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New mummy in despair(17 Posts)
Hi all. I'm posting this message as I'm in a bit of despair at the mo and don't know who to turn to.
My LO is 6 months old and I'm really struggling. He was a difficult baby from the get go suffering from colic, reflux, wouldn't sleep alone so I co-slept, couldn't put him down, etc etc. He has improved from crying all day but is still very demanding.
He moans and whinges all day, he hasn't ever slept for longer than 3 hours in a row at night, he only cat naps in the day, he doesn't like anything - food, swimming, buggy,etc. He's never happy or content.
I spent Mother's Day with him grizzling everytime I picked him up trying to get to someone else making me feel so low.
I feel isolated as I made a real effort at 3 months to get out, meet people, do things. But now I have hardly any plans as my LO either hates going (eg swimming had to be cancelled) or the sessions have finished or I simply can't afford it. And my pals who were in similar situations have now turned that 'wondrous corner' with their LO now sleeping through and being 'joys'.
I go on Google and type in '6month old won't sleep' and it brings up 100s of post all starting "my little one USE TO SLEEP WELL ..." And I just think "well think yourself lucky!!!! Mine has NEVER slept well".
To top it off my marriage is breaking down because of it. My DH works very hard so I hate to burden him but he just can't understand or help me. He has finally said "I've had enough of you" because all I do is cry, despair and mope but I can't help it.
I just feel at 6 months I would have reached that light at the end of the tunnel, instead it's getting worse. I just don't know what to do.
You poor thing. Have you spoken to your HV? I too had a very high maintenance baby as you describe and was left feeling very isolated, with a dh who worked long hours. It is so easy for PND to set in at this stage - don't wait until your 8 month check, as I did, for it to be picked up. Talk to your gp or health visitor now.
You need your dh on board, but he too is struggling to understand why everything isn't sunshine and roses, as folks so often expect it to be. Ask your hv to talk to him too, to reassure him that this is very very normal. A 6 month old can be enormously hard work and put both parents under huge strain.
In terms of your baby's general unhappiness - did he have an assisted birth? The thing that caused my ds, who had had a venteuse delivery, to turn a corner and become more contented was two trips to a cranial osteopath, who said that his jaw and head were all slightly askew and that he had probably had awful headaches and a lot of discomfort as a result. It was the best £50 we ever spent! He didn't sleep brilliantly afterwards, but was a much happier chap.
Aww hun this must be really hard!! Please talk to your GP or hv for advice! And get your dh to step up! He needs to help and support not criticise. Ask him to have the baby for a couple of hours so you can get out and have a break.
No idea where you are based but if it is Derbyshire/north Nottinghamshire / south Yorkshire then pm me and maybe we can arrange to meet up for some rl support.
Are you bf? Could it be something as daft as he just isn't getting enough milk and may need topping up with a bottle if he will take one?
Hope you get some support hun xxx
My dd was like this as a baby but has turned into an affectionate, bright and funny 3yo who for the most part I love spending time with. It was like she just didn't like being a baby and every development - crawling, walking, talking - brought about an improvement in happiness. So don't lose hope, it's very early days! I can still remember grappling a screaming baby at baby swimming while all the others gurgled and smiled and splashed - it is rubbish. We did still get out lots though and that's what kept me sane, we found play sessions at the children's centre where dd would only cry some of the time, and she did sleep quite well in a sling so on really bad days, when she got tired id bundle her in the car screaming, drive to the shops, put her in the sling, walk til she snoozed and then look round the shops and treat myself to a coffee in the hour or so of peace I got. The improvement was gradual, I can remember watching her happily running on the beach on holiday at about 17mo and just feeling this sense of lightness and happiness that we'd come through the worst, and I could look forward to the future. Hang in there. We now have a second baby, who is more 'normal' and it feels so easy in comparison, I'm only now appreciating just how intense it was first time round.
I have three children and I love them all very much but the baby stage was really really hard, especially with the first and third (both boys).
I really feel for you, I had a similar experience with my DS. He slept through from about 12 weeks but it lasted just 1 week then got worse and worse. I cracked at 5 months when I finally went to the doctors and admitted how I was feeling and got the support I needed in terms of prozac and being put in touch with a support group for PND sufferers. By this stage my DS had taken to waking at 4am (like he had an alarm clock) and staying away for 1 to 1.5 hrs (nothing I did settled him) then would be up for the day at 6am. So I was up from 4am every day and it was killing me. The only way he would sleep in the day was in a moving car, so I couldn't even rest when he was sleeping in the day time. The prozac helped but the group support was my saviour because I was exposed to other mums who did not have babies who were sleeping through from tiny etc. I also was able to fully admit to family where I was at (in fact I was so emotional by that stage it was hard to hide it) and I was very honest with them about what I needed in terms of company during the day, help with "me time" and also even help with a few night shifts so I could get some sleep. Over time the support I got transformed how I felt and got me through it. My DS has never been straightforward with regards sleep, but I can honestly say that now at 2yrs he sleeps 12 hrs straight at night and had a 2-3hr day time nap. I never for one moment thought I would be able to say that about him.
So stay strong, go to your GP and ask for help. Be very open with your DH (write him a letter if you can't hold it together while talking to him) and be very clear about what you struggle with and what exactly you think you need in terms of support with him AND other family who could help.
Good luck, you are not alone xx
I feel for you. Personally found the first 6 months really really hard work. My baby was demanding, BF nearly every hour, slept badly at night waking at least every couple of hours and only took 45 minute naps. My back was breaking as she wanted to be carried everywhere (91st centile) and she would grizzle a lot.
I also found it incredibly dull - I had been used to a varied and interesting job and I just found the baby talk and general drudgery of feeds, clothing and nappy changes so boring. I think it is still a bit taboo to say that you don't really enjoy looking after a baby, especially when the media portrayal is of smiley fresh faced mums cooing happily over their little ones. At times I thought I was doing something wrong.
Things improved immensely at about 8 months when she started crawling. After that the development just skyrockets - walking, understanding words, being able to express themselves in other ways than grizzling, eating normal food, talking and being able to play with toys (and watch a bit of telly ). She also has a good 2 hour nap every day and the night waking has reduced (only after CC at 10 months though).
Now at 14 months my DD is my little buddy and I look forward to our days off together. I've come to realize I'm just not a baby person. I don't know if any of this helps you, but just to let you know that not everyone is finding the baby stage a breeze.
I'd recommend a book called What Mothers Do by Naomi Stadtler it really helped me during some tough times!
I almost wrote this exact post when my LO was 7months old! and the mumsnet mummies were right and helped me a lot with kind words.
I hated the first 6 months he grizzled and cried ALL the time, I was miserable, my husband was miserable, I snapped at him constantly as I was sooo exhausted and he just didn't understand. My baby was the whingey one at the groups etc. but honestly just wait until your LO can crawl, eat loads, pull themselves up etc. as soon as my LO turned 8 months it was like a switch, and his happiness came through! Now at just over 9 months he is an absolute treasure!! I'm not saying he doesn't cry (what baby doesn't) but it's not constant, he can entertain himself for a little while etc, play with a toy. And it has honestly changed my life, I'm happier, hubby is happier, I can take LO to groups now and he just crawls around exploring.
It's an awful thing to say but I felt like I hated my baby for the first 6 months, but I honestly did and thought I would never bond with him. But now he is happier in his own skin and I feel like I have fallen inlove with him!! I'm besotted now, so please just keep slugging through, it WILL get better I promise.
Also with regard to the sleep, do you have a routine? Loads of books available on different routines, ' The baby whisperer', 'Gina Ford, contented little baby' and 'Tizzie Hall- save our sleep' for fussy whingey babies they love routines and predictability, I followed Gina and Tizzie and it's great. Xxx
I would also highly recommend cranial osteopathy. Life saver with both mine. And get him assessed for silent reflux - has the signs x
Thank you for all your responses and advice. It's very reassuring to hear others have experienced similar circumstances to me as I was feeling very alone and an awful parent! I did have an emergency c-section and have been considering cranial osteopathy for a while now so may go down that avenue. I have seen a paediatrician about any possible underlying problems with my ds but to no avail. It's the usual response 'he'll grow out of it".
Wheresthelight - I'm not near you unfortunately but thanks for the offer. It's good to hear you all say you got there eventually - I guess I was just putting too much emphasis on the magic '6 months' !
Hi that all sounds familiar.
Makes it even worse when everyone else's are sleeping well and play happily. (Btw most of them are lying! Seriously I've discovered a lot of mums lie about how well their babies sleep, as if it makes them a better mother. Rubbish & very unsupportive)
Mine was like that, yes cranial osteopathy worked a treat. Her head was extra squished as she came out with her hand up by her head. My osteo said cs babies miss out on squishing so they can need seen too.
And her skull changed shape slightly!
6 months on my baby is still high maintenance. Still not a great sleeper. But I have finally got used to the lack of sleep- you will too.
She also will not sit in highchairs while I drink spritzers like my friends babies. I do despair a bit, but she is so bright & inquisitive. And all the old people I moan too, say my kind of baby will grow up to be more fabulous than a boring baby!
Don't know about that, but it makes me smile when they say it!
So hang in there, it will get easier.
Plus some babies don't like being babies i think. Mine is much happier now she can crawl around. I think she didn't like being stuck in the one spot. And I didn't like her being cross all the time!
I remember looking at another mother in amazement at a bf cafe who said- I'm really enjoying my baby. I didn't have a clue what she meant. Now I do, but it's taken a full year for me to have fun with her. It's a long slog.
What you need is for your DH to get his act together & support you. If he knows how you feel he should be getting you time to chill each weekend. And if he doesn't then you need to tell him. Suggest he looks after baby for an entire weekend & see how he copes. Nothing like walking the walk I reckon.
If you are in essex let me know & we can meet up
I can sympathise, neither of mine slept well as babies, which was a shock especially with the first! I can clearly remember telling a friend when the second one was six months that I had not had more than 3 hours sleep in a row since he was born, so you are definitely not alone! My eldest in particular really did not like being a baby, did not like to be still and had to be constantly on the move - spent a lot of time pacing the house with her and she also would not go to sleep without being rocked/ bounced or pushed in the pram. It was exhausting! Nor would either of them spend longer than a few minutes being entertained by a playmat/ bouncy chair/ in a highchair - I am constantly amazed by babies that will tolerate being still! I have been told at various points that all this is the sign of an active mind, which I used to cling to! Anyway, while still not brilliant they are both much better sleepers now so it does get a lot easier.
I understand that some babies don't like swimming lessons, and it can be tough meeting in places like cafes if you have a baby that cries, but what about playgroups? - they get you out of the house and no-one cares if your baby is making a noise! I definitely found it soul destroying to stay in with a baby all day and had to get out.
Anecdotally it does seem to be the case that grumpy babies often turn into happy active toddlers once they can do a bit more - ( my partner was like this apparently, another example of not liking being a baby, so I blame him for my two being a complete nightmare!)
its soooooo hard when tiny babies are so demanding.it was the toughest time for me - no one ever seems to talk about it.
it does get better though op.it really does.
I don't think my son was a particularly difficult baby - but I still felt that months 4-7 were the worst for me of the whole first two years. I know lots of children who continue to wake at night through their second year - so please don't worry about being alone you definitely are not!
My son was an awful sleeper - in the end we stopped co sleeping put him in his own room at 7 months and did some fairly gentle sleep training - he slept much better very quickly - I do think for that you need your partners support however
Remember that sleep deprivation is torture - part of you feeling awful is te ongoing lack of sleep its just hell
I recommend the millpond sleep clinic book - then is there anyone who can give you a break ?
Forget swimming and paid for groups - look up all the local childrens centres - church hall playgroups etc and go to a different one every day
From about 6-8 months it gets much easier as they can sit up and become mobile - far more fun
I remember a marked improvement in everything aroun 8 months including sleep and mood so I hope that happens for you
A friend if mine was told for 3 months that baby did not have any medic condition. She self diagnosed silent reflux ( she had never heard of it before). She then went to A&E and vowed to camp there til some one listened - sure enough she was right
Ps have you noticed that there is another similar thread below?
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