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Thread: 3 Month Old constantly crying - looking for suggestions

  1. #1

    Default 3 Month Old constantly crying - looking for suggestions

    Hello there,

    I'm new to the forum, and wanted to ask if anyone could give me some suggestions on some issues/questions for an upcoming doctor's appointment. Also for my sanity, as I'm starting to feel at my wit's end.

    My 3 month baby boy has been fussy ever since about 2 weeks old, usually about 4-5 days a week of bad days where he cries a lot from about 9/11am to about 7pm. I feel like I should "know" his cries, and while I can figure it out sometimes, other times I feel very helpless; especially because they sound like they are due to pain.

    Until about 3 weeks ago, I used to be able to comfort nurse him if all else failed when trying to calm him. Now he cries at the breast as well during his fussing time.

    When he fusses he does a number of things, sometimes seperately sometimes all at once: he will arch his back, and usually kick his legs very forcefully. Very squirmy. In times of extreme distress he does not like any holding position, where he used to like being held agasint the shoulder.

    Lately, when at the breast, after latching he goes very stiff, stretching out his whole body in an arc (pushing his head back, belly in, and feet back). He often pulls his head back a lot when he does this - leaving me with pretty sore nipples; sometimes blistered. He tugs on the nipple sometimes, slaps his hand on me, wiggles his hips a lot (usually this is followed by him passing gas but not always), and rolls his eyes around. He seems to WANT to feed when he's upset as he's frantic to latch on, but then seems upset and starts to cry.

    About 3 weeks ago, he was diagnosed with reflux, although I was not given details of it's severity. They provided him a PPI (Omeprazole), 5mg a day in the morning. The PPI was in the form of tiny little balls, coated in a time-release coating. I was told to "dissolve" these in breastmilk, but what a joke! It took 45 minutes for that and they didn't even dissolve entiretly, then he wouldn't have drink the medicine because it tasted horrible. We tried a few different methods to give it to him BUT shortly after he started the meds I noticed blood in his stool. I consulted the local nurse again, who informed me they should have given me the pre-dissolved medicine and said my decision to stop his current medication was a good idea. I will discuss the pre-dissolved medicine with my doctor in our upcoming appointment.

    Of note is that his reflux seems to improve the day we started the meds, and he was good for three days. However I think this is a fluke - they told me the meds take about two weeks to take effect. After I stopped giving him the meds, his crying didn't seem due to reflux (although this last week it seems both reflux and stomach pain).

    His stools are what concern me, I suppose. I've read that the colors vary a lot, but it still worries me. He usually has one very green one at least once a day, one yellowish brown one, and about two browny-green ones . Some are muscousy, and seem more liquidy and darker. He has at least 3 a day, but sometimes more. He pees a lot so I'm not worried he's dehydrated - I feel like I go through 12 diapers a day, at least (thought it was supposed to slow down lol).

    His fussing usually goes in a cycle. In the morning, he wakes up between 7 - 9am for about an hour. This is one of the few times in the day he seems content while awake. After an hour he starts to yawn and rube his eyes, so I try to put him down to sleep. If he gets this nap he seems a little better during the day, if not... then it's eat, happy for a half hour, crying until he a) falls asleep - usually only for 20 minutes or so b) eats again - then the cycle repeast c) I distract him with something for another 20 minutes.

    Other details:
    • He is exclsively breast fed.
    • I have tried gripe water, but use it sparinly. He really likes the taste but I don't think it's doing anything. Should I be using it more often to see an affect?
    • He eats at least every 3 hours, but usually is it 2 or less. It feels like ALL the time during the day, as I will offer it to him after trying other ways to calm his crying. He is usually done eating quite quickly - in about 10 minutes now - but sometimes will remain there for an hour for comfort, if he calms himself.
    • At night he sleeps better, but he wakes up crying all the time. In fact, I have never seen him have a "calm" wake but do babies do that? I guess I just assume him waking up and starting crying every time was completely normal.
    • I feel like he has a better day if he has a least a few naps. I think some of the issue with his crying is lack of naps. I will see him napping peacefully, then he will make a face of pain and wake up crying. After this it's hard to get him back to sleep - he likes to look at everything.
    • I burp him often, but usually not as much at night or if he has fallen asleep for an overdue nap. He's difficult to burp, and will usually burp lots while we walk him around - bringing up some spit up but less than 3 weeks ago.
    • I hear lots of noise from his tummy when he eats, especially after going for 3 hours without a feed at night. Lots of gurgling, or what sounds like swallowed air; yet his latch seems okay.
    • Lots of gurgling from his lower belly after a BM or sometimes when eating.
    • He is almost always eating directly after crying, so I do not get to feed a "calm" baby. He usually calms a bit when he sees he's about to be fed (not wailing) but is almost always a bit worked up.
    • A nurse has discussed overactive let down with me - she ruled it out. I never see milk spraying when he pulls off. I have seem him sputter or choke about 5 times in total during 3 months, but he also has a very strong suck (imo) - he sucks his top lip and bottom lip in almost every time and I am always adjusting it. I also can't seem to pump very much (about 1 oz in the morning) although I know that may not be indicative of much.
    • He is drooling a lot - usually more in the afternoon and evening. He sucks and chews on his fist, or anything else you put in his mouth (pacifier, toy, teether).
    • He won't take a pacificer for comfort sucking (he tries to bite it, or will suck on it for a short bit very vigourously and then spit it out).
    • He was a C-Section baby due to a breech birth, was born at 39 weeks. He is almost 12 pounds now. At birth he was 7.8 pounds but dropped to 6.2 pounds. I was told he in a lower percentile, but not to worry as he was gaining fine.
    • He rubs his eyes sooo much. This is why I assume he's overtired. He's almost always rubbing them when he's feeding or fussing. After a day of no long naps (none past 1 hr) his eyes are pretty red by about 7pm.
    • He sleeps from about 8/10PM to 7/9AM without waking easily. When he wakes it is usually quite quickly, and he cries immediately, but in the night he is much more easily settled by nursing back to sleep.
    • I feel is quite distractable; probably the issue with him taking a nap. He looks does not like one spot for very long (20 minutes maybe). If I can't get him to sleep I try to turn down the sounds, lights, etc. It's hard with the lights during the day though because all my blinds let some amount of light in.


    If anyone could give me some advice I'd appreciate it so much, or ideas on what I could ask my doctor. I am a new mom and I sometimes feel I don't KNOW what to ask the doctor. I feel intimidated by asking too many questions - especially because they are always telling me he is healthy and gaining well. Good things, of course, but I just worry perhaps there is something I am missing? I even tried avoiding milk for a while, but didn't follow through because he actually seemed to get worse after a week of none and I usually have very little dairy anyway.

    Anyway, I'm sorry for the long post. I feel more details are usually better.

    TLDR my baby is fussy and crying a lot for about 12 hours during the day, is now crying at the breast, I'm stressed, and looking to see if anyone has some suggestions or if there are more specific question I should be bringing to my doctor.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 3 Month Old constantly crying - looking for suggestions

    Hi
    I have a 5 months old baby and from my exp. Whatever we eat its gonna affect our baby . So my suggestion is:
    1- use infants probiotics. Gerber soothes colic is good.
    2- eat well balanced diet. Try to consume more healthy stuff i.e sweet potatoes, rice, cooked veggies, avoid fried food n junk.
    3- less caffeine
    4- for green stools. (Assuming you have better milk supply) Feed him from one breast . And within 3-4 hours use the same side for 2-3 times. This way he will get the high calorie thick milk. You can offer second breast anytime if baby is not satisfied or you think breast is empty.dont try this method if u already have low supply.

    5-Feed him at least 15-20 mins at a time
    6-if u want to avoid dairy. Use oat milk or rice milk n take calcium suppliments too.
    Good luck.
    Last edited by @llli*habiba; February 29th, 2016 at 03:48 PM. Reason: Clarify comments

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 3 Month Old constantly crying - looking for suggestions

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby and on making it to 3 months of nursing!

    The baby's age and crying pattern- up to 10 hours per day, 4-5 days per week, starting at 2 weeks of age- suggests that what you are seeing may be colic. The definition of colic is unconsolable crying in a healthy, well-nourished baby which lasts for 3 or more hours per day, 3 or more days per week, from around 3 weeks of age. Colic crying can definitely co-occur and be worsened by reflux.

    I know you feel like you should "know your baby's cries" by now, but he's young for that to be the case. A lot of us go into motherhood thinking that at a certain point we will know exactly what our kids need- that we will know exactly when they are tired, hungry, wet, cranky, etc., simply by hearing their cry. Trust me: it does not work this way. My 10 year-old still mystifies me!

    I think the PP gave an excellent suggestion about trying probiotics, particularly since baby was born via c-section, which can mess with the way the baby's gut flora develops. I would strongly advise against one-sided feedings or timed feedings, though. Nursing on just one breast at a time is something you would want to do only if the baby seems satisfied from just one breast, and it's something you do if you have some level of oversupply. A mom with average supply should not use just one breast at a time unless her baby spontaneously demonstrates that he's done after finishing one breast. And timing feedings- well, babies know when they are done nursing,must like adults know when we are done eating. Don't take my sandwich away after 20 minutes if I'm still hungry, or force me to keep eating it if I'm not!

    Do you have a sling or stroller? Many babies- particularly those with reflux- really like being held upright for a long time after feedings, and thrive on close physical contact and motion.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 3 Month Old constantly crying - looking for suggestions

    What do you guys think-Could the eye rubbing and all that drooling signify some sort of seasonal allergy? Where I live right now the seasonal allergies are terrible I don't remember them affecting my babies as newborns but it's just another thought. Also are you sure your home is completely healthy no mold or anything allergies can pop up from places aside from what you eat.

    If the issue appears to be more about digestion, remember that it is almost always easier to digest small frequent meals so nursing baby frequently -while I understand it's tiring -is never going to hurt and is probably going to help. Babies are pretty good at regulating how much they need. You don't need to worry about limiting the time at the breast for how long baby nurses. That is more most likely to vary. If baby is nursing with higher frequency they will take less each time, and even if they nurse longer for comfort they may not be taking in that much milk.

    Also I'm pretty sure the gripe water is kind of a fantasy. Gas drops have also not been proven effective. Probiotics are a better bet research has shown. There are several brands that are made for infants.

    If you want to understand the reflux diagnosis better if you go to ask Dr. Sears.com they have a pretty good article on GERD. Basically this is typically a diagnosis that is made based entirely on the parents reporting of an issue. In other words medications get thrown of this problem a lot when they are not required. I'm not say medications never help they can help in cases of true painful reflex. but reflux is one of those things that is often overly diagnosed.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; February 29th, 2016 at 12:33 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 3 Month Old constantly crying - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*maddieb View Post
    What do you guys think-Could the eye rubbing and all that drooling signify some sort of seasonal allergy? .
    Sure, I'd buy that- though I would see it as a more exotic possibility. Here in the NE US people with allergies are definitely feeling them as the snow melts and all sorts of yucky molds and mildews get picked up in the warm spring winds.

  6. #6

    Default Re: 3 Month Old constantly crying - looking for suggestions

    Thanks for taking the time to read, and for all the suggestions.

    I do have a stroller, and I try to take him for a walk everyday (also to help with my own exercise) but he cries after being in it for about 5 minutes. So my walks are stressful. He cries for 5-10 minutes before falling asleep, then sleeps for about 15 minutes of the walk before waking up again. I find myself able to take half hour walks but the whole time I'm worried about him waking and crying because I can't take him out of the stroller to comfort him - he just has to remain in it until we get home. It is winter here, and I cannot go for walks with him uncovered in the stroller. The few times I have he has been more upset.

    He does not like the carriers I have. He seems to enjoy being held up on the shoulder, or facing outwards with his back to my chest (my carrier manuals say he is not ready for this until 4-5 months?). I might look at trying some different carriers by actually putting him in them in the store. I'm not happy with the ones I have.

    However, I will keep watching the eye rubbing in awareness for allergies. I live in Canada, and this year it's been quite warm. My husband is sensitive to the spring melt - he is usually sniffling from the mold/spores/etc that get uncovered and stirred up by the melting snow. My house is mold free (as far as I know and I don't see any signs), and I have a good air filter in the house. There are two cats, but he doesn't seem sensitve to them. He does not sound stuffy or congested, however, and his eyes aren't red until after he's been rubbing at them.

    I have cut down on caffiene as suggested and think that has helped. I was only having two cups a day but cut down to one or none (depending on how the day goes). I'm also trying some fennel tea every second day.

    The gripe water is something I use sparingly, and my doctor told me that probiotics were not something he should need. She said he should be getting all his probiotics from my milk. I not arguing one way or the other on the issue, but at this time I feel I should follow my doctor's lead on that.

    Lastly, they prescribed him prevacid instead - which dissovles easier and he doesn't fight when I give it to him. She said to try it for a week or two, then perhaps go to every second day and see how he is. It is too early for me to decide if it has made an improvement but we will see. He's been better for the last few days, but I don't want to get my hopes up lol. I just hate seeing him in pain, and really want to find activities I can do WITH him such as walking with a stroller/carrier. He also dislikes his car seat. I never considered motion sickness - I assume he would have some symptoms?

    Again thanks for taking the time to read, the suggestions and advice have made me feel more sane. XD

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 3 Month Old constantly crying - looking for suggestions

    Can baby hold his head up reliably? If so, he might be ready to face out. By 3 months I am pretty sure I had my first kid facing out in a Baby Bjorn. She hated facing in to my body!!!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 3 Month Old constantly crying - looking for suggestions

    I agree, the thing to know about carriers is that what works for baby A may not work for baby B, and that whenever your baby is in a carrier you have to be aware of your baby and make sure head is supported so the airway is clear. So there may be adjustments you can make to make an outward facing position safe for baby.

    As far as probiotics, I normally agree that breastmilk gives baby all baby needs in that department assuming nothing unusual is going on, such as exposure to anti-biotics. But your baby had something unusual- their birth mode. When a baby was born via C-section (mine were as well) instead of vaginally, they have missed out on the best start to a normal bacterial balance already. So due to that and that, based on your description, your baby is possibly experiencing unusual levels of discomfort, I thought it was an idea worth pursuing. Studies have shown probiotics are not some cure all, but on the other hand there is seen a better response than to gas drops or gripe water where no improvement has been proven. if you want to you can look further on this. I am sure there is info online about why it is thought that birth mode matters in this area.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 3 Month Old constantly crying - looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*maddieb View Post
    As far as probiotics, I normally agree that breastmilk gives baby all baby needs in that department assuming nothing unusual is going on, such as exposure to anti-biotics. But your baby had something unusual- their birth mode. When a baby was born via C-section (mine were as well) instead of vaginally, they have missed out on the best start to a normal bacterial balance already. So due to that and that, based on your description, your baby is possibly experiencing unusual levels of discomfort, I thought it was an idea worth pursuing. Studies have shown probiotics are not some cure all, but on the other hand there is seen a better response than to gas drops or gripe water where no improvement has been proven. if you want to you can look further on this. I am sure there is info online about why it is thought that birth mode matters in this area.
    Could not more! The nice thing about probiotics is that they cannot hurt, and might help. If this were my baby, I'd defeunityly try them.

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