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high needs/unhappy baby

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my two month old (three months next week) is very fussy and sort of seems unhappy most of the time. this is my first baby, so i'm still learning to distinguish the cries. i can't tell if he's in pain, but i don't think so.

we began sleep training about three weeks ago and it actually went well; he'd sleep for about 5-6 hours and only wake up once in the night for a feeding. during the day he would take three naps- a three hour one in the morning, a two hour nap after lunch, and a one to one and a half hour nap in the early evening. we have a bedtime routine that we follow every night to help him make the association that it's time to wind down and go to sleep. most nights he goes down with little to no crying.

for about the past two weeks, though, he's been getting up two to three times a night, and he's not taking very good naps during the day. he'll sleep for about thirty minutes, then wake up crying which is an indication to me that he's still tired; when he wakes up cooing and talking to himself, i know he's had good rest. if i try to let him cry it out, he will eventually fall asleep, but then wake up crying about twenty to thirty minutes later.

i exclusively breastfeed, so i thought that something in my diet was making gassy. i cut out dairy, wheat, cruciferous veggies, beans, and beef. it hasn't made a huge difference, but i'm still trying.

it's very frustrating because i feel like i'm missing something, like i'm doing something wrong. after getting up from a nap he'll seem content for about 15-20 mins then get cranky; even holding him isn't always enough. i've given him Bach's Rescue Remedy for kids and sometimes it helps. lavender oil helps keep him calm during pre-sleep routines.

just wondering if anyone else had this experience, or perhaps some insight? thank you so much!

That certainly sounds frustrating.

A couple of questions about naptime/bedtime:

* Are you swaddling him?
* Do you put him down on his stomach or back?

Typically, breastfed babies go through a growth spurt around 6 to 8 weeks old where their nutritional needs increase dramatically.  The baby will want to nurse a LOT more in order to increase your milk supply and will, of course, want to be held much more.   If you had any drugs during the birth they will wear off around the two month mark and baby will be more alert and active, as well.   A baby's need for sleep, nursing, and holding will change frequently through the first year or two. 

Do you have a breastfeeding support group or website that you are using?  Most first time moms have a difficult time adjusting without lots of support  from seasoned moms.  There is a lot of information on this site.  If you can't find it through the search on this site, try entering 'breastfeeding' and 'welltellme' into the search engine you use on your computer, like google or yahoo. 

Do you have reason to think that baby is allergic to these foods?  Probably don't need to restrict your diet so much as you need plenty of nutrition yourself while nursing.  It's normal for some babies to be gassy and you can give him a bit of fennel/catnip tea or glycerite, gripewater, or rooibos tea if he seems uncomfortable.

For the immediate, here are a couple of ideas you may want to try.  Make sure that you are getting plenty of good fluids yourself; like water, herbal tea, and juices.   Also be sure that you are getting enough good fats in your diet.   Are you taking cod liver oil?  It may help him a lot to have skin-to-skin time with you on a regular basis.  One of the ways I implemented this was to take mine into a warm tub with me.  Babies are soothed by direct contact with mom. 

hope something there will help you. 

**without being contentious, I will say that I haven't been a fan of sleep training, so I can't offer advice in that area.**

I have done both sleep training and AP. When sleep training my babies would typically start to challenge it at about 2.5 to 3 months. And they would get so fussy even if I tried nursing/rocking/holding. With the last 2 I finally just put them to bed when they started getting fussy and let them cry. And if nap wasn't up and they woke I checked to make sure they were ok but let them cry. And within a few weeks they settled down. They seem to start being more aware of their surroundings at this age and start realizing "I'm not being handled!" and they get mad. Really they do.
Make sure you have plenty of milk for the wake times. Pump or hand express after baby is done to help make sure you have plenty.

I will be doing sleep training this time around as AP simply is not my style and left me drained, frazzled and with very clingy, needy babies (now toddlers). My sleep trained/baby wise kids are so independent and happy. After 6 (going on 7) I have realized that no one "Parenting style" is more right or wrong, but certain ones work better for certain people's personality, family and life style. If you have a book like Baby Wise or Solve Your child's Sleep Problems (I think that is the name or it may have changed since the years ago I read it), you may want to read it again as a refresher. I have read Baby Wise many times and the more kids I have, the older the baby gets the more I understand it.

thank you so much for the insight, it's very helpful.

i used to swaddle him, but he's a wiggly escape artist and always managed to undo the blanket. a friend lent me an actual swaddler but as soon as i put baby in and laid him down he freaked out and started screaming. he actually sleeps better without being swaddled. for naps we let him sleep on his tummy since that seems to help him sleep better, and at bedtime we start him off on his tummy then flip him to his back before we go to bed.

i was a homebirther that transferred to the hospital due to high blood pressure and exhaustion; i was given an epidural and pictocin but only had the pit for about an hour before baby came. does that still mean the meds could be working their way out of his system?

once my milk had come in i had overproductive letdown/over abundant supply, so i had to deal with that but it's finally starting to level out; i'm pretty sure i have more than enough milk for him. my mom has been a huge help in offering advice and guidance with breastfeeding, but i'm really glad to be part of this group so i can find more help. glad to know i can offer him some teas, i will definitely have to try those if he gets gassy again.

i did notice that dairy and wheat definitely made baby more gassy so cutting those out have been beneficial. as to the other foods i just cut them out as a precaution. mostly my diet is well rounded, although dealing with a fussy baby does mean that there are days when i probably don't get enough to eat (i was actually able to make myself lunch today- woo hoo!).

what is AP? i've been reading "healthy sleep habits, happy child" and "the no cry sleep solution". we tried some of the methods in "no cry" but it's very time consuming and we weren't seeing much progress. my mom and dad used baby wise for a couple of my younger siblings, one of which had a temperament that is a similar to my baby's. letting him cry it out has helped, but it seems like the past couple of weeks he's been undoing his progress.

i was doing some research last night and now i'm wondering if it could be reflux?


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