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colicky baby affects family relationships

The Colic Outcasts

By Amalah

Dear Amy,

Hi! So I discovered your pregnancy calendar during my last pregnancy and through that found your advice column and now your columns and blog are some of the first places I go when I hit the interwebs. I have an 11 year old daughter and a 9 year old son. About a year ago my husband and I decided that now that our kids were getting old enough to do some really cool things with, it would be the perfect time to hit the reset button and have another one. So now here I am with a 3 month old son. I love him to pieces there is no doubt about that, but he’s not really a happy baby. He is really colicky and we’re not sure if he has a problem with milk protein so I’ve been on a strict no dairy diet to try and help ease his upset. He’s on Zantac, occasionally gets gripe water, and pretty much has to have gas relief drops at every feeding. Our doctor says to wait it out and around 3 or 4 months he will magically become this happy baby. Well, until then he’s a very sad baby. Lots of crying and sobbing in our house and it’s not all him!

Last night I learned that my parents and brother and sister-in-law have been meeting about once a week just to have dinner at one or the other’s house and my family never even gets a phone call. I feel like no one wants to be around us because my new one is hard to keep happy for more than 30 or so minutes at a time. I don’t know how to talk to any of them about this. I don’t want them to feel bad, but I don’t think I can do it without getting a little weepy. Having a baby that seems to be in pain for the majority of his waking hours is stressful and emotionally agonizing. I have tried so hard to fix him and I just can’t. I just have to wait it out and I could really use the support of my extended family it hurts to think they are avoiding me for the very reason I most need them right now.

I don’t know what I’m asking for here. I guess maybe how do I let them know it bothers me to be excluded like this without sounding like a petulant child?

OMG, you guys had a TACO night?

Ugh, I’m sorry! Intentional snub or otherwise, that’s some grade A asshat behavior. I admit I tend to overreach for the benefit of the doubt — maybe they assume you guys don’t even want to get together since it’s a hassle and interruption of your routine? Maybe this is a tradition that predates the new baby that you’re just now hearing about? Maybe they drink a ton of wine and play Cards Against Humanity all night so it’s no kids allowed, especially tweens?

Or  maybe they are just being exclude-y boneheads who don’t understand how isolated and worn down you’re feeling right now. And that seekrit family taco nights are NOT HELPING.

Since you admit you aren’t sure what you’re asking for, let me ask you a question: What do you care most about here? Getting included and invited to the dinner gatherings, or expressing the fact that the exclusion thus far has bothered you?

If it’s the latter, and I were you, I would probably start with my mom, in private. And I wouldn’t worry too much about getting weepy. This is more than just the dinner nights, after all. Take a more confessional “Mom, I’m struggling here” approach to the convo rather than an accusatory “I KNOW WHAT U GUYS ATE LAST SUNDAY.” Share some of the other things you’ve shared here, especially if you have the tendency to put on a good strong Supermom face in front of others. Newborns are HARD. And your particular newborn has upped the difficulty level by a million percent. Colic is HARD. Reflux is HARD. Eliminating dairy is HARD. You understand that it sucks to be around a baby who cries all the time but dear lord, can she imagine what it’s been like for you? Tell her that you’re feeling really alone and isolated and so when you heard that they are hanging out with your sibling’s family on a regular basis you can’t help but take it super personally right now.

In a perfect world, she SHOULD feel sufficiently shamed and immediately vow to include you and/or toss in an offer to bring some earplugs over and babysit for an hour while you go get your nails done or stare into blissful space at a coffeehouse. If she gets defensive and insists that no, it wasn’t that you guys were being excluded, this is just a separate tradition/thing they do with your brother, it’ll be up to you how much you want to push back with your hurt feelings. (I personally know that tired, worn-to-a-nub emotional state you’re in right now, but sadly some people are just too far removed from the postpartum experience to have sufficient sympathy and will try to brush you off as being overly hormonal, like you’re just dealing with bad PMS.) At the very least, she should recognize that you’re desperate for time with other adults and need a social outlet. If not… well, I’d probably count my blessings to not have to hang out with a bunch of insensitive clods and stay home and watch more Netflix.

Now if you decide to forgo any confrontation over the past and simply want to re-insert yourself into the get-togethers, start with hosting one of your own. Make it a pot-luck. Or order in. Then you can be at home with all necessary baby gear and not feel like you’re obligated to leave the room every time he cries or wants to nurse. Even if the night doesn’t go perfectly, express your heartfelt gratitude to everybody for coming — God, you really needed this, you know? You’ve been going crazy feeling like a shut-in lately and are definitely ready for a change — and bring up ideas for future family togetherness. Maybe you can pump and your husband stays home while you and the other kids hang out with the grandparents. Maybe you could all try brunch or a morning farmer’s market if your baby’s crying/witching hours tend to be worse at night. Show them that you are willing and able to make the effort to not simply disappear down the new baby rabbit hole.

I’d also recommend finding other, non-family social outlets to help ease the isolation. A La Leche League or other breastfeeding support group would be an excellent, non-judging-of-crying-babies place to start. You’ll probably meet other moms there who went through colic and allergies and who can offer advice, a killer swaddle or just a sympathetic ear. By getting “out there” and finding a new tribe, you’ll hopefully feel less bruised by the perceived rejection of the old, non-newborn-friendly one.

I know it all seems bleak and endless and grind-y right now, but your baby WILL get easier. That little crying, fussy ham will shoot up into a delightful little person in no time and your family — who maybe just aren’t that into babies? maybe they take THEIR inability to help him/you too personally and worry you think they’re incompetent or something?  — will come to love him and look forward to his presence. In the meantime, be honest with yourself about your needs and limitations and don’t feel ashamed to speak up and make those needs known.

Amazon Mom

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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  • Forrest

    October 21, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    I just want to put out there that you should read “The Happiest Baby On The Block” by Harvey Karp. It has done wonders for us dealing with a colicky little one and explains so many things about why some babies are colicky and others are not.
    Good Luck!

    • Katelyn

      October 22, 2013 at 1:11 am

      Just an FYI, from a registered dietitian that’s 28 weeks preggo. . . there is a fairly new diet (not the weight loss kind/ the medical nutrition therapy kind) called FODMAP (Fermentable Oligosaccharide, Disaccharide, and Polyols) that has seen some positive results for sufferers of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). In a small study, women that followed the diet with colicky breastfed babies, had 100% resolution of the colic. I want to stress this was a very small study, but still very positive results. The diet is quite restrictive as it is an elimination diet that gradually adds foods back in depending on your tolerance or in this case the baby’s tolerance and I would recommend anyone that wants to try it meet with an RD that is familiar with the FODMAP approach.

  • leslie

    October 21, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    I know you’re going to get a ton of ‘this worked for me’ comments, but here’s my experience. On the advice my a naturopath, I eliminated both dairy & gluten in the first month. Crazy, I know, bu the colic and gassiness decreased noticably in a couple of days and was gone around two weeks later. I’m still nursing at 17 months and when I do slip in those foods, my baby gets gassy again. Another plus: I’m in better health. When I do slip up, it’s bad for me as well. So I feel better without them, which keeps me motivated. It’s hard, but there’s no many alternatives out there these days. Anyway. My two cents, and hopefully not too preachy. Best of luck with the colic and the fam! 

    • Jen

      October 26, 2013 at 11:10 pm

      I was going to suggest the same thing. Our crazy colicky baby (now almost 6 months old) kept us up every night consistently screaming 2 am to 5 am, from about 3 weeks until just after 2 months, and then continued to be a horrendously difficult baby in late afternoon and evenings though she started sleeping through the night thereafter. She was spitting up what seemed like everything she took in, and dropped from 95th percentile down to 5th, which convinced the pediatrician that we needed to do some sort of supplementing and I should cut out dairy. The dairy-less difference was pretty notable – fixed about half of the crying and maybe half the spitting up, but weight gain was still a major issue, so after talking to a few moms from La Leche League meetings, I decided to try cutting out wheat as well. That was around 4.5 months or so, and since then, unless I eat something with wheat or dairy in it, she barely has any spit up at all. She’s still incredibly difficult — refuses to nap, wakes up every 4 minutes at night, etc. — but she’s stopped crying non-stop with what seems like no cause, and has stopped arching her back in what seems like excruciating pain.

      I also highly support what Amy says about La Leche and other mom backup — having a friend who’s got small kids that I can socialize with even if I haven’t gotten to take a shower and who is willing to help soothe the baby when she’s inconsolable has been a lifesaver, since my mom seems to be too busy most of the time to actually visit for more than a day or two. Definitely share what you’ve been going through with your mom or whichever family member you’re closest to, but also try to see if there’s another avenue (even other friends who have slightly younger kids rather than tweens, or friends who don’t mind if evening plans get constantly interrupted by a crying baby?) to get some social time.

  • IrishCream

    October 21, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    There should be an It Gets Better video series for parents of colicky babies. My second had colic–not a terrible case, by colic standards, but a good two hours of crying a night for most nights, until she hit…four months? She’s almost 18 months now and already I’ve forgotten, because she is delightful and easy-going and no longer screams like a banshee and makes me doubt my life choices. So trust: It Gets Better. Which I am sure you know intellectually, but when you’re in the middle of it, and you’re sleep-deprived and post-partum, it’s hard to believe. I agree with Amy’s advice about dealing with your family, and I’ll add a recommendation for earplugs. Seriously. I am very sensitive to noise, and they took the edge off the crying just enough that I didn’t feel like I was going to crawl out of my skin. Hang in there!

    • Isabel Kallman

      Isabel Kallman

      October 21, 2013 at 6:01 pm

      i think that’s a great idea!

  • Anna

    October 21, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    I don’t need to add to the “this worked for me list” [has he been eval for a lip or posterior tongue tie?], but I would like to say that I know how it feels to be assed out of your family’s get togethers because of people not wanting your baby around. It totally sucks and I emphatically agree with Amy’s suggestion to find a new group that is sympathetic to babies who don’t just lay around and look cute. It’s like what you are telling your older kids – don’t hang around people who don’t make you feel good about yourself and your family. For me it’s been a lifesaver and life-changing.

  • Melissa

    October 21, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    My first was so colicky that I almost didn’t have my second.  I thought it would never end.  It didn’t feel like anything helped, except taking long walks around the block with the baby strapped in a baby carrier.  The walking lulled him to sleep, I got some fresh air, and I got to spend some time with my husband.  And then around four months…it stopped.  So it feels like you are in a never ending cycle of baby and mommy crying, but I promise you are near the end and it will get better.  And your baby will be a joy.  So, I just had to tell you to keep hanging in there.  You don’t know it, but you are in the home stretch.  

    • Tricia

      October 23, 2013 at 12:49 pm

      You just wrote my experience word for word! I’m so grateful that my screaming newborn became a delightful, bright-eyed infant. 

  • JD

    October 21, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    I disagree.  I think OP’s family ought to be free to meet without telling her, and enjoy scream-free family dinners and conversation.  As she mentioned, perhaps sarcastically, but still, she and her husband decided to have this child.  Her brother and parents did not, and if they want to get together without her I don’t think they are being “asshats” just people who do not enjoy screaming baby as dinner music.  

    The fact that OP doesn’t feel supported by her family seems to be her real issue, and to that I say that for many of us, this is normal.  She is lucky that she has up to this point in her life felt supported by her family at all.  

    I think to call your mom and say that you feel hurt that people do not want to be around your screaming child is unreasonable and self-centered.  Being a parent is hard partly because you have to be more self reliant at a time when an unreasonable person (the baby) is taking every resource you have.  Just accept that you and your husband are on your own here, and having people come bail you out from your own life is a luxury, not a right, even with your family of origin.  Feeling hurt here may be a real emotion you are experiencing, but it isn’t a right or anything your mom should be shamed for.

    Parents like this annoy me.  “But don’t you understand this is so HARD?”  At least this “hard” is something you can talk about, easily explain, get sympathy.  Some of us out here are dealing with things where there is no common bond to explain to others why life is hard.  And there is no hope it will get better in a few months or a few years.  Your mom and brother eat tacos without you because your baby is loud.  Big deal.  If your real complaint is, “my family if origin doesn’t care about me when it really counts to me” and this incident has somehow opened your eyes to a disturbing trend of this with your parents and sibling, then—good for you for finally realizing that, and move on.  If you are cool with it, pick up taco night again when the screaming stops.  If not, move on and realize your family is your husband and three kids, and try not to mess up supporting your own kids.

    • Beth

      October 21, 2013 at 6:24 pm

      Ok, well, I am the OP and I’m sorry if you feel that I’m annoying and whiney. My family is casual. We’re a tacos and football kind of family, not red wine and dinner music and it hurt to be suddenly excluded. What I was and still am going through is difficult. Maybe not as difficult as what others go through but a baby in pain is not easy for a mother to go through. 
      I’m not really here to try and see who has the worst story to tell, just to tell mine and ask for advice. I recently separated from the Air Force (so yeah, I know about self-reliance) and moved back to my hometown, my friends no longer live here so I was reaching out, that’s all and that’s all I have to say about that.

      For everyone posting positive comments, I really thank you! My son is almost 4 months now, I’ve had to switch him over to primarily soy formula, but I still try to nurse him as much as I can. Milk-free is an insane challenge! My non-dairy creamer, in fact, became my biggest culprit because it has milk proteins in it! He’s a lot happier nowadays, though and usually when he’s yelling it’s because he’s discovered the joys of syllables. Again, thank you for the positivity, I’m going to look into finding the nearest chapter of La Leche for starters. I’m a bit rural, but I’ll travel if I have to!

      • Isabel Kallman

        Isabel Kallman

        October 21, 2013 at 7:04 pm

        Dear Beth, for whatever it is worth, I didn’t read your letter as either whiney or annoying. You clearly feel things have changed with your family and are hurt and your hurt feelings are valid. Wishing you strength during the intense crying spells. ~Isabel

      • Anna

        October 21, 2013 at 7:11 pm

        Just wanted to say it’s not being needy to be hurt by this, and your feelings are/were totally normal. Family is *supposed* to support each other in the hard times, and just because everyone’s family doesn’t do that, it doesn’t make it hurt any less when you feel abandoned during a hard time.

        My second didn’t have colic, but she WOULD NOT nap for me, or have a reasonable bedtime until she was about a year old (and I was going back to work anyway. There was lots of crying, and only some of it was hers. I signed on for having a baby, but didn’t expect that, especially since I’d had one baby already, and patted myself on the back for her successful sleep training (ha! idiot).

        Dealing with a difficult baby can be isolating at the best of times, and without the people you love to stand by you, it can really make you despair during those long days and nights.

      • JD

        October 22, 2013 at 5:23 am

        Ok, Beth, maybe I am wrong; wouldn’t be the first or last time.  I just can’t imagine expecting anyone, friend or family, to help me with anything and the only peace I have found is in learning that lesson and not expecting anything ever.  But maybe you have better people and are fortunate enough to live in a world where that is a reasonable expectation.  I am glad that the baby is doing better, and I hope you find what you are looking for, from your family or whoever can help.

        • -k-

          October 22, 2013 at 12:33 pm

          It sounds like you have had it rough, JD. There’s a lot of pain in your responses. I’m sorry.

      • Lindsay

        November 7, 2013 at 4:13 pm

        Beth, I didn’t think you were whiny at all. And I do think you can expect some support from your parents and siblings. JD seems to have a very every man for himself attitude, but I don’t think it has to be that way with parenting or with anything else in life. It’s not like you’re dragging your screaming infant to a restaurant and expecting other patrons or strangers to deal with it. You just want some company from your own immediate family. Seems totally normal to me.

      • Liz

        November 19, 2013 at 5:28 am

        That sounds like a really crappy situation, Beth, and I hope you have resolved it by now. I must agree with JD. You are feeling alone and that sucks, and it is your responsibility to explain your feelings. My perspective is a child-free one. My siblings have children and I don’t. I don’t dislike babies and children, they can be cute and funny, but I certainly wouldn’t want to be around a screaming one. I have learned, since becoming an aunt, it’s not possible to peaceably watch a movie with a kid around. And while them meeting together without colicky baby might be somewhat selfish if they have kids, and should feel sympathy for what you’re going through, them meeting or doing anything without you if they don’t have kids, does not make them asshats. I chose not to have children because I don’t want to deal with what you’re dealing with now, and acknowledging that, and taking care of my own happiness does not make me an asshat.

        Either way, it sounds like what you’re really complaining about is lack of general support and connection, which is thoughtless of them. You need them right now, and they should be considerate of that. But they should also be free to do other things because they didn’t choose to have your baby. So, I hope you talked to them about your feelings and made some suggestions, (you make dinner, I’ll bring dessert,) but I also hope you didn’t expect them to want to hang with the new mom all the time, (though it didn’t sound like this was the case) which occasionally includes being vomited/defecated on, if they’ve chosen a different lifestyle for themselves.

        Also, I cook with butter for most everything and maybe they do too and don’t know how to cook with different oils/fats and mayyyyybe perhaps they thought that by not telling you, it would keep you from feeling left out? No clue, but I hope you understand that you have to be proactive if you want something. At the time you wrote this you probably had no energy or patience or anything left to make fancy five course dinners, but thinking of activities would be a constructive follow-up to, “I’m feeling left out.” Also, make baby lovin friends! And if you have any left, don’t forget about your child-free friends! They will want to go do super fun non-baby stuff with you, and if they’re good friends, will offer sympathy for the sucky situation you’re in right now.

      • Ali

        December 30, 2015 at 10:33 am


        Just wondering how your baby is now? I’m a FTM and I basically could have written you post word for word. My baby is 3 months old, might have a milk protein intolerance, is on Zantac & gas drops and isn’t happy for more than 30 minutes at a time. I know everybody says by 4 months it basically goes away, but I don’t even know if this is described as colic because it’s not “3 hours in a row for 3 days or more” it’s random crying throughout the day…just what seems like an unhappy baby! So, I’m wondering now that your baby is older if the unhappiness did pass? Are things better now or are you still struggling? 

    • aew

      October 22, 2013 at 3:05 pm

      I’m going to side a little with JD. It is perfectly reasonable to feel left out of the family gatherings AND it is perfectly reasonable for the family to get together without the crying baby (or because they enjoy one-on-one time). It does not make them “asshats”. Talk to your family. Acknowledge you feel left out and are struggling. Acknowledge those issues are by products of a crappy situation. Ask for some help. Ask them for some family time. Let them have their taco night.

  • Chloe

    October 21, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Oh my goodness, I just want to give you a big (non-creepy) hug!

    My little guy was pretty sensitive to food as well. We did much better after cutting out all dairy, gluten and tomatoes.

    I hope things smooth out soon!

  • MR

    October 21, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Crying during all waking hours? OMG, sending you the biggest ((HUGS)) ever!! If you were my friend, I’d be offering to take your baby for an hour each week just so you could have a break. Holy crap. I’m so sorry!

    I am also so sorry that your dr is just brushing this off as unfixable. Have you considered trying a chiropractor who treats infants? And a baltic amber teething necklace? I honestly don’t know if that would help with gassiness, but… worth a shot maybe? Accupuncture? I’m sure you are already besides yourself and have tried a ton of things, and I am in NO WAY implying you haven’t done enough. Cutting out dairy is a big deal, and I want to give you the biggest “you are doing awesome!!” ever. It is hard dealing with such a fussy baby, especially when you suspect your baby is in pain. I REALLY hope you either find a fix or he outgrows it quickly. Hang in there!!

  • Bethany West

    October 21, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Oh, that is hard! I had to cut out dairy. My now 2 yo would get fussy if I ate a piece of cornbread that had a cup of milk in the batter. At 3 months, just to see if he was still sensitive, I shared a mushroom & swiss burger with my husband on a date. It was just a little cheese, right? Ugh, it caused us 3 days of misery. But then, at 3.5 months, he just magically got better. So weird.
    If you need dairy-free ideas, I really liked whipping up 2 slices of french toast for breakfast (I am usually a milk+cereal girl, and french toast is an easy alternative). Almond milk (I liked sweetened vanilla flavor 🙂 is the most delicious milk replacer, and you have to stay away from cream sauces and cheese dishes. When you crave ice cream, go for the coconut cream instead. It’s ridiculously priced, but one pint will make the difference for your deprived tongue!
    Dinner was the hardest for me. Try searching pinterest for dairy-free dinners. Using someone else’s inspiration makes it so much easier!

  • Kimm

    October 21, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Hi, I had that kid,our pediatrician thought he would outgrow it but i insisted on a referral, then we switched his pediatric gastroent. Dr, and his second one really helped him, diagnosed him with GERD and failure to thrive, and switched him from zantac to omeprazole, also told us to put(at 4 months) cereal in formula even tho he was breastfeeding. Don’t be afraid to get a 2nd or 3rd opinion. I was a 1st time mom and if I had listened to advice from everyone, my sad baby would have been really ill.

  • Mona

    October 21, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Hugs to you, OP. Everyone deserves a space to vent some hurt feelings and frustrations. Especially when you have a new baby, with colic, and all the crazy mixed emotions that go with that. I second The Happiest Baby on the Block, and whatever else has been said here (in the spirit of love and positive thoughts), and it will get better. Mine were both evening fussers, and eventually outgrew it (though the have very different dispositions, that they had in common). I think about four-five months was the magic time. Best to you and baby!

  • Lindsey

    October 22, 2013 at 12:07 am

    I just felt like I had to respond and just let you know that even if your family members have been blessed to never have had a colicky child and might not relate, there are so many moms out there that understand exactly what you are going through. I’m not going to tell you anything that worked for me (because nothing did) or all the different things you have probably already tried (and aren’t working). Because, to be honest, I don’t think anything helps. I think colic is just terrible and crappy and something I wouldn’t wish on even my worst enemy. Instead, I just want to tell you that it gets SO MUCH BETTER. And all the time you have spent trying to sooth him has just made the two of you so much closer. And he knows. And he will always know.

    My second child was colicky for 6.5 months. Nothing helped him and he just screamed and cried whenever he was awake. I was in the pediatrician’s office several times a month begging and pleading with her to DO SOMETHING. (I even made her give me a referral to a neurologist to make sure something wasn’t wrong with his brain connections.) However, it did end and he is now the happiest, sweetest, most loving child around. And a mama’s boy WAY BEYOND my other two children. I promise it gets so incredibly terribly wonderfully better, and these months will seem so far away in a few years. So enjoy them even when you feel like you’ve lapped the house for the millionth time with him strapped to your chest because that’s the only thing that will even sorta kinda calm him, because even though he’s crying, you’ll miss the squishy legs and gummy smiles and his heart beating right next to yours soon enough. It gets better. I promise. Good luck!

  • Rosanna

    October 22, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Please tell this mom that several of us have been there. For my son it took a functional medicine approach to get him off zantac and help his reflux. We started using digestive enzymes (1/4 off an adult capsule in a bottle of breast milk) and probiotics and it really helped. In addition, gluten in my diet was the culprit in the breast milk. It may not just be dairy. Hang in there!

  • SarahB

    October 22, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Beth, I’ve never had a colicky baby, but I know something about military life and being far from family.  I wonder if that’s what this is about…I am guessing you were in the military when you had your first two kids?  And, as you said, you know something about self-reliance, right?  I wonder if your family is used to treating you as self-reilant and is still figuring out what kind of help and involvement to offer now that you’re close by.  

    I’ve learned over time that I am really good at giving the impression that I have everything under control whether I really feel that way or not…speaking up when you feel you’re struggling might help.  Best to you.

  • Sally S.

    October 22, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Beth – I feel for you! My first was colicky and it was HARD! Reading your post brings me right back, and it has been over 5 years since. It make me shiver to think back to those times, even though it was only 4 months long, it seemed like an eternity. I hope that it starts to get better! HUGS!!

  • Anna

    October 22, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    My niece was a very colicky baby right from the start. And not just “4 hours in the evening” and “cut out dairy” variety. Non stop screaming. Looking back it actually affected my ability to bond with her for a couple years although she is now a very sweet 3 year old and we are very close. I was just totally lost as to how to be around her (and I already had kids!). Your family may be experiencing something similar or they may just not want to be around a screaming baby or whatever combo of things that people mentioned above. But what I hear you saying is that you are scraping for connections right now.

  • Whozat

    October 22, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    My daughter wasn’t colicky like this, but did have a dairy sensitivity, and it certainly is tricky to deal with – especially for a cheese-a-holic like myself. I found great comfort in the fact that Oreos are, oddly enough, dairy-free 🙂 

    As to the support / isolation issue, I would highly recommended checking out MOMS Club International (, especially if you are a stay-at-home-mom. If there’s a local chapter, you’ll find lots of opportunities to get out of the house and socialize with other moms who are or have been in the same boat.

    • KelleyD

      October 23, 2013 at 2:03 pm

      I totally second the MOMS club recommendation. I don’t get to activities much anymore, but my local group was a sanity saver for a few years.

  • Christina

    October 29, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Beth, my son is about the same age as your baby. He has had awful feeding issues that I considered emailing Amalah about myself. We had a good long period recently where he was constantly hungry but just couldn’t get it together. The only thing that has really helped him has been probiotics. They’ve been more helpful than his tongue tie surgery was! There are some dairy and soy free ones out there. Good luck! You aren’t alone! I’m probably up in the middle of the night with you (from far away/in spirit).

  • Britt

    November 10, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Your little one sounds just like mine (who, at 15 months is so easy that all my friends are jealous, for what that’s worth!). There is some waiting involved, but I wholeheartedly second the recommendation that you a see a specialist. I would see both a GI specialist AND an ENT. My daughter needed both. We got her on the right dosage of the right medication (omeprazole for the win!), and life became bearable again. Still pukey, but way less screamy.

    Also, and you may know this from having other kids, your baby’s screaming sounds an order of magnitude louder to you than it does to other people. So don’t be afraid to go to a mom’s group, or the grocery store like I was for far too long. You need to feel like you can get out.

    Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out to your OB or midwife if you feel like you just can’t cope as well as you’d like. Reflux is emotionally draining, and I needed support to get through it, too. Mamas need to take of themselves!

    (Sorry for the huge advice list. I just hate seeing other moms have to forge through the crazy that is reflux without some who understands.)

  • mary

    November 29, 2013 at 1:53 am

    My first baby had colic. I convinced my husband to have her, telling him how wonderful babies are (I have a bunch of silblings – one born when I was 17, and loved it!). And then she arrived and cried A LOT. Unless she was nursing 24/7 or at least touching me at all times. We don’t live close to family & I don’t think anyone understood how much we struggled. They gave us a pep talk occasionally but no one visited or helped out even though we really REALLY could have used that. I think it’s because grumpy, crying babies are hard. It’s your baby so you do love it, but honestly, I don’t know if they loved her as an infant. She would scream if they held her and was boring (nursing away) other than that. It took about 6 months to ease off and by 1 we had totally forgotten this time (it’s like a hazy bad dream). Our relatives love her and fuss over her and ask when we/they can visit. It sucks that no one was willing to take one for the team – maybe not every dinner but at least an occasional invite or better yet…just coming to you! Why not have a dinner baby free and then one where everyone comes and brings dinner to you with the expectation that they baby will cry but we are here to support daughter/sister/etc. It does get better! She is now 18 months and such a joy. I feel for you and I would totally invite you, your husband and fussy kiddo to dinner if I could!

  • mary

    November 29, 2013 at 2:09 am

    Btw, I thought I would add that although my husband has recently suggested we try for another, so…yeah. It does get THAT much better 😉