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Newborn cries when not held

(62 Posts)
BrassHorses Wed 23-Jan-19 23:25:22

I have a newborn just 5 days old. He cries when put down so I am already exhausted. I've tried the buggy, next to me cot, our bed... one to two minutes after someone putting him down he is screaming and distressed. I'm not getting any sleep at all. I have a sling for during the day which I haven't managed to try yet but at the moment I am not able to do anything except hold and carry him around.

Please help, how can I get some sleep? Would a sleepyhead work?

FusionChefGeoff Wed 23-Jan-19 23:26:50

You nerd to do shifts with another adult holding baby so you can sleep. Can baby's father help?

BreevandercampLGJ Wed 23-Jan-19 23:28:31

Poor wee lamb.

Five days ago, he was safely cocooned your womb, it must be such shock to them. :-(

I used to swaddle, loosely. Not sure what the current thinking is.

I also used to take my tshirt off and put it in the cot next to him, so my scent (for the want of a better word) was close by.

happydays1983 Wed 23-Jan-19 23:30:06

Sleepy head is the best thing ever. My girl is 5 months old and still sleeps in it as she feels secure. I highly recommend them 😀

Cel982 Wed 23-Jan-19 23:31:12

Congratulations on your new little one. Tiny babies just want to be held, it's completely normal but exhausting. Are you breastfeeding? If you are, you could follow the Safe Sleeo guidelines and try co-sleeping - it was the only way I got any rest when mine were that age.

Is your partner around? Or any family? Could they hold the baby for a couple of hours while you nap? It will get better, and soon, but right now it must feel like you've been thrown in the deep end.

CornGirl123 Wed 23-Jan-19 23:34:50

My baby (and all my friends’ babies) was exactly like this. For the first 2 weeks he would only sleep on my chest. We broke all the sleep safety rules just to get some rest ourselves and survive those first few weeks! But after a couple of weeks they start to improve and you find the things that they like/don’t like when it comes to sleep. It will be over soon and will all be a horrible (yet also lovely) memory. I’m sure you’re doing a great job x

gamerchick Wed 23-Jan-19 23:36:09

Well to be fair to him. He's been held constantly until recently. All the newness of hungries/thirsties. Cold/hot, bright lights and sounds. Stuff going on in the shorts area/wind etc. I wouldn't want to be put down either.

Google the forth trimester and accept all help so you can get some sleep.

BreevandercampLGJ Wed 23-Jan-19 23:37:03

Oh and let the house go to pot, when he sleeps, you sleep, the nights won't seem so daunting that way.

TwoDrifters Wed 23-Jan-19 23:40:57

You have my utter sympathies. I’m sat here currently with my 8-week-old who is exactly the same. I’m waiting until 00:30 when my DH (having been asleep in the next room since 22:00) will take over until 03:00 and on we will continue until morning.

We are both averaging 4-5 hours sleep a night at the moment. It’s horrid but I keep telling myself it will get better as the little one gets older. In the meantime, I shall high five you in solidarity brew

BreevandercampLGJ Thu 24-Jan-19 00:05:58

No sign of the OP, hope she is asleep.

riotlady Thu 24-Jan-19 00:13:45

It’s so hard OP, but it does get better! My daughter was like this for the first few weeks and my partner and I slept in 2-3 hour shifts. We just kept occasionally popping her down for a few minutes and eventually she got used to it and started to sleep a bit in her Moses basket. All the advice we got about warming it with a hot water bottle, using my t shirt as w sheet, made no difference, she just needed a bit of time to adjust to being in the outside world.

GingerbreadBlob Thu 24-Jan-19 00:25:42

A swaddle might help.

Their patterns and likes and dislikes do change a lot from now to 3 months old. Hopefully, he'll be going long stretches (maybe a good way through the night) by then.

caringcarer Thu 24-Jan-19 00:32:47

New babies often feel insecure. Swaddling may help. Put something you have sweated on in moses basket. Have you tried one of the heartbeat tapes to play to baby whenever they are put down to sleep. Also make sure their is no light in room they are sleeping in. When baby sleeps you sleep too. You will feel better soon. Everyone feels exhausted after having a new baby. Make sure your iron is not low and get plenty of vitamin C.

todayiwin Thu 24-Jan-19 00:35:54

Welcome to the newborn it's normal xx

Get the sling out

FogCutter Thu 24-Jan-19 00:54:53

My DS1 was like this, don't worry it doesn't last forever!

I gave into it and had him in a sling, sitting on me and co-sleeping just to stop the crying. It was so much easier to deal with this way!

Twolittlebears Thu 24-Jan-19 01:01:22

My first was like this. Do you have a DP who you can take turns with (& anyone who comes round holds baby while you sleep). We did two hour shifts for the first two weeks alternating. Then my mil came for five days and she joined in and it was heaven. It got better after that. thanks for you op this is a hard time.

Endofrelationship Thu 24-Jan-19 06:49:00

DS was like this to until he could sit up. Literally couldn't be put down without screaming (0-60, no pre-cry whimper). He hated the carseat, we didn't use the pram at all, playmat, bouncer, all unused.

He slept in the nook of my arm- if he was on the mattress, the sleepyhead etc he'd just scream. He'd occasionally go in the sleepyhead for 20minutes.

Check out safe cosleeping and hold him all night. It was the only way for us.

blueskiesandforests Thu 24-Jan-19 06:55:04

That's pretty normal. Some newborns sleep all the time and people who had one of those think it's normal, but some want to be held all the time and that's normal too - after all they were inside your body all their lives and being outside takes adjusting to - being cuddled against your heart is the closest thing to being in the womb!

Have you got a partner or supportive and useful family or friends? You need someone else to hold the baby while you sleep...

Anewoneforme Thu 24-Jan-19 07:02:57

2 of mine were like this and slept on my chest for the first few weeks, then constant sling in the day - just couldn't sit down! grin seriously I used to walk miles in the day with them in the sling.
Middle one was happy sleeping next to me but had to be touching.

TulipsInbloom1 Thu 24-Jan-19 07:05:28

Have you tried swaddling him?

gamerwidow Thu 24-Jan-19 07:13:19

Oh love these early days are so hard. There’s nothing unusual here though everything is ok with your baby. Do you have someone who would hold the baby for an hour or so while you have a nap. Any partner, family or friends local?

feelingverylazytoday Thu 24-Jan-19 07:28:35

I swaddled all my babies and put them in the crib or rocking chair, with a dummy. Rocking helped a lot, also white noise. I found the sound of the tumble dryer was the best at soothing them (still makes me sleepy, lol).

PeaQiwiComHequo Thu 24-Jan-19 07:29:26

This is entirely, 100% normal.

Human babies are all essentially "premature" - compared with other mammals and adjusting for size and metabolism etc our pregnancies ought to be much longer - eg remember lots of animals can walk immediately from less than a day old.

The reason for this is our big brains - we have such enormous heads to keep all that cleverness in that babies have to be born after only 9 months in order to have better chances of a safe birth.

People often call the newborn stage the "fourth trimester" - ie the baby's needs are very similar to what they were during pregnancy.

Reach out to your friends and family. I guarantee there are people you know who (as I would be) are aching for a chance to cuddle a newborn and would jump at the chance to help. if you don't ask you won't get as their default assumption will be not to interfere or intrude.

There are lots of different slings. for a newborn a wrap sling or kangaroo pouch style is best. what you need is for someone to come each morning just after you baby has had some milk, and let them pop on a sling and carry the baby around as they potter about, while you get some sleep. if you can just get 3 hours sleep like that each morning, you can probably get through the rest of the day.

this stage will not last forever.

do you live anywhere near a college where basic childcare qualifications, nursery nursing or similar vocational things are offered? in some places you can get a student to come and help out for free as part of their studies, as they are learning about newborns.

BinksyB Thu 24-Jan-19 07:31:05

I had this too. I love cuddling but it all got a bit much. I used a hot water bottle to warm where I was going to put him down. Left it for a few minutes and then removed it before putting him down. It worked a treat for us. Others have loved sleepyheads for the same reason.

BrassHorses Thu 24-Jan-19 07:38:17

Hi everyone- thank you for all the responses I really appreciate them. I read the first couple to DH and he ended up taking her until 7am and stayed up all night with her. He tried to put her down but she wouldn't go down without being held at all. He's going to sleep now, I'm going to get a sleepyhead today (amazon prime) and see if that makes a difference at all, otherwise we will have to do shifts. He was meant to be having a work meeting today which he's cancelled. I'll let you know how we get on tonight.

Out of desperation a couple of nights ago we did try co sleeping which worked but nothing did last night! He's now asleep on my chest and the place is a total mess, I have a swaddle I don't know how to use, are they easy enough to do by yourself?

Midwife coming at some point the flat is a disaster and I have no clean clothes just pyjamas. Off to sterilise some bottles then google the fourth trimester.

TulipsInbloom1 Thu 24-Jan-19 07:44:05

Which swaddle do you have? Lay it out, lay baby onto it with arms at their side. Usually one side wrap over one arm and chest then tucks between the other arm and their side and goes under their back. The other side by the loose arm then gets wrapped all the way across and round the back. Once swaddled, hold them sort of loosely across your arms so it's the swaddle that they can feel rather than the swaddle and your hug and do quite loud shhhhh noises. Once asleep lay them down in the swaddle whilst still doing the loud shhhhh noises. If they seem a tad unsettled lay a hand on their chest and carry on shhhhhh noises. Eventually stop the shhhhh.

LivingInPoppyLand Thu 24-Jan-19 07:44:19

Sleepy heads and other sleep positioners are not recommended by the safer sleeping guidelines.

TulipsInbloom1 Thu 24-Jan-19 07:45:35

The sleepy head is not a sleep positioner. It has been approved as safe for overnight sleeping.

LivingInPoppyLand Thu 24-Jan-19 07:46:38

This is a useful website

LivingInPoppyLand Thu 24-Jan-19 07:49:23

The sleep head is still not recommended by the lullaby trust.

FusionChefGeoff Thu 24-Jan-19 08:03:24

Abandon everything, I mean everything apart from sleep and looking after your gorgeous baby. If you mentally accept that the flat will be a dump, you can wear PJs all day and you will eat takeaway / ready meals for a month then everything else is a bonus.

Eventually, this will pass and normal will start to resurface but for now just give in! Shifts are the way forward plus accept as much help from anyone else as possible. Have a list of 'to do' on the fridge and if anyone comes to visit, jokingly say it's a cuddle in exchange for something on the list grin

The sling is worth the hassle - what kind is it? There will be loads of tutorials on YouTube but it is basically exactly what your baby needs right now so do give it a go as soon as you can.

FusionChefGeoff Thu 24-Jan-19 08:04:44

Oh and get a white noise machine or app for phone / iPad

Kdubs1981 Thu 24-Jan-19 08:05:27

Link to fourth trimester

So normal (doesn't make it easy!). Start using a sling in the day straight away, it will change your life! I used a stretchy one to start with, then a connector. If you're not confident on how to tie it (I wasn't) I'd recommend going to a local sling library for tips/advice.

Good luck. Accept any help. Husband needs to help (sounds like he's up for that, so great). Good luck. I promise it gets easier!

themoomoo Thu 24-Jan-19 08:05:42

yep, that's what they do!! Should get better after a couple of months. look after yourself, it's really hard

AnotherOriginalUsername Thu 24-Jan-19 08:16:42

Firstly, the midwife won't care that you're in your pyjamas and the house is a mess. This shows you're looking after baby's needs first!

My husband and I also do shifts. Our baby just will not stay asleep when he's put down. Baby is 8 weeks old this week and it's getting easier, he's getting into more of a routine and is starting to miss a feed at night so is sleeping through from about 11-5am.

He's been sleeping on us most of the time, I'm starting to be able to put him down for an hour or so during the day now. We're getting a next to me crib this week, in the hope that that may help the sleep situation.

My husband will not sleep with him, he's paranoid about squishing him. I am quite happy to sleep with him on me so my husband has been having him 8pm-1am so I can get a couple of hours relatively undisturbed sleep (I'm an awful sleeper, takes me hours to drop off and I wake every time he cries), then I take over and doze on the sofa with him until morning.

In addition to the 4th trimester, have a read around physical contact and the benefits to baby's physical and mental development. It's what's kept us sane for the last 8 weeks!

Congratulations on the new arrival, it gets easier and is so worth it. Mine likes to crack out his new smiles just when I'm getting close to breaking point, the cunning little sod grin

MaverickSnoopy Thu 24-Jan-19 08:30:17

You need the 5S's - saved my life with DD2 who was exactly the same

I feel your pain. It will get better in time.

Stompythedinosaur Thu 24-Jan-19 08:31:50

This is tough but totally normal. Sleep in shifts and/or co-sleep. It will be better. White noise might help too.

Asteria36 Thu 24-Jan-19 08:43:37

This bit is tough, but it will pass! My ds wouldn't let me put him down for the first few months - I slept propped up with him sleeping on my chest (my gargantuan tits kept him in place!) and carried him in a wrap sling throughout the day.
Co-sleeping is literally the only way to survive nights if you have a fretful baby. I did it for way too long years, but after the initial 4th trimester clinginess he was the most chilled baby ever.
The best thing you can do is whatever feels natural to you, if it feels like a fight then don't do it.

MrsJayy Thu 24-Jan-19 08:50:32

Is your swaddle and actual thing? I just used a shawl with mine anyway google how to use it it might help him feel cosier, good luck your mw won't care about the mess

blueskiesandforests Thu 24-Jan-19 08:58:05

AnotherOriginalUsername it's hard but don't doze on the sofa holding him. You can co-sleep safely in a bed without pillows or duvet near the baby.

The lullaby trust website states that

"Never sleep on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby

Sleeping on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby is one of the most high-risk situations for them.

Studies have found that sharing a sofa or armchair with a baby whilst you both sleep is associated with an extremely high risk of SIDS. One study found that approximately one-sixth of infants in England and Wales who died of SIDS were found sleeping with an adult on a sofa."

Its really not a good idea to doze on the sofa with a baby, tempting though it is and hard though staying awake is. I used to read aloud to stay awake (my books, not baby books!). If you need to sleep with the baby you and the baby have the bed and your DH takes the sofa.

nikkidoll Thu 24-Jan-19 09:13:51

Swaddle 100%%%%

AnotherOriginalUsername Thu 24-Jan-19 09:27:44

AnotherOriginalUsername it's hard but don't doze on the sofa holding him. You can co-sleep safely in a bed without pillows or duvet near the baby

I sleep flat with him on me. When I say doze I mean I get half an hour here and there. He's safer sleeping like that than co sleeping in the bed with my husband there.

MrsJayy Thu 24-Jan-19 09:28:51

I just googled swaddles they are an actual thing but it looks easy to do basically you are burritoing your baby smile so bottom bit up and cross over once you do it once you will get the hang of it.

IJustLostTheGame Thu 24-Jan-19 09:34:45

I swaddled dd in one of her blankets. You basically turn them into a little fajita.
I used a moby wrap, barricaded myself upright on the sofa with the cushions and slept upright for a few weeks. I know you're not supposed to sleep on the sofa but I was so dangerously tired and hallucinating with it. I wasn't safe awake at all.

This isn't permanent. Even though it feels like forever at the time.

QueenAnneBoleyn Thu 24-Jan-19 09:39:04

Have a look online at babocush cushions. We used one for DD and it was great.

BertrandRussell Thu 24-Jan-19 09:46:05

“I sleep flat with him on me. When I say doze I mean I get half an hour here and there. He's safer sleeping like that than co sleeping in the bed with my husband there.”

Whoever has the baby should also have the bed. If you don’t have a spare bed, get a comfortable inflatable and make it up in the evening so the non babying parent can get decent sleep. But never doze on the sofa with the baby.

kenandbarbie Thu 24-Jan-19 09:48:00

Safe co sleeping is what worked for me.

Nothisispatrick Thu 24-Jan-19 10:00:56


Neither is co sleeping. If you want to tollow guidelines to the letter the only safe place for your baby to sleep is in a seperate, empty cot with a firm mattress in the same room as you. However in reality that will not work for many babies, so people do what they can to survive. The risks of having an exhausted parent who may crash the car, fall asleep on sofa, leave baby somewhere they could fall etc is far far more dangerous than the risk of SIDS which is 0.something %.

What does baby sleep in OP? A grosnug is like a newborn sleeping bag that swaddles them and is much much easier to use than a traditional swaddle and safer than a blanket which could come loose.

Nothisispatrick Thu 24-Jan-19 10:02:48

Plus, there have been no deaths linked to the sleepyhead.

BrassHorses Thu 24-Jan-19 10:05:37

Oh my god I tried the hot water bottle thing if warming the basket first and he's been asleep in the bassinet of his pram for 16 minutes and counting.... this is a record, don't want to jinx it...

I have a swaddle tried to use it and he was irate screaming as I was wrapping him
up but I will try this again.

I've also bought (panic bought on amazon) Ewan the Dream Sheep which I think creates white noise to mimic the womb. Should have that tomorrow.

I'm now anxiously standing over him flinching at every movement and checking the stopwatch (yes I'm timing this!) on my phone. Going to use this time to try and tie my sling on.

MrsJayy Thu 24-Jan-19 10:13:35

Bless you it will feel like madness for a while but you will all settle into it go have a cup of tea or something .

BrassHorses Thu 24-Jan-19 10:20:41

He managed 30 minutes then woke up distressed- progress and I managed to have a wee!

gamerwidow Thu 24-Jan-19 10:23:28

Great stuff and seriously don’t worry about the midwife seeing the mess she’s there to support you not judge

IJustLostTheGame Thu 24-Jan-19 12:57:48

I did the same thing with the dream sheep!
Dd loved it but it didn't make her sleep 😤
What did help from about 3 months though was this ladybird thing from Amazon that was also a star projector. She liked to lie in the dark and look at the stars. She also like smiling at the ladybird.
It was safe to leave in her cot with her. It did get her happier being in her cot. And it did help her go to sleep happily months later.

I've been to the point where you're that desperate you just start throwing money at the problem.
Its hell.

BiscuitsMcSnugglepuff Thu 24-Jan-19 14:05:58

Congrats on the progress! Just a word of warning... I found Ewan utterly useless with little one because he cuts out after 20 mins and has to be turned on again which tends to wake babies up... certainly did with my very troublesome sleeper (they like things to be the same when they wake up as when they went to sleep)

Just have a quick look at “myhummy” (look on actual website rather than amazon as some are older models on there). They have 5 sounds and can either be set to go for an hour and reactivite if baby makes a noise or just go for 12 hours solid. We still use it for my 16 month old as he loves it and it blocks out other noises grin

AnnieM18 Thu 24-Jan-19 14:28:11

Like others have said, I found swaddling a life saver. I bought The Miracle Blanket from Amazon and my baby loved it and slept soundly in it! No other swaddle blanket worked for us. I also used white noise which he found really soothing. I hope you get some rest soon! Nothing lasts forever so just keep repeating This Too Shall pass!

littlemisscomper Thu 24-Jan-19 14:53:21

As a nanny, I swear by swaddlesuits:

and the Sleepyhead.

As a previous poster mentioned ask at your local childcare college if there are any second year or recently qualified students who might like to help a couple of hours here and there in exchange for gaining experience and a reference (and it would be nice if you could slip them the odd tenner too!).

Lndnmummy Thu 24-Jan-19 18:17:30

OP this stage is so hard. With my first ds it nearly broke me and it took me 6 years to have another. This time around I just tried to accept it but still it’s so hard. What saved me second time was a sleepyhead as well as a mamaruga sling. It’s basically like a wrap so soft but it has buckles so easy peasy to fit. Do you have a sling library near you! It sounds utterly exhausting to go to one I know but maybe in a couple of
This is against guidelines but neither of mine could settle on their backs (reflux babies). So they slept on the side. Be kind to yourself and do shifts with your partner, even when he works. My gp said that you need a block a night of 3-4 hours. Once I started to do that I felt better. I’d sleep 8-12 and then take over from dh. In the day just do what you need to do to get through. I spent the entire summer on the sofa. In the same spot. Have hundreds of selfies in the exact same position. My dh would set me up in the morning with a flask of tea/coffee. Fruit/water/cereal bars, phone charger etc. And I’d just sit there all day. Another thing I learnt with my second was that it’s ok to put the baby somewhere safe ie Moses basket and go to the loo or make a cup of tea. Really it’s ok!
You will come out the other side.

honeybee88 Thu 24-Jan-19 18:47:23

You need to swaddle your baby to mke baby snug so baby feels safe and cocooned like baby was in your tummy. I have 5! All happy. Everything is a passing phase....

BrassHorses Fri 25-Jan-19 15:23:44

Just checking in to say I appreciate all the replies, suggestions and support. I got 3 hours sleep last night, DH's turn to do the majority tonight. I just cried at the midwife.

MrsJayy Fri 25-Jan-19 15:33:43

Aww did you was your midwife supportive remember you will be getting a rush of hormomes now I don't know if they are still called baby blues or something else but you might be all over the place for a week or 2. 3 hours sleep is great bet it felt like 30☺

BreevandercampLGJ Sat 26-Jan-19 09:31:23

DS was a decent sleeper fairly early on, but I still remember the morning after he slept through.

I was on fire, I tidied out the bathroom cabinets (shoot me now, how anal) grin

Anyhoo, point being...........I turned to DH and said I have no idea where that energy came from.

He replied, and it is one of those clearer than clear moments in your life that you remember for ever... You can do anything on a good nights sleep.

It will get better.

Much love.

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