This post also appeared on in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.

We thought we were so lucky when we first brought Will home from the hospital.

He would give us 4-5 hours of sleep at a time. He slept most of the time and hardly ever fussed. We went on and on about how we lucked out and had the perfect baby. Well, it appears we may have spoken too soon.

Will has taken to eating every 90 minutes. And when we go beyond those 90 minutes, he freaks out. It’s amazing to me how one second I’m looking at my angelic son in a deep and fitful slumber, and then in the blink of an eye it’s like he’s that little creature in Alien that pops out of that guy’s stomach. He cries so hard and so loud I start to wonder if he’s been possessed by the Devil or something. And since this is usually in the wee hours of the morning it’s even more obnoxious.

At first I try the usual tricks to appease him. I put his head on my chest, I bounce him, I walk with him, I put him in his vibrating chair, then I try the swing and finally the pacifier. I usually have to sneak the pacifier by MJ, because she is convinced pacifiers are the worst thing on the planet. Seriously, if you ask her to rank the most evil things in history I think her list would be comprised of 1) Slavery, 2) Pacifiers and 3) Hitler. Even though we heard FROM THE NURSES AND DOCTORS that pacifiers are good for the baby if used in moderation, she’s still not convinced. It’s moronic if you ask me. Obviously the kid just wants to suck on something sometimes and there’s nothing wrong with a pacifier at those times. And don’t talk to me about “nipple confusion” because from everything I’ve read and heard, nipple confusion is a bunch of crap.

But I digress…

So anyways, I’m a grown man and obviously Will is a tiny infant. Yet the balance of power is in his favor. Furthermore, it’s amazing what I’ll say to my infant son to try to get him to stop crying. At first I tell him everything is OK, then I try to soothe him. But after awhile I start talking to him like he’s a fully capable adult who can understand me.

“Will. WILL! Seriously, what is this crying accomplishing? WHAT DO YOU WANT ME FROM ME?? I’ll give you whatever you need for five minutes of solace Will. You want a motorcyle when you’re 16? If you give me an hour of consecutive sleep it’s yours buddy. Fine. Your loss.”

Honestly, I’m trying to negotiate with an 8-pound baby. Meanwhile my wife’s body simply can’t handle feeding a baby every hour and a half. The poor woman is running on fumes, but to her credit she does her best to keep up with him. She’s hell bent on not giving Will formula for as long as possible. Despite some close calls at 3:30 am when he’s been awake and noisy for four hours, so far she’s successfully avoided the strong temptation of simply making up a bottle in the middle of the night instead of sacrificing her body to a ravished infant who she swears has razor blades for gums.

It also isn’t helping that I go back to work starting Tuesday, and she’s wondering how she’s going to cope without me helping out during the day. I’m pretty conflicted about going back to work myself, but that’s a post for another time.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a crying baby to attend to. Big surprise there.

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2 thoughts on “Cranky

  1. It will sort it self out slowly but surely. You are doing everything right. Ignore M about the binky studies show it MAY even help prevent SIDS. My only complaint about supplementing with formula was the premature self weening at six monthes. Formula is expensive! And I kinda miss the whole bonding thing(more than a little), but he still doesn’t sleep through the night. And even when he does I wake up and check him every two hours or so. Victor will roll over and say, “Have you checked the baby?” I of course snarl at him (only because I was debating at that moment if I should or not) and go check on him. As a final note KISS your wife passionately and when asks what that was all about just smile as long as she doesn’t take a swing at you!

  2. Okay, well…here’s my advice, unsolicated and all.

    We NEVER did a pacifier with David because well, I thought it was the devil too and what ended up happening was I BECAME the pacifier…you need to GENTLY and calmly try to explain to MJ when she’s in a good place, that babies have a FERVENT desire to suck on something, and a pacifier is not evil when presented to help them soothe themselves. Otherwise, the baby will learn that when he cries,MJ to the rescue!

    It’s possible that what you are experience is known as “colic” I did with David too and a lot of hte times, breastfed babies behave this way. My suggestion would be to rest his chest on the inside of your hand, and lean him forward while sitting on his butt, holding his head by his jaw/chin area, gently with your fingers, and tapping him in his lower back area with your other hand. For some reason, this was our miracle, we learned from a nurse since we were in the hospital for son long. Have you tried the swing? Also, it’s soooo simple to get caught up in the “why” is he crying? It could be that he’s cold, or that he’s hot. Try taking off a layer, or wrapping him in a blanket. There are also tricks to help get the gas out…such as knee bending. Lay him on his back and gently hold his feet and bend his knees toward his abdomin. I am sure you will hear the “disfcomfort” come out:)

    Wish i could help you guys!! I SO know this frustration! But you’re doing great Daddy!!!

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