and a splash of milk. She seems happy with it... And yes i tried a bassinet, even worse, she sleeps better in the living room, on the floor, with the dog!!?? so strange.

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So What Happened?

Yes i have tried MANY different types of formula, soy and not. As well as gripe water and swaddling. It seems like the more open the space she is in, the better she sleeps, and that the more taste what she is eating has the better she likes it. Is it possible to flavour baby formula? Can i add a tiny hint of the baby food she seems to like into her formula to see if she will eat that?

Featured Answers


answers from Houston on

She's much too young for watered down baby food, please do not give it to her. You may need to change formulas. There is a good chance she has a dairy allergy or acid reflux, which could explain why she sleeps better on her tummy and the constant screaming. Often times, infants like this do better on soy formulas. Try inclining her mattress, and baby wearing. And get another Dr. Feed her before she starts to cry. Also, try a new bottle, the nipple or flow may be too hard for her.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

If she can roll herself onto her belly by all means leave the poor child that way and let her sleep!

~Any chance the nipple flow might be a problem? Too fast? Too slow? You know they come in different sizes right?

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Portland on

i cannot stress the importance on waiting to feed your baby baby food until she is MUCH older. it will save you AND her trouble in the long run. there are a lot of health risks that come with feeding a baby food that young. one being allergies. two being that her stomach and intestines cant handle it yet. hang in there are try to find a formula that is safer on her if you cant breastfeed.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

Oh my, there is so much worrying here! First of all, 3 months is too young for baby food, watered down or not. Her tummy can't handle it yet, she should only be getting breastmilk or formula now. I haven't given formula to my son, so I'm no expert, but it sounds like she could have an intolerance to whatever you are giving her. Have you tried different types of formula? This is not normal behavior for a baby, I would call your doctor and tell him she is not eating without throwing it up (some spit up is normal, I'm assuming you mean she is throwing up most of what you gave her) and if he/she still isn't concerned, then go to someone else. Is she gaining weight? The constant crying is because she doesn't feel good, she's telling you something is wrong, please listen!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Hi A.,

I'm so sorry that you're having these issues with your daughter. I also have a 3-month old son and a 3 year old daughter and it sounds to me like your daughter may have reflux (as my son does). Often babies with bad reflux can't lie down flat and have trouble eating b/c of the constant discomfort and will cry and scream because of it.

I'm a little concerned that your pediatrician is taking things in stride seemingly. This does not sound like normal behavior to me. Is there anyway you can get a second opinion? Does she scream when eating too? Curve her back in pain? These are all signs of reflux, but even from what you wrote that is what it sounds like to me. Plus, if she is not really eating, she could be hungry. Curing the reflux will help. She could also have a food allergy, which is causing her discomfort. Their stomachs and digestive systems are so immature at this stage.

There are many natural reflux remedies out there (like Colic Calm, which you can find at CVS or online). It didn't work for us, but others swear by it. You could try it out and see if it makes a difference. We ended up going to Zantac, which helped for a while and now Prilosec, which has made a difference. You could also start out with a gripe water to see if that calms things down a bit. She could just be in so much discomfort that she doesn't want to eat. Have you also tried different formulas? Either soy or nutramagen (which is the easiest on the belly)?

This isn't related to a possible reflux problem, but because you mentioned she likes sleeping by your dog, have you tried swaddling her? She may just like the comfort and warmth and swaddling can help. Also, see if inclining the mattress where she sleeps a bit (no more than 30 degrees) to see if that helps. She may also just be the type of baby who likes to be held and kept close while sleeping, but needing to sleep on the stomach sounds like reflux or colic. Being alone in a crib can be lonely for a baby, too. Often the open space bothers them as they like to be in confined spaces.

Hope this helps and good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Get another doctor. Your mommy gut is telling you something is wrong. How the heck do you "force feed" an infant? Is this doctor crazy? Trust yourself and get another opinion.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

First, get a new ped. This is not normal behavior and if your doctor isn't willing to at least look and try to figure something out, then he/she isn't a good doctor. Your baby might need a prescription formula. My nephew was like that and couldn't tolerate either dairy or soy formulas. My pediatrician told us not to worry too much about them rolling onto the belly. It completely freaked me out, but he was more comfortable on his belly and kept putting himself into that position. I just made sure he could move his head out of the way and let it be. He wouldn't stay 2 seconds on his back. And, while I don't really recommend it long term, my son would nap in the swing (we had trouble getting him to sleep anywhere else for a while).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from La Crosse on

first I would suggest getting a new ped. Then I would have her tested for acid reflux.

just a side note.. ( I am NOT recomending this to anyone!! just sharing..) All 5 of my babies were belly sleepers from the time they were about a month old. They would NOT sleep at night if they were on thier backs, they would scream until I put them on thier bellies. Once I did they slept for the next 4-6 hours. The only other way they would sleep was in thier seat carrier or a swing.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Oh my goodness! Get a new pediatrician right away! I'd start by having her checked for dairy and soy allergies.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Des Moines on

Have you tried to have her sleep in a bassinet where she may feel more protected? Have you tried swaddling?

Do you think she might like some of the baby einstein videos with music? I know videos aren't great, but my dd loved that music and it might be enough to get her relaxed. How about a drive in the car to get her to go to sleep?


answers from Biloxi on

I am with Ru R on this one. Sounds like reflux. My son had it - and he was miserable until I got it figured out. He slept best the first few months in someone's arms or in his car seat as lying down caused the reflux and pain.

We did several medications also - um, not sure of the names anymore as it was 15 years ago. But, my doctor did have me start him on a bit of baby cereal in his bottles at a fairly young age - the little bit of extra weight in the food helped keep it from popping up from the reflux. He also did not tolerate cow's milk until almost two year's old.

I agree with the swaddling - mine loved it - once I got him in a crib it was the only way he would sleep.

Bottom line A., you need to either switch doctors or insist to the one you have to investigate this issue further. You are your child's best advocate - if you think there is something wrong keep pushing until you find out what it is.


answers from Detroit on

Yikes! I would take her back to the doctor until I got answers! My vote is acid reflux. The medicine can work wonders. Hope you all feel better soon!



answers from Atlanta on

My daughter is now 26, when she was an infant she did this. When we found a doctor who treated her for colic then she stopped.



answers from Minneapolis on

Babies at that age cry for everything .. it's very difficult to understand what exactly is bothering them. In your case, I am guessing that your baby is crying so much because she is hungry. Have you tried different brands of formula that are available? Maybe she might like one of them.
My son was breastfed. But I remember he used to cry a lot sometimes when he was gassy. I used to give him Baby Bliss/ M. bliss gripe water. That would calm him down. You can also give Mylicon drops for gas.
Also get the book/DVD 'Happiest baby on the block' . The 5 S's technique did work for M. on those difficult nights.
Yes your baby is too young to sleep on her stomach. And a hungry baby won't sleep in my experience. I have no advise on how to get your baby to eat , maybe other moms will have some. But I would suggest trying to wear her , she might sleep well against your chest. Also use white noise, it can help her fall asleep. Also babies sleep well when swaddled. The DVD I suggested shows how to swaddle a baby in a receiving blanket. "Swaddlers" work great and I used it for my son when he was a little older.



answers from Spartanburg on

Have her tested for GERD (acid reflux). My ds had that when he was a baby.



answers from Los Angeles on

As others have suggested, it sounds like reflux - the screaming, not wanting to lie down (especially on her back), throwing up whatever formula she has and then seeming to be in pain after, etc. My daughter had it and we put her on Zantac and saw a huge difference in her behavior.

Have you tried any of the hypoallergenic formulas yet, like nutramigen?

I would force your doc to consider reflux or another stomach ailment. Otherwise, I really think you need to consult with another doctor.

Will she sleep in a swing?



answers from Kalamazoo on

Perhaps trying a few different brands of formula, to see if there is one she tolerates better? I'm no expert on formula, but I believe some are soy based, which may be easier on your baby's stomach, if she is having a hard time keeping this one down. Another great website is 'Ask Dr. Sears':


Have you tried walking or rocking your baby to sleep? However, it sounds like she may be hungry, if she is rejecting the formula. Once you get the formula sorted out and she has a full belly, I bet she will fall asleep much easier.

I'm sorry you two are going through such a tough time. I really hope you get the feeding sorted out. Wishing you all the best...



answers from Kansas City on

I'm sorry you are going through this. Did all of this just start, or has it been going on since she was born? What kind of formula are you using? She is probably screaming because she is hungry. I have never heard of force feeding an infant! You need to get a new doctor that will listen to you and try to find a solution to the problem. The doctor that said to force feed a baby is just plain crazy! Will she sleep in her carseat? It could a form of acid reflux and sleeping at an incline could help her to sleep better too. I pray you figure this out soon because this is not normal behavior for a 3 month old.



answers from Augusta on

On the belly sleeping questions, statistically it is safer for babies to sleep on their back. Generally though when a baby can roll over they are just allowed to sleep there. My kids (4) all went through this and I just left them to sleep on their belly. I don't know anyone who rolled their baby back over to their back. I would let her sleep on her belly. I would also find a new pediatrician-- sounds like yours a) knows nothing about babies and b) doesn't care enough to help you. Probably he or she did not want to be liable in case your baby experienced a problem from stomach sleeping so even knowing it was impossible they told you to keep rolling the baby over.

On the food issue, it is extremely important that you stop feeding your baby watered down baby food. She will become malnourished. She may gain weight but will not have the nutrition that she needs which can affect brain development and overall health. Breastmilk or formula must make up all of a baby's diet until 4-6 months (6 months is preferable but 4 months is what baby food companies have managed to get people doing). Breast milk and formula are complete foods. They contain all the nutrition your baby needs, fats, proteins, vitamins, etc. Foods do not. Veggies and foods have next to no fats and proteins and tend to have a lot of one vitamin in particular and not much of anything else. That is why we have to eat a variety of foods. I have heard that people flavor formula with Caro syrup, this is not good, but much better than the watered down food. It is extremely, extremely important for your baby's health that you fix the eating situation by 1) stopping the food 2) finding a different ped 3) possibly consulting a nutritionist.

IT sounds like you are just trying to do the absolute best for your baby and you have been doing a great job, but unfortunately getting bad advice and no support from your pediatrician. Call a new ped today and get in the next couple of days. Let the baby sleep on her belly.



answers from Sumter on

Hi. I'm sorry y'all are going through this; you must be exhausted! This is honestly not normal, particularly the puking and screaming after eating. It could be something very straight-forward, but my suggestion would be to take her to another pediatrician for a second opinion. As for tummy sleeping, that is the only way my sister's two would sleep as babies. Stressed us all out. We swear by the Angel Care SIDS monitor in the crib. It's a sensor that goes under the mattress that monitors that baby's breathing pattern and it alarms if too much time lapses between breaths. You can find it on Amazon or at BabiesRUs. Everyone got sleep that way. My son had horrible reflux and slept on an incline in his crib. We used the monitor for him, too. Hang in there and trust your instincts. My sister's two are quirky, feisty little ones with random allergies and she had to find her own way a lot of times. Good luck!



answers from Charleston on

You have gotten a lot of great advice, I just wanted to add that both of my daughters are belly sleepers and have been their whole lives. My doctor said it is not ideal, but fine for an otherwise healthy baby in a non-smoking home. He said that smoking parents/caregivers are a MUCH bigger risk for SIDS than sleep position. He also said that after 4 months and the ability to roll over, SIDS risk drastically reduces.

ABSOLUTELY STOP feeding your baby watered down baby food. Your baby sounds like she has a physical problem (maybe something as simple as reflux) and needs help, not malnourishment. I would consider offering different bottles/nipples, using a dropper, or cup feeding. If your hospital offers a lactation consultant, go talk to them - they may beable to watch you feed and make suggestions (I realize you are not BF, but they are still a great resource.) You may also look into donor breast milk - better health wise, better flavor, and often associated with less spit up.

Another thing that can make a baby act like this is gas - it affects both sleeping and eating patterns and can make for a very grumpy baby. You can get infant gas drops over the counter at the grocery store or the walmart for a couple bucks. I would try that while searching for a new pediatrician.

Good luck mama!!!! This has to be SO stressful!!!! There is nothing more nerve racking than a baby who won't eat or sleep!!!!



answers from Florence on

Put her on her stomach!! both of my kids slept on their stomachs. Both rolled over early (6 and 8 weeks) and did it on their own. We put our 2nd on his stomach from the day we got home from the hospital because he was already lifting his head up (early, I know). But both of mine had intense gas and acid reflux issues and the pressure on the tummy helps. Some reflux babies like an angle on their backs (like a bouncy seat or infant car seat), but mine didn't.

You need to talk to a different pediatrician, a lactation consultant (if you're breastfeeding still) and yes, stop with the baby food. Your baby's intestines are not ready for baby food yet. Our pediatric gastroenterologist said that baby's digestive systems don't mature until at least 6 months, which is why you need to delay solids. You should try different formulas, including allergen free types. Does she puke up every kind? She sounds like my first...very particular and opinionated about what she likes/wants!

I know it is hard. I have been through it with the tummy issues with mine (though I did not formula feed and gave up all dairy and soy while breastfeeding). You might try products for colic, like Colic Calm. Also probiotics to help with digestion. And really, if your baby can lift her head...let her sleep on her tummy. You may finally get some sleep! Go with your gut and what you think works for your baby. Every doc has their own opinion and sometimes the one method for all really doesn't help.


answers from Chicago on

Hi A.,

The first thing you need to do is find a new pediatrician immediately. I find it appalling that your doctor isn't doing anything to find out why she's so uncomfortable.

In the meantime, do you have a baby swing? Maybe she'll sleep in a swing, where she is sitting somewhat upright and has the motion to calm her.

But, please run, don't walk to a new pediatrician. This just isn't right!

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