Unhappy baby

(41 Posts)
marshmallow2468 Mon 11-Mar-13 16:09:17

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.

showtunesgirl Mon 11-Mar-13 16:16:56

Is he happier being upright rather than lying down? Could he have silent reflux?

QTPie Mon 11-Mar-13 16:18:46

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.

SirBoobAlot Mon 11-Mar-13 16:22:20

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

marshmallow2468 Mon 11-Mar-13 16:22:21

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.

marshmallow2468 Mon 11-Mar-13 16:25:07

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!

noblegiraffe Mon 11-Mar-13 16:31:20

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.

showtunesgirl Mon 11-Mar-13 16:34:35

Does the crying / screaming vary at all? This might be a bit woo but this totally worked for my DD.

RainDancer Mon 11-Mar-13 16:48:48

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.

sittinginthesun Mon 11-Mar-13 16:53:28

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.

TheMaskedHorror Mon 11-Mar-13 16:58:30

Have you tried giving up dairy for a bit? Lots of bf babies don't cope well with cows milk in the mothers diet.

marshmallow2468 Mon 11-Mar-13 17:00:06

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.....

showtunesgirl Mon 11-Mar-13 17:00:13

TheMaskedHorror, sorry but where did you get this info from because AFAIK, this isn't true.

TheMaskedHorror Mon 11-Mar-13 17:08:20

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


TheMaskedHorror Mon 11-Mar-13 17:08:41
showtunesgirl Mon 11-Mar-13 19:07:55

Dairy sensitivity is the most common allergy amongst babies that are allergic but in general having an allergic reaction is not that common IYSWIM?

gutzgutz Mon 11-Mar-13 21:51:27

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 grin) 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.

marshmallow2468 Tue 12-Mar-13 08:54:40

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!

paperclips Tue 12-Mar-13 09:08:33

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.

Lampfamm Tue 12-Mar-13 09:24:21

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!

showtunesgirl Tue 12-Mar-13 09:37:21

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.

MatriarchalDreams Tue 12-Mar-13 09:57:24

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.

MrsDonnieDarko Tue 12-Mar-13 11:26:50

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.

MrsDonnieDarko Tue 12-Mar-13 11:29:32

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!

CrazyOldCatLady Tue 12-Mar-13 12:03:23

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?

marshmallow2468 Tue 12-Mar-13 12:56:36

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.

SquidgersMummy Wed 13-Mar-13 15:41:19

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

delilah88 Thu 14-Mar-13 19:28:44

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.

stargirl1701 Thu 14-Mar-13 19:34:32

My DD was the same. It was silent reflux.

AndMiffyWentToSleep Thu 14-Mar-13 19:35:00

Not advice as such, but crying is supposed to peak at 6 weeks!

HearMyRoar Thu 14-Mar-13 20:03:39

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.

scratchandsniff Thu 14-Mar-13 20:13:05

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.

Welovegrapes Thu 14-Mar-13 20:19:23

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 thanks

Welovegrapes Thu 14-Mar-13 20:20:33

We also found bouncing DS in the sling when we thought he might need a nap helped.

xigris Thu 14-Mar-13 20:24:49

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!

backinaminute Fri 15-Mar-13 06:37:19

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. grin

Flasks Fri 15-Mar-13 20:28:51

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 ! smile

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now