Thank you to CVS for sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% mine. This post may contain affiliate links.
About four years ago, I had a moment – which we will group in the “Not My Best Moments Ever” category.
My son was six weeks old. He only slept STRAIGHT UP AND DOWN. And I mean – stiff as a board, hold me in the PERFECT WAY UPRIGHT or I will scream bloody murder. I could sort of produce this effect in a car seat, but mostly I held him.
One night, it happened. All I was trying to do was get him to go to sleep. You know, for the night…like humans do. I would get him to nod off, try to slither into bed holding him, and whoops – the angle was off – his little eyes would angrily pop open, and he’d scream like the dickens again for twenty minutes.
I went through this little routine about, oh, 65 times until I just couldn’t take it. I handed him to my husband, and moaned something like, “Why did we have children, anyway? This is just awful! It was a horrible mistake.”
Gratefully, I have an exceptionally calm, rational, patient husband, who looked straight at me and said, “That’s ridiculous. Chill out.” (Or something along those lines.)
There is nothing quite like a fussy little nine-pound little life to bring out the COMPLETE WORST in a person. As wonderful as babies are (and as to-the-moon-and-back thrilled as I am to have my children), it sort of sums up the best of times and the worst of times, in our household, when we have a little one.
All of mine have been pretty fussy for a stretch. (Babies are fussy! my mom would say!)
I have found that if you are having a hard time dealing with a fussy baby, there are typically three reasons:
- Your baby has food allergies/sensitivities
- Your baby has acid reflux.
- You are driving yourself crazy wondering if your baby has #1 or #2, when in fact he/she is just “high needs.” (Pediatrician-ese for “Don’t Plan On Sitting Down For The Next Six Months.”)
Fortunately for you, I have had lots of experience with each of these categories!
If you are dealing with a fussy baby, here are ten things to try:
- The 5 “S” Way for calming a baby – Chances are you’ve heard of the 4-5 “s” ways to calm a baby (I think they added #2 on this list recently). But it’s a great reminder. I would run through these like clockwork, even while I was dead tired, and usually one of them helped.
- Gripe Water – I always had this on hand for my little ones. I love this CVS-Brand of Baby Calm Gripe Water, because it contains the exact same ingredients as the other “name brands” of similar products, yet at a fraction of the cost. I have personally used this product on my babies and recommend it. No – it is not a miracle cure once-and-done for a fussy baby. But many, many times I have used it and it definitely seemed to improve my baby’s tummy troubles. I think it’s the fennel component! Works like a charm!
- Homeopathic Gas Remedy – This is a blend of several remedies specifically safe and effective for babies. Again, definitely try the CVS-brand – all the same ingredients and SAVE SOME MONEY! I am a little new to homeopathy, but I had tremendous success recently using one to cure my mastitis! I’m a believer!
- Going dairy-free, if you’re breastfeeding. Oh, I know – this just sounds like the end of the universe as you know it, doesn’t it? I wrote a comprehensive Two Week Dairy-Free Meal Plan just with you nursing moms in mind! I PROMISE – it is not as overwhelming as it sounds! (Just plan on spending a lot of money on coconut milk ice cream…)
- A Drop or two of water – Now, this is going to sound crazy. But when my little ones were very fussy, I often had a little luck distracting them with a drop or two of clean, cold, filtered water. I would fill an infant syringe with water and SLOWLY drop it in their mouths. I think this helped for a few reasons. One, it’s possible babies get thirsty! (Of course if they are actually hungry, then feed them.) Two, if there is a reflux component going on, water makes it feel a little better. And three, if they’re just mad and don’t really know why, it can distract them back to happiness. I am not promising you it is a cure-all, but it’s another thing to try!
- Probiotics – I have read and heard a lot of research on giving infants probiotics. Consult your doctor for exact dosing and weight. I have heard good things about this dairy-free brand for infants and babies.
- Reflux medication – No mom wants to give her baby unnecessary medication. And obviously this is an issue to discuss with your doctor. But I am simply saying that we experienced profound improvement in my son’s comfort and sleep when we introduced acid reflux medicines. For what it’s worth.
- Bounce on the yoga ball.
- Putting on music and dancing.
- And finally, perspective. Read this. Seriously. Then print it out and read it again. Add this one to the list if you’re real bad. I promise, Mama. This will be a blip on the radar all too soon!
Now – your turn. Have you had a fussy baby? Which of these have you tried? What advice can you offer?
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