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How on earth do normal people do this? New babies and school run

(80 Posts)
RooneyMara Fri 01-Feb-13 10:00:54

I feel like I'm about to admit defeat. Ds3 is 4 weeks old. He's a proper screamer - by that I mean high demand baby, I suppose - he has to be held and jiggled and fed and rocked along my arm, all day and all night. Sometimes he will sleep between about 9pm and 11.30pm and then that's about it for the night - a few short bursts and waking roughly every hour or so, staying awake for well, about an hour at a time! smile

He isn't like my others. He hates the car seat (it's a Pebble - by God I hate it, it looks so uncomfortable) and screams nearly every time I drive anywhere - even the 5-10 minute journey to school.

So we've taken to walking most days. It's about 1.7 miles, we're up a long hill, but that's Ok - it's better to be able to stop and get him out, or carry him when he starts to cry.

So this morning it's raining. Took boys to school - not too bad, apart from getting wet, and horrid trafficky roads but anyway, we got there. I went in to sign up for parent meetings and came out 3 minutes later and he was crying. He's wearing a sleepsuit and a big blanket and a hat which has fallen off.

I take him out, we go out of the playground and sit on a doorstep in an alleyway, I feed him for a few minutes while covering with blanket.

Put him back in pram - he manages 10 minutes, have to buy mousetraps in wilkinsons so we go in there. He cries. I lift him and put him on my arm as he's having wind. He's Ok, get the traps, queue up, he still won't go back in the pram.

Tempted to sit and feed him on bench in wilks but too embarrassed as huge audience of old ladies/rtandom blokes and feel too vulnerable, also not sure he wants a feed.

So we leave and I end up feeding him crouched in a doorway of a restaurant, trying to keep us both dry, in the pouring rain, hoping no one goes past and wonders what I'm doing on the ground.

Finish feed, almost, as someone is coming and we walk, me carrying him along my arm still, he's getting wet, then we encounter a load of wheelie bins which mean I can't get the pram up the pavement.

Manage to find his hat with one hand and shove it on haphazardly as his tiny wet head is making me want to cry. He does not protest miraculously.

Walk home with baby along arm, in the middle of the road, past the bin lorry, and a load of cars. At last he goes in the pram again and we make it, drenched, unhappy, and finish his feed at home.

Where am I going wrong, this is horrendous sad

MrsHoarder Mon 04-Feb-13 01:13:53

Feeding in Ergo tip: wear a button top and leave it around your waist (so just slip shoulder straps off). Much quicker than taking it off entirely and having to get it straight again.

imip Sat 02-Feb-13 08:44:54

I feel your pain op! You've received some brilliant advice here, I probably cannot offer you that much more, just a sympathetic ear! I have 4 dds - 6,4,2 and 12 months. My school run for the past year or so has been HELL!

The sling has been a lifesaver, but like you, I do not get on well with the ergo til the baby is about five or so months. I have also never, ever received any negative comments for breastfeeding in public, and I am very confident at doing so. If the baby needs to be fed, ESP in winter, I do not hesitate to get myself a coffee and find the best seat in the house. I also usually have had one or two toddlers with me, it is not easy. But I can placate them with a baby chino (free at Starbucks, up to a pound at other independent retailers!). For modesty and warmth, I have taken to wearing a scarf, like the mumsnet scarf, around my neck. I find it much better than any other mode of coverage. Then I can pull my top down (much preferred to pulling my top up and exposing my belly).

You really have my sympathy. Last night it took me an hour to walk home from gymnastics with 12 month old in ergo screaming, 2 year old holding onto my hand being pulled in scooter, me pushing the buggy with NO child in it, and 4 and 6 year old scooting and complaining about being tired. <disclaimer: we could normally drive this but car is broken down and girls wanted to go to gymnastics>.

domesticslattern Sat 02-Feb-13 08:26:59

I need more sleep.

MN044 Fri 01-Feb-13 22:43:30

school on saturday = even less ideal wink

domesticslattern Fri 01-Feb-13 22:39:48

Ah, it all sounds so so familiar. But please promise me you'll ask the school to give you somewhere to feed tomorrow? Cold benches in this weather= Not Good.

FunnysInLaJardin Fri 01-Feb-13 22:36:14

I think in my DS2's case it was just over stimulation. DS1 was never like that and I think mainly because the house was quiet and I didn't have to do anything with him if I didn't want to. DS2 was and is very easily overstimulated, he was and is a very alert child <sigh>

FunnysInLaJardin Fri 01-Feb-13 22:32:50

I had one of these. I used to have to do a 45 min round trip twice a day to take DS1 to nursery when DS2 was tiny. He used to scream from a certain point until we got home. I coped by enlisting as much help as I could with drop offs and pick ups inc getting our cleaner to look after DS2 once a week while I dropped DS1 off.

It was a nightmare and so I feel your pain!

Indith Fri 01-Feb-13 22:29:17

Well your school run this afternoon seems to have been better anyway even though it involved a feed smile Thing is the length of it means that you will often need to feed in these early weeks, in is fairly inevitable but will change in a matter of weeks as he starts going a little longer and you all settle into a feed/sleep pattern based around your school runs. You will get there, these first weeks are just a bitch. Good luck discussing osteopath and dairy stuff, well worth a try. If you try to cut dairy remember it takes a good 4-6 weeks for your body top be clear of it so give it time to work. Also a lot of people sensitive to CMP also react to soya.

MN044 Fri 01-Feb-13 20:29:55

Quick tip to take off the Ergo, though I don't knwo if it'd work with the insert. I never undo the clip at the back, I simply can't reach it. I do it up after I put on the waist belt, then feed my arms through over my head, a bit like a jumper if that makes sense. To get ds out, I just loosen the straps and pull him out of the top. With the milk thing, I've cut out anything that lists milk on the allergy information. It really sounds far more daunting that it is in practice so don't worry. My ds has consistently put on weight despite me cutting out the milk for me, but even then we were referred to a specialist who talked me through weaning which was helpful. The difference in my ds was immediate when I cut it out. I only ever thoguht of dairy being a problem when it clicked that the 2 times he'd really, truly screamed and screamed were times my parents had visited when he was really small, and I'd served us all clotted cream scones. Even now if I slip up, I can tell by his reaction. Milk seems to get to my milk, if that makes sense, very quickly. I made and ate a pie that had loads of cream in it a few months ago, ate it and thought nothing of it, fed ds an hour later and he howled sad I've found health visitors and doctors much more clued up than I expected about the cows milk protein intolerance, it's the most common one in babies, I think my consultant said about 4% of under ones have a problem, but most of them grow out of it by about 2 years old.
I do think that a lot of a problem is how you percieve it as well. If you're stressing about gettign out and about, you're going to start setting yourself up to fail. Have confidence in your ability to get out every day. Ds will cry sometimes. There's really no need to get flustered, though I know that's far easier said than done. If none of the suggestions help, make sure you keep talking. Ds is my 3rd dc, I had terrible PND after my second, percisely because I felt very much liek you do now- a bit overwhelmed by the mechanics of having more than one, and a baby who just was never happy. It's my one huge regret actually that noone suggested altering my diet with ds1, who knows if that would have helped.

RooneyMara Fri 01-Feb-13 18:27:05

Thankyou...Duritz, wow, maybe there is something in it then. I will definitely ask around for an osteopath. When you've had a super happy baby, well I just can't feel Ok about this sort! There must be something hurting him.

Framey, I know what you mean but I can't do it. It's horrible when he cries, I just can't bear it. He does have to wait more than the others did, already - but walking for 20 minutes or more with a crying baby isn't something I could stand!

Thankyou for the link for the nursing cover, also for the Medela bottle which looks excellent.

I'm going to try cutting down on dairy - do you have to cut out everything including hidden stuff in ingredients? Or just basic milk?

Jolly - thanks - you're right, it does have a wedge. I am such a dufus - I put it together many months ago and had forgotten, it's definitely in there but he still seems to find it very awkward. His feet always end up froggy style, soles together, way above the bottom strap! smile I'm sure it'll be better once he's bigger but at the moment (and when he was just born) it's a bit daft.

I took him to school in the Ergo this afternoon. All great until we got to the gate - hestarted waking and rooting about, then crying so I had to find somewhere to feed him, take off the ergo, (after taking off my coat, handbag, etc) and sit on a cold bench feeding him in his sleepsuit again - can't put a coat on him in the sling, it'd be too warm.

It was really hard especially as I couldn't get the darn thing off quickly - the back strap is so difficult to reach. I got very frustrated and so did he.

But he was fine on the way home, thank goodness.

Back to square one in a sense - and just keep winging it, and trying the other things. <collapses in heap>

FrameyMcFrame Fri 01-Feb-13 18:17:39

Try a sling but if you don't get on with that then he will just have to cry until you get home in the buggy. Don't feel like you should be huddling in rainy shop doorways feeding him, he can wait until you both get home and dry!
It's hard but 2nd and subsequent children have to get used to waiting for things pretty quickly in a way our pfb babies didn't have to.

JollyRedGiant Fri 01-Feb-13 18:17:16

The maxi cosi pebble comes with a wedge that goes in the bottom. This should be used until baby is about 4 months I think. It makes the seat much more lying back and less bucket like. It is very easy to remove so you should be able to see if you have it or not smile

Duritzfan Fri 01-Feb-13 18:07:46

Wow .. My ds with reflux was a crash c section after he nearly died .. He had cord wrapped around his neck too ...

ScrambledSmegs Fri 01-Feb-13 16:09:35

I've got a Medela Calma teat for times when DD2 needs to be bottle fed. It is damn expensive but DD gets on far better with it than the Tommee Tippee ones and she doesn't seem to learn bad habits on it. I took the view that we wouldn't need more than 1 as she's bf, and I intend to keep doing so as long as possible - at least to a year.

Medela Calma

On Amazon - So damn expensive

TheMaskedHorror Fri 01-Feb-13 14:58:42

Have you tried giving up dairy in your diet?

My dc3 (3 months) was very similar til I gave up dairy.

mummy2benji Fri 01-Feb-13 14:19:14

Try a nursing cover like this for feeding, this one is really well-priced

Poor you, your school run experience sounds hideous! I have a 3mo dd and 4yo ds and getting him to school while trying to time her feeds (she has reflux and will vomit if moved about too soon after a feed) is very tricky. She frequently is only allowed half a feed or just has to wait while we go fetch ds and then I feed her when we get home. I have a BabyBjorn carrier which I got secondhand from eBay and works just great, and although she hates it if we are just in the house and when initially put in it, after half a minute of my power-walking down the road towards school she will settle.

I hope it gets easier for you soon. x

RooneyMara Fri 01-Feb-13 14:01:58

Gosh so so many great ideas. Thankyou all so much.

I like the idea of the kids' hot chocolate - I think I had one once, it was lovely and the right size for me as I don't drink much! Thankyou for reminding me. It would be well worth doing smile

It's a thought about the bottle thing but I don't dare - I've never had a child who would accept a bottle before about 16 months, and have got some in case I need them but for the time being I'm a bit scared to introduce formula in case it has an impact on the bF. I'll bear it in mind though as would be easier for me than getting boobs out.

I didn't know the Pebble had an insert - does it? I've been using it as it came - but with a sheepskin too.

I never knew reflux can stop after 12 weeks -we're a third of the way there then if it is that. I do change him face down on my lap, often he curls up like a little snail, bottom in the air. Or upright on my lap once the main bit is done. He always sighs with relief when he's sat up. Poor little thing.

Chickpeas thankyou for the suggestion, do you know, he's been so worried looking since the day he was born, that I did wonder if something had caused it - my having had an epidural perhaps, or the way he was born - pretty quick, too, with the cord around his neack like yours and the mW shouting at me to push really hard as he needed to come out NOW. I was traumatised so I don't know if he was too - wouldn't be surprised.

I will try and find out if there's a good osteopath round here. I'm sure someone at school will have used one. I want to do whatever I can to help the poor wee lad.

Thanks again for everything - I've managed to sort out the Ergo thanks to that You tube vid and a few others on there, so he's currently asleep in that- looked up the Karp thing too, and thinking about ordering it. MN is great, Indith I shall think of you while I'm walking to school with my finger in his mouth smile

cheddarcheeselover Fri 01-Feb-13 13:55:54

Just want to agree with the others who've said the close carrier was a bit rubbish. Moby is infinitely better.

JollyRedGiant Fri 01-Feb-13 13:06:27

Do you have the insert for the pebble car seat? If not it might help.

Chickpeas2 Fri 01-Feb-13 13:01:33

Hi op
Have skimmed your thread, loads of great advice, just wanted to add that my DC2 was v similar, will never forget the horrendous car journeys,many of which I had to abandon half way through and turn around usually in tears myself...

I wondered what your labour/delivery were like? My DC2 had the cord around her neck and was drlivered very fast which the osteopath thought caused some trauma that triggered her silent reflux. Was very sceptical about osteopath but after one treatment DC2 stopped crying for the first time in her 6 week old life.She too gained weight fast as fed constantly I think for comfort from the silent reflux. A Kari me sling was my lifesaver and then a bouncy seat in as upright a position as I could find. Also wedges for her cot to raise the head end. Also I tried to keep her more upright when feeding and shoved a towel under her head & shoulders for nappy changes. Good luck!

Indith Fri 01-Feb-13 12:41:40

smile You will get better at it. Both sling using and feeding out and about!

If he does have reflux then a sling is definitely going to be better than a pram as he will much prefer being upright. If the feeding while out thing still scares you then if he is happier for longer in a sling then you get that bit closer to home before he starts screaming. Plus you can walk along with a finger in his mouth which you can't do with the pram so you might be able to distract him for long enough to get home rather than having to stop.

Shepherds I'm not sure a bottle of formula or ebm would help here really as the op would still have to find somewhere to stop to feed him.

ShephardsDelight Fri 01-Feb-13 11:51:15

A dummy perhaps??

or could be crossing a line here , but making up a FF just for the school run?

Duritzfan Fri 01-Feb-13 11:35:06

Sounds mad but have you heard Harvey Karps happiest baby on the block theories ?
I had a ds with reflux, screamed all day and most of the night but "karping" helped him out no end
Google him

domesticslattern Fri 01-Feb-13 11:29:08

I hear you sister on the perspective thing!
I once sat on the curb to bf DD2, and a lovely woman took pity on me and actually took me into her house! You can get a kids hot chocolate in Starbucks for £1.80. Look on it as £1.80 to get your tits out somewhere warm and dry. Bargain!

forevergreek Fri 01-Feb-13 11:27:30

I think also with a sling, as you say there's no huge pram in the way so it's easier to ask the school if you can just sit on say a chair in reception area and feed as your not in anyone's way at all.

Often reflux only lasts until 12 weeks approx so it's the perfect time to spend a few months upright in sling and close and then as they get older the use of pram etc can be used more when they have settled

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