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Help me please! GP Appointment Today - What Shall I Say??

(28 Posts)
BB01 Thu 20-Feb-14 09:42:24

Really desperately could do with some opinions on this.

DD is 8 months old and am finding things are getting harder and harder by the day. She's breastfed on demand and we're doing blw. She has never slept well but at least when she was a newborn she did some occasional long stretches.

From the age of about four months till now she's woken on average every hour, often every half hour. We try to get her to sleep on futon in eve then bedshare for rest of night. She'll often take an hour or two to settle in the eve. Only way she'll settle is on the boob but she can be on and off for hours till she sleeps. She'll then often wake after ten mins then after another hour then same again we'll go to bed ourselves. So most the eve spent trying to get her to sleep.

She'll occasionally feed to sleep in the day but 99% of the time she'll only sleep in the sling outside on a walk. I stop at traffic lights, she wakes up. Someone says hi to me, she wakes. The second I step in the house she wakes.

She's also awful in the car and won't tolerate the pushchair at all. She looks in pain, writhing about and screaming. We can't travel in car more than five mins as it's too stressful.

I'm seriously mentally and physically exhausted. I either spend my day out hiking with her in all weathers trying to get her to sleep or listening to her groan cos she's so sleep deprived. Finding it harder and harder to socialise as our day just revolves around this.

Have tried shushing and patting, considered no cry solution but can't bring myself to effectively wake her up if it's taken two hours to get her down, and this wouldn't help her daytime sleep issues, white noise, swaddling, routine, no routine, trying to get her off at first sign off tiredness, swaying, rocking, swing, blanket and cuddly toy, music, silence, dark room, self settling. Nothing works.

She's on med for silent reflux which has helped discomfort after feeding but hasn't helped her sleep or the car seat/pushchair issue.

I don't have any time to myself, she's nearly always attached to me, can't do any jobs, can't sleep when she does or even put my feet up as she wakes soon as we get home, back and shoulders knackered from slings even though they're good, supportive ones (Connecta and Beco), as she's in them so much.

She won't take bottle or dummy. DM convinced she's hungry and need to do spoon feeding. Have researched it and link between food and sleep seems to be inconclusive. She was low birth weight and still way behind her peers. She is v enthusiastic about trying food but often only has a few nibbles. She will sometimes take a spoon on odd times I've tried but prefers to feed herself.

Could just about cope with the awful nights if the days were easier but I can feel myself getting more and more isolated as having to say no to things unless they're a walk as she'll be tired and grumpy if I don't get her to sleep. My one break was going for a run when DH gets home but can't do that now as too tired from the walking to get her to sleep.

When she's had enough sleep and just after she wakes she's like a different baby. She seems to be meeting all her milestones.

I love her so much and when she is happy it's the best thing in the world looking after her but just feel that she should be happier than this by eight months and that lack of sleep is key.

Back off to gp today but don't quite know what to say. They don't think it's dairy intolerance but I still wonder about it.

Any advice please?? Can feel myself getting more and more fed up and while I don't feel depressed, I worry that the way things are going I might end up that way.

iamhopeful Thu 20-Feb-14 09:47:17

I don't have any advice as we are sleep deprived currently with teething, dd is 13 months and I am exhausted. I just wanted you to know you are not alone. Be honest with your gp and I really hope they listen and can offer some support.

Regardless, talk on here, I have found the support invaluable in reminding me I am not going mad

Awkwardsis Thu 20-Feb-14 09:52:25

My ds was just ike the so you have my every sympathy. It was its own kind of hell.
For starters, tbh at the gp I'd talk first about your own health. I suffered PND and I'm sure lack of sleep was a major factor. I felt absolutely hopeless about things ever getting better. Anti depressants really helped.
My ds did actually have a dairy intolerance, specifically cows milk protein and a horrible allergy to eggs. The changes I made to my diet while I was bfing made a huge difference, but not enough that it made him sleep. I also think I was probably under nourishing myself which didn't help at all, so if you go down an exclusion diet route please do make sure you are properly supervised and given decent advice.
This may depress you, but my ds is 2 in a month and only since November has he slept through. But it was an incredibly sudden and unexpected turn around. Until then I was feeding him very very often during the day, and feeding him in bed for about 45 minutes til he was asleep and then transferring him to bed. It took me 3 proper attempts to wean him because after a few days I'd give up. Now I just say bedtime at 6, and he'll happily trot upstairs, go to bed awake, and I won't hear a peep til 6 the next morning. It's extraordinary and the difference its made to me mentally is too.
The fact that she seems to be in pain definitely needs investigating though. Iwa told again and again that by breast feeding and carrying him in a sling I'd made a rod for my own bag. What these people didn't understand was it was literally the only way to live with ds. He would not tolerate being put down. He's grown out of the intolerance too thank god but for hat first year it was an all consuming worry and stress.im still very reluctant to give him certain things because the reaction is so sudden and shocking when it happens. But you really really need to ask for help before it gets to a worse stage. For your own health of nothing else

extracrunchy Thu 20-Feb-14 09:57:03

Didn't want to read and run. You poor thing. I hope they can help.
Has her dosage for reflux meds been updated with her weight gain? Sounds like it's not doing the trick and needs reviewing or switching to something else.
Poor you and poor DD!

boydonewrongagain Thu 20-Feb-14 10:00:39

Hi gosh you poor thing you must be exhausted.
My ds had a milk allergy and was very difficult to settle with poor weight gain.
He was eventually prescribed aptamil milk allergy milk and I stopped bf and have him that.

He didn't really gain much weight at all on the allergy milk or at all until he was fully weaned.

If I were you I'd ask for a paediatrician / dietician referral and to try allergy formula (if you are prepared to replace some bf with that) also with my ds I gave him the most high calorie but still healthy meals I could.

At 1 year old he was about the weight of a 7 month old. He's now 2 and the height of a 4 year old the weight of a 3 year old so he's done really well.

I know my ds could have cheese even with a quite severe milk allergy so I put it in everything to make surehe got plenty of calcium. he hasn't really had any milk since he was fully weaned my dietician said as long as he gets plenty of calcium other ways its fine.

As for the not feeding from a bottle my son was the same i tried so many different bottles and found mam bottles and nuk bottles were the teats he would drink from. I struggled to get him on a bottle but then one dayleft him with my mum and he reluctantly took a bottle for her so I went from there really.

Hope you get the answers you need at the gp

strongandlong Thu 20-Feb-14 10:41:09

It does sound like the treatment for the reflux isn't quite doing the job.

I don't have much in the way of advice, but I have so much sympathy. It's so hard to cope with very little sleep. Do anything you can to make life easier for yourself. Are you getting any help? DH/DP pulling is weight if/when he's around?

Neither of my DDs slept through until they were 2, but I found I could cope as long as I had one 4 hour stretch at some point in the night.

Have you tried keeping a journal (as described in no cry sleep solution)? I found that quite helpful in itself.

BarberryRicePud Thu 20-Feb-14 10:47:36

I agree with your mum actually. I'd start spoon feeding. Blw is all very well but it doesn't actually get much in for a long time. If she is refluxing then weaning will help.

Definitly ask for paed referral to exclude anything else. Don't mess on with dairy exclusion til you've had some proper advice. Are nappies ok?

DS was like this but to give you hope he suddenly turned a corner at about 8-9 m (when i finally got enough food in). He was born 2-9centile, 50th while ebf and up to 98th after weaning. At 3.5yrs he still is 91-98th but slim just v v tall.

DS also screamed in the car for hours. Changed immediately as soon as he went forward facing. I know the arguments for rear facing but frankly a screaming child is much more of an accident risk for us.

He also got much happier and less clingy once he could walk.

Good luck. Sleep deprivation is horrible.

boydonewrongagain Thu 20-Feb-14 11:26:38

Meant to add to my post earlier my son was a nightmare in the car too for a long time (until he was old enough to get into cbeebies) from the moment he enjoyed cbeebies I bought an in car DVD player for £45_ the best £45 I've spent in a long time I can now get about with him...when yours is a bit older it might be worth a try. Its so stressful trying to concentrate on driving with an hysterical baby in the back.

BB01 Thu 20-Feb-14 13:50:15

Thank you so so much everyone. Feel better just to have people listen and not say it's just the way they are, all babies are like that etc etc!

Awkwasrdsis thank you. Most of the time I'm ok but just feel I'm getting more and more exhausted as her sleep gets worse and worse. Would you mind telling me what the dairy intolerance symptoms were, please? Gosh amazing how sleeping through can happen so suddenly!! I'm trying to be realistic and know it could be years til she sleeps through but it is really hard when half the babies we know seem to and DD is up half the night!! Completely agree, if I didn't sling her or feed her to sleep we'd be in an even worse situation. And she's pretty much been like this since the day we brought her home despite her spending her first two weeks being tube and bottle fed and being left to cry in a cot in special care.

Extracrunchy yeah thank you, her dosage has been upped already. GP thinks it's only v mild so reluctant to suggest anything else.

Body, what were his symptoms if you don't mind? Keep wondering about this but GP seemed to think it wasn't as her poos are ok. She's recently started getting rashes on her face though after eating some things. We're actually already seeing a paed as she's low birth weight but she doesn't seem concerned as long as she puts on weight, which on the whole she has. Great idea about DVD player and that's so cheap for a bit of peace while driving!!

Thanks Strong. No family nearby but they're great when they visit. Yeah DH does what he can but she won't tolerate him even holding her at night!! Did try a journal but couldn't see much pattern so didn't know what to do with it!!

Thanks Barbarry, yes nappies fine. The paed that we see said fine to carry on with blw as her weight gain got better once we started but I can't help thinking it might be even better with spoon feeding (but then the blw book seems to say this is cos they eat more than they need!). So nice to hear the car thing got better when you did ff. I hate driving anyway so feel pretty unsafe sometimes. And bring on the walking!!

Awkwardsis Thu 20-Feb-14 14:43:26

With my ds, he was born a healthy weight, nice easy birth etc. but he just wouldn't settle easily. He is my third so i knew something was off. I had a wrap sling anyway but the difference being upright made was always obvious. The dairy thing became obvious as I'm not a massive dairy eater anyway, but when he was a few weeks old we had family to visit and we went out for a cream tea, so clotted cream and scones. I fed ds and he immediately came out in a rash, screaming and terrible poos for the next few hours. A few days later and I made my friend a chicken pie with a creamy filling, had a slice and the same thing happened. I was lucky to have friends around who were very clued up on allergies, one a bfing counsellor, and one whose own dc had had dairy issues. The drs were very very reluctant to diagnose anything or even help as ds's weight remained stable. So I adapted my diet pretty successfully, and when I did slip up unintentionally it was immediately very obvious sad the egg thing came much later, I fed him some scrambled eggs and he came out straight away in blisters. I was a mess.
I have also done blw with all 3 dc and have found all 3 have been much later to sleep through than their peers. Could be coincidence, maybe not. Ds feeds himself so very well now compared to his friends that its worth it in the long un, but it might be worth a shot trying to spoon feed her for a little if she'll tolerate it. Tommee tippee flip spout cups are great for dc who are bottle refuses ime. And we'll dine for just getting this far x it won't always be like this, if poor old ds had been my first, he'd also have been my last! It really will get better x

BB01 Thu 20-Feb-14 16:58:00

Just went to GP (different one for second opinion) and she had reassured me it does sound just like silent reflux. So more of the same - keeping upright (my poor back!!), minimising car journeys and ranitidine. She also seems keen that we try sleep training but the more certain I am she's in discomfort the more I don't feel I want to do it. Is it really fair on her??

Thanks so much awkward for weaning reassurance. Going to try a bit more food on a spoon as she self feeds with a loaded spoon quite well and often prefers it to finger food. I guess solids are heavier on your stomach so may explain the sleep link.

Hmmm can't say the symptoms really resonate much with us actually but might try cutting down at least to see if any improvement.

HelenHen Thu 20-Feb-14 17:30:33

Of course sleep training is fair! You need to be consistent though if you're gonna do it! Sounds like a horrible situation though, isn't everything worth trying?

TeaandHobnobs Thu 20-Feb-14 18:01:07

I really feel for you OP. I remember feeling similar at that sort of age, without all of the reflux/can't be put down issues too.
If I was having a particularly bad time, I would leave DS in with DH and go sleep on my own in the spare room for a bit - I could usually get 4 or 5 hours until I was needed again, which felt like an eternity at the time! DH would do his best to settle him for as long as he could. Is that an option for you?
Maybe book some time out for you during the day as well, even if it just a couple of hours - meet a friend for coffee, go for a walk... I confess I sometimes found it quite alarming to go out without DS, as accustomed as I was to having him with me at all times! But sometimes that headspace can really help.
thanks

Smitten1981 Thu 20-Feb-14 18:06:36

Have you tried cranial osteopathy? Totally eradicated my four month old's silent reflux problems, he has cried about 70% less and has slept pretty well since.

waterrat Thu 20-Feb-14 18:27:34

I was in your situation - and I have to admit we sleep trained and he - with very very few tears - started sleeping long stretches within a single night

At the moment you are feeding at every slight stir - if your baby was in another room and was self settling at tiny wake ups you would not be offering the boob - I really know the hell you are in - honestly in our case it was a sleep problem he really did not need to be offered the boob all night long

Sleep training is not abou being cruel - is about babies waking momentarily at night and you not intervening with the boob - we sat at patted back to sleep instead of feeding - and went from hourly or even more frequent wake ups to two feeds a night within 2 nights

Within a month he dropped feeds on his own and was sleeping through - this was a baby who had been up Hal hourly all night long

I really really agree with your mum on weaning you are over thinking the issue of sleep relating to weaning! Stop reading and remember that it's a path towards food not milk - in order to get to the point where solids count you have to help them eat - I did a mix of blw and offering food in spoon - I actually really dislike the bossiness of blw advocates who criticise helping babies to eat - my son was so hungry but couldn't fit as much in his hands etc as he wanted to eat

At 8 months old my son could chomp down full meals - it made a huge huge difference to how much milk he needed at night

Remember - if you can give two decent feeds at night your baby will get as much milk as from 20 tiny feeds which are mainly you using the boob as a sleep prop

You need to look after yourself too

Read the millpond sleep clinic book and cut down feeds at night to two - then once onto solids you can cut those too - I promise it will be much much easier than you think to cut down feeds at night once you decide to do it.

SandyChick Fri 21-Feb-14 23:08:21

My son who is almost 2 had a cows milk protein intolerence. It was diagnosed at around 10 weeks old.

I found with ds not feeding very well he never slept well so i end up doing all the things your not supposed to do like rocking to sleep etc but if it's the only way to get them to sleep then you do it. You end up with lots of bad habits. Ds only started sleeping through the night last October. It's still not consistent but we are getting there. It took a long time to get him to settle back to sleep without him needing me to pick him up etc but it's just what he was used to. He would go to sleep fine but of maybe get 4 hours if I was very lucky then he was awake ever hour screaming and impossible to settle back to sleep again.

Ds was on infant gaviscon for reflux. He wasn't too bad but it always seemed worse at night.

I found once he was fully weaned and off his formula it made the world of difference. He was actually weaned early with the support of his consultant.

Maybe step up the weaning but no dairy, eggs etc and see how it goes. I think once you've cracked the feeding and then you can make a start on sleep training but it's not fair to sleep train if there's something wrong or in pain.

How about giving the car a go again. Maybe every day for a week and see how it goes. You never know if you persevere it might work. If ds wouldn't nap I'd put him in the car and go through the drive through for a cup of tea and sit in the car park while ds slept.

Sleep deprivation is just awful. I know how stressful it is and can take away the joy of having a baby. I hope you can maybe get a break and some rest. Even just one nights sleep can make the world of difference.

smile

SandyChick Fri 21-Feb-14 23:15:14

Good advice waterrat. At 8 months food is definitely needed more than milk.

All the feeding to sleep and during the night will be filling up so will never take a full feed. Then you get into a snacking routine.

You could try just giving water during night. Then maybe she will be more hungry during the day. Gradually get her eating more and more during the day and stop offering the night feeds.

BB01 Sat 22-Feb-14 09:22:42

Thanks so much everyone. Have booked cranial osteo for next week. Fingers crossed!!

HV advised same about cutting down on milk feeds but NCT and La Leche both pointed out milk has more calories and that food is secondary to milk until a year so am reluctant to do this in case she loses weight (exactly what happened to some of my friends' babies). There definitely seem to be two schools of thought on this. Weight gain fine so far according to her dietician.

However if it might help her sleep I will try a bit more solid stuff and try to see if we can at least stretch her milk feeds out.

Managed to not feed her at some of her wakes last night cos knew she wasn't hungry and she went back to sleep. However she has a cold so goes to sleep more easily at the mo. And the reduction in milk made no diff to her solids this morn. In fact she had less than ever!!

Re the car seat, we've tried going on short journeys every day but unfortunately makes no diff. She just looks in pain, it's not just that she doesn't like it.

GP has just said it's definitely reflux causing sleep and car issues. I still think it's cruel to sleep train her if it means she's in pain AND feels like were ignoring her!!

BB01 Sat 22-Feb-14 09:24:39

Oh and cos she's so small doctors have said you can't expect her to go too long between feeds still. She's only about 14 pounds at eight months but they think she's just constitutionally small. She's always been right at bottom of centiles

BB01 Sat 22-Feb-14 09:28:17

Sorry, I feel like I've asked for advice and now arguing with everything people say!! Not trying to honest, just getting so much diff advice from diff sources it's confusing, and I do feel it's a bit different when she's so teeny

SandyChick Sat 22-Feb-14 11:34:23

I don't agree with milk being most important until 12 months old.

If your dd was happy and sleeping well with the amount of milk compared to food then fair enough but she's not.

If it's reflux causing the problems/pain then getting her onto solids fully and reducing her milk will make a massive difference.

As I said in op my ds was weaned early with guidance from our consultant. He was just having fruit & veg and yes he cut right down on his milk feeds to barely anything but he was happy and putting on weight fine. You can cook with breast milk/ formula so she will still be getting that too.

Your dd is 8 months old. Most babies are on 3 solid meals a day by that age. We did a combination of blw and spoon feeding. Ds would happily feed himself but I always topped him up with a spoon.

Let your dd guide you. They will only eat as much solid food as they need.

You know your dd best and obviously do as you feel is best.

boydonewrongagain Sat 22-Feb-14 11:47:11

I know this advice is probably going to get me shot op but as I said earlier my Ds had terrible weight gain and dropped from the 98th centile to the 2nd centile.
He was put on allergy milk but weirdly could tolerate things like yogurts etc. He was rubbish at blw. So yo be perfectly honest with you on the days his feeding was particularly bad I would actually give him things like milky way yoghurts and I'd by jars shock of coco and vanilla pudding from the supermarket and give him 2 a day he was more settled as he had a full belly and I was happy if he hadn't had his milk because the jars and yogurts were about 300 calories each way more calories than milk and full of calcium.

I did top him up with juice water though to keep him hydrated.

Gradually once he was gaining good amounts of weight weaned these down and replaced with other foods like cereals then pasta etc before trying blw again.

He just wasn't eating enough with blw. He is now as I said earlier a perfectly healthy 2 year old and he only has sweet puddings etc for special occasions so Dont worry that your dad will get addicted to the sweet taste of yoghurts and puddings she won't its just an extra way if getting calories and calcium into her

boydonewrongagain Sat 22-Feb-14 11:49:47

dd not dad...stupid new phone

roweeena Sat 22-Feb-14 14:11:09

Honestly give yourself a break - give her some food from the spoon, honestly in 6 months time you will look back and see the fuss and bother over baby led weaning is ridiculous! My DS would have been do grumpy if I didn't help him eat as he had such a big appetite, I did a mix of blw and spoon feeding (essentially just normal weaning) I never once force fed my son with a spoon - he was hungry and he ate. BLW fundamentalists are a bit bonkers.

Also do a bit of sleep training, it takes max 3 days and you will reep the benefits. Happy baby, happy mum, happy family. Just be consistent xx

LovelyWeatherForDucks Sat 22-Feb-14 14:15:00

My boy was very similar....after ruling out anything medical with the GP, we used a sleep consultant which got his sleep back on track. I was too sleep deprived to think of a sensible way forward myself!

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