Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Patrick Loses the Title "Easiest Baby"

Patrick, upon entering his second week, lost his title of "easiest baby in the world."  Mae Bae will hold onto that crown for a while longer.

It began when he started deciding that when he was hungry at night he would just roll onto his stomach and try to come find me.  He'd been able to move himself onto his side to eat pretty much since he arrived home from the hospital.  Two nights ago he realized that if he just leaned a little bit more he'd roll right over onto his tummy where he could hysterically realize that he was stuck.

I wasn't exactly excited about this development and began forcing the issue of using the co-sleeper that Nani and Grumpa gave us during their trip to Michigan (I wrote about my thoughts on the whole cosleeping/crib sleeping thing here... and I have to say... it's pretty clear that Patrick isn't following Mae Bae as one who loves being in his own little area from the get go...).

Using the co-sleeper, however, meant actually waking up a bit more to nurse and so I decided, on the first night of our co-sleeper adventure, to glance at my phone each time Patrick woke up to nurse.  And the stats proved that he was up quite a bit more than I would have thought when I was just barely waking up to feed him.  Because our night looked something like this:

8 pm- Patrick eats and goes to sleep while I work downstairs.  He sleeps in a bassinet next to me.
11 pm- Patrick wakes up when we go upstairs and eats again.  I put him down in the co-sleeper and after a week of realizing he likes the bassinet downstairs, he only grumbles about it a bit.
2 am- He's starving and I think 3 hours.... that's pretty good!
3 am-  One hour later we're starving again.  I'm less impressed this time.
5 am- I hurry to feed him before his frantic yells, which seem to translate into "milk!  now!" wake his sisters.
6 am- The girls are awake.  And crying.  I sneak out of the room and go into their room where they both sound raspy and sick.  They both pile into the same bed with me.  Sadie announces that she's freezing despite a fleece footed sleeper and 20 (I'm actually serious... and they feel incredibly heavy... but she keeps saying she's cold...) blankets.  Mae is hot and keeps trying to put the blankets off.  It's a long hour until...
7 am- Patrick wakes up.  It's go time... the day has begun.

So that would be 7 feedings in a 11 hour period.  That makes him a better sleeper than big sister Sadie by quite a bit, but can't really compare with Mae's four hour stretches of sleep from day one.

Still, I'm feeling pretty rested with the way things have worked out (it's four o'clock in the afternoon, when both girls go completely insane, that is exhausting!).  After all, that is roughly seven hours of kind of unbroken sleep.

But then last night arrived and Patrick started to cry.  And cry.  And cry.  He solidly refused to eat.  I walked him and got him to burp five times and he stopped for a while and then... more crying.  Colic?  Reflux?  I know I just read somewhere that babies start crying a lot more at around two weeks and that this phase generally lasts through three months.

I try different baby holds.  He seems happiest laid face down across my forearm while I pat is back... However I can't walk with him in that position for more than five minutes because while he's little those ten lbs add up pretty quickly, and when I sit down he goes back to screaming.  The other holds, he lets me know, are not acceptable.

And did I mention that, earlier this week, at two and a half weeks old, Patrick and I spent our Saturday at the ER, for reasons that will remain undisclosed to protect the not-so-innocent and that he had his first cat-scan, while the pediatric ER nurses assured me that "this sort of thing happens all the time" (and by the way the pediatric ER at that hospital is spectacular... there are huge touch screen computers built into the walls for the kids to play in... if Sadie saw it she'd ask to go back just to visit and play...).

I think I can honestly say that that might have been my worst Mom moment ever.  I can definitely say that it was up there...

Anyways... I digress...

Finally I call Paul and while he can't actually hear my voice over the screaming he gets the idea that he is needed at home and heads back from the library.  It's 11 pm when he arrives.  I hand him Patrick and tell him that I just need to get ready for bed.  "Let me go up to the bathroom and then I'll take him back and you can study..." I say.

And then Patrick... well... Patrick does something that makes me a bit suspicious.  He's in Daddy's arms now and he's suddenly completely quiet.  Paul has done absolutely nothing to earn this quietness.  He's holding him just like I was... but is Patrick screaming?  Nope.  He snuggles into Daddy's chest and closes his eyes.  He may even sigh contently as I head up the stairs.

Paul carries him up five minutes later and places him in the co-sleeper where he dozes peacefully for three hours.  He wakes up and starts to cry at 4... and then settles back in after Daddy burps him.

Daddy is apparently his person.

I think he really, really enjoyed that week off when Paul was home, and he's apparently not all that thrilled that his Dad is back at school with regular classes for one week, one week of crazy studying and then, finally, finals.  And the week before Christmas when the break finally begins?  It still feels pretty far off.

And me?  I'm just really hoping this screaming isn't a nightly thing.  Because I have some major sewing to do now, both for the shop and to get ready for Christmas.  And three nightly hours of screaming doesn't really fit into that schedule...  So here's hoping it was a one night screaming event.

At least now I know who to call to get him to settle down...


  1. I have a feeling that it might be the fact that Patrick isn't smelling you and your milk when he's in his daddy's arms. I find our baby, whose 6 months old day after tomorrow, just wants to rest sometimes and me trying to nurse him is not what he wants. I put him down, swaddled or not, in his crib or on the couch and he's out cold in moments. Each baby is so different. Hurray for the arms of Daddy.

  2. LOL - When my daughter was 9 months old, I needed surgery. My mom came in to care for the kiddos. When she brought the children in to see me, my daughter absolutely refused to have anything to do with me. Literally. As of that moment she was weaned from breast-feeding, although certainly not by my choice. Amazing how incredibly stubborn a baby can be... and by the way, that streak of "I hate Mom, don't let her touch me" last almost three weeks. After Daddy went back to work and Grandma left, she finally was forced to deal with me or starve (still wouldn't breastfeed though). Wow, I had never dreamed that a 9 mo could get SO mad for so long.

  3. I completely agree with Cecelia; Daddy and Mommy smell very different, and Mommy means "food". Even if he is not really hungry, the smell of Mommy and milk can get him a little riled up.

    After his hospital stint the week his cousin was born, 19 month old Ben will NOT let his mom put him down to sleep. He is like a little barnacle when she is around. However, his dad - or, when he is here, I - can get him to nap or go down at night. He also started nursing frequently again in the hospital (had been down to once or twice daily) and has kept it up. It's comforting to him, and it will take a while to wean, I think; his mom is OK with it, though. That is a very powerful connection, whether they are grand-new or have been here a bit. ;)

    Here's hoping that the screaming was a one-time event.

    God bless!


  4. Sounds like you have yourself a normal baby! LOL! Every time I have a new baby in the house, I can be heard to say repeatedly "I forgot how hard this is!" When people ask me if my babies are "good" babies I tell them that ALL babies are good, some just have higher needs than others... and it is a great honor and privilege to be able to meet those needs. :) Incidentally, I seem to recall that two weeks is one of the growth spurts for a newborn. They cry and cry and nurse and nurse until they can't no mo. Then they keep crying. They're just trying to amp up the milk production. My SIL and I always remind each other of those times when we call on the phone to complain that we can't put the baby down, use the bathroom, or get any sleep. Normal. Totally normal.

  5. I don't know if this is what happened in your home, but when my sister was a newborn (I was around 3), apparently I ran over to her bassinet, eager to see the baby, and spilled her right out. If it is something like that - don't worry it is normal! We all laugh about it now...

  6. I just re-read your post. CT scan? Oh my!!! Poor little fellow. :( The hazards of having siblings, I would guess. Sending a big hug your way!

    God bless.


  7. The face down across the forearm hold is called the "Gas Hold" in our family. Our gassy/colicy infant was happiest that way, especially if daddy did it. Second best was being held face down across the knees. Both help babies pass gas, which is really just normal as their digestive system is kicking into development. If he's burping, he's probably gassy.

    Another thought, if you are consuming any dairy, you might want to stop until he gets older. Dairy is considered to be a prime cause of colic in breastfeeding babies. Luckily, you don't need dairy to make breast milk, just lots of water!

    I hope he passes through this phase quickly.

  8. Mine have always gotten real fussy for a few days around 2 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, etc., usually corresponding with a major growth spurt. They get especially irritable about things that require their arms and legs to be manipulated, such as changing diapers or dressing. I have often suspected that it may be growing pains – I know as an older child my joints and muscles used to ache when I was shooting up, and babies’ growth spurts are even more impressive. I have often found that massaging the babies’ arms, legs, and back can help calm them down, and I have resorted to the occasional Tylenol dose after a particularly impressive (i.e. 3 hour) crying jag – with instant enough results that I think there may be something to my suspicion of pain. I’m pretty sure my 15 month old just went through this last week – he started waking and insisting on food in the middle of the night (after not doing so for the last 6 months), and otherwise sleeping very restlessly – could hear him in his crib across the hall stirring and whimpering about every 2 hours. He’s not sick, or teething, but just seemed to be very uncomfortable, and HUNGRY for about a week.



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