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Is my 10 week breast-fed child sad? Crying before feeding/in sleep

(57 Posts)
GrannysLittlePickle Mon 05-Sep-11 17:34:28

Possibly the wrong board but I'm really worried my DD is unhappy or doesn't like me or something...

I pick up on her cues to feed before she starts crying, then as soon as I have her on my lap and am pulling up my top she starts crying! She will then feed but often pulls off - have I done something wrong to traumatise her about feeding? I reoffer the breast when she pulls off but don't hold her on if she is definitely refusing. If she is having her evening hell-time yell I will put it in her open yelling mouth as sometimes she decides that actually, yes, she is hungry, and it sorts the yelling. Is this forcing her to feed?

She also pulls a really sad face and cries in her sleep.

I am worrying that I didn't give her enough cuddles or milk early on and she has bad memories/feelings - we didn't cosleep until after the first week and I had real problems establishing breastfeeding. I also sometimes resent her waking me in the night when I'm really tired and so am possibly not as loving/gentle with her as I could be - she wakes every 2 to 1 1/2 hours.

During the day I offer her the breast about every hour as that is how often she seems to want it - more in the evenings... When we are out/distracted it can be less. Is this too often? Is she getting fed up with me just shoving a boob in her face all the time?

I just keep thinking I'm not being as good a mum as I should be....

StealthPolarBear Mon 05-Sep-11 17:38:35

OK, the breastfeeding stuff all sounds utterly normal
Babies cry when you're undoing your bra because they don't understand why they can't have milke NOW
they cry at other times because they're babies. They even cry in their sleep sometimes.
LOADS of people struggle to establish bf. Most people do not co sleep. 99.9% of babies who have loving parents (breastfeeding, co-sleeping or not) are fine and loved. Every single parent who has woken in the night has muttered "oh just fucking SLEEP".

You are a good mum but the concern is that you don't think you are. Does anyone else know you're feeling like this? Are you getting out and about and seeing friends?

StealthPolarBear Mon 05-Sep-11 17:40:54

If your baby is pulling off mid feed, could it be over supply? Worth exploring the options with your HV or a breastfeeding counsellor, but it's nothing you have or haven't done, just soemthing to be sorted.

NorksAreMessy Mon 05-Sep-11 17:43:02

Oh my goodness!
Your baby is not sad, she is hungry. And being a baby.

You, however, do sound a bit sad, and probably quite tired. Is there anyone who can help you through this difficult part of your life?

Nothing you are doing will make your baby sad, but things she is doing...not on purpose, can easily make you feel sad.

GrannysLittlePickle Mon 05-Sep-11 17:46:10

My DP knows I worry about everything, which is normal for me, so he knows I am worrying about some bits about being a mum.

I've only been in the area for a few years and have always had problems making friends - I would say my colleagues are my friends but they are now back at work (secondary teacher), so busy. I have tried to get out and about but it knackers me and I get really stressed about the whole getting out of the house bit, and DD doesn't like being in the car seat so I feel bad putting her through that - and I get incredibly stressed when she cries while I'm driving so I try to avoid it! - so I suppose the answer to that question is: not that much.

Re oversupply: I can't seem to express that much - so I don't think so. How would I know?

Thanks for answering so quickly!

StealthPolarBear Mon 05-Sep-11 17:48:49

Is there anything locally you could walk to? Keep trying the car - they do start off screaming.
You sound really down and isolated. You're the most important person in your DD's world, honestly. She thinks the sun shines out of your bottom smile

festi Mon 05-Sep-11 17:50:31

she may be crying as she is anticipating what is coming, a bit like a child who falls over but doesnt cry untill they see thier mum, she knows that comfort/feed is coming and she is impatient. so nothing you have done bad.

I would also 10 weeks is the age they experiment with conecting an action with a responce such as a cry for attention etc and these feelings emotions are played out awake and asleep a little like dreams possibly. so I would say that is normal development. she may have slight colic if it is a grimace and wine rather than a full on cry.

colic or over supply would be the reason for pulling off mid feed.

not sure what the advice is on BF just now dd is 5, but I always BF on demand so I wouldnt feel anxious about ensuring she has a feed every hour, I would feed as an when she is seeking it or if you want it more routined try every hour and an half to 2 hours. she may be crying as she has been stirred from her sleep slightly if you are feeding before she wakes.

I would not worry it sounds like you are doing fine and not emotionaly scaring you child.

GrannysLittlePickle Mon 05-Sep-11 17:53:08

I'm being a numpty aren't I? grin

... and I'm crying now because you're being so nice!

I'm starting baby massage classes tomorrow which is walkable, but other than that the only young baby things are a drive or bus ride away. Loads of stuff for toddlers nearby though!

My "MIL" has been to visit a few times but she seems nervous of holding the baby and has some strange ideas... my mother "doesn't do babies"! So no, there isn't anyone.

grubbalo Mon 05-Sep-11 17:55:58

Are there any local breastfeeding support groups near to you? I was a bit worried when I went to ours it would be full of really overbearing pushy people telling me I was doing it all wrong, but it turned out to be a v nice group more like a playgroup where you didn't feel stupid breastfeeding. Round here it isn't affiliated to NCT although I know some are. If you put your general location (you don't need to be v specific, so something like I am in west Dorset) then someone else on here might be able to give you some ideas.

Re the car thing, my DS1 was just the same. He particularly hated driving under 40 miles an hour! But that does get better with time I promise. Seriously I think it's worth persevering as you being happy is paramount - your daughter already knows how fantastic you are!

festi Mon 05-Sep-11 17:56:15

I had a little over supply or a fast flow maybe and also couldnt express, I think I couldnt express because I was a bit anxious and so maybe couldnt relax to do it but I found if I had a warm bath and let some out in the bath in the morning before feeding dd this would help control my flow for her through out the day.

festi Mon 05-Sep-11 17:59:00

I am going to really recomend the baby massage it will help boost your confidance with dd.

LittleMissBabybrain Mon 05-Sep-11 17:59:39

Could she be going through a growth spurt? My 10 wk old DD has been very fussy and cranky the last couple of days, feeds pretty much hourly and sleeping a lot in between feeds. I recognise the signs from her last growth spurt (around 5 weeks) and know that this will pass and I'll get my happy, smiley baby back soon smile

Regarding the pulling off during feeding, she could have wind? I would try winding her then try feeding again. FME oral thrush could be a possibility too, I thought DD had "gone off" me at one point and had a BF counsellor come out to see us to check her latch (which was fine) and sent us to the GP as it looked like thrush. After a course of drops it cleared up and we were fine again.

I'm sure your DD has no bad feelings or memories, as StealthPolarBear said we all get pissed off in the middle of the night when you've JUST dropped back off and you're woken again! I do always tell her in the morning that I'm sorry for being a grump and I love her smile don't think she cares a jot to be honest...

Is you're DD gaining weight, having lots of wet nappies etc?

GrannysLittlePickle Mon 05-Sep-11 18:07:00

Loads of wet nappies, poo is often VERY runny (watery) and explosive and sometimes green-tinged. I've looked on Kellymom and it does look like oversupply might be the problem - except she has only gained about 5oz a week for the last 4 weeks....

I've done some googling and there is a brestfeeding support group about a 15min drive from me so I could be brave and go there...

LMBB - yes she gets lots of wind and I do try winding which sometimes seems to help... Would a BF counsellor recognise thrush if I took her to the group?

NorksAreMessy Mon 05-Sep-11 18:17:56

Be brave about the support group. You will NOT want to go and suddenly find 26 excuses, but if you do go you will feel sooooooo much better.

In any case, the might of MN is now here to hold you hand!
You will not be going through anything that some wise woman somewhere has either done, seen or knows about

NorksAreMessy Mon 05-Sep-11 18:20:38

Am a bit cross that your MIL and even your Mother are being as much use as a wet lettuce - actually, lettuce is MORE useful as it can be bunged down a bra in emergencies! smile
I know it is your baby (before loads of cross people tell me that obvious fact) but a little family support would be nice

Is this their 14th grand-daughter each? are they bored of babies, or have they not seen once since you and their DS were tiny?

GrannysLittlePickle Mon 05-Sep-11 18:37:46

1st grandchild on both sides and by all accounts neither mother enjoyed the experience of being mothers themselves- I had nannies, DP's mother had a breakdown and relegated childcare to his father!

You are right on the mark about not wanting to go to the group - I was already starting to make excuses in my head! grin

LittleMissBabybrain Mon 05-Sep-11 18:44:06

Not sure if all BF counsellors are trained to spot signs of thrush but mine is pretty -old- experienced so has seen it before, she showed me white spots on DD's tongue - hard to spot mind when she feeds regularly as she often has milk coating her tongue too - and a kind of shiny coating on her cheeks and back of her throat. GP diagnosed though.

Nappies sound pretty normal to me smile I found out recently that peaches are not my friend when breastfeeding! Both of us were covered!

Another vote for joining a group, I don't go to our BF group simply because its on when DP has half day from work which he likes to spend with DD, but I stay at the "stay and play" sessions after baby clinic each week and have met lots of people there. Its an eye opener when you get talking, you soon realise that there's lots of shared worries and feelings of not doing it "right". You're not alone OP

lilham Mon 05-Sep-11 18:46:07

Is there a sure start centre around you? Going out and meet other mums with young babies is great because who else would love listening to endless chat on poo, sleep and feeding. And whoelse are so tolerant to crying babies?

Dont worry too much about the crying in the car. Does she stop crying when you pick her up afterwards? Also I found hanging a few toys distract my DD. And I have heard other mums swear by those car mirrors. There was a phase at 3mo when my DD cries every car ride. I just made sure she's nit hungry and have a clean nappy before we leave. Then I know she's simply crying coz she's tired or bored.

GrannysLittlePickle Mon 05-Sep-11 19:24:32

Not sure about sure start centres - got to go now - have entered the evening grumpy baby zone but will check the thread again tomorrow.

Thank you all.

cantmakecarrotcake Mon 05-Sep-11 20:04:02

Just a quick comment on the car seat thing and timing of going places. In the early days (and even now DD is 7 mo) I always timed journeys for when DD would sleep. It might not be doable depending on when you need to be out, but it's something worth thinking about. It may mean you have to take a long route to ensure she gets a full half hour or something (I've done many circuitous routes to extend driving time or read a book in the swimming pool carpark) but it can be worth it. Singing helps if they are crying - often it's because they don't know you're still there. We got a toy arch for the car seat and that helps.

Have you spoken with anyone from your local NCT group? They have coffee mornings and bumps and babies groups for mums with little ones. I have to say I couldn't have coped without my NCT friends in the early days (and now).

Have a chat with your HV about the crying during feeds - they will come to you if you ask so you won't have to get to a clinic. It sounds like a bit of one to one time with someone experienced will help.

The evening cluster feeding does ease. I think around this time I was starting the bath, story bed routine which helps get them to settle at a reasonable time.

Hope things improve for you. xx

eightyone Mon 05-Sep-11 20:08:54

I really know what you mean about thinking that baby doesnt like you! Especially when my baby is fussing and crying at baby group while all the others are sleeping or lying around happily!

My 2 month old has days where Im sure he doesnt like me at all especially when he settles with DH so much easier. Sometimes I think he gets confused by my smell of milk, and this confuses him about what he what he feels/wants particularly if he is overtired. Sometimes I think he is just a grumpier baby than others and it is just his personality so I had better get used to it.

Mine is particularly fussy is the morning and this IS from a forceful letdown, but it settles down during the day. I had to stop espressing and fed from only one breast for a couple of hours before swapping to the other side to help this and this has settled it down. I have been doing this for a couple of weeks now and only have the problems of a coughing/spluttering baby now in the morning.

I am hoping that he becomes a little happier in the future!

I literally could have written your thread (right down to the fact that everyone's gone back to work today... do you actually feel a little jealous? Teaching suddenly seems easy huh?) I'm going to call the NCT breastfeeding counsellor about the mid feed screaming tomorrow so if I find out anything then I'll let you know. The one thing I have discovered is that if baby is screaming and I turn him round so I'm still hugging him but he's facing away from me then he will calm down (not distracted by the smell of milk?) and then I can turn him round - calm - to see if he wants a feed or not. Also, if he gets really upset feeding then I take him upstairs and we lie down, again, he'll calm down and feed if that's what he wants.

Good luck; I'll be watching this thread with interest to glean more tips!

Mampig Mon 05-Sep-11 21:13:29

Hugs to yousmile. I think the key here is that u need more support. Going to the group will give u a chance to realize that you and your baby are totally normal! I wonder though if after 1 hour, your baby is tired more than hungry?? Took me a while to figure this out- that every stirring wasn't for a feed lol. My ds is 9 wo now and feeds every 2 hrs- goes like this: feed; wakeful and play time. After an hour he gets a bit grumpy and I rock him to sleep with a dummy. He then wakens on cue nearly exactly 2 hours after his last feed. Then the cycle starts again .... He also has a grumpy evening time - not colic but unsettled between 7 and 8/9, but this is getting shorter and easier as I now feed at around 6.30 so I know when he starts his grumpy period I just have to get him to sleep till it passes- this will take maybe half hour to do, but then he'll sleep for a little longergrin. I hope things work out for you- mn here for u anyway!!! Please do take care of yourself and try to monitor your mood as post- natal depression can raise it's ugly head in these situations. That's why you really need to get out of the house and try to feel a bit more normal in yourself. If you don't start to feel better soon it might be worth talking to your hv or gp.

lilham Mon 05-Sep-11 22:03:34

Second the thing about overtired baby. My DD is now 5mo and still gets tired after 1.5-2 hours of awake time. And when she's really tired, she cries with real tears. She gets really tricky too. Like she'll get on the breast, then when the let down happens, she'll pull off and cry. I'll have to walk her around to calm her. Then I'll try to feed her again. And this repeats until she is happy to feed and eventually sends her off to dreamland. I think it's that confusion of tired and my smell of milk too like @eightyone says. Because she can settle with DH a lot easier as well with only walk/rock needed.

I'm just saying you aren't the only one with a baby that cries on you.

GrannysLittlePickle Tue 06-Sep-11 08:29:44

Thanks for all the help!

Yes she does get overtired, but fights sleep, I've tried getting her to sleep from anything upwards of an hour after last nap - and I'm often still trying to get her to sleep 3 hours later! Even walking her in the sling/driving in the car doesn't work - she's too busy looking around.... Often by the time we get to evening I have an inconsolable baby who hasn't napped and I'm crying too.

ATruthUniversallyAcknowledged - let me know how you get on!

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