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Struggling with 5 week old

(55 Posts)
MissTwister Thu 13-Aug-15 09:49:41

I'm really struggling with my 5 week old. She gets into a feeding frenzy from the moment she wakes (early) until she goes to bed (getting later and later). She constantly gives food cues and looks distraught but when I try to feed her she sometimes eats and sometimes does nothing. She overeats I think as she is often sick after a frenzy. I can't put her down to slee anymore when she used to sleep beautifully in sleepyhead/ snuz pod, now she just screams. She gets overtired from constant feeding and then finds it even harder to sleep. She won't take a dummy.

Everyone keeps telling me this is normal and it's okay but I don't feel like this is okay for me as it's getting me really down. I can't even get into the shower most days, I just sit in bed feeding her/ having her sleep on me and watching shit TV, i'm living on biscuits during the day and crucially I am missing out on making some much needed mum friends in the area as I can't get out to any of the meet ups I'm invited to.

I didn't expect it to be easy but I also am struggling to accept that this is my life now just sat here day after day, exhausted, bored and lonely. I'm also really scared this will just go on and on as she was 4 weeks prem

Is this really normal as people I know who've had babies at a similar time don't seem to be going through this - they're always out and about having fun and enjoying their babies.

If I formula feed will this help at all? Any tips anyone to save my sanity?

Artandco Thu 13-Aug-15 09:52:37

Have you got a sling? Something like the close caboo you can feed in the sling and then hands free. I kept mine in virtually all day the first 6 months. Meant i could get on with work, go for walks, do what I wanted as baby happy as held and fed as needed

caravanista13 Thu 13-Aug-15 09:59:24

It's daunting, but try not to let the constant feeding put you off going out. Once you take the plunge and feed her out of the house you'll find it becomes much easier to join in a few social things. And don't believe what everyone else says - people are very good at putting on a brave front.

MissTwister Thu 13-Aug-15 10:06:05

Unfortunately I can't feed in a sling as have very large breasts and really struggle to get positioning right even in the house with pillows. That's my other problem with getting out...

But how can I even get out if I can't get dressed or shower because she screams if I put her down?

MissTwister Thu 13-Aug-15 10:07:59

But how can I even get out if I can't get dressed/ shower as she is screaming if I put her down?

Unfortunately I can't feed in a sling as my breasts are too large. I have problems feeding even at home with pillows. This makes socialising even harder. Maybe formula is the answer as I've been told not to express as I have an oversupply. So many issues I don't know where to start!

flamingtoaster Thu 13-Aug-15 10:08:06

First congratulations. It's very, very early days - especially since she was 4 weeks premature. My son (emergency c section) cried constantly if put down during the day for his first six weeks - I still remember vividly the first time I put him down to go to the loo and he didn't cry - I couldn't believe it! I did carry him around/hold him all the time for the first six weeks - handed him to DH when he came home in the evening so I could cook etc. After that he turned into the happiest, most contented baby I could have wished for so I am so glad I did what he obviously needed when he was so tiny. It won't last for ever so try to just go with the flow. I didn't have a sling as they weren't so well developed when my DS was small but you might find your DD likes it. This might allow you to go to a meet up - at least to make an initial contact but if you find you can't do it regularly for a few weeks you could always invite any mum that you seem to get on particularly well with to come round to you.

It won't last for ever. If you are successfully breast feeding I wouldn't introduce formula - it's a lot more work! Good luck and I'm sure your DD will settle down before long.

MissTwister Thu 13-Aug-15 10:08:40

Sorry I posted twice - thought I'd lost first reply!

ShipShapeAhoy Thu 13-Aug-15 10:09:21

It sounds normal, she's only 5 weeks old and if she was 4 weeks prem she's barely that! It won't do her any harm if you put her down and get dressed, even if she screams. Have you taken her out in a pram yet? She might relax once she's being pushed about, mine always liked going over bumpy ground.

Artandco Thu 13-Aug-15 10:11:38

Well I would just let her scream in same room as you if you know she's actually fine. So you feed her, change nappy, clean clothes for her. So you know she's actually fine and doesn't need anything urgently. Then take her with you into bathroom and lay her on folded towel on floor or in bouncer chair. Then get undressed, showered, and dressed. If she cries then she will just cry 5 mins. You are in room with her, and have met all her needs so she will be fine. I found mine calmed down with noise of shower also.

You can also run bath, and get in and take her in with you. Just undress her first and lay on floor or bouncy Chair on towels, get in yourself then lean over bath and lift her in, that way you won't slip holding her. When out lift her out back onto towels lining bouncer or floor, add towel over her to keep warm, then get out yourself

Have you tried feeding her in rugby ball hold?

Banana82 Thu 13-Aug-15 10:52:37

Twister, congratulations on your new baby! I also had a little premature baby who is now a very active 15 month old!

I remember the early days of him screaming whenever I put him down. He was constantly attached to me and I too was surviving on anything I could grab from the kitchen that was quick and easy. I felt very alone most days and would count down the hours until my husband came home. I also sturggled to get out the house to meet other new mums. We seemed to hit 12 weeks and things changed. Your baby is 5 weeks old, brand new and is looking for comfort. It will pass, believe me it will. It just doesn't seem like it when you are in the midst of it.

Artandco's suggestion of the bath is a good idea. My son also loved the pram and would sleep for a while if we were out and about. I did find I had to pad it out quite a bit so he felt snug, being so small in such a large basket.

I would shower when my husband came home from work in the evening. I found this much easier than trying to get one during the day.

Nottalotta Thu 13-Aug-15 12:13:49

DS is 20 days old and a bit like you describe. I don't think he feeds efficiently (lots of time on the book, not taking much in) and I have started breast compression. Basically squeezing milk into his mouth as he sucks (YouTube it)

also have discovered that he sleeps when we got out in the car so can be crying, i get everything ready, put him in car seat and off we go. He nods off. Its helping me get a break between feeding

MissTwister Thu 13-Aug-15 12:30:36

Thanks for all the advice, it's really helpful

My mum has come round to help and baby has stopped the feeding/ crying loop. Same happens when my husband is here - she calms down.

So it seems it's just me that she does this with which is a horrible feeling - she just gets in a cycle of thinking she wants food when she's around me, and therefore crying when she doesn't have it, which I can't break. When I hold her it makes her food desperation even worse.

I guess this over feeding is what has led to the subsequent over supply of milk I now have.

Is this normal? And how can I stop it when it's usually just me and the baby? It's clear she doesn't need the food and it's actually making her full, sick and unhappy.

Artandco Thu 13-Aug-15 12:42:09

Can you just time her feeding a little bit? So keep a note today of when she feeds. If Find she can go 1 hr happily when Dh or mum is there for example or in pram, but only 20 mins between feeds when your alone I would be tempted to try not to feed her as often. So if you feed at 1pm, finish 1.15pm, don't feed her again until gone 2.15. If she starts crying at 1.45pm you can be reassured she isn't actually hungry as only finished 30 mins ago, so try and settle without a feed. Either carry her around, pop her in pram, turn some music on, give her a massage.

Once you have established that she is happy with a feed every hr, instead of every 20 mins, you can gradually try stretching it out by 10 mins extra.

As an idea I would say your aim would be for a baby of 3 months to be breastfeeding roughly every 2 hrs.

Nottalotta Thu 13-Aug-15 12:56:44

Apparently the vibrating chairs are very good. I am considering one as DS is hard to put down sometimes.
What about a dummy? I didn't want to use one and am so far resisting. It might settle her between feeds?

Also, my sisters DS was like this when he had reflux. She used a dummy for a few weeks while he got over it.

Madratlady Thu 13-Aug-15 12:58:10

I don't have any first hand experience of this but I know babies with reflux can feed more to try to relieve the discomfort, it night be worth reading up on symptoms to see if that fits.

imwithspud Thu 13-Aug-15 14:02:55

Congratulations on your new baby.

It's still very early days, but I remember how hard it was with both DD1 and 2. DD2 is now 11 weeks old and it can still be hard at times but she is now falling into some sort of routine and is becoming more predictable. It definitely does pass, although it doesn't feel like it now.

Would you be open to trying a dummy? I used them with both of my girls (DD2 still has hers), I breastfed successfully for 12months with DD1 and hope to do the same with DD2. I know they're not everyone's cup of tea but they can give you a much needed break from feeding, and can be taken away at a later date. At the moment whilst you're still in the very early days you need to do what you can to get by.

I would also recommend a swing if you don't already have them, the motion can help them drop off to sleep and keep them calm. We have one which vibrates and also plays white noise - type sounds as well.

Which brings me onto my next point, loads of parents swear by white noise. It needs to be quite loud, but it's worth a try. You can find white noise on youtube. Babies can find it soothing because it reminds them of being in the womb where they would have been a constant stream of noise.

Good luck, It is hard. But it will pass. In a years time all this will be a distant memory.

MissTwister Thu 13-Aug-15 15:44:54

Thanks all for the tips

Unfortunately she won't take a dummy. Have tried a couple and she seems to hate them - they make her angry!

Will check out vibrating swing

White noise we've used since beginning and it does work but usually only if she is already calmish....

Am at the doctors asking about reflux right now!

HelsBels3000 Thu 13-Aug-15 15:53:53

Are you winding her sufficiently before lying her down? The only reason mine would scream when laid down on their backs after a feed was due to trapped wind. Once I spent a bit longer doing the burping and started putting them down on their tummies everything was much calmer.

greenhill Thu 13-Aug-15 16:05:40

Congratulations on your new baby flowers

I second the vibrating swing it rocks and soothes and sometimes they even go to sleep in it as it's relaxing.

Can you do a big shop or get it delivered? Plenty of soup and nice bread to go with it, yoghurt, fruit that you can eat one handed, pasties, oven ready meals so you are at least getting other calories in to nourish you and the baby. If all else fails some weetabix with blueberries on top will be better for you than biscuits.

Your under supply/ over supply will sort itself out when she feels calmer. Is there any chance of you going out for a little walk with her in a sling. You'll both feel better getting out for a bit.

Also in terms of positioning, can you feed her lying down? I used to do this on a sofa or bed and it really helped when I was tired out as I wasn't holding myself hunched up. Always remember to drop your shoulders once you are feeding upright. You'll be amazed how often you are tense due to baby screams and trying to get the latch right smile

Mcnorton Thu 13-Aug-15 17:32:52

OP, when my son was tiny (a while ago now) he was much more agitated when i was near, especially if i tried to put him down. I think he could smell the milk. A thing that was suggested to me was to sleep with a muslin in my night clothes to transfer my smell to it, then lay him in the muslin when I put it down. He could still smell me so it calmed him. May be worth a try so you get a bit of a break?

i well remember how full-on everything seemed then, as it took me a while to establish feeding. The first 2 weeks seemed to last FOREVER. Almost 6 years on, I look back now and realise it was such a short time in the grand scheme of things, but it didn't feel that way at the time . Keep up the good work smile

Imeg Thu 13-Aug-15 17:46:21

A helpful tip in our baby book was not to panic if the baby has to cry for a few minutes while you go to the loo/get dressed/fetch food or similar, because if they were a younger sibling you wouldn't always be able to instantly go to them the minute they started crying but they would still be fine.
So if you can manage to get some clothes on maybe you could get out for a walk with the pram - even if baby is unimpressed you would get some fresh air?

Lunastarfish Thu 13-Aug-15 17:52:30

My DD is 4 weeks old and sounds very similar to yours. Constant feeding and needing to be held.

I'm no baby expert but in the first week my DP went back to work I barely ate during the day due to her feeding and not sleeping without me. Last week I put her in the carrier that I have. I can't breastfeed her in it but if I put her in it when crying she usually settles somewhat (& if I'm lucky sleep) and I can make lunch/tea/wee.

The one thing that is almost guaranteed to put her to sleeps is to take her for stroll in the pushchair. The second (& I mean second) she finishes feeding I put her in the pushchair, run to my room, get dressed, brush my hair and leave the house! This is how I managed to go to the weighing clinic and bumps and baby group yesterday. My DD breastfed the whole time at the group but hey at least I got out to meet people!

I also give my DD to my DP when he comes home from work and shower/bath then & make dinner.

DearTeddyRobinson Thu 13-Aug-15 17:58:07

Sounds like it may be reflux, esp with the constant crying and throwing up. Also when they are that tiny, they go nuts when you are there as they can smell your milk and think they want it, even if they are already full! Hence they are calmer with daddy/grandma etc.
hope the doc can help if it is reflux, gaviscon worked for us. Good luck!

Thepurplegiraffe Thu 13-Aug-15 19:02:57

My dd is also 5 weeks and has been quite similar but I have now got some medication for reflux and things are better. She is still very difficult at times though, like this afternoon which was fun with an equally difficult toddler!
Hope you went ok at the doctors?

MissTwister Thu 13-Aug-15 19:13:01

Thanks so much all

McNorton I will try the muslin idea - where do I put this in the crib? And, probably stupid question, but they can't suffocate from a muslin if it went over them can they?!

Doctor said it could well be reflux but first to try winding more as she definitely has wind. And also just to leave it a few days to see if she settles. If not I have a gaviscon prescription to try.

Wish me luck tonight - I feel like I have a little timebomb in the house!

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