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5 week old - help!(31 Posts)
I'm a first time Mum to a 5 week old beautiful boy and I need your advice!
He rarely settles between feeds (breastfeeding every 2-3 hours). He will be fairly calm for about half an hour after a feed then the crying begins and there is often little to comfort him. We've tried it all and a dummy will work for a little while but then he's upset again. I suspect he may have trapped wind as he clenches his fists and arches his back/pulls his legs up when crying. Got him on Infacol at the moment. I also suspect he's a very hungry baby and am doing my best with breastfeeding but feel he's not being satisfied, despite feeding for what feels like hours sometimes. Occasionally we give him a top up of formula (1 1/2 oz) if he appears really hungry.
Furthermore, despite being exhausted because he has not really settled during the day, he will not settle down at night. Last night it took us until about 1am - I went to bed with him at 8 and he was latched on almost the whole time!- to get him to sleep. His eyes were sooooo heavy but he was fighting sleep the whole time and crying constantly. As soon as I thought he was sleeping and put him down he would wake up distressed, and his eyes are soooo huge at this time - is this a sign of an over tired baby?
Please share your advice with me and tell me what I'm doing right or not doing right!!!
Thanks in advance
Firstly congratulatiosn on your new baby boy
I'm going to link this thread to the breastfeedinb board as they are veyr helpful on there. I remember when mybaby was that age, he fed almost constantly! The only way to keep your supply up, is to keep feeding and not give him top ups (although i know how hard it is, you have my sympathies)
will link now foryou and hopefully you'll get some good advice soon.
he may have a abit of reflux. Look it up on the internet for some good advise on that.
feeding 2-3 hrs at this stage is quite ok though. Sound like you are doing fab.
they can also have a growth spurt arounf this time so "Go with it " for a couple more days
You say that you suspect he has trapped wind, so I suggest that you maybe try flexing his knees up to his chest a few times to see if it brings out the wind,
My DS had dreadful colic, and used to scream after even a few mouthfuls of milk, due to very bad trapped wind.
I found that lying him right over my arm to wind him was necessary, rather than just on my shoulder.
I also used to place him on his tummy as much as possible as this would settle him better than being on him back.
the best thing I found for calming him if he was in one of his dreadful screaming fits, was to place him on his tummy across my knees and then pop my finger in his mouth with the soft pad of my finger up against the roof of his mouth, it would calm him instantly and he would drop of to sleep easily like this.
hope some of this might help
my main advice is to try everything and eventually you will find something (or things) which work for you - they are all different.
Congratulations on your baby. The first few weeks are awful but it does get better quite quickly, honestly. Have you tried white noise to calm him? Hairdryer, radio static, hoover? Worked like a drug for my DS!
my dd1 was like this - putting her in her car seat and driving her round for a few minutes helped
a lot of babies cluster feed in the evenings, 6 week old dd2 does this sometimes, although thankfully not every night. i don't try to get her to bed at what may seem a reasonable hour, i just go with it and put her down when she finally drops off. no expectations of a bed time means no stress, they are too little at this age to understand that they should be in bed at some point in the evening
try and avoid top ups if you can, your supply will increase to match what your baby needs, topping up will interrupt this process. i've been expressing so that dh can give a bottle occasionally, gives me a bit of a break of an evening but doesn't bugger up my supply
my final bit of advice is that these things are phases and will pass. remind yourself of that when you are feeling particularly stressed.
Is he putting on weight? Does he have plenty of dirty and wet nappies?
I would first of all take him to the doctors and make sure there is no physical cause for this crying.
Hopefully there is not, and he's probably just a baby who cries a lot and needs a lot of attention and comfort. My dd1 was like this.
Have you tried swaddling him? Does he sleep in a sling or in the pushchair or in the car?
I agree with ten10 about putting him on his front. I would always do that, and pat my baby's back.
It does get better I promise
See, I'm so frantic I'm checking back already for replies!! It certainly doesn't feel like I'm doing fab, or anything close to fab!!!
Thank you for all the comments. Tried white noise and he likes the sound of a running tap but, like most things, this only lasts for a short while.
Tried the tummy thing and the knees thing but if he's distressed he's just not interested!
At times if feels like I am more distressed than my baby!
Thank you all once again
This is not uncommon. My ds (now 4) woke me up every 3 hours for a feed for the first 6-8 weeks. He was a big hungry boy (91% centile all the way through) and just wanted lots of milk. I had to wean him at 17.5 weeks as milk was not enough for him. It's really, really hard going, but I found it started to improve after about 8-10 weeks, when he could take on more milk in one go and therefore sleep for longer. I also walked miles with the pram, as the best solution was to take him out for a walk when he was really unsettled during the day. All the best, it won't be forever, but it's such a shock to the system (it was for me).
Try Infacol before EVERY feed, works it's way through the digestive tract so will help with trapped gas lower down the GI too. It saved my life a couple of weeks ago (DS1 now 4 weeks). Had the cluster feed and fussiness in the evenings too. Have a look at the Kellymom website for great advice and reassurance. I also found that if I placed my little one with his tummy against mine when I winded him it helped sometimes, he would even drift off to sleep in that postion a few times, know you're not supposed to do it/rod for your back etc. but I liked cuddling him when he was so distressed, he seemed to like it and he is after all just a little baby!
It does sound very like wind. Mine suffered with it terribly.
This is what worked:
Tummy massage (only go clockwise, with the direction of the bowel).
Turning the whole baby end over end. I know this sounds daft, but forget for a minute it's a baby, and think of it as a set of curly tubes with a bubble trapped in (which is basically, what it is). Turn the baby around, back, forward, round and round, and you may work the bubble out to one end, where it can be burped or farted back out.
Nice warm baths.
Lots (LOTS!) of burping, especially sitting him on my lap and rotating his entire upper body in circles, in both directions (This was REALLY good).
Gripe water from 6 weeks..
Holding both feet in one hand and rotating his whole legs around (also clockwise, see above).
Wheeling about in pram.
Waiting. No, really. At that age their internal organs are teeny tiny, and it's really hard for them to expel wind. As they get just a bit bigger (2 or 3 months) it all grows, and the problem just vanishes as they outgrow it.
sling? some babies just want to be held lots. would type more but NAK
have you tried colief? it worked magic for us. more expensive than infacol, but i didn't have great success with that. another thing that worked for our windy baby, though am aware that there are sceptics out there - cranial osteopath worked like a charm. if i could go back in time i'd take ds at 4 weeks when he first showed signs of colic, rather than wait til he was 3 months.
hiya, my 6 week old DS was like this too - still is most days we found infacol to be failry useless, but making sure we burp him (over the shoulder, or sitting him up and patting his back) regularly during and after his feeds helps a lot. One thing we found REALLY helpful is giving him a top up of expressed breast milk last thing at night before I feed him. He gets 60-120 mls depending how much I've managed to express during the day - but that, plus an hour or 2 feed, sends him to sleep for 4 hours or so!
one other thing we found - he gets over tired and can't settle himself, so taking him out in his pram for a long walk (2 hours or so) so he sleeps during the day, is very helpful - when he has had a good nap during the day, he's a much nicer baby in the evening (1 hour of screaming rather than 4 or 5!)
my DS spent last week doing hour long feeds followed by 15 minute catnaps, screaming until he was fed again, 1 hour feed, 15 min catnap - for 4 or 5 days on the trot - was driving me insane! he has improved drastically since monday though, so it may get better for you too! good luck with your wee boy!
I am sooooo grateful I didn't have a screamer. Just when he was in pain with the wind, then stopped when it cleared. And that was hard enough..
My heart really goes out to those of you that did/do have to deal with crying all hours. I don't think I would have coped...
The back arching makes me wonder if it's reflux. That doesn't have to be accompanied by huge vomiting, my DD has silent reflux.
If it is reflux, infant Gaviscon would make a big difference - and that would effectively give you your diagnosis. See if your doctor will give you some for a try-out. It's really worth eliminating, because my DD sounded a lot like yours (and we tried infacol etc) but now we've had a diagnosis she's like a different baby...
I'm in New Zealand and here they really push the idea that babies can't stay awake more than 1 to 1 1/4 hours at a time until they are at least three months old. It they are awake longer than that they get over tired and are much harder to get to sleep. It took me a while to catch on but it really helped me to follow this rule. They also showed me a video of tired signs like jerky leg movements, avoiding eye contact.
I wonder if this might help? I'm also interested to hear if this idea is pushed in the UK?
good grief* newkiwi - my 6 week old went for 6 hours without sleeping one day last week, no matter what we tried - even in his pushchair, he just glowered at me whilst I walked him around! he's just now fallen asleep after being up for 4 hours feeding/babbling (he wasn't unhappy at all, just wide awake!). wish he would sleep more often tbh!!
*sorry, not doubting you or anything, just wish DS would understand that he's so young and needs sleep
lol. I didn't say it ALWAYS worked!
I don't think I caught on with the technique till she was about 8 weeks. But after that it definitely helped to catch her early before the overtired thing kicks in.
That's really interesting newkiwi. The baby whisperer book does talk about jerky kicking being a sign of tiredness - but I've only clocked it once with my DD when she really was knackered. Will keep the eye contact thing in mind as well...
Newkiwi - that isn't really mentioned in the UK ime but I read something along those lines when expecting DD1 and have always remembered it. Very helpful for learning tired signs as an hr passes so quickly and I know that my first thought would be "surely she isn't tired already" but right enough about an hour would have passed since waking.
I'm a big fan of the cranial osteopath. Even if it's wind, she/he can usually tell you that's what it is, can relieve the baby, and help you to know what's going on. It's very very gentle, baby stays fully clothed, you can even hold your baby for the whole treatment.
It might be a good idea to go to a breastfeeding support group, preferably one run by one of the volunteer agencies, rather than a HV. (HVs, with all the best will in the world, are not bfing experts!) If a trained suporter could observe a feed, they might spot something that could help. It is possible that the baby is not latched on well, and is therefore taking in a lot of air.
In no particular order:
Together they cover most of the country. Alternatively, your HV should be able to give you a list of bfing support groups, though it may not be clear from the list who runs which.
Another good website:
How Breastfeeding Works.
Most Childrens' Centres have BF groups, and the ones run by midwives are better than the HV ones in my experience. You also get BF Consultants, who you would have to pay.
Def worth a try.
I found in the early days it was useful to have a MW or HV watch me feed ds. I thought I was doing it fine, but... They made a couple of corrections to technique (mostly *shoving him* on the nipple instead of bein all careful and gentle!) and I'm absolutely sure it contributed hugely to our largely easy and peaceful transition. (Lucky me, I'm not crowing, I do know how lucky I am!)
Thanks all for your kind replies and words of encouragement! Been ok the past two nights (she says with fingers crossed, silently praying I'm not tempting fate even typing those words!!). Thank you all once again for taking the time to reassure me.
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