No good at soothing newborn :-(

(34 Posts)
Smerlin Wed 20-Nov-13 13:25:47

Hi there

Just wanted some advice really. I am a first time parent to a 3 week old and she seems to cry a lot without me being able to soothe her.

When things are going well, she feeds, cries for 30-60 mins (in middle of investigation with GP/HV to find out if this is colic/reflux) and then falls asleep for 2-3 hrs.

However sometimes I can't get her to settle at all e.g. this morning I fed her at 9.30, winded her/comforted her for 40 mins while she cried and then took her for a walk to the local shop in the pram (she mostly slept during this). We were back by about 11.15 and she woke up immediately when we arrived home and cried. I offered her a feed but she didn't want much and then after some crying, she dozed off for half an hour. She then woke up again and was crying again. Again offered food, checked nappy but still crying.

I think she was really tired as she has finally fallen asleep on me at 1pm and seems deeply asleep but for all those hours she seemed regularly unhappy.

Sometimes I just seem unable to comfort her or know what is wrong and my friend said babies never cry for no reason but I just can't seem to work it out. I am terrified of taking her to the supermarket/to see family as I am not confident at being to work out what is wrong and comfort her. I only take her out in the pram to very nearby places in case she wakes up screaming.

Is this all normal for such a young baby? I don't like to see her miserable so often.

Bedsheets4knickers Mon 25-Nov-13 17:32:02

I also agree with the use of a dummy . My 1st born didn't need one my second child really did. Do what helps. I understand the fear of not venturing far I felt that with my 1st. I promise you most people will not bat an eyelid In a supermarket if she starts crying. Infact if I made it into tescos I felt a sense of achievement . Lol. Your doing great 1st few months are tough x

roofio87 Mon 25-Nov-13 17:27:02

Which bottles are you using? My lo has gone from screaming after feeds to being lovely and settled since switching bottles to anti colic ones. Can't believe the difference they've made. Maybe worth a try?

EmmaLL25 Sun 24-Nov-13 16:18:46

I gave up on our local post-natal support group at our local cafe because wee one was so unsettled. Everyone else's baby seemed so content.

It passed. I found another mum to go walking with instead, with babies in slings. Much less stressful and happier babies.

The other folk with crying babies have just stayed home! That's why you don't see them.

It will get better.

Just to add - after the huge pain / discomfort I had with trapped wind after c section, I now get why babies are so miserable with wind.

waterrat Sun 24-Nov-13 15:30:32

Get a wrap type sling is more cosy for baby ....or an ergo

Smerlin Sun 24-Nov-13 09:25:19

Certainly could be to do with tongue tie although amazed so many professionals didn't even suggest it as a possibility. Anyway at least the expressing is working for us despite it being a faff- the one thing that has gone well for us is that I have a pretty high milk supply!

mawbroon Thu 21-Nov-13 16:41:26

DS1 cried for the first 9 weeks unless he was feeding. Then he started to go 2 hours between feeds.

Undiagnosed tongue tie was the culprit, he was bloody starving.

You said downthread that you are expressing, do you think the probs you had with breastfeeding could be tongue tie related?

Smerlin Thu 21-Nov-13 16:26:12

Ok will definitely look into a sling - she hasn't slept for about 4 hrs this afternoon due to wanting to sleep in my arms but minor disturbances setting her off! We did buy a beco Carrier but she doesn't seem very keen - prob feels a bit hard and big to her as she's currently so tiny.

Midwife suggested a dummy as well which I was surprised about as I thought that would be one of the sorts of things they would frown on!!!

Still worried about having to take her out places though- if only she reliably fell asleep in the pram!

youaremychocolatecake Thu 21-Nov-13 15:31:37

Sounds like my number 1 son. He cried all day every day for pretty much no reason (he had reflux initially but we fixed it with osteopathy) I think some babies are just grumpier than others and they so do bloody cry for no reason at times. A sling is a good idea, May allow you a little freedom. It passes, it gets easier. 3 weeks is early days. Number 2 son is 3 weeks old too and very laid back. They're all different x

Hemlock2013 Thu 21-Nov-13 12:13:23

And yes to a dummy being a life saver. If your dd doesn't take one it could be a sign of tongue tie possibly? X

Hemlock2013 Thu 21-Nov-13 11:58:29

Yes to nearly all suggestions so far. At three weeks my dd started crying and didn't stop!! I also cried a lot... It's so stressful it's hard to put into words but you have my sympathy. All my other friends babies seemed to settle and sleep too so I also thought I was doing something wrong.

For us it was tongue tie and reflux and she had gaviscon in the end which helped. I also walked with her for hours in the pram, used white noise and a sling. Try everything and use whatever works to keep yourself sane. Its so hard but it does end. My dd is now an absolute joy! X x

CuriosityCola Thu 21-Nov-13 10:46:34

I just came back to mention growth spurt, but see other people have beaten me to it. I used a dummy to get ds2 to sleep. He didn't have it when awake or whilst sleeping. He used it for a couple of weeks as a transition between falling asleep on the boob and switching to formula. Then he lost interest in it and it's back to rocking during the day.

waterrat Thu 21-Nov-13 09:20:12

agree about a dummy. no idea why people avoid them, such a relief when I put one in DS mouth and he stopped crying at once.

I'd second 3 week growth spurt as mentioned above. I was ebf and was exhausted by the constant feeding. I found it hard to believe such a small baby could be that hungry, that often, but she was. I don't think I could have managed pumping during growth spurt weeks as she was latched on more than she wasn't.

The early weeks are tough though, and I think only a minority of people have babies who will sit quietly in cafes. Mine certainly wouldn't have. I had to wear her in a sling all day as she cried if I put her in the moses basket or cot. I found the only way I could have a peaceful cup of tea, or meal was to latch her on at the same time, so any cafes I went to were ones where I felt comfortable bf-ing.

My friend summed it up when she confided in me 'the first two weeks are hell. Why does no one tell you?!' I didn't personally find it hell, but I think my expectations were lower.

My whole antenatal class friends had those babies who would just lie there happily for hours in a cafe. I would always be the one frantically jiggiling a pram trying to get DD to sleep. She'd sleep in a sling but only if I was walking, so I used to stand in the cafe bouncing up and down with her in it to try & recreate the movement! I used to think such evil thoughts towards my friends - I was very jealous!

All I can say is that it passes - I know the days and nights are long at the moment but things will improve. My highly-strung baby turned into a very chilled toddler, so don't panic.

SteamWisher Thu 21-Nov-13 07:34:51

You need the high needs baby kit:

- decent sling (neither of mine liked lying flat do prams were out. I had a horrifying experience with 3 week olds screaming in the park once!)
- white noise and blackout blinds
- a dummy (I had to put aside my judging pre- baby)

It feels like an age but it will pass!

Trooperslane Thu 21-Nov-13 07:30:37

Ooh - nearly forgot. White noise or putting her in her pram beside the dryer worked wonders for us in those early weeks - a lifesaver when she just wouldn't be comforted and was then massively over tired.

I also find that I need to get out of the house every day for a really good walk. Fresh air helps get some perspective and even a screaming baby seems easier to deal with (less claustrophobic) out than in.

Trooperslane Thu 21-Nov-13 07:23:38

Week 3 was hell for us too. 14 weeks today and she's a wee star.

Growth spurt maybe?

waterrat Wed 20-Nov-13 18:35:21

Gosh op at 3 weeks old I don't think you should start assuming you have a high needs baby or a baby who will always cry a lot - all babies cry a lot and I think it's normal for tiny babies to need rocking etc to sleep - try evolve that way to make sure they don't fall asleep on their own and get eaten by wolves !

You don't see all the crying other babies do - your baby is tiny you are doing amazingly please don't start looking months ahead - things change so rapidly at this age

I do recommend a sling though if you aren't already using one ...

CuriosityCola Wed 20-Nov-13 18:11:49

Dr Sears, high needs, attachment parenting, 4th trimester, slings, lentil weaving grin. All things ds1 introduced me to. There was also a high needs support thread on here. Probably still running.

I always went out as both dc are better when they can see things going on. I used to walk ds1 to cafe while he slept. Feed him and rock him while I knocked back a cuppa and then walk another hour home while he slept again. Walked the bus route incase he woke up and anarchy followed. By the time I read up on everything and came up with some strategies the 'this too shall pass' happened. Ds1 was ok once he could move, so needed a cafe with floor space. Ds2 outgrew it.

Try and home in on people with similar babies. I had one friend who loved sharing horror stories over who had the worst child. Much better than competitive parenting. We always made sure we got out every day.

Oh, have you tried baby massage? Ds1 loved it. Sod's law also meant he often slept through it and I just chilled for half and hour smile

Smerlin Wed 20-Nov-13 17:36:51

Thanks petcat. Fortunately my husband is very supportive so looks after her a lot when he's not at work, gets up to help in the night etc. I had a pretty awful delivery with a major PPH so he's had to help a lot!

Those who replied to say that you had similar experiences in the first 3 months, how did you cope when out? Did you still go to cafés, restaurants etc even knowing your baby could have an inconsolable wailing session while there?

Petcat Wed 20-Nov-13 16:31:10

Also try googling the 4th trimester, helped me understand what my baby was going through at the time. Life is tough when you've just been born!

Petcat Wed 20-Nov-13 16:28:27

You must be exhausted if you are exclusively expressing and dealing with a colicky baby. I hope you have people in RL to look after you.

My DD cried a lot in the early months. Hours and hours of wailing. Turns out she had reflux and tongue tie, and today she's finally been diagnosed with an allergy to cows milk. She's also just a high needs kind of baby.

My life improved immeasurably when I started carrying her in a sling. Nearly all babies feel better when they're cuddled close to you. It's scientifically proven to reduce the number of hours a baby will spend crying each day. Now I can sit and drink coffee with friends while DD snuggles in her sling.

It will get better, promise. DD still needs me to keep her happy day and night, but she's generally a smiley little girl and only cries if she's tired or I try to walk out of her sight

Smerlin Wed 20-Nov-13 15:13:58

Oh she feeds when she wants- after 2 to 3.5 hrs generally.

Smerlin Wed 20-Nov-13 15:12:41

Ha ha I'm liking the theory about it being a sign of intelligence!

I read something by dr sears (?) about 'high needs babies' who know what they want, when they want it and get furious if you don't respond appropriately straightaway and first time. I must admit it did resonate with me...

CuriosityCola Wed 20-Nov-13 14:57:23

It won't be an imbalance if you are pumping. How often is she feeding?

My hv told me discontentment is a sign of intelligence wink. Ds1 never allowed me to just sit. My friends babies slept and then just sat happy on their knees. I hated them for it. Ds2 at 5 months is now one of those babies. It's just personality. Also, people don't want to be seen as failing and they lie/exaggerate about how much sleep they are getting! My friends baby slept through the night from two weeks old. Except her husband complained to me that he had needed to put the babies dummy back in ten times 'last night'.

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