Finding it a bit tough with large baby.(29 Posts)
I don't know if this is a behaviour/development thread, a Feeding one or what really so bare with me.
DS2 is 22wks. He is a large baby, particularly in comparison to his sister who is/was diddy (he is wearing clothes now that she outgrew in her 2nd year). He's a lovely little thing, smiley and easy to make laugh.
However I am finding it tough at the moment. He is very strong and very heavy, and I am completely exhausted by carrying him about. He often is only happy when held in a particular position (e.g standing on my lap) and only naps in the sling. It also feels at the moment that he is struggling a lot which is really hard to contain - he's a bit grumpy from (I think) teething and flails/arches/thrashes around particularly when tired and often while BF. I am feeling w bit brutalised at times and it is making me sad that I'm not enjoying him as much as I should be.
Doesn't help that sleep is shit too so he is on and off boob all night/ends up in our bed so I am not getting much space/rest.
Sometimes when he is crying and thrashing about I am at a loss to what is wrong and feel very out of step with him - I don't remember feeling like this with my daughter.
He is showing some signs of being ready for solids (great head control, sits with support, good hand/mouth coordination, lunges at my food and gets v cross when I don't allow him any) but he can't be underfed if he's putting on weight the way he is (exclusively BF) and I don't wSnt to start too early.
I just feel generally a bit down and like it is hard to meet all his needs and oddly a lot of it seems to stem from his size and how much work it is to carry/lift/hold him.
My ds2 was like this. Big, heavy, thrashing, always a bit grumpy, shit sleep, clingy.
I wondered if there was something 'low grade' wrong (undiagnosed TT/some gastric stuff-reflux/intolerance to something) but the GP and HV were never concerned.
He's 4 now and it's a memory. It will pass.
I found that he was early with everything physical, like eating, walking, jumping, running and climbing. And later with talking and potty training.
In the end I resigned myself to it all. It was tough. Really tough. But as each milestone was passed it did ease up. He's a much better sleeper now although comes into our bed every night at some point still, and generally a joy to be around (although he has his days/moments!).
Hang in there. And accept every offer of help/babysitting wherever possible! also helps
If he is 22 weeks and big i would just wean him now. What is the recommended age? 24 weeks? Dd3 was big and remains so. A head taller than the rest of the class on year 4. When i started weaning her she yanked the spoon out of her hand.
Thanks. NHS weaning advice is 6m (26 weeks) so we'd be a month early.
Julia yes in the early days he was refluxy - not so bad now but I do wonder. It's so difficult when they are upset/grumpy and you can't tell why.
DS3 is similar. He's massive - at four months he was 24lb. Also likes to be carried around with me rather than playing on the floor like his brothers were happy to do at the same age ands seems to hate sleep so ended up bed sharing and sling wearing. Im finding it tough this time! He's 23 weeks and I'm wondering if he'd be ready for food too.
Have you looked at the wonder weeks app?
I had a massive baby and ended up weaning her at about 4.5 months. Like a PP, she yanked the spoon out if my hand! She was just ready and it felt like a really natural step. Trust your intuition.
He has to be sitting independently to start weaning. Weaning is not recommended to 6 months due to internal gut development.
I have just got a sling for my 7 month large baby and I wish I got it earlier.
My ds was born at 11 lbs. (No gestational diabetes, just big) He had doubled his birth weight by 3 months I think. I carried him a sling a lot and found a wrap sling very good for distributing the weight.
I breast fed him until he was 16 months and he wasn't really in to food until he was about 9 months. He was still waking in the night for a feed or 2 until he was a year old. I don't think a bigger baby needs weaning earlier in general, but yours might be ready.
He is almost 7 and perfectly average height wise and skinny.
Some babies are just more difficult than others and it's only natural to compare and wonder why. I have 5, and I was surprised each time how different they were and how hard it was to find a new rhythm when a new one came along.
It's early days and will get better.
My dd2 was/is a big baby. She was also grouchy and strong and used to make me feel a bit brutalised too.
At 22 or 23 weeks she dragged herself over to a sandwich, sat up and ate it. Like an adult would. I sat watching her like this
Eating did make her happier, but I let her lead. I never fed her anything just put it in reach.
She's 2 now and still really big, people are always amazed when I tell them she was 2 in November. She talks really well, has long thick hair and wears 3-4 clothes. She looks like she's at least 3 if not older. I'm hoping she slows down soon.
DC3 is the same age and I started weaning her a couple of weeks ago. the guidelines are just guidelines and in fact the WHO recommendations have changed a few times over the last 5 or 6 years (they used to say no weaning for 6m, then they changed it to 4m, now it's back at 6mo).
If your baby is on the large side, can sit well and has good head control, it's worth a try. DC3 was like this and had started sleeping very badly. I suspected she was hungry and since I started her on solids she has been sleeping well again. She gulped down the food in about 10 seconds, grabbed the spoon and tried to feed herself so I think she was definitely ready.
Babies also seem to get very hungry ahead of reaching a milestone ime, so you might find he's ready to crawl.
I have a giant baby!
12lbs 8oz born and now at 7 months he's about 24lbs. I hear you about carrying him around I sometimes feel like my shoulder will pop out of its socket. He's not great in the buggy and my original sling couldn't hold him as he's a fidget and a dead weight. I invested in an ergo and it's made life much easier.
I put him in it and push an empty buggy around to carry things and add stability then when he's asleep I put him in the buggy for a break.
I started solids at 4 1/2 months. All good intentions were there to wait until 6 but when one day he literally lunged and took a bite from my sandwich I knew he wanted more than boob. He slept through from then on, seemed happier but still nursed the same during the day.
Oh my goodness give the baby some food and it will change your life! I fed bits from 4 months!
A decent sling will help, what kind are you currently using? You need one with good hip support for you if you don't currnetly have. But his weight isn't that heavy for a good sling as with one you can carry up to 3+ years. Look at maybe manduca sling. Could use on you back now also
Thanks for all these responses, it's all so helpful.
Re the weaning/not weaning; I am very torn on it - I understand the science about them being physiologically not ready/gut not sealed but I think that babies must reach the physiological milestone at different rates the same as they do other stuff? Today he practically mugged me for my bread and butter - and I am aware they grab anything at this age, but this was a very concerted effort and he was really cross when I prised it out of his hand. I'm going to try to hold out a couple more weeks - I think he is on the verge of being ready.
happy I have a pretty good sling collection - actually one of the things I'm a bit sad about is that I don't enjoy wrapping him as much as I was anticipating as he is so heavy. I need to put some effort into practicing back carries with him I think. Your point about each baby being different is really useful to hear I think. He is so different from my daughter who was an amazingly easy baby in many ways (she's busy now being a very determined 3 year old but that's another story!). My daughter used to sit on my lap and watch things going by as I remember it, and then quietly fall asleep after a long dreamy feed. None of that happens at the moment, but perhaps it's also rose tinted glasses.
He seems to like his actual sleep and got into a great rhythm very early of going to bed about 7/8pm and waking for the day at 6/7am. He was going the whole night with only 2 or sometimes 1 feed. Since the 4 month regression kicked in he wakes loads of times in the night - every 1.5hrs - and cries/whimpers, but stays half asleep and settles again quickly with either a cuddle or a boob. It's like he wants to be asleep but he wants me RIGHT THERE. Which I know is normal at this age, but is exhausting.
I should add - he's not massive, was only just over 8lb at birth and in cruising on 80th centile, but I'm quite slight so it's all relative. And he's 50% bigger than my daughter who was only 6lb.2 and 9th centile. I never remember her feeling heavy and I was still slinging her at 2.5yrs.
WHO guidelines haven't changed for 13 years, and when they did it was from 4-6 months to 6 months. It hadn't changed for 20 years before that. Not that I think weaning a 22week old will do any harm.
My son was a big baby. We didn't wean until 26 weeks and he absolutely loves his food and I don't regret waiting. If you wait until 26 weeks then you can ensure that they are ready inside and out for food. Lots of people say 'oh I weaned early and my kid is fine' but the effects of early weaning sometimes don't present until 20 years old.
Ok so leaving the 'when to wean' debate to one side, any advice on coping with a large heavy writhing sometimes grumpy and not very put-down able baby?
All those symptoms sound very much like silent reflux to me. I'd try asking the GP for some gaviscon to see if it helps.
I have found back carrying with my sling really helpful. My large baby really chills out on my back - she can see everything, she is upright, her legs are free not hitting my thighs, she has a slight pressure on her tummy which she likes. I can also get on with things whilst she is on my back. Whenever she is unsettled I pop her in.
When she was on my front she was getting frustrated as she couldn't see much and her legs got squashed when I sat down.
YouTube will probably have some videos of how to back carry with your particular sling. Or do you have a sling library nearby?
Have a mirror in your pocket if you need to check her expression.
Back Carrying is like having a rucksack on, so you don't have the sense of carrying a baby iyswim, it doesn't feel so tiring physically or in terms of being limited what you can do
The other thing I found helpful is a 'stand up' toy where they are propped standing up in the middle. We have the leap frog learn n groove activity centre and for a long time it was the only place my (big, wanting to be upright) babies would be happily put down
Lots on ebay
I doubt starting solid food has anything to do with it. Breast milk is much more nutrient dense than the food a baby will be able to eat.
I felt that my big babies were unsettled by being babies - they didn't like lying down staring at mobiles and not being able to control their body - they wanted to be up communicating and walking around and seeing things, and were really frustrated that their bodies weren't ready.
Highly recommend using a kanga to carry him low on your back. Your hips take most of the weight not your shoulders. If you have a local sling library/ sling meet they can advise you.
Another thing to think about - is this definitely all him, or could you be feeling tired for other reasons? Have you been checked for thyroid issues and iron levels etc? If you aren't 100% then everything is heavier and harder work because you aren't as strong as usual.
I have a big
baby toddler (not quite 3, 104cm tall, wears 4-5 clothes, 10lbs at birth).
I found the early bit exhausting, as carrying her was like carrying an anvil. I couldn't get on with slings, and she hated the pram, so learnt to walk at 8 months. She was also crazy strong, used to push me away hard enough to de-latch when bf'ing at a few weeks old.
She's still crazy strong, but now I don't need to pick her up so often it's easier.
I hear you. No advice, but you're not alone! I look at newborns and think 'you were NEVER that small'. Well, in the womb
at five months maybe.
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