This is just a VERY quick list of things that I used to do for my little guy and myself in order to survive the day and night. I PROMISE to write more about this later, but today is a big day for us and I only have a few minutes. I have been reading all of your comments for the book giveaway and I can only tell you that for those of you who feel desperate – YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I have been there. In fact, I got to the point that sometimes I was ready to hurt my child and had to take every ounce of strength to put him down and walk away – especially at night. And that was MAJOR! I loved my baby so much, but I was SO exhausted and spent that I wasn’t the best mom that I could be. So here are some things that I did in order to help my son. Really, it’s just a list of what helped MY KID. If you haven’t tried these things, I would suggest at least trying them.
#1. He was colicky with GERD. That really just means acid reflux. He didn’t ever spit up, so it was really hard to diagnose. Once we did, though, he got on Zantac and life got much, much better.
#2. I wrapped him up in a heating pad set on low. This really seemed to help – maybe it comforted his belly?
#3. A warm bath. If your kid is like mine, have everything ready cause screaming will ensue as soon as he’s out.
#4. Take your bambino outside.
#5. Take him/her out in public. It’s easier to be a good parent when people are watching you.
#6. SLINGS and BABY CARRIERS. We got a lot of exercise this way. We carried him all day long. My back hurt, but it worked, so it was worth it. There are SO many inexpensive carriers available, too. Try to find one that will also go on your back so that you can do a bit of cleaning.
#7. The vacuum cleaner and the hair dryer sometimes worked.
#8. Baby Mozart movies. I know it’s a parental sin, but Lord how I loved them, as did Sam.
#9. Co-sleeping and breastfeeding while I slept. My worst times were while my husband was at work until 11 pm and everyone around me was telling me that Sam needed to sleep alone. That meant that I had to deal with it all by myself. I wasn’t listening to my instincts and the whisper of the Holy Spirit who was telling me to sleep with Sam. Once I gave up everyone else’s expectation and became OK with Sam sleeping with us (he slept with us whether we liked it or not because that’s the only way he ever WOULD sleep), all of our lives got better.
#10. The baby swing would sometimes give my arms a break. But it certainly wasn’t foolproof.
#11. We also have this really cheap white noise machine that I used when I lived with my very loud sister (!!!) that to this day STILL lulls Sam to sleep. And when he wakes up in the middle of the night (which he still does – last night with projectile vomitting – yay mom for giving him cake before bed) we turn that back on. Sometimes that thing goes all night long. I STRONGLY SUGGEST ONE!!!
I can’t think of any more. And I know that if you’re desperate you’ll do anything. And I know that you’re in pain and are frustrated. Know that even when you’re so mad at your baby the experts say that if you PRETEND to be a nice mom, still speak in Motherese, smile, etc. your baby won’t know the difference. I know this might make me sound like the worst mom alive (and believe me, I have felt that way), but I’m willing to hang that out there in case some of you need help. I also suggest calling a midwife/La Lecha League consultant for sleeping/crying advice. They are major exprets. Also, my family was, basically, of no help. I really expected them to be there for me. And, really, they tried but they had their own lives and had no idea of how bad it actually got, so they weren’t really there for me. If you’re reading this and know a friend with a fussy baby, call them. Tell them they’re doing a good job. And help them. Bring them bubble bath or food or Starbucks or SOMETHING. It’s a really hard time.
And like I said, I’ll try to write more on this in a few. Does anyone else have any suggestions?