If you can’t help your wonderful baby girl enjoy her first Valentine’s Day, at least make it memorable.
We have one hard and fast, yet simple rule when it comes to our 6-month-old daughter Maddie – Her waking hours are not to surpass the three-hour mark. You can flirt with the mark, but violate it at your own peril.
I’m not sure how often I need a refresher course on this one, but Maddie laid down the law on me once again tonight.
Our day got off to a rough start because it appears that peaches DO NOT agree with the baby’s digestive track. Her first taste of peaces came around 8 this morning. It will likely be the last taste for months, if not years to come.
Her tummy was all out of whack and under siege from gas attacks all morning. This made any decent naptime very hard to come by. By 2pm, she had only three half hour naps under her belt and if it those numbers stood up, it would be our shortest nap period on record.
After a couple unsuccessful attempts at putting her down for a nap, I noticed that her tummy must be much feeling better. That energy and smile came back and I was overwhelmed by illusions of grandeur. Fantasies of a harmonious and quiet Valentine’s Day bedtime process brought a warm glow to my heart.
As we approached 5pm, I decided to check the diaper and commence bedtime procedures. When I got to the diaper, without going into any gory details, I saw that the evil peaches had been expunged. I got busy changing the diaper when a dark cloud enshrouded the room.
Maddie’s mood was deteriorating and it was time for me to step up the pace. By the time I was done with the diaper, the baby was melting down and I was not prepared.
BUT? How could? What had happened was?
Now I was far out at sea with the shore miles away – I thrashed about and tried to soothe the baby, but it was too late. She had been up too long and I had no answers as to how to help her.
I tried to regroup and let her stew in the crib for a few minutes. That foolish action was met with brutal resistance. Now I have a desperate baby in my arms and there’s nothing to do but cling to the buoy and wait for the storm to pass. The tantrum has settled down all around you and it could have been avoided.
It’s always interesting to be struck with the harsh reality that you have no idea what you are doing. Whatever instincts or intelligence you gather along the way is completely washed away during moments like these. I wish Maddie had spent more time with the selection committee so she could have found a father who had at least half of a clue.
Nobody has any passionate fondness for stomach issues and certainly babies are no different. But the real trick with a baby is running through your personalized set of baby diagnostics to find out what is troubling the little one in the first place.
When Maddie woke up literally screaming at 6pm this evening, it certainly wasn’t to help ring in the new year. In the past, such an extreme reaction has been exclusively reserved for negative post-vaccination issues. Since the baby was pretty much hysterical – the first order of business was to try and calm her down.
I wrapped my arm around her stomach and started walking with her – within 30 seconds; I could actually feel the disturbance in her churning tummy. It became obvious that her stomach was under siege from gaseous anomalies and that the baby needed some real relief and distraction from what was taking place in that crazy belly. We actually spent the next two hours trying to get that tummy settled before bedtime and strangely enough, it seemed to work.
This was accomplished with multiple tummy positions designed to put pressure on the baby’s stomach. This included, but was not limited to putting her tummy of my knee, my shoulder and even placing my hand under her stomach and flying her around the room. Each new position led to various expulsions of gas, but just as important, it helped bring out the smiles and relax what had been a desperately upset young lady.
It’s not an easy situation to deal with when you see your child consumed by discomfort, but in this case, various manual tummy time techniques seemed to do the trick.
5:30 seemed to strike a little earlier than usual this morning – but Maddie was in high spirits. I think were both looking forward to a good day with a nice long walk, but it was still a little bit early to get carried away making too many plans. After breakfast and a little bit of playtime, Maddie and I thought we might catch a little 7am catnap.
But just twenty minutes later, we were immersed in a Texas-sized Maddie meltdown of biblical proportions that would plague us well into the afternoon. It turns out that I used a batch of mother’s milk that did not agree with baby’s digestive system. (Information that would not be uncovered until later that day)
For those who know Maddie, it’s safe to say that when the baby is unhappy, she’s not terribly shy about sharing those feelings of discontent. So when the screaming started, I had no idea what was going on. Strike One!
I changed her diaper and that only seemed to make mattes worse! When her anger and screaming intensified, the only option I had left was to try and feed her an hour early. (At this point, I still have no idea that her stomach is torn up) So when I offered Maddie the bottle, she went right after it. Suddenly all was quiet, the anger faded into the morning light and all was seemingly forgotten and forgiven. But our success was far too short-lived
Moments later when I put Maddie on her tummy to get a burp, there were multiple eruptions from various exit points including burps, gaseous emissions, poops and copious amounts of spit-up. Houston, We have a PROBLEM!
For the next three tear-filled hours, I think both of us might have been crying, we went through 5 diapers, 4 bibs, 3 Motrin tablets (for PaPa) and two swaddle blankets. I held, rocked and soothed Maddie through the morning, but it was tough going for my little girl.
I was in the process of the 6th diaper change and I saw the shift right away, from the ashes of sickness arose the smile of a little girl who was feeling MUCH better. Maddie’s expression said it all; she had purged the morning stomach demons and was once again ready take on the world. I love a happy ending!
An Australian woman created the Dunstan Baby Language DVD because she claims to have cracked the code of understanding baby language. I have to admit, I was very skeptical when my wife and I sat down to watch the show. However, I picked up a tip for Maddie that I will always be grateful for.
According to this Australian woman, our baby falls into something called the “WINDY” category. She says the best way to deal with that condition is by placing the baby on her stomach when she’s not feeling well. I was very reluctant to try this as a soothing mechanism for Maddie because it seems like it would be very uncomfortable.
However, the next time Maddie seemed out of sorts with stomach issues, I decided to take a shot and go for the recommended impromptu tummy time. Maddie started to cry almost immediately and five long seconds ticked by before I decided that this female Croc Hunter had her facts mixed up and had obviously gone Walkabout. I was just about to reach for Maddie, when she suddenly took a quick look around and decided that this tummy thing was pretty nice after all. OYE – No rules just right!
Since that time, I have continued to put Maddie on her stomach and every day she seems to like it more and more. This isn’t the typical tummy time where you try to strengthen the baby’s neck muscles, it’s more of a relaxation device for the baby which triggers the exodus of explosive and troublesome gas wherever it might be hiding.
This afternoon, Maddie took things one-step further when she decided that this precarious tummy position was not only a great gas reliever, but it was also a good place to catch a nap. You can’t be serious!
Warning, this is not a position you want to be stuck in for an extended period of time, but for the sake of the baby, no pain, no gain. Just make sure to keep a hand on the baby at all times, they can be slippery little suckers.