6wk baby+2yo not eating and waking at 5am(18 Posts)
My 2yo has always been a bad eater. When he was 8mo he was still entirely breast-fed as I totally failed to get him to eat anything myself and started to suffer from severe depression as I struggled with him. Out of desperation we went through a couple of nannies, who got him eating off a spoon, provided he had fruit purée with it. However, every meal time is hell, lasts about an hour. We haven't been able to go to anyone's house or on holiday because his eating is so appalling. I have dreaded weekends and being at home on my own with him as apart from breakfast, the day is punctuated by these ordeals of mealtimes with him. I now simply cannot be on my own with him as end up in floods of tears. Recently, his eating has got even worse. Apart from breakfast (he will eat porridge and weetabix happily), he will now only eat bananas, apples, tangerines and blueberries, cheese and butter (he won't eat bread) and Ella's cereal bars. Nothing else. He squirms in the high chair and wants to go down after a few mouthfuls.
I now have a 5 and a half week old baby, and the situation has becone intolerable. His behaviour is out of control. He used to be a good-natured child and wouldn't have tantrums. We now have about three or four a day. He only shouts. He will barely eat anything at all-not even the seven foods mentioned above. And he is waking to at 5am saying he is hungry. This is hard as I am getting a maximum of 5 hours sleep at the moment in 90 minute bursts because of the newborn.
I have been struck down with severe depression and have been crying for days at a time as I have also got some nasty health issues and a bad marriage. I have already sought psychiatric help for me as I am feeling suicidal as I am so tired of feeling like I can't look after my own children and incompetent. I am also really really tired. We are burning through cash as I am struggling to care for the newborn on my own as I am in such a state and so we have taken on an emergency maternity nurse. Everyone is blaming me for his behaviour, but after almost two years of hell, since we tried weaning him, I can't take it any longer. I won't be able to work again as he has broken me. Does anyone know of some kind of 'supernanny' service who can sort him out? This has been by a mile the worst two years of my life and it is affecting my husband's ability to work, my health, and my ability to care for the new baby. I am so tired of crying all the time and feeling so awful.
I have given up asking if anyone has been through the same thing as it feels like everyone else is a much better parent and has never had to go through anything like this and it is all my fault.
I should mention that he only had very few words until about two months ago. Now he has a few more words and his speech is coming along, but you can't reason with him at all.
First of all I think you need to calm down. You sound extremely distressed and that isn't good for you or your dcs.
I think it's a bit extreme taking on a maternity nurse, imo. You will have to deal with both children at some point on your own. Take the baby out of the equation and you have a normal toddler. They throw tantrums and shout and throw and are hard work.
He is probably just trying to get used to a new life with a little baby in the house just like you are.
I think the key point here you say your depressed an this is making everything seem a lot worse than it actually is. If I were you I'd try and keep everything as calm as possible and as normal as possible. Does he go to nursery?
I was just about to say the same. A nursery would provide him with stimulation, routine, social interaction and mealtimes- all the things you are struggling with with your newborn and lack of sleep. If I were in your position I'd rather pay for nursery for my toddler than a maternity nurse so I could spend time with the baby, and his speech and food issues would definitely be helped by spending time at nursery where he would see other children eating etc. Sorry you're having such a rough time
I'm sorry that you feel so bad. You will get past this stage and if you list the actual problems to be tackled on paper you might see that they happen to many families and all can be solved. I suggest you speak to your GP if you haven't already. Someone on another thread said that through her depression she would repeat a mantra of 'And this too will pass' and it calmed her.
How is your son's drinkinig? Could you increase the amount of toddler formula milk you give him with one big bottle before he goes to bed? I'm not an expert, so wait for other replies, but I would stop the battles for the moment and not have structured meal times. Just an indoor or outdoor 'picnic' weather permitting, on the floor a couple of times a day where you put a blanket and some toys down and a plate of cheese, biscuits and fruit pieces. It delays meal training until another day, but in the great scheme of things that isn't the end of the world. Make these picnics an enjoyable time for you and the new baby too. Just sit/lie and relax. I hope you get good advice from others with more recent experience of toddlers. Hugs to you.
I personally wouldn't go down the more milk route at that age. He needs to learn that he needs to eat meals. Not be filled with milk. Just my opinion but you will end up making a whole new issue with filling him up with milk. He will then not eat even more.
Hi and for you. It sounds horrendous.
Your 2 year old sounds just like mine. Mine will eat toast (only if square and butter has melted on it), pureed fruit pots, yogurt, baked beans and occasionally pizza. That's it. Literally it. He won't drink milk or anything other than water. Hasn't had milk since I stopped bfing four months ago. But mine started off eating at six months, we did blw and he ate everything. Then gradually he cut foods out. I offer him a wide variety of foods throughout the day but he refuses.
I am also a childminder and two of the other toddlers I care for have food issues at home. They won't eat for their parents but when they're here they will eat anything and everything. Their parents are so relieved that they can count on them at least getting some nutrition on the days they're with me. How ironic that my own child won't eat anymore, eh?
You're not a failure. Some kids just don't eat. My oldest (who is now 12) was exclusively bf until he was 13 months old. He was ill as a baby and as a result didn't want to/couldn't eat. I worried so much but he was just fine. He was 2.5 before he started eating 3 times a day (until then, he'd maybe nibble something once a day or every other day). He had a very limited diet until he was five and I inticed him with food by making it "fun". Tomato soup became vampire soup and he wouldn't eat pasta but would eat "Elliot pasta" (his name). Now he's 12 and he will eat any food, any type of cuisine, he doesn't suffer any ill effects from eating bugger all the first few years of his life.
I just want you to be somewhat reassured. Your 2 year old won't waste away. If he's still bf, I suggest cutting down to just bed time and first thing in the morning. Don't make meal times a struggle. If he refuses food, fine. Act like it's no big deal. Make healthy food available to him all day. Let him play with food. Apparently that's the step before trying food. We give my 2 year old a little plate or whatever we are eating and he'll poke it with a fork, or examine it with his fingers. He'll very rarely try anything, but I live in hope it'll be soon! We don't badger him to try anything either. It's never stressful.
If I were you, I'd get a childminder or nursery for your toddler. I'd recommend a childminder because they look after less children so can give more 1-1 attention to him. I bet you in no time your toddler will eat for a childminder. Make it regular so he can rely on the routine, and if you can get the childminder to have him over 2 mealtimes (say 8am to 2pm at least) so if he does refuse breakfast for her, he'll be hungry enough at lunch to be motivated to eat. Yes, he still may be a handful for you when he gets home, especially initially, but it'll help. Children are so different for other people when they're not in their own home. They seem to "behave" or conform more to fit in with other children.
My next step is to put my 2 year old with a childminder to help with his eating. I would have already but finances don't allow.
It will pass. It will pass. I promise. Sorry for rambling on.
Nursery is a good plan and one I have been trying to sort out for a while. However, I have been struggling so much that I haven't been able to function enough to sort out the visits and applications.
The mat nurse is necessary because at the moment we are trying to ensure my baby is cared for. My behaviour has been pretty extreme (walking out of the house screaming in tears when I couldn't settle him) and at the moment we feel it is simply not responsible for us not to have help. With regard to the people telling me 'I will have to cope with them both at some point', I have proven that I am simply not able to do so. We have had a full-time nanny since my older son was 8 months old because I can't do it myself. I would love to be able to do so and the greatest source of my depression/siicodal thoughts is the awareness that I am just stupid and incompetent, to the extent the that I can't even look after my own children. I don't even like my own nanny's approach (we had a bad argument on Monday and are barely on speaking terms) but I know I can't cope without her.
I agree on the milk front. He still has a bottle before bed but I can't cope with another problem. At the moment I wonder whether I should just give in and give him porridge (a huge bowl) for his supper every evening as I did that the before last and he slept until 0620. It was amazing. I have spent the last 19 months trying to get him to eat normally and have failed so I wonder whether I should just give up and give him what he wants as then he would at least something and I might be able to cope better.
For reference, in case relevant, the health conditions I have (my adrenal glands no longer work-Addisons disease) were diagnosed after I suffered a massive seizure and was in a coma for a while at the end of 2015 and will leave me dependent on steroids for life, and with very limited ability to deal with stress. So this has been a really really hard period. For the people judging me for needing so much help, that might also fill in some blanks.
Fuckityhi. You sound like the loveliest person and I wish you lived on my street. Your post made me want to cry! Thank you...so glad to know I am not alone.
cobalt I can't do it by myself either. I remember when ds2 was about 2 weeks old, I finally shoved him at dh and went to have a shower, probably my first proper shower in days. When I was upstairs dh called me. Well I lost. My. Shit. I started screaming, throwing things, slamming doors over and over and over. I just want a fucking shower for fuck sake! He was calling me to tell me that the health visitor had just arrived. She heard everything! Talk about feeling a failure! She just hugged me. Said she's seen it before a dozen times. You aren't a failure for not doing it alone. You don't get a medal for not having help, so if you have help, use it! Especially if you have other health concerns. Lose the nanny if she isn't ideal though, might be worth trying to find one who fits in with you better.
Kids are hard. Accept help where you can, ignore people who have these angelic sleeping and eating kids. They aren't helpful!
You aren't a failure or stupid and incompetent. I can handle a house full of children that I childmind. But my own test me to my limits! It sounds like you need better support for you, your self esteem.
If he sleeps after a big supper, give him a big supper! You'll cope more with him if you get a bit more sleep. At this point, do whatever makes your life easier.
Op I didn't realise from your op that things were as bad as you have now said. I think you may need professional help from your new post. Your gp can help with this. What you describe is not normal behaviour to walk out of the house screaming and in tears. Hope you get the help you desperately need
Thanks for these replies. I am having a really bad morning this morning and literally don't know what to do with myself and cannot be in the same room as my 2yo. I am terrified for the damage this is doing to him and feel paralysed with guilt but simply cannot handle him. I have lost my s* in the manner you describe at least a dozen times in the last few months, and probably half a dozen times since Christmas. I hate this. I miss my newborn as I am barely seeing him apart from to feed him. And I am missing my 2yo too, but every time I go anywhere near him I realise what a troll he is and want to slit my wrists.
I am getting professional help. Straight to a perinatal psychiatry team. But really, what can they do? I know that how I am feeling and behaving is not normal. The whole world would have to be a series of asylums if that were the case.
I just wanted to put that post as I was unaware you were having real difficulties op. I was just posting about the first situation in your op. It must be really difficult. I suffer badly from anxiety a lot of the time but not depression. If I lived nearer I would come and take the little mites off your hands for a few hours . Take care of yourself. And be kind to yourself xx
What's your 2 year old like outside? Can you take him somewhere for a big ole run around and let him expend some energy?
Any chance your nanny can bring your newborn to you when he's already fed, burped, clean and sleeping? Some sleepy calm cuddles might make you feel a bit less stressed
If a huge bowl of porridge helps him sleep better then give it him, a child with food issues is not easy, we have one that ate all before him until her was two. He started refusing foods that he previously ate with gusto. However, considering he has such a limited diet he's thriving.
I second the suggestion of sending him to nursery for a day or so a week. You both sound as if you'd benefit from it.
OP I have no advice as not experience what you have been through with your health & my DS is still a baby. But I wanted to send you a massive hug & also say well done for recognising that you need some help.
I really hope some of the comments from PPs help if you try them
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