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Desperate first time mum

(31 Posts)
Brighteyes Thu 16-Jun-05 19:09:21

DD is almost four weeks old and extremly clingy. I have to hold her constantly otherwise she screams so hard she makes herself sick. Even when she falls asleep I cant put her down, she wakes within ten mins and cries until shes picked up.

Things are getting ridiculous. I didnt manage to brush my teeth yesterday until dp came home from work to hold her.

During the nights I only manage to sleep by snoozing on the sofa with dd sleeping on my chest.

Please help, I'm getting desperate and my house is starting to look like something out of Life of Grime

hunkermunker Thu 16-Jun-05 19:14:06

Oh, sweetheart, I know how hard it is when they don't settle at all. Can you put her in a sling? Can you and DH take turns at night so you have a late and an early shift for a bit (one of you go to bed at 8.30pm and wake halfway through the night to take over?).

Please don't sleep on the sofa with her - it's a big factor in SIDS, which I know you don't need to hear right now - I do understand how vile sleep deprivation can make you feel, but it's not worth it - there's too much potential for suffocation on the sofa.

Do you have a baby swing or a bouncer - maybe one that vibrates? Somewhere she'll be safe and comfy and possibly lulled to sleep?

It will all change again soon, I promise.

Hayls Thu 16-Jun-05 19:20:19

Brighteyes, huuge sympathies. can I ask how the birth was (sorry if I'm too nosy). I had quite a difficult delivery (long, ventouse, episiotmy)and my dd was similar to yours. We tried cranial osteopathy and depsite being a real sceptic (but desperate to try anything) it actually worked. After one session we noticed a huge difference and had another few just to make sure. Dd's colic disappeared overnight and she became very placid and settled. They said that the delivery had caused her discomfort and sorted it out.
HTH- hunkermunker is right about sleeping on the sofa though. If it's the only way to do it you're better on your bed without covers or pillows and dd on the bed beside you (can you gently move away from her when she falls asleep?) My dh spent many nights in the spare room because it was the only way we could all get some sleep.

Aragon Thu 16-Jun-05 19:21:21

Oh Brighteyes (or tiredeyes may be more appropriate).

Is DD your first? If it's any comfort (probably not) my DS was the same and very clingy too. Is it possible that she has colic and is just uncomfortable lying down. Colief is worth a try if so (expensive though - about £9 a bottle but well liked by other Mums I've spoken with).

The other thing worth thinking about is reflux - some babies get alot of discomfort when they are laid down due to a regurgitation of milk and stomach acid into their food pipe (and they are sometimes very sick too). Often they scream when laid flat as it's uncomfortable.

Despite this it would be worth putting her down now and then so that you can do things like brush your teeth/have a bath etc. Just put her in a carseat/chair and sit her near the bathroom so you can see/hear her and try to shut your ears to the noise (hard I know as I never managed it) Trust me - she won't suffer any long term damage by crying for 20 mins or so. You are important too and she needs her Mum to feel okay.

Don't worry excessively about the housework - you've got the rest of your life to do it - life is always tough with a new baby and this situation won't last forever. I think by the time my one was 12 weeks he would go down for three hours in the evening (even though it was 10 months before going through the night). It will get better.

Hang in there - it will all pass and you'll have your life back to a degree (although somewhat altered )

Sax Thu 16-Jun-05 19:22:37

This is really hard for you I know and as hunkermunker said sleep deprivation is just the pits. However, how long do you leave her without picking her up? Its all she knows how to do at the moment, cry, so sometimes she's not doing it to be picked up, she may be tired and needing to go to sleep, she be just awake and thinks 'I'll cry now' she doesn't always have to be picked up, just go in, talk to her or leave a little longer each time and she may drop off by herself!. I use to have a moses basket in the lounge and didn't pick up ds1 all the time, he sometimes cried and i'd leave him if he'd only been put down 5mins ago and was clean, fed etc etc. It is terribly hard until they establish a routine, you'll be OK, it won't go on and on but to look after dd you are not doing yourself any favours not sleeping in a bed. Let her cry a little and only if she won't settle then you need to see to her. I know this isn't much help but we've all been there and its not a nice time when they won't settle! You feel trapped and suffocated yourself - look after you too though!

compo Thu 16-Jun-05 19:23:20

Hi Brighteyes. I know how hard it is with a newborn at first. Have you got a bouncy chair? You could try putting her in front of the washing machine and see if that mesmerises her enough so you can get a few things done. Have you read any books like The Baby Whisperer? Fingers crossed things get better soon.

Aragon Thu 16-Jun-05 19:24:12

Yep - also meant to mention trying to avoid sleeping on the sofa with her as hunkermunker says. I know how hard this is though as I sometimes fell asleep on the sofa (quite unintentionally) with my DS (and me a health visitor too )

The sling is also a good idea - I used one with DS (who did have reflux) and it worked really well.

morningpaper Thu 16-Jun-05 19:24:17

Some babies like white noise - try putting her in her pram in the kitchen with the extractor fan on. Will she sleep in the pram if you rock her like this?

Donbean Thu 16-Jun-05 19:24:40

We bought a baby swing for ds as he was exsactly the same for many weeks.
It was fantastic, we bought it off a friend who named it "THE GIFT FROM GOD and it truly was!
We just padded ds out with his blanket and popped him in it. It was the only way of getting a shower or having a good old cleaning session.
Thats what i recommend.
BIG sympathies to you x

compo Thu 16-Jun-05 19:25:41

also have you tried swaddling and then putting in the moses basket? Or laying her on a jumper of yours in the basket so she is near your smell?

lilaclotus Thu 16-Jun-05 19:26:19

brighteyes, when my dd was born she slept on my chest with my sitting up in bed. the only way she would sleep was like that or in her car seat. she slept in that the first month of her life we always figured it was to do with wanting to be snuggled up and warm. we did get a bouncer and wrapped her up with a blanket (as they did in hospital when she was just born). i think the idea of a sling is good.
hth at all. i really sympathize.

morningpaper Thu 16-Jun-05 19:27:18

I must admit it was lying-on-chest for us for the first month too, but I did it in bed with a couple of pillows behind me head.

Sax Thu 16-Jun-05 19:29:35

ps brighteyes - just have to add sod the house - that can all wait!!!!!!!

Brighteyes Thu 16-Jun-05 19:35:52

Thanks so much for the quick responses.

Hunkermunker I'm unable to use a sling at the moment due to having a c-section, the scar is still rather tender. We've also tried swings and bouncers but to no avail.

Thanks for the advice on sleeping on the sofa I will avoid it from now on. DP leaves for work at 7 am and doesnt return till 8pm and although he helps for a couple of hours in the evening I dont think it would be fair for him to be disturbed in the night (hence sleeping on the sofa up till now). So I'm basically doing it on my own.

Hayls, the birth was pretty traumatic. 18hr labour followed by emergency c-section due to dd getting distressed after failing to progress. Several people have now mentioned cranial osteopathy and I'm definatly going to look into it.

Aragon I'm currently using infacol but to little effect. What you said about reflux makes alot of sense she seems to settle a little bit more when propped up. I will try tilting her moses basket to see if that helps.

Thanks for all the great suggestions, I certainly have plenty to try out now

milward Thu 16-Jun-05 19:40:20

My dds never liked to be carried - this is fine - I used a baby sling. I co-slept with them as well - don't sleep on the sofa with your dd. Check the unicef website for a booklet on co-sleeping. I could bf and sleep at the same time - a real life saver. You will soon be able to do most of your tasks with your baby in one arm. I've done this with my dds Also I found that when they moved to their own beds they were fine about it, also they are confident kids and I think this is from being carried around & co-sleeping. Best wishes

milward Thu 16-Jun-05 19:42:32

For my 2nd dd I had a cs & found the baby bjorn babysling was fine for me as the weight is over the shoulders.

meggymoo Thu 16-Jun-05 19:53:19

Message withdrawn

Tipex Thu 16-Jun-05 20:05:36

definately look at getting a sling, its a godsend in the early days. I had one that was basically a big piece of fleece that babe lies in or sits up in and it holds them higher than your scar so should be ok there. Its from kangarookorner.com The other one that my friends like was the wrap around one, cant remember the name but bet someone will know. Doesnt solve the sleep problem at night tho. have you got anyone else other than DH who would let you get a bit of sleep, a friend or neighbour who would cuddle babe just for an hour or two so you can get some respite.
I also second the advice that sometimes you just HAVE to put them down and get in the shower etc or you'll go mad, even if they cry its only for a bit and you need to have a break. Also, will she settle in the pram? I know its hard to be pushing a pram for hours when you're tired but at least it gets you both out. i walked for miles with DS with the radio on my mobile phone! Good luck, hang on in there it does get better I promise!!

hunkermunker Fri 17-Jun-05 15:56:42

How are you doing, Brighteyes?

Feffi Fri 17-Jun-05 20:57:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Feffi Mon 27-Jun-05 09:05:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Brighteyes Wed 29-Jun-05 09:23:34

things are starting to settle. She's happy enough to go into her swing for 15-30 mins at a time and often falls asleep in there.

I'm no longer sleeping on the sofa with her. If she wont settle in her moses basket she sleeps in be with me, if she disturbs dp to much during the night he sleeps on the sofa instead.

Thanks everyone for the great advice.

nailpolish Wed 29-Jun-05 09:35:31

brighteyes, my dd's were the same as your little one, i think that time was the only factor in changing them, they eventually learned to even go to sleep on their own (by about 12 wks)

this probably seems a long way off, but dont worry, your baby will settle as she gets older

another thing is, have you tried swaddling? i used to swaddle dd's and let them sleep beside me, and occasionally i would be able to put them in the basket after they had fallen asleep beside me

also, i used to (still do) put them down on their tummies

koalabear Wed 29-Jun-05 09:38:28

brighteyes - keep us posted - I second the effectiveness of swaddling - it can give the baby a lot of comfort

is you baby feeding ok?

Brighteyes Wed 29-Jun-05 14:43:36

dd is bf great and is on the 91st centile on the growth charts so no concerns about that.

I have tried swaddling and she hates it. She screams until I unwrap her. I tried both swaddling with hands tucked in and with her hands free (as Tracey Hogg suggests). Think dd just likes space and freedom to move about, she sleeps far better in her cot than she does in her moses basket, so I have given up trying to swaddle her.

Any further tips gratefully received though.

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