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I can't cope with my baby

(87 Posts)
Lost1401 Fri 14-Feb-14 09:24:51

Name changed for this. I have a 3 week old and I can't cope with him.
He's spent the last few days cluster feeding and I can't do anything or go anywhere. I can barely find time for myself to go to the toilet. On a night when I put him down he whinges and it then turns into full on screams until I feed him again even if he delatched himself and showed no more interest in feeding.
My partners gone to work on barely any sleep and I'm functioning on no sleep. He's feeding yet again, he's been feeding constantly. He screams when I change his nappy and he cries when I change his clothes. I just want to put him down and run away.
It got to the point earlier where when he was crying I shouted at him to shut up. Sometimes I leave him to cry because I'm scared I'm going to hurt him if I go to pick him up because I get angry. I know that's awful, getting angry with a tiny baby. I know it's not his fault and I feel like such a shit mum sad
I just don't know what to do anymore, I feel so down and I dread the night times with him. I seriously cannot cope anymore.

AwfulMaureen Fri 14-Feb-14 09:47:14

Op is there anyone to come and sit with him while you have a bath/sleep? I know it's hard when Bf but you must get some rest or you won't be healthy.

Can you express?

TheBakeryQueen Fri 14-Feb-14 09:48:28

Ok, well change his nappy, swaddle him, put some white noise on (hoover, iphone app etc) then let him feed. If he falls asleep, try putting him ever so gently into a vibrating bouncy chair. Rock it if he stirs, leave white noise on & see if he will have a little nap like that. Or if someone else csn hold him once asleep so you can have a bath/cuppa/rest.

Also, rule out things like silent reflux, and medical reasons for crying just to put your mind at rest.

My first DS was a high needs baby, never seemed happy. I found it helped to describe him using positive words like, 'oh yes, he is very assertive', 'knows exactly what he wants', 'determined' etc etc. Bit bonkers but helped in a strange way grin

PolyesterBride Fri 14-Feb-14 09:55:33

I think it sounds like you're doing really well. He's obviously feeding well if he's having lots of wet and dirty nappies and putting on weight. What you are describing in terms of feeding all the time and crying a lot is completely normal. He's probably feeding loads to build up your supply. And I promise that it will get easier, little by little. From memory at about six weeks it started to get a bit easier for me.

But that doesn't make it easy to cope with now. What I would do is this: sleep whenever you can - if the baby sleeps, just lie down. You will get through this, even though you feel that you will collapse through lack of sleep. See the health visitor for reassurance that all is well with your baby. See the gp to get assessed for post natal depression. Try to go to some baby groups and chat to other mums - it's amazing how much it helps taking to people in the same position. Go out at least once a day - feed and change baby, strap him into the buggy and walk, ignoring crying if you have to.

You will cope and you will enjoy your baby and you will survive the sleep deprivation! I did and I was a wreck the first few weeks. I think I just needed to know it was all normal.

Bumpiemalumpie Fri 14-Feb-14 09:55:58

lost, I UST wanted to say, you are doing a fab job. The fact you are still feeding and taking cues from lo is great.

I also have a 3week guzzler, we were feeding ALL night, it is exhausting, I have got to the point where I have to pee with him in my arms often feeding

I have been told it'll get better which is helpful but not when you are so tired you can't sleep.

I have spoken to my HV as I was worried about my sanity and I think you need to as well.

I have been told that at 3 weeks, if they are cluster feeding u can risk expressing and bottle feeding it, could you try that?

offering a hand to hold xxbiscuit brew

Anniegoestotown Fri 14-Feb-14 09:56:57

Dd was like this. I don't think I put her down for 9 weeks. Only 2 hours sleep per night. The sofa and day time tv became my best friends.

Could a df or parent come around one after noon and take over whilst you go to bed for a few hours sleep. Maybe take baby out for a walk around the block so he doesn't disturb you. I unfortunately have no family and had only just moved into this area. We moved from the Midlands to the suburbs of London 3 months before getting pregnant.

I would not expect to do anything don't plan anything or try to do anything and don't feel guilty about it. I concentrated everything on dd and eating, everything else went to pot. I would put her down to bed when I went in the evening with her cot drop side down pushed up against the bed so in the night I could just sit up and lift her directly from her cot when ever she cried. Every time she whinged I stuck a boob in her mouth. I think after 9 weeks she got so sick of my boob she actually slept through. The first baby to sleep through in my post natal group. Ds took 11 weeks.

People tell you that having a baby is tiring but no one can actually describe the sheer exhaustion you feel. You will feel it will never end but it does.

casperthefriendlyghost Fri 14-Feb-14 10:01:32

Agree with soupmaker re tongue-tie. I struggled to breast feed my DS1 and we did make it to 6 months - part of that time was part and part. I later found out he was tongue-tied which I am convinced is why feeding was so awful. He sounds just like yours - would feed for up to 2 hours at time, rest for half an hour then want to feed again. (When DS2 then DD1 came along feeding them was an entirely different process and so much easier I couldn't believe it!) I also learnt to feed lying down but it does take time and practise, same as bf in general.

All of my 3 also went through a period where they would only sleep on their bellies - it was a short period thankfully, but I dealt with it by having them sleep on me propped up on a few cushions in bed. I know you're not supposed to so not recommending it, just saying it was part of what I did to get through the initial stages of having a newborn.

You also need some help with relaxing - as baby is probably picking up on your stress which is making them cry more, the old vicious circle. You need to learn to comfort baby and kind of let the crying wash over you. I make it sound so easy and I know its not so I apologise. There is nothing worse than being sleep deprived, I hate it even now when my youngest is 3 - I still get grouchy when not sleeping enough and that is normally my fault for going to bed late! Thinking of you.

gamerchick Fri 14-Feb-14 10:09:59

ah bless you.. it's such a shock at first. I remember those days well.

First, the feeding is completely normal and it doesn't sound as if it's tounge tie.. i'm getting a bit fed up of seeing that on these threads.. plenty of wet/dirty nappys, weight gain and feeding well is what you want.

He's 3 weeks.. for 9 months he was carried around constantly, his temp was constant.. he didn't feel hunger or thirst and he had soothing sounds of your body none stop.

Then he goes through this violent experience and shoved out into the light and the cold. For the first time he makes a noise, he feels hunger and thirst and that uncomfortable feeling in the shorts area. You are the only familiar thing he has and of course he's going to want to cling to that. Would you want to be put down wink

also we are not cows.. we don't all of a sudden start producing gallons of milk. It takes weeks for feeding to be established and as it's your bodys first time in making milk.. it's still learning as well. It remembers somewhat better the next time.

Also human babies are born too early.. we only have them because of the head.. they really should cook for another 3 months, So the 3 months after birth are the 4th trimester and baby is still attached to you.

Take your baby to bed and have a babymoon.. really all you should be doing is feeding and have somebody on hand to feed and water you and give you the remote. not practical I know. A box set on netflix.. or an xbox [breastfeeding is how I got into gaming]

I promise from the bottom of my soul that it gets easier.

If you have a particularly sucky baby like i did.. a clean little finger nail to tongue can be a godsend if they just want to suck.

keep talking and take it day by day.. I swear it gets better but keep telling people how you are feeling.

and fuck the housework.. your bloke etc can pick up the slack in that area for a bit.

BigW Fri 14-Feb-14 10:10:54

lost you've had lots of excellent advice on here. I just wanted to add my voice. My DS is amazing and wonderful and all that, but the first few weeks were just awful. We don't fully appreciate the impact a lack of sleep has on us. You've had an enormous shock, physically and emotionally. It's almost impossible to process everything in the first few weeks. Give yourself a break. Stop judging yourself, you're doing fine. Your baby is thriving, you did that! Just you! That's wonderful.

Things honestly do get easier, I promise. I felt like you about breastfeeding. It was really important to me, but always remember that a happy mummy is more important.

Keep posting on here. Mumsnet kept me going through the long nights. Speak to HV as others have suggested. Anyone who says this beginning bit is easy is lying! !!

gamerchick Fri 14-Feb-14 10:22:01

and a tight swaddle can be a godsend in the early days.. it has to be tight so they cant get their arms out. It helps them feel secure as they did squished in the womb.

MultipleMama Fri 14-Feb-14 14:18:19

If you don't want to FF, have you tried expressing? It may give you the break you need and talk the pressure off yourself. Do you know what your supply is like? It may be that's he not getting enough or it's too much hard work for him.

DS4 is 31 weeker (19wo old actual) and still cluster feeds and the hospital I'm at feeds him when he wants it as I want to FOD. He's extremely fussy much like your DS and hardly anything put the breast settles him. He's pretty much on my chest all the time instead of the sling. My previous twins cluster fed til the age of 10 months when they grew out of it. So I've learnt to deal with it but I've had years of being a milking cow to my DC! Haha.

So I know how exhausting and plain annoying it is to not have a minute to yourself - can't even bathe/shower alone somedays with DS4 at the breast.

Please, if you're finding it hard talk to your HV, they may have some good ideas to try or advice you on. I hope your DS soon settles down and you find yourself a lot less under pressure! smile xxx I hold no hope for me!

MultipleMama Fri 14-Feb-14 14:25:22

gamerchick is totally right. Babymoons are the best! I literally spent the first month with my previous DCs being as lazy as possible! smile

Ginnytonic82 Fri 14-Feb-14 15:45:35

You're doing an amazing job, so don't be so hard on yourself! The shock of being a new parent is immense, it knocked me for six. I totally resented being a mum, and I often thought what the hell have we done? Also as others have said sleep depravation is torture. Is there anyone around to offer you some help? Even just an hour or two to give you a break. Maybe your Dh could sleep a couple of nights in the spare room to catch up, then let you do the same at weekends. When my Ds was born I went to bed at 8, my husband brought baby to bed at around 10 (we mix fed). Those two hours were bliss. Also at weekends he got up early and took Ds downstairs while I had a lie in.

To make the days easier, get your Dp to leave snacks/sandwiches and drinks ready for you. Getting out is hard at first but the more you do it the easier it gets, stock up your nappy bag ready so you can just pop baby in the pram and go. Getting out will definitely help, it saved my sanity just going for a walk round the block. Do talk to MW/HV/GP, there's so much help out there. I have pnd but am receiving help and my life is so much better - I'm happy again. Keep posting too, mumsnet are an amazing source of support.

waterrat Fri 14-Feb-14 16:04:35

You might find that a dummy becomes easier to use alongside bf by this point? Also agree about swaddle and sling

I would say don't give up bf just because of this - within a couple of weeks your baby will stop cluster feeding - I went through it and it is absolutely grim but once they stop then bf is easy ...

What we did was that when I couldn't face any more feeding at night I handed him over to dp and he would put him in a sling and walk around with him for an hour or two - or sit and watch late night tv ...

violator Fri 14-Feb-14 17:34:02

I could have written your post when DS was that age. There's been lots of good advice given already, but I'd add that with the dummy sometimes you need to persist with it. I used to hold it gently in DS's mouth until he got a good suck on it.

Just on the breastfeeding, your comment about feeling a failure rang an alarm bell with me. I was just like you, absolutely determined to exclusively breastfeed for the same reason. But DS continued to scream and feed and not sleep longer than 20 minutes at a time, day and night, for 12 weeks at which point my mind and body gave in and I had a complete breakdown.

I'm very pro-breastfeeding BUT if it and the sleep deprivation is affecting your mental health you may need to re-evaluate which is more important, your own health and sanity or the fact that your baby is breastfed.

HelenHen Fri 14-Feb-14 19:14:53

It was around this stage that we introduced a bottle of formula before bed and it was a godsend! Breastfeeding does tend to magically fall into place around 6 weeks though! If you wanna exclusively feed though, you need to accept that you won't be able to do anything for a few weeks but it might be worth waiting for! Is there a breastfeeding group near you? They can be wonderful, ask your health visitor.

TheresLotsOfFarmyardAnimals Fri 14-Feb-14 19:36:23

Please lower expectations on yourself and your baby. Try to get out and see sunlight and fresh air but also embrace your pjs! You're recovering from being pregnant and labour as well as bfing. This all takes huge energy.

It is very early days. You will be q pro at this eventually but until then live on takeaway, minimal cleaning and watch too much tv whilst eating chocolate.

I only say this with 20:20 hindsight. I looked well made up with a clean house but should have just chilled out a bit more!

Don't be afraid of dummies, slings, swings, buggies. Trytthem all! It might help.

Everything is a phase and if it's bad fingers crossed its a fast one.

Woody31 Fri 14-Feb-14 19:51:07

Lost - where are you based ? People will recommend good support groups .....

Lost1401 Fri 14-Feb-14 20:31:41

Thank you everyone for all your support. I feel a lot better knowing I'm not the only one to feel this way. I feel like shit and so guilty for thinking those things this morning sad
We've had a much better day today - feeds every few hours then some cluster feeding this evening but he's now asleep so I'm in bed about to catch up on some sleep.
We're going out tomorrow and I'm going to buy a pump so I can express and DP can do some of the feeds - hopefully that will take some of the pressure off. Am also going to have another think about using a dummy tonight if he's just comfort sucking.

GingerDoodle Fri 14-Feb-14 20:32:38


I haven't read all the responses so apologies if I repeat anything:

- FF does not, under any circumstances, make you a shit mum. It makes me angry that this country has managed to drum that into people. Yes its obviously best but its far from a natural (or even possible) skill for far more people than you'd think.

- Have you considered mix feeding? I did as my milk never came in and it produced a much happy baby and me - I still bf until she was 6 months. I used the ready made bottles of formula - expensive but easy.

I mention the above two points first simply as you should be able to enjoy your newborn - cut yourself some slack!

- If you have our heart set on BF exclusively; get your DS checked for tongue tie (by a couple of people if possible; I understand its easily missed) and speak to a lactation consultant.

- Speak to your HV about PND.

Hope some of that helps a little.

GingerDoodle Fri 14-Feb-14 20:34:48

PS. Everyone has bad bad days. My DD is 17 months now and Wednesday was god awful - today was a lot better.

Also if you are not adverse a dummy can help. Mine wouldn't take one until 3 weeks or so but I'm glad she did eventually (even tho I have a distinct dislike of them lol)

BigW Fri 14-Feb-14 20:36:51

Well done lost. Can I suggest a Madela Swing. It's really good. Hopefully you are currently in the land if nod! I hope you have a good sleep!

OhCaptainDarling Sat 15-Feb-14 03:59:09

Hi Lost

4wk old DS here and he's just the same! Exhausted....feeding and more feeding with a good helping of tears. However it is getting easier. White noise is your friend grin

I'm not expressing but he is having the odd formula feed. DH gives the last bottle and I go to bed. Last night in bed by 9pm slept till 3am! Feeling so much better.

We have brought a brand of bottle called Haberman think that's how you spell it you can only get them in Boots. No idea how it works but we are finding it much better than the Tommie Tippy bottles. Actually it's improved DS latch which surprised me. So went out yesterday and got the dummy too. Having a sucky baby sucks big time. On off the boob, since giving him the dummy he's chilled out a bit and more importantly has gone to sleep...!!! Hurrah.

Do what you can....Remembering the nights are long but the years are fast! This bit is over very quickly, doesn't seem like it now.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Sat 15-Feb-14 04:32:13

lost - I exclusively expressed for DS and am doing the same for DD

Just my recommendation but dont buy an off the shelf pump. They're not very good. You need a good electric double. The ameda lactaline is the best in my opinion. You can get it next day delivery on amazon. Get a hands free expressing bra too - medela one is good. Again, on amazon

DR Brown bottles (again, amazon) are the best for preventing wind.

Good luck!

GemmaPomPom Sat 15-Feb-14 04:58:00

FF is better than shouting at him and leaving him to cry!!!

CheerfulYank Sat 15-Feb-14 05:08:19

Oh honey. <hugs> It's hard, it's SO hard. I gave up BFing DS and it was a good made everything so much easier. But I wanted to persist with DD. The first months were terrible, but now she's 8 months and it's all a dim memory; she BFs like a champ. But I remember in the early days sobbing and telling DH "I just want to put a shirt on!" because it felt like I was wandering around topless all the time.

Honestly I feel like it just takes time and practice. With DD it helped to not put a time on it, like I would never say to myself "I must bf for at least a year" or anything, it was more like "okay, I will do the best I can just for today." And then before I knew it we were in a routine.

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