Month Four: Still Screaming

Luca will be four months tomorrow and is rapidly growing out of his 6-9 month clothing. I keep trying to put him in at least a few of his adorable outfits (which he HATES), but I know some of them he will sadly never wear. Seriously, this kid needs to slow down. Here are some of his most recent fashion experiments.

His dinosaur outfit (p.s. he's been having some eye infection issues, which is why his eye is red):



I call this one "baby overalls with baby polo":



This one even comes with cute mommy attachment:



Note the "I hate you mom for putting me in this stupid thing" look.

Luca's newly developed interests include playing with rattles and the bumble bee on his bouncy seat, trying to chew on everything he can get his hands on, and sucking his thumb while poking himself in the eye (hence the eye infections). Some things have not changed though: He still is entertained by his gym, his swing (and the annoying synthesized "nature sounds"), and still HATES tummy time, although he is building more of a tolerance for it.

Luca has developed one particularly annoying habit, which is driving his father and me absolutely batty. I call it the "screaming syndrome", also known as "For God's Sake don't leave me alone for more than five seconds or you'll live to regret it." Apparently he has decided he doesn't want to be left alone. At all. Ever. I walk into the kitchen to get a snack, he starts to fuss. I go take a shower and get out to a screaming baby. Not that it stops me from doing any of this.

I'm operating under the (possibly erroneous) theory that eventually he will realize that I am indeed coming back, and more importantly, learn to entertain himself. But this kid has stamina, which makes things even worse when Chris and I try to put him to bed. We've tried nursing, rocking, bouncing, singing, reading, and several combinations thereof, all with the same result: a two-hour screaming match that leaves all three of us exhausted and traumatized, although Luca probably less so than Chris and me. Finally, on the advice of our pediatrician, we are now putting him to bed and letting him "fuss" on his own (although his fussing is less like fussing and more like screaming his cute little head off).

The hope is that eventually he will get bored/tired and learn to put himself to sleep on his own. Not that we've seen any results as of yet. The only difference it has made is Chris and I don't try to stop him from screaming now, at least not for the first hour. Then one of us (usually me) will get so fed up with it we go in and finally rock him to sleep.

I love Luca dearly, but this month has been exhausting. And no one can give us any helpful suggestions. No one seems to have encountered a kiddo quite like ours. Even my mom, in her vast experiences with children, can offer little but sympathy. It makes me wonder: am I the only mom who's baby screams for two hours before falling asleep? Why did I have to get the screaming, fussy baby? Do such thoughts make me a bad mom?

Comment(s):

Marie said...

Be glad it's only 2 hours. That's textbook colic, and nobody knows where it comes from or what to do about it. Linnea screamed every night for at least a month for at least 4 hours a night (once more like 10). We sometimes got her to sleep by: setting the running breast pump (a single electric) on her back while she rested on us, walking her in front of the very loud vent fan on our stove, putting her in her high chair (it reclines fully, but not so flat as her bed), and lots of rocking in our Lazy Boy with muted PBS for light. She also often was rocked to sleep strapped into her carseat (which then let the rocker go sleep elsewhere). It's also possible that 2 hours of screaming would work - when Linnea started sleeping unswaddled at 6 months she screamed one night for about an hour and a half and then has slept much closer to through the night since.
You might also consider trying a change or two to your diet - a day or two without wheat, then without spices, then without dairy. Maybe he's got an upset stomach. Our kid has trouble with cabbage, onions, and garlic (when I eat them, of course). Probably not though... Sleeping in shifts isn't a bad idea.
On the not being left alone: try a sling/baby bjorn when possible. I mostly dragged Linnea around in her bouncy chair so she could always see me and I tried to at least give her a bounce every now and then. Good luck!

Eric says: Happy blogging anniversary!

Chris S. said...

He does fall asleep eventually, it's just that he doesn't like being alone in a dark room. He much prefers to be held and "bounced" to sleep.

Oh, and I think I typed the date wrong in the sidebar. Our blog-oversary is actually on the 4th...

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