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Thread: Fussy baby

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    17

    Unhappy Fussy baby

    Has anyoneone else had this problem. My DD sleeps and bf well during the day but in the evening and at night, she turns into a terror. She is only 6 days old today. At 12am for the past 3 days, she crys a lot, seems to want to eat and then turn away from the breast. She gets very angry and frustrated because even though the breast is in her mouth, it takes her a longtime to figure out she needs to suck to get something out. We had problems from day 1 at the hospital. The lactation nurse there said she wanted instant gratification and didn't want to have to work for it. I know she can nurse well when she wants but these temper tantrums really make feeding her a chore. She seems to have a normal number of diapers a day.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    1,168

    Default Re: Fussy baby

    Late-the-day or middle-of-the-night fussiness is really common in young babies. It's also REALLY hard to cope with.

    It's wonderful that she is nursing well during her happier times and is making all those wet and dirty diapers -- good job on getting your breastfeeding relationship off to a good start! Whatever is causing her unhappy times, rest assured that it is NOT because you are breastfeeding.

    A book I like for this stuff is _The Fussy Baby Book_ by William Sears. _The Baby Book (also by Dr. Sears) also has a great chapter on this same stuff. What we usually call "colic," he calls "hurting baby syndrome." I think it helps a lot to remember that a young baby isn't screaming because she is having a temper tantrum or trying to make mom miserable -- it's because something is wrong and screaming is the only way she knows to tell you that something is wrong.

    There are lots and lots of possible causes for her late-night unhappiness -- too many to start listing here. At 6 days old, she may still have her days and nights mixed up, or she may be sensitive to something you are eating that is passing through your breastmilk, or she may be overstimulated or she may have reflux ... the list just goes on and on. It may take you some time and detective work to figure out what is bothering her ... or she may just "outgrow" these fussy spells in time.

    In the meantime, please be assured that many parents have to cope with this problem and that most people understand how really draining and exhausting and stressful it is to care for a baby who can't be soothed. Keep trying new tricks when she is unhappy, and trust that even if it doesn't appear to be helping, you are nonetheless telling her that you care and you are there for her, just by holding her and making efforts to soothe her. That is really important.

    Don't hesitate to post again if you need more support in coping with this.

    --Rebecca

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    106

    Default Re: Fussy baby

    our baby is like taht too.fussy at breast (cries soemtiems and pulls off).he is 2 months as of today.any tip sto isolate reflux from OALD-overactive let down.
    these are the only two things i would think are probably teh cuases.
    thanks ina dvance

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    683

    Default Re: Fussy baby

    sa2004 - If the doctor has ruled out reflux with the ultrasound, then OALD might be the issue. Have you considered pumping until your milk let's down and then putting baby to breast to see if that makes a difference?

    fosseyhager - Most babies have periods of fussiness in the evenings. Have you checked out The Happiest Baby On the Block? The techniques there may help you. The good news is that it gets much easier *very* soon I'd just continue to offer her the breast. Keep up the good work!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    28

    Default Re: Fussy baby

    I have a one month old DB who, at 3 weeks began having the same fussy & screaming during some nursing sessions, like SA2004 wrote. He nursed fine for the first 2.5 weeks and would go 3 hours between feedings. Now I can't figure out what the problem is... OALD or Reflux or just gassiness? Have you found any answers or solutions? Should I have him checked for reflux? He nurses better at night when things are quiet and he's sleepy. During the daytime, it's off & on. I am just frustrated and concerned because when he doesn't seem to get a full feeding and cries at the breast, I wonder when he fusses 1/2 hour or so later if he's hungry or just sleepy.... Should I try nursing again or just try to get him to sleep for a couple of hours?
    Last edited by babycrazy2; March 20th, 2006 at 09:14 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    46

    Default Re: Fussy baby

    babycrazy-
    When baby is fussy I always offer to nurse first.
    If that is not what is wanted, I check the diaper and then the clothing....too hot, too cold, a scratchy tag , a thread wrapped.

    One time I thought I had tried and checked everything, until I discovered a thread from the clothing looped tightly around his toe. I felt so bad that it took me so long to figure out what it was.

    If baby was still fussy, I would tuck him or (most recently) her in the sling and gently walk/rockand sometimes sing.

    For one of my babies (Andre) he would get over stimulated by sounds, I would hold him vertically tucked right up against my body with the top of his head tucked right under my chin.
    I would make this weird throaty ggggggrrrrr noise and the vibration wold travel through his skull and totally sooth him in about seconds.
    He just craved that vibration and sound.

    After trying all that, if I still had a fussy baby, I would start again with the offering to nurse.

    BUt yes I always offer to nurse regardless of how long or short it has been since the last nursing session.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    46

    Default Re: Fussy baby

    It is interesting that you are all speaking about babies that are relatively close in age.
    I have been sitting here trying to remember when my children had their fussy times.

    I distinctly remember feeling after aweek or so, that I didn't need to nap and was trying to "get back to doing things".
    Well in not taking naps, suddenly it was a humongous chore to nurse at night because I was exhausted.

    When I had a toddler and a baby, it was harder to find times to rest but I think it was movie time for awhile in the afternoons. Tv is not my first choice in helkping aides but I think everything has its place. LOL
    After a few more weeks I lessed the afternoon movies and was feeling like a rest time or two per week was all I needed.
    I also would close my eyes for 15 minutes the second my husband got home on days when I hadn't been able to rest. SO he could watch the toddler and I could nurse the baby while resting or else hand the baby off too.

    As for the age, I think I recall some nursing spurts and then times of seemingly OALD.
    The baby would nurse like crazy to prepare for a growth spurt. The milk would be copious and yet the baby was waiting for the growth spurt. So baby was suddenly choking and turning its head to "get away from the stream" of milk because for a few days there was an adjustment period. Baby growing and needing the larger milk supply, but yet not really used to the larger amount.

    I used to try to nurse reclining so the milk had to come out against gravity and the flow would slow down enough for baby to get used to it.
    My first baby would just let go and a stream of milk would go everywhere. I always had to have a towel/spit cloth ready for the first few monthgs of his life.

    I think I remember the other babies adjusting more quickly but that may have been my doing/ knowing how to help against a large fast flow.

    My sonthat had received occasional bottles would be very impatient for the milk flow. My LLL Leader at the time, reminded me that if I expresed milk, he would be wanting to nurse to get more.
    But that as a people, we are lazy. It is easier to let milk pour from a bottle and just move your tongue to stop the milk from choking you.

    But babies' mouths and jaw muscles are designed to work to milk the breast and pull the milk out. They get those gorgeous faces when the muscles are used the way they were designed.
    So I persisted and with occasional "prepping of the breast" by pumping or hand expresing a bit until my breast was ready to let down and he quickly remembered that he could nurse and be rewarded with lots of milk.

    I then lessened the bottles and if he got them I made sure that it was not me giving it to him. That was another tip from my LLL. That way he was ready to nurse when I held him if he was hungry and he knew that if I wasn't around he would take a bottle frommy husband.

    Best of luck to all of you as you slowly learn the language of your babies.
    Trust that they know when they need to nurse and well ..........they sometimes get over stimulated and need a bit of settling before they can concentrate on what they really want..... to nurse.

    Congratulations to each of you on the birth of your babies.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    28

    Default Re: Fussy baby

    Thanks for everyone's ideas and advice. Actually, his fussiness/crying spurts during feedings have lessened down to maybe once a day or less, and I think it's due to low milk output now. Before he gagged from two much milk, but now he's fussy after feedings. I think suddenly, my milk supply is low and his crying comes when he sucks and nothing comes out. He's been wanting to nurse every couple of hours with longer nursing sessions (about 45 minutes-- because he's sleepy half the time). Maybe a growth spurt? How do I get my milk supply back up to match his needs? In the beginning, I used to pump 3-4 times a day after nursings, but have cut back to once a day or less. Should I start pumping again after nursings or just hope that when he cries out of hunger, that he'll hopefully bring the supply back up?

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