So, your perfect little bundle of joy is cranky right? Colicky maybe? I know, I know, it is hard to admit that you spent 9 months making this thing, and it came out to fight you. I have been there….twice. My first is now 6 (see, they live. I promise) and my second is 3 months. Both are supper fussy, “Spirited” babies.
My first came out wide awake flailing. You had to hold her a specific way, and that way only. She didn’t want to be cuddled, she would get angry if she was hot, she was gassy, and colicky, and had her nights and days mixed up. So here I was, first time mom, first time ever really being around babies and I had monster baby. I had no help from family or friends. It was just my husband and I. We were lost. So, as you can imagine, we have picked up a few tricks along the way. My fussy baby turned out to be a “high needs” baby (more on that here), and 5 years later, we decided hto have another.
My 3 months old is also somewhat of a fussy baby. She is not as intense as my first, and it is either just her personality, or the fact that I had some tricks up my sleeve this time around. Either way, here is my list of must haves to fight through this.
1. Baby Swing
Look, my first kid lived in this thing for the whole first year of her life. I know, you are not SUPPOSED to let them sleep in this thing all the time, but, as apposed to no sleep at all, I choose the swing. If that makes me a bad parent, then so be it.
These things sit them up more than any other contraption you can buy, which makes them perfect for babies with colic, or reflux.
The constant motion is like a car ride, without the car. It tricks their little butts into falling asleep.
There are all different kinds of these out there, I would read the product reviews and see what people are saying about them before you choose one.
My number one rule is: Buy one that plugs into the wall. You don’t want to be changing batteries with a screaming baby at 2:00 am.
Here is the one I currently have, and it has been absolutely amazing. It has 6 different speeds, and vibration (which works to push out those little gas bubbles in their tummies that they SCREAM about).
2. Probiotic drops
These little suckers solve a whole variety of problems. There are drops for both breastfed and formula fed babies. If you are breastfeeding, It gives them the little dose of vitamin D that they need. Rather you are breastfeeding or formula feeding, these drops help with digestion, gassiness, and spit-up. These actually cured my first born’s colic. You just drop 5 drops into a bottle, or right onto your breast if breastfeeding. I just pump about an ounce of milk, and let my husband give it to my daughter in a bottle. I do this every single day. They are a little pricey, BUT are well worth it. One bottle lasts a little over a month.
like most anything you give your child-TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR FIRST
You can find the drops here
3. White noise
From, white noise machines to vacuums, to fans. White noise helps drown our other noises, and the consistent sound helps soothe a baby to sleep.
Rather than shushing your baby to sleep (that gets exhausting) find some white noise that your baby likes. My first, the colicky one, loved the freaking vacuum. We were SOOO sleep deprived that we literally slept with the vacuum running. I do not advise doing that. We eventually made a recording of a vacuum running and played that. Once she got older (and we used those probiotic drops to cure her colic) we switched to a fan. With my second, we started off with a fan from the get go. A week after bringing her home, she started having periods of straight fussiness. The fan worked. There are also white noise machines out there, and you can get CDs to play with white noise on them. That didn’t work on my two, but all babies are different.
4. Gas drops
These are great to keep in your arsenal. It goes without saying. All babies, from time to time, get belly aches and get gassy. I can always tell when mine need a quick dose of gas drops. Allot of times their tummies get hard, and they would let out angry, almost hurt cries. My second one, I gave her a dose of these, and bounce her on my knee. After about 10 minutes, she lets out a nasty, old man fart. Then she is happy again.
5. Vent air bottles
Guys, I swear by these bottles. My babies are breastfed, so maybe that makes the difference, but these are the only ones I could get them to take. Not only that, they vent, so the baby sucks up less air. Let me tell you, if your baby already has tummy problems, the last thing you need is a bottle that sucks in a shit ton of air and makes them all bloated and gassy. These bottles also come COMPLETELY apart, making them easy to clean. Yes, they do have more parts, but have you ever left milk in a bottle by accident for a few days? Well, most times, that bottle is trash. This one, is not. You can clean every nook and cranny, because it comes completely apart. We bought a basket that goes in the dishwasher, and all the little parts go in there nicely.
If you ever want to see a shower again, buy one of these. These things are small enough you can pick it up and move it all over the house and plop your baby right down in it, so you can get shit done. This is the one I have. It rocks, you can adjust how much it lays back, it has a bar on the bottom that swings up, so that you can prop it up so they can lay back without it rocking, it vibrates, and the damn thing even turns into a rocking chair for when they are older. I swear, the damn thing was designed by MacGyver himself.
7. Baby monitor with video
With a small farm, a 6 year old, and a husband, I need to be able to do shit without having to hover over my new baby 24/7.
We were a little hesitant about video baby monitors at first, mainly because of the price. I couldn’t get anything done if I didn’t have this thing. The one I have has really good range, so that I can run out to the back yard and feed the chickens and not have to worry about the baby as much. I put her little butt to sleep, and can check on her while I am doing chores. With regular baby monitors you are always like “did I hear a cry?” “Is she awake”. With this thing, you can actually see them and know that they are good. Makes it easy at night to be able to walk out on the porch and have a drink….or scream. There are probably a million of these things, but here is the one I have. It isn’t the best, but it gets the job done.
Rock and play sleeper
I ended up getting one of these things when my second refused to go back to sleep in her bassinet after night time feedings. She didn’t seem to want to lay flat anymore. I was tired, and desperate. This thing is pretty sweet. The way they lay in it is ideal for babies with colic or re-flux. The rocking feature on it is a little slow (my kid obviously likes to go fast), but all in all, it may be worth having if you are having difficulties with your baby sleeping. I really wish the thing had a vibration mode on it, maybe one day they will release one that does. This thing would have been great with my first, who wanted to sleep upright sitting on my husbands stomach all night.
Tips and Tricks
As much as I would like to say, that you can get all of these things, and your baby will no longer be fussy, you and I both know, it doesn’t work that way. So here are some things that have helped me through it all.
- Bounce, jiggle (don’t shake) and walk with your baby when they are super fussy.
- Change ways of holding them switch between things to sit and lay them in constantly. Something may work one minute, and not the next. That’s fine. You have to figure out what they like and alternate between those things. My first daughter loved the Colic hold. My second, wants to sit on your stomach (and poop on you).
- Alternate between the swing, the bouncer, holding them, laying a blanket on the floor, the high chair, and their crib.
- Go for a walk. Put that screaming, crying baby in the stroller or even the baby carrier and go for a walk. The fresh air will help the both of you.
- Go for a car ride. Most babies love the motion of a car. It is a win win. Baby falls asleep, you can clear your head and take in some scenery.
- Babies feed off of your energy. Take a break. lay them somewhere safe and go outside and scream. Do what you need to do to make yourself calm and happy, and go back to your baby. I am not saying leave them alone for hours. just take a quick break to clear your mind when you are feeling tense or angry.
- Take time off, if possible. Moms need breaks every now and then. Lack of sleep makes you crazy. Taking care of someone else constantly is exhausting. You need to self care. How can you take care of someone else if you are running on E yourself? Have a family member or friend come watch your little monster for a few hours so you can nap, or go to the store, or hell, even out to dinner by yourself.
- Find a mommy group. Rather it be on Facebook, or a play group at the library. Find some other exhausted soul to complain with. We love our kids, but we need someone to vent to. Look for the mom with bags under her eyes, un-brushed hair, and a kid eating cheerios off the floor, that’s the one. Befriend her. Maybe you guys can watch each others kids from time to time to get a break.
Mama, this will pass. This will all pass.
When I had my first, I was not prepared. She was not the sweet little baby I had in my dreams. My husband and I fought. We lacked sleep. My husband lost his job. We were broke. We never left the house. I ended up with postpartum depression. I felt alone, and like my whole world was falling apart.
somewhere in all the commotion, it all came together.
She started sleeping through the night. We started finding ways to make her happy. We got back on our feet. It all came back around. The thing about being at your lowest, is that leaves you room to make one hell of a come back. The difference between you an I? I am here for you all. Don’t do this alone. Leave me a comment or message me on my Facebook page and I will give you my personal email. I will help in any way I can.
Anything I left out, that you think will help other moms? Drop me a comment.