The first night your first child cries uncontrollably

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Useless is an understatement

It’s around11:30 pm and I’m working late on a Sunday evening, my wife is already dreaming about how wonderful I am (so I hope).

Then, out of nowhere, you hear a noise from the crib … as if someone slapped my daughter so hard, it shocked her, she gasps, and then starts screaming uncontrollably.

I dash to the bedroom, my wife already holding her in her arms thinks it’s because of her stuffy nose (she’s had a cold for a week). While she cries, we try to suck out her snot using those blue pumps that look like the car oil containers … but alas, she keeps crying.

Oil Container

I carry her and run to the living to play: “Vivir Mi Vida”. The equivalent of a baby lullaby in this house. It calms her down, but only for about a minute. She continues to cry as I keep rocking her, she turns red, and screams continuously until she loses her breath … then silence … but only because she’s gasping for air for the second scream … and then the scream … and then silence … this goes on for what felt like forever …

My poor wife looks at me with the look of concern I have never seen. My body language says that I’m calm to help Sara calm down but inside I’m already asking a few questions:

should I call 911 or just go straight to the hospital? Or should we get an ambulance … is there a night doctor somewhere?

But I knew I was exaggerating … or was I?

In any case, you see me and you think, this guy has his sh*t together. I continue to sing the song, rock the baby, and tell Sara she’ll be fine. Finally … baby takes one of those multiple sighs in one as she relaxes … it breaks my heart. But I continue, and she starts falling asleep in my arms.

I give her the pacifier, I lay on the couch, and success .. she’s asleep. I think we’re all good, after 10 minutes I take her to her crib … BAD IDEA.

Start reading this post from the beginning again because that’s what happened. This time however she doesn’t relax until about another 30 minutes. We’re all worried, and start going down the list:

  • change diaper — check
  • nose — check
  • is she too hot? cold? — she was fine
  • does she have an ear infection? — doesn’t seem like it
  • fever? — 98.6
  • teething (she is six months after all) — nope
  • check the crib for anything that might be hurting her — nothing but her small blanket
  • she ate enough before going to bed … is she hungry?


However, this confused us because in the past whenever she wakes up at night for food, is a little bit more relaxed. A couple of moans here and there, and grabs boob within seconds … but not tonight. =/

She won’t take the boob so we try the bottle, and she takes it. She eats one ounce, stops, takes a deep breath and I think she’s about to start crying again, but starts smiling and laughing!

As if someone just shared the funniest “A persian and guatemalan walk in to a bar” joke.

Then she continues to eat and devours the rest of the milk. She sits up and starts acting as if it’s midday — wants to play with the mouse, remote control, her octopus toy … we’re just relieved we’re not on our way to any doctor.

Mom takes her away, burps her and puts her in her crib to sleep….

Now … I know what you’re thinking, she’s 6 months and it took this long for her to cry uncontrollably … honestly, I don’t remember many nights of the last 6 months, I’ve been sleep deprived. Also, we used the Harvey Karp’s Happiest Baby method for the first 3 months and it worked wonderfully, so I guess we never had an uncontrollable crying night.

But tonight was the worst night of them all because I really felt “inutil” (useless).

Nothing we did would calm her down for about 45 minutes.

Trying to think rationally about the situation is no easy task when your baby shows signs of pain.

Advice for any new parent — go down the list: diaper, pain somewhere in the body (check rashes, nose, ears, eyes, clothing), fever, teething, hunger, and carry her.

I am not looking forward to the days where she will be sick and really in pain … tonight was just practice I guess …. time for bed…..zzzzz

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