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Don't know how to look after my baby

(12 Posts)
nibbysmum Thu 06-Feb-14 09:08:08

Probably melodramatic but I really feel like i don't. He's always been really placid. Slept ok at night..Not amazing..He definitely should be sleeping 11 or so hours but averages 9 most of time nowadays. He used to sleep 11..No idea why he's stopped. As a result he now seems tired and cranky. Everyday we have a morning meltdown where he cries, won't take bottle..is obviously way over tired but no amount of rocking or pushing in pram calms him. It's more a case of him crying it out with me holding him and failing miserably to placate him. Same thing happens at 2am when he wakes for a Feed. He struggles to nap..Unless we are in car or at home and its quiet he's too nosey and distracted to sleep. I just don't know what to do. I seem to have no idea what to do when he cries, no idea what he needs and no idea how to help him both nap and get the sleep he needs at night. He's 18 weeks and anytime I feel I've cracked it I turn out to be wrong. Sorry to rant I'm just finding this so hard. My partner works full time and I have no other support. My mum us around but owns her own business so it would have to be a last resort to call her. Plus she advocates cry it out and I don't!

nibbysmum Thu 06-Feb-14 09:12:36

I should say I don't know what I want anyone to say I just needed to vent I guess. I truly feel like a crap mum and what's worse is I'm scared I always will be.

yolothankgod Thu 06-Feb-14 09:13:14

Do you have a swing for him , if he likes been rocked maybe that could help ?
Their could be a reason he is so unsettled such as teething

Sorry not much help but didn't want to read and run brew

yolothankgod Thu 06-Feb-14 09:14:39

Your not a crap mum btw , could you speak to your HV about how you feel ?

Do you go to any baby groups, getting out of the house really does help

nibbysmum Thu 06-Feb-14 09:33:27

We have a swing but it's never really worked. I've also tried calpol and teething gels/granules to no avail. He's been refkuxy in the past so I put gaviscon in his bottles for a couple of nights. That worked for about 3 days but must have been coincidence as it no longer works!! I've spoken to hv and Doctor neither of which felt my worries were anymore than a first time mum thing! I only go to baby massage on a Friday and see my mum on a Wednesday so not much in way of groups but that's mainly because I don't have a car everyday and live in a rural village. Thank you for replying. I know it's a woe post

Eletheomel Thu 06-Feb-14 10:02:28

Firstly - you're not a crap mum. Sometimes babies cry and all you can do is hold them - you can't stop them crying, you can just let them know that they're not alone.

And this may be small comfort when you're going through it, but there is a sleep regression around the 4-5 month stage when habits change and they can start wanting more milk and sleeping less and being grumpy. This is also when teeth can start to move beneat the gums, getting ready to come out - you might not be able to see anything, but it doesn't mean teethign hasn't started.

DS1 was a reluctant napper (hated naps, used to have to force him to take them) and initially would only sleep in buggy if it was outside in motion - so it was brisk (you had to walk fast for him to nod off) 60-90 minute pram walks for me, we'd get home, he'd wake up, I'd be shattered....

Inside, we'd have to put on a CD (background noise) and push him round the room for up to 20 minutes before he'd nod off, then keep watching him and pushing him as he'd stir every 20 mins. He'd be crying for the first 10 minutes or so of us using the pram, before he would then go quiet and get ready to sleep. It wasn't fun for any of us sad

I did find, that when he was crying hysterically a change of scene could help stop him (by distracting him) so if he was in one room, taking him to another differently lit room, or opening the door and taking him outside, could put a stop to his crying and then gave me an opportunity to do somehting with him. In honesty, he was rubbish like that until he started crawling and then as he got physically more tired, we still needed the buggy for him to go to sleep during the day, but he would nod off quickly without a fight. Some babies are just harder than others. Flip side is he's now 4, sleeps like a log and has a good 11/12 hours a night :-)

As for the 'everytime I think I've cracked it, turns out I'm wrong' that is babies all over, very few babies are the perfect babies their mums say they are, babies rewrite the manual all the time and you're left feeling hopeless - those are normal everyday feelings you have, every mum feels like that - which isn't to diminish your feelings, but just to let you know you are not alone.

Definitely try and find out via your HV what groups etc are available locally as meeting up with other mums and hearing them moan about their babies can be remarkably therapeutic :-)

Zatch Sat 08-Feb-14 12:20:39

You're not a crap mum. At all. You're doing a wonderful job. Trying everything you can to make sure he's a happy healthy boy is not the definition of crap mum. He might just be having a 'difficult' phase. My ds has been a placid, mild tempered little dude up till now. Cue 'difficult' phase confused Ds is one hmm and I still think I'm doing a terrible job. Sorry I can't help much but sending hugs

puntasticusername Sat 08-Feb-14 12:56:50

I haven't got much practical advice, but I wanted to say - like everyone else - I'm sure you are NOT a crap mum. Most of us feel a bit desperate at times - and yes, babies are masters of letting you briefly think you've cracked it, and then changing something!

Do look for some more support, and keep talking to us here. You're never alone. And hang in there, it does get easier!

chillisbopper Sat 08-Feb-14 13:50:56

Hi,

My DS is almost 10 weeks and he goes through the whole crying because he's over tired thing. I felt a lot like I don't know what to do and DH seems to entertain him better, I'm useless with him etc. I don't know if it will help but This is what we do:

When he's slept well for a few hours I generally know this means he'll be awake a little while and need entertaining. This usually happens around the same times a day unless he's having an unsettled day, so I can plan my rest knowing aprox what times are going to be a bit busier, if I'm better rested I find it a lot easier (and I often think DS's mood plays off of my mood so I try not to feel frustrated when he's unsettled). We go through a list of things he likes -
1. when he first wakes we sit and talk to him while he's laying on his back, stroke his head, tickle his tummy etc.
2. When he gets a bit frustrated with that I put him on his changing mat and take off his nappy and let him lay there semi naked for a few minutes, he seems to enjoy a bit of freedom and kicks his legs a lot (which helps tire him out a bit).
3. Then (if he isn't yet asking to be fed) I will put him in his swing for a little bit, it has a time out function so I tell him how long I'm putting him in and turn on the music, and I leave him to play a bit. The music only lasts a few minutes so I have to go back to restart it so DS enjoys some solo play knowing that I will go over and say hi every now and again. We aim for 30 mins in the swing, he usually manages this but sometimes I might misjudge how awake he is and he will want out sooner as he's actually tireder than I thought lol.
4. Then I give DS to DH to have a couple of hugs, DH is a bit unwell at the moment so this doesn't tend to last too long.
5. I put nursery rhymes on on my phone and feed DS while singing to him and fingers crossed he falls to sleep. Going through this process makes it a bit easier because each stage is designed to tire DS and make him sleep easier.

If at any stage he gets fussy and asks to be fed instead then i feed him instead as I don't want to over stimulate him.

The most useful thing I ever read is that a baby always cries because they want something be it food, a change, or simply to fall to sleep, they never cry for nothing. So when he's crying and I can't settle him we have a list: Change, Play, Feed & Sleep...if he's got a clean dry nappy, doesn't want to play and doesn't want to feed but won't stop crying I just give him a hug and try to rock him a little and comfort him as best as I can until he calms down and falls to sleep. I can usually tell from the cry if it's just that he's tired, although DH will constantly suggest it's his nappy lol.

You can also try a bath before bed in an evening with a bedtime bubble bath in it (we use johnsons) followed by a massage (if you're really hoping for some rest use a bedtime lotion as well wink).

It's hard but no matter what I try there are times when DS just cries and all I can do is hug him and be there until he falls to sleep, but when that happens having gone through my list it's a bit easier because I know it's just that he's tired so I'm not driving myself mad looking for the reason as to why he's crying.

chillisbopper Sat 08-Feb-14 13:53:38

Sorry pressed send too soon...anyway was just also going to say I hope this helps you a little and don't worry you are NOT a bad mum! thanksbrew

nibbysmum Sun 09-Feb-14 09:18:24

Thank you so much for your replies. They are so helpful. Chillisbopper..Some really amazing tips thank you. Eletheomel..I could have cried when I read your post. Found it so comforting. Thank you all. Still stressing a bit but I think it's because I feel very alone and I know I need to get out and meet other mums. Things not great with OH either. Feel like he has some sort of male pnd which I don't blame him for...I had a shockibg birth which meant he had to care for lo alot in first few weeks...As well as me. I hsd a debriefing with head midwife after my birth and she offered to do same for my partner but he wouldn't go. Long story short I nearly passed away during birth so it was awful for us both. I'm sorry to go on but I'm just so tired, alone and unsure of every move I make

puntasticusername Sun 09-Feb-14 10:01:59

Oh, my gods. How awful for you both. What a thing to go through. It sounds as if you could both use a hand. As you say, getting out and about and meeting other mums would be great for you. And do keep posting here, it's a great place!

Not sure what to suggest for your DP if he turned down the offer of the debriefing from the head midwife. It sounds as if he probably wouldn't want to see a counsellor to try and make some more sense of his horrible experiences during the birth. Does he have any close family or friends you could confide in, and ask for help in drawing him out a bit?

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