Help my preemie is miserable :((40 Posts)
Hi my baby boy was born on the 9th march at 3 weeks early. He had a low birth weight of 4.3lb due to IUGR and spent 11 days in transitional care. He is now 8 weeks old, weighs 7.5lb and is miserable. He screams almost all day apart from an hour or so when he naps.
He suffers terribly with trapped wind which wakes him up from his naps. I've tried pretty much everything I can think of to help - infacol, dentinox, gripe water, a sling, a bean bag, his Moses basket it's nearly vertical, white noise (which helps get him to sleep), baby massage, mam & dr browns bottles, comfort milk & probiotics and nothing seems to be helping. In fact I think it's getting worse. He drinks 150ml every 4 hours but sometimes goes 5 hours at night. He can lay on his changing mat ( only place he seems happy) for up to 2 hours awake and happy but as soon as he falls asleep he starts groaning in pain, pulling his knees up, cries, screams & holds his breath like he's straining while going red in the face. He does plenty of wet & dirty nappies. Cuddles don't soothe him at all and sometimes he screams more if he's picked up, I just don't know what else to do. It's heart breaking and extremely stressful. Can anyone think if anything I'm not trying? The HV isn't much help as she just recommends all the things I'm already doing. I haven't tried colief yet due to needing to put it in the bottle 30mins before a feed, I can't leave him screaming for 30mins before feeding him as he will be taking in so much more air and make his trapped wind even worse, plus the bottle has to be chucked 1 hour after being made so I'm going to end up wasting bottles as he might not finish in the 30min gap as it takes so long to get a burp out of him and try to wind him at every 30ml of he will be in even more agony. I'm at my wits end tbh and had to send him to his Nans house last night as I can't take the screaming anymore. Please help!! Thanks
Does he have tummy time during the day? DD was a very windy baby and often popping her on her tummy helped to get the wind out, she rolls to her tummy now to do her farts herself! If he isn't a fan of tummy time (DD wasn't initially) you could lay him on your tummy when lying down.
Can you try him in a sling for daytime naps? I read somewhere that being upright whilst sleeping helps soothe wknd problems. I had a fabric wrap sling for my babies when they were tiny and they would sleep in there very happily.
He hates tummy time but I'm trying to persevere as I know he needs it for his neck and back strength, although he is very good at holding his head on his own already.
I have a sling and it helps for a short while but then he goes back to groaning and eventually screaming. Also as he's still quite tiny he slips slightly in the sling and his head doesn't stay upright so his chin ends up on his chest which is no good as I can tell the change in his breathing almost instantly. The car seat is no good either as we have to put a wedge behind for the same reason (head slumps down, chin on chest) x
Have you thought about intolerances? It could be lactose or cows milk, if you speak to your GP or HV they should be able to guide you on formulas.
Sorry just read your post, what sort of sling do you have? I struggled with mine but wasn't tying it tight enough (wrap sling) I think your preemie boy will be too small for any other type of sling. Tummy time across your knees or your own tummy lead on your back, sort of prop him up on your boobs - it's good for skin to skin as well which might help to calm him.
It does sound like cows milk protein allergy might need to be ruled out.
One of my twins wasn't doing too well in the womb (he came out tiny on 1st or 2nd percentile) and once he was out he ROCKETED through percentiles to settle on the 75th, where he stayed ever since. Unlike his twin, who came out fat and chunky, I just don't think he was doing well inside.
I have a vague theory that babies who don't thrive inside the womb have gut issues and that can cause CMPI like in my son.
Oh your poor baby.
Have you looked into cows milk protein allergy (CMPA)? I've no experience of it but lots of folk on here have discussed it previously. Symptoms are what you've described, constant screaming in small babies. Solution is to avoid diary if you're breastfeeding or get dairy free formula if he's bottle fed. I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will come along with more advice shortly.
Of course it could be wind, my first baby was 9 weeks premature and really struggled to get his wind out. The good news is that your baby won't be like this forever but it's miserable in the meantime. I hope you find the solution very soon.
Intolerance or silent reflux are my thoughts now. I'm thinking about changing to lactose free milk but I'm worried about changing as I know this could upset his tummy even more while he gets used to it. I'm going to take him to the GP tomorrow and ask them to check him over. He has his immunisations tomorrow too and I'm so worried about how upset he will be after, I don't think he can have baby paracetamol as the box says don't give to babies born before 37 weeks (he was 36+5 when born) not sure if 2 days will make a difference. Il find out from the GP tomorrow. X
I'm sure the GP will say he's now ok to have calpol. My 9 weeks early baby had calpol once he was over 2 months old. But yes get the GP to ok it.
See what happens if you take dairy out of your diet?
I think might help.
My son was exactly the same. He had a cows milk intolerance. Go to your gp, they may try him with gaviscon to rule out reflux. If your bottle feeding try comfort milk. It's good for colicky babies
I have the stretchy fabric sling that you wrap around and tie up. He always seems very scrunched up in it. He doesn't seem bothered by that though it's just his head that I can't seem to get right. I will try tummy time on my tummy and defo over the knees. I too think he has an issue with his gut, I was thinking maybe he has a small small intestine or something. He doesn't bring his feeds up but does bring a bit up sometimes with a burp. I'm sure it's the wind going down that's the problem rather than the wind that comes up. He seems to really struggle to get a fart out and I've tried circles on his tummy and bringing the knees up but nothing comes. We are back at baby massage tomorrow which is all about the tummy so hopefully I might get some more pointers/ideas. X
DS was like this. He was early but huge and once out of NICU he had all the symptoms you describe. He has cows milk allergy, soy allergy and had terrible reflux that no one took seriously because his weight was fine.
He grew out of screaming when he passed wind.
Aimee if it's cows milk protein allergy, lactose free won't help as it's the protein they are allergic to not the lactose.
Thanks ladies I think CMPA is definitely a possibility. He is FF as my milk didn't come in as he couldn't suckle. He was tube fed while in TC at hospital which I'm sure has stretched his tummy. I can't help thinking that 150ml bottles are too much but HV and NEonatal say it's fine. He was on prescription milk to start with but I've changed to Cow&Gate comfort but I really don't think it's made a difference. I thought as he got older he would be more comfortable but I'm sure it's getting worse. I will look into CMPA more and the best formula etc. X
Re the sling - do you have a sling library near you? I booked an hour with the lady who runs ours and she sorted out my wrap sling and gave me another to try so could be worth a go as it's a godsend with an unhappy baby
I haven't heard of a sling library. Il look into that now, thanks! X
This sounds like my experience of CMPA! Do be aware that it can co-exist with a soy intolerance. So if your baby doesn't respond to a dairy-free formula, as a next step it may be wise to try a soy-free and dairy-free formula (this does exist!). It can take up to 3 weeks for the proteins to clear the baby's system so give it time before you give up... alternatively you could go straight to the soy-free and dairy-free formula and then (assuming it clears up the discomfort) add one in at a time, starting with soy, to ascertain which was causing the problem.
Yes it's very common for CMPI babies to be intolerant to soy (and other animal milks too) as the proteins are similar shapes.
You will need a prescription for Neocate or similar - after 6 weeks there should be an improvement (this is the only way to diagnose CMPI).
Ok thank you I will mention this to the GP. Am I able to get dairy & soy free milk from the shop or is it only available by prescription? My GP doesn't like giving out milk prescriptions I don't think as I had murders trying to get them to prescribe ready made bottles of Nutriprem2. I did eventually get it after seeing a diff GP. I think I might have better luck getting neonatal to write the prescription but we have been discharged as of last week but I'm sure they would still help x
Hi, I had really similar - IUGR and teeny baby who screamed all day long. A sling helped and, like everyone else, cutting out cows milk and soy (I was breastfeeding so just cut it out of diet). The good news is it passed and she loves her cows milk a year later. It's sort of just one of those things to grit your teeth and get through with a newborn, I know so many who went through the same. It's not nice seeing them in pain though.
Another thing that might be worth trying is cranial osteopathy, if the cmpa isn't the solution. We tried this with our oldest and it seemed to work in conjunction with me going dairy free (ebf baby). Hope your little one is more comfortable soon - it's so distressing watching them in pain 💐
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