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Soooo hard

(263 Posts)
Kafri Thu 17-Jan-13 05:59:58

Am I really the only person finding this mummy thing sooooo difficult?
Don't get me wrong,I'm thrilled I have DS but I'm knackered. He's 4 weeks old and will not sleep on his back at all. Dr tried gaviscon as hv suspected reflux, didn't work and DS was still really unsettled (all the time). Dr is now trying lactose free milk which seems to be calming him tho he still won't settle ANYWHERE but on someone.
Doesn't even settle properly in the car or pram which he did the first week we were home, sleeps for a short time then wakes and screams. It upsets me as you see all these mums with content little babies out in the pram and there's me with mine screaming!
DH and I have been doing shifts with DS as someone has to hold him 24 hours! I'm getting worried about how I'll manage when DH goes back to work and its just me! He sleeps really well when on someone but the minute he goes down, he unsettles himself. He hates being swaddled and fights his way out!
I've lifted his crib at he head end, I've raised the mattress, I give a warm bath in bedtime routine etc
Looking back, he has always been unsettled on his back, even in hospital. I just thought it would settle but it got worse to the point where he won't go down at all. At one point he would only sleep upright-so curled up against our chest.
I tried having him in bed with me - kicked DH out, moved to middle of bed etc but just didn't feel comfortable enough to sleep myself.

I've tried letting him cry, just for a few mins (like while I boil the kettle, or nip to the loo), but it doesn't stop and I'm not comfortable with leaving him any longer than that -I just think he's too young.

I've always been really good with kids, I work with them too, so why ami finding this soooo hard. What am I doing wrong??

I'm sorry this is a bit disjointed and all over the place.

Please help and share you're experience as a new first time mum.

Oh and overnight, well between about 5-8am he seems to have really bad tummy cramps. He's on lactulose for constipation from the gaviscon but the tummy cramps also happened before the constipation too? It was like he was staining for hours to poo then when he finally managed his nappy was perfectly normal. The first time it happened I thought he was bunged up then was really surprised when his nappy was normal when it finally happened.

I feel like everyone else has these happy content little babies, and then there's me!!

Sorry it's such a long rambling!

MsPickle Thu 17-Jan-13 06:21:53

Poor you, that's really hard. My ds was like this and remained a poor sleeper for ages. He had reflux and gaviscon didn't help, ranitidine did. Dd is just 5 weeks and had severe silent reflux which landed us in hospital but a mixture of donperidone and omeprazole has really helped so I can put her down on her back. With ds I resorted to putting him on his side supported by a towel, we'd been co sleeping but I needed the break. If your doc thinks reflux there are other things to try so perhaps ask again? Good luck, this too will pass!

Bananapickle Thu 17-Jan-13 08:18:28

I would definitely recommend putting him on his side. I put my DD in her side from 2 days because she didn't settle on her back. If he has got silent reflux or the such like this may help him feel more comfortable.
Also have you tried warming his Moses basket or whatever he has witha hot water bottle so that he's not going from nice warm you to a cold bed. You could try putting a comforter down your top so it smells of you and then put that with the baby that can sometimes help too.
Just a couple of will get easier but it is horrible when you're in the thick of it.

Forgetfulmog Thu 17-Jan-13 08:45:43

Sounds exactly like my dd OP! She's now 4 months but it was he'll to start off with. Like yours she wouldn't sleep other than on me or DH (still doesn't during the day), would cry if I left her for more than 2 secs etc etc.

My advice to you - get yourself a sling & put DS in it (even while you go to the loo). Put him to sleep on his left side (it makes his stomach slightly higher so reduces reflux). Gaviscon will cause constipation - you can try giving lukewarm boiled water to help. Oh & use a dummy - the sucking helps with both reflux & constipation. You could also ask your Gp for a prescription for ranitidine (buy be prepared for a fight).

Things will get easier, I promise, you just need to hang in there.

& yes it's not just you, parenting is fucking hard work

Forgetfulmog Thu 17-Jan-13 08:47:14

Oh & also make a little nest for your DS with a rolled up towel covered by a fitted Moses basket sheet, then cover that with a muslin that's been down your top

Kafri Thu 17-Jan-13 10:00:32

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll keep trying.

I keep trying a dummy but as a rule he doesn't take it - in fact sometimes it makes him scream more when I try to pop it in.

Will try warming his basket up first.

Wherever I pop him down he screams, I have a swing seat, a bouncer, a playmat (tried tummy and back), a playnest, the sofa, middle of bed. All, 5 mins maximum.

Can't eat properly. Have to get dh to it food so I can just pick up with fork 1 handed.

Got a sling arriving at sisters house this week, waiting for postage so hopefully that will help matters. I'm at a loss as far as keep for me is concerned.

Forgetfulmog Thu 17-Jan-13 10:22:27

Yep DH has to cut food up for me too - I've become quite adept at eating with my left hand! OP - the sling will be your life saver. Trust me. Also, if you have an iPhone you can download an app called Baby Sleep Lite - it's a fan sound & always stops my baby crying. Without fail.

ZuleikaD Thu 17-Jan-13 11:04:33

Oh dear - but don't worry, four weeks is still VERY tiny! Most babies want to sleep 'on' someone at this point and a sling can be an absolute godsend. DS was born when DD was 18m and he pretty much lived in the sling for about three months. It was brilliant - slept, ate and grew loads and then at 12 weeks transferred ti sleeping on his back in his cot without any trouble at all.

Iggly Thu 17-Jan-13 11:24:41

Ditch the gaviscon - especially as he's on other medication to counter its effects!

Push for hypo llergenic formula or different reflux medication. However hypo allergenic formula may well be enough.

Also dont compare your baby to others!

Part of your baby's behaviour is the fact he is 4 weeks old. They like to be held and they need (usually, before someone comes along and says otherwise) loads of sleep. This alone will make them very angry and prone to crying if left.

So you hold your baby. That's what he needs. Once you've got a sling you can get about a bit more.

Have you got a bouncy chair? Try a vibrating one if you can. This might help. Make sure he's not too cold - sitting still in this weather cools you down (hence it's better to just hold them!)

Really lower your expectations. None of this perfect housewife stuff while baby sleeps. You look after yourself and baby.

Iggly Thu 17-Jan-13 11:26:32

Is your baby getting enough sleep? He might need a bit of help getting there - they stop drifting off by themselves quite do easily after a few weeks.

WillSingForCake Thu 17-Jan-13 12:11:55

Is such early days, it gets so much easier and more fun. Just hang on in there! I could've written your post, had such a similar experience, I remember looking at the peaceful babies sleeping happily in their prams, and being so upset that mine was always screaming.

FuriousRox Thu 17-Jan-13 13:35:18

One thing for sure - you are not doing anything "wrong". Another thing for sure - not true that all others have contented babies! You may have it harder than others at the moment, not to trivialise what you are enduring, but it's not because they are better at this lark than you.

Kafri Thu 17-Jan-13 14:47:07

Iggly - Is he getting enough sleep?? I sincerely doubt it. I've been trying to get him to sleep since about 8 this morning. Obviously there's been feeds in there along with a drive out to my dr appt.
I've paced the floor, tried the swing, tried the bouncy chair, rocked him, bounced him, swaddled him, given a dummy, fed him, changed him and took him in the car. The longest he's not cried for is 5 mins when I managed to pop him on his tummy. The rest of the time he's just screamed screamed screamed and showing no signs of letting up. He bypasses crying and goes straight in for the scream!

We stopped the gaviscon as it was making him constipated. Dr has given him lactulose yesterday. He's had 3 doses. Had a relatively normal nappy about an hour ago tho I'm sure there's more to come after a good few days of tiny amount of firmer poo.

We have a vibrating bouncy chair, he's not overly impressed with it so far but we'll keep going with it.

Thanks for all the replies mums, very helpful. I suppose I just hadn't anticipated exactly how hard it would be. I knew about sleepless nights etc but hadn't anticipated holding him 24/7, therefore getting NO sleep. It took us so many years to get him, ending in IVF that I never actually allowed myself to think 'baby' in case it never happend for us. My way of not having too far to fall really! Even while pregnant I wouldn't think beyond the next few days for fear of something going wrong.

Iggly Thu 17-Jan-13 16:06:20

What worked for us when ds did this was taking him to a very dark room, sticking on loud music and dancing gently holding him and he'd finally give in! I'd always give myself ten minutes to try and time it as ten minutes can seem an age and I'd usually give up too quickly.

Also napping him within say 30-45 mins of being awake in the morning then 60 mins or so thereafter.

The sling will be your friend here once it arrives.

Once you get him sleeping better he will be more settled. Extreme overtiredness can look like reflux (been there, done that twice!!!!)

Forgetfulmog Thu 17-Jan-13 16:10:34

It must have been a very worrying time for you - I really feel for you.

In terms of the sleep - if you can get him to sleep on you or DH at night you might be able to sleep yourselves. What I do is prop myself up on pillows & have a v shaped pillow around my head (basically so I can't turn over) & have dd on my chest. I can actually sleep like that & I know dd is safe & secure. Might be worth thinking about. As for the chair - dont worry, mine hated it until she was approx 13-14 weeks old & now she loves it. At your DS' age though she just wanted to be held all the time - it's a natural instinct for babies really.

Keep talking to us & keep your chin up - it WILL get easier! smile

MsPickle Thu 17-Jan-13 16:11:04

You sound like you're doing a good job for the record, you're doing what he needs, caring for him. We christened my ds the incredible awake baby as he slept so little. It was very hard work but we've ended up with a great bond. Challenges remain and always will but we've survived this far. Now I've a dd who's got medication that's controlling her reflux properly I wish I'd made more fuss first time as maybe it could have helped him. She was in hospital the other week and they had her bed angled and a towel curved into a horseshoe shape and they got me to put her bum in the bottom of the u as they've found it helps small babies to settle. We've bought a foam wedge from amazon and I think that helps. Push your GP for help if you want too. Yes, every baby cries but finding out why if you can might help you both. Good luck!

Iggly Thu 17-Jan-13 16:13:23

Oh and don't put him down once he's asleep. Wait for 20 mins then put him down. As he gets older you won't have to hold him for as long.

iwillsleepagainsomeday Thu 17-Jan-13 16:58:04


have a 3 week old dc3 and just to say I am holding him almost 24/7 as well. He usually drifts off during bf and only if I am extremely lucky i will be able to put him in his basket after 20min.
at night he sleeps/bf on me.
during dinner I usually eat one handedly.
all very normal!

i do understand where u come from though. With my first it almost drived me crazy but nowi just go with the flow knowing that it will soon

Passthesaltdear Thu 17-Jan-13 21:49:11

We had same with my first ds, so tiring and upsetting to deal with the crying. Make sure you aren't over stimulating him, so feed in the dark with no tv etc. you are doing a fab job and it does get easier!
I know it is against advice but neither of mine would sleep unless on their tummies

BertieBotts Thu 17-Jan-13 21:52:30

I agree keep pushing the HCPs if he seems to be in pain - poor mite sad

You might be able to get away with putting him to sleep on his tummy and then turning him over when asleep?? Perhaps if you sort of lie him on a folded blanket and fold the blanket back over him so you're just rolling the blanket over and him with it.

Kafri Fri 18-Jan-13 18:58:52


LF milk seems to be making a little difference, tho it is little! He is constipated from the gaviscon so is still on lactulose and have stopped the gaviscon since Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday were not bad days to be fair. However Thursday and Friday have been atrocious. Thursday he SCREAMED from 8am thru to 3/4pm and today he has screamed from 10am and is still at it now. I'm hoping its the constipation and it will pass quickly once the lactulose takes effect.
He was back at the GP yesterday who said health wise he wasn't concerned and to keep going with the LF milk.

Please don't shout at me for this but I have had to give in and Kay him on his mat and leave him to cry for a bit. Not long-I'm bit cruel - but I honestly tried EVERYTHING I could think of. I've even been out in the snow to try to settle him that way but no!

The only thing that made any difference was to hold him at my shoulder and bounce him which is fine but after so many hours doing it these last 2 days, my back is burning and sooooo sore!

Don't get me wrong, I'm still thrilled that ice been able to have him but this hasn't been the happy experience I'd hoped for so far!!

Kafri Fri 18-Jan-13 19:00:31

Not cruel, not bit cruel. Bloody iPhone correcting things it thinks it finds. I'm sure there'll be others in there too!

Iggly Fri 18-Jan-13 19:07:27

I think he needs more sleep. Try getting him down within 45 mins of waking for the day - so start after 30 nins of being awake. It seems short but honestly it can work.

RicStar Fri 18-Jan-13 19:25:32

OP Do you have a pregnancy/gym ball my dd loved to be bounced on one (me sat on it holding her) we bounced (gently) for hrs watching rubbish tv in the early days so might be worth shot (saved my sanity & back in early days only way to stop dd crying).

Forgetfulmog Fri 18-Jan-13 19:42:35

I second that ricstar - I'd forgotten about the gym ball!

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