well, the last few days have been...how shall we say..."hard" just doesn't seem to cut it. tristan has found his vocal chords and is seemingly trying to tell us something that we just aren't understanding. we've looked up colic on the internet & attempted any and every suggestion we've encountered, but to no avail. it seems that the little angel baby we came home with 4 weeks ago has morphed into a screaming, flailing, red faced little creature that we don't know what to do with! thankfully, he is asleep at the moment and looking so peaceful i could eat him up. every moment that he is not asleep, however, it seems that he is crying. not just crying, actually, but screaming. here's what we have tried: swaddling, pacifier, rocking, bouncing, burping, walking, carrying him in his carseat, driving, darkness, white noise, cuddling, music, the list goes on and on. literally the only thing that stops his crying is when he is eating.
-could he be constantly hungry? he literally could eat every hour for 30 minutes at a time and still not be opposed to eating again an hour (or 45 minutes) later.
-could it be i'm not producing enough milk? every time i pump, i get around 3 ounces in 15 minutes from one side, and if it seems he's drained one side and is still hungry, i'll put him on the other side. also, he has around 10 poopy diapers a day, so i know he's getting food. is there such a thing as his metabolism going too fast?
-could it be that he is in pain? we burp him in 3 different positions, just to make sure we're not missing anything. he does pass wind when he cries, but that's probably because he swallows a lot of air while screaming. also, if a baby is truly in pain, would a breast really calm him down as much as it does? (his screaming literally shuts off as soon as it's in the mouth and he becomes so calm that he'll often fall asleep while eating) one thing we haven't tried yet is gripe water. can anyone tell me what is actually in gripe water?
-could it be that he is over-tired? i thought this for awhile, and it still could be true. what confuses me is that he has woken up in this state before, though that was after only a 30 minute nap. the problem is in trying to calm him enough to actually be able to put him down. i know many parents advocate letting your baby "cry it out" but i am trying to avoid that at all costs. i prefer the baby whisperer way of putting them to sleep, which is comforting them when they cry, but as soon as they settle, putting them right back down in their crib. the only problem with this method is the part in getting them to settle. i'm working on recognizing his sleepy cues so that i can put him down BEFORE he gets himself so worked up, but oftentimes he'll yawn away, but still be bright eyed and awake for quite awhile.
-could it be that he is unhappy because he is not on a schedule? okay, so i've read the baby whisperer a few times. i've read babywise as well and at least half a dozen other books that promote demand feeding. out of all of these approaches, i feel most comfortable with the demand feeding approach simply because i'm not sure my baby fits into the mold that a schedule demands of him. for example, the baby whisperer says that the baby should eat approximatly every 3 hours. after eating, he should have awake time, followed by sleep time. once three hours has passed from the beginning of the last feeding, baby should be woken and fed again. so, what if baby falls asleep while eating and refuses to wake up? should i "force" him to have his awake time, even though he is so obviously tired? or what if, after eating, he is so wide awake and having such a great time that he doesn't want to go to sleep, and in fact shows no sign of being sleepy. do i "force" him into his crib just so i'm following the proper order of eat, awake, sleep? or what if, one hour after eating (and eating a full 40 mintues, i might add), he is fussing and rooting and putting his fingers in his mouth (obviously hungry)...do i ignore his hungry signals and force him to wait 2 more hours before feeding him again? i just can't really believe that every single baby needs the same amount of calories, or the same amount of sleep as every other baby. in every other way i adore the baby whisperer and find her advice really helpful, but i just can't see going through the agony of putting tristan on a schedule that tells him when he is supposed to be hungry and supposed to be tired, etc.
now, in all honesty, he doesn't literally cry every waking moment. he sleeps well at night, waking up every 3-5 hours to eat and he does not scream during those times. usually he gets really wound up in the late afternoon/early evening, which is apparently a fussy time for many babies. the only thing is, i wouldn't classify tristan as "fussy" during those times. i'd say rather that he's "inconsolable". last night we had a mini breakthrough after watching a dvd called "the happiest baby on the block" we've already been swaddling him, but realized how important that is. we found the "shushing" suggestion quite helpful with tristan, putting our mouth right up to his ear and loudly saying "shhhhhhh" steadily until he calms down. the idea is to mimic the sounds he was used to hearing in the womb. we found that if we kept doing this, eventually, he'd stop crying. i also discovered when i turned the water on full blast in the sink, he immediately stopped crying. we have yet to experiment with radio static in his bedroom.
really, i guess i'm just venting on this blog and kind of asking for your advice. has anyone out there had a bona fide colicky baby, and, if so, how did you know for certain he was colicky? for those of you who have suggested the baby whisperer method, did you really keep the cycle of eat, awake, sleep at 3 hour intervals all day long? and what is gripe water, anyway?
i'm just so thankful that his one month checkup is tomorrow, and i'm praying that we will get some answers from the doctor because if we have 3 more months of this to look forward to...i may as well check myself into the nuthouse early.