One of the most common questions I got when I had XBoy was, “Is he a good baby?”

Why no, he was not. One night when he was just eight weeks old, the local authorities showed up at our door with XBoy in tow: he had been caught tipping cows in the neighbor’s field and drinking their milk.

It’s a pat question for new mothers, and I’m again asked it routinely.

Is ZGirl a “good baby”? She’s a typical newborn which makes me a typical newborn’s Mom, which is to say, she is wearing my ass out.

From about 7:00 pm till 10:30 she is showing every sign of colic. I really thought that my experience this time would be different since ZGirl is exclusively breastfed, whereas XBoy was mostly formula.

I hate colic. I hate that when I try to burp her or soothe her with a short burst of nursing, she becomes as rigid as a plank and scrunches her face and hands so tight, the most tense tissue turns white while the rest is beet red. These are the times I call on Mr. DD. He will walk throughout the house while I lay in bed thinking I’ll try to catch a catnap. I never do, though, since her squalling tears me up.

During the day, she is mostly glued to me curled up on my chest like a small, sweaty rock. When I try to put her down, she begins yelping within just a few minutes. Right now I’m catching a break because I’m trying something new: the bassinet’s on vibrate with white noise in the background. It will probably only work this one time.

In the limited time when she is down, I try to squeeze in a million tasks: napping, laundry, bills, blogging, and even a little work. My moments with XBoy have been slivered to suppertime and then later a quick good night while tucking him in. If I’m lucky, I’m able to help him with his bath. I think that’s been the hardest change for all of us.

So is ZGirl a “good baby”? Depends on your definition of “good”, I guess. To me she’s perfect.

And with that, she’s done with the vibrating bassinet.

21 thoughts on “BABY, BE GOOD”

  1. Of course she’s perfect. But that doesn’t make her easy. I lived through 24/7 colic with all kids and it was brutal. (and it wasn’t reflux- we tried Zantac and it did nada for us). Individually the twins were slightly easier than my oldest but the 1-2 punch of them together was a killer. I just sent Flicka an email with some of my coping techniques. I’ll forward it to you, for what its worth.

    Hang in there. This too shall pass. That’s about the only thing useful I learned from it.

  2. I think wrapping/swaddling helped us too. Sometimes they go through these things and it’s not really anything that seems to cause it and then a few weeks down the track it’s gone.
    I’m sorry things are a bit full on right now for you but also want to say..Yay ZGirl! and yay to you too DD

  3. A food thing, maybe? Or it could be colic? I know nothing about colic, except that it’s hard on everyone, but I know a lot of kids are sensitive to a specific food in their mom’s diet. It might be worth trying some food eliminations and seeing if they help; after all, they won’t hurt.

    OK, assvice done.

    I don’t understand that question–aren’t all babies perfect, even when they’re challenging? Perfect doesn’t mean a baby who sleeps through the night at 2 weeks old. Perfect means that your baby is finally here and in your arms. Of course she’s perfect. How could she not be?

  4. Sounds EXACTLY like Ellie and it wasn’t colic or reflux. I think 3 weeks was when it peaked and she was pretty much over it at around 6 weeks. According to my sleep book – Healthy Sleep Happy Child, new babies’ neurological systems are still immature and essentially they just can’t process all the mixed up messages their brain gets so they cry. It sucks because there isn’t much you can do but wait it out.

  5. Dear DD, you have all my sympathy. The first weeks are so difficult, and when colic gets added to the picture, it’s grim.

    I don’t know anything about reflux, so of course I can’t give any medical advice, but — at the risk of sounding profoundly dumb and old-fashioned — have you tried “The Happiest Baby on the Block”? The stuff he suggests for colic really worked for Banana. I was just upset that I discovered the book when she was already outgrowing that phase anyway. You probably know all about it, but I just wanted to make sure that, in case you don’t, you don’t have the same kind of unfortunate timing I did.

    Wishing I could give you a hug.

  6. I always hated that question. Seemed pretty stupid to me. What was I supposed to say- “No she’s a horrible baby and I think we made a mistake?” At least the looks on their faces would have been funny.

  7. mairin also had to be held non-stop. my left arm got very strong, and i got very good at doing almost anything with only my right hand. and of course i took lots of sh** for holding my baby too much. alas.

    we used a hotsling, which s liked more than i did, but which did actually allow me to nurse her hands-free on occasion, with no modesty issues. that was nice. my sil and a friend swear by the ergo, but i can’t speak to that from experience. i tried an old-fashioned wrap (the ellaroo) and never got the hang of it, so it wasn’t so great for me. i think alexa over at flotsam has been using the mei tai with simone and it seems to work.

    mairin wasn’t a colicky/refluxy baby, but we were looking for solutions to me holding her non-stop (which actually became very bad for my posture–sheesh.) she became a very happy camper after we bought her the fisher price papasan swing — she would sleep, swinging, much better than she would sleep anywhere else…except, of course, attached to me at the breast.

  8. One of my boys decided that colic was a good thing to try out (I disagreed). I tried everything the only thing that worked was the swing. Hope you find something that works for ZGirl!

  9. Um, yeah, no kid = no colic advice.

    But, I do have a sling and I have been hauling around the neighbor kid in it. It is a mei tei carrier and some ET PAP made it for me. Not sure how it is for newborns, but i have heard the kangaroo karrier is awesome.

    Anywho, I need to come down there and hold X-Girl so you can spend time with Max. I did get him a total boy gift when we were at BEn Franklin. Nothing big, just a fart bomb. I loved it and since he and I have a similar humor I thought he needed one to create a stink and draw attention to himself. I have been waiting to send it with present but I think I may just go ahead and send it to him anyway. We tried one out and it DOES in fact stink. ha!

    On that note, screw colic, could it be gas?

  10. I also support the reflux theory. Both of my boys had reflux. All symptoms were the same, esp. the (my) crying daily. Zantac worked for B, with soy formula. N was on Prilosec and I nursed, but I had to take ALL dairy out of my diet. Some other things to try, keep her sitting up for 20 minutes after she eats, and have her bassinet raised on her head side at a 20 degree angle so she can sleep a tiny bit elevated. I had a doctor and nurse describe to me that reflux was like a hundred knives jabbing them in the chest. Once we got the dosage correct on the medications and diet changes they were completely different babies.

  11. I’m ecohing Jennifer here about the reflux. your baby sounds EXACTLY like Julius and our lives changed dramatically the moment he got the meds.

    And everytime we are late for a dose, the “colic” comes back.

    Seriously, get her some zantac.

  12. The Mini pulled the same shit around that age. It’s a conspiracy.

    All kidding aside, have you tried Hylands colic tablets? If you can’t get them by you (meaning if it’s like 6 hours to the nearest BRU like they tend to spread them out) I have a bottle on hand, I’d be happy to pop in the mail.

    Not that it made him want to be put down much more,

  13. I’m also going to ask a dumb assvice question. Hope I don’t annoy. Any chance it’s reflux? Our NICU nurses said the NICU doctors don’t usually use the word colic anymore since it’s 9 times out of 10 it’s reflux. Unfortunately for us those same NICU doctors didn’t believe in medicating reflux since most babies grow out of it on their own. But I can tell you the day our son was medicated (that would be the day after we left the NICU) he changed into the easiest baby ever. It made such a huge difference. Before the meds it seemed like the only time he was happy was when he was being held upright.

    Anyway maybe that’s not Z-girl. Just thought I’d throw it out there in case.

    Any chance we can get another picture of your perfect little one?

    “Colic” does seem to be an outdated term, but that’s the best way to describe how she acts. She has spit up exactly three times, twice in the past 24 hours, with one being quite copious. I’m using Gripe Water right now (first used last night). I’m going to give it more time.

  14. “To me she’s perfect.”


    I don’t think you’re SUPPOSED to put them down when they’re this little. They lay there on your chest so that you can smell their head all day.

  15. Complete assvice here. But have you tried putting her in a wrap so that you have your hands free? KT needed to be help too when she was little and my Moby was a lifesaver.

    I tried the storchweige wrap, but she hated it. I am on the look out for another option. I’ve used my bjorn a couple of times, which she tolerates for a while.

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