Friday, January 2, 2015


During the first  couple of weeks of her life, Noni was just as sweet and dreamy as could be.  She was all about the basic necessities and smiled all the time.  I always enjoyed watching her drift off into deep sleep while letting her head hang off the side of my leg as I her held her.  That was her favorite "in my arms" sleeping position for a while during daytime naps.  Must've reminded her of being upside-down in the womb. (She'll still do this if the opportunity presents itself.)

Asleep at ten days old

She was always so peaceful.

Then that third week came, and something happened. At around 5 o'clock each evening she would get very upset, fussy, and was nearly inconsolable. We had no idea what had happened but could've almost sworn that somehow, under some impossible circumstances, our baby had been taken without us knowing and replaced with a grumpy little child that looked just like her.    

The hollering lasted a couple of hours on and off.  I was emotional, sometimes crying when she was having her fit.  I wanted to know what was wrong with my baby, and because I didn't, it broke my heart. 

Then somebody mentioned colic.  Now I was familiar with this concept but hadn't attributed it to what she was going through, since I thought it happened in babies who were older.  But this is what everybody kept saying, so we started to look into it. 

The overwhelming majority of information supported one conclusion: nobody really knows what it is.  Seems that the term "colic" is considered a possible range of conditions and is applied to everything from gas to too much air getting in the baby's face (which leads to gas) to teething  to a hair somehow being wound around the baby's toe and causing discomfort.  Yeah. I read that last one in a couple of books and on a couple of websites.  It was too confusing and unsubstantial. Why lump individual conditions into one group and give it a title? If it's gas, call it gas!! Or, if you--medical doctors, pediatric academy, etc.-- don't know what it is, say that!!


After receiving a piece of advice from a well-experienced mother (a few people I mentioned it to said it, in fact, was nothing but gas), I started to closely look at what I was eating.  Perhaps something I was taking in was affecting her negatively through breast milk.  I realized that one item introduced into my diet that previously hadn't been a part of it was soy milk.  I started and stopped drinking it over 10 years ago, but during the early days of baby's life we ended up with a few small cartons.  If we were out of coconut milk, the soy milk would replace it in my beloved flax granola cereal.  This was the only food item that we thought might be causing the problem, so it was eliminated as soon as the thought hit us, about four days into the uneasiness.  

That seemed to do the trick.  Within a day or so, my baby was back to her lovely self. She'd sometimes still get fussy around five or six in the evening, but I came to learn that it was because she was ready to go to sleep around that time. (When I say "go to sleep", I don't mean for good, for the night, cause she'll be right back up in an hour or so ready to get the party started.)  So it seems that at the same time each evening she was ready for a nap, and when the "colic" episode was happening, it--likely stomach discomfort due to the soy milk--caused her to be much more on edge than she would've been if the discomfort wasn't a factor.  At five months old now, she still likes that evening nap, and we've reached the point where most times I can rock or nurse her right on to sleep with no fussiness.  

I should add that I wasn't eating the cereal and using soy milk everyday during the colic spell, so it seems that the effects of the milk were long lasting enough to be causing her harm even when I wasn't using it. 

Although I tend to think she was specifically affected by the soy milk rather than something more general that couldn't be pinpointed, it's not clear to me why babies go through the "colic phase"--a time when something is going on, but no one came seem to figure out what.  If it's gas or too much air or teething, why is it so intense at a particular time?  What is it about the gas--or whatever it is--during the time when everyone would diagnose a baby as having colic that makes it so much more terrible? Seems like that's the thing to find out.

One product that we did purchase during that time was homeopathic colic tablets by Hyland's Baby.

While I'm certain that soy milk was the culprit, these tablets did seem to help ease some of the discomfort.  This may be why the crying/hollering was on and off and not constant, as I'd read could have been the case. 

So all in all we death with colic (aka trouble from soy milk) for about a week.  By the time she was three months old--the point where I'd read that she might just be getting over colic--she'd long been her happy, playful, excited self that she is today. 

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