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13 week old upset by changes

(4 Posts)
em0000 Sun 05-May-13 10:23:18

I'm a first time mum and dd is now 13 weeks old. I'm struggling with how upset she gets when her surroundings and the pattern of the day changes. I haven't tried to follow any particular routine (like those in baby whisperer, Gina ford etc) but she seems to have naturally got a pattern of feeding (she's fully breastfed), then awake and happy for about 1.5 hours, then tired and needing to nap, then sleeping. It takes about 20 mins of rocking or a pram or car ride to get her to sleep for about 45mins to an hour. As long as we're having a quiet day this pattern is fine and she's happy. But if anything changes she gets really upset.

So if she naps in the car and wakes up in a new place, especially if it's noisy or there are lots of people, she gets very upset and won't feed properly and cries. She's hungry but only has a few sucks then pulls away crying and won't go back on. She won't play happily or settle at all and won't sleep. So I can spend several hours intermittently trying to feed and then get her to sleep but she is just so unhappy.

It ends up that I'm stressed (which I'm sure she picks up on) and she's crying and I feel bad for inflicting the screams on whoever we're visiting, or giving up trying to get the shopping done, and bad that she's unhappy and distressed.

I don't know if I should give up going out, in order to keep her happy, and hope that at some point she'll be ok with going out as she gets more secure. Or if I should keep going so that she'll learn to cope. I'm not sure I could stay home all the time! But I don't want to make things worse by keep going out, reinforcing her upset every time.

Any ideas and thoughts welcome! Especially if anyone's faced a similar situation, I'd love to know how things worked out. Thanks.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 05-May-13 10:36:21

At 13 weeks old she really won't be aware of changes in the way that you or I would be. She's so so tiny and new, they just don't think like that.

Feed her when she's hungry, change her when she's wet/dirty, cuddle her lots grin and relax.

She's brand new. Everything is new and startling and sometimes scary. Lights, sounds, smells - she's experiencing things for the first time. She's going to be startled by noises, etc. You just need to cuddle and comfort and make her feel safe (which you do just by being you!)

At this point, you are probably stressed the moment you go into a situation that is out of your routine, thinking that she's going to be stressed, so she picks up on your stress (that's one thing they do VERY well!) which does indeed make her agitated so you use that as proof that she gets stressed by a change in her routine, which means the next time you do something you anticipate how she's going to be and you feel stressed which she picks up on... etc - do you see how that spirals? You are at your most relaxed on a 'quiet day' and therefore your baby is. Take you out of your comfort zone and you're stressed and your baby can't settle.

So if you relax, go with the flow, cuddle, feed and don't worry, then it will be better. Babies cry. They're always going to cry, it's ok. It lasts for a very very very short time indeed (although it doesn't bloody feel like it! I know grin) and before you know it they're sitting up, standing up, toddling around, running around, backchatting... wink

I AM NOT SAYING IT IS YOUR FAULT! grin it isn't. It isn't about fault. I want to make that very clear. It's just how babies are.

Marthanoooo Sun 05-May-13 19:25:27

Hmmm. The other opinion would be to figure out her exact routine if she is so inclined and work the majority of your days around it. (Obviously if you are invited to a wedding for example just take her with you, maybe in a sling).

But for every day just stick to her naps in her cot and count your blessings ;-) soon enough she will need less sleep and you will be able to go out longer and longer.

Obviously expose her to new things but keep the nap & feeding times consistent.

Good luck!

Marthanoooo Sun 05-May-13 19:27:12

I agree though that the more you relax the more your baby can relax!

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