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Unhappy baby(41 Posts)
Reaching the end of my tether, hoping somebody can reassure me.
DS is 5 weeks old. He just never seems happy. Well, there's maybe the odd 10 minutes, but all he seems to do is scream. He's breastfed pretty much on demand, and he demands it every hour during the day. He feeds well. In between feeds, he screams. He naps for maybe two hours the whole day, so he's clearly overtired, but won't settle anywhere. I've tried making a calm sleep environment, walking with him, but nothing works. He hates nappy changes and baths and screams thriugh them. H is out all day, and his solution to everything is to tell me to take him out in the sling. But he hates the sling!
He just generally seems to find no pleasure in life. He's fed, changed, warm enough, taken out. I spend my whole day on tiptoes trying desperately to not overstimulate him. And I hate to admit it, but I'm scared of my own baby.
Am I a really awful mother? I adore him, but he seems to hate me.
Is he happier being upright rather than lying down? Could he have silent reflux?
No, you are not an awful mother at all: you are a "new mother finding your way". Like he is a new baby finding his way.
Have you had him checked out for colic, reflux and anything else? First stop is the GP - JUST in case.
How is he sleeping at night? Does he ever sleep on you during the day? Are his feeds "good" feeds (or does he graze)? Is he literally crying all of the time or is it worse at certain times of day? Does he like going out in the pram?
Quite honestly, new babies do hate nappies changes and baths (DS was a good 8 weeks old before he stopped screaming during nappy changes): they hate being naked. You just need to keep at it, keep chatting to and reassuring him and make sure the house is warm.
I think that you probably have a pretty normal baby and you are both still finding your ways.
What else is he doing along side the screaming? Any back arching? Has he been checked for tongue tie?
And he doesn't hate you, love. xx
He hates being held upright and he hates lying flat. To be fair, he sleeps ok-ish in his crib at night but rarely during the day. He hates being cuddled and held, although eventually he might drop off slumped on me. He burps quite well, but still seems gassy. Not sure if it's reflux - he spits up a little but it doesn't seem painful.
Don't think tongue tie is a problem.
When he screams he eventually goes bright red and sweaty. Sounds like he can't catch his breath.
I'm sure it is normal and it's just a culture shock. I'm used to a stressful job with long hours, but this is so much harder!
Thanks for listening, just needed to get it all out!
At 5 weeks he should probably only be awake for an hour (or less) at a time so it sounds like he could be overtired. If you miss his sleep cues (staring, avoiding your eyes, rubbing eyes, yawning etc) then he could get more and more worked up until he can't fall asleep.
Will he fall asleep in the pram? Car seat? My DS needed rocking, quite manically, I used to dance around the kitchen to lively music.
If you think it's not reflux etc, once he has been awake for 45 minutes, start trying to get him to sleep. I'd forget about self settling in his crib or whatever for the time being, and just go with what works until he's happier.
Does the crying / screaming vary at all? This might be a bit woo but this totally worked for my DD.
You sound just like me 7 weeks ago! My DD screamed day and night for the first 6 weeks of her life. I thought I must be a terrible mother because she seemed so unhappy all of the time and really felt people were judging me for not having a contented baby. I too have/ had a stressful 'high powered' job and it was a huge shock not to feel in control any more! The good news is that it does get better. My DD is 12 weeks now. Things got much better after 6 weeks, she settled a lot. I won't lie, she is still a very demanding baby and it is hard sometimes, but every day she seems to smile more and be learning new things and is a joy to watch. Hang in there. He definitely does love you, you are his world, he just needs time to adjust to the outside world and will soon start to show you how much he loves you.
Sorry I have no suggestions, but he sounds just like my DS1. I couldn't believe just how unhappy he was, how hungry he was, and how much he cried! He was nothing like my friends' babies.
He got better. He was totally content and settled by four months (had a wobble as a toddler), and now many years on it is just like a dream.
My friend used to swear by sitting in the lounge with her back to the sun and put baby on her shoulder so she had to shut her eyes and then went off to sleep. I never tried it with my DS because of how our lounge is positioned but it might be worth a try to get him to sleep?
He doesn't hate his mummy - you are his entire world. He just can't tell you if something's wrong with him.
Have you tried giving up dairy for a bit? Lots of bf babies don't cope well with cows milk in the mothers diet.
Thanks for all the kind words. I'm somewhat reassured it'll get better!
Just off to watch the Oprah clip linked to above now.....
TheMaskedHorror, sorry but where did you get this info from because AFAIK, this isn't true.
Showtunesgirl I've come across that info a lot and it helped me with dc2 and dc3. The change in them was dramatic.
Here's one source - look further down under the heading Foreign Proteins in the Mothers Milk
Dairy sensitivity is the most common allergy amongst babies that are allergic but in general having an allergic reaction is not that common IYSWIM?
Could try cranial osteopathy? My son is almost 7 weeks and has seemed better since one session last week. He too was screamy and unsettled most of the time and vv hungry. We have another session tomorrow. It could of course be complete coincidence and I'm not entirely convinced it does anything, but for £30 a session (midlands) it's worth a try to save your sanity? I don't expect to need more than 2 sessions.
Oh you poor thing. DS was very similar (there's probably a thread around here from 18 months ago ) so I sympathise hugely and can tell you this too will pass (that MN classic got me through the first six months I think!) DS is now a happy, laughing, loveable toddler. Your DS will be too.
Some things I tried (not sure which worked and which didn't)
- Getting outside. I was lucky; DS was a summer baby and walking in the garden usually calmed us down. I don't know if it calmed him down per se or if he just felt me relax, but as soon as we got to the garden her usually chilled out.
- tiger in the tree hold. This is the only way DS would be held and DH spent hours rocking him like this.
- Happiest baby on the block I'll buy this and read it from cover to cover BEFORE DC2 arrives
if I'm ever allowed DC2
- Cranial osteopathy
- Cuddles (for me!) from DH, DM, friends
Do you mind me asking what kind of sling you have? DS hated some but loved others. If there's a sling meet near you it might be worth a try.
Good luck. Keep posting.
Thanks for all the further responses. I'll try and address some of the questions below.
The sling we have is a close caboo dx. If we put him in it when he's calm, he's ok, but there's no chance of getting him in it agitated.
I might try a day or two of no dairy and see what happens. I'm willing to give up cheese if that's what it takes!
I looked at cranial osteopathy, but was under the impression that it's only good for vaginal birth babies, whereas ds was emergency section. We are starting a massage class soon.
Following quite a disturbed night, I'm beginning to think that the biggest problem is trapped wind in his gut and an inability to fart. Any tips? Tried a bit of bicycling legs and tummy massage so I'll continue that today, but any other tips welcome!
Mine was like this, and he's now a really happy smiley sociable 5 month old.
although he doesn't sleep at night anymore
I think a lot of time I assumed it was colic/wind, but it was partly overtiredness and over-stimulation. Is it worse at certain times? 5 to 9 pm was always the witching hour. If you struggle to get him to nap that might not help.
When he got old enough to interact and play a bit it got so much easier.
Trust us, it will pass, he won't always be grumpy. In a month or two you'll have a smiley cuddly little baby.
I don't think it's been mentioned, but white noise can be really helpful in getting a screamy, over-tired baby to sleep. I have an app on my phone. It plays a variety of white noise sounds. Dd likes 'train 2'. Basically the sound you hear when on a train. Turn it up loud so they can hear it over their own screaming!
We found ocean sounds very effective!
I feel for you! My DS is 12wo now and it has become a lot easier.
Mine absolutely hated nappy changes and baths, don't worry, yours will get used to it. In fact, mine much prefers being in the big bath with me! But we only do this when DH is at home to help though.
At 5wo, baby is so little and everything seems scary. Forget routines and what other people tell you, just do what feels right for you.
Two of the women from my NCT class took their babies born by c section for cranial osteopathy and said that it really helped, I know that certainly one of them was in a very funny position when he came out. Obviously I don't know the circumstances of your c section but I know that EMCS are often performed because the baby's in a funny position (that was part of the reason I had one) which can have an effect on the baby's comfort after birth as much as an uncomfortable vaginal birth can.
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