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Helping a Mother in Distress

(15 Posts)
cerezablast Mon 30-May-16 20:49:44

Hi all! I don't know whether or not this is the place to post this, but my sister is a new mother to a 3-odd month old baby. She's beautiful and looks like a tiny monkey. Anyway, this is her first child, and she's becoming increasingly distressed when the baby starts crying uncontrollably. I don't know all that much about parenting and motherhood and babies, but I want to try and help her.

Mums and dads of mumsnet, what are some ideas to comfort a mother in distress?

AngieBolen Mon 30-May-16 20:53:29

The mother wants the baby to stop crying, so maybe find the root cause of why the baby is crying.

Does the baby have colic?

Elllicam Mon 30-May-16 20:54:34

When does the baby cry? Is it an evening thing? Is it when she is put down?

cerezablast Mon 30-May-16 21:10:52

I don't think the baby has colic or anything, though I can't say I've been observant or close enough to the baby to notice. . .

I notice the baby tends to cry when she's trying to get her to sleep. My sister deploys all the methods she can think of to help with it and she's been doing really well in keeping up with baby . . .techniques? but at this rate I think it's something she just has to be with the baby and learn what she needs for it. I just don't know how to help her feel like she's doing a good job.

AngieBolen Mon 30-May-16 21:44:55

I think the best thing you can do is look after your sister, so she can look after the baby.

Some babies get over tired and find it hard to fall asleep or just don't like to be put down. My DS always hated being put down in his cot...I think he felt I'd abandoned him.

Different things work for different babies, so it's about finding what works for this baby..dummy/swaddling/shushing/rocking, keeping a hand on the baby in the cot until she's fully asleep.

DD really loved being put down in her cot when tired, and keeping her up/rocking her just made her cry more.

Does the baby have a routine with regular nap times, or does she just fall asleep when ever?

ChocolateHelps Mon 30-May-16 22:12:58

You sound really lovely and want to help your sister. I agree with previous person who suggested looking after the mother so she can focus her energy on her baby.
Suggest asking the mum what would be helpful. It might be washing up, changing the beds, easy meals to heat up. It might be an extra pair of hands to hold baby while she has a shower or 3 of you go to hairdressers together and she gets hair cut and you walk baby round the block and bring back for feeding. If she's breastfeeding she can call any of the breastfeeding support helplines, even if just to get ideas on what the huge range of normal is

CopperPot Mon 30-May-16 22:15:35

White noise REALLY LOUD always helps mine when she won't stop and swaying her. Check YouTube for white noise

nicolasixx Mon 30-May-16 22:15:56

Tell her not to listen to anyone who says that young babies need to learn to self-settle. I've always breastfed mine to sleep and suffice to say the older ones aren't doing it now. If she is not bf then I'm sure there are other ways to comfort, but v young babies are rarely happy falling asleep alone in a cot in my experience.

cerezablast Mon 30-May-16 22:59:57

Angie, you're right. I've started to cook for all of us on Fridays, but really I should probably consider cooking on another day as well, just so they can relax a little bit more. There is somewhat of a routine created, where 8pm is bath time and 8:30pm onwards is attempted sleep time where she wakes up in the middle of the night. Although I don't think midnight baby comforting is something that can be avoided, and I feel bad that she can't sleep that much nowadays. I hope I can gain her trust so that she'll let me be with the baby while she gets some shut eye. . .

Also, thank you Chocolate. As I said before, I'd love to do those things for her and you're right. I just hope to gain her confidence that I won't harm her baby. Although, if I were in her shoes and I had a fresh-out-the-womb baby, I probably would hiss if anyone came near them that was anyone but my partner or me. I guess I get it.

CopperPot, I'll check that out for her. I find her watching series that she's watched before as just background noise, and even this morning I saw that she was so absent from the noise that she was playing the opening sequence of a DVD for like 20 minutes and didn't even know. Maybe something like waves would be better?!

And yeah, she's really in disagreement with the whole "put baby down and evacuate room for 5 minutes" thing. I can't see why a baby would understand a cause and effect relationship like that when she can't even have head control yet?!

AngieBolen Mon 30-May-16 23:12:30

I think the white noise was suggested to help the baby, not the mum!

FrancisdeSales Tue 31-May-16 02:36:32

An automatic baby swing was a lifesaver for me with baby number two she would sit in a be quiet and then just fall asleep. Even the methodical clicking noise it made seemed to comfort basically rocks the baby to sleep.

CopperPot Tue 31-May-16 02:49:01

Haha yes white noise is like womb noise and makes some babies conk out

Baconyum Tue 31-May-16 02:50:16

Is your sister a very young mum? Guessing possible as you're 'all' living together but of course I could be wrong.

Regardless of age she could be feeling tense/overwhelmed and baby will pick up on that. Ideally if she'd let someone else settle baby occasional that might help but not all mums like that. So other than that just boost her confidence (frankly at that new a mum few of us had a bloody clue!) so reassure her that this is all normal, she's a lovely mum etc.

Re 'up to date techniques' babies don't care what decade/century they're in! When I had dd swaddling eg was frowned on - but it worked for my dd so I did it and told anyone who tried to tell me off to get lost! Ditto fb to sleep, dummies, music etc

AngieBolen Tue 31-May-16 21:34:45

white noise is like womb noise and makes some babies conk out

Some babies.

It made my DH almost cry and beg me to turn it off. grin

I think these days you can probably download waves or whales or something...back when DS1 was a baby it was a CD of un-tuned radio crackle.

Baconyum Tue 31-May-16 21:37:21

Horses for courses

For my dd rocking swaddling and patting her back to the rhythm of my heartbeat (think g-gung like in dirty dancing grin) worked.

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