Soooo hard

(263 Posts)
Kafri Thu 17-Jan-13 05:59:58

Am I really the only person finding this mummy thing sooooo difficult?
Don't get me wrong,I'm thrilled I have DS but I'm knackered. He's 4 weeks old and will not sleep on his back at all. Dr tried gaviscon as hv suspected reflux, didn't work and DS was still really unsettled (all the time). Dr is now trying lactose free milk which seems to be calming him tho he still won't settle ANYWHERE but on someone.
Doesn't even settle properly in the car or pram which he did the first week we were home, sleeps for a short time then wakes and screams. It upsets me as you see all these mums with content little babies out in the pram and there's me with mine screaming!
DH and I have been doing shifts with DS as someone has to hold him 24 hours! I'm getting worried about how I'll manage when DH goes back to work and its just me! He sleeps really well when on someone but the minute he goes down, he unsettles himself. He hates being swaddled and fights his way out!
I've lifted his crib at he head end, I've raised the mattress, I give a warm bath in bedtime routine etc
Looking back, he has always been unsettled on his back, even in hospital. I just thought it would settle but it got worse to the point where he won't go down at all. At one point he would only sleep upright-so curled up against our chest.
I tried having him in bed with me - kicked DH out, moved to middle of bed etc but just didn't feel comfortable enough to sleep myself.

I've tried letting him cry, just for a few mins (like while I boil the kettle, or nip to the loo), but it doesn't stop and I'm not comfortable with leaving him any longer than that -I just think he's too young.

I've always been really good with kids, I work with them too, so why ami finding this soooo hard. What am I doing wrong??

I'm sorry this is a bit disjointed and all over the place.

Please help and share you're experience as a new first time mum.

Oh and overnight, well between about 5-8am he seems to have really bad tummy cramps. He's on lactulose for constipation from the gaviscon but the tummy cramps also happened before the constipation too? It was like he was staining for hours to poo then when he finally managed his nappy was perfectly normal. The first time it happened I thought he was bunged up then was really surprised when his nappy was normal when it finally happened.

I feel like everyone else has these happy content little babies, and then there's me!!

Sorry it's such a long rambling!

Iggly Sat 19-Jan-13 10:25:06

Push about the lumbar puncture headache. Ring NHS direct.

BertieBotts Sat 19-Jan-13 10:28:36

WeAreSix and Iggly seem to know what they're talking about.

Also definitely worth looking into Cranial Osteopathy - my friend had a constantly screaming baby and the CO helped massively. It did later turn out that he had multiple allergies, though.

WeAreSix Sat 19-Jan-13 10:37:38

kafri what county are you in?

If you think your baby is in pain - caused by constipation or head as I'm suggesting then please see a GP today. Don't ring NHS Direct, tell me where you are and I'll find out your OOH cover. Or ring your usual GP number they may have an answer phone message telling you who to call.

A prescription for infant paracetamol in the correct dose for your baby could make a massive difference to you both. You can make that difference today.

cravingcake Sat 19-Jan-13 10:42:39

I would agree with what WeAreSix and Iggly are saying. My DS was born with help of forceps and I noticed he wasn't turning his head one way after a few weeks. All the midwives, HV's and even doctors said nothing was wrong and just to encourage him to turn his head the other way using toys. I trusted my instinct that something was wrong and took him to a chiropractor and it turned out my DS had 3 neck vertebrae out of line, causing him discomfort (and flat head). It definitely would be worth having your DS checked over.

In the short term do you have a friend/family that could take him off your hands for an hour or two so you can rest? I remember the sleep deprivation well and it does make things so much harder but it does get easier and better.

Kafri, I am coming late to this, but wanted to send my sympathies.
Yes, this mothering lark IS hard; and more so for those of us who have been blessed with Screamers...

My DS1 is now almost 10; he screamed unless held for the first year of his life. We tried everything suggested on this thread and some other things; nothing made much of a difference. What helped, was time passing: the older and more independent he got, the more things improved. Even him being able to hold and move his head himself, seemed to make him less frustrated and panicky. He is a lovely and v academic boy now (my HV kept saying 'Oh yes, it's the bright ones that scream a lot' hmm and I would think in my head 'If he does not turn out to be a rocket scientist, I want my money back'), but still very dramatic, can screech in frustration and be in floods of tears at the least provocation. I now so recognise and understand a lot of his baby behaviour much better.
DS2 btw is only 1 year younger and from the word go, was so relaxed he was virtually horizontal confusedgrin.

What I am trying to say, of course you need to get your baby checked out to make sure there is no physical problem. But there may not be. Personalities are what the are from the very start.
For the record, cranial osteopathy did not make any difference except that he hated every session.

Here is what got me through it all:

- A sling. I never thought I'd have one, I am not a hippy-dippy wink mother, but it was an absolute life saver (his and mine)
- Getting out of the house
- Accepting a lovely neighbour's offer who came once a week and took the darling child away for an hour or so. There were weeks where this was the only chance I had to wash my hair etc.
- Co-sleeping - see sling. At the end of day, whatever worked to allow me to have some sleep is what I had to do.
- Not looking ahead too far. Just get through the next hour/day. Time will pass and babies grow up and eventually stop screaming.
- Hold him. Whatever the reason, he needs holding and he is communicating that the only way he knows how to. People how go on about the 'rod for your own back' can stick said rod where the sun don't shine grin.
- Chocolate.

I went on to have another 2, so people keep telling me it cannot have been THAT bad. I still shudder at the memory... And no, I did not have PND -compared to my other 3, DS1 was in a class of his own as far as screaming went. My premature 31 weeker with dreadful reflux cried less...

V best of luck.

Gosh, sorry about the epic post blush - I am clearly still not over looking after DS1....

The Fussy Baby Book seemed to describe my DS1 to a tee.

I just picked up on what you said about your DH being able to settle him better - this is described in the book too! Get your DH to have him upright on his chest and hum to him: a deep, low manly hum. It was like hypnotising my DS1. The second my DH stopped, he start wailing again, mind...

To quick solutions, so sorry.

ImpetuousImp Sat 19-Jan-13 15:24:55

Kafri, you're doing a brilliant job with your DS, please don't be disheartened.

Can I add my voice to WeAreSix and wewereherefirst about investigating pain relief for possible headache (infant calpol?) and seeing a cranial osteopath? My DS had similar problems as a baby, always awake, often screaming, constantly (and I do mean constantly) feeding, 'colicky' - it turned out that he had a lot of stomach tension after delivery with a true knot in his cord. The cranial osteopathy really helped, and was so gentle and relaxing that DS dropped off to sleep during the treatment! Please do give CO a go if you can but definitely speak to OOH GP too.

Keep up the great work, these early days and weeks are tough thanks

Kafri Sat 19-Jan-13 17:21:13

Right. First off, thank you so much everyone. I think if be going stir crazy without you!

Just hit back from ooh GP. He said nothing is wrong and he's crying to be rocked because I'm rocking him, and to be careful of bad habits.

I asked about pain relief, to which he replied 'how do you know he's j. Pain, I can't see any evidence of it' I tried explaining about the tummy pain overnight an him being tense and straining to pop/pass wind all the time but he just repeated what he said above!

Gave me a different thrush cream for his mouth - forgot to mention he had thrush in his mouth which doesn't want to go away. (We're in the second bottle of nystatin as I poured one over my bloody sofa-oops). got some daktarin gel now???

Asked in chemist when went to pick up gel and she said I couldn't buy anything pain relief wise for a four week old???

Seems to be settling a little now, which is quite normal - settles once we get to tea time for some reason.

He hasn't been to sleep all day. Dozed for literally minutes at various points today bug boy slept at all so I pretty much know over tiredness is playing its part here too!

Honestly-DH goes back to work on Thursday. What the hell will I do? No sleep at night as ds will only sleep on me (or DH but he needs his sleep for work) and I'm not very good at sleeping with him on me. I don't have an issue with it and wish I could sleep better but just can't seem to drop off. So no sleep all night and then up with ds screaming all day. Hmmm something doesn't add up here. Not sure what ill do to be honest.

Sling has arrived at my sisters. I just need to get over there to pick it up ASAP if I have my way. I don't think ds will like it as he'll be on my front rather than my shoulder but he'll have to get used to it as I need my hands for at least part of the day.

I'm sure ill had missed some answers to your questions in this reply, I'll have a re read and check

Please, keep your suggestions coming. I'm sooo grateful and a horrid as it sounds, I'm glad I'm not alone in this. It's good to know others have put up with a lot too.

Just out of interest. When does baby know 'mummy'. At the min he's just happy to be held by anyone as long as he's held. At what point does he know I'm his mummy.

Iggly Sat 19-Jan-13 17:31:39

He knows you now. Your voice and your smell tell him you are you.

Your GP sound shit quite frankly. Maybe you should video your baby for him. Also as for bad habits - your baby is 4 weeks old FFS. Of course he wants rocking, that's what they've been getting for the last 9 months inside you. He's only been in this world for 4 weeks FFS.

As for rocking him to sleep - can you carry on for 10-15 mins after he's gone to sleep then try sitting down and jiggly him a bit if he stirs?

The sling should help - might take some getting used to but it will.

I used to sit up on a bed, propped up with pillows at night with ds and would get some sleep (we did this for a long time!) and as he got older, I could slowly slide him next to me on his side (same with dd). Have you tried putting him on his tummy for naps (once he's asleep) in the day? And sit with him so you can keep an eye?

Also have you tried swaddling?

Kafri Sat 19-Jan-13 17:38:34

He starts to wake as soon as I put him down. If I leave him he wakes completely and screams so I start the whole process again. Swaddling, yes - he fights his way out. I wish he did like it, his startle is still rather severe so that wakes him up repeatedly.

Dr was crap, he wasn't my dr. All the surgeries in the town share ooh service and the drs work it on a rota so no idea where this dr was from but he wasn't the nicest I've ever seen.

Kafri Sat 19-Jan-13 17:50:56

Oh how wrong was I ? He's still going strong down there with DH. I'm upstairs getting a. Quick nap

RubyrooUK Sat 19-Jan-13 19:08:05

Kafri, I think your baby knows you now. And that's why only you or your DH will do. My DS went mental when other people held him at only a few days old.

My GP was crap as well when I went and told me that I should just put DS in a room and shut the door while I ate my dinner! shock Apparently it made his wife cry a lot because she hated it but all his children learnt who was boss.....er thanks.

Do try the cranial osteopath. I did this as DS had a violent forceps delivery. But the cranial osteopath said he was not traumatised as far as he could tell and nothing was out of place. He said that perhaps DS was just a tricky newborn. That did put my mind at ease in a funny way that I wasn't missing something.

Do also try the white noise.

And let your DH help at night. Just because he is working, it doesn't mean he can't - unless he does something dangerous if he is tired, i suppose. When DS was a bit bigger, I did let DH sleep more because I was breastfeeding so he wasn't needed as much but in those early days, I needed him to pitch in just as much as me at night to survive. He was knackered but always understood that it was a joint effort to survive!

Willitberaaaaspberry Sat 19-Jan-13 21:58:28

This sounds so hard for you. I remember those early days when you are so worried about getting things right and because of exhaustion you take things personally. I think you're doing a great job, you've already tried so many things to make things better for your baby where some other people would already have given up and just left them to cry.
Another idea would be to try baby massage for constipation - it really helped for my dd with the added bonus that it would also send her off to sleep. I joined a class and learned some of the techniques but there are lots of videos on YouTube that might be useful. I hope you find something that works for you soon.

Kafri Sat 19-Jan-13 22:16:23

Will give you tube a go when I next get chance! I'm down on the waiting list for baby massage but got told he had to be six weeks and even then I have to get to the top of the waiting list. Perhaps they shoul have 2 classes running simeltaneously - one for people who want to take their baby along and one for those who NEED to lol. I'm sure ill get moaned at for that comment, it's just I am getting a little desperate now. I'm not saying those that want to take their baby along are any less valid, just that if baby massage will be the key for him, I'd rather get it started!

It was 7.30 when he finally settled and went to sleep and is still asleep now. Will be waking for a feed any time now onwards.
He was awake since 7.30 ish this morning til 7.30 tonight with a short 20 min nod at about 10 am and a couple of '5min dozes' throughout the day. I know this is far too long for him to be awake but he would not stop screaming or settle let alone relax enough to sleep!

It's DH shift now til 4.30. He's usually quite settled overnight-on us that is but the last thing I wanna do right now is start transition to Moses basket and risk unsettling the only settled time he has-poor boy. Will just go with it for now.

ivanapoo Sat 19-Jan-13 23:13:54

Can you get a relative/friend to hold him during his quiet time eg evenings once or twice a week so you and DH can both rest or at least have a break? Or get someone to come and stay with you for a few days? It sounds like you're in a rough patch at the moment and need more support.

I sympathise, my 4 week old DS screams a lot too and doesnt sleep much during the day although he will sometimes go down in his basket for a while. He also does the straining/groaning thing and is very noisy with it. At night he will sleep in his basket a bit but screams after feeds and needs an hour of settling which when he wants to feed every two hours is exhausting!

The sling can work - he usually hates it at first and screams but as I move around he stops and sleeps so you may need some patience. I'm going to try CO next as DS had ventouse.

Through exhaustion I slept with DS on me but I really felt uneasy about it at first. He's currently asleep on DH's chest (actually I can hear he's just woken up!).

DH went back to work this week and I tried to do everything myself in the nights which I very quickly realised is not realistic. Now on school nights he'll have 12ish to 6ish off perhaps with a bit of extra support if DS is really kicking off. That means he is having to get by on 6 hours sleep or so a night/day, but so am I (if I'm lucky) and frankly looking after a baby all day is probably more physically and mentally tiring than going to work for a lot of people!

ivanapoo Sat 19-Jan-13 23:19:24

Oh and in the basket we put him to sleep kind of on his side (propped up with rolled up cellular blanket). When DH leaves I bring the sheepskin from the basket onto our bed on DH's side and put DS on there with all pillows, divets etc out the way. He might not sleep but at least it's a bit easier to comfort him and I can stay lying down!

Kafri Sun 20-Jan-13 05:12:43

I've just come down to relieve DH so he can get some sleep. DS slept from 7.30 through til 2.30. Didn't wje for his 11 ocklock feed. Not surprised he was soooo tired.
I've come down with much apprehension to be honest. I'm waiting for it all to start again! Not a nice feeling but I'm guessing we'll just have to get through it.

Haven't Got anyone that could come and stay for a bit. My mum is local but she has no confidence with DS and it actually makes things worse as he takes him from me but doesn't do anything so I end up sitting saying things like 'you need to rock him/bounce him/sway him etc every five mins. She's been the same with my DSis baby too. When im there with her its not a break and there's no way I could walk away and leave her.

My mil is brilliant at offering to come help around the house with anything other than DS so no help available there.

All my friends work. The 1s without kids work long hours so only have weekends available and the 1s with kids obv have their own family stuff going on! I can get plenty of 'bits of support', like, here and there but nothing consistent.

ivanapoo Sun 20-Jan-13 07:30:00

Hmm not ideal then... Do you feel you could leave him with your mum during his sleep time? Ideally in another room far away so you can't hear him crying too loudly if he does wake. Or do you need to jiggle him while he sleeps too?

I didn't like leaving DS alone with anyone at first - as they didn't know how to comfort him, would do things I didn't want like put way too many blankets on him, hold him the "wrong" way etc but then I realised I needed an hour of sleep and that he would survive so left them to it. Still find it hard but am starting to appreciate a little extra break. My parents live 4 hours away so it's only occasional unfortunately.

Could your sis help out, even as a one off?

This stage won't be forever so even if the support is in dribs and drabs take what you can!

Iggly Sun 20-Jan-13 08:35:11

What about popping over to see a friend just for half an hour at a time.

Even though they might not understand the difficulty (although many of us hide just how hard it is), just having adult company really really helps. Don't hide away, get out and see people.

Kafri Sun 20-Jan-13 08:40:25

It's not that I won't leave him with anyone which I know is possibly what it sounds like. I happily left him with my sister for the day earlier in the week. It is genuinely that my mum is nowhere near confident enough.

It surprises me as she raised us alone after my dad passed away when I was young and she used to do everything but as we've grown up and moved out/she's got older (or some other reason I'm not sure of) she seeks reassurance for everything.
I also wouldn't want to take ds to get house as it is filthy. She doesn't like cleaning and has the attitude that there's only get and if she isn't bothered then it doesn't need doing. That's fine - it's her house. She can live how she likes but I don't want my little newborn there. Also, she has no baby 'stuff' so is need to pack up EVERYTHING if he were to go for a full day. I just don't think it would be hygienic for a baby so young. After all, why go to the trouble of sterilising stuff if I'm gonna leave him somewhere dirty. The other thing is she was a smoker-has given up now-but the smell still clings to everything! I hope in not sounding precious here! That's not my intention at all.

Kafri Sun 20-Jan-13 08:48:04

A friend called round to see us yesterday which was lovely.

What is 'social policy' on being out and about with an unsettled screaming baby? I can take him out in his pram for a walk but he wakes easily and quickly gets upset at the min so he would then scream the rest if the time we're out. Don't get me wrong, I'm not about to take him to the library or anything where I'd be scowled at fir making a noise!

I was at the docs the other day and he was screaming and a woman stopped me and said 'so you not think you should be stopping to feed him'? I was already tired/upset from having to take him back to dr again etc and she made me feel awful.

I don't think there is a social norm re being out and about with an easily unsettled baby - I remember it so well how flustered and self-conscious I felt when in public with my screaming offspring...
People will say daft stuff, usually well-meaning, but often without full engagement of the brain: "Oh, is he hungry?" "No, he is not, if it was as simple as feeding him to calm him, I'd've done it."
"He must be overtired." "Oh you don't say. If I knew how to get him to have a GOOD sleep, I'd do it."
"Does he need a nappy change?" "No, he does not. And if it was as simple as that I'd've frigging done it."
Not that I ever said anything like that in RL to kind people, but I frequently thought it...

How would you feel about going out with DS in a sling? IME most babies love a stretchy wrap, it is good for them, comfy for you and easy to use. You can put it on first thing in the morning when you get dressed and simply pop DS in and out as you need to. It is possible to BF with the baby in the sling; I only did it on a handful of occasions with DS4 when I had to be getting on with things and he was hungry.

Grrr at your Dr btw implying that he is a screamy baby because you have made him so angry. No, you are responding to his needs. I think most of us would be quite happy to leave a happily sleeping baby sleep and not 'bother' them by picking them up, holding them ALL THE TIME, rocking etc.

Re your mum not being confident around him, maybe she would cope better if you were not there? Would you leave him with her and pop round to the local shops for an hour?? Just so they can get to know each other?

I hope today is a good day for you all.

Kafri Sun 20-Jan-13 09:07:47

Another silky question... (I'm full of them)

Given the dr is adamant it's colic/reflux/doesn't seem to have a clue (delete as appropriate). The last 3 days he has screamed right from his morning feed, so around 7.30. Anyway, today I have (so far) managed to stave it off. He got uncomfortable after his feed and I did think 'here goes' but managed to get him to sleep (woo hoo). He still keeps groaning and tensing in his sleep so don't know how long it'll last.. Anyway, by getting him to sleep, am I simply putting off the colicky time or am I getting him to sleep through it (some). Hope that question makes some sense to you.

cravingcake Sun 20-Jan-13 09:26:36

Well done you for getting him to sleep. I would say you are helping him sleep through it, you know he desperately needs sleep so he (in theory) should be calmer when he wakes. Enjoy the 5 mins of quiet, make yourself a well deserved cuppa & rest.

Oh gosh, I don't know...
My take on that is that if he gets some sleep then he'll be able to deal better with, say, colic pain later on.
Medically speaking (I am a GP) there is not such thing as 'colic' in babies, or rather we have no idea what causes it or what is 'wrong' with babies who seem to have it a lot. Typically colic is a screaming baby from late afternoon/early evening onwards which may scream for hours, but can have an ok night/day until then.

Your DS sounds more unsettled a lot of the time which puts me off colic.
Most colic remedies/comfort milk IMVHO don't make much of a difference, but give parents/drs something to try until the magic 6 week/3 month mark is reached (with the exception of Colief in babies with lactose intolerance). Maybe that is me just being cynical, mind.

Does he sleep better if you lie next to him?
Does he sleep in the moving pram, but wakes up the very second the wheels stop turning?
Does he startle easily? Flinging arms wide, kind of tremors a bit, then screams?
All that would suggest a 'fussy baby' to me, or 'high need baby', or 'high intensity baby'. You can google all those phrases and find out more about it.

Is he thriving/gaining wt? Are his poos 'normal' milk poos?
If so, it is unlikely that there is much wrong with his digestion.

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