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

HDee Fri 01-Feb-13 10:35:41

I'm not sure that 'just wind' makes a baby cry for most of the day. I'd ignore your HV and ask your GP if you can try medication. It won't do any harm if he doesn't have reflux, and possibly prevent him being in pain.

Imagine having constant heartburn and not being ale to help yourself? I'm sure many more babies are reflux-y than are ever diagnosed.

HDee Fri 01-Feb-13 10:36:55

And personally, rather than go through that hell, I'd be putting him in the carseat, dropping and running at school, and getting him back home ASAP.

TheProvincialLady Fri 01-Feb-13 10:37:20

Have you got a friend who knows about slings who can check if you are doing the stretchy wrap properly? Or is there a slingmeet near you?

spiderlight Fri 01-Feb-13 10:41:24

I was going to suggest a slingmeet too, so you can try out a few types and get someone to check that you've got it on tight enough - it shouldn't go saggy.

RooneyMara Fri 01-Feb-13 10:42:00

thankyou...not sure if we have a sling meet, I'll have a look into it - I think I'm getting the wrap right (have got a Close/Caboo one) as sometimes it works really well, but I'm finding the Ergo really tricky - yes, we've got the insert but I gave up trying to get him into it in that the other day and just put him in without! which worked fine, oddly - so I must be getting it wrong as hes only little (10lb now, up from 7lb 1 but still - you're meant to need the insert for months aren't you?

Thanks HDee, yes I can imagine it all too well and I hate the thought of him in pain, but I've asked both HVs so far and both just say, Oh he's only little, he'll grow out of it - that's not good enough, if it's hurting him I want to help sad
I've had a really happy baby so I know it isn't just one of those things all babies do. Might make appt with gP and see what they suggest in terms of meds.

Fairylea Fri 01-Feb-13 10:42:00

I think your gp might be wrong and it may be silent reflux. Have a Google. I'd go back and ask for another opinion and to try some medications. They won't do any harm and it's worth a try. This would also explain some of the needing to suck constantly and the not wanting to lie down flat (although confusinglythis is also quite common for a lot of babies anyway)!

I think timing a school run is really bloody difficult. I have dd aged 9 to take to school and ds 7 months to take with us and I still find it really stressful! I find that ds waking at 5 is actually a godsend during the week as he wants a nap at 7 which means I can have a shower etc....!

I second the sling idea. But failing that I think I'd just let him cry and keep going. All the stopping and feeding is just prolonging the stress for you both.

ScrambledSmegs Fri 01-Feb-13 10:42:04

I assume you have the infant insert? There are videos on youtube on how to use it properly. DD2 is much more comfy now I know how to position her correctly.

This is the video I watched.

And if you're not confident about feeding in public, have you tried using a large cotton scarf/wrap to cover yourself?

How is he positioned in the car seat? Mine has a wedge for the newborn phase so they're not completely scrunched up.

And I sympathise, really. DD2 is 8 weeks and has her moments. I just have to ignore the screaming for 5-10 minutes sometimes, just to get things done.

MN044 Fri 01-Feb-13 10:44:16

It will get easier smile I think 4 weeks old is too young for the Ergo, my ds could only pop his head out the top at about 5 months. With a stretchy wrap, you have to put it on tight. Far far tighter than you'd think, you don't have to leave any 'gap' for the baby as the fabric will just stretch around him. If you leave any kind of looseness then the sling will quickly sag and baby will be round your knees (voice of experience blush). You're doing a fab job, it's so so different when it's not your first baby and you actually have to be somewhere at a certain time, which you really don't comprehend when it's your first. I always took a muslin to pop over my shoulder when feeding and I just brazen it out. A wrap will actually give you great coverage for feeding too. What kind of sling is it? I found a Kari Me better at a very young age since it's so stretchy, then moved onto a Moby before using our Ergo. I've given away the Kari Me but I'm more than happy to post you the Moby if it'd be useful smile

cheddarcheeselover Fri 01-Feb-13 10:44:37

The stretchy wrap needs to be tied around you quite tightly and high on your body, then it stretches when you but the baby in. You should be able to kiss the tp of their head easily.
Then pull out all the bits of fabric so they spread all over you almost - across your back.
I didn't tie mine tight enough to start with.

RooneyMara Fri 01-Feb-13 10:45:50

Fairy, thankyou - and ikwym about the 7am nap! If only...I have to hand him to ds1, same age as your dd, so I can put on my socks/shoes/run a brush through my hair!

I did look up reflux the other day but because he's putting on so much weight, I think that was the thing that made theHV say he's not got it? I can't remember now. He keeps most feeds down, though - which I guess is good.

I will go back and ask for some more help with it, I think something is wrong, just not sure what or how to alleviate it so he ends up face down along my arm for most of the day and night - that really calms him down. And I am massaging his back and tummy as well.

MN044 Fri 01-Feb-13 10:46:29

X post. I found the Close not so good actually. I felt I had to hold onto him all the time, it never felt secure enough. If you think he's screaming or in pain, have you tried cutting things out of your diet? My ds has a cows milk protein intolerance and it's only by chance that a friend mentioned trying to cut it out. The difference in my ds was amazing, and it's really not as intimidating a diet as it sounds. Caffine is another one worth trying to give up (I know.....)

Poor you! I really sympathise DS1 was like this, and I had the feeding in public thing as well, always felt people were staring even though they probably weren't.
It isn't anything you are doing wrong, and you aren't useless! These first weeks are hard, and it does get easier. Would expressing into a bottle help with feeding in public? No idea about the slings, but ask your HV for some baby massage techniques to help get rid of wind, there are tummy rubs (think it's clockwise, but check) and bending knees up gently to the chest used to help my DS who didn't seem to be able to wind properly.
And have a cup of tea and big rest when you've done all that walking.

IsThatTrue Fri 01-Feb-13 10:47:20

The sling is great for ds2s wind so may help your ds with his tummy pain.

Good luck!

littleducks Fri 01-Feb-13 10:48:32

How are you winding him? Some babies respond better to less traditional (over your shoulder) methods. Like lying face down on one arm and patting on th back with the other. Or lying baby on back and bringing their knees up to their chest (learnt that in surestart baby yoga/massage class lots of babies farting in tune!)

IsThatTrue Fri 01-Feb-13 10:49:13

Oh and there is such a thing as silent reflux where they get the pain but not the vomitting. I think it's definitely worth a trip to the gp.

Gumps Fri 01-Feb-13 10:50:07

Ds1 liked sucking my finger and I used to sit by the cot until he fell asleep as I was so anti dummy. I realised this was ridiculous and got a dummy shaped like your finger which goes up at the end. Cherry tests are also good. The orthodontic ones don't give the same satisfaction (well not to my babies anyway). If he is reflux the dummy will help with this too as the saliva production helps neutralise the acid.
Poor you what an awful morning. Hope things get better soon.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 01-Feb-13 10:51:21

Honestly in your situation I would just stick him in the car and have done with it.
Yes he will yell, but he will get used to it and you can't go through that hell every day.

RooneyMara Fri 01-Feb-13 10:51:46

Scrambled, thanks for the link - will watch in a moment, and hopefully find out where I am going wrong!

The car seat makes him sort of recumbent, and I try and make him more upright in it but the straps are positioned really low so he slides down again - also it's stupid as his feet are too short to go round the bottom strap/clip thing, so I'm not sure it would even be safe in an accident. Rubbish thing.
I've dragged out our Concord Ultimax and am going to try that as it is so much nicer when he is in it - it seems to fit around him properly. But it doesn't lift out so if he's sleeping that's tricky - not that he ever does!

MN - thankyou so much for that offer. You're super kind, what I'll do is try the Close again but tie it much tighter like everyone is saying, and see if it is better. If not then I might take you up smile

You're right about needing to be somewhere. I thought it would be very simple and basic - just, to school, then back from school, two journeys a day - ha! It's never quite the right time is it grin

I am feeling a bit more cheered up now - he's asleep over my left arm and I can still type, so all is not lost : ) He's been sick all down my jeans though smile <sigh>

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 01-Feb-13 10:53:21

I never got on with my Close, it was too stretchy and never held mine securely. I had a Kari-Me with DS2 which was infinitely better and I did actually use quite a bit.

ArtemisiaGentileschisThumb Fri 01-Feb-13 10:55:12

You poor thing, that sounds like an horrendous morning for both of you. I have a half hour walk to nursery (and another half hour back) with my DS and new baby. I have walked her in a sling before which has worked well but at that distance you need to get the right sling for you.
On a rainy day I think I would ate the car if it was an option and would put up with the screaming, having said that though I think I would have just gone straight home after the school run and gone out to the shops again if I could be bothered when we had both calmed down a bit. It's all easier said than done though.
Do you think it's the style of carseat he doesn't like? Are you able to try a different, more comfortable one?

RooneyMara Fri 01-Feb-13 10:56:49

Oh lots of cross posts - I will definitely pursue the reflux thing and I wondered about dairy intolerance. I don't have caffeine, only in chocolate, but not in tea or coffee or cola so probably not that.
I will try cutting down on milk and see if that helps.
Thankyou for all these ideas, also I could really do with a dummy that was more like a finger - Gumps, where did you get yours? I looked everywhere for something that was the right sort of shape.

Littleducks, I tend to wind him over my arm - face down really helps him, he often stops crying when I position him like that. I'll try the knees to chest thing too. Prams should accommodate babies who need to be sideways smile

ArtemisiaGentileschisThumb Fri 01-Feb-13 10:57:29

Sorry, I've just read your other post and noticed that you're already trying a different car seat, that teach me not to skim read the thread blush

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 01-Feb-13 10:59:09

Rooney I used to put DS2 in the pram on his side. If you roll up a couple of towels you can wedge him between and he should stay put.

RooneyMara Fri 01-Feb-13 10:59:29

Artemisia no worries! It's been such a fast thread to keep up with - I'm so grateful to everyone, I really needed some help this morning and have got it in spades.

Not tried the Concord yet, it's sitting in the hall but once I can put himself down for a few minutes I'll stick it in the car...and see how we go!

RooneyMara Fri 01-Feb-13 11:01:09

Alibaba - thankyou! I will give that a try too - have been trying to wedge him upright with a big blanket but hadn't thought about towels.

I'd have driven today in this weather, but needed mousetraps as we seem to have a mouse just to add to the fun...

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