The Fussing Is Official

…We have a fussy time, folks.

I kept thinking that I couldn’t really label it as a fussy time because at this point, our days are very random with very little routine. But, for the past two weeks, Forrest has fussed faithfully in the hours before “bedtime” (in other words, before he falls asleep for the longest stretch). Usually, the fussing lasts a couple of hours or more, and it almost always ends by 8:30pm, when he finally falls asleep (although he’s changed it up a couple of times, it happens that way more often than not).

Now, I’m using the word “fussy,” but truly Forrest’s version of fussing is very mild. Be that as it may, though, it really stresses me out because he is usually such a calm, relaxed baby!

My biggest problem is this: when he fusses, he does not want to be worn in the wrap. Or the sling. He doesn’t like the “football hold.” He doesn’t want to be rocked or bounced or burped or sang to. He doesn’t even want to nurse! I went so far as to offer a pacifier (even though I so passionately do not want to use one) because he seems to want to suck but arches his back and yells every time I try to nurse him. The pacifier sometimes seems to help, but not for long (in all honesty, it makes me proud that he doesn’t really want a pacifier). I’m at a loss.

It’s so weird to me that he doesn’t want to nurse. I’m trying not to take it personally, to be perfectly honest! I feel so unsure of myself when he effectively rejects everything I offer. I’m the mama. Shouldn’t I be able to soothe him? Isn’t mama’s milk the cure-all? I don’t understand what I’m supposed to do in these situations.

When Jack used to fuss, it was because he had bad gas. And we knew that we could bend his legs and massage his tummy and eventually, all would be well. But Forrest’s fussing doesn’t appear to be due to anything. He’s just…mad.

So, that was all a very long-winded way of asking: how do you do it?! When your baby fusses/fussed, what worked for you? For those of you who don’t like to use pacifiers, what do/did you do when your baby refuses/refused to nurse but seemed to be rooting around like crazy? Forrest is not a high-need baby, so it’s not driving me crazy, but I’d hate to make him go through this without trying to get more ideas on how to soothe him. At least I’d know I’d tried everything I could.

I welcome your thoughts!



Filed under on being a mama

5 responses to “The Fussing Is Official

  1. Bronwyn (incidentally, my #2 baby) was the same way– only her fussing was far from mild. Every night from about week 3 to about week 8 or 9 she would cry and cry and cry for about 2 hours (usually from about 7 or 8p until 9 or 10p). At first I was totally at a loss because Gabriel had been the sort of baby for whom nursing soothed everything; that boy would nurse even when he’d just nursed 20 minutes earlier (and he’d often spit up massive amounts afterward because, even though the nursing soothed him, he was too full to really contain any more!). Bronwyn, though, would refuse nursing, like Forrest. I remember pacing in front of the TV, watching football or the news on mute (because what was the point in adding any volume to the chaos her cries alone created?), walking her and holding her and just murmuring words of love in the hopes that at least she would know that I was committed to her and loved her and wouldn’t stop trying to comfort her.

    Anyway, I guess a doctor would have said she had colic. All I know is, it was a phase and she outgrew it. She was a bigger baby who nursed well (efficiently!) otherwise, so maybe she just needed any energy outlet??? She slept better at night– even then– than any of my other babies, so it did seem like she just needed a way to get tired. I hated it so much at the time, but I look back now and fondly remember those hours after I put Gabriel to bed when she would cry and we would just walk. I couldn’t do anything– no cleaning, writing, reading, lounging, etc– except pay attention to her, and somehow it’s become a precious memory because of that. Our “bonding” time sure wasn’t the way I would have planned it, but it’s still sweet nonetheless.

    All that to say, keep trying to figure out what helps, but don’t feel badly if it seems that *nothing* works. Hang in there, love on him, and I am certain he’ll outgrow it.

  2. Funny you wrote about this. I just told my husband last night (around Noah’s “fussy” time) that this is the time of night I ALWAYS say, “I don’t know what to do with him!” He doesn’t want to nurse, not even laying down. He doesn’t want to be wrapped, he doesn’t want his bed or ours, etc. We tried a pacifier a few weeks ago, and he did take to it, but we didn’t want him to rely on it so we took it away. That was hard but I think he was too little to remember that we had given it to him. So we just kind of get through that time of night each night. And something always works, but it’s never the same thing each night. I wish I could help you, but one thing I’ve come to learn about babies is… they eat, sleep, poop, pee, and cry. Sometimes babies just cry. It doesn’t make you a bad mom. Just try to make him as comfortable as possible.

    Hope this stage passes soon!

  3. We don’t use a pacifier either. I thought I was passionately against them until Benjamin would fuss and not want to nurse but still want to suck (sound familiar?). I tried offering him a paci as a last resort and he refused so I was off the hook!

    As easy-going as my Benjamin is, he still has times when he just can’t be soothed. The thing I do is cradle hold him in the crook of my arm and busy myself with something– cooking or reading to the older kids or straightening the house. He may still fuss, but he will fuss regardless of what I do so I might as well get something done. Plus it keeps me calm to be busy instead of frustrating me with not being able to quiet him.

  4. Pingback: Mama Chronicles « Mama Rissa’s Corner

  5. Steph

    Hello, i just found your blog today, trying to find other mommies who have the conviction to be quiverfull, whose husbands did not always agree.

    ANYWAYS. i know your little one is awfully young, but that sounds like teething to me. (the whole not wanting to nurse/refusing the pacifier, and arching the back (like in pain) when trying either of those). I am probably wrong, but thats what it sounded like at first to me. when christopehr was little (he is almost 2 now) he was (and still is, at times) quite the little cranky child. Sometimes i still have no idea what to do for him, and he can *almost* communicate!! I would say just sit and hold him, obviously check all the normal crying solutions, but if nothing works, you can either hold him and do what you can, or just let him cry in his bassinette (sorry i have no idea how to spell that). I tried the laying him down thing a few times. While it worked in teh way that i could not hear him as loudly, i could still hear him, which meant i was still stressing out over it.

    just know that it will pass. and that you are doing the very best you can and that you arent a bad mommie, because God would not have given you such a sweet little blessing unless you could handle it, and handle it with grace! Little guys are sometimes a pain, but mostly a whole lot of fun. Just think ahead a year to when your two little ones will be playing together.

    Enjoy being a mom and congratulations!! đŸ™‚

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