I'm really struggling with my 11 week old baby

(57 Posts)
Babybru1 Sun 17-Aug-14 15:00:33

My 11 week old baby is very unsettled & cries a lot. Days are so hard as my husband is upstairs trying to sleep because he works nights whilst I try to entertain my crying baby all day. We are struggling to get a day time routine. My baby will only nap on me and when he is awake he isn't settled. I'm struggling to do literally anything in the day. My baby sleeps okay on a night in his cot but I'm so exhausted that I need to go to bed as soon as he does which is between 20:00 & 22:00. I also suffer with fatigue due to my Crihns Disease. My baby's tried everything for colic with no success. We are now trying infant Gaviscon for reflux as he is very sick during the day. My baby doesn't like slings/baby carriers. He will sit in his bouncer/rocker seat for a few mins or lay on his play mat for a few mins. Any help/advice/support welcome from mums especially those with husbands/partners who work nights. My poor husband is exhausted due to the lack of sleep. He can't change his shifts and changing his job isn't an option. HELP!

Impala77 Sun 17-Aug-14 15:20:25

Oh you poor thing! This sounds just like us in the beginning, my daughter would only sleep on us Inc at night so we'd take it in turns sitting up with her. Hubby went back to work (not night's) but I had to sleep downstairs with baby so he could sleep!! My baby had colic and acid reflux and like yours she would cry constantly and we couldn't put her down! Finally she was given ranitidine for the reflux and things started to improve. Also babies tend to grow out of colic by about 3 months, so hang in there. I thought my baby would never sleep through the night but by about 12 weeks she was sleeping through. It does get better, trust me, if it doesn't keep pestering your gp for a referral to pediatrician.

slightlyinsane Sun 17-Aug-14 19:23:06

Unfortunately I can't offer any advice just wanted you to know you're not alone. I've got 12 wk old twins who won't sleep lying down only on me or in bouncy chair. My dh doesn't work nights but I spend my night downstairs trying to keep them quiet as we have 3 other dcs too. Your dh will soon learn to sleep through it all, which can have it's draw backs but will be better for him in the long run.
We're just trying gaviscon but it appears mine are now constipated on it. Back to the Drs this wk

Impala77 Sun 17-Aug-14 20:43:16

Slightlyinsane my dd was constipated on gaviscon so the pediatrician gave her ranitidine instead, it was a god send!! She started sleeping through the night in her cot and was much more settled in the daytime, we could actually put her down!!
It's so hard, she would scream for hours every evening I thought it would never end. But it did, she's now 20 months and a total joy.

Madcat22 Sun 17-Aug-14 20:57:26

Same with me and DS - Ranitidine and Domperidone helped but there was also a bit (as DD the same re not wanting to be put down but no reflux) where he just wanted to be held all the time. DS grew out of it and working on it with DD!!

RunnerHasbeen Sun 17-Aug-14 21:06:33

Firstly, I would go to your GP or GI consultant as this would be the classic time for autoimmune diseases to flare up after having a baby and you could be finding everything harder because you are not well.

That's not to say your baby isn't exhausting. You don't mention if your DS sleeps in the pram. If he does you could start doing walks at regular times to ease into a routine. You could also go to a bumps and baby group or toddler group nearby, so other people will have a cuddle and you can have a break. It is amazing how just watching other people and babies entertains little ones and is so much easier than your having to think what to do for hours on end. You will also meet other mums, realise you are not alone and be able to try out different toys to see if there is anything that will entertain him.

Best of luck, it will pass, even if you can't face doing anything but getting through the days.

PenguinsHatchedAnEgg Sun 17-Aug-14 21:11:29

I would agree with the comments on Crohns and on reflux.

But I am also wondering about your expectations. My baby is 15 weeks. He'll only sit in his chair for a few minutes, or lie on his play mat for a couple of minutes. What are you trying to do with him the rest of the time?

Also, aside of the time he's out of the hosue, how long is your husband sleeping, and what's he doing to help the rest of the time?

It's also totally normal not to have a routine, and to not get much done. smile

TeenageMutantNinjaTurtle Sun 17-Aug-14 21:14:37

Which slings have you tried? My dd1 suffered from reflux and was a really unsettled baby. She hated the rigid slings but would settle in a wrap sling.

I remember the first few months as utterly exhausting. It got better at 5 months and then even better at 6 when we started weaning.

The other thing I'd say, and some might disagree, is that it's ok to leave your baby in a safe place if you need to have a shower, or a wee, or make yourself something to eat. I know hearing them cry is heart breaking but you do have to take care of your basic needs as well.

Babybru1 Sun 17-Aug-14 21:56:36

My little one became constipated during the first week of Gaviscon but he seems okay now but his stools are more formed but still soft rather than hard like in the beginning. I really hope my husband will start to be able to sleep through my little ones screaming/crying soon. Unfortunately we live in a smallish house (1 bedroom & a box room which is the nursery) with an open staircase. The lounge is below our bedroom sad it must be twice as hard for you with twins I hope things improve for you soon too. X

Babybru1 Sun 17-Aug-14 22:26:23

Thank you everyone for your support & advice. My husband try's to sleep from 8am until 4pm
Then he's out the door from 6pm until 7am. In the two hours he's awake I wash the little ones bottles, do a load of washing, have something to eat and if time I have a shower.
I have tried wrap slings & rigid slings with no success spent a fortune.
He will nap in his pram for about 20 minutes after walking for about half an hour to an hour. I do try to go out daily but on some days I'm so weak I feel like I'm going to collapse & I have collapsed at home on one occasion since my little ones arrival.
I am experiencing a relapse of my Crohns & this is being addressed which doesn't help as you say.
I don't expect my little one to be content for long in his bouncer or on his play mat but it would be nice if he could be content long enough for me to either go for a wee, get a snack, get a drink etc
Because he will only nap on me I can only do things when he's awake. I wish it was the other way round.
Whilst he's awake I sing to him, I massage his tummy, I carry him around the house whilst talking to him, I play with him whilst on his play mat or in his bouncer, I read books to him.
I haven't managed to gain the confidence to go to any baby groups yet but I am working with my health visitor to achieve this goal.
The problem is if I leave my little one to cry whilst I do something he begins to scream after a few mins and it takes me between 1-2 hours to re-settle him which wakes my husband.

PenguinsIsSleepDeprived Sun 17-Aug-14 22:34:31

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but can your husband not try decent earplugs? The stress of someone sleeping whilst trying to look after an unsettled newborn is not great.

Also, he needs to be shaving at least an hour off that sleeping time. 8 hours is lovely. 7 is perfectly survivable. Then you choose how you use that time - I'd say you nap. But he could do chores whilst you continue childcare. What's he doing 7-8am. Why can't he shove a washing on, etc?

You are ill and looking after a particularly demanding baby. He needs to join in. Collapsing is really serious.

Can you afford a cleaner for a few months?

Babybru1 Mon 18-Aug-14 10:19:40

My husband says that eat plugs don't work as our baby's crying is a high pitched scream.
Although he is in bed for 8 hours he says that he only actually sleeps for half of this time as our baby wakes him constantly.
Between 7am & 8am he takes the rubbish out, feeds our rabbit & cat and then gets ready for bed.
My husband does help more on his days off. My husband is very loving and he gets upset with the situation too. He doesn't expect anything from me & he says that I'm doing a great job with our baby & not to worry as things will get easier - but when & how?
The idea of a cleaner has crossed my mind. My mother in law is going to have our baby for a few hours on Sunday so that I can do some much needed cleaning. I'm already feeling guilty though at the thought of leaving him so I can clean. I trust my mother in law 100% so that's not the issue.
I'm just struggling with everything as you've probably guessed. I'm normally so strong, confident & in control & I'm feeling the total opposite.
Baby currently sleeping on my knee while I type whilst sobbing sad

PenguinsIsSleepDeprived Mon 18-Aug-14 10:38:03

oh you poor thing. It will get better.

Firstly. I take it from the reference to cleaning bottles he is ff? If so, would your MIL take the baby if it was so you could sleep? That sounds more urgent than cleaning. Much more urgent.

Second, you need to be more gentle on yourself. smile A good mantra for the early days is 'everyone fed and nobody's dead'grin Anything else will wait.

Has your DH tried the silicone type earplugs. I got mine in Superdrug. I can understand that foam might not work.

PenguinsIsSleepDeprived Mon 18-Aug-14 10:40:21

When will things get easier? With most babies about now. With reflux it might be weaning. If things are really bad early weaning (as in 17 weeks +) might be recommended so worth discussing with your hv?

Babybru1 Mon 18-Aug-14 11:51:46

He is formula fed I had to give up breast feeding at 6 weeks as I needed medication for my Crohns. The medication is toxic to babies another failure.
Due to his reflux he feeds little & often throughout the day 3-4 oz every 2-3 hours instead of 8oz every 3-4 hours. My health visitor is coming on Thursday to discuss early weaning.
I will try & encourage my husband to try silicone ear plugs again.
Thank you for your support PenguinsIsSleepDeprived & thank you to everyone else too

PenguinsIsSleepDeprived Mon 18-Aug-14 12:21:13

That isn't failing. It's taking care of your own health. BFing is great, but it isn't everything. A healthier mum is priceless.

My comment about ffing was really just that someone could take him for, say, four hours. You could nap for three and clean for one (or, my recommended combo, nap for three and do something nice like read a book or take a bath, or whatever for one).

These are the earplugs. They really do block out masses and masses of noise. If these don't work, I'll come to the conclusion he's just finding it hard to sleep because he's emotionally connected, not because of the noise. In which case, could he sleep at his mum's some days if she is close?

winkywinkola Mon 18-Aug-14 12:24:02

No words of failure please. Not least because it's tosh.

Failure is when you feed your new baby Smash or tandoori chicken.

juliascurr Mon 18-Aug-14 12:33:01

'routine'? 'get things done'? what madness is this?
you sound like you are having a really tough time
can anyone take over while you sleep? your illness might qualify you for some help - ask your hv
meanwhile, just focus on looking after yourself and baby
bugger everything else

monsterowl Mon 18-Aug-14 12:40:26

Really sorry to hear you're finding things so tough! I don't have any good advice - was going to suggest a sling (was a lifesaver for me) except I saw that your baby doesn't like them. The only positive thing I can say is that, at this age, they change so quickly: just as you think you're settled into a routine (good or bad) the baby will develop a bit more and you'll have a new set of issues to contend with. I hope things get better for you soon!

Does your husband have a friend who would let him sleep there during the day. I bet you would feel a lot more relaxed if you weren't worrying about waking him. It would probably only be for a month or two, babies generally settle down after 3 months or so.

thejoysofboys Mon 18-Aug-14 13:08:40

Just wanted to add my voice to the others who say that my first baby was the same (and I didn't have Crohn's to deal with (although my MIL does so I have some awareness of how bad you feel right now)).

Things WILL get easier - slowly but surely. I made the mistake of thinking that 12 weeks was a magic number where everything would be alright again - it wasn't! But certainly by about 16 - 20 weeks we were starting to find our feet.

The first months were a killer in terms of tiredness and the relentlessness of looking after an unsettled and crying baby. I introduced a swaddle wrap (Kiddopotmus) at about 10 weeks which did help with sleep.

But I'd also second what the others said about putting the baby down a little bit from time to time. It's hard to do with a first child but imagine you had a toddler running round too - you'd have to put the baby down to change the older one's nappy/make their lunch/dress them etc. It's OK to do that to help yourself sometimes too. OK, so you can't sleep, but you could have a couple of mins in the shower.

Believe it or not, you're doing a GREAT job. Be kind to yourself x

TeenageMutantNinjaTurtle Mon 18-Aug-14 13:13:46

Love the saying "everyone's fed and nobody's dead"... I'm adopting it immediately!

OP you say you're used to being in control, honestly having an unsettled baby is just about the most out of control you can be! It will get better, I swear it.

If you can afford it, definitely hire a cleaner and perhaps look into a postnatal doula who can look after your baby for a couple of hours every now and again whilst you get some rest.

I've just had my 2nd dd, after the nightmare first few months with number one we were totally ready for another 6 month of no sleep. But number 2 is a dream baby, she sleeps most of the night, eats well with no reflux and is happy in her bouncy chair for ages. It is totally eye opening just how easy a baby can be... I would never have believed it - just as people who've never had unsettled babies could really understand how hard it can be. Get support wherever you can!

Impala77 Mon 18-Aug-14 17:26:29

Please don't say you're failing, in the first weeks of being a mother I thought I was the worst mother alive, I was induced so needed an epidural (fail) I couldn't breastfeed as I had no milk (fail) my baby cried constantly and I couldn't console her (fail). But you know what I wasn't a failure and neither are you!! It WILL get better I promise you. Once we sorted my dd reflux out she was a different baby! Don't be afraid to ask for help, it's the hardest job you'll ever do, and although now everyday feels like a lifetime, in the blink of an eye it will be over and your little one will be so much easier, oh and we stared weaning at 17 weeks so maybe that's a good idea, how do you get on with your hv? My hv was great and helped a lot, getting appts for us with hospital etc. Maybe tell her how much you're struggling. Oh and my husband was the worst after our dd was born but we got through it.

littlepinkfizz Mon 18-Aug-14 21:24:34

You poor thing.

First babies are a nightmare. I've had 5 and each is very different. Some just don't settle for any lengthy of time at anything and their screams can be ear splitting and make the strongest of us crumble. Add to that your Crohns,sleep deprivation and sleeping husband and you have got it tough tough tough..

This too shall pass. Honestly when LO is screaming just keep saying this. Go to your GP and get LO checked out.

After that just take it hour by hour.

Do try to get out of house,if even just round the garden or to the end of the street,it will help.

Don't despair please

Lots of hugs xxx

PenguinsIsSleepDeprived Mon 18-Aug-14 21:57:59

I would add that, even if it seems insurmountable, getting out to baby groups may well help your mood. Because sitting with a cup of tea chatting for 1.5 hours with the baby sleeping on you is nowhere near as stifling and frustrating as sitting in your messy house, itching to sleep, or tidy, or take a soak in the bath. And you get people saying lovely things like "Oh god, you are doing so well, I didn't clean my teeth for 3 weeks at one point". All of which remind you that you are doing well. smile

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