I am now almost ready to admit that Robert is colicky. If he is, then there is some good news for us at six weeks: Firstly, we are halfway through this tiresome stage, and secondly it doesn’t get any worse after this.
The cause of colic is not known for sure, but there are many theories trying to explain it. According to these, the crying may be caused by any of the following: gas, immature digestive system, expanding lungs, misaligned limbs (in c-section babies), and/or overstimulation. Most of these theories are unproven, but in Robert’s case the most likely one would be overstimulation. We noticed that his crying got much worse on days when there was too much going on. For example when we go out for a long walk in our noisy neighborhood, or when he stays awake for too long without sleep. One particularly nasty episode of crying occurred last week after a long talk with my aunt on Skype. Ron often comments on how animated (and loud) my talks with my family are – this is a middle eastern trait, people in that part of the world cannot speak quietly. It is possible that Robert did not react very well to this excitement, especially since it happened dangerously close to the time of day when he starts getting cranky.
We have tried several strategies to deal with Robert’s crying. The most successful one so far is putting him in the baby carrier. This works very well, and whenever I start walking around with him he calms down, and falls asleep soon after. The only problem is that he wakes up as soon as he is taken out of the carrier. As a result, he spent more time sitting in the carrier than out of it in the past few days, especially when it is cold.
Despite my ample experience at walking around with baby in the carrier, I had a scary incident last Friday. I twisted my ankle while walking down the hill and went straight down on one knee. Fortunately, I held on to baby and kept my upper body upright. Robert bounced against the padding of the carrier, and wasn’t affected much. In fact, he only grunted, changed position and then resumed his nap, while I got away with a nasty scrape on my right knee. Ron also had an alarming experience. He was looking after Robert one evening while I was trying to get some sleep. Robert was sitting in his chair in the lounge, in a lively but non-threatening mood. Ron must have gone to the bathroom for a minute and when he came back, I just heard him exclaim: “Oh my God”, then he brought Robert over to the bedroom and started asking me tense question whether I took the baby out of the chair. He then told me that something awful had happened ! When he walked back into the lounge, he saw baby lying flat on the floor with his head underneath the chair. Of course, he panicked and it took him a few seconds to realise that baby was quite alright. Later we concluded that Robert must have gradually slipped down from his sitting position in the chair (which is designed to work as a rocking chair). As he slipped down he must have tipped the chair forward, so that its seat touched the floor and created a sliding surface. Thus he ended up on the floor without a thud or a cry. The incident made us realise the danger of leaving baby unattended even for a minute. It was even scarier for us because sometimes we put the baby chair up on our breakfast table while we are eating.
The weather is still cold. Sunday was particularly dismal, and it was on that day that I finally finished knitting Robert’s baby jacket, which I started two weeks before he was born. It turned out nice and he finally got to wear it today, thanks to the late arrival of spring.
On the brighter side of things, Robert is cooing, gurgling, and trying to make conversation. This is starting to happen now more often; once he gets his fill of milk he looks up at me and smiles and starts up with his side of the story. I always give him a playback of the sounds he makes. Ron for his part, swears that baby is almost ready to stand up by himself. When he holds him upright, Robert plants his feet on his lap and locks his knees to carry his weight on little legs. Ron also ‘exercises’ Robert’s muscles regularly, and the little one likes that. I can tell that he is an active little baby, and will take after his father in this respect. He will be quite a handful once he gets bigger.