Getting out with 11 week old(7 Posts)
Wanted to know how people manage their small babies whilst out and about. My 11 week old son has very severe reflux (multiple hospital admissions due to such severe vomiting).
He’s such a particular baby and cries a lot, he general needs settling / input all the time but is beginning to be happy to play in playmat / bouncer for a few mins at a time at home.
We’ve had a pretty rubbish start with him in terms of his reflux / medical issues and now things are as settled (as they’re going to be) I would really like to be able to get out and meet some friends etc because I’m beginning to feel a bit down being stuck in all the time.
At the moment we generally just get out for a walk (whilst he sleeps). If we go out he will scream (and I mean really scream) because something will inevitably wake him.
He is EBF and I tend to use a sling but I still can’t keep him happy if we’re out. Even if we pop to the shop for one thing he will scream inconsolably even if I pick him up. If I feed him he will settle but we soon as I stop the screaming will start again.
He’s so particular At home we end up trying a few things at home playmat / bouncer / sling / games and chats and something will work but whilst we’re out he’s not content and we have less options. He doesn’t seem to be happy to look around or just be held / cuddled coo’d at like other babies. He feeds well whilst out and about so I don’t think it’s hunger. If anything he feeds too much whilst out because he doesn’t know what else to do with himself. I’ve tried taking toys out with me to no avail.
I end up avoiding / cancelling plans because I feel so self conscious being the only person walking through town / sitting in a coffee shop / anywhere with an inconsolable baby. People just look at you like you must be a terrible mother or give pity advice like ‘it’ll get better’ like he’s a horrendous child.
Any advice? Is this normal?
Get a baby carrier, you can use it without the pram and its a good form of exercise for you and as a bonus you can breastfeed on the go. If you are going out with the pram you could still pack one in your bag. Some babies don't like being in a pram for very long and end up wanting to be held so you could pop them in the carrier to keep them content and still push your pram.
Face your fear. I found that once I'm in the situation, my baby’s needs come first so all your fear disappears and you just do whatever is needed to keep your baby happy, even if it is something that you might once have felt embarrassed about, in the moment you aren't bothered. I found that since becoming a parent I've learned to care less about other people's thoughts.
Gradually I started to get more confident about getting out of the house. It was literally baby steps at first with a quick trip to the shop to get milk, or a visit to a local breastfeeding support group. Then as I got more relaxed about it, it became easier.
If you want to go out for a coffee date, pick a casual place with a boisterous din so any feed-me-now howls will blend in with the hubbub. Go before 11 or after 2 P.M., and if possible take somebody who’s already a mum.
There will always be the grumps and grumblers who sneer at crying babies. They can and should be ignored. If the contentment in their day is so tenuous that a crying baby can derail them, it’s likely they have bigger problems and should be left to them.
I’ve found most newborns and young babies have a certain position that calms them. The trick is to find it. For a colicky baby, for example, it’s often holding them so that their stomach lies flat along your arm, which puts pressure on a sore tummy.
Sounds like you've had a tough start! I'd say try to get out to baby groups or breastfeeding groups as at least everyone has a baby there and you'll get a cup of tea!
I found that at about 3 months my DS suddenly got interested in things like baby gym, sensory scarves, rattles and most importantly other babies so actually getting out with other parents & babies was good.
In terms of being out and about, I found most people where actually really pleasant and understanding - staff in coffee shops would help me get to the table, supermarket staff would find a baby trolley for me, old ladies would pop over for a chat. Start small and work your way up to longer trips out.
Do you use a dummy? I had a reflux, screamy baby and a dummy allowed me to leave the house. It was my best friend for a few months!
I second baby groups. I was lucky and my babies were pretty chilled, so getting out and about wasn’t a big problem for us, but I met my friend at baby group as she was sitting exhausted drinking a cup of coffee while the lovely group leader was soothing her screaming DD. She was a baby much like yours, and my friend was at the end of her tether. No one judged and the leader worked her magic and she calmed down
And our kids are 4.5 now and her DD is lovely
Thanks for the replies.
I do already use a sling / carrier with him. We are working hard on getting him to take a dummy but he absolutely hates them and spits them out or gags, same story with a bottle which my partner tries to offer him expressed milk in - I’m exhausted and could do with a break one feed a day to have a little longer asleep or a cat nap.
With the dummies I have literally tried every brand on the market, he tolerates a latex dummy very occasionally for 5-10 seconds but that’s after about 15 mins of him screaming and spitting it out - so certainly at the moment it’s not going to help whilst out. I’m hoping persistence with the dummy and bottle will eventually lead to success. I’ve tried all the tips and tricks (and having worked in a nursery for years I’ve bottle fed / given dummies to a fair few babies) it’s difficult because if a baby is really hungry they will generally eventually take a bottle - but I don’t want to leave it to that stage because we both enjoy breastfeeding and don’t want to stop. A bottle once a day at the moment would be a luxury but I need to get him used to taking expressed milk from something so when I go back to work he can have something (thank god we’ve still got three months)
We do go to a baby group once a week at the moment which is fine, we do generally go even if it’s a really bad day. I’ve been to a breast feeding group once but I didn’t like it so I may need to try and find a different one.
It looks like I might just have to accept the screaming and get on with it. I wish life wasn’t so stressful for him 😟. Reflux is horrible.
Poor you both! Sounds so familiar as DD had reflux was EbF (we now own every baby carrier ever made). Your DCs reflux sounds v bad as well And worse because they want to feed to sooth the upset tummy which makes things worse. I found that cutting dairy & caffeine out of my diet improved things somewhat as did gripe water and baby tummy tea (fennel). We found the car seat somewhat helpful and a swing, so DD could be upright after a feed. Also really hard, but try to get into a routine of feeding and going somewhere (if you can use car seat on your buggy not the carry or) even just around the block if you want them to start to sleep in a buggy. Sometimes fresh air and change of scenery helps settle.
Good luck. It will get better as they grow.
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