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Feeling down with 7 week old. When does it get better?

(19 Posts)
Ibu1986 Mon 22-Jun-15 05:25:46

I'm a first time mum to a challenging 7 week old. He seriously fights sleep during the day and putting him down for naps has become an hourly and tearful (both of us) struggle.

After waking up, I feed and change him, play a little if he's happy and then I see the cues e.g. zoning out, yawns etc. This is usually within an hour of being up. I can then spend upto 45 mins trying to get him to nap before giving up. I've tried it all- swaddling, white noise, bouncy chair, dummy, dark room, co-sleeping, shush pat, feeding, rocking/swaying/bouncing. I can see his eyes close then they spring open as he fights sleep. I'd be happy for him to sleep on me, but he just squirms and refuses. He will sleep in a carrier (thank god), but I have to be constantly moving and even then the average nap is only about an hour. I'm now starting to feel exhausted carrying him for up to 6 hours a day. He is ebf and still waking every 2/3 hours in the night so I'd love the chance to be able to rest, even sit down a bit more, during the day.

To top it off, he has such a difficult temperament at the moment. Yesterday, he whinged and cried literally the entire time he was awake leaving me feeling like the worst mum ever and emotionally drained. I'm hoping this is just a phase (wonder week leap 1), but I hate seeing him so unhappy.

The doctor doesn't seem concerned as he's put on 5lb since birth. I have a wonderful husband who does so much in the evenings and weekends. However, I find myself dreading the long days and not enjoying motherhood at all.

So apologies for the long post. I'm just looking for some reassurance that this will pass and any helpful advice. Is this normal behaviour?

ThatsNotEvenAWord Mon 22-Jun-15 06:18:25

I'm hoping some people who know a bit more will be along soon but didn't want to read and run... Could he have reflux? I'd take him to GP to get checked out.

ishouldcocoa Mon 22-Jun-15 06:41:00

I would pop him into your GP just to check that he's OK and there is nothing else bothering him before you check out any other strategies to settle him.

Have you tried putting him in the car and driving for a bit? My DS used to settle and sleep, and I'd manage to turn off the engine and fall asleep in the front seat too. DS used to fight sleep, and it became a bit of a vicious circle. Your DS is still very young.

Have you been to see your HV? She may have some suggestions. Also get both of you out to a local NCT group, or a babies and toddlers group. Takes a lot of effort, I know, but you need to get out and about. Meet other Mums going through similar problems.

Iggi999 Mon 22-Jun-15 07:00:14

Bless you, he's so wee and it can be so much harder than people realise. Given the time of year I would get out of the house as much as you can for your own sanity - never mind if it's a baby group, just walk/find cafes etc, while he is so portable. I'm not sure on the sleep - if he fights it so much maybe it would be better to wait? - but it might be worth reposting in the sleep section for specific help with the naps. Since he's be, how is he when he's on the breast, does he have a moment of contentment then? If he's still unhappy then, there could be a reflux type issue perhaps. Bf groups are great for meeting other new mums as well as good advice about feeding patterns etc.
The best news is that everything changes so fast at the moment - the further into the "fourth trimester" you get the more comfortable they seem to be. I remember my babies as just one long open mouth before three months!
I hope today goes a bit better for you, and no, you are not a rubbish mum flowerscake

pocketsized Mon 22-Jun-15 07:04:29

Does he have wind? My DD was bf, and lots of people told me bf babies don't get wind... So I didn't wind her that much. Nonsense. She is a windy baby, and if we don't do a thorough job of winding her before we lie her down she screams and cries and thrashes about, she's a lot more comfortable if we've winded her well. She's now 13 weeks and mum has more capable of burping by herself, which also seems to have helped!

It is exhausting though, is there anyone (friend/relation) who could watch her for an hour or so to give you a break? I was really surprised how willing friends were to hold her while I showered/ate a meal/drank a hot cup of tea. I had assumed no one would want a grumpy baby, but when I asked it turned out lots were willing to help but didn't know if I'd mind...

I also find it much easier to deal with the tiredness if we are doing something ( offer with a friend, baby group, food shopping) than if I'm just sat at home, I guess being busy distracts me from how tired I am!

Good luck, I'm pretty sure I felt like it would never get better, but it does,!

catchingzzzeds Mon 22-Jun-15 07:12:04

Could you feed to sleep?
How about white noise, will he settle if you pop the Hoover on? Don't actually Hoover though!
We bought a swing, it was one of the tall ones and worked like a dream for us.
I remember this feeling so well, it felt like it would never end but I promise it will get better. I used to cry all day with exhaustion around this stage.
I agree with trying to get out, I know you don't feel like it but it will help you mentally and emotionally to get some fresh air and see other grown ups.

WantedGSOH Mon 22-Jun-15 07:15:07

I logged in for first time in over a year to respond to yr post because I really feel your pain.

My DS2 is now 12 weeks old & it has been a completely different experience to my first DS.
From a week or two he cried & cried, often really shrill extreme crying that could go on for hours. One day he cried for about 10 hours with a half an hour nap in the middle.
Because he was number 2 I knew this wasn't normal & pushed with the Drs (& racked my brains plus Dr google!) to work out the problem.

Other symptoms included a constant little cough, and only being settled squashed upright against my chest.
It was so exhausting (having a toddler to deal with too) that we hired a night nurse to help a few nights a week. She confirmed that the crying was more than you'd expect.

It became clear that he was suffering from silent reflux. I.e acid was flowing up & down his throat constantly leading to great pain & an irritated cough. Because he was rarely sick he didn't lose weight but in fact this often exacerbates the symptoms as the acid isn't ejected.

He is now on medication which has helped hugely although we do still get bad days.
I feel like we missed out on seeing development leaps etc. they happened but were tiny fleeting moments every few days amongst his crying. Now we get to see the lovely giggles etc.

Sorry for such a long post but hope it has helped you to realise that constant crying is not a normal baby state. It may not be reflux and could be any number of things but it sounds similar enough to pursue as a possibility. If you get fobbed off (first Dr I saw patronisingly said "So are you a first time mother? Babies do cry you know" & was put out when I said no, I'd had a baby before who actually hadn't cried all day!) try & see different Drs til you get one who you think listens.

I found it all hugely draining & have lost over a stone in 2 months (actually the only good thing). It's been much longer to bond this time.

Good luck & I promise life will improve (until the terrible twos but that's a whole other matter wink)

Chchchchangeabout Mon 22-Jun-15 07:24:52

Mine was the same also ebf turned out to be allergy to cows milk and tongue/lip tie meaning he would be v uncomfortable lying down. I stopped eating dairy and we got the ties sorted and that sorted it.

llammallamamissesmama Mon 22-Jun-15 07:39:16

My heart goes out to you. My DS was a "normal" baby, no reflux or anything but by goodness it was tough. The long days until my husband got home. The exhaustion. The relentless nap battle. In those first early weeks he just nodded on/off as I fed him or he sat on my knee or in his bouncer. But I found it so difficult. I never got rest and I was completely exhausted. Witching hours were the worst. About 6pm until 11pm, DS would feed and cry and writhe and cry and feed and on and on.

I don't have any further advice (other than PP suggesting pursue GP if you think something is wrong) but just wanted to let you know it DOES get better, it gets easier, it gets to be enjoyable, you will sleep again. Just take every day as it comes flowers

Luckystar1 Mon 22-Jun-15 07:50:42

My DS was like this at that age. Not one thing wrong with him, although i thought at the time that there must be!! For him, tiredness was a MAJOR (in fact the only) factor in his crying.

You obviously have no feeding issues, so it may well be that he's just massively overtired and overstimulated.

Put him down no more than 45 mins from waking from each nap. Keep 'play' to a minimum. These toys marketed at 0+ really get on my wick. The world is enough stimulus, they don't need toys and flashing lights etc.

My DS is now 8 months and he is the happiest little boy. But I would strongly advise taking a week (for example) and really try to nail the naps as it worked wonders for us. And remember, sleep encourages sleep, so you are not potentially damaging night sleep, but aiding it.

Good luck! It's tough! flowers

Ibu1986 Mon 22-Jun-15 08:17:20

Thanks for all your kind messages of support. Much of what you've suggested I've already tried and do, especially the daily outings to keep me sane.

The one thing I've looked into again is silent reflux. I did mention this to the doctor but she dismissed it. However, having checked the symptoms again he does have quite a few of them: irritability/crying, poor sleeping, lots of hiccups, sneezing, big weight gain (comfort sucking?).

His feeding at breast is erratic. Sometimes he is content, but other times he will pull off and cry repeatedly. He also chokes, gags and coughs, but I've always put this down to fast let down/oversupply.

Does this sound like silent reflux?

One final thing, he has very sensitive skin on his face and is prone to rashes. Could this be linked to an allergy?

pocketsized Mon 22-Jun-15 08:27:39

It does sound like it could be a cows milk protein allergy if he's getting a rash on his face e. You could push the GP to refer you to a dietician to look into it.

Ibu1986 Mon 22-Jun-15 08:28:19

Oh he also constantly squirms, prefers being held upright, drools a lot, lots of burps and wind.

ThatsNotEvenAWord Mon 22-Jun-15 09:50:56

The fussy feeding could be due to a growth spurt (my DS was horrendous to feed during them) but the rest definitely sounds like reflux or allergy I think, hope you manage to get some answers smile

Ragusa Mon 22-Jun-15 20:41:48

Could be reflux or CMPI, could be normal fussy baby, could be oversupply of milk. How are his poos?

Ibu1986 Tue 23-Jun-15 02:05:17

He probably has 5 biggish poos a day. Some quite explosive (can spray quite a distance!). They're yellow, quite runny and have some lumps. He also has the lovely habit of pooing a little when he farts.
Sorry for the details- hope no one was eating!

Ibu1986 Tue 23-Jun-15 02:18:22

Apologies in advance for the details!
He has on average 5 biggish poos a day. They're yellow (sometimes dark, other times light), quite runny and have lumps. They can be rather explosive and he farts a lot and very loudly! They're also very smelly. I always assumed this was to do with my oversupply.

MrsL2012 Tue 23-Jun-15 08:58:03

This sounds exactly like my DS, now 9 months. I was lucky where at least he was a good night sleeper but wow were those days hard. People didn't believe me when I said he did not sleep during the day. Even now it's a battle to get him to nap during the day.

I went to the gp convinced something wasn't right but everything was dismissed.

We ended up walking for hours every day to get him to sleep - sometimes with sunglasses on to hide the exhaustion tears!

Good luck, I feel for you big hugs xx

myexcitinglife Tue 23-Jun-15 09:07:32

Sounds normal to me. Don't be hard on yourself, it's ok to feel desperate! [Flowers]. Have you checked for tongue tie? Do a bit of research on that (most HVhave no clue about this, so look for a specialist). Other than that, go with the flow! Some babies don't "do" routine.

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