Friday, November 02, 2007

The Good, The Bad, and yeah, that's Ugly

The Good: Both kiddos, but especially M, have started climbing into our laps to cuddle or read. It’s so cute it almost hurts.

The Bad: We all have a cold. And our sitter is out of town this week (on a cruise - the nerve!). And J’s had to work way more than usual - which is especially frustrating since we knew the sitter was going to be away, and so he was supposed to try to take some time off so I could get a break and, you know, do some actual work.

The Ugly: In the past few days, MissM has developed a new behavior. When she’s really upset, she cries until she’s coughing, then she sticks her fingers in her mouth, gags herself, and throws up. I don’t know about the first time, but at this point I’m pretty sure it’s intentional. It’s a hard thing to ignore - I don’t really want her to throw up, and once she does, I can’t really just leave her in her crib or wherever covered in vomit. It seems to happen most when she’s tired - she did it yesterday to protest being strapped into her carseat after a long morning visiting J at work (because I had a meeting I had to go to) and way past her nap. And not even five minutes later she was sound asleep. My quick googling found one source telling me it’s a developmental/behavioral thing and to ignore it, and another telling me it might be the sign of a serious medical problem. (Though that one seems to be more about vomiting after eating, and that’s not really what she’s doing.) Oh, what to think? And how long before I just call the pediatrician?

(I called a couple of days ago to get the ped’s advice about decongestants. Yes, I know they’ve been recalled, but so far as I can tell, it’s because people were misusing cold medicine - especially the multi-symptom kind - and misdosing. When the kiddos are super-stuffy at night, a dose of decongestant is sometimes the only thing that helps. I got a callback from a nurse instead, who gave me the official line about how they’re not recommending any cold medicine to kids under 2, and then helped me confirm the correct dosage. So there’s that.)


  1. Em sometimes gags/coughs when he gets upset. My husband taught him to take deep breaths as a way to calm himself. But he had to do it when Em wasn't too upset first. So now when he hears the cue, "Respiras," he'll stop and take a deep breath. Well, sometimes anyway. I don't know that it would work to teach MissM a distracting/calming behavior, but it could be worth a shot. Even if it's just to help you feel like you're doing something more than ignoring her.

  2. Nicole is also a bit of a bulimic. Our ped told us to ignore it, but its kind of hard to ignore, when you're covered in vomit. Out of desperation, what worked for us, was blowing really hard on her face, when we could see the signs or the finger going down the throat (sometimes, she would hide it behind her other hand, the little sneak!). She would get a real "angry baby" look on her face, after the blow, and sometimes we had to repeat, but after about a month (knock wood) she hasn't thrown up. With us, it only happened in her crib a couple of times, it was mostly when she was being put down at night, and after a bottle. I think she just got out of the habit. Hope it gets better, because I totally understand how annoying it is.

  3. I meant to add, that it was mostly down the front of my shirt, not usually the crib.

  4. Oh man! That's definitely ugly.

    That second source seems awfully alarmist to me and all the child development/psychiatrist people I know are more than half-crazy, so I'd go with normal behavioral weirdness and hope that it passes.

    I like the blowing on the face idea!

    Hope your all feeling better soon!

  5. That sounds awful! I agree with bittermama that the second source sounds alarmist, though not so much with the all child development people are half-crazy part, given that's what my degree is in. I'm just saying.

    When I was a baby (not to contradict my above statement) I'm told when I got upset, I would cry and hold my breath until I passed out. My ped thought it was cool. My mother just moved furniture and sharp objects out of the way and let me do my thing. Less messy than vomit, though.

    I really do hope she outgrows it soon. S. started sometimes putting her fingers in her mouth and gagging, so I hope she's not going in the same direction!