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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!

PacificDogwood Tue 05-Feb-13 21:16:57

Most kids will sleep without a hoover on by the time they are 16 grin.
I don't mean to be glib (I find crap humour helps), but DO WHATEVERY WORKS just now; the only constant is change and you will find this is true of your baby too.

Re swaddling: the only thing DS4 (also a crier but nowhere near as bad as DS1 had been) could not escape from was his Woombie grin. Did not make him sleep, mind, but he did stay contained hmm.
I've got 2, hardly used, in two different sizes if you are interested? Please don't feel that I am dumping all my no-longer-needed baby stuff on you blush.

Kafri Wed 06-Feb-13 01:59:06

No, I don't think that at all, I'm just desperately searching for what helps him and what keeps my sanity and what gets us both some sleep!

I'll keep going with the Hoover/app. Sometimes it doesn't get him to sleep but is the only thing that soothes him and gives my arms a break as its the only time I can put him down - on his tummy on a cushion with the iPad/Hoover close by.

Honestly. I expected much less sleep but had never considered no sleep. All I heard while pg was 'sleep in the day when he does'. Well, the simlpe answer at the min is that he doesn't. Nights are mostly still shift work with DH so I get 3 hours in an evening before getting up at 1am.

Kafri Wed 06-Feb-13 03:38:13

Still sat up with ds with trapped wind!! He's writhing and wriggling all over the place and absolutely knackered.

Nothing seems to shift it. No amount of running, patting, bike legs, infacol, dentinox. I'm out of ideas!!

Anyone any miracle wind easers?
Think it's the bum end, keep getting little bullet trumps!

Kafri Sat 09-Feb-13 03:42:26

Oh my goodness, my child WILL NOT sleep.

he woke at 2 for his feed and will not go back down to sleep - this is after having no sleep during the day whatsoever.

Has anyone any magic tricks for getting a child to sleep?

LadyWidmerpool Sat 09-Feb-13 04:23:44

Littlr monkey! It WILL get better. Mine napped on me after feeding or in the buggy. I could never just put her down after about three weeks. I just made a virtue of it and made going out for walks part of our daily routine and lost a lot of weight! If your baby doesn't like the buggy for sleeping just now he might take to it later. I'm trying to think what else worked - not much really. Occasionally the sling but very rarely. It must be so hard, I do feel for you. Getting out and doing things really kept me going. Try to treat yourself when you can. It WILL get better!

Mum2DS1andDS2 Sat 09-Feb-13 08:13:29

Just read this whole thread and it is bringing back painful memories. I feel flr you Kafri, and anyone who is or has been through this. It's heart breaking isn't it? Everyone says what a beautiful time it is, all my friends seemed to breeze through it and even those who did struggle even admitted they'd never know babies like mine (not helpful but it did reassure me in a way that it wasn't just me who was over reacting!)

Both my sons have been like this as babies. DS1 is now 5 and was infamous on mumsnet when he was a baby for being so grumpy and screamy. It was such a shock, being our first baby, I was expecting peaceful walks in the park with the pushchair, hours cuddling my sleeping content baby...pah!!! It was not to be! The reality was horrific. Endless screaming, pacing around soothing him, he never ever let me just sit to cuddle him, we always had to work so hard just to keep him content just for a few minutes peace. He screamed in the car seat, screamed in the pushchair, cried constantly. He was so sensitive to noise, stimulation, people, had to be held in a certain way whilst we walked around, could never just pop him in a bouncer. It truly was hell. I was back and forth to health visitors, GP etc, tried reflux medications, dairy free diet, cranial osteopathy, none of which had any effect. It was so sad because each time I'd convince myself that this would be the magic cure and then nothing would change and it broke me. All I can say is that gradually (very gradually) things improved. He started being able to be put down more once he could crawl, he seemed to lighten up a bit but still hated car seat, pushchair, he wasn't even keen on the sling as it didn't hold him where he wanted to be up looking over my shoulder. I was still walking on eggshells as the slightest thing would set him off into meltdown. He needed a hell of a lot of input.

Anyway, probably not what you want to hear and it may well happen sooner for you if you do get to the bottom of his crying but for us we never did. He was just miserable but he gradually got more settled the more milestones he reached. Walking helped and meant I didn't have to keep pacing around with him and thankfully he walked at 11 months. Talking was a huge milestone and by age 2 he was lovely. No more difficult than any other 2 year old, maybe easier actually as we had this incredible bond now because we have literally been to hell and back together. He was very articulate and aware and I think this added to his frustrations as a tiny non verbal baby. He's 5 now and amazing. He's my best friend and we are so close! He's such a good noy, top of his class, very sensible, reasonable and calm now. It really does get better I promise.

DS2 was all the above too, I felt robbed. Everyone promised me you never get 2 babies the same. Pffft! Well I did! DS2 ws every bit as high needs and sleep refusing as DS1 but he's 13 months now and gradually we are seeing the light at the end of th tunnel. It has been so hard though. So hard not to compare to other peaceful gurgling happy babies. So hard not to think I have somehow failed them. Having DS2 has been challenging, trying to fit his needs around DS1 but DS1 has been so accepting and loving towards his brother. They are already so close and it's amazing. It will all be worth it. You will get there too. It all gets better.

Kafri Sun 10-Feb-13 17:08:45

Just to mix things up a bit...

How many dirty nappies is normal?

DS usually has 2 each day - usually around lunchtime but can vary. Anyway, up to now, we've had 4 full nappies - 1 @ 10am, 1 @ 1pm, 1@ 4pm and one just now @ 5pm.

He seems ok in himself - is eating fine and temp 35.6 so not worried per se but just wondered if this is ok?

PacificDogwood Sun 10-Feb-13 22:01:27

Yep, that sounds ok.
How old is he now? 6 weeks?
Babies (like people) vary enormously in how much/often they poop, and around 6 weeks you might see some slowing down. Or variability grin. Some will still do a dirty nappy after each feed, others won't. They should look like 'healthy' milk stools ie like korma (sorry, but so true).

Mum2, I totally understand what you wrote about 'feeling robbed' - my DS2 was quite chillled, but DS3 and 4... shock. I blame DH's genes as I am quite laid back wink.

Kafri Sun 10-Feb-13 22:12:30

He's 7+3 now. I'm not wishing time away but we're edging closer to the 12 week mark!!

I defo feel a bit lot sad that his time being tiny is spoiled by his screaming and discontent. I feel bad every time I have to go anywhere as he hates it so much in the car seat and then some tasks are so hard to try to do carrying him so I don't know what to do there!

Sleep wise - DH is trying to get him to sleep as we speak. I st DH, it's actually the Hoover app now, DH is all swayed/rocked:bounced out. Is it normal that there is no predictability yet? Like done nights he goes to sleep easily straight after his feed, others he refuses completely to sleep! Also us it ok that his feed times are still all over the show so haven't been able to get into a bed tom routine as it were - like bath @ x o'clock, bottle then bed following. It all depends wht times he's fed throughout the day. I try to stick to 4 hourly but obv if he's hungry I'm not gonna make him scream til the 4 hours are up!!

PacificDogwood Mon 11-Feb-13 22:04:05

I've PMed you.

I am currently in the process of wishing 2.11 DS4's life away blush - I've done my bit of toddler wrangling and wish he would learn another word other than 'NO'... So don't feel guilty.

I used to worry about DS1 not being able to learn anything about the world around him or even develop as he was always screaming: he was reading by 3 1/2, is absolutely spooky with his grasp of numbers (doing P7 maths in P3 and loving it) and beats his dad at chess; I think his abilitiy to learn is just fine and dandy wink.

Here is another thought: Is there a clinic for screaming babies near you? The paediatric hospital here has/had one.
Also there is always cry-sis - I sobbed down the phone to them more than once.

And feed him. Try NUK dummies, stick dummy in and wiggle it a bit until he has actually started taking it.

Every day/every night is another day/night that he is older and closer to get a bit maturer.

Look after yourself.

Kafri Tue 12-Feb-13 03:18:23

he's having the worst nights sleep he's had in a long time and that's saying something. He's sort of settled now but is on his tummy and if I try to move him or turn off his white noise application he wakes immediately. I can't sleep when he's on his tummy as I'm too scared of something happening.
I thought we were getting somewhere with night times but apparently not! The last few have gone downhill rapidly!

I've emailed a friend to see if she can sit with him later this morning so I can get a bit of sleep, otherwise I'm up til dh gets home at 6ish.

oh im tired! !

rootypig Tue 12-Feb-13 11:23:29

Kafri I have just read this thread and have far less experience than other posters but didn't want to read and run. I hope you're ok and that someone can come today so you can sleep. <holds hand>

Until one of the other posters comes back with better, more specific advice: I have 14 wo DD, less high needs than your DS, but very alert and retrospectively think was really overstimulated in early weeks and still often is now. what has amazed me (looking back) is how constantly things have changed, often imperceptibly at the time, but end result is she is so much more happy and settled now she is 3mo and I understand her so much better than I did. Whatever happens, your DS will change too, it is inevitable, hang on to that thought.

The other thing I wanted to say is (in response to your question about hoover / white noise) I feel really strongly there is no such thing as a rod for your own back, you must simply do whatever works at this point. I feed DD on demand, often to sleep, she fights sleep like a demon and we have tried many many things including shh pat, singing, lights, sling, pram, whatever. various things have worked for a night or two then we've had to find something different. For the first month we coslept though I thought we never would - I had no choice, or I never would have slept. she loved it, but it made me nervous. Once she was more settled, having clocked some decent sleep, I worked on getting her used to her cot (we have a Bednest, so now she's right next to me anyway). My DF, bless him, scarred by 3.5 years of sleepless nights with my brother, felt strongly that she shouldn't be relying on us to get to sleep, visions of me BFing a ten year old to sleep. tosh! she is tiny, the less she sleeps the less able she is to sleep, iyswim, so the goal is just to get her to sleep whatever it takes. And this has gradually worked - she still only naps 30 minutes at a time (so jealous of friend whose DS sleeps for 2 hours in the middle of the day!) but she has five naps a day if need be, I'm militant, the second she touches her ear (dead give away) or rubs eyes she is whisked into familiar sleep environment. and the more she sleeps the more familiar it is / the better she is at it. so, do whatever it takes to get him off, as you gradually come through this you will naturally become more consistent and that will help too.

Fwiw, what has worked most reliably for us in moving her from only sleeping on me / in my arms to now always sleeping in cot is 1) letting her fall asleep at the breast and holding her in my arms for at least half an hour before trying to put her down - it seems she is in some sort of light sleep that lets her wind down from a state of overstimulation 2) when settling her in cot after this, physically preventing her thrashing her head / arms around by pinning her down (she is a swaddle refusenik [hmmm]).

writing this, it strikes me that it sounds as though your DS sounds like he is stuck in the first emotional state every baby has and DD was in for a few weeks, just overwhelmed by everything - perhaps because he is so alert. keeping him in terribly familiar environs, with just a few familiar things, might help. DD always calmed down immediately when put on her change table and I have realised it's because it's the most predictable place - same very distinctive mobile, exaclty the same routine. she then built up the same understanding of her cot / activity gym / bouncey chair. still working on the pram! hmm

oh and I took her to an osteopath last week because she was suddenly just screaming and screaming in pram / sling - it seems to have made an immediate difference and I am so grateful, so another vote for that, go asap if you can.

sorry, that turned into a massive roundabout waffle I wasn't expecting to write! blush I hope it makes some sense and helps in some way.

what I really wanted to say is just that you are doing astonishingly brilliantly amazingly well to be so humorous and kind to DS throughout what is a really testing time and to remember how much he was wanted something I have at times struggled to do

now I hear the empress my DD yelping and must go and tend to her every need.....! wink

yawningbear Tue 12-Feb-13 15:34:34

If he can sleep when he is on his tummy, how about an Angel monitor or similiar, to monitor breathing and then letting him sleep on his tummy, then you could get some sleep knowing the monitor is there. It is on sale at Kiddicare, I just had a look and is probably one of those things that you could sell on. Hope your friend made it over and that you get a break. Also YY to the Osteopath.

Kafri Tue 12-Feb-13 16:26:25

no, friend didn't make it to help. she wasn't feeling too good so didn't want to risk it. dh will be home soon so I get a chance to nap.

will take a look a the angel mat and mention to dh as a possibility.

I've made a huge effort today to feed every 3 hours and then put down to nap an hour and a half after waking. even if he hasnt slept, i guess he's still resting. have to have the hoover application going to get him to settle, otherwise he just screams for me to come.

Purplecatti Tue 12-Feb-13 16:43:36

I second the angel care monitor. I was adamant about no tummy sleeping whilst was pregnant but after 5 weeks of NO sleep I would try anything. It was my mum who put her down on her stomach and bought me the monitor. After that... hurrah! Two hours of sleep at a time at night. She does sleep on her back now and doesn't seem to have the problems your poor little one seems to have but try the monitor. If he will sleep that way let hin. He will feel better for sleep at any rate, as will you

MoelFammau Tue 12-Feb-13 16:44:53

DD was exactly the same. Would not ever lie down. Suspected colic, reflux the lot but nothing seemed to help until we went lactose-free at 18mo. She slept on my chest while I sat and watched telly. It was tough.


PacificDogwood Tue 12-Feb-13 21:11:23

kafri, I am sorry if I seem to monopolise your thread and surely I will soon run out of things to say on the subject... blush, but if your DS sleeps better on his front then so be it.

Putting him to sleep on his front does not mean he will come to harm - it is one of many riskfactors for SIDS, not the only one. Generations of kids where put to sleep on their fronts (because they settled better, any posset could run out of their mouths better, French babygrows still have the bottons up their backs to allow for comfy front sleeping) and while I am truly not debating to whole 'back to sleep' evidence, remember these are recommendations for the 'average' baby, whatever that is. Just like 'weaning at 6 months' is probably right for most babies, but too late or too early for some, some babies need to sleep on their fronts.

I have known mothers in my professional capacity who were still turning their sleeping infants back on their back when they were capable of turning themselves. As a tummy sleeper myself, I would resent that grin. My refluxy, preemie DS2 is a front-sleeper and has been from a young age.
My best friend from school had a son who would only ever sleep on his front: he was Nr2, a screamer, and was a total shock to my friend who had considered herself an experienced mother after her DS1. Not so.
I am not being smug, just trying to explain how parenting a child, whether your first or your twelfth, is a constant learing curve and truly, the only constant is change.

If a breathing monitor would reassure you, then go for it. Personally, I'd urge caution because they do go off when there is no cause for concern all the time and can sometimes add to the stress of it all rather than allowing you to relax.

Hope you are having some rest as I type this smile.

yawningbear Wed 13-Feb-13 15:17:14

Actually if I am honest I agree with pacific, I would just let him sleep on his tummy, but It sounds like you are too anxious to do that so hence angel monitor suggestion but maybe not so good if they go off all the time, that would be very stressful in itself. FWIW I did not let DD sleep on her front, too anxious, but I did with DS and would certainly do again faced with another like DD, though that will never happen, it would be the end of me!!

So sorry it is still so tough for you. I would agree with one of the posters who spoke about the strong bond they now have with their DC. The awfulness of those early months with DD will never really fully leave me I don't think but as a result we do share a very close bond and when she is distressed or having a typical 4 year old melt down an offer of a cuddle is often all it takes to calm her down. I can hear and feel her physically relax in my arms, sometimes almost instantly and I actually often feel grateful that we went through those endless hours of soothing when she was a wee red faced scrap of a bairn.

Kafri Wed 13-Feb-13 15:44:00

I'm slowly coming round to the idea of letting him go on his tummy,

the main thing thats putting me off is that he will only settle on his own with this bloody hoover app going apart form today (he's been an absolute nightmare today). Anyway, i've accepted the hoover noise - that took some doing as I cannot stand white noise of any kind, it really grates on me.

So, i've accepted the hoover noise, but, if I put him on his tummy, with the hoover noise then I won't be able to hear on the monitors the sound of him moving about (or not) because of the noise.

That's why I chose to try co-sleeping before tummy. I was/am anxious about the co-sleeping but figured that he would sleep with me without the hoover app going so I was able to hear him throughout the night.

If he were in his cot with the hoover app going, I would lie awake worrying about whether he was ok on his tummy or not. If I don't put the hoover app on, he will not sleep alone. He has never yet liked to be put down, though I have started seeing small improvements with it this last week or so - he is happy to go on his playmat for a bit of interaction with me. Still can't put him in his chair or swing and go off to make a brew or summat without coming back to him crying.

Kafri Thu 14-Feb-13 10:00:58

This seems like a silly question but how do you get an 8 week old to sleep for a nap and at night?

If I stand rocking him, he pushes against me to be looking around at everything. If I resist he gets all worked up so sleep is further away than when I start.

If I sit quietly on the sofa he wriggles around rather than settling.

If I swaddle him (in the daytime) he fights against it and gets all worked up.

If I try getting him to sleep in his swing chair/bouncing chair he gets all worked up.

If I put him down on his cushions with his white noise app that he was getting used to settling on, he springs between lying calmly and fussing and eventually the fussing becomes too worked up to sleep.

Occasionally he will fall asleep in the sling if I go out for a walk which is fine but it does mean I get nothing done around the house, or even just get 5 mins to myself as when he's awake he quickly gets worked up if i'm not holding him. I know people will say he needs to get used to not being held but he really doesn't just cry - he gets hysterical and has done from day dot.

I don't understand at all why he gets so worked up so quickly. It's not like he cries if I nip to the loo and I come back, pick him up and he settles. He gets so worked up about it that it can take hours to settle him back down again?

We went to do the food shop yesterday. He cried in the car on the way there - only 5 min ride, if that. He settled in the sling while I shopped (can't take him in in the pram as he screams in that still). He was fast asleep by the time I got back to the car. He woke the minute I put him back in the car seat and screamed all the way home. That was it - absolute meltdown for the rest of the day. It was like he got totally overwhelmed and couldn't switch off or something?

He also doesn't seem soothed by cuddles etc which I hate. Theres nothing I want more than to be able to cuddle it all better.

PacificDogwood Thu 14-Feb-13 10:42:43

Some babies are not very touchy-feely until much older - if hugging does not help, don't do it. I know it's upsetting because it seems like a rejection, but it is not. Maybe he is going to turn out to be big on personal space wink.

Give up on the idea of 'getting anything done' - you won't and if you have the expectiation of doing stuff you'll just end up more frustrated. Whatever chance you get (friend having him for instance) use it to do stuff for yourselt: a bath, exercise,, clothes shopping if that's your thing or whatever.

It sounds like the sling does help as long as you are in motion, yes? Go out for walks, for hours if need be, go to a big shopping center so you are preotected against the elements if you want.

DS1 never stayed alseep in his car seat. I stopped taking it out of the car because it was hard work and pointless.
And yy, I recognise the going ballistic in an instance too. I used to feel like I was in the presence of a timebomb whenever DS1 was not screaming, because I knew it would not last. At times I could not sleep at night because I was just waiting for him to start howling again, even when he wasn't IYKWIM.

Do you have another paeds appointment coming up. Have you looked into osetopathy?
You so sound like you need a break sad.

rootypig Thu 14-Feb-13 10:52:29

please do try a paediatric osteopath. it increasingly sounds to me as though your son is in pain.

Kafri Thu 14-Feb-13 18:13:09

Another silly question...

DS has just thrown up an entire bottle.

I'm not sure whether he's poorly? - have had no reason to think so throughout the day, or whether I jostled him about too much while trying to get tea on the stove?

It was a whole bottle and he got extremely upset afterwards. It was a completely different cry than either me or DH have heard before..
It might seem like a silly question but this is the first time he has been sick. He's not a sicky baby and rarely even spits up never mind throws up. The only thing I have noticed today is that he's dribbled a little more than usual.

Any suggestions?

rootypig Fri 15-Feb-13 09:23:02

hi Kafri, don't want to monopolise thread but see noone else has responded. did he throw up any more during the night? if just that one bottle, would file under these things happen. bringing up that much milk would be really distressing for such a little mite. but only you can know if his cries give you cause for concern.

I hate to bang on about it but a paediatric osteopath would listen to and consider all of this before treating your DS.

Kafri Fri 15-Feb-13 20:46:46

no, kept feeds down today ok.

in the up side, we appear to be having some good times thrown in with the hard ones these days. Long way to go still but at least i can see improvement.

ANOTHER QUESTION (how many of you am I pissing off now)

ds has his first jabs on Tuesday. :-(
dh grandad is in a nursing home and family are keen for him to meet ds. (possibility that he doesn't have too long left)
anyway, I can't take him just yet as I think its a bit far to take ds while he gets so distressed in the car. its over an hour each way and when i say ds gets distressed, I mean DISTRESSED! is it safe to take ds to a nursing home after his jabs or do i need to wait for his second lot?? not sure what protocol is...

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