Just when I thought I was getting the hang of things….
I hate it when this happens. For the past week, things have been going really well. I mean, despite Christmas coming around (which meant family parties), we’d been getting into a rather predictable routine of waking, eating, playing, napping and bedtime. But, of course, things were going too well.
For the past two evenings and nights, my little tyke is giving me grief. His last feedings of the day have been hellish as he’s been going through them fussing, squirming, screaming and crying. He moves around so much that he loses his latch or just plain hurts me by flipping out and remaining stuck to my breast. His arms flay about either allowing him to grab and hold on (tightly) to some loose locks of hair (two words: haircut time) or punching, pushing against or clawing at (have I ever mentioned how hard it is to trim a baby’s nails?) the hollow right above the spot where my two collarbones meet with his little fist. Of course, when I put him up to burp him during and after a feeding, he tenses up, pushing against my thighs with his legs and he straightening his back, holding his head up high and refuses to burp.
This, of course, affects both his sleep and mine. You see, because he gets so worked up, he is nearly impossible to put down for a nap or for the night. He ends up falling asleep from pure exhaustion around 10:30. If it were only that, it wouldn’t be so bad, but his nighttime feedings are seldom better. Oh, he doesn’t squirm around or anything, but after his (around) 3am nursing session, I can’t get him back into his crib. He’ll fall asleep un my arms, but as soon as I put him down, he wakes up, fists clenched and grunting. So I rub his tummy, turn on his white noise, but there’s nothing to do, he just starts panicking. And so I pick him up again and he calms down and falls back to sleep in a matter of seconds.
Meanwhile, I, am going crazy and so I’ve been reviewing the likely culprits.
1. Overstimulated/overtired: his grandparents came during the day and there is never any shortage of stimulation when they are with the baby and he is awake. Of course, as I’ve mentioned before, an overstimulated baby usually leads to a cranky overtired baby especially when the baby in question fights off sleep. But you know, even as I write these lines, I know that overstimulation is not this evening’s problem.
2. Milk flow issues: I can’t help but wonder, when my son is squirming and screaming at the breast, if the problem might be with my milk. Do I have too little? Is the milk flow too slow? Is it too fast? Is he getting too much foremilk and is eager to get to the rich creamy stuff? However, I know that this evening the problem isn’t in the quantity or flow of the milk. After all, we are changing many wet diapers a day. He’s gaining weight nicely (his clothing and my arm muscles can attest to that). I’ve taken care of the foremilk/hindmilk imbalance by feeding from the same breast twice before switching to the next. Plus, he’s not coughing and spluttering as he’s drinking.
3. Gas: You’ll notice I’ve kept this for last. Fact is, I know that this is the real problem. When he’s in my arms, not only can I feel the gas bubbles in his tummy but I can hear them as well. When I put him down in his crib, I know he is awoken by the gas as I can hear the farts resounding as he clenches his fists and works hard to push out the bubbles that are causing him so much discomfort.
It’s frustrating because I feel like there’s nothing I can do about it but hold him. I mean, when he started having tummy issues a few weeks back, I started burping him after every nursing session. Then, I started doing it mid-session too. I’ve cut out certain foods from my diet, I’ve done tummy massages, I’ve used a magic bag, I “bicycle” his legs…it seems like nothing is working. It’s frustrating because this nighttime problem started out of the blue. He’s always had gas, but he’s always fallen back asleep quickly during the night. Right now, I’m eager for the 22nd of January to come up; not only will he be two months old, but he’s seeing his pediatrician. I just hope the problem resolves itself before then. If not, I hope I can at least keep a handle on my sanity; there is no way I can be even remotely close to functioning with the little sleep I’ve been getting these past two nights.
6:40 am. It’s as good a time as any to try for the umpteenth time to get him (and myself( to bed I suppose.
Wish me luck…