One of my sisters has a son who is five days older than my daughter. The son’s father – my brother in law – believes that all you have to do to have a calm happy baby is to be relaxed. Apparently if you are relaxed your baby will be too.
I would like to see him spend four hours with my daughter and see how relaxed he is after that.
The poor wee girl has both reflux and colic which means that every meal time is torture for her. After feeding she turns bright red and writhes in pain while literally turning herself inside out crying. We have tried everything to help her get the wind up, and she is currently on something called losec which is meant to reduce the acid in her tummy so it doesn’t hurt her so much when she is digesting her food.
The nurses and doctors tell me she will eventually grow out of it but they admit that it makes it very tough for the baby and its parents and carers in the meantime.
On a typical day, it takes her about 2.5 hours to go finally to sleep – poor wee tyke. I comfort myself though as there are many other babies here in the hospital similarly and worse afflicted.
It is heartbreaking and so tiring for both parents and babies as trying to settle an hysterical baby for that length of time means constant rocking, wheeling, singing, jiggling etc etc. And the cycle is endless as babies are usually fed every four hours. Some babies just spend the first three months of their lives in their parents’ arms until they grow out of it. The parents spend that time mostly sleep deprived and going out of their minds.
This is definitely something that has contributed to my PND as I hardly got any sleep before I came into hospital. We certainly have had no lovely ‘huggies commercial’ moments where we look deeply and lovingly into each others eyes as we bond tenderly. But I know these moments will come soon and it will all be worth it – I just want my baby to be able to sleep peacefully and without pain.