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2 week old screamed all night... any tips for a [clueless, exhausted] FTM?

(15 Posts)
Gennz Sun 07-Dec-14 00:51:19

2 week old DS is BF, pretty much exclusively - he's had one or 2 formula bottles but I'm lucky that my supply is really good, he latches well, lots of wet dirty nappies & putting on weight like a tropper. So all good there.

By day he's on a pretty regular 3 hour cycle - feeding, maybe a nappy change, then down for sleep - usually 2 hours, but sometimes he wakes afettr 1 or 1.5 looking for a feed. That was the pattern yesterday and the night before last he'd been on a consistent 3 hour cycle during the night. However last night (am not in the UK so it's daytime here as I write this), he fed as usual at 5. Then didn't really drop off for a sleep, hung out in the moses basket seemingly quite happily - feed at 6.45pm ... then 7.45pm, then 9.45pm (steadily getting more and more agitated), then 11.55pm. During this time he would sometimes falls asleep in our arms but really was just getting more and more screamy, rigid legs, back arching, drawing legs up. If we tried toput him in moses basket asleep (which usually works) he's ake 5 - 10 minutes later screaming. It felt like wind to me (we've had similar nights previously that I've put down to not winding him properly) but no amount of winding would soothe it. A couple of mls of gripe water at the 7.45 and 11.55 feeds did nothing.

In desparation DH gave him a bottle of formula at 1.30am and he gulped down 80mls - surely if he had really bad wind he'd react to milk the same way whether it was breast or formula? I fed him at 4am and 7am and he really fussed at the breast and wasn't that interested and then resumed screaming. He really seemed uncomfortable or in pain, but I'm a FTM, maybe he was ovestimulated by all the handling/winding (& no doubt he was picking up on our stress too!)

Would it be something I ate? I realise the salad I had at about 6.30pm had red cabbage in it but I've eaten it before with no ill effects. I also had a rather large bowl of ice cream - Might a big whack of dairy set him off? Likewise I've eaten dairy in the last 2 weeks and he's been fine, though admittedly probably not as much in one go. Would it affect breast milk so fast?

It's now 1.45pm here and he's been back to normal since his 9.30am feed, latching well at the breast and being very chilled out. He's been asleep since 11.30, after feeding v calmly & efficiently at 11am for 20 minutes.

Sorry this is a total novel. Does anyone have any ideas? Is this just one of those things? Is it not abnormal to have a chilled predictable day-baby who morphs into a screamy monster under cover of darkness? I don't mind broken sleep if it's just getting up to feed him or whatever but it's really horrible seeinghim seem to upset and in pain & feeling powerless to stop it. The thought of another night of it makes me feel faint!!

ampersandand Sun 07-Dec-14 08:07:07

It sounds pretty normal to me, my ds is now 16 weeks and it took him a long while to realise the day and night sleep cycle. He's only just now sleeping through maybe once or twice a week. He would cluster feed in the evenings and wake for hours in the night where I just walked and rocked around the dark bedroom with him encouraging sleep gently sshhing him to soothe him. White noise helped. I have an app that has lots of different sounds, he loves the cat purring one...!
I did get told that breastfed babies are generally awake more in the night than the day for the first few weeks.
New babies need to feed frequently, are you giving him formula because you are worried he is still hungry?
I'm unsure about the dairy, perhaps another mumsnetter would have experience and advice with that.
Try not to worry so much as I'm sure they can pick up on your stress and in turn get stressed themselves as you've said yourself.
You're doing a great job and congratulations smile

Hakluyt Sun 07-Dec-14 08:18:25

I'm afraid it's normal for things to be pretty random this early. Try to be as calm as you can (hah!). I would suggest putting him to the breast at the first squeak, so he doesn't have the chance to work himself up. And try not to over analyse or look at the clock too much if you can help it- think if him as a random little animal whose needs and wants haven't settled down yet. And stay in bed yourself- sleep when you can and even if you can't sleep, rest. Your one job is feeding the baby. Nothing else.

piggychops Sun 07-Dec-14 08:25:45

Try not to do the formula if poss. They go through growth spurts every now and again which means they have to feed and feed to get your supply increased. There will be days and nights where you just feel like a milking machine but it eventually settles into a pattern. Try to sleep when he does,day or night, and don't worry about timing between feeds. It may be a few hours, it may be half an hour. Try to get lots of skin to skin contact during those times too.

hairylittlegoblin Sun 07-Dec-14 08:26:31

I found the 3rd and 4th weeks really hard with my first. The excitement and adrenalin of a new baby had started to wear off, I was really really tired and the baby was getting more random not less. In the first couple of weeks it looked as if a pattern of day and night was emerging but then that all fell apart.

It's nothing you've done, they're just totally illogical at this age. Try to roll with it. Rest as much as you can. Don't look for any kind of pattern or structure for another couple of weeks at least and it will settle down in time.

You have my sympathies, it's a hard spell.

squizita Sun 07-Dec-14 08:54:38

Sounds like random newborn "baby rage!"

One thing id advise is stepping away from the Web for food advice. Honestly self diagnosis of intolerance and "you can't ear xyz" is all over and you really shouldn't cut anything out unless a proper, infant feeding trained, professional advises it.

They eat and do everything quite randomly at first and then often change back at the drop of a hat just go with the flow.

Also even with gripe water and infacol little ones struggle with wind. They find it hard to burp. Most grow out of it. smile Ours would arch her back and grumble and we did everything but she still did ... 2 weeks later big old man belched and farts! And she was happy!

squizita Sun 07-Dec-14 08:58:00

And you're eating salads - kudos! grin I was on fridge food, pies and take aways for a good few weeks.

Gennz Mon 08-Dec-14 00:58:09

Hi everyone. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond! After I wrote this post I became a bit concerned because DS didn't have any dirty nappies for the rest of the day (lots of wet ones though) and his tummy was totally distended. I got hold of the midwife who talked me down reassured me. We think it was the cabbage in the salad which would explain the wind & him being not keen at the breast but happy to drink the formula. I also think he was wanting to cluster feed but I was readign his cues as needing winding. Poor thing! Imagine being hungry and someone keeps thumping you on the back!! grin

So anyway, he cluster fed last night from 7 - 10, happily back on the boob, normal wakings every 2 -3 hours last night and at 6am this monring the most gigantic dirty nappy I've ever seen. Great success!!

Re formula, I prefer to breastfeed as I find he fusses latching on after a bottle feed (whether FF or EBM). There are certainly no problems with my supply! Was told by MW today I could feed twins off my left boob dubious honour But I'm not a purist, happy to give him formula occasionally if neccesary. Was certainly glad we had it in the house on Saturday night after being screamed at for 5 hours straight! It didn't buy me much sleep though, he ot the formula at 1am and I was up at 3.20am expressing because Industrious Left Breast was rock hard and almost engorged. Pumped 150ml just from missing one feed - another reason formula isn't really worth doing for us!

Oh and squiz the villainous salad was gift from MIL!! sideeye It's a sign I should be sticking to the pies!!

Another novel, sorry blush

EmbarrassedPossessed Mon 08-Dec-14 01:06:19

Eating cabbage could not have given your DD wind, it was just a coincidence. At this age their digestion is still really new and immature and they go through phases where things like this just happen.

Gennz Mon 08-Dec-14 01:14:57

Oh well - whether it was the cabbage or not, he was having indigestion problems which were setting him off and he took the formula while being grossed out by the breast milk. Thankfully back to normal now.

Greenstone Mon 08-Dec-14 02:36:38

Newborns will usually drink eagerly from a bottle whether it's formula or ebm, don't take it too personally (says she who raged at sight of tiny sleepy dd gulping down a formula top up at 1 week old).
Anyway hairy above thread has the best advice really - they are so random and illogical at this age and it's so hard when you can't fix them! Congrats by the way smile

squizita Mon 08-Dec-14 11:28:06

Gennz my dd only poos once a day and it's EPIC. Perfectly normal! Wee indicates they're getting enough.
I had exactly the same call-the-midwife panic as you hence I know!

squizita Mon 08-Dec-14 11:30:54

...word of warning. I dodged fibre for fear of a windy baby.
Egads, my poor bottom! shock Never mind baby, I was distended and uncomfortable and had to use glycerine suppositories to move things out - painfully. .. classy. grin

Redling Mon 08-Dec-14 11:37:57

I found that at that age 90% of problems with DS were solved with feeding smile I'd think 'he's just fed, what could be wrong?!' But more feeding was generally the cause! He also hated farting so would get upset when he needed to. It's almost like having a pet at that stage, tiny little animalistic creatures with no reasonable behaviours smile even now there's no linear progression, my 16 week DS is currently asleep in my arms because he's decided that's the only way he'll sleep this week. When they have growth spurts, mental developmental leaps etc, they can revert to some very newborn like eating and sleep patterns!

Gennz Tue 09-Dec-14 08:12:10

Yes Redling my mw said "when in doubt, feed" and that's my rule of thumb for now (instead of thinking "he can't possibly be hungry, I just fed him" which I was doing last week). It seems to be working ok for now, it just means I'm plugged into the baby for the better part of 5 hours over late afternoon/early evening, but that's all part of the gig innit!

Squizita the ONE diet recommendation I followed during pregnancy was avoiding rare red meat - which for me meant avoiding all red meat as I hate it well done. Sure enough by 28 weeks I was wiped out & severely anaemic. I started back on the medium rare red meat once or twice a week, I figured the toxomoplasis risk was pretty remote, while the anaemia risk was very real and apparent. Avoiding cabbage, however, is no hardship. I must admit I am glad to get my taste for wine back, latching DS on for the 40 thousandth time was almost relaxng with a big glass of rose in hand.

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