Soooo hard

(263 Posts)
Kafri Thu 17-Jan-13 05:59:58

Am I really the only person finding this mummy thing sooooo difficult?
Don't get me wrong,I'm thrilled I have DS but I'm knackered. He's 4 weeks old and will not sleep on his back at all. Dr tried gaviscon as hv suspected reflux, didn't work and DS was still really unsettled (all the time). Dr is now trying lactose free milk which seems to be calming him tho he still won't settle ANYWHERE but on someone.
Doesn't even settle properly in the car or pram which he did the first week we were home, sleeps for a short time then wakes and screams. It upsets me as you see all these mums with content little babies out in the pram and there's me with mine screaming!
DH and I have been doing shifts with DS as someone has to hold him 24 hours! I'm getting worried about how I'll manage when DH goes back to work and its just me! He sleeps really well when on someone but the minute he goes down, he unsettles himself. He hates being swaddled and fights his way out!
I've lifted his crib at he head end, I've raised the mattress, I give a warm bath in bedtime routine etc
Looking back, he has always been unsettled on his back, even in hospital. I just thought it would settle but it got worse to the point where he won't go down at all. At one point he would only sleep upright-so curled up against our chest.
I tried having him in bed with me - kicked DH out, moved to middle of bed etc but just didn't feel comfortable enough to sleep myself.

I've tried letting him cry, just for a few mins (like while I boil the kettle, or nip to the loo), but it doesn't stop and I'm not comfortable with leaving him any longer than that -I just think he's too young.

I've always been really good with kids, I work with them too, so why ami finding this soooo hard. What am I doing wrong??

I'm sorry this is a bit disjointed and all over the place.

Please help and share you're experience as a new first time mum.

Oh and overnight, well between about 5-8am he seems to have really bad tummy cramps. He's on lactulose for constipation from the gaviscon but the tummy cramps also happened before the constipation too? It was like he was staining for hours to poo then when he finally managed his nappy was perfectly normal. The first time it happened I thought he was bunged up then was really surprised when his nappy was normal when it finally happened.

I feel like everyone else has these happy content little babies, and then there's me!!

Sorry it's such a long rambling!

Kafri Sun 20-Jan-13 09:37:48

He's gained weight really well since birth. His poos were normal til he went on gaviscon and got constipated. That seems to be easing now. Since about a week old however he has a period in the morning, usually between about 5 and 8 where he really groans, cries out, tenses and really strains to poo/pass wind. At first I thought it was constipation but 12 hours later when he managed to poo it was normal. This was befits the gaviscon even started let alone caused constipation??? He doesn't sleep at all if he's not on someone!!
Dozes in pram and car seat until you stop - stuck in traffic/traffic lights/stop in town to speak to someone or look at anything. The min u stop with him he wakes and screams. What's that about?? He didn't do that until he got to 2 weeks. First 2 weeks he slept soundly in his car seat. No such luck now. He NEVER sleeps soundly. It's good to have another GPS opinion (albeit not officially)x

Kafri Sun 20-Jan-13 09:40:15

Well, he's now waking and fussing. Squirming about mall over me as if in pain/uncomfortable. Grunting and squeaking too

He might just be one of those overly-alert babies, not necessarily in pain, just struggling coming to terms with the new environment he finds himself in: no longer always same temperature, the sounds of your breathing/voice/heartbeat/bowelsounds etc all around him all the time.
Bowels can need some time to go from digesting v little (some amniotic fluid and the odd cell) to having to cope with milk feeds.

It is very good that you have had him checked out in RL, because I am certainly not offereing any kind of diagnosis here grin <disclaimer>.

With DS1 I used to often go through amber traffic ligths because there was no way I was going to stop the car if I did not absolutely HAVE to as he would instantly go full throttle.
I actually never took him with car seat out of the car, the car seat just stayed in the car because he never, ever just peacefully sat/slept in the the seat like other babies do.

A lot of babies are v quiet for the first few days/couple of weeks and then 'wake up'. DS4 who is now almost 3 was rather hard work too, but in the first 2 weeks I though I had it cracked as he only every fed or slept. In his pram in our rather noisy kitchen. He did not do it again after 2 weeks...

I keep recommending the 'Sleeping Lion' position for unsettled/sore tummy babies: baby facedown on your forarm with his face near the crook of your arm and legs dangling either side. I used to have him on my left arm which left my R free to do stuff.

Kafri Sun 20-Jan-13 15:19:02

Another of my silly questions...

What's the best way to entertain him?

Right, today so far he ha slept restlessness between his 8am and 11am feed then was awake between his 11am and 2pm and now awake after his 2pm feed. So I try to entertain him with his swing/bouncy chair/playmat etc which is already difficult as he dislikes being out down (like I've not already told you that 1000 times)
So, really while he's been awake, it's A bit like walking on eggshells waiting for the screaming to start as he's wide awake but still very young therefore not really interested in playing yet. He showed a bit if interest in a rattle bunny teddy thing but its always a fleeting interest so trying to entertain him due hours to try to avoid the screaming is proving difficult.

Any suggestions? Oh and how many hours really 'should' he be awake at this stage? I know there's not a set number but on average what should I he looking at?

Omg this is a whole different ball game to the kids I support at work!

BertieBotts Sun 20-Jan-13 15:25:33

You can't really entertain a 4 week old smile If you have a sling then pop him in the sling and go about your daily business - he'll find that interesting enough - all those sounds, smells, colours/lights etc. Mainly they want to be close to you for reassurance.

Awake times - I can't remember but probably not hours. It's more like 45 mins - an hour at first between each sleep if that makes sense.

Kafri Sun 20-Jan-13 15:50:21

Sling arrived at my sisters yesterday so need to pick it up. :-)

As fir 45 mins - 1 hour. Omg I would love to e able to get him to sleep but he's having none of it. I'm just grateful thy today (so far) we've only had threatened screaming rather than the last 3 days of screaming from dawn til dusk NON STOP!

I still think the problem with his sleeping is the way he wakes himself squirming and squealing, seemingly to do with his tummy/bowels?? It's like he CAN'T get I a restless sleep as these 'pains' come along and disturb?? I really don't know anymore - I must sound totally bonkers. He's been checked by a doc who says he's perfectly healthy but I really don't know what all tho straining/tensing/squealing/squirming lark is about.

So far my plan of attack for DH going back I work, if things are still tho bad, is

I sleep from 7/8 pm thru to 1am while DH looks after DS
I get up at 1am so DH can get some sleep before work
Then DH out at work between 8 and 6
I have baby from 1am thru to 6pm (dozing with him if I get the opportunity)
DH takes baby when he come home so I can get a quick tea before going back to bed at 7ish to do it all again.

How does that sound to you guys? Feasible or madness?

Forgetfulmog Sun 20-Jan-13 18:16:00

Sounds feasible but tbh I suspect you will find that he becomes much more settled in the sling. Have you got any fan noise downloaded on your phone? Fwiw my dd settles in the sling as long as the fan noise is playing. Do you have an iPhone?

legalalien Sun 20-Jan-13 21:35:52

Kafri - he sounds just like my ds was. Hyper alert, screamy, high maintenance, and definitely in need of entertainment. He's now 8 and while a difficult baby, easyish toddler years), will try and think back and drop you a line with what worked for me. Don't suppose you're in London - if so happy to buy you a coffee and lend a hand. I had no support network and it was hard.

Kafri Sun 20-Jan-13 22:38:26

Thanks everyone. I cannot thank you enough for all your support. Certainly don't know how I'd be managing without your answers and suggestions.

Legalalien - yes pls, get thinking!! Lol. Not in London, though brew would have been lovely. Well, as lovely as it can be with a screaming newborn in tow! I'm up north near Manc!

I'm gutted I can't get out and about with ds properly cos of the screaming. Went for coffee with sis the other day and its not enjoyable really as I have to work so hard to keep ds as settled as poss so he's not disturbing others too much. Lets face it-they dont want their peaceful coffee ruined by my screaming baby. A walk out in the pram is the best I can get and even then he screams

Went to pick sling up tonight so gonna give it a go tomorrow. He's still awake now but with DH so I can get some sleep. DH does the 10-4 shift then I do 4-10 while he sleeps.

Forgetfulmog - yeah have iPhone. Have downloaded a couple of white noise apps. The Hoover occasionally works but that's about it. It's a real test for me as I have a real aversion to white noise - I have NEVER hoovered our house as I can't stand the noise. (DH does it). Same with a drill etc

I suspect his silent reflux has started up again. He was on gaviscon but it bunged him up and dr said to stop it. Tbf I didn't think it was doing anything but if the last 4 days are the result of not having it then it must have been doing something! He wasn't brilliant while on it but he wasn't screaming 12 hours a day. Also, after feeds today he's been doing more of the squirming about, crying out seemingly in pain, arching his back to the point he's nearly thrown himself backwards off my shoulder.

Panicked first time mum I may be but I just CAN'T buy that this is typical newborn stuff.

Right, see your doc again and ask for Ranitidine or Omeprazole for presumed reflux - Gaviscon thickens feeds, in theory making it harder to reflux back up; Ranitidine and Omeprazole reduce acid production in the first place, so can be much more effective much more quckly.
Give small feeds, more frequently if that's what he demands.
Have you looked at shoosh-patting? Or pat-shoohsing? Sorry, I'll look it up for you.

If that works - lovely smile.

If not: sling. What kind have you got? Stretchy wrap is a really good thing for panicky, twitchy babies who find it hard to settle/stay settled.

Re entertainment: I'd agree, a young baby like that does not need entertainment beyond being with you when you go about your business. Be careful not to overstimulate him. Have a comfotable place somewhere (bed/sofa/comfy chair with footstool) where you can feed/wind/hold baby for hours on end if needed, so have drink/snack/laptop/remote controls handy.
My such station was so well organised in the end that the only thing that forced me up was the need for the loo...

What I would like to know is why babies prefer to be rocked when you are standing up?? How on earth do they know you are sitting and not standing and start screaming again?! I used to be so used to swaying and rocking that I was known to do it when standing, say, at a red pedestrian light waiting for it to change when DS was NOT with me - I must have looked a right loon grin.

Ok, I am off to look for that shooshing/patting thing, give me a mo

Dr Carp as introduced by Dr Phil grin

I also like and agree with the 4th trimester theory: not all babies are ready to be born when they are...

Just another thought before I go to bed: some refluxy babies will only ever settle on their fronts. I know this is against current SIDS advice, but bear in mind that the 'back to sleep' advice is only ONE of many things advised to lower the risk of SIDS. Premature babies routinely get put on their stomachs to aid digestion.

Fingers crossed for tonight.

Forgetfulmog Sun 20-Jan-13 23:03:48

Yeah definitely sounds like reflux. It may be worth speaking to your Gp again & asking for a prescription for ranitidine - it neutralises the acid so your LO won't be in pain from it. Ill be honest & suggest you go back to trying the gaviscon - just give extra lukewarm boiled water for the constipation & gripe water is also brilliant for helping babies to "go". What you've described is pretty normal newborn stuff fit babies with reflux.

Oh & as for the white noise - my dd hates white noise but loves fan noise (it is different!). The app I've got is Baby Sleep Lite Free - just turn the vol up to max & hold it by Dcs ear

ivanapoo Sun 20-Jan-13 23:04:31

Kafri if it's any reassurance my DS does the squirmy groany shouty grimace-in-pain thing too, all the time - even while he seems to be asleep. It's horrible to watch and hear as he seems to be hurting so much sad

He is also sick a lot, sometimes hours after feeds. GP and HV don't seem to want to know so I am just telling myself it's colic, whatever that is, and it will pass. I have wondered if it is reflux though so am interested to hear that your DS was diagnosed with that.

Kafri Sun 20-Jan-13 23:04:39

I agree with the standing/sitting thing. 4 weeks old but he bloody knows if I'm not standing and he certainly lets me know he knows!

I'm ringing the doc as soon as they open. I'm sure my GP is as sick of me as you guys must be now!

Another (yes another) silly question. What is it that's made him so twitchy/panicky/unable to settle or stay settled? I'd if something I did whole pg or since he's been born or is it just par fir the course fir done babies?

Kafri Sun 20-Jan-13 23:05:26

Grrr, iPhone spellcheck!

Par for the course for some babies??

"What is it that's made him so twitchy/panicky/unable to settle or stay settled? I'd if something I did whole pg or since he's been born or is it just par fir the course fir done babies?"

You might never know.
It may well be reflux.
Those who find CO helpful will say it was 'birth trauma' (I don't think your delivery was that fast btw, and llike I said CO did not work for us).
Genes? (I blame DH wink)
Phase of the moon?
Frustration at his own helpflessness? Sign of superior intelligence as my HV kept suggesting shockhmm??

What it is NOT, is anything you did or didn't do during pregnancy - honestly, it isn't.

legalalien Mon 21-Jan-13 07:09:00

I'm back!!!

And having thought about it, i don't have a magic solution. I was a zombie for about a year! DS is very bright and quite intense personality wise, and i really think it was that.

More helpfully - agree with pacific dogwood's suggestions, i only came across dr karp when ds was about three months - and the swaddling - in a stretchy wool blanket, the sshing and the putting the baby on its tummy on your forearm and sort of swinging it from side to side, really helped a lot.

From an early age ds was really interested in the black and white picture books that they make for babies. Anything to keep his attention!

I also had an amby nature's nest thing, which he would deign to spend night time in provided i stayed nearby (i think there's a strong "needing to make sure mum is here at all times" thing at work). I found that by parking it next tomthe bed, putting my hand in the cot and gently bouncing it i could get something almost approximating sleep while ds snoozed on and off. He is 8 now and still a restless sleeper. Mind you, so am I!

Kafri Wed 23-Jan-13 06:38:02

Was referred to children's clinic yesterday and saw a lovely dr. He's changed ds milk again - to aptamil pepti. It's cows milk protein free rather than lactose free. Said he does have reflux and tho milk may solve it. I have to call in thurs with an update and if he's still not good dr will it him on meds to treat it. He said the milk may? be the cause it and this new milk may solve the problem easily.

He then said that if the meds don't work, ds can be admitted for tests to work out the problem further.

Ds was on fine form for the appointment. Was screwed up tightly in a ball and screamed inconsolably so they got to see a taste of what he's like at home.
I'm just happy they're finally believing that in not just a panicky mum and helping out. It's just a shame ds has had to become sooooo unsettled ALL the time for them to believe me.x

Iggly Wed 23-Jan-13 07:08:30

Glad to hear you've had some progress with the doctors kafri. Fingers crossed this helps!

Kafri Wed 23-Jan-13 07:29:53

Thank you iggly.

Just wondering. Ds is still only sleeping on us and wakes easily when he starts wriggling /squirming.

My bro (and offers) is on my back saying I need to work on getting him to sleep on his own. My friend spent over two hours yesterday trying to get him to settle in his bouncy chair. She eventually managed it but it was only a half hour nap!

I think that if he's feeling rubbish, this will be adding to him wanting to be near me and DH along with the fact that in too tired ATM to spend so long settling him for the sake of a half hour snooze.

I think now is the wrong time to start getting him down to sleep and the time will come once he's more settled and actually able to go down on his back in comfort. I don't buy into this 'rod for your own back' thing at only 4/5 weeks.

Even the dr yesterday said we'd struggle to get him down yet as he is uncomfybon his back and also while feeling ill will want mummy!

Am I deluded?

BertieBotts Wed 23-Jan-13 08:40:23

No. Your brother is deluded! Your baby is clearly very distressed and it's just adding more stress to try and get him sleeping on his own yet.

I co slept for 2 years and DS went happily into his own bed when I was ready smile don't sweat it. I can't believe your friend spent two hours trying to settle him shock I'd have told her to sod off and leave my baby alone!

Forgetfulmog Wed 23-Jan-13 09:46:37

Oh god I get told that along with "you're making a rod for your own back", blah blah blah. Ignore them. Your baby your rules. Besides which it's not the be all and end all if your baby doesn't settle on his own yet - he's still so young & if he's in pain of course he'll want to be cuddled. My dd is nearly 5 months & I've had her sleeping on me the last few nights as her belly has been troubling her, it's no biggy. I'm glad you're getting somewhere with the Gp x

Iggly Wed 23-Jan-13 09:52:09

Tell your brothers and others to bog off.

Easy babies are easy to teach and I wouldn't even bother at this age anyway.

Babies which are unsettled are not because they need you more.

It can wait until he's much older and happier.

Sleep is much more important than how they get there at this tiny age.

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