I have a 7-week-old who is very fussy. All he does is cry. He is in pain and I feel so bad for him. He barely sleeps at all. When he is fussy he is also extremely gassy. Any suggestions?
Dr. Greene’s Answer:
Usually, the peak age for crying is about 6 weeks old, so there is light at the end of the tunnel. After all of the emotions of pregnancy and anticipating a baby, this crying period can be overwhelming for parents. Different babies respond to different comforting measures. Experimenting and observing what seems to work best for your baby is the best way, through.
Some children are comforted by being held close in a dark room. Some like to be swaddled. Some like to be sung to. Some need to suck on something. Some are calmed by rocking. For many kids, car rides are settling.
Some children are intolerant to cow’s milk-based formulas. Most of them will do well on soy, but about 20 percent of them are intolerant to soy as well. Breastfeeding mothers can try a dairy-free diet. For formula-fed infants, Nutramigen or one of the other hydrolysate formulas will often do the trick. Kids may not like them, but they are almost impossible to be intolerant to.
If you are using a bottle, try switching brands. Any bottle change can produce improvement in some babies. In one clinical trial, switching to BornFree bottles with ActiveFlow made a significant difference for 80 percent of babies.
If a baby is not consolable, or if the fussiness increases after kids are 6 to 8 weeks old, it’s important to consider other causes, such as reflux. Talk to your pediatrician about possible causes and treatments.