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Help - 10 weeks in and it's not getting better(40 Posts)
I need some help; please can noone tell me that if I just responded to my son's needs all will be perfect because I've been doing that and it's not working and I'm broken with tiredness.
Son has gone from having a decent night stint of sleep to waking every 2-3 hours at night again. He's feeding constantly from 2-6 so I can't get anything done and despite advice to the contrary I would actually like to make my house look nice again.
He won't sleep during the day at all so I can't catch up on sleep then either. I've tried everything from shh pat to cuddling to sleep and none of it works.
I'm on the verge of giving up EBF him because maybe at least if I put some formula down him he might not be so hungry and might actually sleep.
The idea of routines is laughable given he constantly sucks his fingers and asks for food. He's huge over 2ft (63cm) tall already a fact commented on by everyone who sees him.
I really don't know what I'm doing so wrong but everyone told me it would get better and it's not.
We had a brief blissful week or two where he slept for one five hour stretch and one four hour. He occasionally would nap in the pram but my only way of him sleeping is the sling for a walk or the pram with a walk. It isn't helping my tiredness and my relationship with his father which was wonderful is suffering. He's also shattered from trying to settle him at night.
What can I do to make him sleep just once in the day where he's not on top of me?
With the greatest of respect (and sympathy!), you don't need to worry about your house. If your newborn will only sleep in the sling or pram at the mo then the only thing to do is roll with it. I completely understand how horribly exhausted you are and I also wouldn't worry about about a routine per se, but I would do whatever I could to get him to nap during the day. 2-3 sleep stretches at night, however soul-destroying, is not uncommon at this age. Have you got much local support? Have you thought about going to a La Leche League meeting, if you have one nearby? They often have good advice on all aspects of parenting, not just breast-feeding. Do you manage to go to any other baby groups? In my experience, talking to other new parents who're going through the same thing can be very helpful and cathartic.
Is he your first? Have you tried putting him down before he cries through tiredness? Also if he's not screaming it's ok to leave him for a few minutes if it's a grumbly cry. It does get easier.
Could you try putting him down in his pram in a darkened room? Id time it so that you are putting him down 45-60mins after he woke, rock the buggy back and forth 100 times and if he is still awake, another 100. Keep going til he goes over.
Friends seem to have "easy" babies and not a great deal of local support. I can't make it out to La Leche etc as we've had over running building started as I got pregnant meant to take 14-16 weeks still ongoing.
Close friend lives round the corner but have list appetite to see her because she never went through this with hers so makes me feel like even more of a failure.
Have NCT group but laughably they all seem to think we're doing amazingly because he doesn't cry very much at all, has only been sick three times since birth and is huge.
I think in your situation I would try giving a bit of formula just to give you a bit of a break. It might not make your baby sleep longer but if you have a partner who can help you can at least go and get a few things done (or better still, have a nap for a couple of hours). I have a 5 month old who is breastfed and rarely naps in the day except on me, so I really struggle to get anything done. A couple of times a week DH gives her a bottle of formula to give me a few hours to myself as breastfeeding her is relentless otherwise!
Breastfeeding counsellors seem to advise against formula and I understand that if you give formula it could affect your supply, if you are worried about this you could try expressing. I never got the hang of expressing though which is why I use formula.
Yep he rarely cries at anything apart from hunger. Leave him through grumbly cries but it never seems to develop to sleep or lasts only twenty minutes.
Penny will try that one at the moment am sitting on hall steps trying not to disturb him as can hear him cooing in pram after he closed his eyes for about a minute and then someone dropped something outside.
And yes LoreleiDanes my first, horrible horrible pregnancy ELCS after failed ECV. Turns out I wasn't really designed for pregnancy and possibly not for motherhood either.
A couple of random ideas dd was an awful sleeper and I really feel your pain.
Have you tried swimming I always found in 20mins in the pool seemed to knock her out - she would fall asleep in the car on the way home I would sometimes get 2hrs sleep/housework out of that.
The car always worked for us sometimes I would just drive around until she dropped off then pull over in a car park and fall asleep myself - or take a hand held device and do the online shopping or banking or something.
Or walk around with the buggy (or push it up and down the hall) until asleep then leave buggy in front room and clean house/go to sleep.
Reading that back it looks a bit mental but in the days of sleep deprivation you have to do anything that works for you and what you feel happy/comfortable doing will prob not be the same as the next person but just don't tell them.
My DD only napped on me for first 12 weeks. Totally, normal I think. Not that it makes it any easier. Hang in there, it will get better. DD was generally a crap napper as a little baby, but then against all odds turned into a champion napper by about 6 months.
Wound Bobbin I am entirely willing to try anything at this point! Car doesn't work for us as he's developed an aversion to his car seat (we were slow to take the newborn insert out I suspect). Ergo baby brilliant but no napping for me. It just gets worse, close friends don't have children and we socialise around sport which I now can't do in the same way, they keep asking me if I want to go into town to see them for coffee before the two practises I now sort of make. Don't get that it's hard enough for me to get out for two exhausted hours never mind trying to fit in a coffee chain as well!
CityDweller, I sincerely hope it does, my Mum trying to help but she's from the days of routines and although doesn't push it finds feeding on demand in fathomable and is also a six hour drive away. She had to formula feed me as she was one of the 5% or whatever that didn't develop milk properly. My MIL just thinks he sleeps too much at the wrong times which I guess is also a product of routines.
Mine was the same. Then started to swaddle her. She hated being swaddled and screamed but I carried on regardless. Swaddle and poped in dummy. After about 10 mins she gave in. It was the same every time screaming but I was at wits end.
I was against dummies then someone said to me - but what if it works! And omg never looked backed.
Poor you - you sound horribly sad as well as tired. I honestly think there is nothing wrong with him and what he is doing, well within the realms of normal but you just need to frame your reaction to it.
You can either just think stuff it - I'm going to do what I want and he'll have to fit it (bouncy chairs are great if you're wanting to do housework, although mine always slept in sling when I hoovered); or you just ride it out at home trying as you are until something clicks.
All of mine about 12 weeks have suddenly woken up a bit and initiated a bit of routine, with a nap in their cots about 9-30 - 12-30 and then a small sleep about 4pm (but normally in buggy as doing school/nursery run). Still had the night time waking but there became a more predictable shape to the day that helped with planning and getting out lots.
I think you also need to take care of you though, might be worth speaking to your HV and getting checked for PND, whilst being tired is a killer if you had a hard pregnancy it sounds like it could be more than that for you and some help now wouldn't go amiss.
Be gentle with yourself
Can you express at all? This goes totally against the perceived wisdom for breast feeding but I have 3 under 3 whom I exclusively breastfed until 5 and 6 months with the oldest 2. The littlest is only 3 weeks so still dealing with her.
I had to express with the oldest 2 due to tongue tie. My youngest is breast fed but I express and she has 2 bottles a day of expressed milk. Her last night feed is expressed at around 11 and I find it conks her out totally as it's quite a big volume - more than she probably takes when breast feeding.
Plus, DH does another evening feels with the other bottle so I can have a break.
I know that bottle feeding is meant to cause nipple confusion etc but if you can express, I would recommend it. It makes me feel much less overwhelmed and I think a good tummy full of breast milk definitely helps with the sleeping
for you OP. It's a bit of a shock to the system isn't it. The worst thing, with your first, is feeling like everyone else is getting on OK and getting out and about and most of all getting a bit of kip. (Some are. Many aren't.) Or that your friends who don't have children are living on a different planet from you now.
It will get better. I would suggest doing what Penny suggests with the darkened room and the rocking, with added white noise. Put him down after 45-60 minutes awake. Introduce a comforter, either a muslin/teddy thing or a dummy. The dummy will be more effective. I hate them, but it's an irrational hatred because they DO work and they are absolutely fine.
Finally, if you were in my NCT group, I would also consider that you were doing great with all that growth and so little crying. My second cried for the first four months solid. Nothing can describe how awful it was.
You will get your life back one day OP, promise.
I haven't read the whole thread but it sounds normal to me. 10 weeks is still very early days. You are doing brilliantly to make it out to sports practices at all, and he will get the hang of napping, sooner or later. I think 12 weeks was a turning point for both of mine, and then 6 months.
Hang on in there. It will get better.
Can express but afraid to between feeds now as he's so unpredictable as to when he gets hungry next. I was pumping an excess at his single wakening, but that has disappeared now.
We know he doesn't have a tongue toe as got it checked but he's been a lazy feeder since birth and refuses to nurse well on one side. Am pumping that side to try and up
Supply enough to interest him but it's not working so far.
On the two evenings I go do sport husband feeds him from a bottle and he'll taken 6-8pz but then when I get back wants more from me often. I don't know if that's comfort or because his weight is so mismatched to his height (50th percentile for weight, 91st-98thbfor height) and he's trying to gain more rolls! Doesn't help he's mixed ethnicity as I believe that means some of the weight charts in particular don't work
Double check the tongue tie, I was told that my DD wasn't, and then 3 weeks in an expert diagnosed it within about 3 seconds, it was divided and all much better after that.
If he is struggling on one side then he might be uncomfortable - have you thought about cranial osteopathy? It worked a treat for DD. Once she had had her TT snipped, that is!
Some great advice on here. Can I just make a couple of points:
- having an ELCS most certainly doesn't mean you weren't designed for pregnancy!! It means you successfully had a baby, end of. (I had an EMCS and it was a blessed relief after a very long and exhausting early labour. I'm having an ELCS this time round!) Having said all that, some people find it extremely useful to have a debrief with the consultant/hospital staff to discuss the birth and the steps that led up to it - do you think that would help?
- take everything that your NCT class/other mums say with a pinch of salt! They may well be exaggerating/neglecting to mention the really hard bits. Believe me, no-one genuinely sits there with a 3-month old thinking "I am SAILING through this shit, no problem!"
- if you're making it out to two sports practices a week with a 10-week old (after a section!!) then you are doing much better than a lot of people in terms of managing to get out of the house. Be gentle on your body though.
- dummies can be an absolute lifesaver - they were for me, although a snorted my I'm struggling to get my two-yr old to give them up now. I'm still bloody glad we used them, though!
- I honestly believe that "good" sleep in babies and children is 20% down to the habits and skills you help them form and learn, and about 80% sheer bloody luck/the kind of kid they send you.
I really really sympathise with you as a remember the horror of this stage (and am not particularly looking forward to doing it all again in a couple of months!) but I assure you that things do get better. It's crucial to keep talking about it, though.
And with regard to your relationship with your partner, a wise person once told me, "Your husband is not your enemy. Your baby is your shared enemy" ;) totally true!
Also agree ref second opinion on tongue tie - it took ages for anyone to diagnose my son's, so we didn't get it snipped until 8 weeks - this time round I will refuse to leave the hospital until a qualified bf consultant has checked it...
It's certainly not always an instant fix, and wasn't for us, but I did feel that his feeding slowly started to improve afterwards.
Also, LLL have a bf helpline - you don't have to be a member - and I think there's a national bf helpline too.
Hi OP here is my opinion for what it's worth - if you're not enjoying Breast feeding and you're knackered beyond belief from doing all the night feeds on your own: give yourself a break and move him onto formula.
Maybe just for the night feeds at first? It will probably spell the end for BFing in the long run but you can still offer the boob during the day for the next few days/weeks?
You don't get any medals for struggling on with breast feeding you know?
I don't think FF babies necessarily sleep better or longer (at 10 weeks old my FF baby was still feeding every 3 hours round the clock - also a big boy!), BUT with FF your OH can take some of the load from you.
We used to split the nights in half - from 10pm - 2am DH would deal with all night wakings and feeds whilst I slept with ear plugs in. From 2-6am it was my turn. Then I at least got 4 hours per night which enabled me to function during the day. My babies never napped for more than 45mins for the first 6 months of their lives either. It's hard.
Another thing about FF is: FF tend to feed less often than BF babies. Even at night, most 10wo FF babies can go a clear 3 hours between feeds. If you're lucky it might be 4-5 hours. FF babies don't tend to take lots of small feeds. If you can get 7oz down him every 3-4 hours day and night he won't be doing any "snacking" in between.
Much of what I am saying won't be very popular in these boards because most MMers try to encourage people to stick with BFing. But I wanted to offer an alternative viewpoint.
I have FF both my babies (ds1, now three years old, after a 3 week disaster trying and failing to BF him), and DS2, now 4mo, who I Breast fed for 12 hours and then thought: fuck this for a bunch of bananas. And got the bottles out.
Both are thriving healthy happy boys and I get enough sleep to survive. It works for us.
Oh op I recognise so much of this. My first dd was extremely difficult during the day and it was fucking hard. I developed pnd.
It seemed to me that everyone else was having a much easier time with babies that would nap abywhere at anytime. My dd would nap only in a moving pram (if I stopped to wait for the green man to cross the road she would wake) or in the sling with me moving. It was exhausting. It didn't help when people say things like 'oh if she is tired she will sleep'. If I left her to her own devices she would have never napped.
I understand about the house too - if you are tired and feeling crap your house not being in order only exacerbates matters.
I had really underestimated how often babies needed to sleep and once I understood that things improved. Spend a couple of weeks focussing on getting him up sleep within 45 min of waking. No matter if moving pram etc. that will allow him to catch up on his over tiredness and then once he is used to some sort of regular sleep schedule (not routine) during the day you should find it easier to get him to nap in his bed at home.
I'm on my second dd now. This one isn't exactly a champion napped but I know it will get better and if it doesn't a bit of sleep training at 6 months will help hopefully.
At the moment it feels like it will last forever, I know that. Hope things improve for you
Also meant to say: if he is still wanting to suckle after a big bottle feed would he take a dummy?
Laquila the ELCS bothers me a bit but not hugely I would have been induced the following week had he moved out of breech. Debrief on that probably unhelpful but I probably should track down my pregnancy notes and find out if they assessed the placenta for the rest of the issues we had.
No one in NCT putting a particularly positive spin on things, they all seem significantly competent and confident; it makes me feel that I don't want to admit how bad things are. I sort of did and I hated the pity I got. My friend has always said it was hard but helped her out for a good chunk after an EMCS so know it wasn't this bad.
Didn't have a lot of option on the recovery really, we had a building site to clear up just after he was born so had to get on with it, no real rest time available in the early weeks. If I go insane and think a second is a good idea I wouldn't build anything while pregnant.
Husband uses dummies; I can't get LO to take one or a bottle from me, we end up in a cycle of trying and having both spat out. Any tips on getting him to ignore the smell of milk/Mum would be hugely helpful.
Have a properly qualified lactation consultant coming on Saturday maybe she'll see something that will help with this god forsaken nightmare. Everyone rkse that's seen it seems to think his latch good so who knows...
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