Help with evening melt-downs

(109 Posts)
Gavenna Fri 09-Nov-12 21:13:40

Hi all, new to mumsnet - decided to join today having generally run out of ideas!

Our boy is 6 weeks old and healthy and normal. We muddled through the first weeks and probably instilled a number of bad habits, including a dependency on us to sleep (on our chest), plus dummies, teddy bears that play sound - basically we tried everything to encourage him to sleep. He was probably a bit collicy, used to wake every 3-4 hours over night for feeds, not really sleeping and quite fussy throughout the day.

He gradually became more and more unhappy and difficult to settle, which was affecting our sanity as well as his.

We're now using Infacol and Colief and these seem to have settled some discomfort post feeds (we also tried gripe water but that seemed to make things worse).

A week ago we committed to the Sensational Baby Sleep Plan and removed the dummies, put him in his own room, and established a routine. The results were almost immediately positive - he now sleeps properly and is happy during the day, and goes 7/8 hours overnight.

It has not all been plain sailing however. Every evening we feed and bathe him, then put him down about 7.30 to 8pm. The wailing starts immediately and quickly becomes full blown melt down - for the next 2-3 hours. At 10pm we tend to do his last feed and after that he will moan briefly and then sleeps through to breakfast time.

Obviously it could be a lot worse, but the 3 hours of screaming every night is pretty horrendous - he makes himself hoarse and gets in a right state. We try to comfort him in line with Allison's guidance but anything less than picking him up and cuddling him for a few minutes has little effect - and I'm worried that picking him up just re-enforces his dependency on us for comfort.

He never really pukes significantly. I don't think it's silent reflux as he has no problems during day feeds or at 10pm, and we don't do anything different feeding wise. Nonetheless we have tilted his basket up a little but it hasn't helped. He's bottle fed so we know he's not hungry. He's fine as soon as we pick him up so I don't think there's anything physically wrong.

What are we doing wrong?!

Gavenna

valiumredhead Fri 09-Nov-12 21:23:57

What happens if you don't put him down and just hold him? Maybe he needs comfort. He is 6 weeks do NOT worry about over holding etc, this is the time when you need to get all your cuddles in and get through the day however you can. He's been curled up inside you for 9 months, it's a bit of a shock to be away from you all of a sudden I expect smile

I think it's amazing he is sleeping from 10 - breakfast at 6 weeks! Perhaps hold him and give him his 10pm feed and then he might settle?

valiumredhead Fri 09-Nov-12 21:25:18

Why wouldn't he be hungry if he is bottle fed? confused Try him with a few ounces extra and see what happens, he might need to cluster feed if he's having a growth spurt.

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 09-Nov-12 21:26:26

Really sorry but your post has made me cry. Please, please don't leave a 6 week old baby to cry. He needs you and the comfort you provide. Putting babies under 6 months increases the risk of SIDS and if anyone is advocating doing this I would seriously avoid them like the plague.

Everything he is doing is all normal baby behaviour and he is doing everything babies do, he just wants you.

I would google askdrsears 31 ways to get your baby to sleep and stay asleep and instead of sticking him in a dark room on his own to scream for hours, just keep him with you until you want to go to bed. I've done this with both of mine and they both sleep through without any sleep training.

QTPie Fri 09-Nov-12 21:26:33

Hi and welcome!

Do you "feed then bathe". Have you tried the other way around "bathe then feed": we did it this way round and found that a nice full tummy immediately before sleep really help to send him off to sleep...

Is he feeding enough during the day? Could he still be hungry? Do you feed on demand during the day? Or feed by routine? Breast or bottle?

Jabs you tried Cranial Osteopathy? Google it for an explanation (I am typing on iPhone, so won't go into it now). Might help him - helps all sorts of newborn problems.

valiumredhead Fri 09-Nov-12 21:28:27

I didn't realise people to put 6 week old babies down to sleep - at that age the minute they squeak pick them up, honestly OP, it sounds like he needs cuddles.

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 09-Nov-12 21:29:25

Just reread your post and realised he is ff, I would definitely not be sticking him in his own room to scream. Please read the fsids advice.

valiumredhead Fri 09-Nov-12 21:30:49

Oh yes and feed AFTER bathing, so he is nice and full to go off to sleep.

3littlefrogs Fri 09-Nov-12 21:34:04

He is only six weeks old.

He needs cuddles and to be close to you. Also, he is at the 6 week growth spurt and is probably hungry.

Please, please don't leave him to scream for 3 hours. sad

hillyhilly Fri 09-Nov-12 21:34:36

He has only one way of telling what he wants, do not do something that is clearly making him unhappy.
He is only 6 weeks and you already seem to have tried many "strategies", you cannot spoil him or make a rod for your own back, he needs you for comfort and security, please give him that, I am another one who feels desperately sad for your little one.

valiumredhead Fri 09-Nov-12 21:35:36

And offer more milk - seriously!

're-inforces his dependancy on us for comfort' sad that you wouldn't want your baby to feel comforted by you. He is dependant on you for everything I'm afraid.

Pickles77 Fri 09-Nov-12 21:40:54

Please please just cuddle him to sleep. I've got a 7 week old that does 8-8 with 2 dream feeds. I cuddle her to sleep, I had meltdowns too at first but the best bit of advice I've had is to not move her when she's asleep until you get 'the floppy arm' smile

Please, just put him to bed at 10pm and avoid the 3 hours of misery for your all. Do you think he'll be still crying for 3 hours when he is 18?

And I suspect he is probably very hungry too.

valiumredhead Fri 09-Nov-12 21:42:27

OP this is the best bit when you can just cuddle up on the sofa with a new baby in your arms watching crap telly til the last feed and eating chocolates

Pickles77 Fri 09-Nov-12 21:43:14

Couldn't agree more Valium wink best time of my day. with a jar of nutella

And by all means do the bath, play, massage, dressing, musical stuff but cuddling on the sofa whilst you watch a film will probably be more effective and less stressful for you all.

valiumredhead Fri 09-Nov-12 21:47:21

I would seriously like to burn every 'Baby plan/routine' book out. does more damage than good.

MrsCantSayAnything Fri 09-Nov-12 21:47:41

I can't believe you're giving a 6 week old baby his last feed before bed! I'm sorry OP but as others have said, he needs to have you on tap at the moment.

both my babies were bottle fed and you need to feed them in the night too!

Irania Fri 09-Nov-12 21:48:31

Sounds like you're doing everything so well. The only thing I can throw in is a "slow" thing. 6pm for most families ( post work, post day, post nursery) is quite busy... and the swift combines of noise, burble, feed, bath are partially enlivening. A fully lit room, with you there, followed by reduction of light ( and noise - close doors) and then just glo-light can help the downturn. Don't comfort too much.. read if you can - and wait for real sleep - possibly

valiumredhead Fri 09-Nov-12 21:49:46

Also all that crying will make him starving! Ds was FF and would occasionally drain a bottle and about half an hour later drain another if he was having a growth spurt.

valiumredhead Fri 09-Nov-12 21:51:07

irani baby is 6 weeks old - the advice you are giving is for a much older baby/child surely? don't comfort too much - YES comfort!!

Irania Fri 09-Nov-12 21:51:38

Agree with everyone else btw - bath THEN feed. Also agree - this is early days to expect fully regular settlement.

valiumredhead Fri 09-Nov-12 21:54:30

And teddies that make sound and musical mobiles are what people use to get babies to sleep because they work, they aren't bad habits.

valiumredhead Fri 09-Nov-12 21:57:03

If you wish to excusively breastfeed your baby, this is NOT the book for you. It seriosly undermines breastfeeding and I am very concerned that mothers have access to a book which is based on opinion only and not on evidence. This book clearly undermines breastfeeding from the very beginning. Reading the outside cover you would get the impression it is supportive of breastfeeding but once inside the covers, you soon realise that this is not the case. Clearly the author has no knowledge of the physiology of breastfeeding and how milk is produced and maintained. If she did she would NOT be trying to stop babies feeding at night and she would not be discusouraging mothers to respond to their baby's hunger cues. I believe this book, not only undermines breastfeeding but describes unsafe and cruel practices too. I have friends who have read this book and though they are breastfeeding and doing amazingly well, it has impacted on their self confidence and made them question their parenting abilities when actually they are becoming the BEST parents ever

I stress if you want to breastfeed your baby then DON'T by this book. 'Breastfeeding made simple' is far more helpful and is easy to read too. Enjoy being a Mum instead of getting stressed by routines, they are only little once and they are precious times to enjoysmile

Review of the book OP is using from Amazon - doesn't sound good at ALL.

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