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Old 02-02-2007, 06:14 AM   #1
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Unhappy Shouldn't I know what I'm doing by now??? (sleep issues, feeding issues, etc!) LONG!

Ok, this is baby #4. It seems like it's gotten harder and harder with each kid, though I ought to know what I'm doing by now!

Baby #1- she slept through the night starting at 1 week old. Yes, I know this is rare and it's nothing I did to cause this. I was just blessed! She nursed on demand during the day and usually slept all night. She was a happy baby too.

Baby #2- had allergic colitis, so very upset after feedings. I "experimented" with my diet for months before eventually putting him on hypoallergenic formula. Despite all the tummy issues, he did sleep through the night starting at a couple of months old. During the day he had himself on roughly a 3-hour schedule (I didn't force this; it's just what he wanted).

Baby #3- no tummy issues, but did not sleep through the night until over a year old. Happy baby, but made mommy very tired! (And just as he started sleeping through the night consistently, I got pg again and the fatigue started all over again LOL)

Baby #4- has symptoms of allergic colitis like big brother, plus sometimes seems like he's got silent reflux. I've cut out the major allergens from my diet and sometimes I think he's doing better but then sometimes he has really rough days of crying and wakes up several times a night. Sometimes I feel like maybe I could do something about this by encouraging more of a routine and don't feed him TOO often. But then again if he is refluxing a little bit of breastmilk is supposed to help. After everything we went through with ds1, I told myself if we ever had another baby with similar problems I would not go through months of experimenting. I would maybe try eliminating dairy for a while, and if it didn't help I'd go to formula. Well, I've been off of dairy, soy, eggs, and nuts for quite a while, and while I know he'd be doing MUCH worse if I were still eating them, he's not doing totally better either. I'm sad that he is so fussy, I'm tired physically; I feel like I"m not being a very good mommy to the other kids since I'm having to deal with the baby's problems all the time.

ds3 is 3 months old and I think I've done really good to nurse him this long. (I suspected problems from the beginning because even on day 1 in the hospital he was fussing at regular intervals after his feedings). In order to discourage a hasty decision, dh and I have been making every Friday our discussion/decision day regarding formula. The last few Fridays I didn't feel like I could really make a decision because ds was sick. Now he's been better this whole last week and the tummy problems are definitely still there. Today is Friday and we will decide whether to try formula (probably Alimentum) or give nursing another week. If we try formula I'll pump for a while in case it doesn't help him.

I just can't help but think that getting him happy will help all around- better days, better nights. And yet I'm hung up on the fact that babies are meant to drink breastmilk. What did they do before the special formulas were invented? Just dealt with it, right? But then again, I have the opportunity to have a happy baby, so why not take advantage of that, even though they couldn't in the past?

I just feel like with each kid I'm getting worse and worse at encouraging a routine and good sleep habits! But I don't think I can completely help ds3 with the routine and sleep habits until his tummy problems are resolved! Should I try out the hypoallergenic formula???

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Old 02-02-2007, 06:38 AM   #2
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Re: Shouldn't I know what I'm doing by now??? (sleep issues, feeding issues, etc!) LONG!

Oh mama, that sounds so tough.
You might think about sleep positioning with his head elevated. I read somewhere that swaddling helps iwth colitis.
There is some literature about the closed gut theory. If you buy into that then trying formula would be a bad idea. Just wanted to offer you some other ways to look at the situation. Other solutions to the problems.
I don't know what I would do in your situation.
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Old 02-02-2007, 07:00 AM   #3
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Re: Shouldn't I know what I'm doing by now??? (sleep issues, feeding issues, etc!) LONG!

I wanted to offer some support. I too have 4 and I am thinking the same thing. I should have it down by now. We have a had gut issues with all of them but this one is the worst. She is 7 weeks. I just went to the naturopath last week and things have gotten MUCH better. She is on herbal stuff to help her gut and I am also taking stuff too. I am also stimulating her to go to the bathroom twice a day b/c she was only going about once a week. I have eliminated lots of allergens but when we went to the naturopath she found no allergens. Just the gut issue and the poopy problem.
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Old 02-02-2007, 07:14 AM   #4
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Re: Shouldn't I know what I'm doing by now??? (sleep issues, feeding issues, etc!) LONG!

I reallt think you should talk to his pediatrician. He could have reflux. There are medications that will help my ds has bad reflux and medication has helped.
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Old 02-02-2007, 08:07 AM   #5
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Re: Shouldn't I know what I'm doing by now??? (sleep issues, feeding issues, etc!) LONG!

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I reallt think you should talk to his pediatrician. He could have reflux. There are medications that will help my ds has bad reflux and medication has helped.
We're pretty sure he has silent reflux, and we tried zantac for a month. It didn't really help. Cutting out allergens does seem to help some, but since he also has allergic colitis just treating the reflux isn't going to make him feel totally better (sometimes he's crying from reflux, sometimes from gas/colitis stuff).

Since I think it's ALL related to what I'm eating, that's why I'm considering the hypoallergenic formula.

Also forgot to add that I've had him on probiotics for a while too.
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Old 02-02-2007, 09:10 AM   #6
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Re: Shouldn't I know what I'm doing by now??? (sleep issues, feeding issues, etc!) LONG!

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We're pretty sure he has silent reflux, and we tried zantac for a month. It didn't really help. Cutting out allergens does seem to help some, but since he also has allergic colitis just treating the reflux isn't going to make him feel totally better (sometimes he's crying from reflux, sometimes from gas/colitis stuff).

Since I think it's ALL related to what I'm eating, that's why I'm considering the hypoallergenic formula.

Also forgot to add that I've had him on probiotics for a while too.


My ds tried zantac it didnt work so he was put on prilosec (sp?) That worked and he saw a pediatric GI who said that if that medicine didnt work they would run further tests. Lucky for me we didnt have to. Have you tried eliminting all products containing dairy (cows and goat?) that can also help and no caffine or alcohol it makes babies with reflux worse. I understand what you are going through and encourage you to keep trying you are doing great keep it up You can know for sure if it is what you are eating by going on a strict brat diet for 2-3 weeks (yeah its not fun)
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Old 02-02-2007, 09:43 AM   #7
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Re: Shouldn't I know what I'm doing by now??? (sleep issues, feeding issues, etc!) LONG!

Yeah, I've been avoiding all forms of dairy, plus started using an egg replacer in baking a few weeks ago (baking is really the only time I eat eggs anyway). A few weeks ago I also made sure to cut out all soy and nuts too.

I tried the strict total elimination diet when I was nursing ds1, and it did not help. The GI told me it only works about half the time with allergic colitis babies. So, I was never able to figure out exactly what was bothering him. That's why we ended up putting him on Neocate (and then switched to Alimentum) when he was 7 months old.

Because of our experience with this, I already know that a total elimination diet might be pointless. Dh does not want to see me go through that frustration and stress again. It has been hard enough as it is.

Today has proven to be a bad day for ds3. He's crying (sometimes screaming) and I KNOW I did not eat any of the foods from my no-no list. So, I know there's something else bothering him, but I also know that even with crazy dieting I still may not figure it out and get him better.

I don't think it would hurt to try Alimentum for a few days just to see what happens. I can pump for a few days. With ds1 I pumped for a full week (not fun but I survived, and kept up my supply!).

I feel like there's so much stuff I could do with the other kids if ds3 would just let me put him on the floor to play, or if he would actually take a full nap in his crib, or stay in the swing happy for a while. Don't get me wrong, I like to hold him, but I can't hold him 24/7 (babywearers don't flame me please!).
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Old 02-02-2007, 01:22 PM   #8
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Re: Shouldn't I know what I'm doing by now??? (sleep issues, feeding issues, etc!) LONG!

Please don't beat yourself up over this. Just because you've had 3 kids already doesn't automatically make you an expert on #4. Every kid is different. You might want to consider babywearing (not necessarily full time, but when you need to get stuff done and interact with the other kids). I have heard that holding the baby so that his legs straddle your arm, and his tummy and torso is supported by your forearm can help with colic, maybe this might help him? As beneficial as breastfeeding is for babies, there are some times when it legitimately doesn't work out. If that turns out to be the case for you, know that it's not your fault, it's just what is.
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Old 02-02-2007, 03:03 PM   #9
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Re: Shouldn't I know what I'm doing by now??? (sleep issues, feeding issues, etc!) LONG!

I just wanted to say that you've done a GREAT job this far. I'm sure you already know this but I give it a whirl: If you're getting rid of all the allergins then what makes you think that it's the breastmilk? Also, I would DEF. try another med. for the reflux. Kaytlynn had it AWEFUL bad long nights and we did the Zantac and then another one. I can't remember what it was but I will look it up for you. It worked the second time. When we put her to bed we used books to stack up her mattress and MOST of the time she would only SLEEP in her swing. She cried all day and all night. I didn't know much about babywearing at that time. Now that she's 17 months old I don't do it much cuz she won't let me LOL but that may be an option just to help out a little, you know not all the time or anything but you may be able to calm him and get a little done at the same time.
As for the diet: I was reading the other day and it actually takes about 4-6 weeks to completly get the stuff out of your body in order for it not to affect a baby. Make sure you've done it long enough. Have you tried to make sure he's actually waking up during the night? Many babies will wake up but not be fully awake. I would wait a min. or two before getting him just to make sure he's truly awake. I started doing this with Kaytlynn at about 3 months and most of the time she would just fall right back to sleep after letting out one or two little screams. It was like she just needed to get them out Ummm... I know that NOT many ppl go for this but have you ever let him CIO? I did that (I'd rather not get any flames either please! My baby loves me and I love her and she's JUST fine!!) Anyway it took about three days of crying for short intervals and she started going to her own crib to sleep and sleeping through the nights. I know that may not be something you want to do but I just thought I'd offer it up.
When Kaytlynn had her reflux she would nurse and nurse and nurse that's all she wanted to do. I was told to let her. Well I would and then I would end up getting thrown up on YEAH. The doctors said though that it makes their tummys feel better. LMK if I can do anything at all to help you. I will DEF. keep you in my prayers.
**Good luck with whatever you decide. If you feel you've done your best with breastfeeding then you shouldn't have any guilty feelings. You've done good. If you want support to continue I'm sure many mommas here will do that for you too!!
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Old 02-02-2007, 03:23 PM   #10
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Re: Shouldn't I know what I'm doing by now??? (sleep issues, feeding issues, etc!) LONG!

mama!!!

I know where you're at!! dd1 slept through the night at 6 weeks and was a dream baby!!
dd2 on the other hand has just started sleeping through the night! (she's almost 9 months now) and she's had horrible tummy troubles!! I nursed her for about 6 weeks when I finally went to formula, it broke my heart to do it, but she completely turned around. it ended up where she had a lactose intolerance and even though I'd cut absolutely all diary etc.. out of my diet, it didn't help! She went on a Lactose free fromula and started doing way better, (then she got sick and ended up sick for four months lol, so I still didn't get the much needed rest lol)

So really just wanted to say, if you can breast feed, then breast feed, but if formula helps him lessen those tummy troubles then you need to do whats best for both of you!! Just wanted you to know you have support no mater what decision you make!!
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