Have I just got a difficult baby?

(26 Posts)
Jc2911 Wed 20-Jan-21 16:47:06

My baby girl is now 7 weeks old. She has always been very unsettled and things just haven't got any better.

She will not sleep unless she is held, I have tried different cribs etc but she wakes nearly as soon as she is put down and just screams. I am literally living off no sleep and also struggling in the day as well because again, I can't put her down.

The GP prescribed gaviscon and said she sounds like she has reflux , this has helped with her sickness but I still fine her very windy. She really struggles with bringing up her wind , I have tried everything, infacol, gripe water, colief etc and they have all either made things worse or not made a difference. She is on the aptimil formula and I have tried the comfort one but that didn't work. I have gone privately and got her tongue tie cut to see if this helped her settle but it didn't. I have just spoken to the Gp again as I didn't know if she could be allergic to cows milk but they said that as she is gaining weight etc, it's very unlikely and are now prescribing omeprazole. I feel really reluctant to try this because I have heard it can make wind worse etc but I'm just lost on what else to do.

Do I simply just have a difficult baby? Please help.

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moonriver32 Wed 20-Jan-21 17:06:31

Hi, had to respond as we went through everything exactly the same with my baby who is now 4 months old.

Unsettled and cried constantly when awake (which was all the time cos he didnt sleep) from day 1 pretty much! Tongue tie cut privately at 2 weeks, went through all the wind/colic remedies under the sun (Infacol, gripe water, colief, dentinox)

Gaviscon prescribed by the GP reluctantly after the midwives and health visitors agreed there must be something going on (e.g silent reflux) as he was just so so permanently unsettled. Didn't feel like this did much except constipate him, plus it was a pain to administer as I was breastfeeding. Found a symptom checker through a reflux specialist and convinced it was silent reflux, begged for Omeprazole from the GP. We started on this while we waited for a referral to come through from the hospital to see a paediatrician. Paediatrician said it all sounded fairly normal and wasn't convinced there was anything wrong! We saw a cranial osteopath for a few sessions, but other than costing a lot of money didn't seem to make any difference.

What helped me was someone telling me about the "period of purple crying" - www.purplecrying.info/what-is-the-period-of-purple-crying.php

This sounded very much like my little boy and made me think maybe it wasn't anything medical after all. If you also Google "high needs baby" it also very much described my baby.

Fast forward to 4 months old and he's not on any medication, over the counter or prescribed. We're not convinced there was anything medically wrong, more that we were at our absolute wits end with a baby that never stopped crying and were just desperate for answers and tried every avenue to "fix" things.

He's not 100% better, he is still generally an unsettled baby and cries a lot compared to other babies I know, and is the worst sleeper I've ever heard of... But whether it was anything more than being a seriously cranky baby? Jury is out on that one. But things have improved with time which is what everyone kept telling me - their digestive system matures and they learn to cope better in the big scary world. I couldn't tell you exactly when things got a bit better, it wasn't a switch flicking (I was constantly told everything will change for the better as soon as he's 12 weeks - it didn't) but gradually things have got a little bit easier.

I don't know if this is helpful at all, I'm sorry if it's not what you wanted to hear - but your experience sounds so similar to mine I had to share!

moonriver32 Wed 20-Jan-21 17:10:28

Oh, to add - he is impossible to wind. Either I get one tiny burp straight away or spend hours trying for nothing to come up. He farts for England - but getting a burp out of him is bloody hard work. Now that he's older it isn't as much of an issue but when he was tiny he was super uncomfortable at night with trapped wind that we could not get out!

twinklespells Wed 20-Jan-21 17:10:57

My DD needs holding to nap and we co sleep at night. Just can't get any sleep otherwise. She's six months now and to be fair I haven't tried to stop the co sleeping.

She was also very windy and struggled to bring it up or down. I found as she got to more like 9-10 weeks her digestive system seemed to sort itself out and she was more settled. I think things will improve a bit with time, but can't offer any practical advice for sleep as we are the same!

imalmosthere Wed 20-Jan-21 17:11:25

Is she sick a lot? Does she bring up wind when she's burped?
With reflux they are in very obvious discomfort, bringing their legs up, screaming when feeding.
It sounds very much like she's used to being held. So when you put her down, she cries and you pick her up again. Of course she wants to be held, that's what she is used to!
They aren't suitable for nighttime but have you tried a bouncy chair that vibrates for the day? They're a godsend.
I know it's not what you want to hear op but I think she's just grumpy and set in her ways.
I had a cows milk allergy baby with severe reflux and she literally projectile vomited every bottle she had.

MyNameForToday1980 Wed 20-Jan-21 17:13:22

I'd say that sounds like a standard baby - they go through phases, and each phase feels like it is lasting forever. Then when you move on to the next phase you'll look back at the past ones, and remember only the good bits, and wish you were back there. That is the way of babies.

I see two issues you're facing:

Not sleeping unless held - have you tried the usual sling-carriers so you're still holding her, but can do other things at the same time?

Have you tried swaddling (some babies love it, some hate it - DD liked it for about three days, but hey, it was still three days respite)?

The indigestion - some babies just take a LOT of burping/winding - like winding them for longer than you were feeding them.

DD was a particularly windy baby, and we'd feed for a minute, wind for a minute, feed for a minute, wind for a minute etc. Making sure she was either upright, or stretched on her front for the winding. We found that when we swapped formula (to try to make her less windy) she'd get MORE windy in the very short term, but often settle into it.

Paris2019 Wed 20-Jan-21 18:10:19

I feel for you as I'm going through similar... www.mumsnet.com/Talk/sleep/4139165-7-week-old-not-sleeping

Can't work out how much is medical problems eg silent reflux and how much is just general clingyness... I'm so shattered either way. Gp has just prescribed gaviscon but I'm apprehensive in case it causes more issues.

Good luck... hope things improve for you


Sleepybear12 Wed 20-Jan-21 18:23:09

Just wanted to say this is normal but hard work, my baby would only sleep on me for the first 10 weeks.
Have you heard of the fourth trimester?

Jc2911 Wed 20-Jan-21 20:35:01

Thank you everyone. It's very tiring but it's good to hear that I'm not the only one and there probably isn't anything medically wrong with her.

Would you recommend trying the omeprazole or just going with the flow and waiting to see if things improve in time? I don't like giving her too many medications! At the minute we are still taking the gaviscon and giving the colief a little long too.

I've just briefly googled the fourth trimester thank you - let's hope she improves at the 12 week mark!

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Jc2911 Wed 20-Jan-21 20:36:25

Paris2019 - I hope things improve for you too, if you do find anything that works then please do let me know!

It's the wind I struggle with the most, once I've sat and winded for so long it's basically time for her next feed, I feel like I spend my whole day and night just winding! So exhausting!!

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kalidasa Wed 20-Jan-21 20:49:22

One of mine was like this, it was pretty dreadful to be honest so you have my sympathy. Some babies are just much, much harder work than others. He's fine now he's 8 though grin

Laura1609 Wed 20-Jan-21 21:48:09

My DS was like this. I was convinced he could win the grumpiest baby award; very unsettled all of the time, refused to be held by anyone but me, a LOT of crying from about 5pm onwards throughout the evening, only slept when held...it was really hard. I hated going out anywhere as I was worried he’d end up screaming and I’d be stressed. I’d say once he hit about 14 weeks he became a bit more settled. The sleep didn’t improve for a long time but we’ll not discuss that now!
He’s now 19 months old and the complete opposite little boy; so happy, always giggling, loves his sleep, so adaptable to new situations. It gets better I promise.
Also @moonriver32 your experience sounds exactly like mine. Lots of GP visits, unsure if reflux was the cause etc. We ended up just riding it out and it got better on its own. Agree about the nightmare of Gaviscon when breastfeeding, it was almost impossible to get it in him!

Jc2911 Wed 20-Jan-21 22:03:40

thank you for taking the time to explain all of that @moonriver32 , much appreciated!

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IncyWincySpiderOnRepeat Wed 20-Jan-21 22:18:53

Which bottles are you using? My first baby was very windy, we found switching to Dr Brown anti colic bottles made a massive difference. Might be worth a try if you haven’t already?

Jc2911 Thu 21-Jan-21 01:40:50

@IncyWincySpiderOnRepeat I was using the tommee tippee anti colic ones for about 2 weeks when she was first born and then switched to Mam because I thought it could have been them giving her so much wind. the mam ones seem 100x better and she latches on well. I have heard good reviews on the dr brown ones and I would try but I don't actually think the bottles are the problem.

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Jc2911 Thu 21-Jan-21 01:41:16

@IncyWincySpiderOnRepeat thank you though! smile

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Oblomov20 Thu 21-Jan-21 01:49:23

Same experience as moonriver. It bought me to my knees, literally. I fell to my knees sobbing that I couldn't cope anymore.

Started weaning early, and only then did he get better.

So sorry. Totally sympathy. thanks

Harrysmummy246 Fri 22-Jan-21 16:16:03


Is she sick a lot? Does she bring up wind when she's burped?
With reflux they are in very obvious discomfort, bringing their legs up, screaming when feeding.
It sounds very much like she's used to being held. So when you put her down, she cries and you pick her up again. Of course she wants to be held, that's what she is used to!
They aren't suitable for nighttime but have you tried a bouncy chair that vibrates for the day? They're a godsend.
I know it's not what you want to hear op but I think she's just grumpy and set in her ways.
I had a cows milk allergy baby with severe reflux and she literally projectile vomited every bottle she had.

Try googling 'wonky winding'

Your baby will struggle to bring up wind, they don't have the muscular strength to sit up and do that yet. It was hard for us at that age but improved greatly as he was bigger and stronger and started to roll. DH would often take him after a feed and try to wind him while I got my head down though

But some babies really just don't like being put down- why would they when they were still inside you very recently and in the good old caveman times, a baby put down was a baby eaten by predators. That instinct hasn't evolved away yet.

I BFed. But DS was sicky, partly bad latch and oversupply on my part. Lots of winding, parental night shift alternation, day sleeping for me or just resting with him asleep on me. Infacol helped get the wind up and by about 3 months, that reduced drastically and he was put downable for some time etc.

Good Grief @imalmosthere She's a newborn baby, they're meant to be close to their mother. She can't be 'grumpy and set in her ways' at 7 weeks old. Blinking ridiculous.
And PS not every baby has all the text book reflux symptoms all at once.

noscoobydoodle Fri 22-Jan-21 16:29:35

I had one like this: - I honestly thought the sleep deprivation would kill me (...and she wasn't my first baby!). I wore her in a sling a lot and we co-slept (I use the term sleep very loosely!). When she was s little bit older we had some (limited) success with swaddling and a sleepyhead cushion thing (not necessarily at the same time!). You have my sympathy.

Jc2911 Fri 22-Jan-21 20:05:23

@Harrysmummy246 @noscoobydoodle thank you!! So I didn't give her omeprazole , I just didn't want to give her it without a face to face appointment with the Gp. I've carried in with the gaviscon and I obviously started colief a couple of days ago. I'm really not sure if it's just a coincidence but she's been so much more relaxed since the colief , shes been sleeping much better at night (giving me a couple of hours after her feed and winding) , she's been bringing up her wind better (still struggles at times but overall much better). The only thing that worries me is she has been sleeping so much more in the day, she doesn't seem unwell in any way but she has gone from being awake so much to sleeping most of the day and only waking for feeds. I don't know if I should worry about this or if the colief has just taken her discomfort away and enabled her to relax more ?!

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noscoobydoodle Sat 23-Jan-21 16:35:02

That's great news. I'm not sure about the change in sleep - at that age I just let my babies sleep whenever they wanted- sometimes that was more in the day than at night- it was only 6 months+ we got into any kind of proper routine but I know others who like to get into a routine earlier. Im no expert - I have 2 very good sleepers (and one terrible sleeper!) Hope you manage to catch up on your sleep too!

OhToBeASeahorse Sun 24-Jan-21 10:25:03

Same story as moonriver here. I'm afraid I've had 2 like it. It is fucking horrible.

You can totally ignore me (of course!) But my 2 cents after doing this once and now being kn the midst of the 2nd time

1. A sling is a godsend. You will feel like a prisoner in it sometimes but most babies will surrender to a sling and a walk.
2. You might have one that cant be transferred when asleep. Mine are both like that. It's a pain but you arent doing anything wrong. It's just how they are.
3. Overtiredness is a killer. You will feel like all you do is get the baby to sleep but needs must.
4. You havent set the baby in their ways (sorry but what?), made a rod for your own back etc etc. It wont be like this forever and you can change it, in time. The first 6 months is about survival.
5.losing your temper and feeling like the world hates you is in my experience entirely normal. Try swearing at a soft toy.

Its savage. I'm sorry.

BluebellsGreenbells Sun 24-Jan-21 10:31:01

Are you keeping her head above her stomach at all times?

Lying flat with cause acid to seep into her throat and it burns - you’ll notice a pattern of putting her down and a few mins later she’ll scream

Prop up the cot with a pillow under the mattress, never lie flat for nappy changes - use a cushion, keep her head above her stomach and you’ll see a big difference in a couple of days as she settles into a pattern

She probably has an under developed muscle above her stomach which will close when she’s about 6 months, which coincides with her sitting up by herself

NameChange30 Sun 24-Jan-21 10:36:10

Glad she is more settled now and sleeping lots in the day. Don't worry about too much sleep at this stage, still is still young and probably needs it. I think at 7 weeks the "awake window" is only about 60-90 minutes IIRC. DD had very long naps during the day in the early days, enjoy it while it lasts! (Not for very long in our case!)

Your GP is wrong when they say it can't be CMPA because baby is putting on weight. Both my babies had/have CMPA and both put on weight fine. However, they were/are both breastfed, and there's obviously much less cow's milk protein in breast milk than in formula. I would expect an exclusively formula fed baby to have more obvious symptoms. Still, it's probably worth looking them up just in case. See www.allergyuk.org/information-and-advice/conditions-and-symptoms/469-cows-milk-allergy

Hopefully it's sorted with the Gaviscon and colief, but if you still find that she's hating lying down and you suspect ongoing reflux (or silent reflux) you could try tilting the crib (if it has a tilt function) or using a wedgehog under the mattress. Also I found a Love To Dream swaddle helpful at that age. Plus obviously keep upright and wind after feeds but i think you are doing that already.

Jc2911 Sun 24-Jan-21 16:43:41

@OhToBeASeahorse @BluebellsGreenbells @NameChange30 thank you all for your replies. So for 3 nights now she has been sooo much better! She doesn't settle until around 2am but then she will go down until her next feed so I am managing to get a couple of hours after winding and feeding. I brought a wedge which I have been putting under her mattress to keep her upright and still using gaviscon and colief. Something is defiantly making a difference so just going to go with it for now. In the day she does want to be held however I have been getting her to sleep and then laying her on her front which she seems to love and will sometimes stay asleep for a couple of hours! There are a couple of hours in the evening where she just seems really uncomfortable and cries but overall a massive improvement. I think your right about the reflux because with the wedge she seems to not cry quite as much and when she does , she ends up being sick. Thank you for all your advice. Really hoping this is her getting better and not just a phase, 7 weeks of no hardly any sleep was a killer!

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