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New baby exhaustion and starting to crack!

(26 Posts)
KeepOnSwimming Sun 17-Jul-11 06:30:45

My dd is 20 days old and also doesn't really sleep during the day! She doesn't want to miss what's going on. She only sleeps if I take her out somewhere - she screams in the car seat on the way there and back, but will sleep while out. I therefore cannot sleep while she does!

I am exhausted.

Night times her feed sleep cycle is 1 1/2 to 2 hours, but as it takes an hour to feed, and then she needs to settle, I get maximum 1 hour stretches to sleep, and that is rare - normally 30mins.

I am starting to resent her which is awful. Any advice anyone before I crack?

CharlotteBronteSaurus Sun 17-Jul-11 06:41:08

congatulations on your dd. the early bits are sooo hard though.
will she sleep in your bed? there is lots of advice available on safe co-sleeping, and this is the only way dd2 would sleep for her first 12weeks. do you have a partner who can try and settle her after a feed?

Thornykate Sun 17-Jul-11 06:50:41

Congratulations on your LO smile

Is there anyone who can take her out for a walk in the pram while you grab even a 20 minute power nap?

As she sleeps when she is out you could try putting her in her pram to sleep at home or a rocker that moves a lot. Have you tried different background noises at home such as tv, radio, White noise, water/ heartbeat sounds?

Hope you get some rest soon.

dinkystinky Sun 17-Jul-11 07:20:23

It is hard - but it does get better I promise. Ds1 was like that - he had a difficult birth and was v unsettled. Having naps together during the day on our bed - no duvet or pillows near baby - helped as did swaddling him and playing white noise on continual loop at night (rushing waves or tropical rain - take a look online for nature noises - he still finds them v comforting now at 5 when we stay near the sea). If you don't have friends of family who can help and can afford it look on doula.org.uk for a postnatal doula - they will literally come to your house and look after baby for you so you can sleep. Some also help with bf if you are struggling. And get your partner to look after you and the house - live on takeaways if you need to - until things settle down.

dinkystinky Sun 17-Jul-11 07:28:10

Ps congratulations on your dd! Despite our tough start with ds1 we still think having him and ds2 a few years later - which was slot easier as he tolerated being out down for abit- are the best things we have ever done.

Iggly Sun 17-Jul-11 09:38:45

Poor you - it is hard work.

First of it's worth getting a sling - DS slept very well in the sling when he was little. This got him used to napping in the day and I could (sometimes) put him down for a nap in the morning and lunch time for the first 3 months. Putting babies down for a nap is a lot easier in the mornings - look out for tired signs after 45-60 mins - glazed eyes, looking away followed by manic hyperness followed by crying. You want to catch her at the first stage and either pop in the sling or take her somewhere calm and rock to sleep.

At night is it hard to settle because you're trying to get her in a cot or moses basket? DS settled much better when he was near me. He also had silent reflux though which complicated things - didn't settle on his back after a few weeks old especially if he needed to burp. He was also better on his left hand side.

There are growth spurts to watch out for too which means more feeding. Also can you feed lying down? I got someone to show me how to do it and once I did it was so much easier doing night feeds.

Also if you have a partner they have to help out at night. It's not fair on you to be exhausted in the day after so little sleep at night especially if you're driving. My DH worked in an office and if he lost some sleep at least he was at his desk and not in charge of a baby!

Iggly Sun 17-Jul-11 09:41:21

BF lying down

SenoritaViva Sun 17-Jul-11 09:52:19

I also had a DD that took an hour to feed which meant we had only an hour between the next feed. It was hellish, but you do get through it. Somehow.

Remember she doesn't know the rules and some babies need more time to learn what you are encouraging them to do (i.e. sleep!).

I second using a sling.

Congratulations!

KeepOnSwimming Sun 17-Jul-11 10:24:45

Thanks for all the advice. I have her in a bedside cot and we sort of cosleep which helps - she wouldn't settle in a moses basket at all!

Taking her out in the pram is out as we have to use the car seat until she is 6 months apparently - and she hates the car seat, I have tried the sling, but in this weather she just gets sooo hot even if she's just in her nappy, so that is limited too.

I have a DP but I'm trying not to call on his help too much, especially at night - what's the point in 2 people being sleep deprived. He is doing everything else though, and he takes over the winding in the evenings! She is a very sicky baby and really suffers from trapped wind, so can't be put straight down after a feed or it all comes straight back up - that's the real time eater I suppose...

I have tried bf lying down, but the latch becomes tricky and I get sore..

So how long does this bit last for? I can cope if I know how finite it's going to be...

KeepOnSwimming Sun 17-Jul-11 10:28:24

I tried last night to find some radio white noise - but couldn't find a gap between stations! Didn't think to find some online .... will try that - although currently she is very well settled to the Archers! - I'm worried she might become a fan grin

snowpuma Sun 17-Jul-11 10:35:58

Firstly I say keep trying with the lying down BF, one time it will just click and it's a revelation! you can be dozing while they are feeding and it doesn't feel like such an effort. I wished I'd tried it earlier once I got the hang of it.

What pram have you got where you can't take her out til 6mths? Can you get a carrycot attachment so that you can take her out in it? 6mths is a long time to wait if she doesn't like the car seat? Going for walks really restores your sanity even when you are really really knackered - and I speak as someone who previously hated walking due to laziness - once I had DD we would walk for hours and she slept like a dream!

Good luck. I promise this phase won't last and you will look back and hardly remember it...

PS don't try and do everything yourself and be superwoman, it's very considerate of you re: your DP and his sleep, but in the long run if you run yourself into the ground it won't help him will it? Get him to help sometimes. Losing a bit of sleep won't hurt him.

Beveridge Sun 17-Jul-11 11:00:50

I could have written this 2 years ago with my DD (except for the not sleeping in the car element, my condolences go to you on this one, that must make things so much harder).

Feed lying down/safely co-sleep is my only advice - you might find as your baby gets a wee bit older the positioning for this will feel easier as she has more head/body control and becomes more of an 'active' participant IYSWIM?

My DD fed at 11pm, 1am,3am,5am and 7am for an hour every night without fail at this stage. I sat up on the end of the bed feeding her because I thought that I could ensure she had a 'proper' feed this way and thus she would go for longer in between...it doesn't work like that! Plus I had to listen to DH snoring and trying to suppress the urge to throw things at him.

I was utterly exhausted and between 3 and 5am she didnt actually go back to sleep that often. And if I did manage to get her back into her moses basket without protest, she would then usually bring milk back up so then I had to change her and the sheets(never move a newly fed sleeping baby, that's just asking for trouble!).

I now have a 3 month old DS and we have co-slept from the start. I couldn't tell you how long he goes between feeds as they barely register with me!

Iggly Sun 17-Jul-11 11:05:05

Well you need sleep too - your DH should be taking some of the night duties so you both get a chunk of sleep. That's what we did.

Also with a sling - which one do you have? A fabric one might be better.

Which pram do you have? Try and get one for three months onwards from eBay. Carseats can put pressure on babies' tummies which might be why she doesn't like it - DS had this problem.

Keep trying feeding lying down. I used to put DS too high until u was shown how. He had to be on his side and quite close to me. See if you can get a BF peer supporter to visit you.

The more you say the more I wonder if it's reflux. Plus the lack of naps in the day makes her overtired and less likely to settle down at night. DS was like this - bad in the evenings and had tummy wind from being intolerant to cows milk. I ended up cutting out dairy which really helped plus got medication.

Try swaddling as well and a dummy.

dinkystinky Sun 17-Jul-11 12:01:19

If she's really sicky suffers from wind etc a sling is a godsend. Try baby massage and cranial osteopath may help. And having a bath with ds1 in the evenings listening to the radio calmed him beautifully. It will get better, honest.

ShushBaby Sun 17-Jul-11 12:26:15

First of all, you have my sympathy. It's so tough.

Secondly, it will get better, I promise.

As for advice, these are the things I'd suggest:
- Have you tried feeding her more in the day? It sounds like she has a bit of day/night reversal going on, perfectly normal as far as I know, but you can help to rectify it. When dd was tiny I fed every 3 hours in the day, then from 5pm onwards pretty much constantly (3-4 feeds in the evening). It was hard work but tanking her up in the daytime really helped.
- I second the suggestion above that you get a pram you can take her out in. I used to think that an hour in the fresh air made me feel I'd had an hour's extra sleep. My Granny got me a good second-hand old fashioned pram for a few quid in a charity shop.

Good luck!

PinkSchmoo Sun 17-Jul-11 14:29:55

If you look at other threads you will see I have a problem sleeper and therefore am probably not someone to take advice from.

DD had the art of eating while sleeping perfected. She would suck just often enough that I didn't take her off. I GUARANTEE your baby is doing this. Only let her feed for a set amount of time maybe? Then hurl her in a sling (try lifft as they are not fiddly). Go a walk and she will sleep. May take a while but she will. Should take a more efficient feed on waking.

I never cracked it with DD but at c3 months she started to feed more efficieently and it got better.

Also get a pump express and get a break that way.

Buy a sling tak

KeepOnSwimming Sun 17-Jul-11 20:19:15

PinkSchmoo - yes she feeds while asleep! But I was told to let her continue feeding until she stops so she gets the hindmilk?

My pram is an icandy but we didn't get the carrycot bit figuring the carseat would do until she could use the seat! I can't see what is wrong with the seat tbh though...

She already feeds every 1 1/2 to 2 hours in the day, so can't really up that!

OK so plan of action:
More walks in the sling when not too hot
Learn to bf lying down
Find some white noise
Look for tired cues more during the day

Does that sound about right?
So this will last for 3 months...?!! shock

RedHotPokers Sun 17-Jul-11 20:32:19

I know arguably 20 days old is too young for a routine of any sort, but my DD was just like yours. She fed for 1+ hours per feed, feel asleep constantly during feed and then wanted another feed almost straight after. The lack of proper sleep made DD just as shattered and irritable as me! Its tough!

All I found that worked was trying to get a bit of a routine by trying to stretch out the between-feed activity (even if its just changing nappies, bathing winding, etc etc). I ended up changing nappy straight before feed (which I know doesn't make much sense!) as it woke her up enough for me to try to get a good feed in without her going back to sleep. I would then try to keep her awake, even if just for a few minutes, after the feed so I could be sure she'd actually finished IYSWIM.

I really think keeping them awake for the feed is the crucial thing. Otherwise you get in a spiral of half-feeds which lead to tiredness, inability to settle, leading to another feed in order to fall asleep, which again isn't a proper feed so they wake up without getting enough sleep cos they are hungry, and round and round you go.......

LittleMilla Sun 17-Jul-11 21:19:05

Congratulations. I don't have much more to add except looking for sleep cues:

Yawns - obvious I know, but we try and get our DS to sleep after a few yawns (this is from baby whisperer book)
Eye rubbing - DS rubs his face from side to side on my chest. So he's not able to rub his hands on his eyes yet, but when he's 'snuggling in' he's actually face rubbing
Staring in to the distance - just a vacant gaze
Crying - this is usually if I've missed all of the above! He'll also often have quite a shout just before nodding off. Now I know not to try and confort him and focus on helping him get to sleep, it's much better.

Initially I was missing my DS's cues, which meant he was getting really overtired in the early days and wouldn't settle and then stay asleep. He can now manage about 2 hours max, but averages about 1.5 hours between sleeps.

My LO is now 10 weeks and turned a corner at about 6/7 weeks. I know that will seem like an eternity for you right now, but once you start to get a smile things will be better. And what redhot says is bang on. I am strill trying to eek DS a little longer in between feeds as it means that he takes loads more food and is generally happier.

Oh, and get DP (or someone) to give you a break. Otherwise you will end up cracking. I say that from experience. Every day felt like groundhog day for me and in the end I went a bit doo-lally. Still do sometimes. But getting someone to hold baby once they're fed (even for 30-40 mins) can really help.

Iggly Mon 18-Jul-11 06:34:51

I don't see getting your dh to help more on your plan wink you risk running yourself down at best, PND at worst.

Also you mentioned about the car - it's like a bucket and can make your baby bend at the point where their tummies are. That's why some babies don't like it especially after a feed.

Thornykate Mon 18-Jul-11 08:10:14

Forgot to ask if you have tried swaddling? If she's getting really cross & flinging her arms about it might make her feel secure to be gently wrapped up?

Also 2 of my LOs settle a lot better if they can't see anything so low light helps. Obv I'm not recommending you cover your baby's face totally but when I'm holding mine to get her off to sleep in the day I sort of shield her eyes with the thin sheet & she often goes out like a light.

Hope it's going well!

KeepOnSwimming Mon 18-Jul-11 10:09:14

Well had a bad night with wind - she was awake from 1am to 6am with lots of half feeds, fussing, crying. |DP helped with the burping so that was good. Hoping she might have a proper nap now! Held her off til now for a proper feed (Obv she finally fed at 6 then 8) so we'll see if that works

Swaddling - she really hates it! But will try with the light level thing.

dinkystinky Mon 18-Jul-11 10:20:51

KeeponSwimming - see if you can get her to a cranial osteopath. DS1 suffered loads from wind and it really helped in. As did light baby massage - in clockwise direction on tummy - and paddling legs.

KeepOnSwimming Mon 18-Jul-11 13:38:30

I'll look into it! Worth a try...

Thornykate Mon 18-Jul-11 19:23:24

Remembered another one whilst trying 2 settle DD this afternoon...gently with 1 finger stroke from the middle of her forehead down her nose it makes their eyes close wink

Hope tonight is better for you all x

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