Screaming for Help

I need your advice. I am caring for a 9 1/2 month old, and recently meal time has become a nightmare with him screaming the entire time. He screams at finger food. He screams at the bottle. He screams at regular baby food. It's 30 to 40 minutes of screaming every time. He's been checked for reflux and other digestive issues and it's all negative. I don't know what to do. I'm at the end of my rope. - Anonymous


Melanie Raye Castor said...

that sounds very stressful, for you OP! Hang in there!
The only advice I could possibly offer is that maybe the infant is tired at mealtimes? Or perhaps teething?

I wish I could give more specific advice. I certainly wish you all the best, and am sending up prayers of strength for you while you get through this stage.

Lyn said...

First of all, you poor woman! That is such a difficult thing to deal with!! I would get a second opinion on reflux, encourage the mom to if possible. Sometimes it's a missed issue, but it can worsen over time if untreated, which may be a benefit in your circumstance because a dr is more likely to notice it then.

Hope things get better!

caring mom all day said...

So, is the child screaming while you're feeding him, after or both? Poor kiddo. Poor you. It still may be reflux. But reflux wouldn't cause him to scream as soon as he starts eating. Does he scream at the site of the food or maybe when he is placed in the high chair? Is it possible he would rather be feed on your lap or in a bouncer or in something other than whatever he is being feed in?

Village said...

Stop feeding him.

Okay don't kill the kid. Stop feeding him on your schedule. He'll let you know when he is hungry. Encourage him to use his words, I am hungry. Then ask him what he wants, a or b. Too many choices is overwhelming even for adults. Let him have either/or. Now it's his idea when he ate and it's his idea what he ate.

Ah, the quiet child in control.

Village said...

I should have mentioned, with a baby, when you try to feed him, use a sign for hunger. Make something up he can do as well, and you'll be shocked how fast he picks it up. Pre verbal kids are getting a lot more in than they can express. Speak to them as you sign. It's amazing. You can make up your own language, or get a book on baby signs.

I have an acquaintance in Oregon who teaches baby signing. It's a profession now.

Nannykim said...

Wow, this is tough op. I am sorry you are going through this. I agree with Lynn on getting another opinion for reflux. Try shifting your routine a bit, if you feed before nap, maybe try to shift the nap a little earlier, and feed after. Freeze finger foods so they are cold, if he is teething, it may feel more comforting.
I nannied for a baby who had terrible gas bubbles. He would just scream and scream. I found if I rubbed his belly clockwise for a few minutes before his bottle, it helped him. I also fed him in a completely upright position, which seemed to help too. Awkward for me, but better for him, lol. We also used gas drops 10 min before feeding, plus some in the bottle. Unfortunately, he was a breast milk baby, so I didnt have the option of trying different formulas, foods, etc.
Best of luck, hopefully you can find out what is going on, and help him to feel better soon.

Lizzie Listener said...

What other things upset baby? Some children are very sensitive to temperature, texture, odor, etc. Are there times he will eat? What does he like to eat? Perhaps he doesn't like his high chair?

Jen said...

Nannykim, if this were gas why would he cry before feeding? It isn't possible at 9mo for him to associate food with pain is it? I would love to know if that were true.

Anyway, you gave excellent advice, thank you for that because when my baby had the most painful gas bubbles during/after eating I started using Mylicon. It made the most incredible difference, no more screaming banshee. Another thing is of course rubbing the belly but also laying the baby flat on his belly on your lap, gently patting his back. It seemed to work for mine.

Too bad every kid doesn't leave with a pamphlet from the hospital with all the tips and tricks needed for a happy healthy baby.

Nannykim said...

Jen, he didnt cry before I fed him, but rubbing his belly and giving him gas drops before feeding him made him much less fussy when he did eat. The best thing I can relate it to is that it helped "keep things moving", so to speak. Sorry, I should have made that more clear. :)

Bethany said...

I would suggest you have MB check him for reflux again, these things aren't always found right away.

Could it be that you are offering too much food? Perhaps offer half as much as you are.

At his age I would still offer milk as the primary source of nutriton and follow up my offering either a few pieces of finger foods OR spoonfuls of babyfood. Don't force him to eat if he isn't hungry.
I would also look into the kind of food you are feeding him? Does he scream more with certain foods? it could be he is sensitive to the texture of the food, or experiences a mild reaction to the food or gas.

Then there is also timing, could it be that you are feeding him too early or to late. Too early meaning he is screaming because he is not hungry and maybe needs to nap instead, and too late meaning he screams because he is hungry and can't fill his belly fast enough.

I would also double check to make sure he is seated comfortably in his high chair.

Hang in there!

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