One Working Mother’s Dilemma

Abbreviated conversation with Jameson’s pediatrician.

Me: Jameson has been on Similac Advance [regular] formula for 3 weeks now, mixed with breastmilk. Since then, the daycare has been complaining that he is very fussy, but that he always is happier after he has a bowel movement.

[I go on and on here, talking about how I thought it was teething, but daycare keeps insisting on the BM issue]

Dr: Is he actively teething now?

Me: Yes, I felt his mouth yesterday and it is sharper!

Dr: Have you noticed his fussiness yourself?

Me: I only see him for an hour on the weekdays before he goes to bed.

Dr: How about on the weekends?

Me: That is only a couple days, we didn’t know the association between bowel movements and him being less fussy.

Dr: You can try gas drops, though if he isn’t very gassy, it may not help. It won’t hurt though. Also prunes and prune juice.

Me: We did prunes for about a week every night, no change.

Dr: It could be a formula issue or a teething issue. I recommend watching him a couple days, watch his stools, and if you’re still concerned please bring him in. We can check a stool sample and his belly.


Dr: Is that okay?

Me: It’s just that it’s been 3 weeks already..

Dr: We can bring him in now if you like

Me: Well, these next couple days are so busy with meetings…

Dr: I can offer you some samples of the gentle formulas if you like. There isn’t real science behind them since very few babies are actually lactose intolerant, but many parents swear by them.

Me: Well, I don’t know if I have time to get out there [during regular office hours]. If I were to buy one, which one would be good? I know there are no-lactose and low-lactose ones…

[blah blah blah, Dr doesn’t recommend one or another in particular but does say we shouldn’t continue to switch in search of a perfect formula]

Me: Okay, well thank you. We’ll try this and if we are still seeing issues, we’ll bring him in.

Confession: I was already at Target, prepared to buy a new formula.
Confession 2: We really don’t know if it’s teething or not. I can only go on daycare’s opinion on this, and that makes me feel awful.
Confession 3: My email to Brian after this ended with these words: I have mixed feelings, I don’t know the right answer…

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  1. I wish I had the answer for you, but all I can offer you is my shared frustration at having to rely on the information provided to you by daycare to make decisions about your child’s health or behavior. I feel guilt over this almost constantly. Not to mention there never seems to be a time when I feel like a good mother AND a good employee. It seems there can only be one or the other.

    Sigh. The plight of the working mother.

    I hope Jameson feels better soon.

  2. Ironically he had a good day at daycare that day… we haven’t tried the new formula yet. Appears that teeth are breaking through so I’m giving it another few more days. It’s hard to hear that he didn’t have good days and not be able to do much about it…

  3. I can *try* giving my two cents here… Breastfeeding was a huge issue for us and it resulted in milk dry up, etc. So my baby has been on formula exclusively since 8 weeks. I tried Enfamil New Born and he was crying. I tried Enfamil Sensitive and he was still fussy. He does had bad reflux, but I noticed when I tried Similac Sensitive, he changed dramatically. Now, he is nearly 8 months and I just switched to regular Similac (the blue container) and he has been fine. I don’t think that trying a lactose sensitive formula means they won’t tolerate a regular one later. Anyway.. I hope that helps…

    1. Thanks for the input!! I bought Enfamil Gentlease, but we haven’t opened it yet… I suppose we’ll give it another few days. Maybe I’ll go get the samples then from the doctor and we could try Similac too. It’s just really hard to watch them be unhappy… arghhhh

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