Saturday, August 25, 2007

"Why is My Baby Crying?"

That is the golden question.

The colic inconsolable cries (due to tummy troubles) are over but it has been replaced by Santi's 'I-am-sleepy-but-I-can't-sleep' crying fits. Everyday before he naps and sleeps, I sling him, nurse him, dance/walk and struggle for at least 30 minutes before he konks out. On a good day, he naps once in the morning, once or twice in the afternoon and sleeps 10 hours (with feeding intervals) during the night. On a bad day? No naps during the day and lots of crying and screaming in his sleep at night.

More or less I see a pattern though. During weekdays when I can control the lights and sounds in our home, it is easier for me to do the 'whole production' to get him to sleep. On weekends, when we dutifully visit our extended families or go to the mall for errands, the difficulty increases. Santi easily gets aroused by bright, colorful surroundings and overstimulated by all the people who love to play with him. How do I say it politely, "Please stop playing peekaboo with my baby, he gets overstimulated. You can't see it now but I will be the one paying for it later on." or "Please don't look him in the eye because he is sleepy and when you make eye contact he gets excited and that adds to another 30 minutes of me walking him in the sling to get him back to that sleepy state." Believe me, weekends always turn sour. I need the whole 5-day week to recuperate.

Other people just don't get it. They have never met a high need baby, I think? Even I did not know these rare breed of babies existed. Not until I had my own. I used to equate cry babies to annoying, sad babies with bad mums. Now I know better.

Why oh why is my Santi a high need baby? Was it because of all the junk food I ate during my pregnancy? Was it because of his double cord coil or the ungentle ceasarian birth? I really want to know.

I cannot imagine how unhappy he would be without my breastfeeding (every hour during the day and every 2-3 hours at night), co-sleeping (since birth) and babywearing (all day long). Because despite all of these things, he still cries a lot. And it breaks my heart into a million little pieces each time. I even worry he senses that I get frazzled by his cries, and cries even more. Aiya, that cycle of stress.

I know I am not a bad mum. I try my best and yet, it seems, it isn't enough. I wish I could do more, do something about all his discomforts.

You see, this is the reason why I do not want to hire a yaya. Because mum's don't give up on their children.

Haaay Santipoop. You truly are made out of my blood, sweat and tears! This is love. It's as real as it can get.


donna said...

you're not a bad mommy! all babies are wired differently - it's not your fault. just an idea though, maybe he's too hot in the sling? does he still wear clothes while in the sling? it can get hot with clothes plus sling plus your body heat...just an idea because i think i bundled up my baby too much which was probably one of the reasons why she cried a lot.

dharmadreams said...

Hi Donna,

Well, even with the ac on or the fan on him, he still cries when i place him on the sling. He cries before he naps / sleeps period. I don't nga know why. I KNOW for a fact that he wants me to sling/nurse him but he still cries. Maybe its his way of de-stressing?

Aww...Anica would cry a lot too? When did her high need cease? Because I've read that high need babies become spirited toddlers? Or not necessarily?

donna said...

she cried less when she could already convey what she wanted. that was about when she started talking - she would say she's hot or cold or sleepy or hungry. she's not high-need at all now, 95% of the time she listens to what i say, she eats anything that i give her, she sleeps by herself already and is generally happy. so maybe she wasn't high-need at all when she was an infant, probably it was just that we couldn't understand each other on what she wanted. it'll pass too, much faster than you think.
i have a book that says they cry before they sleep because they want to sleep but they don't know how to fall asleep on their own. so the more they cry the less sleepy they become and all they want to do is sleep! it suggests associations like special sleep music, having a sensible routine with specific naptimes and bedtimes. (which might be a problem for you during weekends - i think you are right, his schedule is disrupted and like you, he probably needs 5 days to recover.) it's not really dr. sears' philosophy but the book is endorsed by dr. sears - a more gentle approach to the cry-it-out method. it's called The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night by Elizabeth Pantley. Good luck and hang in there!

dharmadreams said...

Hey Donna,

Yes I've read articles written by Elizabeth Pantley online and I like her approach as well :D

deelirious said...

you are a fab mum nix..really, and donna is right, babies are just made differently and we all find that out in their own time.
i pray every day that things get better for you and santi..i am hopeful that soon, his crying will cease and you will have more fun with him.

yes, i understand how you get exhausted and frustrated. i think god didn't make benny that way coz he knew i'd give up too easily and maybe cut my wrists after a few days (exagerrated, maybe just cry a lot!!). you're stronger than i am...more enduring maybe.

please smile sunshine nix!! things will get that and hold on to day at a time :)

i love you!

deelirious said...

why not try to spend a weekend at home just see if the extended family stimulation is really the cause :)!!!!

dharmadreams said...

Dearest Dee,

Thanks. If it weren't for you, I'd be so lost. I am sure blessed to have you by my side through all this!

I am so sure, years from now, we'd look back and laugh at these times!

Benny and Santi will grow up to be such good bright boys. Love them, love you! Mwah!


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