Saturday, October 06, 2007

7 months: Fussier than ever

I'm burned out. I'm stressed and feeling like I don't know what to do. The babe has gone through many a changes in her short life. . .this is common. It seems that every time something changes, it takes a few days or weeks, then we settle into our new pattern and we're good to go. As many of you know our baby was a fussy newborn. We got through that and it seems that at about 5 months I finally hit my stride.

Well that was short lived. She has made some changes again, yet this time I don't feel as though we've settled into them as we have in the past. I can honestly say she seems fussier than ever and it's a total mystery. As always, I love to hear any feedback you may have (that's why I put it out there right?).

I was going to write it all up, but it's almost too much to write out. I think the details are important and I can't include everything for all the different problem areas we're encountering so I'm just going to give you the general picture. . .

First, food: She started solids. Didn't do well at first, but eventually learned to eat her peas, carrots and bananas, etc. However, now I cannot get her to eat anything other than bananas (mixed with rice cereal and yogurt). Not even other fruit. What's up with the regression? Also, I gave her some juice one day (diluted of course). After a little struggle, she chugged it. She drank juice willing and enthusiastically for a couple days. Now won't touch any juice. Huh?

Sleep: Was doing well with waking only 1 time a night. Goes down around 6-7 and gets up around 6:30-7. When she started waking up 2 times again we I responded at first, then decided to let her CIO to get back to just once a night. For some reason, she used to cry 10-15 min. and go back down (except vacation, which is understandable). NOW she has cried 3 times this week for over an hour and 1/2 each time. What?? I just gave in last night (after 1 hr. 20 min) and fed her. Not only that, but when I used to feed her and put her back to bed she went back to sleep without a peep. . . now when we're done feeding she cries when I put her back and takes a few minutes to calm down. Strange. I've tried giving her more milk before bedtime and she willingly takes it (maybe she was legitimately hungry?), but alas even last night she awoke again after a healthy sized bedtime bottle. I am considering supplementing with formula, something I have not done as of yet.

Overall demeanor: This is probably what's most frustrating. . . she's just fussy ALL. THE. TIME. No she's not crawling yet, but she is sitting. Some moms told me "just wait til she starts sitting, it will get better." It hasn't. It's worse. Sometimes, (after a nap and after she's been fed, ie. well rested and not hungry) she'll be sitting on the floor and just start BAWLING. I know she wants me to pick her up or play with her, but even when I do she is still fussy/whining/crying. I know she likes to be out and about and doing things and be entertained, but this is getting ridiculous. It's like she's saying, "Pick me up, but don't hold me. . . play with me, but not too much, I want a new toy, no I don't . . . ."

If it were just one or the other, I wouldn't be so worried, but feeling like there are a lot of changes and I'm not sure what's going on or if they're somehow related. And no I don't think she's teething. I see no other signs and it's been this way for a while.

So here's what I really want to know, 1) does this sound like anyone else's child? Did you go through this strange period where they just seemed unhappy all the time? And 2) do you think this might be symptomatic of a bigger problem? Sick, not getting enough to eat, secretly teething for months with no other signs to show for it, etc?

Once again, thanks.

*Update*
I just wanted to say that I posted this in a moment of frustration. Yes I'm frustrated, but I don't think it's as bad as I made it sound . . . overall. Some moments/nights/days are worse than others. So it goes . . .

15 comments:

  1. Anonymous6:02 PM

    Hey lady! You know, Graham was "teething", I think, for several weeks before the first tooth actually emerged. My pediatrician told us, that if all else failed (if food, sleep, and playing were not the problem), to try to give him one dose (according to his weight) of Tylenol Infant. If this eased his mood, then it was some sort of pain that he was experiencing, as Tylenol does not sedate or calm the baby otherwise. This has worked for us for the past 3.5 months of teething/fussy moods. Maybe worth a try? (of course, with the doc's OK). That's all I got! Good luck, and hope things ease up soon!
    love, Suz

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm sorry, but it really does sound like she's teething...I mean the interest in the food & then backing away from it, waking up at night & crying when you put her back in and being fussy NO MATTER what you do...it sounds all too familiar with teething signs. It will pass & she'll get better at eating & getting less fussy, sleeping...etc. My guy got fussiest right before the tooth started showing. Can you see anything bulging in her gums? Good luck! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I really think you should talk to Dr Eng...in my experience, she's a great listener. Also, I think you need to supplement a little bit... if she's drinking more milk, then she needs & wants it. Babies & toddlers are amazing at listening to their bodies, and when they're hungry, it's all consuming. They BECOME the hunger. I really think you should just try it for a few days and see if it helps.

    ReplyDelete
  4. well, I don't have any kids yet, but I did used to be one, and drawing on past experience, I'd have to say....I can't remember that far back. I do think you are an amazing mom, and it's always good to be able to share ideas and trouble shoot....I think you're wonderful!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Suz and Kim--Yeah I've thought about that, but she eats her banana's just fine, so I would think if she didn't want food, she wouldn't want ANY food. And there are no other obvious signs--she not slobbery at all. No bumps on the gums. . . but it's still possible.

    Kendra--yes I think she needs more milk. I'm going to borrow Heather's pump and see if I can get more milk, if not I'll start supplementing. I actually called Dr. Eng yesterday and she didn't call back. . .I'll try again tomorrow.

    Andrea--thanks for the love. and if you can't remember that far back, maybe you should check in your baby journals, surely you wrote this stuff down.

    ReplyDelete
  6. baby journals?? I was supposed to keep baby journals? wow, I really don't remember that....I think my dog ate them. This doesn't change my grade, does it?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yes, I agree with Andrea that you are an amazing mom. Won't it be fun to sit with Penelope when she's 9 or ten and tease her about what a fuss bucket she was as a babe. I personally can't wait to tell Stella all about how she drove me bonkers sometimes.

    All I can say is trust your gut. And Stella did get happier when I started supplementing then exclusively feeding her formula. I really wanted breast feeding to work, but we were all a bit happier when we switched over. Call me for a walk sometime!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Awe...what a good mommy you are! The first thing I think of is our favorite motto *everthing always changes*. But aside from that, Lucy seemed to experience symptoms of teething for a LONG time before I saw any teeth bulging. I swear, she had it so much worse than Brady ever had it. One thing I haven't tried, but will on the next baby, is gripe water. Supposedly it helps with teething(and colic), IF that is what the problem is. If it's not, it's probably just going to be something she grows out of. She'll learn. You're meeting her needs. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I haven't read all the other comments, so this might have been addressed already, but how is her poop? With the solids, sometimes constipation or just digestive issues can settle in. This can even account for sleeplessness. Make sure she gets some water, and also a baby acidophilus to help withe a healthy digestive tract could be a good idea. Yes, our little one had times where she just seemed unhappy. She love her and hold on.

    ReplyDelete
  10. You make enough milk, you don't need to supplement. And a pump is NEVER a good indication how much you're making because baby always gets more from you than a pump.

    Babies are picky with solids, it's more for fun and not necessary in the first 12 months. So don't stress if she does or doesn't want solids. As long as you nurse her when she wants and as long as she wants, she'll get enough.

    Have you read Dr. Sears's book on fussy babies called, Fussy Babies (curiously.) Dr. Sears and his wife had a child with "High Needs" as they call it. They have tremendous insight in what it's like to parent a child who is intense, I really recommend that you read his experience, as it's sounding kind of familiar.

    What High Needs Means
    and
    12 Lessons our High Needs Child Taught Us.

    I think Bean is just a child with her own personality that needs a little more intensity than other children. It's rough because you guys haven't been parents and you don't have anything to compare her to--and I think you have every right to feel the way you do. I think it's a hallmark of a very intelligent girl who came with her own personality (but you don't need me to tell you that.)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I forgot this one:
    12 Features of a high needs baby.

    Here are the 12 features, but the link has a ton of detail under each heading.

    1. "INTENSE"
    2. "HYPERACTIVE" also hypertonic
    3. "DRAINING"
    4. "FEEDS FREQUENTLY"
    5. "DEMANDING"
    6. "AWAKENS FREQUENTLY"
    7. "UNSATISFIED"
    8. "UNPREDICTABLE"
    9. "SUPER-SENSITIVE"
    10. "CAN'T PUT BABY DOWN"
    11. "NOT A SELF-SOOTHER"
    12. "SEPARATION SENSITIVE"

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hey Amy,
    I am not at that stage yet, but Asher loves to have my attention all the time. He is the first and naturally has everyone at his bidding. So, I understand the holding part. As far as reading material goes, I agree with Azucar. I have The Baby Book by Dr. Sears and I love it. You don't have to subscribe to everything they suggest but they have been right on about everything I needed to know about. They also address a lot. You can always get information off of their website: www.drsears.com. It has all the information the books do.
    Good luck,
    Mo
    P.S. I was told to never share my pump by my lactaion consultant. Even if it is clean, there can be remnants of another mother's milk or germs.

    ReplyDelete
  13. It depends on whether or not the pump has a closed or open system. My Ameda has a closed system, meaning that the milk never goes into the machinery. You could buy a new horn and bottles, and it would be legal to use by a second user. Some of the Medelas have open systems, meaning that the pumps are single user only (it's illegal to resell single user pumps.)

    ReplyDelete
  14. OK so I'm sure all of this was covered, but I went through this with Ava off and on. She would only eat bananas and Sweet Potatoes. I was worried because I thought she wasn't getting enough, but the doc said as long as she was still getting her milk, she would be great. My problem was that she was fussy because she wasn't getting full enough so i always mixed her food with rice cereal. She would wake up at night because she wasn't getting enough right before bed too. So, I started feeding her more frequently (since it was worse during growth spurts) and making sure she ate right before bed.

    Around the age of 1, she was eating more things - like regular meals and not just baby food - so I could cut back the schedule. This seemed to work for me. Remember that during growth spurts, your body will produce more milk too so I wouldn't worry about your supply. Another thing I did for Ava was alternate feeding between solids and nursing.

    Also, what kind of juice are you giving her and is it diluted? I found out that Ava would drinkt he juice if I did half water and half juice instead of full juice. It was just too strong for her.

    Good luck. I'll let you know if I think of anything else.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I didn't get a chance to respond to everyone individually, but seriously thank you for the advice/thoughts/etc. I'll just say we're moving forward with a few different ideas and hopefully all will go well. While she is quite the spitfire at times, I sometimes forget to mention how much of a doll she is and how much she melts my little heart.

    Thanks again everyone!

    ReplyDelete