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.
Oh I could have written this with both of my babies when they were younger! DS1 was terrible and never napped, just screamed and screamed, no matter how much I rocked, shusshed, walked, put him in the sling, sang to him, put him in a darkend room, fed him, took him out in the pram, bathed him, he just cried endlessly. I thought I was such a failure. We tried everything, reflux medication, feeding him less, feeding him more, swaddling him, dairy free, cranial osteopathy, nothing worked. He was just a terribly difficult baby. He hated bath time at first, hated his pram, hated the bouncer chair, carseat etc. As he grew he learned to engage in the world, he understood more, could play a bit he settled down but my goodness it was HARD going. He's 5 yrs old and amazingly lovely and just a really good kid.
DS2 was much the same. Still whingy and crabby now at 14 months but not screamy and the insessant crying will stop I promise. He sleeps well, eats well. Taken to paediatrician but there isn't anything wrong with him, he just needs a lot of input. Some babies are just hard work. they do settle eventually. Some sooner than others. Mine have both been so different to all the other happy gurgling babies I see out and about and it's so hard to see. Try not to compare. You are doing a wonderful job. Look into everything medical, take any help you can get, remember to wind him A LOT, the tiniest bit of gas and mine would scream. It will get better.
Oh and I remember sobbing on my sister once saying that 'DS1 just seems to get no pleasure out of life, it's like he's angry to have been born.' It all felt so hopeless. It's horrible and I know what you mean about walking on tip toes trying not to over stimulate them. Arrrgh, it's such a hard thing to hear your baby cry endlessly. I promise you, from someone who has been here twice, it really does end. Just keep plodding on. One day things will change. Things change so gradually sometimes that you don't realise how much easier it is!
I'd suspect reflux (but then, I usually do, because both of mine had it). Does he arch his back when he's crying? Does he hiccup a lot, or cough? Do his burps sound wet, as if there's a bit of milk coming up? Does his breath smell a bit pukey? Have you tried elevating one end of his crib?
Well, after a disturbed night and difficult few days, he's decided to be an absolute delight today! An hour's nap earlier this morning, and he's been asleep for about 30 minutes right now. In between he's fed well, been really alert and very cute. We had tummy time and a sit out in the garden (briefly, it's v cold!) and a look at the view. He's been the gurgly sweet baby everybody wants! Fingers crossed it lasts. Looks like decent sleep really does help him.
I still think he has some sort of wind/digestion problem, so I'll ask at the baby clinic next week for some advice. Thanksfor all your suggestions. I might look into osteopathy if he continues to be uncomfortable. We've tilted his cot, and hopefully the upcoming massage course will help.
My dd was very colicky and giving up dairy really dramatically helped - waited will 6mths to wean and now she's fine with it.
But again, would just like to reassure you that it really is early days and it really will get easier. Hugs. X
Yes -- are you burping thoroughly enough? Could be too much un-burped trapped wind.
But my friend's baby is like yours and had a serious dairy allergy.
Hope you get it sorted.
My DD was the same. It was silent reflux.
Not advice as such, but crying is supposed to peak at 6 weeks!
Dd was terrible with wind, she's almost 1 now and still suffers. I swear by keeping them upright for 20-30 mins after a feed and we used a wedge pillow at night when she was little. A bit of tummy massage every nappy change doesn't do any harm either.
I went through the same thing with DS and was at the end of my tether. I can't be sure exactly what helped but I did really reduce dairy and also took him to cranial osteopath. I also had emcs. His head was fine but he had a pinched diagrapghm which was causing him discomfort. Apparently this is because of emcs, as a baby born vaginally is squeezed through birth canal it helps their diaphragm expand and get rid of mucus. He had about 3 sessions and I noticed a difference after the first. I also think he improved with age, his gut matured and he just got used to being in the world. Was a completely different baby after about 10 weeks. Happy smiley boy now.
Google 'Colic Calm' which was my lifesaver with DD2 and her terrible trapped wind! It is an American herbal remedy using charcoal and was an instant and amazing success for us. We ordered online from a UK supplier and it came very quickly. It isn't cheap (about 20 quid) but for us it was totally worth it. Good luck.
LLL do a good leaflet called the unhappy breastfed baby - you can buy it from the LLL online shop for around £1. There is also a book called the fussy baby book by William Sears which you can buy off amazon.
Definitely try out different slings. DS hated the first sling we had, but would sit in the second sling for hours and happily drift off to sleep in it.
You are not a failure and all we mothers of babies like yours salute you!! Keep up the good work
We also found bouncing DS in the sling when we thought he might need a nap helped.
Your DS sounds very similar to my DS3 who's now 10 weeks. He was sooooo grumpy in the early days and I was completely baffled - after all I'd already bf two babies and thought I pretty much had this new baby thing sorted. Not a chance! Now, I am not a bf expert or counsellor, this is just what worked for me and my baby and was at the suggestion of my fantastic midwife: she reckoned I was feeding DS3 too often and as a result he was only getting the fore milk and not the creamy, more satisfying hind milk. I too, was feeding on demand and he was demanding most of the time: I bit by bit, and it was hard work got him to feed every two hours, for as long as he wanted, he was then really well winded. If he cried, I was able to soothe him with a walk in the pram, a cuddle etc. It work brilliantly. He fed so much better and almost overnight transformed into a much more content baby. Like I said, I am not an expert, but this worked for us. There are some MNetters who really know their bf ing stuff so hopefully they'll be along in a bit!
Ds2 was just the same. His brother was completely different so it was a total shock to the system. He sounds very similar in that he was just never happy. At best he would be huffing and puffing an straining, trying to clear wind.
I took him to an osteopath at 8 weeks and I know this sounds a bit melodramatic but it changed my life. From the first session he was a changed baby. I could tell there was something not right about his digestion - the hv said I just needed to stop comparing him to ds1 as all babies are different and the gp said he was just windy.
I just could not believe that by the end of the first session he was laid cooing at us. We didn't even know what colour his eyes were because he'd been so scrunched up but these big blue eyes were wide open looking back at me. I was absolutely speechless.
The osteopath said that he'd had a problem with his diaphragm. As he too was a section baby it could have been from where he was pulled out or maybe how he was laid in the womb. He was very floppy from being born and I think she kind of 'unfurled' him.
Anyway, he is 15 weeks now and just super happy and content. I cannot recommend it enough.
Just seen this post and it does sound familiar to me ! My little one is 6 wk tomorrow and we've had difficulty settling her the only thing that seems to work (in the day as not practical for us at night ) is putting some music on loud anything really but more beats the better it seems then dancing round the room with her after a while she nods off .
But I def can understand as in the same boat , the responses you d had are useful ill be trying some myself !
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