Re: Constant Nursing and Crying - Help Appreciated!
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby and on making it through the first 7 weeks of nursing!
Everything you describe is pretty typical for a 7 week-old, though definitely on the demanding end of the spectrum! Let's start with feeding intervals shortening as the day goes on. That's normal. Most kids go a little longer in the morning and then start cluster-feeding as they get into the afternoon-evening. Not only is nursing very comforting, but it's also how babies tank up for a longer stretch of sleep at night- which your child probably isn't giving you (yet).
Now, let's move on to the baby's extreme fussiness. Also normal, particularly as the day wears on. Most babies wake up pretty happy, but as the day wears on they get more and more fussy. Some of them- and I think your baby is likely among them- demonstrate fussiness which is so severe that it is referred to as "evenings-only" colic, something which can last for several hours per day. If you have one of these babies, and I've had 2, you know that nothing works for long when it comes to keeping your baby happy. You have to keep changing your comforting strategy, swapping in a new technique every time the one you're using stops working. Some things to try:
- Calm house. Rely on natural light as much as possible- this will help set your baby's circadian rhythms. Keep the lights, TV, and stereo down or off.
- White noise. Radio static, the sound of tires on pavement, running water, heartbeat and breathing sounds.
- Closeness. Wear baby in a sling or cuddle her close to bare skin.
- Motion. Swing, sling, stroller, exercise ball, etc.
- Warm water- give baby a soap-free bath in the sink. This worked like magic for my kids! They would go from screaming to happy for the duration of the bath.
- Change of scene. Take baby outside for some fresh air.
- Nurse. Nurse nurse nurse nurse nurse- if baby is willing!
- Bottle. For some babies- and my firstborn was one- a few oz of easily-available milk or formula will defuse the cycle of fussiness and transition baby into a period of calm. The bottle does not have to contain formula. Breastmilk will do just as well and has the added benefit of being much less likely to upset your baby's tummy.
Things will get better, I promise!!! The fact that your baby is giving you plenty of wets and poops is an excellent sign that you have plenty of milk and the problem is not in any way related to supply, but rather to your baby being a baby. Maybe a colicky one. The best thing I can say about colic is that it passes- it generally starts at around 3 weeks, peaks at around 6 weeks, and is noticeably diminished by 3 months, and gone by 6 months.
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"