Feel so awful, not cut out to be a mum(26 Posts)
I am mum to a 5 week old baby boy and I cannot console him. From when he wakes in a morning he screams when awake and I cannot get him to nap even though I can see he his tired. I have tried all sorts including a baby carrier, white noise, taking him for a walk in the pram, rocking him, putting his Moses basket next to the washing machine when on spin. I have also tried infacol, colief, gripe water and even switched his formula from Aptamil to Hipp Organic to see if that would help him.
I am at my wits end and I'm thinking the problem is me. I don't feel I've bonded with him and I don't think i bring him any comfort. I just feel like I'm getting it massively wrong and that he deserves better. Every time I try and search for advice on the internet I just end up confused and even more upset as I genuinely don't know what to do. My other half thinks I should just go with the flow and come offline and chuck all my books away as it stresses me out but I don't have a clue what I am doing. Sorry to ramble but just feel so helpless and can't see a way out!
I have a 5 week old DS- they're incredibly demanding and not easy! You sound like you're being really tough on yourself.
Have you maybe tried too much and got worked up with nothing working? Your partner could well be right- there's an awful lot on the internet and it's overwhelming. Sometimes you do have to take a step back and go with your instincts. Your baby will respond best when you're calmest and will pick up if you are tense and getting stressed with the situation. What do you think you would do if you hadn't read all the advice? What do your instincts say?
Is he your first? I felt exactly the same when DD1 was 5 weeks old! I had a bit of a breakdown and my mum took her out for 4 hours while I had some time to myself. It didn't solve everything but I felt ever so slightly recharged and could cope with everything a bit better. I also had PND but I'm not suggesting you do. Can someone give you a break for an hour or two?
I would speak to your Health visitor or your GP and let them check him over. Everything you are doing/trying sounds right but it could maybe be reflux/colic or something else. I remember pacing the floor for hours with my 2 about that stage just cuddling them and rubbing their backs - my son in particular had really bad wind and that used to annoy him. Would he sleep in the pram or the car? He really needs a sleep to recharge and you need a rest. Is there anyone who could come and help you and maybe take him for a wee while? When my 2 were little there wasn't as much advice available on the internet and I am glad as there is so much and most of it makes you feel inadequate. Give yourself a break it is tough when they won't sleep or settle but if you have tried everything you can then maybe the HV can check him over. And insist on an appt as it can be hard to get hold of them so if you can't get the HV get a GP appt.
i remember my DD cried what felt like nearly all night at the start - we just walked round and round in the babycarrier as all that seemed to work to get her to sleep was really fast walking. Tried a pacifier? Helped with 1 DC, not the other. It honestly does pass, everything got better about 12 weeks in - I agree I'd get the HV and GP to check for weight gain, rule out reflux etc but don't feel bad. Some babies are just really tough at the start. I've dealt with lots of babies and I could not do a thing with my friend's little boy, he cried what felt like all the time until 12 weeks.
You're not doing anything wrong. Babies are awful at 5 weeks. Honestly, all dd did at that age was scream and feed. It's utterly exhausting, and so emotionally draining.
Agree with a pp, can you get a couple of hours break while someone else looks after your ds for a bit? A bit of breathing space really does help.
I know it seems a lifetime away, but they do get better by 12 weeks. Dd had awful colic that had her screaming for 4-6hrs at a time every night. That suddenly just went away.
The only other thing to check maybe is reflux. Dd had silent reflux and would scream with that until we got her onto ranitidine, which has solved the issue.
Hang in there, it's hard going, but it's not you!
It's not you. Don't blame yourself. Sounds like he's tired and kept awake either by wind or tiredness. What sort of sleep does he do?
Also how are you feeding? Is he putting on weight?
You are not a crap Mum they are all awful at this age, these days they wonder if it is reflux, perhaps it is in this case. Try to get someone to take her out and go to bed and sleep (())
"problem is me. I don't feel I've bonded with him and I don't think i bring him any comfort. I just feel like I'm getting it massively wrong and that he deserves better. Every time I try and search for advice"
It's not you, it's really not.
Babies of that age are crying or unsettled either because something is wrong or they're just the type of baby that's unsettled.
Go to the doctor or health visitor, get him checked out and talk to them about how you're feeling...
You're a great mum - as demonstrated by the fact that you're doing everything you can to soothe him.
It could be that he is overtired / overstimulated which makes it hard for them to sleep. At that age most babies are tired after max one hour awake time. I find the first nap of the day is the easiest to crack. Once he's up for the day, I suggest you feed, wind, change nappy and go out for a walk. Preferably within 30-40 min of him waking up. The aim is to try to settle him back to sleep before he gets tired. If it means leaving the house without showering or cleaning your teeth so be it - it won't always be like this but you need to break the cycle.
Keep walking until he sleeps and then keep going until he wakes up. If this works then repeat throughout the day.
Once you can get him sleeping this way, you can work on the harder task of getting him to sleep at home once the sleep deficit is rectified. Or walk him to sleep then leave him to sleep in the buggy in the garden (well wrapped up and out of the wind) if you can keep an eye on him.
The fresh air and exercise also is a great help to keep you from going crazy which is inevitable when you're stuck in the house with a screaming baby!
Thank you all for taking the time to reply. There are some ideas suggested that I haven't tried yet, like taking him for a walk first thing in the morning.
I am formula feeding him after feeding him expressed breast milk for the first two weeks (tongue tie and inverted nipple issues). He is gaining weight and doesn't spit up milk so not sure if it's reflux, although did mention this to the midwife today and she has suggested taking him to the GP. It's worth investigating.
I know I sound overdramAtic in my last post and I do love my baby. I just feel so overwhelmed and just inadequate really. I'm hoping that this phase will pass and that we'll come through it. Thanks for your kind words. X
Sounds like dd1. It was colic due to lactose sensitivity. We had some success with colief but it takes a week to get in their system.
Do you use a dummy? I never wanted to, but my ds just screamed all the time too and it's soul destroying to hear. The dummy seemed to give him something else to focus on and did help him go to sleep. I know dummies aren't for everyone, but anything that helps you is worth a try in my eyes!
I'm not going to add any advice - plenty of good ideas here - but do remember that you are (a) more knackered than you've ever been (b) doing something you've never done before and (c) probably still recovering from the birth.
Be kind to yourself - you're doing great.
i agree school the dummy really helped with dc2, I didn't love the look of them but they are so useful and we binned it when she was about 15 months old without any trouble really. But I agree, by the time they're 12 weeks it gets better, in fact i found the older they get it keeps getting more fun. And then all of a sudden you start goo-ing over babies again.
I have tried using a dummy. It's weird, sometimes he takes it really well and other days he just spits it out. Ive just bought a swaddle thing from JoJo Mamanbebe as another thing to try. I'm hoping that it helps him settle on an evening. I will try anything! I think I need to come off things like Instagram or at least stop following mummy bloggers for a while. At first I thought it would be useful and that I may get tips but I think it just makes me feel worse as everyone seems to have such placid smiling babies!
my experience was that DD got more into the dummy as it became part of her routine - one of mine just wouldn't have it full stop so might be worth persisting a bit. One of mine loved the swaddle, one loathed them! I've not met many babies that were placid before 12 weeks, must be some sort of mythical baby! I've seen quite a few smug mummy blogs though. My facebook feed is full of articles on all the mistakes we're making parenting our kids...In RL I've seen plenty of parents doggedly walking babies around in slings at all hours too, looking tired. As long as they're gaining weight, there's nothing much to worry about except holding onto your sanity!
Oh God yes, ignore the social media mummies - they will make you want to kill yourself. Or them. Possibly them.
I have trotted this out many times but that won't stop me saying it again. Having a newborn is like being in the trenches. It's long periods of boredom interspersed with moments of abject terror. And lots of bodily fluids.
Are you getting out to any groups? Not that you should be, Bloody hell I don't think I managed to use a hairdryer in the first 5 weeks! I only mean so you can speak to others and not feel so alone. I think my low mood with a similar baby was exacerbated by like you all the internet stuff pinging my way saying how I should be feeling and what I should be doing- hearing from other mums how difficult they found it made me feel less awful.
Be gentle with yourself, it's such a hard time. My DD was the same and the only thing I can offer as reassurance is that it did get better with time. I walked the pram LOTS because the crying doesn't seem so loud outside and when you know they're fed, changed, the right temperature etc there's nothing else you can do.
Poor you, that sounds so tough.
Maybe you could try taking him to an osteopath? Sometimes babies end up with minute bone displacements after birth as they're squeezed so tight during. I'm by no means an expert but from what I've read it can be really uncomfortable for them and they're inconsolable as a result. An osteopath would be able to fix the problem. There is a national registering body with a directory of qualified practitioners.
Good luck, I hope your baby becomes more contented soon!
I swear that you're me, 18 months ago. The overlap in details is remarkable! It was epically shit. Nothing helped him. He cried all the time, no matter what I did. But, from 12 weeks it did start to get better. He was the unhappiest baby of my antenatal group, and now he's the happiest, most giggly toddler. Hang on in there. It will get better.
I second hobbitch's suggestion of an osteopath. We used a cranial osteopath at about the age your DS is now. It made him about 20℅ happier, which was well worth it! I had forgotten about that.
I know how you feel. My baby had bad reflux. The only place he would sleep is in a vibrating bouncer for his naps and I bought a foam wedge and cozydream for his Moses basket. Worked like a charm. I would suggest trying that as well. The bouncer was my lifesaver.
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