The Fourth Trimester Blues

baby sleeping on tummy
Poor Lil Fuzzball

The week before last, my husband was out of town on business and my parents came all the way from New York to help with the kids. Although nights were hard because I was doing all the waking, it was nice to have extra sets of hands during the days.

For the most part, Fuzz has been a pretty mellow baby. He has his fussy moments, but he is definitely not colicky. He is three months today, so I guess officially out of the Karp ‘Fourth Trimester,’ but the night before my parents left, he got what I refer to as “The Fourth Trimester Blues.”

Those that are unfamiliar with the book The Happiest Baby on the Block, may not know Karp’s techniques for quieting a fussy baby, known as the 5 S’s. Here they are in action:

For a good chunk of the evening, Fuzz was inconsolable. He cried loudly and painfully. The only other time he has acted like this was when I fed him a bottle myself. My mom and I took turns rocking, bouncing and (me) feeding him. He didn’t want to eat much, so I was pretty sure something was awry in his tummy. We kept trying different positions and at one point, the above position in the photo was the only way he would settle down and rest. However, it only lasted about ten minutes. After that, my mom took him in her arms and put some pressure on his belly and bounced some more. Still markedly unsettled. I ran to the kitchen and ripped open the bottle of gripe water I had purchased right before he was born. It dribbled out of his mouth.  I’m not sure how much of it he actually swallowed. My mom put the paci in his mouth (sucking) and jiggled him some more (swinging) and put him on his side facing outward. That’s three of the five S’s, and I’m pretty sure I did some shushing too. We had tried swaddling him but he was squirming and screaming. Funny how neither of those two  ‘S’ words was on the list.  Five or ten more minutes later, he finally settled down. I have no idea what made him feel better. Maybe it was the gripe water, maybe it was just time. I’m just glad he was finally content and asleep.

What techniques do you use to calm your inconsolable baby?