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help/moral support please - going mad - ds (10 wks) won't let me put him down.

(30 Posts)
phdlife Thu 21-Jun-07 11:27:38

during the day (from about 6am) he won't sleep anywhere but in my arms and when he's awake cries as soon as i leave the room. i can't even go to the loo or make my lunch. He's very heavy (14lbs 10oz last check) so my back, shoulders and wrists are killing me. he no longer sleeps in his sling; he often can't get off to sleep in afternoons but is trying so will NOT be put down without screams. and although he is clearly tired lately he is staying awake til 10pm, fussing and hitting me (occasionally dh, but ds often screams if dh takes him) - obviously frantic to get to sleep but can't manage. then he's up for bfing 3-4 times in the night, quiet, no fuss, but I am utterly knackered and fed up with being unable to move/do anything all day, only get to use pc one-handed so even this is giving me a neck-crick. don't have any family or child-friendly mates nearby(starting to get out to mums groups but only just) and feel like i am imploding - please no-one tell me he needs this, i really want to respond to his needs but i've tried for 10 weeks and it's getting worse not better. i am desperate for an hour or two to myself each day withou him crying - when does this incessant need ease off? what can i do to help him?

Dogsby Thu 21-Jun-07 11:28:07

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh yes


brandnewhelsy Thu 21-Jun-07 11:34:41

Ooh, sounds rough. I think I remember it being like that for a while though (I tend to blot these things out ).

Is there a friend or family member who could come and stay for a couple of days if they don't live nearby?
Can you express so DH could do one night feed?

You will have to leave him and he will have to get used to it, and it should get better if you can bear him crying for a little bit. Would putting music on when you leave the room help?

phdlife Thu 21-Jun-07 12:07:30

he's recently started chewing his fists and drooling, and biting during feeds - is there any chance he's started teething?

Alderberry Thu 21-Jun-07 12:22:37

poor you, it sounds exhausting. He's a bit young for teething, altho it can happen that early. Do you think he could be hungry? Are you breastfeeding exclusively or is he having any bottles aswell? If he's a big boy he may not be completely satisfied by your milk and may be more settled if you gave him some formular.Health visitors would not be impressed by this advice and it may not be something that you want to do. But it may be worth a try and could give you a break as someone else eg your husband could take him off you for a while.Obviously you can't go on in this way and ultimately in not his his best interests either. You may need to bite the bullet and start putting him down for periods of time each day. He'll not like it and will scream but he needs to start getting used to being physically away from you and settling himself. I'm sure it'll gradually improved each time you do it and will gvet better anyway as he gets older. Start with short periods of time and gradually increase. Also try and get someone else to have him so you can go out and be away from him for a bit. You need to get away from the screaming for it to be therapeutic!!

yogimum Thu 21-Jun-07 13:26:15

I looked after twins last night and one was just like this, I could relate as ds went through a stage of not sleeping anywhere but on me. I tried a couple of things which helped like, baby massage, cranial oestopathy, and I wore a t-shirt during the day and put it on his cot at night so he could smell me. I also teach baby yoga which some mums say their babies are sleeping well afterwards. However he is a good weight and may benefit from a formula feed or expressed milk (even if its just to give you a break) I formula fed the twins throughout the night last night so their mum could get some sleep, she was very appreciative! Anythings worth a try, it will get better, promise!

phdlife Thu 21-Jun-07 21:01:30

oh my god it's 9pm and I DON'T have a baby in my arms! two-handed typing!! got to go run around in circles of glee now - and will make note to self that it is not always this bad...

bagsundereyes Fri 22-Jun-07 12:07:49

Hi Phd,

My dd is 4 weeks older than your DS, and loves to be held still. She is a strapping girl as well - why is it the heavy ones that like to be held?

We have worked on this with some success. It has involved dd crying, but only for about 2 mins max (i don't do crying). Basically each morning I put her in the bouncy chair.
first time - hated it, got out straight away.
second time - I put her in for a minute whilst I made a cup of tea.
Next time 2 mins etc.....

She has now got to sitting out in the bouncy chair for at least 10 mins at a time, which is enough to make a butty, wash up etc. It's not the hour or two I'd like, but better than nothing.

We're still working on the sleep - she will go 30 mins in the day without being held.

Also, don't be afraid to try swaddling even if your ds has protested in the past. Mine hated it to start off, so we didn't bother at first. I tried a couple of times more, and when she was 11 weeks she decided that she liked it after all! It seems to make the transition from mummy's arms to mattress less overwhelming.

Let us know if you get any joy....

MamaD Fri 22-Jun-07 12:26:44


my dd was EXACTLY the same. HV said she had never seen a worse case of seperation anxiety (oooh lucky me lol). In the end what worked for me was having a crib in the front room that I put her to sleep in during the day. In the crib was a normal matress (that came with crib) but I made a big pillow/quilt type thing from a pillowcase stuffed with wadding (the white cotton wool like stuff you can buy to put inside home made teddies etc - I hope that's what it is called - got it from a German version of hobbycraft).

I would lie her down on top of this and it would sort of swaddle around her - mould to her body iykwim and I think that is what made the difference. It kinda felt like she was being held, so 'tricked her' into thinking she was still with mum.

I also used to express some milk and give her a 'dream feed' al la the Baby Whisperer. Only a couple of ounces but it was like a miracle. As soon as I did both these things she started to sleep for 2 hrs at a time. Oh, and also I put her to sleep on her side which i think again mimics the 'being held' feeling (diff HV cried 'oh my God she'll get a pointy head' but by then I didn't care - she was sleeping and that made me stop wanting to throw her out the window)

I am being totally honest that it was like an overnight sensation with this and the best thing I ever did, but understand diff LOs, different magic so I hope this helps.

I didn't discover this till she was about 12 weeks old and was actually at the end of my tether and worried I was going to hurt her - the sleep deprivation, the constant crying, the constant backache, arm ache, feeding every 2 hours etc so I sympathise/empathise and really hope you find something that works for you.

MamaD Fri 22-Jun-07 12:28:08

Oh and she hasn't got a pointy head and at age 2.4 she STILL will only sleep on her side, NEVER EVER rolls onto her back!

hedda Fri 22-Jun-07 12:30:08

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hedda Fri 22-Jun-07 12:52:04

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bagsundereyes Fri 22-Jun-07 12:56:08

Also if you are in the shower, you can't hear them cry until you've finished!

Gemmitygem Sat 23-Jun-07 18:18:26

I do really sympathise, my DS is now 8 months but I remember the early days.

People might not agree, but I would immediately get a copy of the forbidden routine baby book, and basically follow it, not the stupid expressing stuff but just the times for naps and feeds. Just give it a try, at least. It may be that he needs to have more naps, for example... Just my two pennorth cos it worked like a dream for me and baby was MUCH happier on a routine... best of luck!

cornsilk Sat 23-Jun-07 18:42:49

My ds 2 was like that.
I also got him used to the bouncy chair. I used to rock him in the car seat. He eventually went into a playpen where he could see me while I pottered about.
I also did cc which worked really well - I'm sure that he was overtired.

Loopymumsy Sun 24-Jun-07 19:39:51

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lillypie Sun 24-Jun-07 20:00:52

hi there i do sympathize my lo was just like this,i even posted almost the exact same thread on another site(before i discovered mn)
ok,what i did was swaddle her in my nightdress and then when she was sleeping put her in a vibrating bouncy chair,it was slow progress but eventually she would sleep for an hour in the chair.
now, at 15 weeks she no longer wants to be cuddled to sleep and goes down by herself with a teddy and comfort blanket (thought is was best to wean her off my nighty)

Alibobster Sun 24-Jun-07 20:37:18

Sorry Hedda, but I agree with Alderberry. My ds was a big boy and I tried to breastfeed. I only lasted 2 weeks. If he wasn't sleeping or feeding he was screaming. One day I had him on me for 8 hours and it was a nightmare. My nerves were ripped to shreds, I wasn't eating and I was thoroughly miserable, I really didn't enjoy the first few weeks at all. When we switched to formula it was as if we had a different baby. The first bottle he had he completely zonked out afterwards, he was so contented and probably full for the first time since I had him. I actually felt bad for not giving him a bottle from the start. He was now a very happy baby which in turn meant a happy mum

phdlife Wed 27-Jun-07 20:54:13

I think he might be starting to outgrow this - his crying when he's trying to go to sleep is different if (IF) I manage to avoid letting him get over-tired - am crap at this - and he let me roll out from under him and leave him alone on our bed yesterday (mind you I'd slept an hour with him first!)

so hedda, bags, mamad - did you try any of those published 'techniques' to getting your lo's to sleep? everything I read is so certain he needs routines and rituals and specific times for sleep, and NOT to have me help him along. But I'm rubbish at these myself and wonder if we can't just... ad-hoc it a bit more? can't quite think how to put it, just had so many people/books/websites make me feel rubbish for letting him develop a sleep association based on being in my arms.... And yet, he was refusing to go in the cot from his first day of life, and those routine-type approaches just don't sound like the kind of mum I feel like I could be. Did you just ignore/reject those or is there an element that is useful??

<<head hurts, going to eat dinner now>>

bagsundereyes Thu 28-Jun-07 08:33:42

HI Phd,

We've steered clear of the routine based approaches, though I'm the sort of person who would prefer my child to be in a routine. She needs to sleep when she's tired - not before, not after!

Most days though, she will have her little naps roughly the same time (eg first nap starts somewhere between 8-9), and often for the same length. But when I think things are going to a routine, she changes!

I too was initially a bit hit and miss with recognising sleepy cues. The baby whisperer has some good info on this eg 1-1.5 hours awake at a time is often plenty for young babies. I try to make sure that we are doing low-key stuff like reading, being in the bjorn, or cuddling with a teddy at this time, so it's easier for her to wind down.

In terms of all this stuff about sleep associations and letting them learn to sleep on their own, I personally do not have the commitment at this stage. Why sit in a darkened room listening to your ds cry, why he can nap in your arms while you watch a DVD? Don't get me wrong, I would be thrilled if dd would drop off in her cot by herself. But she is so far from this at the moment that we would have to spend a long time with both of us being miserable to get there.

MamaD Thu 28-Jun-07 16:19:05

hmmm, there is possibly an element in them that is useful - I used to dreamfeed dd, which I hadnm't heard of before, but found it worked. Also in that we have always had a very loose routine.

From about 4 months dd had

Big feed at 1800 - 1830
Bath at 1830 - 1900
Books at 1900 - 1930
Bed at 1930 - 2000

Loose in that these things could happen any time in that half hour.

I think the best part of that for helping her to sleep was the bath then book. The bath got her sleepy, the book calmed her even more and I would ALWAYS sing her to sleep.

Her bedtime started in my bed, us lying side by side, her snuggled in the quilt, with me talking quietly and singing (any song I knew the words to - including 'Sweet Child O Mine' lol). I would then lift her into her cot, on the pillow thing I mentioned before. It would take half an hour or so, and sometimes I would fall asleep lol, but she would always fall asleep and not wake until a feed at midnight (but if I did a dream feed at about 2200 she didn't wake till 2).

The night sleeps were her longest. During the day she fed every 2-3 hours, but at night would go from 8 till midnight and midnight till 4.

mum2george Thu 28-Jun-07 16:44:31


We had this with DS and I was knackered so every sympathy there.

What helped me was DH taking him out in the car or pram in the evening so that I could get some sleep. Knowing that you are going to get a couple of hours later can really help you through the day.

DS wouldn't go to DH much either, it was rare that he did.

Have since heard that one of my friends had the same problem with her DD. She was told by the MW to express in the morning, when your milk is at its richest, then give this bottle after your evening feed or before you go to bed say about 11pm-ish. I'm not trained in BF but know that it really helped her.

Another person I know who had this problem was told by her MW to "Don't tell anybody I said this, but put him on the bottle love". She did and within 2 weeks was back to square one. Plus since not having breastmilk he has had constant stomach upsets and ear and chest infections which is driving her crazy. She really regrets giving up.

It is hard if your baby is like this but I used to try to think that its such a short time out of your life really in the grand scheme of things, and it will get better.

Oh, and forgot to say. I had a lot of pressure from the family to start weaning as everyone said that he wasn't getting enough. As soon as I had done it I knew that I had done the wrong thing and it made him worse if anything. Don't listen to anyone who suggests that your milk isn't good enough, he wouldn't be the size he is if that was true

mum2george Thu 28-Jun-07 18:26:18

Oh, and my mum bought me one of these swinging seats and he absolutely loved it. It meant that I could at least have my tea.

I know that we aren't allowed to mention one book but can we mention others?

phdlife Thu 28-Jun-07 18:36:09

what I don't understand, though, is how you're supposed to teach them to go to sleep themselves if they're used to going to sleep on you? Because I tried putting him down this afternoon and he tried, but after 20 minutes of smiling at his mobile and 25minutes of grizzling he began to get really unhappy and now, not having been asleep since 3:30, he's giving every appearance of being over-tired. Do you have to try one of those programs, be it pu/pd, ncss, cc, whatever, or do you just let them work it out themselves? V confused here

phdlife Thu 28-Jun-07 18:38:16

Go on Mum2, I'm interested, just trying to figure out what style will suit me and fear there is no "path of least resistance" approach to getting him to self-settle. <<going off to scrub mouth out after using scary jargon>>

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