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Oh, honey. You bring back so many memories. Some babies hardly ever cry, dammit. Some never bloody stop.

I can remember a couple of occasions when I plonked Harry down fast and hard-ish onto the bed, and ran... RAN... out of the room. I didn't trust myself not to do something... desperate. I recognised, in those moments, that I was in extremis. I was never alone in the house, thank God - it always seemed to be the small hours that sapped my patience to its limits, and John was there to take over Harry's care - not that there was much we could do for him. But the feeling of utter, overwhelming frustration and despair left an enormous impression on me. Fried victim is right!

I've stood where you're stood. It's the hardest thing I can remember going through, baby loss included. You have my deepest empathy and support. Hang on in there. It does, does, does get better. And it's always, always absolutely ok to put Olive down, shut the door on her, go and make yourself a nice hot drink and take lots of deep breaths.She & you will be better together for it.

Fabulous smiles, btw!

Hi,I've been a reader that's been "lurking" for a while. I followed your pregnancy since we were pregnant at the same time. And now it seems we have colic crying babies at the same time. My daughter is 5 weeks old and I haven't wanted to admit that she had colic. Like you we have a time during the day between the hours of 8 and 1 am that is hell on earth. We do nothing but nurse, rock, bounce, burp, diaper change and cry (hers and mine.) She'll nurse and then arch off screaming in anger because milk wasn't what she wanted after all. And every night she finally falls asleep from exhaustion and sleeps a stretch of 5 to 6 hours, and then another stretch of 3 or 4. Everybody always says that we're so lucky to have those hours of sleep, but I would gladly exchange them to get rid of the 5 hours of screaming. I even had the thought the other day that I have no idea how babies survive who go home to deadbeats, drug addicts and the like. Also how do single parents survive colic? My husband taking turns with me is all that keeps me sane sometimes. I consider myself a loving, somewhat educated parent, and yet at 1am after hours of crying I have found myself crying too and praying to God that she'll just sleep because I am not the good, patient parent that she deserves right then. Thank you for your honesty it made me feel less alone. And thank god they generally grow out of it by 3 or 4 months.

Go back and see the lactation consultant again and keep looking at other solutions too. The fact that it is on and off, that she doesn't do this every single night, suggests that it is triggered by something, overabundant let down, can be like trying to drink from a fire hydrant, something you are eating, can take up to 24 hours to bother the baby, etc. Things like reflux are not on and off as they are a constant problem and occur everytime the baby is fed for example.

Five hours is a very long stretch to sleep for such a young baby, make sure she is getting lots of extra feeds during the rest of the 24 hours time frame.

Hang in there and keep looking for solutions.

I'm so sorry it's so hard...I know how normal crying can get on one's nerves and can't imagine trying to deal with the level you are handling. I will pray it gets better SOON (and for Candice, too). If good thoughts can be of any help, you have lots of them! May each day have a few more minutes of smiles, and a few less of cries.

It is okay to leave your unconsoled baby in a safe place (car seat, crib) for a little while if you need to take a breather.

I can't even imagine Christy. You have to be exhausted, fried, on edge. Who wouldn't be? All of that's okay. Being frustrated, angry, sad, worn-out, is all okay and expected. Not liking those things about yourself also okay as long as you let yourself have the asterisk, I'm doing the best I can to my fullest ability, with my best intention. Which you are. You're just getting a beating from the colic stick, which you can't do anything about except hang on. Sometimes the biggest transformations in life come from the things that challenge us the most, that push us to breaking, but some how force us to find our edge and hold it, maybe longer than we would like, or longer than we think we can, but we hold it nonetheless. Way way way way further down the road they are important to remind us that, "I bent but didn't break," or "I broke but didn't shatter", or "I shattered but I put myself back together with some cracks and lines for remembrance." I have a running joke with a friend who keeps telling me that these challenges are "character building", I keep saying, "I've got way more character than I can handle, someone else can have my extra." You're an amazing mom. Olive is an amazing baby. Please be gentle with yourself.

Christy, I feel for you! Can you find someone reliable to stay with Olive for an hour while you and Nick and Elias get out of the house for a treat of some kind? You could give Elias some special time that way... Taking a break can make a lot of difference, as I well remember. It might be that baby Olive might sense a new calmness in you that would help calm her -- or maybe another person's stepping in, equipped with plenty of sleep, would have a soothing effect on all of you, baby included. This situation won't last forever, but while it's happening it can sure seem endless! You're in my thoughts. Love to you all.

Hi Christy,
So so sorry. First of all, I think some babies do fine with five hour stretches at this age...it sounds like she is getting plenty to drink at other times and if her diaper is wet frequently. As for everything else-and man, is that a lot of everyhing else-you will get through this. You got some good advice: put olive down and leave if you have to. And be grateful you live in a one family home and do not have the added stress of worrying about what the neighbors hear/think.
Lastly, my almost three year old (third child) reduced me to tears in public the week before last. It happens to all of us. XO

Not fun. At all!!!

Thinking restful, calm baby thoughts for you.

And you can cyber bop me on the head if you think I am out of line for writing the same suggestion over again, but it is possible that a good paediatric chiro or osteopath may be able to help.

Hugs to you all xo


When my firstborn was a colicky baby, I broke out in hives from the stress. I had hives in other places, but I particularly remember how the ones on the bottom of my feet would blossom in the evening. So itchy while I was dealing with the crying! But now, they are a distant memory, and I have a sweet daughter to enjoy. Just hang in there!

I know. I know! My firstborn was a difficult, difficult baby. He never slept. He was beyond colicky, screaming non-stop as soon as the sun went down, inconsolable. We, too, consulted and read and tried to understand. Elimination diets for me, one-sided nursing for him. It helped but didn't cure.

He's 18 now. Still his own person, still with a nervous system that seems set to "ultra-sensitive". He's been a journey, as we all are. He's thriving, though. In his infanthood, my husband and I switched off caring for him based on who had the longest fuse at the moment. He pushed us to our very thinnest edge, over and over. I totally understand how parents can snap, do something horrible. I love him extravagantly, completely; but oh how hard it was to remember that he was a baby and I had to be the grownup, especially when I'd had so little sleep that I was hallucinating dancing bears and clowns in the room with us.

It was so hard, but it did get better. Olive will adjust to the bright, cold, dry world. You will learn her language, parse her grammar, learn HER.

It will only FEEL like forever. Remember that there's no shame in putting the baby down in a safe place and walking away for a few minutes to take some deep breaths. I'm a baby-wearing advocate but there are limits. I don't want to sound stalker-creepy but if I lived closer, I'd be over every day to have some "screamy-time" and give you guys a break.

I never understood how anyone could hurt their children until I had my own. Understand, never condone, never act on, but man we have all been there... its times like these I wonder about how single parents do it when they have no one to thrust the baby at when they need to walk away.

I liked your friends quote about loving but not always liking your child, that is so true! --not only during the screaming newborn phase, but again later too ;)

A friend once told me that in a childhood development class it was pointed out to her that every culture has a song similar to our "rockaby baby" where it sounds very pretty but the words make you say "what?!!" (the cradle will fall and down will come baby, cradle and all?!)

Every mother gets frustrated with those baby screams and tries to find non harmful ways to express the frustration!

incidentally, my youngest was one of these screamers too that acted like she was dying for HOURS on end, and then she'd finally pass out and sleep really well. I can identify with pp Candace. I never thought that was a good way to get a baby to sleep, all the awake-ness and overstimulation, but..... ok, I still don't think that's the best way to get a baby to sleep but I guess it does work for some kids! Hang in there!

PS- to susanna eve, 5 hours is fine. past 4-6 weeks-ish they can do an hour at night for every week of age until it adds up to sleeping all night. If this isn't true, my 3 kids shouldn't be so healthy, lol

So so much here. Thank you all for your understanding, ideas, and support. Candace, we will get through this one bloody night at a time. (not literally bloody but you know what I mean.) 8-1am are Olive's witching hours too which makes it hard for others to help. The one plus is that Elias somehow sleeps through her cries. It helps to hear from those of you who survived this phase to remind me that Olive most likely wont scream for years upon years. I too have so much more respect for single parents and feel as though I have a window into those parents who do actually cross the line from frustration to taking it out on the baby they, on their better days, would do anything to protect. I waiver from despair to desperation to dark humor to numbness to channeling someone far more patient than myself. I understand Rockaby Baby now thank you Kit for that view into different cultures. In the book I'm reading she calls her baby names in a sweet sing song voice. I've been there. I will continue to talk with th lactation consultant, get tested for allergies, see a pediatric chiro or osteopath as I will also prepare myself for the possibility of no answers or quick fixes. (Hasnt Elias taught me this?) I'll also take up people's offers of help though its hard to have someone here at midnight. And I'm not worried about Olive sleeping five hours b/c it doesn't happen often (enough) and she eats like a champ the rest of the time. I like the hour for each week, I can remember that and be hopeful for more sleep soon. And yes I will put her down and make myslef a hot or cold drink and remind myself again and again that this will pass. she wont remember it, she'' fall asleep eventually, and she will smile again. I'll remind myself again and again. Ok no time to proofread this ramble. Love hearing from everyone, and whew, yes, I'm glad I'm not in an apartment right now with neighbors to keep awake. I have wondered if my new neighbors can hear when her shrieks reach the sky. Deep breath.

I remember you posted once that Elias never whined or threw tantrums, or something to that extent. And then you repeated it again to emphasize the truth. And I thought, geez, she's lucky or I'm doing something wrong. My infant screamer, Stella, is now 5. She has shown her strongest attribute - persistence - since her earliest days of infancy. People say that what drives parents most crazy about a kid is their strongest attribute. I used to say that Stella would send me to my grave- she would scream, cry, demand more than I thought I could give. Now at 5, she is SUCH a sweetie. She is calm and sweet and genuine, and still persistent. She'll get what she goes after in life. Sounds like Olive will too.

I have no words of wisdom beyond what you already know yourself and what others have echoed. You are in my thoughts however...all of you. I trust that a bit of time will help all...and besides - then? Spring is around that corner too.

There were times when my oldest was banging her tiny head against my chest and clawing at me with her little nails and screaming and I put her down on the bed (probably harder than I'd like to admit) and got my hands away from her until I was rational again. These aren't the things we tell glowing mommies-to-be, but we probably should so they don't feel like monsters when it's their babies screaming.

Ah.... but you *are* talking about it. And that's healthy. I still vividly remember the first moment I *really* understood shaken baby syndrome. I sure hope some specialist somewhere has an answer for you, since this certainly sounds worse than your average case of colic. Keep doing what you're doing; you'll all make it.

One of the main reasons I have loved coming to your pages through the years is your willingness to write about the difficult as well as the grand!

It will get easier...in the mean time, think of all the other new mothers, lost in the newborn frustrations, that your words are helping!

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