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Newborn on speed(12 Posts)
Hi moms and thanks for reading. I'm looking for some advice/commiseration/reassurance as part of me has a feeling there is something a bit off with my little one!
He was born already alert (people would comment - it's my first baby I didn't know any different) and able to lift his head high within days, he is now 8 weeks 2 days and yesterday started to roll over from belly to back! By the same token he has zero interest in toys / mobile / activity mat and doesn't grasp anything but my hair (though I think it's accidental rather than deliberate.) It's as if playing with toys requires too much patience that he just doesn't have!
Loves to be carried all the time - looks around turning his head from left to right, when set down he'd usually flap his arms and legs about constantly.
His sleep routine is very peculiar, he can be in the middle of a crying fit/colic yet always drops off to sleep at approx. midnight and sleeps till 8:00 with only one waking for a feeding at about 5 am. Sounds good right? Well but he'd be up from 8:00 until midnight again with only 3-4 naps of 30 mins in the day. And when he doesn't sleep he is constantly flapping about demanding attention.
I might sound very matter of fact but it is extremely draining on a day to day basis, he needs attention all the time and hardly naps at all. He's no stranger to crying at a slightest bit of boredom, doesn't like to be pushed in a pram (not enough stimulation I guess) so this makes me stay at home all the time other than taking him to doc's appointment in a sling, also goes through colics which just adds an extra layer of excitement for us parents
He BFs for 3-7 minutes a session and multiple times a day so I don't even get a break provided to some mum's by lengthy nursing. I'm unable to set any routine around him because he is just so chaotic and other than the nighttime sleep has no predictable patterns of behaviour whatsoever.
I worry he has got ADHD or something similar. He goes on and on in the day even as his eyes get red and his mood is cranky out of tiredness.
It sounds like he might be overstimulated actually but don't start worrying about ADHD at this age, you'll drive yourself crazy with that kind of thinking. They change constantly at this age.
Both of mind were very awake alert babies, interested in everything, but needed help winding down for naps as they'd get overstimulated and wound up.
Nothing you've described there sounds abnormal for an 8 week old. His stomach is tiny; short and frequent feeds is completely normal.
If he loves to be carried just take him out in the sling; you don't need to stay in all the time.
Mine was like this. Eight weeks was the low point for me because everyone says it gets better at six weeks and for us it really didn't. I was also paranoid about things like ADHD but now I think some newborns are just like that. I also used to get all the "oh isn't she so alert?!" comments.
Anyway around ten weeks it got loads better. She chilled out a bit.
During those early days I just did everything I could to get her to nap, that really seemed to improve her mood and at least when she was sleeping she wasn't crying. I went walking with the sling lots, long drives in the car, used a swaddle and dummy, didn't let her watch TV etc. Didn't always work but at least I felt I was doing something.
Now at ten months she's basically a dream baby and everyone tells me how "easy" she is
In my experience (from observing friends) it's the contented, sleepy newborns who go on to be the worst sleepers later once the regressions kick in...
Sounds a lot like my ds1. Honestly, he sounds over-stimulated and over-tired. When he does nap, how does he fall asleep, i.e. What do you do? At that age, he needs to be awake an hour to an hour and a half max between naps - any more and he will get over-tired and it will get infinitely harder to get him to go to sleep. So once he's been awake an hour, or even 45 minutes depending on how long it takes to get him to sleep (probably longer to start with), you need to start winding down and getting him to sleep for the next nap. Awake time should be happy time - first sign of yawning/ eye rubbing / grumbling and you need to get him to sleep! 30 minute naps completely normal at that age, but you may be rewarded with longer naps if you can get him sleeping regularly- over-tired babies only nap for short periods of time. Oh, and last tip- the first nap of the day is actually sooner than usual after he wakes up. So, if you find that an hour and a quarter is his usual 'happy' awake time, then it'll be more like an hour after he first wakes up in the morning.
It took me until about 8 weeks with my ds1 to figure this all out. In the end what worked for me was forcing the first sleep by putting him in the sling and getting on with stuff. Once he got into the pattern of sleeping regularly and wasn't chronically over tired I could then put him down in basket or whatever.
Congratulations on your first baby. It sounds like he's really thriving and you're doing a great job. 8 weeks is a difficult point because it feels like a long time and you expect to know what you're doing by now but in reality he's still tiny and things will keep changing.
You'll get lots of advice and suggestions which may or may not be helpful but here's a few things I would consider if I were you:
1) Feeding - by this age it's good to start getting some slightly longer feeding sessions in. Short feeds of the time you mention doesn't really allow the baby to access much of the more filling hindmilk so it may be that he's continuously feeling hunger which won't help him sleep. If you can try to leave it a bit longer between feeds or encourage him to stay on a bit longer then gradually he might start taking more of the hind milk and feeling fuller. Frequent feeding can also be a sign of growth spurts, plenty of info online on when to expect them.
2) Colic - have you had him checked again for tongue tie or latch, any reasons that he might be taking in more air when he's feeding that could be causing discomfort? The health visitor or doctor can also give some meds to help if it's really bad, worth asking.
3) Stimulation - I appreciate what you say about his alertness etc, but it's much more likely that he's suffering from over-stimulation than under-stimulation. At this age, even things like lights, sounds and smells are enough to send a baby into sensory overload. What they want more than anything is comfort and cuddles, he's far too young to be playing with mats or toys, the need for contact is natural. You might also find that he doesn't like his pram because of tummy discomfort not because he's bored. Depending on his size he might prefer moving into a slightly more upright position sooner rather than later. Websites like baby centre have good week by week outlines of your baby's development and what to expect, this will help you to put his activity into perspective. Whilst there's no linear pattern for everyone, you'll find it helpful to think of new ways to interact with him each month.
4) Routine - at this age you're better off looking for cycles and sleep cues than following a routine. I would say the first nap of the day is most important otherwise they become overtired and are less able to sleep later on. Look for sleepiness about an hour after he wakes up, at this age I think during the day mine had wake-eat-sleep cycles of around 2-3 hours but if I didn't get them asleep in the morning then the whole day was out of sync
5) Draining... unfortunately it just is draining. Simple as that. Don't compare yourself to other mums, someone who feeds longer isn't having an easier time than you, they're just having a different experience. By about 12 weeks things will start to settle a bit more, then you can look forward to the dreaded 4 month sleep regression which for us lasted until 11 months.
My last suggestion is that when you're having a really bad day... break the cycle. Don't stay in the house willing him to just go to sleep, get out for a walk, go for a drive, meet a friend... anything to change it up. Chances are he's as frustrated as you are.
Lastly, if you feel like you're having difficulty coping on an emotional level (bearing in mind that sleep deprivation and the draining nature of having children... not just babies... are NORMAL. Its's just all very new right now and a huge contrast to your child free life so everything feels worse, but you'll look back when you have two preschoolers terrorising the house and realise it wasn't actually all that bad!!)... speak to your health visitor or doctor. You're not on your own!
Also - talking to people who have seen through the phases with one or more children is much healthier for you than talking to NCT friends or mum's with babies the same age. Quite honestly everyone is learning and no one really knows what they're doing, yet it's very hard not to compare your babies and experience which in my view is very unhealthy. Stick to talking to parents whose preconceptions of parenthood and the nature of their babies have been grounded by reality and will tell you honestly what worked and what was a waste of time!
It's great to have other new mum's for support and you'll build great friendships, but when you're looking for help it's better to ask someone who's slightly distanced from things and not living the moment themselves.
If you are BF maybe it's something you are eating?
Sounds exactly like my 7 week old. I understand.
I don't know if it is just a coincidence as a few things happened recently - his vaccinations, I stopped consuming milk and possibly a growth spurt at 2 months (or so I'm reading online) because he's been sleeping so well for three days now.
Let's hope this continues.
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