The WAH! Make it stop! ...or, Wine, please.


Boy 2.0 is eight and half weeks old. If he’s awake an hour, on a good day he cries 20 minutes. On a bad day–like today and Monday–he cries 45 minutes.

Numerous pediatrician visits and calls have revealed likely (possible) reflux, and a sensitivity to cow’s milk protein. I cut obvious dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt) out of my diet, and within 48 hours, he went from nerve-shredding, inconsolable screeching from 7pm-12am to mere tired “Wah!” typical fussy crying during the day. Sometimes, it’s just in the evening. Sometimes, like today, it starts at 8am.

So, some days, I have to just put him in his crib and walk away while he wails, and I go throw things that won’t break (stuffed animals, paperback books) in a room away from Boy 2.0. I cry. I yell. I breathe. Then I sigh, breathe some more, and go back and get him.

He didn’t nap well at all today or yesterday, and his cry sounded both tired and sick. I think Boy 1.0 generously shared his cold with his younger brother. Bending over to kiss his brother, then sneeze-spraying and/or wet-coughing right in Boy 2.0’s face, would probably do that. Thankfully, I’m breastfeeding and also have the cold (the whole house does), so baby boy gets my antibodies and isn’t as sick as he could be.

Boy 2.0 goes in for his first round of shots on Monday. I remember when his older brother went in for his two month checkup and first shots, he was happy and smiling and flirting with the nurse before being so hugely offended by a needle in the leg. I burst into tears today remembering Boy 1.0’s smile–Boy 2.0 does smile, but it’s rare and fleeting and far overshadowed by the constant wrinkly face and WAH! I get about 1-2 smiles a day, which help me go forward…but…GAH.

This newborn phase BLOWS. BLOWS.


Boy 2.0 is sleeping on Daddy at the moment, and I (the very rare drinker) am guzzling a beer. I’d prefer wine, but we don’t have any. Yet.

I put this in the changing table thread - but invest in a set of earmuffs like the ramp hands at the airport wear. You can get them at a hardware store or the local gun shop. Put them on, and you can hold a crying baby as you walk them around the home without the teeth rattling sounds.

Yes, I did have colicky son the first time around - and the set of green ear muffs are why he is alive today to instead drive me crazy as a hormonally injected teenager.

I have earplugs, as hubby-daddy is a serious snorer. I considered putting them on today. Perhaps I should have. Next time, I will.

Thanks for the “been there” commiseration.

Oop, hubby-daddy has to pee. I am now hold a squirming, winding-up-to-WAH! infant. Boo.

Sounds like a crazy idea, but enjoy this time as much as you can. Boy 2.0 will be man 2.0 way too soon.

Drink more wine. Best advice ever for the parents of a newborn.

I am so sorry.

Please, please may our next kid not have colic. Please, please, o listening deities. Please.

I read somewhere that beer is actually good for breastfeeding mothers, as it increases milk production.

I know some friends who had some success with putting their 2.0 into a hammock they fashioned from a towel. It was a different sensation, to the kid, and it worked. Not always. And not always for very long, but they seemed to appreciate every single moment of relief, even if only for 5 mins.

I feel for you, hang in there.

When my twin sisters were the same age as your young’un they both had colic. A houseful of adults and teenagers took turns walking them around the house with their tummies laying on our forearms–it was the only thing that soothed them.

They turned 29 last Saturday. Nobody killed 'em. :smiley:

Oooh, I had that model, too. I feel for you. The first several months of my son’s life, most evenings I spent hours holding him, walking a circle around the house, stopping to take a bite of dinner, then continuing my walk. Here are some things I would suggest:

  1. Go further than obvious dairy and cut out all dairy. If the ingredients say whey, casein, milk proteins, etc…move along.

  2. Consider cutting out all soy as well. These 2 things made a huge, huge difference.

  3. After he eats, keep him semi-upright, like in a bouncy chair or something.

  4. Consider that you may also have overactive letdown and/or a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. When I could, I would express a few ounces before nursing him, to try and minimize these issues.

  5. My son ended up taking Zantac until he was about 13 months old. Your feelings about this may differ from mine.

  6. I used a Baby Bjorn to walk around with him most of the time. Easier on my back and kept my hands free.

One of the things that was hard to deal with was never quite knowing which prong of this multi-pronged approach worked but, at the end of the day, it didn’t really matter. The ear-splitting yowling stopped.

Lissla Lissar, oh, we made the same prayers. I think we wound up giving the listening dieties ideas instead. “Oh, colic! Won’t giving them a colicky baby be fun?” Thing is, Boy 2.0 was suuuuper easy and quiet the first three weeks of life. Then he woke up the morning he turned three weeks, one day, another baby. Yikes.

It’s so hard not to be depressed. Cry cry cry, and my exhausting efforts to calm him do little to nothing. I feel ineffective and broken. He did manage to have 30-60min rest periods yesterday, but was still giving us full throttle WAH! at 9pm last night. By then, he was so exhausted from crying his cry was weaker–but still, loud. He finally was out at 9:30pm, and slept well enough. He cried after his 4am feeding, but managed to go back down. When he started crying at 7am this morning, I broke down in tears myself. I don’t feel the urgency to go to him when he cries now, and that bothers me. :frowning:

I was thisclose to taking him to urgent care and/or calling the on call pediatrician last night when the crying continued, but again…if he has no fever, is eating and gaining weight, and there are no wheezing sounds from his lungs, what can they do?

His crying this morning was just fussing, though, and carrying him around quieted him. He just had a minimeal and is now snoozing in his swing, hopefully for longer than 20min like yesterday.

MPB, Boy 1.0’s pediatrician that tended to him when he was first born told me to drink a beer a day to boost my milk supply, heh. Alas, that is now considered old school thinking–still, nice to think it might make a difference. More beer, please.

Lorene, wow, we do share the same model. Funny, I’m doing a lot of what you did:

  1. I’ll cut more dairy out, though WOW that sucks. It’s hard to eat as it is now; cutting more out? Boo. sigh

  2. Yesterday, I noticed some green stool in his diaper–sometimes indicative of inability to digest milk and/or soy proteins. Dammit. I had just switched to soy milk for cereal and drinking, and had a soy latte, the day before. Wonder if that’s the source of yesterday’s WAH!, although he wasn’t as gassy as I’ve known him to be. Switching to rice milk now. sigh

  3. We usually do that–he’s usually semi-upright snoozing on our chest.

  4. I’ve considered this, as he has a weak latch and tends to nibble rather than eat. I’ve changed to only putting him on one breast per feeding, rather than switching sides, for the last 2 weeks or so. As far as overactive letdown, maybe. Last night, I became engorged as he wasn’t eating well, and the letdown when I fed him for one of his night feeds was so forceful it almost hurt. I got up at 5:50am just to pump as I was painfully engorged, and knew even if he wanted to eat, I’d overwhelm him with volume due to being engorged. I pumped a whopping 3.75oz from each side, then came back to bed only to nurse him about 10min later. I had a letdown (much less severe) and he ate happily.

  5. He’s already on Prevacid, and has been for about 3 weeks. I’m not sure I noticed any difference.

  6. Ah, we have the Baby Bjorn as well. I use that when I’m eager to Do Something and he just won’t stop fussing. He quiets in there, and I get some laundry done. Hubby wears it sometimes in the evening, when he fussy is at high volume.

And YES, not knowing what works is maddening–but indeed, if anything works, I will be happy. Well…relieved, certainly.

Oh, man. Do NOT put pressure on yourself not to be depressed. You’re in a terrible situation and how you feel is how you feel. I remember crying to my sister that I was broken, too, that I just couldn’t do the right thing to get him feeling better. The crazy thing, though, is that dealing with that whole issue made the bond between my son and me so extremely strong…but it took a while to get there. It was like we were in this together and we’re the survivors of this insanity.

It does suck. No two ways about it. I cried many times over it (are you sensing a pattern to my responses? I cried, and then I cried, and then I cried some more…), at least until I found things that I could eat rather than just not eating things I couldn’t—i.e., I was just going hungry a lot before I started adding things in. This site has some good avoid/safe to eat lists.

That can also mean foremilk/hindmilk imbalance, so doing the pumping/expressing before you nurse will help.

Make sure it’s adjusted for his weight. For us, it took a few weeks to kick in and then, every time he gained enough weight (which was often! He wasn’t one of those throwing-up, sickly reflux babies), we’d have to bump the dose.

Make sure you get out of the house and into fresh air at least once a day, preferably by yourself. You can start to feel like you’re in an ever-shrinking world of madness with a colicky/refluxy baby, and it’s important to take care of yourself. It’s the old “Parents need to put on their oxygen masks so that they can attend to putting on their kids’ masks” adage.

I wish I lived near you. I’d come over and do the rounds while you went outside and breathed.

I meant to say more supportive things Ruffian but didn’t remember until well after I’d turned off the computer for the night! In addition to my colicky sisters, I had one colicky infant of my own (the others were Bearable Models). Sometimes it’s darkest before the dawn, and if you can give it a one-day-at-a-time approach, before you know it things have changed and you’re out of the woods. One thing my mother said helped enormously: “Remember how it seemed your sisters would be crying fussy intolerable infants forever? And look now, how short a time period that seems.” Just knowing that it WOULD end somehow made it easier to bear.

And I say bah on the old wives tale aspect of beer. A lactation-specialist nurse recommended it to me and baby, I looked forward to that one beer a night like you wouldn’t believe. :smiley: Get some O’Douls and have two!

Oh and I just gave that colicky infant of mine her cell phone back after a month-long suspension of it … age 15 certainly brings a new set of problems.

Thank you, Lorene and Ellen. Hubby DeathLlama (home for the holiday weekend, mercifully) just strapped Boy 2.0 on in the Baby Bjorn and went outside for a walk. The baby started crying after being in the swing maybe 20min, and I cracked. I got him and held him and just broke down in sobs while he cried. DeathLlama had stepped out to go to the store, so it was just me, Boy 2.0, and our shared tears. Hubby came home with roses, and arms open to take a colicky baby out of my arms. I just rushed to my pillow and sobbed until I gagged. Now, I’m a puffy-eyed, exhausted mess, but at least the home is quiet.

What makes this so much worse is Wednesday was the first anniversary of the sudden death of my father. I have had no time to deal with the grief that has resurfaced, though (strange the things I remember right now), because of all the WAH!

Plus, my in-laws are driving down to stay for this extended weekend. They’ll be here sometime this afternoon. I have had next to zero time to clean or prepare, and just add that to my feeling of defeat. They’re staying in their RV in front of our home, so at least I don’t need to make a bedroom for them. They are good people, but not particularly baby-skilled, and I don’t relax at the thought of them taking the baby for a few hours, or even half hour. I cringe anticipating hearing them say, “Wow, DeathLlama was never like this,” as they have said about Boy 1.0 when he’s just being three-year-old-hyper. I know they don’t mean anything by it, but all I hear is “Geez, Ruffian spoiled the gene pool.”

I know I need to get out of the house. I know I do. My pediatrician’s nurse actually said I needed 30min a day, every day, with a colicky baby. But I can’t get it, because it means leaving DeathLlama with a colicky infant and a 3yro made wild by his brother’s crying.

I’m feeling a bit imprisoned, but hopefully will get out to the barn to see my horse today. The fresh air and my mare’s soothing presence will do me a world of good. I’m just so exhausted, I don’t know right now if I even have it in me to go see her–plus, there’s the house.


Can I just wake up and he be 12mos old tomorrow, please? Or 6mos. I’ll settle for 6mos.

I know it’s a short period of time, but it can end any time now. Any fucking time now.

Your husband can survive a half hour or more with two kids. You’ve been dealing with them all day, correct? Don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends and family.

Can you take the baby on walks in his stroller? When my son was that little, my wife and I found that taking him for a walk was the best way to get some peace and quiet. Hell, at 15 months, taking him for a drive still seems to calm him down.

Ruffian, don’t beat yourself up over him crying. Some babies just cry a lot. It sounds like you are doing everything that can be done. From what I can tell, it doesn’t mean anything and they later can turn into cheery toddlers.

What if you gave the baby wine so it sleeps? :smiley:

What about the car escape? Put baby in back seat, put favorite CD in player, turn to loud. And just drive and drive. When he nods off, pull over somewhere and just sit outside and enjoy the great outdoors and the quiet, be still and away from all the others. Just a suggestion!

Wow! What a place to be! I’m sitting here wishing I could make it all better for you, and you aren’t even one of mine.

I don’t know if it helps for me to say this, but, boy2.0 is how he is. And he always will be, whatever that becomes. It isn’t your job to make everything right for him, because you can’t. It is only your job to do the best you can and to let him know you love him. And you’re doing that, every minute. You are not failing at anything here, you are doing the job. And going above and beyond, I’d say, if you’re still caring that much about him. Give yourself a break, literally and figuratively.

It will get better. And then there will be other challenges to deal with.

Oh, and when your in-laws tell you that their son was never like that? Tell them you know, they just weren’t that lucky.

I’m due in August and very worried about this. Just found out that my husband was a little colicky when he was a baby. I told him had I known that I never would have married him!!

All kidding aside- have you heard about Dr. Harvey Karp’s “Happiest Baby on the Block”? There’s a DVD and a book (I just picked it up at Target). Google it and you’ll find more information too but it’s 5 steps to help soothe a baby. While I don’t have one of my own I witnessed it work on my 13 nieces and nephews!

To summarize it’s the “5 Ss” (from

 * Swaddling - Tight swaddling provides the continuous touching and support the fetus experienced while still in Mom's womb.

* Side/stomach position - You place your baby, while holding her, either on her left side to assist in digestion, or on her stomach to provide reassuring support. Once your baby is happily asleep, you can safely put her in her crib, on her back.

* Shushing Sounds - These sounds imitate the continual whooshing sound made by the blood flowing through arteries near the womb. This white noise can be in the form of a vacuum cleaner, a hair dryer, a fan and so on. The good news is that you can easily save the motors on your household appliances and get a white noise CD which can be played over and over again with no worries.

* Swinging - Newborns are used to the swinging motions that were present when they were still in Mom's womb. Every step mom took, every movement caused a swinging motion for your baby. After your baby is born, this calming motion, which was so comforting and familiar, is abrubtly taken away. Your baby misses the motion and has a difficult time getting used to it not being there. "It's disorienting and unnatural," says Karp. Rocking, car rides, and other swinging movements all can help.

* Sucking - "Sucking has its effects deep within the nervous system," notes Karp, "and triggers the calming reflex and releases natural chemicals within the brain." This "S" can be accomplished with bottle, breast, pacifier or even a finger.

Enjoy the beer!!!

Build an itty-bitty hugging machine a-la Temple Grandin and chug away! :dubious: