Anonymous

Desperately seeking advice on what helps calm a 2 month old when it's time for bed at night. He will not allow us to swaddle him, he completely freaks out when his arms are restrained. We have tried nursing him to sleep, bottle feeding him to sleep, giving baths, essential oils, gripe water, rocking in every which direction, dark rooms, bright rooms, laying down with mom, laying in bassinet, different mattresses, blankets, sleeping on his back, on his side, on his tummy. We've tried humming and singing and talking. Having the TV on, having it off. Sound machines. Freaking toy hippos with lights, bumble bees that sing him to sleep. We've tried routines, we've tried starting them as early as 7 and as late as 11. We've tried expensive swings and cheap swings and bouncers and vibrations and music and nature sounds. Salt lamps and going for walks at night. Sleeping with less clothes, sleeping with more clothes. We've tried burping, and shushing, and different back patting. Every kind of pacifier which he will not take. NOTHING works. One thing will soothe him and he falls asleep for a few minutes than wakes up and we start all over. He fights everything to stay awake. It takes me, no joke, 4-6 hours to get him to sleep in the evening. And during that time, he spends about 3.5 hours completely mangling my nipples while nursing - which 90% of the time is the only way I can calm him down for a little bit. I go through this every night. He will not allow dad to put him to sleep at all. He can't rock him, he won't take a bottle from him, nothing. His pediatrician says he's fine and this is normal. This CANNOT be normal. He suggested I have him on a schedule for feedings during the day, which I do. Pediatrician dubbed him a snacker so he's not sleeping for longer than 45 minutes at a time during his afternoon/evening naps. I have tried to remedy that by supplementing with formula and bottle feeding, which he either refuses the bottle completely or eats until he pukes. Pediatrician says he's not colicky, this is just how babies are. This is crazy. I am at a complete loss and beyond frustrated. This is my desperate plea for resources/suggestions/advice. Please.

  • Kelsey
    Oct 12, 2017

    Also, it may take 1-2 weeks of doing a specific routine for him to get in the habit of it, especially so little. For my daughter, she had to be in a low-distraction setting, rocked in the dark, soothed, and just had to rock/fuss it out. I would cuddle and comfort her, but let her fuss it out in my arms. She got used to this in about 2 weeks and then we adjusted to the crib. She would sleep a little more every night

  • Lindsay
    Oct 12, 2017

    I had a similar situation with my infant. For her, going to bed seemed like torture. She would stay awake for several hours during the night, crying or fussing. 11pm-3am was the worst. She would try and stay awake during g that time frame, which means I wasn’t sleeping either. I think a lot of it has to do with them trying to differentiate day and night, and should they be awake or asleep during those times. I think consistency is key, even though it may mean weeks or even months of hard work for you and your husband. Looking back now, I wish I hadn’t tried so many different things- because I think the constant change in the routine (or clothing, bedding, crib, toy, light, etc) every night contributed to the issue. Anyways, things got better by the time she was 3 months old. I wish I could say there was something that I did that helped her sleep...but it just happened one night. After 3 long and exhausting months!

  • Emily
    Oct 12, 2017

    First of all, I have somewhat felt your pain & hang in there. My buddy (a pediatrician) recommended watching the happiest baby on the block movie. Some of the info in there was very helpful - a combo of swaddling (and our little one wasn't a fan either), having baby lay on left side, shushing, swaying and a binkie in the mouth was very helpful. Just so you are aware, there is a time when babies have increased fussiness/crying called the purple period (http://purplecrying.info) which is a frustrating but normal part of child development. Dealing with a child going through this can lead parents or others to lose their cool with the baby. That being said, I would agree with one of the other posters regarding your pediatrician. They are supposed to be a resource to you....and the type of behavior you are dealing with your baby is the type of behavior that can lead to an unsafe environment for the child---you definitely need better support than you received and I am sorry that you experienced that. (I am saying the part about child abuse to hit home the point that a pediatrician should be more supportive and helpful since this is a KNOWN factor for why an infant may get hurt. Why wouldn't a doc want to help prevent that from happening???). If you can't find the video, you could borrow ours.

  • Emily
    Oct 12, 2017

    Forgot to add that I gave my daughter Colief, which helps break down lactase in formula and breast milk along with mylicon drops for gassiness and this also helped. The caveat being that we found out she has a milk/Soy protein allergy and this helped while I was clearing my body of dairy and Soy.

  • Charity
    Oct 12, 2017

    Several things. 1. Find a new Pediatrician. He's blowing you off as a new mom. 2. Google "witching hour" with babies. This will make you feel not so alone. 3. It may be a food allergy to something you're eating. Most common is dairy. My daughter was exactly like this at this age until I eliminated dairy from my diet. After about a week of the dairy getting out of her system she was a different baby. 4. Acid Reflux is also a possibility. My 2nd child needed reflux meds. He immediately started sleeping better. 5. Don't supplement. You are doing a wonderful job. Motherhood is hard yet rewarding. I know you are exhausted. This will pass quicker than it feels. I've nursed 4 babies. The best thing I ever did. Learn to nurse laying down in the bed. Find a La Le Leche group near you. Go to their meetings. It'll be a support group of Mom's who feel like you do. Saying a prayer for you Mama.❤

  • Krystin
    Oct 12, 2017

    This sounds like my baby but we also had major projectile vomit all the time too. Our pediatrician gave my daughter some probiotics and I went dairy free overnight. After a week I could tell a huge difference and after 3 weeks all was completely better. We used the probiotic drops for about 5-6 weeks and we have stopped them now. That is a route you can look into. I know it doesn't help to hear it now, but things do get better!

  • Maggie
    Oct 12, 2017

    Have you tried getting rid of dairy in your diet and in the milk based formulas? I had a "snacker" that was inconsolable every hour on the hour. A friend recommended getting rid of dairy and that was it. He was lactose intolerant. It took a few days to get out of my breastmilk though. So maybe it's an allergy- dairy, gluten, etc. You could try a whole 30 type diet that eliminates things over time and then slowly reintroduces them to see if the baby is allergic to any of them. I hope something helps soon! I'll be praying for rest for all of you!

  • MamaNukesYopolo
    Oct 13, 2017

    Its definitely NOT related to breastfeeding. I can tell you my two sons have had completely different relationships with sleep since they were born - both breastfed. My older one hates falling asleep and takes a long time (used to be hours...now at almost 3...maybe an 1) but my younger one can pass out in ten minutes (like his Dad). DO NOT let ANYONE - especially in laws...tell you breastfeeding is the problem. You are working your tail off, all they should be doing is thanking you for taking care of their beloved new family member. I also agree with going to see another Pediatrician...get a second opinion. I had a friend who struggled with her baby in a similar way and he had terrible acid reflux, but it took her a few pediatricians and way too much to find out. She lost a lot of sleep. Good luck!! You rock! Trying to have patience without getting rest is one of the hardest tasks out there.

  • Anonymous
    Oct 13, 2017

    Thanks again for all your feedback, support and suggestions. This is night 2 of his routine of bath, boob, bottle, yoga ball, sleep. I played the lullaby music towards the end of the nursing session. Things are going well so far. Last night he woke up 3 times after a few minutes of sleeping and let dad rock with him and put him back down. He fell asleep by 11:30. Tonight, he only woke up once and he was sleeping again by 10:20. We've started searching for a new pediatrician. We also noticed that this little 10 week old boy is already teething, so I'm guessing that is contributing to his craziness at night. I didn't know about La Leche and thank you for the suggestion to go to a group meeting. I found a group in my area and will be going next week. Someone else mentioned cutting dairy out of my diet and I did that about 2 weeks ago. I've also cut down on supplementing with formula considerably and he seems like he's doing just fine with what I produce and pump. Hugs to all of you, you helped me get through a tough one. Hoping my little guy sticks with this routine for a bit.

  • Cate
    Oct 14, 2017

    So first of all - my first baby was what I now realize was an “easy” baby and when people would tell me stuff like this I totally didn’t get why their baby wasn’t sleeping in a carrier, or following the routine like mine was, etc. Now that I’ve also had a super colicky baby I TOTALLY feel your pain. The best advice I can give is to just pick a routine and stick to it. Even if it isn’t working right away, if you give your little one some time to accept the routine, it WILL help. The Happiest Baby on the Block has some great recommendations. I also found that with a fussy baby, sometimes there is nothing you can do but let them cry. My second literally wouldn’t fall asleep without screaming for 15 -20 minutes first (and before anyone judges me - I did every possible thing other than let this child cry and it didn’t work. I told my mother and MIL this and they both didn’t believe me until they separately babysat my son and realized there was literally no other way to get him to fall asleep other than for him to tire himself out and pass out). My point is that you’re obviously trying so so hard and doing everything you can but sometimes constant change is really hard and sometimes, there’s no magic solution other than time and routine. I hope this helps in some way!

  • Megan
    Oct 19, 2017

    I figured out that mine had colic due to a milk allergy he was exposed to through my breast milk.

  • Kim
    Oct 19, 2017

    Our daughter hated being swaddled in the beginning. We asked our pediatrician about it, & she said keep trying the swaddle. We did, & within a few days she loved it. I really liked the Velcro ones. Our daughter was sleeping 5-6 hours by then. Also, we use the pampers dry 12 hour diapers so we don’t change her once she is down for the night(unless she poops)...she did not go back to sleep if we changed her in the middle of the night/morning. When our daughter was 2 months old we went to Hawaii & I bought the “Dock-A-Tot” . That literally was the best purchase we have made right next to diapers. It is a little expensive, but it paid itself off within 1 week. Her first night sleeping in it, she slept 12 hours-I had to wake her to breast feed her because I was full. She still sleeps 11-13 hours a night straight since then, & now she is 16 moths old. Our daughter’s naps also went from 30/45 min before the “Dock” to 1-3 hours. Best purchase EVER!

  • Kim
    Oct 19, 2017

    Oh yeah, white noise works wonders, & it is not considered a sleep crutch. It helps for drowning out noise so she didn’t wake up from small noise.

  • Lacy
    Oct 28, 2017

    Both my boys did this .. the only thing that worked was a baby carrier , a lot of shushing or singing , and walking around the dark room...

  • Lacy
    Oct 28, 2017

    We used the ergo.. the new Omni is great because you don't need an infant insert:)

  • Lacy
    Oct 28, 2017

    Ohh one more thing ... we got a snuggle me organic co sleeper.. and it was life changing!!! Similar to the dockatot but I liked this one much better.. I have tried both

  • Nikki
    Dec 11, 2017

    My firstborn was like this. Last 6 or maybe 8 months and finally tapered off. The pediatrician called it colic but I said it wasn't because colic comes with babies with GERD and/or ear infections/ENT issues. We'd already ruled these out because she rarely spit-up. Long story short I asked him to run some blood tests (just finger-pokes, takes less than a pinhead amount). Add a vitamin d supplement if he's breastfed - you can take one orally and the extra nutrient will filter into the milk supply without making him take the horrendous infant drop vitamin d supplement (I used to give them to my daughter until I tasted it and realized how terrible it is). I don't recommend doing both unless checking with a nutritionist first. If you don't have health insurance to cover blood tests for infant vitamin deficiencies then stop at your local WIC office and they can do it - they'll be checking for an iron deficiency that affects the type of diet they recommend as part of their program is nutritional health services for women, infants and children, by certified and trained professionals, free. An iron deficiency is linked to a vitamin d deficiency in women and children, because one helps process the other in the body. The absence of one means there will be an absence of the other, but not many generic/affordable tests are available to specify that generally I guess since it isn't more widely offered. It takes about 2 weeks to see improvement, and you'll be tempted to not stick with it long enough to see results because you'll feel discouraged by lack of more immediate results. I get it, I've been there. I went 2 weeks without sleep the first 2 weeks of my first daughter's life, except for the minor cat nap after finally getting her to sleep after bouncing gently on a yoga ball for hours while holding her very tightly in "the football hold" (as called by my family anyway) close to my body, and she's drift off for an hour or less at a time... That being said, I had a niece who had sleep issues too. Ended up that though she was strictly breastfed (by her mother, my sister), she had terrible food allergies to milk proteins and soy proteins. I mean scary type of terrible food allergies, but started out as simply being a fussy baby who didn't cry as much as my nearly-constantly-shrieking-infant daughter, but she never really slept. My sister would finally ask me or my mom to take shifts to watch this baby who also functioned on very, very little sleep, and we did. My sister figured out the food allergy angle on her own - she was already a strict vegetarian and used an elimination process of taking out foods from her diet that processed through her breastmilk, until the symptoms in the baby began to show it was definitely diet-related. Then a caretaker with good intentions fucked up by giving formula to my niece who already was showing other signs of possible food allergies like "baby acne" that refused to go away despite pediatrician's gentle lotions; the formula was generic milk-based and my niece had blood in her diaper the next few days- intestinal kind that worries doctors. Best bet is ask for a pinprick blood test if it hasn't been done in a while. My daughter was only a point and a half below normal, but when we got her vitamin level up by the next appointment a month later there was obvious improvement. If there's other signs of a food intolerance or allergy, though, and if your baby is strictly breastfed, try the "elimination diet" for yourself by not eating dairy for a week. If there's improvement then it'll be obvious by then. There is no doctor ordered test for baby food allergies - they don't do the "cat scratch" allergy test on kids until age 2 years, or 5 in some areas, and that's only for topical allergens like trees, nuts, hays, grasses, animal dandruff... My son has animal allergies. As a baby be hated being swaddled as well, and I think it was because it made it more difficult to breath. Not that his oxygen levels were ever low or threatened in any obvious way like lips turning blue, but I think as a baby it's just instinctive to fling out your arms when you can't breath (I and asthma as a kid and tight clothes bugged me because I already felt partially winded half the time, so clothes made me feel bound/more suffocated). In which case, is there pets in the house or someone who smokes that could be causing your son distress on that level? *half asleep trying to finish answering but also typing on a different phone than used to, so please forgive lots of misspelling and if I trailed off mid-thought more than once - don't have the energy to check myself tonight) Good luck. I didn't read the full post and don't expect anyone to read this full answer, but I wanted to share so you know you're not alone in your sleepless delirium. It gets better. Hang in there.

  • Sarah
    Jul 12, 2018

    Hang in there mama.

  • Jon
    Aug 28, 2018

    So sorry to hear what you've been through, I hope it's better for you now. We can really relate, we went through months of sleepless torture trying everything under the sun, including hiring the supposedly best sleep trainers at 4 months, 6 months, and again at 9 months. Really nothing really helped until we used an app called Huckleberry. Exhausted and disheartened, we weren't sure if anything could help, but it literally changed our lives. It's a free app to download and you can track your baby's sleep for a week. You can submit it and get a free analysis, or pay a very small fee to have an in-depth analysis and a step-by-step sleep plan tailored to you and your baby's needs. After spending hundreds on other sleep trainers with little to no progress, we were unsure but figured it couldn't hurt, especially because it barely cost anything. Huckleberry's analysis was incredibly insightful and helpful, we learned a lot even after we thought we had read every sleep book out there. The sleep plan was very detailed, and if we had any questions we could submit them through the app and they were answered quickly. Once we started the plan we literally started seeing improvement in days, we could hardly believe it. And it didn't involve cry-it-out or any difficult steps, something many people had tried to convince us was inevitable. The plan was gentle and effective, detailed and specific. We finally started getting some sleep for the first time in two years. Even now, as our daughter is about to be three, we still use Huckleberry as her needs change or new challenges arise (i.e travel, sickness, resisting naps, etc.). I can't speak highly enough of this app in every way, from the level of expertise of its creators and consultants, to how affordable it was, to the ease of using the app, and most importantly, to the help it rendered and continues to do so. Here's the link to Huckleberry. We hope and believe it can help others the way it helped us. https://huckleberry.app.link/YzJ379YWnK Best of luck! Take care!