I have been playing a festive internet game of Colic, GERD, or Perfectly Normal Baby?, which involves typing up random google strings like “baby spitting up like Linda Blair”, and “infant appears to be attempting to shit a large pinecone” and seeing what kind of results I get. I have of course now diagnosed Dylan with many, many afflictions, including housemaid’s knee, infection of the blowhole, and perhaps most accurately, Mother’s Complaint.

I thought I had the spitting-up thing figured out when we switched to a smaller bottle nipple size, but we’re back to the endless laundry cycles, and now there’s these other things going on, like the writhing, turning-bright-red-and-screaming, stiff-bodied thing/drawn-up-legs he does during a feeding. It’s like he’s horribly gassy, but burping produces little results. It seems like he eats all the time, but only takes an ounce or two at most at each feeding, and every meal involves such an exhausting amount of fussing/spitting up/thrashing around I can’t imagine it’s very pleasant for him. It’s certainly unpleasant for ME, and since I feel like I’m feeding him at least every couple hours around the damn clock (not consistently true, but true enough) — well, I’ve been in cheerier states of mind, I’ll just say that.

He also seems to have a hair-trigger gag reflex, which seems entirely unfair. I mean, who ever heard of a baby who gagged on a binky? If he sort of chokes on his milk, he gags. If his nose is all plugged up and he inhales wrong, he gags. One gag, and it’s all over — I’ve learned to scoop him up and aim him over the sink, because otherwise I’ll just be scrubbing curdled stomach contents out of the couch again (sorry, were you maybe trying to eat lunch?).

I know mothers are supposed to bond with their children during feedings but if there was some sort of Roomba that could take care of this child’s nutritional needs I would buy it in a heartbeat and not feel bad for one hot second.

He’s got a 1-month checkup coming soon so I’ll see what the pediatrician says, although I’m guessing I won’t hear anything like “You have a crabby, fussy baby who’s a pain in the ass to feed? Yes, this is indeed a unique and concerning situation for which I have just the right miracle pill.” Maybe we’ll try switching formulas again. Or maybe this has been part of the famed 3-week growth spurt and he’ll get his shit squared away soon. Or maybe I should just buy equal stock in Tide, Valium, and Red Bull.

Other than the whole draining-Mama’s-will-to-live thing, Dylan’s thriving quite nicely. He’s pudgening up a bit and losing some of that spindly tiny-baby look, he appears to be actually trying to look at things instead of staring blurrily at nothing, he does the funny marching-legs business I remember Riley doing when he was in an active state. Oh, and he’s also started perfecting that sneaky baby technique where they clutch the top of your shirt without you noticing and so when you go to lower them to a carseat or stroller or whatever one of your boobs pops out and says howdy.

I love this kid and I know things are going to improve, we just have to motor through this rough period and eventually we’ll get to some easier days.



(I want to also say that I am so grateful for your presence and comments and support right now, and I cannot tell you how much it helps to be reminded I’m not alone with these parenting struggles. Thank you for listening, and enduring all this baby blather.)



The boy can’t clear a fence yet, but he’s well on his way to following his father’s footsteps.



120 Responses to “Blog currently set to All Baby Talk All the Time”

  1. Tracy on March 4th, 2008 2:08 pm

    I didn’t have a colicy baby, but I do have issues with my tummy now. I learned from a massage lady that if you rub your lower tummy (for a baby I guess the area is so small it is his entire belly) in a clockwise motion it helps with the gas and digestion. It really seems to work for me. Make sure it is CLOCKWISE> counter clockwise can make them constipated and back things up. Good luck. I remember how hard newborns are let alone the 6 months it takes you to figure them out!

  2. justmouse on March 4th, 2008 7:13 pm

    you’re young dylan really sounds like he has reflux just like my alex did. that whole hair trigger gag reflex sounds soooo familiar! we were pro at whipping him out of his high chair (or car seat) and aiming him over teh sink. coughing too much, laughing, crying, or hiccuping…will all cause barfage. and just WAIT till you take him in for checkups and TRY DESPERATELY to warn the doctor about the whole tongue depressor VS. gag reflex issue. they used to look at me like i was a moron…right up until they were dodging flying vomit. hehehe. good luck. my thoughts are with you.

  3. Annie on March 4th, 2008 10:05 pm

    We are STILL trying to sort out reflux issues with our almost one year old. It has made the past year hell for all of us. We tried zantac, prevacid, and just switched to nexium, which might be our magic bullet (we hope!). Reflux can be made worse if there is a milk protein intolerance, so I’ll just be the 9999th person to say try switching to alimentum or nutramigen (one of the hypoallergenic formulas). Our kid ended up being intolerant to soy too–projectile vomiting on Isomil. Mylicon didn’t help us one iota, but we had a little success with gripe water (Whole Foods has it-) I think we’re the 1% whose kid didn’t outgrow the reflux. Most other babies seem to improve by the time they start sitting up/eating solids. Definitely pursue this now. We waited too long and still aren’t sleeping a year later. Good luck.
    P.S. Your boys are adorable. And your blog is one of my favorites!

  4. lucidkim on March 5th, 2008 7:53 am

    one thing i’m wondering about is Dylan’s ears – if they are hurting him wouldn’t that (possibly) trigger these issues – when they are so small things aren’t as well developed…all i know is my daughter cried for what seemed like an entire year – eventually she had tubes put in her ears at 18 months – and looking back i wondered if her fussiness issues had more to do with her ears but we were concentrating on the symptoms (crying/spitting up/etc). i’m sure you’ll figure it out just thought i’d add to the mix.


  5. Jenny on March 5th, 2008 9:10 am

    Newborn feeding is HORRIBLE.

    Also, I have thought that my love of the internet has at times poisoned my mind. Like the time I was watching my husband walk by a fence and wondered if MY husband could jump that fence *cue mental picture of JB* and then realized that my mind had just crossed the threshold from marginally weird to very weird.

  6. Nancy on March 5th, 2008 9:57 am

    My oldest son(now 19) would also thrash about and cry while eating. He would only drink small amounts of his formula at a time. Turns out after changing the formula several times and going thru bottles of mylicon that he had an ear infection which hurt when he sucked on the bottle.

  7. Colleen on April 25th, 2008 10:35 am

    I have a 3 week old little boy who is having a horrible time eating–spitting up, crying, arching/stiffening up, red-faced screaming, etc. I have felt so frustrated being at home alone with him and trying to deal with it and let me just say that your blog just about made me pee my pants and I have not laughed that hard in a long time! Misery loves company, I suppose. Thanks so much for making me feel less alone and giving me a good laugh!

  8. Prafulla on May 4th, 2008 11:23 am

    Hi all,

    I read your comments on the blog , I need your help in understanding my baby’s situation. My baby is 1 month old , she has been spitting up since second week of her iefe. Her spit up is however very dffrent .. she spits up one hour after feeding and the spit up comes from her mouth and nose, she raises her hand , becomes stiff and turns red and chokes. My pediatrition says that this is normal… however one day she started vomiting excessively and she used to cry endlessley every evening . She was then hospitalised and Zantac was administered on her. The doctor even changed her formula to Similac Allimentum. Now its 2 weeks since the hospitlisation , and Zantac dosage is over..and my baby is spitting up after every meal again ..and going through the same pains.. please can some one help or provide any suggestions ?

  9. Colleen on May 15th, 2008 9:45 am

    hey prafulla,

    my baby was on zantac and it wasn’t strong enough so our ped put him on prevacid. he is doing much better and has more content periods during the day. she also switched his formula as he was having mad amounts of gas and crying every time he had it. he’s on similac advance soy…however i’m not sure it’s helping he’s still really gassy. i may ask about the alimentum…do you like it? anyways, the prevacid seems to really be helping him be happier and sleep better, now he just cries when he has gas or poops lol. we’re getting there! i would ask your ped about prevacid. and i’m not sure why they didn’t give you a continuing prescription for the zantac…they should have bc it will take her a while to outgrow it. good luck!

  10. Prafulla on May 28th, 2008 3:41 pm

    thanks collen.. for ur reply.. so does your baby still sit and choke on his spitting ? my baby is doing fine with Zantac …however i have started seeing the side effects of zantac on her.. she is now having very low appetite and sleeps all the time. I have decided to stop Zantac and the ped also thinks tht i must stop. I fear the spitting and choking spells will start again.She now sleeps for hours at strech and just doesnt eat much.. iam all concernd

  11. Christopher Mason on June 8th, 2008 7:18 pm

    Great post. Very informative! Just thought I’d stop by and let all the parents out there know about a solution I found to calm a fussy baby at night. I know all too well the horror of being awake all night long and living life day to day like a zombie. Hopefully you will find the information I suggest very helpful, because it worked for me and I know it can work for you! Hope you enjoy! Christopher Mason

  12. Joel on January 17th, 2009 6:45 pm

    just a question for anyone who is willing to send me an email in regards to this, my daughter is 18 months, and has started to choke on everything, almost all of the time. Water – chokes. Solids – chokes. Sometimes to the point of turning red in the face. What is going on? Is this a normal stage? What can i do in regards to avoiding this?

    Any insight would be great! Thanks guys.

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