When Jonathan was just a few weeks old, I told a friend, “My babies don’t cry.”
Famous last words…
Of course my babies cry sometimes, but it is very rare…until Jonathan.
I am definitely of the school that believes babies can’t be spoiled. Well maybe they can, but I believe a baby should be spoiled. Nothing wrong with holding a baby all day, or nursing more than just at specified feeding times. Whatever it takes to make a baby happy, I’ll do it!
For 5 babies, a cry has almost always been a “need” to meet, followed by a happy baby. There were rare days here and there during teething or sickness when a baby cried no matter what I did. But, those days were few and I faced them by doing my best to nurse, hold, and cuddle more- school forgotten, chores neglected and pizza for dinner.
Jonathan started out as an easy baby, just like all the others, but slowly he became “fussy.” At first, just taking a lot of work to keep happy; constant movement and bouncing was necessary when he was awake. This turned into a regular evening fussy time, and finally into all day fussing plus regular evening screaming time. Nothing we did soothed him, it wasn’t a matter of “letting him cry” there was no way to stop him for more than a few minutes at a time.
It was heart-breaking. Me, the person who can always make any baby happy, could not soothe my own son.
Other than the extreme fussiness and some signs of reflux, nothing else seemed wrong. I felt despair, thinking this was classic colic and nothing could be done to improve Jonathan’s disposition. Finally, I had a baby like the baby I was- Mom tells me I cried for 9 months, no matter what they did.
Thankfully, I have several friends who are knowledgeable about breastfeeding and food allergies, and some who have even dealt with similar circumstances. They thought Jonathan might be sensitive to dairy (or have another food related issue, but dairy is the most common) and encouraged me to cut dairy out of my diet to see if that would improve things.
Only, 12 hours later Jonathan laid content in my arms while I read a book for over half an hour- this baby who previously needed constant motion. His fussiness improved more and more everyday, and after a week he isn’t gagging with reflux at all!
Giving up dairy is not easy, especially considering my normal dairy heavy diet, but in the scheme of things it is such a simple fix. I am so grateful to friends who know more than I do and are willing to share that knowledge.
I’m finding that I really like the taste of almond milk in my coffee. After my initial panic, I’m finding dairy free easier than I first thought. Missing my too frequent Oreos and milk is probably a good thing anyway!
If you have any favorite dairy free recipes, substitutes or products I would love to hear them. At less than 2 weeks dairy free, I still have a lot to learn!