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Colic or reflux?
New mum looking for help with screaming baby.

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8 replies to this topic

#1 BellaRomeo

Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:11 PM

Dear EBers,

  Im a chronic lurker who's been a member here for a while, but has never posted.  The reason I'm posting now is that I'm at the end of my rope trying to find answers (and get some sleep) and I'm hoping some of the wonderful mums out there have some advice, recommendations or even just some moral support.

  DS1, my beautiful boy, was born 15 days ago. From the beginning he seemed to have a very sensitive stomach, and starting about a week ago has had long bouts (sometimes 8 hours or more) of extremely bad fussiness/ crying/ pain (?) that I cant figure out. In fact, it seems to go all day just that at night its marked by uncontrollable screaming, crying and not sleeping for longer than 5-15mins at a time in our arms, whereas during the day DS is generally quiet although fussy and sleeps on average half an hour ever 2-3 hours, although I'm sometimes lucky and have an hour to myself. Our pediatrician insists it's colic, and when we took him to a different doctor last week we were told that he was physically ok and the only problem was that we weren't feeding him properly i.e. not burping him etc. making DP and I feel like morons- but that's not it. We burp him for hours, and give him anti gas medicine. I'm stumped. For example, yesterday at 5am it was like a button switched in him and suddenly he was the most relaxed, happy and sleepy baby you could imagine, and then last night at 8pm it switched back and he had another 8 hour massive episode of... something. Silent Reflux (He's not vomiting)? Colic? He kept us up screaming, wiggling and sleeping in no more that 5-15min blocks in our arms before waking up screaming again (oh and forget trying to lie him down when he's like this- cue screaming in double time) until 4.15am, despite taking his anti-gas medicine, some chamomile tea, and having a warm pack on his tummy. Then he only slept until 6. To be honest such a lack of sleep is doing my head in. Are newborns supposed to be like this? Part of me says no, because he was such a dream to be around yesterday, and I finally thought we were getting past it. What could it be? "Just" Colic? Reflux? Silent Reflux? I'm scared to call the doctor again, so I wanted to ask you wonderful people first. WDYT?

  Also, just to mention, I am overseas at the moment, so what's available to me in medicines etc is probably different than in Australia.

Edited by BellaRomeo, 12 April 2012 - 12:44 PM.

#2 lucky 2

Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:56 PM

Are newborns supposed to be like this?

Yes, they usually are. They usually are more unsettled at night (11-12mn to 4-5 am) for the first 2-3 weeks of life and then the unsettledness is more in the evenings and the crying amount builds and peaks at 6-8 weeks. This is normal newborn behaviour.
You could read the link below about normal newborn behaviour (education and information) and you probably don't need any remedies, ie chamomile tea etc, you do need to sleep in the morning or whenever you can as you are on night duty at the moment.
Try to alter your expectations of what babies should be like vs what babies are really like and not look for medical causes when the crying, from what you have posted, seems to fit in with normal newborn behaviour.
Lots of cuddles and lots of breast feeding.
We all know how tiring and confusing it is and understand your desire to "stop" your baby from crying, finding out more about why infants cry can help. There are soothing things you can do, for baby and for yourself to help you cope during these first few months.
All the best.

#3 BellaRomeo

Posted 12 April 2012 - 01:03 PM

lucky 2.
Thanks for your post. I'm going to bookmark the page. I guess nothing says "learning curve" like having a new baby in the house original.gif

#4 Miss Kiwi

Posted 13 April 2012 - 03:49 AM

Congrats on the birth of your baby!
It could be silent reflux check out www.reflux.org.au and see if you have any of the symptoms.

Good luck!

#5 notsonewone

Posted 13 April 2012 - 05:47 AM

I would say that yes, it could be normal.  But I would not rest until I ruled out all medical possibilities.

Neither of my 2 children ever behaved this way.

The only baby that I have seen behave as you describe was lactose intolerant and had reflux.

Good luck xxx it will get better!

#6 Fright bat

Posted 13 April 2012 - 06:36 AM

Hi Op. My first had reflux. The only thing that makes me think it's not reflux is the day/night variation. Reflux causes pain with and after feeds, all feeds, day and night. If bub is settled half the day, it probably (but not definitely) is not reflux.

One of my mums group mums had a baby like yours - 6-8 hours of crying from mid evening on. Because it started earlier for her, she had a friend/sister/mum come over and hold her bub for 2-3 hours every evening. It got better by six weeks.

It's hard being a new person! New lights, smells, temperatures. Having to breathe, cough, drink, digest, poo... Imagine the opposite and putting one of us in a sensory deprivation chamber suddenly - we'd freak out!

Knowing an unsettled bub might be normal is hard because it means there's nothing you can 'fix', you just have to ride it out. Make sure you get plenty of daytime sleep and accept all help. And the thing that really changed for us was accepting there was nothing to do about it all - rather than try and stop the nighttime crying, we just accepted it and started just offering comfort rather than offer comfort with a view to trying to stop the crying, if that makes sense. It takes the 'pressure' off and while sleep deprivation still sucks, at least it's not sleep deprivation + 'bad parent guilt', if that makes sense.

You guys are not idiots or bad parents. You're doing a great job, and your beautiful baby is going to be ok!

#7 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 13 April 2012 - 10:43 AM

I was going to refer you to purple crying too.

Have you got a sling or carrier?  The warmth and closeness will help to soothe him, and the upright position and movement will help if there is any reflux.  

And just keep BF.  Chamomile tea is a bad idea I think.  The tummy is only tiny and needs to be filled often with milk, adding something else will just disrupt the digestion, make him hungry and mess with your supply.

#8 Kay1

Posted 13 April 2012 - 10:54 AM

I really feel for you having been there twice with my kids. Yes it could be colic, yes it could be reflux. It is so very hard to pinpoint any cause. Both times we have paediatricians who were very sympathetic and understanding but generally they just didn't know what the problem was. With colic its charateristic that certain remedies/strategies will help for a little while and then stop working. Frustrating!

With DS2 (the worst of my 2) I tried probiotics (after seeing a naturopath), osteopathy, reflux medication and various over the counter remedies, fennel tea (for me), fennel baths, warm wheat pack on the belly etc..... some it it seemed to help for a short while but really he just gradually improved with age. By 5 months he had settled down completely.  DS1 on the other hand was not quite as bad - his issues were day times - but he didn't improve til well after 1 year old in terms of sleeping.

At 2 weeks old your baby is too young for reflux medication. You'll just have to try the other methods, keeping upright as much as possible, propping up the head of the cot, slings etc. Its really tough so make sure you get all the support you possibly can.

Good luck.

#9 ~Supernova~

Posted 13 April 2012 - 12:00 PM

QUOTE (MsN @ 13/04/2012, 07:36 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi Op. My first had reflux. The only thing that makes me think it's not reflux is the day/night variation. Reflux causes pain with and after feeds, all feeds, day and night. If bub is settled half the day, it probably (but not definitely) is not reflux.

It's quite common for babies to either not reflux at night, or be so exhausted from the day that they sleep through it. DS does this, and so did DD. DS also doesn't have pain with his feeds when he is sleepy. His occurs when he is awake and towards the end of the feed most of the time. He also brings the acid up usually an hour or so after a feed and re-swallows it, which is when he gets his pain and screaming fits. Every reflux baby is different.

I agree that it could be normal baby behaviour, but as per pp I would be ruling out medical conditions too. DD suffered from silent reflux for so long with no doctors listening to me, that she ended up having major bottle and food aversions from being in pain so long, it was truly horrible.

The reflux website someone already posted is a good one.

Good luck!

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