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Help with ways to change this/coping strategies for 2

(7 Posts)
thinkfast Thu 13-Aug-15 19:39:02

I have dd who is 8 weeks and a nearly 4 year old ds and am losing the plot - apologies if this turns into an essay.

I was induced at 36 weeks with dd due to reduced growth although at 5lb she was larger then predicted, though she is still small now at 7lb 5. For various medical reasons we are mixed breast and bottle feeding her - although she has more bottle now than breast, around 500 ml formula a day on average. We were on a strict schedule to wake and feed her every 3 hours if necessary although have relaxed this slightly for overnight and I always offer breast before and after bottle.

We don't have a strict schedule but her routine at night is roughly, feed at about 7,pm, 11, 2 or 3 am and 5 or 6 am then ds comes in at 7am. She is a slow eater and shockThe whole process of feeding and resettling her into her sleepyhead can take anything from 40 mins to 2 hours.

During the day she won't be put down to sleep and is sleeping in a sling.

The longest stretch of sleep I've had for the last 2 months is 4 hours. She has her 8 week jabs yesterday and only slept from midnight to 1.30am then from 4.45 am to 6.30. I feel crushed.

I know this will pass but at the moment u feel like I simply can't cope with the exhaustion, can't give ds enough attention and the house looks like a bombsite. In addition if I have a spare moment I am pumping to increase my milk supply and so I can feed expressed milk instead of formula.

Dh helps as much as possible but works long shifts and obviously can't do the breastfeeding or pumping.

Any tips on how to get dd to eat more in the day and go longer stretches at night? Or how to cope with this bone aching exhaustion?Please don't suggest co sleeping - she's so tiny and I'm so shattered I think it would be dangerous

thinkfast Fri 14-Aug-15 06:06:39

Hopeful bump

Mimosa1 Fri 14-Aug-15 07:15:02

I don't know but hopefully someone more experienced will be along soon. Just wanted to say don't worry at all if your house looks like a bombsite! Will she sleep in the pram? Perhaps your DH could take her for a long walk while you sleep?

thinkfast Fri 14-Aug-15 07:37:04

No - she hates the pram. She will sleep in his arms and he tries to take her do I can nap but then hasno hands free to look after ds

StoryOfMyLife Fri 14-Aug-15 07:38:58

I also have an 8 week old and almost 4 year old.

I know you said no co sleeping but have you looked at the co sleeper cots? We have the bednest and I love it and feel it helps my baby to settle. Ours is rented from bednest so not expensive.

Don't be so hard on yourself regarding your older child, this phase won't last forever so do what you've got to do to get through. I like to get both kids into my bed after lunch for a rest, sometimes older child watches the iPad or something but at least it's a chance to recharge my batteries.

SueGeneris Fri 14-Aug-15 08:27:29

I know how this feels. My Dc2 was similar.

What sort of sling are you using? If it's fabric are you able to gently undo it once she is asleep and lie her down still sort of on it?

Could you up her feeds during the day to every two hours for a while? - especially in the run up to bedtime?

Second the idea of a co sleeper cot. None of mine slept well in a Moses basket. I got the snuzpod for DC3 (although actually he's just sleeping on the mattress next to me as he still wakes for bf a couple of times).

Is she warm enough in the early hours? I always found I needed to add a cellular blanket around 11/12 to keep them warm enough through the rest of the night.

Just some random thoughts - and lots of sympathy. Current baby wakes a couple of times but it's made so much easier because he's a fast feeder so goes back down within 20 mins usually. I totally get the losing your mind thing. I have no short term memory at the moment!

thinkfast Fri 14-Aug-15 12:47:30

Thanks for the suggestions. My mum took the kids this morning so I could sleep smile

I think the main problem is the frequency and time it takes to feed her at night. I generally breastfeed her for about 10-20 minutes and then it can take half an hour to an hour for her to slowly drink her bottle as she's so sleepy. She generally settles back down ok - but not always and not since she had the jabs.

May try co sleeping on nights when Dh is working but I'm nervous to with such a small baby.....

Having trouble seeing the light at the end of the tunnel as given her size think she will need night feeds for some time to come

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