How on earth do normal people do this? New babies and school run

(80 Posts)
RooneyMara Fri 01-Feb-13 10:00:54

I feel like I'm about to admit defeat. Ds3 is 4 weeks old. He's a proper screamer - by that I mean high demand baby, I suppose - he has to be held and jiggled and fed and rocked along my arm, all day and all night. Sometimes he will sleep between about 9pm and 11.30pm and then that's about it for the night - a few short bursts and waking roughly every hour or so, staying awake for well, about an hour at a time! smile

He isn't like my others. He hates the car seat (it's a Pebble - by God I hate it, it looks so uncomfortable) and screams nearly every time I drive anywhere - even the 5-10 minute journey to school.

So we've taken to walking most days. It's about 1.7 miles, we're up a long hill, but that's Ok - it's better to be able to stop and get him out, or carry him when he starts to cry.

So this morning it's raining. Took boys to school - not too bad, apart from getting wet, and horrid trafficky roads but anyway, we got there. I went in to sign up for parent meetings and came out 3 minutes later and he was crying. He's wearing a sleepsuit and a big blanket and a hat which has fallen off.

I take him out, we go out of the playground and sit on a doorstep in an alleyway, I feed him for a few minutes while covering with blanket.

Put him back in pram - he manages 10 minutes, have to buy mousetraps in wilkinsons so we go in there. He cries. I lift him and put him on my arm as he's having wind. He's Ok, get the traps, queue up, he still won't go back in the pram.

Tempted to sit and feed him on bench in wilks but too embarrassed as huge audience of old ladies/rtandom blokes and feel too vulnerable, also not sure he wants a feed.

So we leave and I end up feeding him crouched in a doorway of a restaurant, trying to keep us both dry, in the pouring rain, hoping no one goes past and wonders what I'm doing on the ground.

Finish feed, almost, as someone is coming and we walk, me carrying him along my arm still, he's getting wet, then we encounter a load of wheelie bins which mean I can't get the pram up the pavement.

Manage to find his hat with one hand and shove it on haphazardly as his tiny wet head is making me want to cry. He does not protest miraculously.

Walk home with baby along arm, in the middle of the road, past the bin lorry, and a load of cars. At last he goes in the pram again and we make it, drenched, unhappy, and finish his feed at home.

Where am I going wrong, this is horrendous sad

sad have you tried a dummy?

Trazzletoes Fri 01-Feb-13 10:04:01

Oh god! Sounds like a nightmare!

I'm mean though and would just have him scream in the car seat for 10 mins and drive.

TaggieCampbellBlack Fri 01-Feb-13 10:05:19

Sling? Takes some practice but you can feed and walk at the same time.

cheddarcheeselover Fri 01-Feb-13 10:06:29

I had similar with DD2, she lived in a stretchy wrap sling - a moby - and sucked on my little finger ALOT. she wouldn't have a dummy, it was finger or boob. I did also manage to feed her in the sling sometimes too, but that was a bit fiddly, but needs must!
I quite honestly do not know how I would have coped with out my moby. it's a bit of fabric that you tie around you and then baby can pop in and out. I used to put it on at 7am, and take it off when DH got in.

TigerFeet Fri 01-Feb-13 10:09:32

If you're walking with him could you try a sling? SOunds like he just wants to be close to you and it will remove the problem of navigating a pram around obstacles one handed.

I know it's easy to say but please don't feel you have to hide away when feeding him. Find somewhere comfortable and try not to rush the feed.

He's still very tiny, things should hopefully start improving soon.

BLess you, the early days can be really difficult. Could you feed him at school before setting off home? I did this a couple of times with dd2, when the weather was bad (snowy 2009 winter) I was allowed in the staffroom.

TigerFeet Fri 01-Feb-13 10:11:52

Trazzletoes we did the screaming in the car thing too - unavoidable for us as it's a 7 mile round trip to school.

Can be heartbreaking and stressful but needs indeed must at times and it's all over far more quickly

OP is there anyone who can help with the school run?

IsThatTrue Fri 01-Feb-13 10:14:19

I suggest a sling too. Ds2 is 8 weeks and has been in his buggy 4 times in total. He was in the sling on the school run at 36 hrs old. It's just so easy.

I feel for you though, these early weeks are hard!

littleducks Fri 01-Feb-13 10:16:30

You have a few options to choose from (or work your way through in order of preference until you get to one that works)

Make sure that he is fed, clean, burped wrap him up (I would swaddle but thats controversial nowadays) and march along with buggy jiggling a bit ignoring any noise until he settles

As above but drive for 5 minutes if you think that you can save ignore any crying and concentrate on driving. I never could, dh found it simple.

Try a sling

Try a dummy

Try a ticking clock (in/next to buggy/carseat) or one of those speciallly designed toys that make a rythmic sound. Or a portable mobile.

Walk hunched over buggy with a finger in his mouth

I could never bear to leave dd to cry. Ds was left to cry, mainly due to toddler dd rather than a huge change in parenting strategy. It was then I realised that he liked to have a little cry, a little whinge then a long nap (buggy jiggling essential to drop off) and would wake in a muc better mood. Who knows if it was the same thing for dd and I was just overstimulating her or if her complete inability to settle was personality based.

HDee Fri 01-Feb-13 10:17:48

He sounds miserable. Have you considered he may have reflux which is why he cries so much of he isn't upright?

MolotovCocktail Fri 01-Feb-13 10:19:04

Poor you! That sounds horrible sad I agree with what has been said upthread: baby sling and a nummy-num-num smile Tuck him in nice and close and help to enable him fit in with your routine by making him feel as comfortable and secure a possible.

Indith Fri 01-Feb-13 10:20:04

Sling. Definitely a sling. It gets easier though.

When ds2 was newborn I'd wake him early regardless of how he'd slept (he doesn't sleep well!) and delay feeding him. I'd jiggle him and distract him and get ds1 and dd dressed and ready then stick them in front of TV and feed ds2 right before leaving then stick him in the sling and go. Usually that meant he'd actually sleep for most of the school run though sometimes I'd find myself feeding him on the way home/ have him wake up and shout at me for 5 mins on the way home. Having a sling means you can walk along and feed either in the sling if you get teh hang of it or with him in your arms because you don't then have the pushchair to push.

Gradually gradually though ther feeds space a little more and he will get used to the school run times and his feeds will kind of fall into place around it.

forevergreek Fri 01-Feb-13 10:21:42

I would take him in a sling. That way you can feed him in it, keep him close, and use an umbrella to keep to both dry!

TheProvincialLady Fri 01-Feb-13 10:22:55

I think letting him cry in the car for 5-10 minutes - whilst very hard (my DS1 was exactly the same and I hated it so much), is essential for you.

Definitely try a Moby stretchy wrap or similar. You may even be able to feed him in it, which would mean you never have to sit in an alleyway againgrin They are easy to use and not very expensive. I bet your DS would sleep well in there. Mine did.

Moby

PostBellumBugsy Fri 01-Feb-13 10:22:56

First of all it will get better. I know it feels like an enduring nightmare, but it will not be like this forever.

I gritted my teeth & endured screaming. It was unpleasant, but was only about 15 minutes each way. I would also walk on dry days, but on wet days I just put up with the screaming. I'm ashamed to say, I used to turn the radio up fairly high in an effort to make it less teeth-grindingly awful.

Pascha Fri 01-Feb-13 10:23:24

DS2 4wks is like this, but without the carseat screaming. He just doesn't want to be put down. Ever. Unfortunately he has little choice as I have DS1 to deal with and a day to get on with. The sling (a Connecta, he likes being upright best) is my saviour. By the end of the day I'm frazzled and short tempered which is never good.

I would have been inclined to get the car out on rainy days to save the whole feeding while wet crouched in doorway dilemma.

marthabear Fri 01-Feb-13 10:23:28

Oh.. sounds just like my DD this time last year. Babies are supposed to go off to sleep in the car aren't they? My DD just cried for the entire length of any car journey while she was very little. But that phase passed just like every other.
Another vote for a stretchy wrap sling ( I had a Moby too). I got so much use out of mine...made life with a newborn so much easier, especially with other children to care for. I think you may find that when your baby is cosy warm attached to you, he'll be more likely to sleep through the school run. Not a problem with pavement obstacles either. Oh, and I eventually breastfed in all sorts of odd places as i couldn't bear my little one crying, and her contentment ( and therefore my sanity) was more important than my slight embarrassment.

Arithmeticulous Fri 01-Feb-13 10:25:00

Car fpr speed and sling. And dummy/cuddly toy/blanket.

does white noise help? i.e. your phone held next to him with a white noise app?

littlecrystal Fri 01-Feb-13 10:25:15

Although my DC are now older, but I still remember taking my then 3 weeks DS2 in a sling on a slippery-snowy conditions in order to take DS1 to pre-school. It was tough but I just carried DS2 along everywhere. You will get used to it. Your baby will get used to it. Time flies quickly. Do not worry, relax and have a nice cup of tea brew

DomesticCEO Fri 01-Feb-13 10:25:49

I would also go for a sling and try swaddling - my mum taught me to swaddle DS2 and it made me such a difference. Even now at 3.4yrs he's a very tactile child and loves to be cuddled really tightly. As a baby he hated being put down so I really sympathise.

Gingersnap88 Fri 01-Feb-13 10:28:17

I also recommend a sling. DD was a high needs baby and the sling saved my sanity. I even got a weather cover for it so we can go out despite the rain. She never liked her pram. Takes a few tries to get used to but well worth it. I have an ergo, but a soft stretchy wrap would be good too (try to avoid baby Bjorne types where baby is facing out, it's not very comfy for them or good for their hips). They are also great to wear at home so that you can get stuff done and with a little practise you feed easily in them. I still do and DD is 10 months.

RooneyMara Fri 01-Feb-13 10:28:59

Thanks everyone, sorry, I'm useless and some of these ideas are brilliant. I've taken him in the sling a couple of times and he did sleep, mostly, like you say Indith he'll wake and need a feed or something but less frequently than in the pram. I think that's the way to go isn't it.
I have got a stretchy one but it seems to go all saggy/he gets upset in it sometimes/I get backache so I got an Ergo - but I'm not sure if i'm doing it right, once it's on, round my waist I mean, getting him into it and low down enough so his head isn't poking out is really tricky, also getting it on and off is hard. But once he's in it he seems happy.

Tried dummy - he won't have it, but he does like sucking our fingers! Thankyou - I hadn't thought of doing that when he is in the pram.

hDee, yes, asked HV about reflux on Weds and she said no, he doesn't sound like he has that. Probably just wind I think, often he'll have a feed before we go out then he can't/won't burp before we go, so he needs to not be lying down as that hurts his tummy. I think that's the problem. So sling might really help with that.

As for the feeding - I am very un confident about it due to past experiences of people tutting, commenting, staring etc. I loathe feeding in public. I just don't have enough fight in me to ignore the negativity, so I try and find somewhere hidden.
They might have let me at school but the pram is enormous so I didn't even consider asking - I'd have felt like a right nuisance.

I just hope it gradually gets easier and he gets used to longer timeswithout feeds/is able to go in the car for a bit etc.

Thankyou for all the help and sympathy, I am a soggy wreck this morning.

TheProvincialLady Fri 01-Feb-13 10:31:16

Oh yes - I bought a special coat to keep us both dry whilst DS2 was in the sling. I'd forgotten that!

seeker Fri 01-Feb-13 10:33:15

Can you ask at school if you can sit in a corner of the staff room and give him a feed before you set off for home? I used to do this with ds. It was particularly good if we's had a flurried and stressful morning- we could get calmed down and sorted out before the journey home.

TheProvincialLady Fri 01-Feb-13 10:35:01

I had an ergo that I had used with DS1 and bought the newborn insert (do you have that?) but found it too unwieldly and DS2 was much, much happier in the Moby I bought on someone's recommendation. The Ergo was definitely brilliant once he outgrew the Moby though. Being upright is likely to help your son's wind issues and if he does have any reflux he will feel so much more comfortable.

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