Not coping(34 Posts)
DD is now 18 days old and I'm barely sleeping more than 3 hours a day and I just don't feel like I can do it anymore. She is BF and it just feels constant. She is grizzly and fidgety when put in her bed and seemingly won't settle unless on dp or me.
I know it will get better in time, but right now I am utterly miserable and exhausted
DP goes back to work on Monday and I don't think I'm going to be able to do this on my own.
Someone please tell me it gets easier
Can you get hold of a sleep nest to try?
My friend had a 'velcro' baby who would only sleep on her or her DH but she's borrowed my cocoonababy and it worked a treat.
The breastfeeding and sleep WILL settle, but at times it feels relentless - is this your first?
Yeah she's my first. I expected sleep deprivation but I just never thought it would be this awful!
What is a sleep nest? Never heard of it ! I managed to get her to have an hours rest in her Moses basket by swaddling her in a sheet, but I get very paranoid about swaddling so then couldn't rest myself !
I love breast feeding her during the day, but at night all I can think about is giving it up.
Is this your first? Are you co-sleeping already? Could be worth trying if not. Also might be worth trying an AmbyNest baby hammock instead of a cot, mine hated lying flat. Mine also hated the recommended 19c room temperature, she slept better the day we turned it up to 23degrees. And it will get better and more bearable the older they get, hang in there!
It does settle down (she says at ten past four in the morning).
Have you had the latch checked? My DS was like this and it was due to having a bad latch and so not getting enough milk.
Do your evening feed and hand DD straight to your DP and go to sleep. That way at least you get a couple of hours. That's what I do and it does help.
Btw, I use swaddles for DD and she loves them. Worth getting one of the very light zip up ones. My favourite one is by 'Love to dream'.
We spent 6 days in NICU shortly after she was born and had a lot of help with breast feeding, I think we have the hang of it, it just seems so laborious in the early hours.
I think I may invest in a proper swaddle for her, think I would feel more comfortable!
As for co-sleeping, I don't think I could do it, I'd be so worried about her getting covered over or rolled on I wouldn't get a wink of sleep (I'm an anxious mum can you tell haha).
She's just now settled after a good feed, she's been having infacol today and it's really helped with he wind so she seems more settled rather than writhing around in pain as soon as she's laid flat !
The nights are hard - it can be lonely and boring as well as tiring. But the two of you will get into a routine and it will get easier.
A sleep nest is a mattress that surrounds the baby - lots of type out there cocoonababy, sleepy head, ambynest. Worth a Google.
Mine is 26 days old and has gone from being a great sleeper to a reverse night-and-day baby. After a lot of tears yesterday (and me shouting 'shut up' at him after trying to settle him for 3 hours) I posted on Fb and got this advice:
- co-sleep/wear baby for first month,
- infacol/wind him,
- hottie bottie before he goes into cot so it's warm, and wrap a top that smells of you around the mattress,
- put him on his side,
- keep it quiet/dark for bedtime/night.
... oops, posted too soon.
Other things were swaddle pod, nest or cocoon, feeding on side etc.
You don't say what the problem is (just feeding too regularly?) but yesterday I used infacol and burped him across my knees, gave him a bath at about 7, and took him into bed with me, breastfed him lying down and then left him in our bed, on his side (making sure the duvet was nowhere near him. And I sent husband to spare room.)
We had a much better night. Baby fed from about 9.30-10.30 until he fell asleep and then at around 2 and again at 4.45. Each time he fell asleep naturally and I left him in the bed. Previously I've been unable to settle him for hours at night.
I don't really want to co-sleep but at the moment, when they are young, it's probably not a bad habit. I'm also going to get a Ewan sheep and a cocoon and see how we go with those.
Ps you could try expressing a bottle and getting your partner to feed baby one night feed?
Pps If you have the space you could consider getting a glider chair and footstool. I picked up a 2nd hand one for £50 and I've lined it with a soft blanket. Makes a change from hunching over in the dark in bed. Good luck xx
Those first few weeks are relentless but it does get easier, promise! My dd didn't nap independently either and just fed all the time. My top tips are:
1. Co-nap. We never did it at night but during the day I would push the duvet back and lie down together, feed and both drop off. It was bliss.
2. Express milk and introduce bottle. My husband would then do the 'last' feed at night and the settling while I would have an 'early' night. May not work for everyone but it helped us.
This isn't a tip exactly but I would also say, make the most of it. Obviously, enjoy the newborn stage etc but I mean from a more selfish point of view. Get some box sets lined up, some good snacks and enjoy possibly the only time in your life when you can spend weeks on end watching TV without guilt!
It gets easier, it really does. Those early weeks are bloody hard going and nothing prepares you for that level of tiredness.
Try and nap when the baby naps in the day. She will start sleeping longer stretches soon and you'll feel more recovered from the pregnancy/birth but it all takes time. Congrats btw
We are 4 months in and i remember saying the lack of sleep is one thing, the CONSTANT feeding is quite another. I was against co sleeping but gave into it around 7 weeks. Have you tried feeding laying down? Even in daytime, then at least you can get some rest. It does get better.
One thing i found was to massively lower my expectations. I couldn't get to grips with being at home all day and not getting stuff done. Leave it - in a few weeks time there will be a big difference and everything will be easier.
DS does still cluster feed in the early hours but feeds about 4 times during the day now.
St this stage i couldn't simply hand the baby to someone else so don't worry if you can't. He was feeding too often/constant. He became a much more efficient feeder over time. You could try breast compressions if you want to help things along.
The problem with feeding is it just feels constant (it isn't im just tired and dramatic) and just wish in the middle of the night someone else could it. I could express but I just thought she was too young to give a bottle to as well as breast feeding as i was told to wait until 8 weeks before introducing a bottle ?
I've bought a swaddle blanket today that zips up, hoping it will be a saving grace! Failing that my next step is to try co-sleeping. I can deal with not getting much sleep, but I can't deal with no sleep at all!
Dp goes back to work tomorrow so I won't even be able to get a few hours sleep in the morning
I snapped after a night of waking to feed every 40 minutes. We had been persevering with the Moses basket and co sleeping after about 3am. I switched to just co sleeping and it became much easier as we feed laying down. It still wakes me but im not sitting up trying not to drop him.
I never managed the 'sleep when he sheep's in the day time as his nap are crap but do if you can. And again, i started breast compression at about 3 weeks, and switch feeding. This sped up needs and stimulated supply and made a huge difference. It will get better. Its like a distant memory to me now!
I also found going out in the day helped space feeds out.
Re expressing. I found it a real pain and it doesn't save time. I takes me ages to get 2-3oz, only to have him.refuse the bottle.
I think once bf is established by 6 weeks you can try a bottle. I think i left it too late.
Swaddling is the way to go. I don't think you need to be afraid of it. What are you afraid of exactly? The baby is just wrapped like a cosy sausage roll so that she can't whack herself in the face or jerk her arms up to inadvertently wake herself. You can actually use any big plain soft cloth to do it. I'm still doing it with my 4 m/o for some naps if he's grumpy.
You have my sympathy, I remember those dark early days all too well.
What worked for us was a bedside cot, a Sleepyhead and a zip up swaddle.
DS also had latch issues and wasn't getting enough milk, but it sounds as if you have the BF side of things sorted.
Well tonight is the same story, got her swaddled and still not made the blindest bit of difference.
I cannot do this, I am at my wits end. I'm not cut out for this at all
Oh you poor thing! You are doing so well. I don't know why it's normal for it to be so tough but tough it is - we are at 11 weeks and it's all ok now but I was in exactly your shoes! Very routine feeds at night like clockwork. Honestly it will change dramatically and very very soon. Try and say to yourself it'll all change at 6 weeks and hang in there til then.
I wouldn't do-sleep if you've managed to get her to go down in a cot. Half the battle is exactly that! My son had a miraculous change at the 7/8 week mark when he didn't need to be on top of me to sleep long. Suddenly he was OK with being in his co-sleeper. I had weeks of him having to fall asleep on me and then always notice no matter what I did when I'd try to shift him.
It feels so bloody overwhelming (well, it is!) but be assured it won't go on forever. They can handle more milk in the tummies quite suddenly plus not need the frequency of feeding.
it will get easier. I promise.
When I was at the stage you are now I just cried because the feeding was relentless and I felt like I just couldn't do it. There's a growth spurt around 2.5-3 weeks that just knocked me for six. DD fed for hours and hours and I really felt like there was no end in sight.
She's 6 months now and we're still bfing, so we got through it, but I don't know how!
Is your DP making sure you have everything you need? Snacks, drinks, meals? Once he goes back to work get him to make you a packed lunch before he goes out. I found food was a difficult one to sort out.
Do you have a sling/wrap? Can be a godsend in giving you your hands back and some you can even feed in (though I never got the hang of it).
Re bottles/expressing - the guidance is 6 weeks but we did it sooner just because I needed to for my own mental health. We didn't introduce a regular bottle, but I expressed and DH gave an adhoc bottle so I could sleep. I felt like I didn't want to sleep between feeds normally because just waking up to feed felt worse than not sleeping iyswim. There were odd times I felt she was starting to get a bit of a lazy latch so we'd stop giving a bottle for a bit.
I know it's still such early days but do you have real life support? La Leche League run regular meetings, there might be one near you. Mine has a Facebook group as well, and then there are informal peer support led groups that meet up. I found them invaluable.
Sorry, this was long - but you're not on your own, it is hard and it is shit but you will get there. You can do it.
All I do at night is cry and think what the hell have I done. I wanted her so much, and I love her so much but being this tired just makes me feel full of regret.
I just managed to rock her to sleep and put her down and hey presto 5 mins later and she's screaming again. She's currently comfort feeding (probably be sick as soon as she comes off)
My mum is round tomorrow and I've decided I'm going to express and give her to mum for a few hours just so I can skip one feed and get a chunk of sleep, I know it's not what I'm supposed to do, but I need to for my own sanity.
I know there is light at the end of the tunnel, but it just doesn't seem it right now.
Thank you all for your support, makes me feel less alone at these hours.
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