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Worried I haven't bonded with screaming baby

(106 Posts)
PigletBank Mon 11-Jul-16 18:35:40

My DD is 9 weeks old and I'm really struggling.

I was so naive, I really thought I'd enjoy the newborn phase (!) but I don't. She's a real screamer - not just the typical evening colic but on and off pretty much all day. Today I decided to time it and she has been crying for nearly four hours already - and we will probably get even more this evening...

As a result I'm not getting out and about much. I don't go to any baby groups as it's too embarrassing standing in the corner jiggling a red faced screaming baby while the other babies lay there gurgling happily. I'm dont really like to have old friends over to meet her - they all want to come over "for a cuddle", little do they know that DD is the least cuddly baby ever. Most days I go out for long lonely walks with the pram or sling, but that's about it.

I've been trying to be strong but today I just broke down in tears while DD was having another one of her screaming fits. I feel I hardly have any of those lovely special moments you are supposed to get with a new baby.

I'm so fed up and lonely and worried I'm going to start resenting her. I can't believe I'm writing this as its so awful but I'm starting to have moments where I wonder what the hell I've done. I definitely don't feel we've bonded at all.

Go to go, she's crying again. Did anyone else have this? Tell me it gets better??

BeenThereTooSEL Mon 11-Jul-16 18:38:26

My DD was like this and we worked out it was a milk intolerance/sensitivity. I promise it gets better! flowers

SusanAndBinkyRideForth Mon 11-Jul-16 18:40:38

Yes it gets better. I had a screamer too. I have fond memories of DH pacing the lounge with her, with his industrial ear defenders on to block the sound as none of us could take it any more.
I would investigate possible reasons for the screaming. Dd1 turned out to be cows milk protein intolerance and soya - so I had to cut both out of my diet. I also think she was overstimulated as I just has to be out of the house all day to cope with her. I had her in the sling A LOT which helped.
Anyway, could be reflux, CMPI, over stimulated - all worth investigating.
And hang in there - it gets better x

JinkxMonsoon Mon 11-Jul-16 18:42:15

It's hard to enjoy a constantly screaming baby.

Don't concern yourself with how you think this time SHOULD feel like (i.e. picture postcard loveliness) and just concentrate on getting through it, hour by hour, day by day. It will get better.

You also sound depressed, which is totally understandable given your circumstances. I remember feeling similar with my first child - lonely miserable days. Remember to take care of yourself and have a word with your HV or GP. There's no shame in PND and antidepressants helped me massively.

Blerg Mon 11-Jul-16 18:45:44

Was going to say cows milk intolerance too. Worth looking into.

Don't worry about not bonding, it will come. When I had my first I had a horrible birth and as a result didn't really connect with her for about 3 months. I tortured myself about it and googled obsessively, but I just needed to stop fretting and let it come.

Also, it is worth getting out and about - all mums will eventually be the one cringing at group. Maybe not now but at the toddler stage for going nuclear over a toy or shoving someone.

nannynick Mon 11-Jul-16 18:50:11

You mention having a sling... she may be happier being in that during some parts of the day. Try to find what position she prefers to be in, as the screaming can be caused by discomfort in the intestines, bowels. Tiger-In-The-Tree hold can sometimes help.

It does get better as they develop. Other babies may appear contented but the all have their moments... so don't be put off going to groups. Give some a try and don't feel you have to stay for the whole session. A local church group can be good, even if you are not religious - I used to hunt out the groups which served nice coffee!

PigletBank Mon 11-Jul-16 18:58:08

jinx I've wondered about PND but I'm not sure if it is that? I'm definitely depressed, but in that kind of "I'm lonely and fed up of this difficult situation" way, and I thought PND could happen to anyone, even those with Angel babies...

Although I do keep having moments where I think that I'm being unrealistic about what having a baby is actually like, and maybe they're all like this and I'm just a rubbish mum...

user1467554098 Mon 11-Jul-16 19:08:34

I have no idea if this will help but my ds is also 9 weeks and has a set of lungs on him! It's depressing and Lonely, I was constantly panicking thinking what I earth is wrong, I think iv Sussed IT.. He gets over tired very quickly ! One minute he's smiling away next is a full blown screen that can last hours! It's improved massively now as soon as he shows any signs of tiredness I take him to his room close curtains and get him off to sleep.. Now iv miraculously he's in a routine! Don't get me wrong it was a massive battle at 1st but is getting easier every day... Like I said I don't know if it will help but worth a go?

PigletBank Mon 11-Jul-16 19:15:42

I've spent so long trying different ways to soothe her and I almost can't do it anymore. If someone on an old MN thread has suggested it, I've tried it. I can usually stop the crying for a minute or so but then it starts again. Today for the first time I had to just leave her for five minutes and shut the door sad.

People who say you should always comfort a crying baby just don't get it. There is often no way to comfort her!

My HV suggested cows milk allergy so she's been on aptamil pepti and I thought there was a slight improvement at first but then it got worse again. Also apart from the excessive crying I don't think she has any other symptoms - what else should I be looking for?

PigletBank Mon 11-Jul-16 19:17:28

user thanks and overtiredness is definitely a factor but sadly she doesn't nap. Literally there is nothing I can do to get her to nap. My entire day is devoted to trying to get her to nap, and has been for the past three weeks...

NotAUserNumberSoNotATroll Mon 11-Jul-16 19:20:35

You could be describing me!

Was also going to suggest cows milk intolerance, symptoms I saw were lots of legs flapping up to stomach and lots of wind.

It definitely does get better, after 3 months I seemed to get the hang of it and definitely bonded properly by 4 months and just love being a mum. Do you get out to any mother and baby groups? Or have mums with babies the same age? My post natal group have become good friends and saved my sanity numerous times

SusanAndBinkyRideForth Mon 11-Jul-16 19:22:31

It is soul destroying to have a baby that you just can't keep happy. I know, Ive been there. She never bloody slept more than 45 minutes at a stretch day or night either, which makes it much worse to deal with. Try to make sure YOU get a break, or it will destroy you x

With the CMPI dd1 had frothy green stools, with mucous as well - consistently - not just the odd poo. Also a funny bright red ring around her anus, and increasing eczema. And lots and lots of vomiting that the GP tried to shrug off as possetting.

It might be silent reflux?

PigletBank Mon 11-Jul-16 19:27:50

notauser sadly not sad I'm quite an outgoing person usually so I had grand plans for meeting people at local baby groups and had researched all the ones nearby. But now I just don't want to go. I did go to a couple but it was miserable, I couldn't have a proper conversation with anyone and the lady who ran one of them asked me why she was crying as if it was something as simple as not being fed, having a dirty nappy etc...

DD does also do those that with her legs and seems to have a lot of gas etc but then wouldn't the aptamil pepti have completely relieved her symptoms if it was that?

I don't mean to sound so defeatist honestly, guess I just wanted to have a bit of a moan. I've resigned myself to having to just wait out the new weeks/months/(years?) now because I feel like this is just how she is...

ratticus Mon 11-Jul-16 19:30:34

Hi OP, mine was similar- cried alot, had colic too, hated being cuddled or picked up, so I often had to leave him crying, which I hated. However, it did help that I knew that nothing I did would help, so I just got on with my day with a screaming baby in tow.

The good news is that he just grew out of it- round about 12-14 weeks it got noticeably better and now he's a very cuddly 7 month old.

Things that helped were earplugs, a sling (he'd often fall asleep eventually when I was out shopping.... The down side is that the screaming is a lot closer to your ears), and a bedtime routine started earlier.

Good luck, it is hideous having a screaming newborn, but stick in there because it will get better x

PigletBank Mon 11-Jul-16 19:32:28

Just a question - is this genuinely quite unusual for a baby to cry this much?

I do wonder, because she smashes the colic definition (3 hours 3 days a week) out of the park!

SusanAndBinkyRideForth Mon 11-Jul-16 19:38:13

I think it's fairly unusual, but certainly not unique.
I second the earplugs, and sling, especially slinging on your back when able to as you can block it out easier then, and just stomp onwards grimly...

I do know it got easier when I cut out dairy and soya within 48 hours. Then easier again at about 14 weeks. I have no idea about the pepti formula sorry.

JinkxMonsoon Mon 11-Jul-16 19:38:32

I wondered about PND but I'm not sure if it is that? I'm definitely depressed, but in that kind of "I'm lonely and fed up of this difficult situation" way, and I thought PND could happen to anyone, even those with Angel babies...

I remember thinking to myself "Am I depressed because DD is difficult? Or am I struggling to cope with normal behaviour because I'm depressed?" Ultimately it doesn't matter what the cause of the depression is. Yes, if your DD didn't scream all day you probably wouldn't feel so low, but depression absolutely saps your ability to cope with whatever life is throwing at you, so you'll probably find that if you treat the depression, you'll be able to cope with life better. And antidepressants don't need to be a slippery slope - I took them for a few months (probably should have taken them for longer tbh!) and then stopped when I felt like myself again.

SusanAndBinkyRideForth Mon 11-Jul-16 19:39:36

It was still bloody hard though. And to be honest still is, and shes 5yo now! Everything is a drama and a crisis with her, and she definitely has sensory overload issues.

PigletBank Mon 11-Jul-16 19:47:34

susan oh no!! My one hope was that it would get better...!

SusanAndBinkyRideForth Mon 11-Jul-16 19:54:12

Oh it does get better! She is the most amazing bright funny quirky little thing. But prone to overdramatics and sensory overload meltdowns. I just need to make sure my own reserves are well topped up smile

Troika Mon 11-Jul-16 19:54:46

My son was like this. He screamed non stop. Nothing worked. He hated the pram. He hated the car. He screamed if he was put down, he still screamed when he was picked up...Even when he was feeding he'd break off and scream.

I used to spend 2 hours trying to get him off to sleep and then he'd sleep for 20-45 minutes. Day and night.

It was exhausting. There is crying a lot and then there is constant screaming. I came close to totally losing it a few times. I remember (to my shame) screaming back in his face one time. I also plonked him down in his cot more roughly than I should have a couple of times. He got gradually better from 6 months but it wasn't like he suddenly turned into a sunny content baby, to begin with he just had a few 5 minute stints of being awake and not crying.

I felt like a terrible mother even though dd1 had been a really happy baby.

Dd2 had had a few bad days of crying a lot and it has brought it all back to me how bloody awful it was with ds. Sympathies to you and sorry I don't have any real advice. I would definitely say to push for reflux or cmpa tests, I was sure ds had reflux but after being dismissed a couple of times I didn't have the energy to keep pushing.

SusanAndBinkyRideForth Mon 11-Jul-16 19:56:03

The 2yo was more "normal". Still had colic and never slept but more in normal parameters. And is an incredibly verbal, stubborn, determined, social typical 2yo. grin

SusanAndBinkyRideForth Mon 11-Jul-16 19:59:22

Oh grief the car. The screaming in the car was dreadful. I'd forgotten about that. Couldn't drive for more than 5 minutes anywhere without getting totally frazzled and stopping to take her out just made it worse when you put her back in.

Gillian1980 Mon 11-Jul-16 19:59:25

That sounds really hard flowers

In regard to cows milk intolerance, I'd get the gp to prescribe a different milk to try. My friends DD really struggled and they had to try several different formulas before finding one which suited her - each one needed to be tried for a certain period to see whether it was ok or not.

If you're by any chance in the plymouth area PM me - I'd be happy to have a coffee, even with a screaming baby in tow! I've been struggling with pnd and felt so much worse when I felt tied to the house.

PigletBank Mon 11-Jul-16 20:11:34

gillian that's so sweet of you. Sadly I'm not near Plymouth or I would definitely take you up on the offer!

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