Please reassure/ advise me!(22 Posts)
Wasn't sure whether to post in sleep or parenting or somewhere else entirely! Might be a touch long but feeling confused and lost!
My baby is 7 weeks old, I struggle with anxiety since he's been here so I'm not sure how Much of my worries are being fuelled by that so would appreciate input!
He is exclusively breast fed which is going well however since I brought him home I can't put him down- he won't go in his co sleeper cot (next2me thing) so after trial and error he sleeps in his sleepyhead next to me in bed however I have to feed or rock to sleep and wait until he's asleep to put him in. I've tried to put him in awake and he really screams.
He also doesn't seem to like his pram or car seat and I end up having to carry him everywhere. I have a sling I wear in the house and he settles very well in that and he has a play mat which he enjoys for very short periods. Won't entertain bouncer or swing though. He sleeps in his sling in the day and averages a long nap in the morning and afternoon (3 hours plus in the morning).
At night he sleeps for absolute maximum 2 and a half hours and then after 3ish wakes hourly.
Speaking to others, everyone else's baby seems to settle in Moses basket etc and sleep much better or be happy put in the swing. I'm worried his day and night is mixed up and worried about not being able to put him down. Also worried about how difficult it is to get him to sleep and that I'm creating unhelpful sleep associations.
I think people think I carry him round too much but the alternative is him crying so much he makes himself sick and I can't see how thats better? GP thinks no medical problems also. I don't get a moment to myself- Im just desperate to know if what I'm doing is ok.
Biggest tip I can give you is this will NOT last forever. So follow sleep advice, seek help from a consultant etc but remember that he is a tiny baby for a short period of time and you will get through this and maybe even long for the time you got to hold him constantly.
With my first, I stressed and worried and lamented about sleep constantly. I wished his baby hood away and my wish was granted and he grew up and slept!! Ah I miss my baby
Sometimes accepting the way things are and letting go of the way you would prefer it is the only way to cope.
Probably not very helpful but worth bearing in mind.
And for what it's worth, his sleep patterns sound very normal and pretty good!!
First of all, ignore all the sleeping association/making a rod for your back nonsense you hear. There's a lot of money to be made by telling new mums they're doing the wrong thing, and a lot of people buy into that.
It sounds like you're doing an amazing job! You've been to the Dr and established it's nothing physical wrong so he just wants to be close to you. That part is ok!
What's not ok is that you do need a bit of sleep. When you feed him at night is he falling asleep quickly on the breast? Are you waking him frequently to make sure he gets a full belly before he drops off? If not he will just wake again hungry in no time. My first DS was a frequent breastfeeding waker and I think this is why. With my twin DDs I had to express and I found that a big bottle of breastmilk had them sleeping through the night very early on. You could try this? You can get a whole bottle of milk in so quick before they fall asleep.
What's your DP doing to help? Expressing is good for this too because he should be helping with night wakings. He could at least take that first night time feed (around 10pm) by giving him the bottle while you get an early night to prepare for later wake ups. He can definitely take weekend sling naps.
Don't you feel bad for a moment about the sling. What do you think women have been doing since the dawn of human kind? We take our babies with us wherever we go! They are very mobile and easily adjustable little things. You get the job done and that's what matters. If it becomes an issue in the future you'll fix it then.
It is perfectly normal to never have a second to yourself at this stage. My son was neeeedy! A shower was my only alone time ever and I savoured every second of it. I promise this will pass though. By 3 months they are so so much easier, and then they get easier every day. The newborn phase is exhausting and you do what you need to to survive.
Also don't compare your babies to others. They're not just "babies". Some are really easy. I've had both and I promise it's nothing to do with my parenting. They just are the way they are.
With my first I did the rocking and everything else, to get him to sleep. I was anxious and inexperienced and to be honest I think I made him more irritable by faffing around so much.
I have only 21 months between my older two and he was still waking at night when number two was born. Number two DC was fed and put down a fair amount, as it's impossible to be awake all day and all night. Joy of joys, I learned the hard way that if they are full, clean and happy they settle themselves. DC number three was also put down to settle and I can honestly say two and three DC are the most happy and contented children you could ever wish for.
Babies do cry and it's normal that they cry a bit before they settle. It's very intense with your first baby but I was so much more relaxed with the next one.
I think it's as well to remember that babies can actually cry quite a lot and it can be extremely stressful if you think you have to somehow, stop them crying. My HV told me to stop fussing so much with my first and looking back that was good advice.
The trouble is, if you cannot actually stop the crying, what do you do? I had PND with my first and I think my anxiety about him crying and me not being able to settle him, almost led to me doing him harm.
Mine was like that and about 9 weeks she got better. Never a heavy sleeper to this day but she'd suddenly lie down etc. Having them sleep in a sling or SSC does NOT mean they'll never go into a cot or bed.
Oh and over fussing doesn't exist.
Many babies can be fed and warm and just scream and scream when not on their mums. For them being held is not "fuss".
For everyone who thinks they learned the secret on their second, when it was actually that their second was a "can put down" baby, I've had freaking out mums of 2 at the BF/supprt cafe I ran because their 1st self settled and their 2nd won't be put down! For them "just getting on with it" was that with 2nd born in a sling!
Some babies need to be held for th first few weeks. Firsts, seconds ... Nothing to do with mum or baby. Just how it is.
Over fussing does bloody exist. How dare you put yourself across as some sort of authority on me and my baby. You have no idea about how it was for me and my first. I've already said I had anxiety and PND, so please STFU.
I feel really upset that someone who knows nothing about me and my family can come on here and so casually flame everything I've said.
All babies and all mums are different and have their own stories to tell. I'll tell mine and you tell yours.
I also have anxiety and pnd. I worked to support parents in the same boat when I was a bit better (I'm still not over it and doubt I ever will be).
However I stand by that over fussing is something said far far far more often than is true. To the point that I've never actually met in purpose a "clingy" baby whom everyone suddenly realised could just be put down.
I can remember standing, shaking, as someone held me back while my baby cried herself to sleep and being told how "quick" it was without the "fuss". It was two and a half hours. I made sure that HV/MH nurse never "helped" me again. The next one was aghast.
I supported over a dozen mums (not just 1st time) who were trying to go down that route because people had convinced them (probably that local HV and one BF counsellor who routines from birth locally) it was the way. It seemed to be a big issue locally.
And walking away at the almost shaking phase is a vital survival mechanism because I've been there too.
You can stand by whatever you want. If a mum is stressed, upset, tired and depressed, then putting more pressure on her is foolhardy. What happens if the baby won't stop crying, no matter what you do? That's a really scary place to go to. Sometimes the best advice is to put the baby down somewhere safe and make yourself a cup of tea and take some deep calming breaths.
If a baby is well fed, clean, loved warm and comfy they will not come to any harm. On the other hand ........
My first born was exactly the same - refused to be put down or sleep in pram/cot/swing. Have you tried rocking him to sleep then waiting 5 mins so he's in a really deep sleep before very gently putting him down? Also we found swaddling at night really helped as they have a reflex where their arms shoot up and wake them up!
Please don't introduce a bottle - sounds like you're doing great with breastfeeding. It will get easier - promise!
My second (8 week old) is hard work - cries a lot and I can't really work out why! My first was hard too but in a different way...maybe they are all hard in their own ways!!
Someone on here wrote that the first part is 'an endurance test' and that has sruck a chord with me. It's taken the pressure off me to 'enjoy' the newborn phase cuz I'm really not!
My 8 week old doesn't sleep more than 2 hours at a time - at some point he will and in the mean time I am doing what I can to help him nap and sleep.
Make sure you look after yourself at the same time - drink plenty of water, take vitamins, eat some fruit and veg, chat to non-child friends a bout non child things and try to still do some stuff you enjoy to keep sane!
In a few months you will be on here advising other new mums that it's hard but you will get through it!
Yy to what Sandysmam said - it really won't last forever. Wanting to be held a lot in the day is totally normal- with my first I stressed about it so much and spent forever trying to put him down - with my second I use a carrier a lot and have mastered doing pretty much anything one handed. If it's starting to hurt your back, have s deep tissue massage while your DP has a turn.
Also get your DP to carry your LO in the sling for his naps - this is a nice bonding time for him and gives you a bit of time to yourself!
Put your car seat and pram up in the house in different rooms so when you have to put the baby down for short periods they are gradually getting used to them. Don't leave then in there to cry if you can help it or you may create negative associations. While they're in the car seat/buggy have a little chat with them, exchange smiles etc.
Lastly, I'm not sure what a sleepyhead is but I'm guessing some kind of pillow they sleep in. Could you get a frull sized cot bed, take the side off, lash it to your bed with a bungee or two and put the sleepyhead in that?
Oh, and get a bouncy chair! You can bounce it with your foot for short period whilst doing pretty much anything.
You are absolutely doing the right thing - your LO is only going to benefit from you doing everything you can to make him feel secure and happy
Our little guy would only sleep in sling attached to my husband between 6pm - 12am for the first 3 months. What you've described sounds totally normal for a little un!
You're doing all you can OP and you're doing it well too
It's hard not to compare to others but just don't do it! My second hated swing, cot, pram and facing inwards in sling! Was a tough first few months and now at 10months she has fun in the jumperoo and naps in the pram well too. I rarely use the sling now! So go with it and do what feels right and ignore a lot of the nonsese that's online! She still doesn't like the sleepyhead much though and prefers to be by my side but she's happy (looking forward to those sticky summer nights )
Thanks all- I've been reading the posts all afternoon. Really good advice- I appreciate it all.
Do I need to be Doing anything like trying to put him down or will one day he just be ok wth being putting down etc? Do I try every day? I don't want to upset him!
I don't mind carrying him but I braved a baby group (after much anxiety!) and when I chatted everyone's baby was sleeping better etc and I felt foolish. I will take the advice of not comparing though. The health visitors assistant (I don't know the proper job title- not being dismissive at all!) running the group said the fourth trimester doesn't exist and "slings are asking for trouble" so I left a nervous wreck.
I'm worried about how safe he is at night. On occasion I'm feeding him and we're both falling asleep- so he's laid across my tummy like he was feeding if that makes sense. I've discussed this with the HV and she says what's important is I sleep a little but I'm terrified he's sleeping on his tummy basically?
I just feel utterly overwhelmed by my own anxiety.
Have you tried breastfeeding lying down? Because that is an absolute game changer. You can feed to sleep in your bed (safely!) for naps and then your baby doesn't have to be 'put down' - he can just nap there! And then you get to have a lie down too.
At night, if you're likely to fall asleep, it's so much safer to feed lying down and safely cosleep than fall asleep and end up unsafely co-sleeping.
I'm also not one for rods for your own back. You do whatever you can to make sure your baby (and you!) get the most rest you can. You cannot spoil a baby!
And ignore the healthcare assistant who said that about the fourth trimester and slings - what bullshit. I'd love to see some evidence to back that up.
Sounds like you're doing a great job. Trust your instincts!
I keep trying breast feeding lying down but I can't get the hang of it- I've Watched YouTube videos and everything but I just can't get it! Any tips?
Not really sorry! How big is your DS? Mine have both been quite big babies and have got it quite quickly. My reasonable size boobs probably help too! Maybe he just needs to be a bit bigger to get a good position? I would keep trying if you can because it can make such a difference if you can have a lie down as well. And as he gets bigger, you can start to feed to sleep and leave him to nap if that suits you.
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