Thursday, March 8, 2012

On Crying, Fussiness, and Gas

So my poor baby is super gassy.... so much so that he sometimes screams and cries while passing gas :(. He also tends to be incredibly fussy in the evenings, usually from about 6-7:30 is the worst. And I'll admit, I joined Connor in crying a couple times. So I've been trying various things to try and help the gas/fussiness.

Here's what I've learned so far about Connor's gassiness:

  • I think part of his gassiness issue is due to the way he eats, or rather guzzles, and such in a lot of air. I try to burp him as often as possible while nursing, but sometimes it seems like he holds them in. I bounce, pat, walk, etc to try to get them out, but I don't know if I get them all.
  • A day of just mylicon type gas drops with most feedings only temporarily helped the gas but seemed to hold him back from pooping as usual and didn't do much for the fussiness. 
  • Little Tummys Gripe Water seemed to help more than the gas drops and I found that giving it in the morning, early afternoon, and sometimes before bed seemed to be the best schedule and occasionally helped with evening fussiness. I wasn't thrilled about a couple ingredients in it though, so I wanted to find something else.
  • I found a better version of gripe water at Whole Foods made with organic ingredients and also contained chamomile, which the other one didn't. I only just gave him some this afternoon so I can't say yet how this one may differ, but he hasn't been quite as fussy or gassy this evening like he usually is.
  • Then, yesterday I spent the afternoon with a friend from my Bradley class and her daughter (4 days older than Connor) has the same issue and her pediatrician told her to try Colic Calm and it was a dream for them. It's a homeopathic gripe water that's black and works quickly. Connor was a little fussy towards the end of our visit so we tried giving him some and he soon was a happy smiling baby again! He was still a little fussy in the evening last night but not as bad as usual and not seemingly from gas. When bath time (7:30) rolled around, he actually wasn't fussy and crying like he usually is, which is why I typically can't go past 7:30 without getting him a bath. I was going to pick some up on the way home yesterday but Connor was fussy so I went today to get some but will start it tomorrow since I tried the other gripe water today and don't want to mix. So far the only drawback I see is that there are black specks in his poo from it and it may stain his cloth diapers, but it will be worth it if it makes him happier. 
  • I've also considered if my diet may be contributing to his gassiness and have been eating as plain a diet as I can for at least the early months, and avoiding beans (which I couldn't handle while pregnant either) and veggies from the broccoli/cabbage family (which I love). I even cut out trail mix and have been watching my nut/dried fruit intake since I discovered a connection with my eating half a bag of trail mix and then Connor being really gassy later. I'm hoping I can phase them back in slowly soon, but for now I'm keeping them to a minimum if at all just in case. I've even cut out peanut butter for now too :(. Oh how I miss it! I had thought about cutting out dairy too and finally started that after talking to another friend who's son is 2 months older than Connor and was also screaming while passing gas until she cut out dairy. So I've been dairy free for almost a week and hopefully we'll start to see improvements in another week or so. I gave up dairy for a while when we were trying to get pregnant so I knew it would be hard but at least I know hat alternatives I like. The part that really sucks is that half of my freezer stash of meals contains dairy and I have 3 organic cream cheeses, 3 other blocks of cheese and cheese sticks in my fridge I need to find homes for. I can't stand to throw perfectly good food away... it pains me that I have to throw away an $11 pound of fresh mozzarella that I couldn't eat and is now no longer good :(. I'm hoping to find someone to take my freezer meals too. That was a lot of work to make those and I just can't throw it away. 
  • We've also tried light tummy massages and working his legs to help him pass the gas, but it still hurts him sometimes so this isn't a permanent solution.
Daddy working the gas out

This hold helps calm him sometimes too

Anyways... here's hoping something works soon for my poor gassy baby. I hate to see him in pain :(.

As for the evening fussiness... I'm not sure it's all because of the gas. I think sometimes it's from over stimulation during the day since it often helps to sit in a quiet dark room. I'm trying to limit the amount of time the tv is on during the day, even during naps when he sleeps on me, and keeping the volume way down. This evening it also seemed to help to keep the kitchen light off so it was dark and he could fall asleep easier and was a little calmer. I also notice that if he doesn't nap well during the day, he's really fussy in the evening. He seems to do best when he gets 4 naps of at least 45 minutes. Anything less than 45 minutes doesn't help. This is one of the reasons I still let him nap on my chest/in my arms. I'd rather he be happier and get his naps in, then to try to get him to nap somewhere else. I have been trying to aim to get him to nap once a day in his crib, but I usually won't put him in there until he's been asleep for 45 minutes in case he wakes up... I'm not ruining a nap just to get him in the crib. I also find it sometimes helps to stand and sway while nursing him when he's fussy and hungry. It's all trial and error, but isn't that parenting in general? Hopefully some of my recent adjustments will help and I'll reevaluate when he's three months and more adjusted to life outside of mommy :).

So until we figure this out, I think I'll be posting an ad on Facebook for an evening volunteer to come help for an hour hold a fussy baby so I can make sure the dogs get fed, I have eaten, and get things ready for bed. After all, I've had so many people offer their help if I need it and I think I'm ready to start cashing in now that Ken is gone!

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