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Have a newborn with Colic and an 18 month old. How to cope?

(10 Posts)
CorraLinn Sun 08-May-16 21:02:20

My DS was born 3 weeks ago and has colic. He cries for hours at a time and I can very rarely put him down. I'm awake for a good part of the night with the colic too. I also have an 18 month old DD who is 'spirited' to say the least and is demanding and sensitive, even for a toddler.
I've been extremely lucky to have been staying with my mum along with my partner since DS was born but we are moving back home in a week. My partner is back at work so when back home it will just be me and the children. My partner is really hands on with DD and he puts her to bed and gets up with her during the night if needed.
So far I've only managed 15 minutes on my own with the 2 of them and even that seemed impossible! I can't put the baby down as he cries and the toddler wants my attention constantly. She is very physical and climbs all over me and DS. My nerves are shredded from trying to stop her hurting him!
I read lots before DS was born about how to handle two and tactics like reading to DD while DS is breastfeeding. Not as easy as it sounds when trying to keep a good latch, turn the pages and stop DD from hitting him/jumping on him. Then 5 minutes after a feed the colic starts. When DS starts crying it sets off DD who is sensitive to noise (only other people's, she makes plenty of her own!) and it just ends up in a screaming match for everyone concerned.
What am I going to do?

KatyN Sun 08-May-16 21:11:25

Does the baby stop crying in a sling?? If so I would recommend long walks to the park with him in there. I
You could go for a lot of telly?? Or is there anything your daughter will do on her own, play dough? Water table? Bath?
Do you have friends you can beg to help you break up the day?
I have a 4 month old and a 4 year old, it is intense the days I have them both, especially after a broken nights sleep. I try and break the day into chunks, we can manage 4 chunks a day but I guess your daughter will need smaller chunks.

And is there any way your husband could come home early for a week or so on the understanding he makes up the time later?

Good luck, kxx

AStreetcarNamedBob Sun 08-May-16 21:13:23

Are you sure it's colic? Sounds like it might be more than that if it's in the day and overnight too?

Milk allergy? Wind?

MessyBun247 Sun 08-May-16 21:14:19

I second the sling idea!

readingrainbow Sun 08-May-16 21:14:19

It's ever so hard. I had an 18 month ago with my two eldest and it was a blur. I second the sling idea, and possibly work out a loose daily schedule of walks, library trips, bubble baths, etc. Liberal use of the TV and biscuits were also part of my repertoire.

CorraLinn Sun 08-May-16 21:25:51

Thanks so much for your replies. In response KatyN, he sometimes stops in the sling. When he does it's an absolute godsend. But it's not a consistent solution. Yes, I was thinking that the only thing to do will be to go out and walk. DD won't go in the pram and wants to walk herself but that's fine.
We've not got a telly so she's not used to watching it and when she sees it at someone else's house isn't all that interested. She really loves reading though and that works if she's tired enough to just sit there and not jump all over me and DS. There's nothing she'll do on her own - she's never been one to just 'play' and wants entertaining ALL the time.
Yes, I can contact a couple of friends with kids DD's age and meet up with them. I've just been avoiding having anyone round as you can't really chat over the noise of the crying and it makes for even more stress. But I know it would help my mental state if I could socialise a bit with the 2 of them.
My partner is under a lot of pressure at work so he's not in the best of moods either - he took a month off when DD was born and that was fantastic but this time round in his new job they were snooty about him even taking the 2 weeks paternity. It's such a shame as he's not bonded with DS the same way as DD at all and the constant crying doesn't help. Fortunately I have the hormones that have made me fall in love with DS despite the problems!
AStreetCarNamedBob - Is there a way to tell the difference between these? I just assumed it was colic as it's lots of crying after feeds, drawing legs up, going red in the face, grunting, not being able to pass wind etc and nothing seems to help. I've cut out dairy from my diet 10 days ago and that seemed to help a bit. After I had a chocolate binge he had his worst day ever so there's definitely a link and that's what got me off dairy. On the odd occasion he's better he can do good burps and farts after eating so it's definitely linked to wind too - when he's in the 'colic' state he doesn't get burps and farts out at all despite all my attempts. Sometimes putting him on a hot water bottle helps. The Tummy Tub stops him crying when he's in it but he starts again when he comes out. He will only sleep on his front or sitting up or sometimes in the sling. He co sleeps with me and will sleep lying on my chest face down or beside me sitting up with my arm around him. He won't sleep on his back at all or on his own in the moses backet or crib.

CorraLinn Sun 08-May-16 21:31:36

I never really understood mother's guilt until now... DD just really needs me and I'm not there for her as have my hands full. She was a great sleeper til DS came along (7pm to 7am) and it's now taking DP 2-3 hours of an evening to get her settled and she's getting up before 6.
Our relationship is down the drain and we're lucky if we get 5 minutes to talk to each other as I spend what's left of the evening trying to make DS comfortable.
Sorry for all the moaning, I know it's just a stage and we'll come out the other side, I just feel so bad for DD and wish I had another pair of hands!

Diddlydokey Sun 08-May-16 21:35:20

I think it's faster to deal with the older one then get on with the baby. The baby will just have to wait and will get used to it. 5 minutes here and there is fine.

CutYourHairAndGetAJob Sun 08-May-16 21:45:22

I feel your pain, ds was just like this in the early days and I really struggled with him and my older dd (although I have a bigger age gap).

I agree that it doesn't sound like colic, it sounds more like bad wind or reflux if he is screaming straight after feeds. Either way I think being upright would help so the sling sounds ideal.

Reading to your toddler while you feed sounds great in theory but it is hard in the early days when it's a struggle to latch the baby on. I just used to let dd watch telly. It has got better and I am now the queen of multitasking, eg wiping a bottom while feeding the baby in the sling.

Do you have any friends or family who can help out? Dont be shy about asking. Go and see friends with toddlers (or invite them to yours), or go to toddler groups if you can, your dd can play with the other kids and the other mums will probably be happy to hold the baby for you for a bit.

Good luck, it does get better flowers

KatyN Sun 08-May-16 22:45:08

If she likes being read to have you tried audio books?? I have heard great things about the CBeebies podcast too. Other mums will understand if your baby is screaming, someone came over to me the other day and said her daughter was a screamer like mine was at that moment. It was bonkers just chatting over the noise.

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