To be blimmin confused about parenting advice!!?! (Baby only 7 weeks old!)(103 Posts)
posting here for traffic...not really an AIBU (sorry) but I am seeking opinions from experienced parents.....
DD is 7weeks. From what it seems in her short little life she is quite a 'high needs' baby (not to label her prematurely!).... Feeds a lot, doesn't like to be put down, needs help to get to sleep (rocking, shushing, very little background noise or visual stimulus), let's her feelings known with LOUD cries, reacts very strongly to pain/illness (she's had a cold and an upset tummy)....
Getting quite sick of being told contracdictory things by the HV (I.e. Babies given lots of cuddles/attention now will be more settled later on) and my GP (you need to put baby down to learn to self settle, you're making a rod for your own back etc)
DM and MIL also offering changing opinions depending on what mood they're in "oh I always fed 4hourly and baby just slotted in with what we were doing, baby didn't cry" and then later... "Oh we used a dummy to soothe when baby cried"....FFS!! (think there's quite a bit of rose-tinting/amnesia going on there!)
Anyway, I keep being told not to be too quiet when trying to get DD to nap etc otherwise she'll never go down with noise. That I should just put he down awake and let her self soothe.....all good in theory but I know that if DD gets overstimulated by noise she won't sleep...then turns into a grumpy, screaming, overtired mess. She would also NEVER just "go to sleep" if put down, she seems to need help to do this. To me it seems as unrealistic thing to ask of her as asking the cat to fetch my slippers!
Before pregnancy I always thought I'd be a routine sort of mummy...but DD seems to need a more 'attachment parenting' style of mum.... But I'm also worried that iam making a rod for my own back and will never leave the house if I have to follow DDs every need (on days where I've had to go out when she need a nap, like to the GPs, she won't sleep in her pram, then becomes an overtired mess).
I have mixed success using a sling so often find myself stuck on the sofa for several hours during the day.... Not ideal. But preferable to hours of screaming.
And don't even mention the word 'routine'...so far I seem to be completely led by DD and not even sure how to try and impose some sort of routine on her.
So I ask you.... WWYD in this situ? What did you do if you had a 'high needs' baby? (I'm also suspecting that she might have silent reflux due to her general level of unsettledness....?!)
How did you impose any kind of routine? If at all? Will she just 'grow out of it' and become easier???
(Some days I get quite down by all her crying/hard to settleness)
I would go with instinct and trust yourself. If you have a baby that needs to be held and rocked, go with it, your blood pressure will be lower. Find work arounds to get some peace and quiet and don't worry about rods and backs until they are older (toddler stage) when they can start manipulating you for chocolate and toys. That's when the fun really starts! Congrats btw x
YANBU to be confused, but tbh get used to it. Parenthood is a mass of contradictions (don't even get me started on hv's who say one thing, then admit that a different course of action was required a few weeks later!) and once you feel like you're getting somewhere your kid will change it up on you!
7 weeks is still really young. They'll settle down. If I were you I'd get the reglux thing checked out, just in case. The only sort of routine we had was bathing ds every night from 7 weeks & making an attempt at a bedtime routine. He fell into a routine the rest of the time. The best piece of advice I got was to watch for their naturally sleepy times & plan accordingly - easy if you stay at home for a few days.
One thing I can say is the 'making a rod for your own back" thing us a load of tosh! Kids need their parents, not a military routine from day one.
Do whatever you want, whatever helps your baby, and forget everyones advice!
My second DD - I had no routines (I did with my first) yet she eventually got herself into a little routine (e.g. goes to bed 6pm without rocking to sleep!)
I am by no means an expert as I only have a 10 week old myself. However, I have found the same - everyone gives you conflicting advice so just do what works for you.
My baby has no routine whatsoever in the day but at 7 has bath/ feed/ crib and will sleep through until 8 with only waking usually once around 4.30 for a bf (sometimes twice).
I think I'm these early days I'm of the opinion to just do who what works - if she wants a cuddle so be it, she won't be little for long!
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
If you think of yourself as 'a responsive parent' you won't go far wrong. So: cue feeding not clockwatching/responding to her need to be physically close to you by cuddling/allowing your home to be peaceful so your child can sleep without being disturbed (you ARE resting while she sleeps, aren't you?!)
You can nudge her into a routine, gently, but again, follow her cues
How the hell have you managed that wish???!! DD wakes up every 1-3 hours during the night....!! Often won't settle in cot (or co sleeping before anyone suggests it) she wants to sleep on someone and upright it seems....hence my thoughts about silent reflux (cot is tilted too)
Good advice is advice that works. Ignore the rest.
Oh hon, big hug. I remember that feeling very well. Mine is now 4 years old! And yes, we had the dreaded silent reflux.
You are a far, far smarter mum than I was to have worked out that your baby doesn't want to do routine. I am afraid I persevered for quite a bit longer and made us all miserable.What can I say? I was very, very sleep deprived, wasn't used to not being able to make things work, and had read too many books!
It is crazy-making and isolating being stuck to the sofa isnt it? My DS hated being put down too - with a passion. I had a bit more success with an Oyster pram which you can tilt to a semi upright angle but you can only use that particular seat from 4 months. Do you mind me asking what your experience has been with slings? Which ones have you tried? What happened?
Trust yourself and your own instincts. My no.1 was a tricky baby who mainly slept when being held. I wished I'd tried swaddling him as I did with no. 2&3.
As for self soothing - I didn't even try till they were nearer 6 months. We started with the after lunch nap and I never left them for longer than 2 minutes. I figured that I knew they'd had a good lunch/feed (I realise the weaning age has changed so it might be a little later), clean nappy and were ready to sleep. It was far less painless than trying at night time...
My only other advice is to cherry pick whose opinions/advice you really trust. I dismiss(ed) a lot of what my sister says as she's not got children of her own but listen, nod and disregard politely!!
IME, a significant proportion of sling-wearing, Earth mother types planned on being the sort of parent who followed a routine, but their baby had other ideas.
I think that as long as you pay attention to your baby and respond to his needs, the rest doesn't really matter. Some babies want to be held all the time, some babies thrive on routines, some babies are flexible and better off with whatever makes their parents happiest.
If something feels right to you and your baby seems content, then it is probably the right thing to be doing.
Oh just a couple of things...my DS1 wouldn't lie down when he had an ear infection - does your baby's ear(s) look inflMed? Also DS1 fed and cried and fed and cried all night until he was about 12 weeks. At 14 weeks he was sleeping through...
Oh and FUCK people saying about 4 hourly feeds - my mum and MIL both cane out with this crap. My mum also smoked and drank through pregnancy so I quite happily ignored her advice.
Baby will find a routine that suits them in there own time, all three of mine had a routine by 16 weeks. Also mine fed every three hours, I could not stretch it any longer. My last one would only sleep at night on me, but do you know what, nothing beats cuddling up with a newborn, they don't stay little for long! If you do want baby to settle in a cot have you tried maybe putting a used top/bra under the mattress cover, smell of milk and you might do the trick .
Firstly high 5 because i also have a 7 week old dd.
It's very early days. This is my second and she's a piece of piss but what you describe sounds exactly like my ds. It was the longest 10 weeks of my life until he fell into a routine. Crying, winding, rocking, slinging, hourly feeding, anything but sleeping. But at 10 weeks a MIRACLE happened and he just started to do more or less the same thing every day. Slept for long periods, kicked about and played on the floor happily, sat in his bouncy seat smiling.
Hang in there. It's about to get easier. I promise.
Oh and the rod for your own back thing is bullshit IME. Just hold her if you have to. Have you got netflix??
I could have written your post 7 months ago! The thing is that all this advice is really just ideas of what might work. Every baby is different and so are their parents, so different ideas/ advice will work for different families. Just pick out the ideas you think will work for you and ignore the scaremongering from your DM and MiL.
That doesn't sound high needs to me, tbh. My 5 week old is the same - its just they're too young.
She may have reflux but thats incredibly common. Ranitidine is popular for it. Also propping the legs of the pram up at one end with a couple of Argos catalogues.
Your expectations seem to be comparable to a much older baby. I've been told not to even think about a routine till 4 months+. Right now I'm just rolling with it. I guess maternity leave = being stuck on the sofa!
No way is a baby that young gonna self-soothe. Mine has to be in a milk coma before he goes down. Only way.
Your baby is 7 weeks old! Just do what you need to do THAT day and don't worry whether its going to cause problems later. Deal with the problem you have now.
The best advice you'll get is not to listen to much to advice; just take it with a pinch of salt.
Re: the noise, babies are used to noise from the womb. I think its more to do with the type of noise rather than the loudness of sound that makes more of a difference at that age. Hence why white noise can help settle a baby, but why certain types of music might stimulate them. So I wouldn't be too concerned about it being loud/quiet now unless its actually bothering your daughter.
What I didn't realise until I had DD was how different babies are from each other. Some need more sleep, some need less. Some will sleep through noise, others won't. Etc. It's not really down to you, it's just what baby you get. So what worked for your GP/MIL/friend's baby may not work for yours.
IMO there are two golden rules in the early weeks:
1) Make sure the baby gets enough milk, so they are not hungry. Do whatever works to ensure that.
If you are lucky and your baby will do 4 hourly feeds, great. If your baby wants feeding more often then so be it.
2) Make sure the baby gets enough sleep, so they are not overtired. Do whatever works to ensure that.
If you are lucky and your baby will self settle and sleep in their basket, great. If your baby needs pram walking/rocking/feeding to sleep then so be it.
Everything else - worry about later.
Go with your instincts as much as possible. You're the one who spends the most time with your baby and who knows her the best. I have a 5 month old dd and also get "my babies were doing this at that age" and I think like you said there's a bit of rose tinted remembering!
Plus advice has changed since then, 4 hour feeds were recommended at one point, now it's feed on demand (for bf at least, I'm not sure about ff).
Personally I don't think you should even be trying to instill a proper routine at 7 weeks. I think go with your baby, but nudge her in the right direction. I'm sure half the stress of a new baby is trying to live up to this perfect, text book baby that everyone who had a baby 20-30 years ago apparently had.
As for "making a rod for your own back"... I think people just feel like that's something something they have to say when you have a baby. Learn to smile and nod. I do a lot (whilst seething with rage on the inside)
Your arms do get blardy sore with all that holding tho. Keeping big piles of cushions and pillows on the sofa so I could prop myself up, lay him on my chest and use my arms helped. I gave my DH the job of stocking several bags with long handles (book bags are ideal) with cartons of juice and nice cereal bags and leaving them strategically around the house, looped over the arms of sofas/ chairs. That way I could easily grab a handle and help myself to a drink and a snack without disturbing a sleeping baby...
GP (you need to put baby down to learn to self settle, you're making a rod for your own back etc)
A GP is a doctor. Parenting is not a medical issue. Their advice on parenting issues (including breastfeeding) is as varied/accurate/evidence based as advice on parenting issues you could get from any member of the general public. Ditto paediatricians. Please do not think that someone speaks with authority and good knowledge of parenting simply because they have a medical degree. Some do, some really don't.
My colicky, high needs baby who needed to be held all of the time, rocked to sleep then sleep on me, fed on demand and spent the first 4 months in a two hour cycle of scream, feed a tiny bit, sleep a tiny bit, scream sounds quite similar to yours. My advice is hold your baby. Ignore anyone who tells you that you are making a rod for your own back. If it feels right, do it. You will know when you need to address an issue or change your methods. (Eg, I stopped rocking to sleep when she became too heavy, instead I lay her down and rubbed her tummy. Then when she could pull herself up and stood up I did 'rapid return'. Don't ask me how, but you will just know what to do.) My DD is now a blooming brilliant, content and loving 3 1/2 year old. She self settles, sleeps through, potty trained herself at 20 months (decided she wanted to wee like mummy!) and is an utter delight. I now laugh at hose who told me I was making a rod for my own back. She was a challenging baby, but she has been a dream of a toddler. You can't spoil a baby by holding them. The only routine I have ever stuck to is bedtime. She has always gone 7pm. I found a sling (one of the soft, ethnic type ones) was brilliant for giving me my hands back whilst keeping dd close. Good luck and enjoy every minute. You will blink and the baby stage will be over.
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