Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I Didn't Know I Had An Easy Baby, Until I Had a Colicky One

You know that expression "you don't know what you've got until it's gone?" Well, it's true for me at this very moment.

When I had Ari, I didn't know a thing about babies. I had some babysitting experience with older kids, but no one under the age of five. Suddenly, in 2008, I found myself with a tiny being who cried and pooped a lot and I had to figure out how to care for him.

At first, in the hospital, he was resistant to nursing. He was in the NICU for three days and the nurses gave him formula. Getting him to latch on was a challenge. Fortunately for him, he had a persistent Jewish mother who would not stop until he ate her boob.

Once he figured out how to latch on, he was hooked and nursed continuously, 15 minutes on each boob every three hours, for one year.

Flash forward to 2011. Samara came barreling into the world on January 22nd, and I thought to myself "I know about babies, I've had one before. What could be so different?" Well the answer to that question is: "Everything."

As soon as I pushed her out, I initiated breast feeding right away. I was thrilled when she latched on immediately. It wasn't a struggle like it was with Ari. I spoke too soon. After latching on, she would eat for five minutes and then pass out.

I thought maybe this was just a phase. Infants don't eat very much, and after all, as the doctor in the hospital told me, they don't need to, their stomachs are the size of a grape. But her boob snacking continued on.

She is now six weeks. She's still a "boob snacker," but what's worse, is that every night from
7pm - 11pm she screams bloody murder. Yes, for four hours straight every single night, no matter what I do, nurse her, hold her, change her, rock her, she just screams. I guess this is what they call "colic."

I had no idea what colic was, because Ari never had it. Let me tell you, it is not fun. It's not easy for me and it's definitely not fun for her. I am going out of my mind. By the end of the colicky period, I have a headache, and my sanity is questionable.

I had no idea Ari was an "easy" baby. To be fair, no baby is easy per say, and Ari had, and still has, major sleep issues. But he was never colicky.

Colic is intense. I keep telling myself, this too shall pass. I'll tell her about it when she's a teenager.

Was your kid colicky? Is your baby colicky now? Were you colicky? Colicky is a funny word!


  1. The Mini was a colicky baby. At about 8 weeks, he started screaming, every night, from about 4ish, until bedtime. Usually when he passed out around 7:30-8, depending on the night. Nothing could console him, really. It went on until he was about 16 weeks old. Yes. 8 weeks of incessant screaming.

    And honestly, like you said, it passes. It's hell when you're going through it, and a lot of times, there's nothing wrong, it's just their way of burning off energy. If consoling her doesn't help, maybe put her in a swing and just let her scream. Or put her in another room, somewhere away from everyone else (I'm sure that's hard with an apartment), where she'll be safe, and you can retain a bit of sanity, and just let her scream. Give yourself ten minutes to breathe and regain yourself and realize that it passes. I wish I had sage wise words, but everyone will say the same things. It passes.

    Good luck.

  2. Oh , Yes, we had that (still remember...)
    My daughter's screaming would start late noon and end at bed time for over 2 ms. I had no help,just me and was going out of my mind, willing to try ANYTHING.At that time (circa 2001) Gripe Water (which I recently noticed even available now in my local Duane Reade)was not approved in USA (a nanny from Jamaica educated me in the park about this remedy that they have been successfully using overseas).Well, the only place I was able to find it back then (and this is in the city where most everything could be found!) was in a highly questionable Pharmacy (sort of) store in Chinatown (on the helpful advise of another nanny from my local park). I did buy it there ,kept it home for several days, examined the pkg, consulted friends, pediatrician's office,and pretty much anyone I knew.One night,during one of the "episodes" I finally gave up and opened the pkg and gave it to her (I actually remember it had a pleasant dill herb smell,well, pleasant to me ,as Russians cook with lots of dill and I grew up smelling it in the kitchen constantly).It had NO AFFECT on her (after all of my soul searching and all) .I tried it many more time after that no no success until she finally outgrew that stage naturally.But I must say it worked well for some of my friends and people I know. We also tried Mylicon drops (with the same unsuccessful results)and finally just gave up and lived through it ,but it was really hard,so I can definitely sympathize with you. It will pass,you'll see.
    My daughter is turning 10 in April and I was just now sitting and thinking that as hard as her infant days were on me ,I am now much rather deal with those problems (I know ,I did not see it that way back then and I know that neither do you) and I know that every 10 year old girl is different, but mine seemed to be entering her pre-teens stage early,quickly asserting her independence and now-days anything I say or do is irritating her or not satisfactory to her and for the first time last night I had a real meltdown about it with my poor husband looking in disbelief and confused of what is going on here.Luckily my son (who is turning 7 this year) loves spending all kinds of time with me (still...) and well, both of my cats do as well .
    I hope that this "colicky" phase will pass quickly for you and you'll be able to enjoy even more your beautiful daughter.

  3. Haven't had that experience and I am going to pray that we don't this time either. Praying for you. I hope it gets better soon.

  4. Everyone I know with two kids has one "easy" and one "difficult" baby.
    I know nothing about the efficacy of gripe water, but I think you can get it at the fruit stands in my neighborhood which cater to Caribbean populations. I want to come see you sometime when I get a minute in my schedule to breathe - so let me know if I can be your mule.

  5. Lilah had reflux but not colic. Just know that it WILL get easier and we are cheering you on!

  6. Did you try gripe water? I'm not sure if someone suggested it because the comments are long!

    I think Z was a boob snacker too, but you have to wake them up and make them learn. She stopped doing it so often, but still didn't eat a lot, maybe because I was prego, and was a very tiny baby. I think Lyla was 'easier' as a baby, but at 2 it's all the same sh*t. lol!!


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