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Struggling at 6 weeks


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#1 BottlesAndBooties

Posted 07 January 2019 - 11:27 AM

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Edited by BottlesAndBooties, 04 February 2019 - 02:17 AM.


#2 Expelliarmus

Posted 07 January 2019 - 11:41 AM

First of all, it's not your fault and whether he's breastfed or not doesn't matter. He's six weeks old - when they *do* become a different baby, and you've lost the ability to tag team!

First thing I would do in your shoes is get out of the house. Lots of fresh air with a walk in the pram, helps tire him out and any screaming is diluted.

Second thing I would do is make an appointment with the MCHN and/or GP and get you both checked out. Is there a reason for the crying like reflux? Do you have a touch of PND? That sort of thing.

And six weeks is hard because hes probably going through a growth spurt or a wonder week.

Also get a dummy. Definitely get a dummy.

It's not you, you're doing a great job - I can tell because you're thinking and worrying and reaching out for help. Hang in there and seek support from your local babycare people.

#3 Renovators delight

Posted 07 January 2019 - 11:45 AM

First of all, well done for speaking about it and recognising that you aren't feeling the best.

Becoming a parent is the very hardest thing I have ever done. Biggest learning curve by far. Nothing to learn from, huge risks, and going from being competent at everything to seemingly incompetent at everything was a massive blow to my confidence levels.

I had the added issue of a precarious self image, and slid into post natal anxiety and depression without being terribly aware of it myself.

It is worth trying to access any support available to you locally. I am blessed in my council area with both outreach from local hospitals and an amazing enhanced maternal child health service who were able to spend some time with me and reassure me that I was doing some things OK, and help me master some other things like learning about tired signs, being OK with not logging every second of every day, and letting me know that bottle feeding is just as good as breast feeding.

Good luck, I do hope you can find a way to feel better.

#4 MooGuru

Posted 07 January 2019 - 11:55 AM

I was going to say everything Expelli said.

Also I never did any mothers groups or anything but I know people who did them and absolutely loved the friendships and supports they created.

#5 Mel1609

Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:05 PM

6 weeks is around the time they start to "wake up". What was working previously, ie huge long day sleeps,  no longer seems to be doing the trick.  From now on they change so frequently it's hard to keep up.

One thing i thought of first was in relation to his sucking- small babies need to suck,  and often a bottle is too quick.  Although ive never used a dummy and tried to avoid them at all costs,  i would try one.

I second the getting out of the house,  being stuck inside with 2 kids alone all day will wear down even the most enthusiastic parent! You're doing a great job op xx

#6 Lifesgood

Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:11 PM

I'm sorry you're struggling - its perfectly normal to be struggling and your baby sounds perfectly standard as well! Its hard work and relentless.

If you haven't already, try a dummy. Try various types until you find the ones he likes.

As Expelli said, get outdoors as much as possible - some filtered sunlight and fresh air will do both of you wonders.

See your GP regularly and do the Edinburgh test every time you visit. Don't risk undiagnosed PND, its really common among mums who have gone from senior careers to a brand new one as an L-plate mother (for example, me).

After a feed/burp/brief up time put your baby to bed with a dummy, awake. You can rock/pat in the cot but if he is lying there awake happily sucking on a dummy don't do anything. See if he drops off by himself. If he isn't happy try what you can but don't beat yourself up if he won't sleep. Eventually he will. If he finally falls asleep at feed time let him have 45 mins before getting him up even if it means his feed is late. Don't be too tied to a schedule.

#7 Elly_Bells

Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:21 PM

As the others have said, well done for putting into words what you are feeling. I could have written your post almost word for word with my first. It was horrendous and I punished myself for not persisting with breastfeeding - the "if only" thoughts crept in for many years. Firstly, you are a clever mum for making the decision to move to the bottle if breastfeeding was not working. Don't punish yourself for that, it sounds like the right decision.
Secondly, it might be worth seeing a gp or a paed about reflux. My first had it and just wanted to have the bottle in his mouth all the time. As soon as he stopped feeding the acid rose again and he screamed, pulling his legs up into his belly. He wouldn't sleep or lie flat at all. It took a clued-in nurse to recognise this and we went on medication. Mine also had a lactose intolerance so we needed to experiment with different formulas. This might be worth looking into as he might be reacting to the formula if it started about the time you went onto bottles.
It could also be that he is just going through a growth spurt. It is a really difficult time, make sure you look after yourself, get as much sleep and time out as possible and definitely be on the lookout for pnd.

#8 BottlesAndBooties

Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:55 PM

Wow, thank you everyone for your replies and encouragement, it really does make me feel better.
The dummy - well and truly in use. Sometimes works, mostly he just takes it for a moment then seems to realize it’s not a bottle and screws his face up, out goes the dummy.

I did wonder about reflux he has never really vomited significantly, I will chat to our doctor about it though.

I’m trying to get out of the house as much as possible but at the moment I can’t even brush my teeth because he’s having a meltdown as soon as I put him down or stop feeding him. The poor dog (our first ‘child’) is barely getting a look in lately, let alone a walk. My visions of the three of us strolling through the neighborhood are not coming true at the moment.

I’m trying to be consistent with putting him down for naps in his cot but at the moment the only time he will shut his eyes even for 10mins is when I’m holding him. Which is leading to me spending most of my day on the couch, nothing gets done around the house (I know I should just let that go but Type A personality here and it just makes me more crazy)

When I’m trying to put him to sleep in his cot, I’m doing the thing where you leave them settled but awake but at best he’ll lie there for 5 mins awake, maybe nod off for 5 mins before he’s awake and screaming again. I’m trying to persist but I can be resettling him half a dozen times with no success. At which point I admit defeat and let him come and sleep for a little bit longer on me. I have tried doing the housework with him in the baby bjorn but he was having none of it again, just wanted to feed. I’m told you can’t ‘over feed’ a newborn but I do wonder with the amount I’m giving him, sometimes 1-2 hourly, he’s gaining an average of 400g a week!

We also have a swing which is gathering dust at the moment because, you guessed it, as soon as I put him down, meltdown begins.

Oh and on top of everything, I’m sick - had the worst cough I’ve ever had for the last 3 weeks. Course of antibiotics hasn’t made any difference, GP assured me it wasn’t presenting as whooping cough (thank god!) and luckily DS and my partner haven’t got sick. But it’s just another thing to deal with.

And then (wait, more whinging while I’m here!) I had grand plans to exercise at home while he slept to trying and get some baby weight off in some attempt to try and feel a little bit better about myself, today was going to be the first day of getting back to eating well... and it’s all out the window before 9am. I know this isn’t going to last forever and I’ll miss these days when he’s so little and I could just sit on the couch all day. But gee it sucks now!

Thank you all again for your advice, it really helps knowing I’m not alone

Edited by BottlesAndBooties, 07 January 2019 - 01:06 PM.


#9 petit_manchot

Posted 07 January 2019 - 01:05 PM

Have you tried a baby carrier? The first few months, especially because ours was a reflux baby, having the baby in the carrier was the only way we could get him to sleep or get anything done.

#10 BBC

Posted 07 January 2019 - 01:08 PM

6 weeks they seemed to stop instantly falling asleep after a feed. With my first, I had no idea they needed to be taught to fall asleep and had a very overtired cranky baby doing almost no day sleeps.

What I worked on, with help from the nurses, was a timed routine (but flexible) and trying to use a consistent sleep approach. We did feed, play, sleep (hopefully) We wrapped tightly, patted and shushed. Also a dummy with the babies that liked it. What helped most was thinking about the 40 minute sleep cycles and down time. So if baby was being shushed and patted for 40 minutes and slept for 40 minutes after that, well that's two cycles and OK to get up, instead of beating myself up about a 40 (or even 20) minute sleep after all that work.

Your baby needs you and loves you. It's not judging your performance as a mother. I agree with all Expelli's advice. I also noticed among my circle that often people who had high powered senior jobs found it hardest to give over their plans to that of a baby, and struggled more with the day to day being bossed about and controlled by a small noisy person. Be careful to look for signs of PND.

Also right now is the time to take up all those offers of help that you brushed off when baby was born. As baby is bottle fed, a helper could take over for a few hours while you have a nap, or do some laundry for you or cook a meal. Call in all the help you can get to help you get through this trying patch. It won't be like this all the time.



#11 Expelliarmus

Posted 07 January 2019 - 01:09 PM

Oh yeah, #2 did that with the dummy. Drove me bonkers because DD1 took it like a champ!

I had a rocker for DD2 though that was brilliant - better than a swing although I had to sit and rock it but I could do it rougher :ph34r:

And honestly? Let him cry while you brush your teeth. Pop him in the swing or a rocker and plop him in the bathroom and chat to him about what you’re doing and just brush your teeth/go to the toilet/brush your hair/wash your face. I remember once when DD2 was around 6 weeks I put her down to do DD1’s hair and she started to cry and I panicked and then decided she could wait until I finished doing the pig tails. She just stopped within a few minutes and no one was any the worse off. It made it easier to leave her to cry for a bit if she was safe and I had a quick job to do.

She never slept in her cot though. Ever. The moral of the story is if they are safe, and with you and you need to put them down for a basic like teeth brushing that’s okay. DD1 was left squalling on the floor at 5 months one day because I NEEDED A SANDWICH but she did Not Approve! She found the motivation to learn to crawl through her tears that day! She was fine, I was fine, :) so don’t be afraid to take care of your basic needs. It won’t be a disaster.

#12 Mooples

Posted 07 January 2019 - 01:18 PM

Expelli makes so many good points. Ds1 was a dream baby. Ds2 was my cryer. Not as bad as what you’re describing but still challenging. The thing is, being a second child he had to wait and sometimes that meant he cried without me being able to comfort him straight away. So yes you can leave him to brush your teeth, make a coffee, eat your lunch, whatever it is you need to do and while he might cry, he will be ok.

What’s your ds like in the car? I had so much maccas drive through in the early day as I’d just drive around for ds to get to sleep then just keep going and going to give him a decent sleep as he was happy sleeping in the car.

#13 Crooked Frame

Posted 07 January 2019 - 01:22 PM

Have you heard of PURPLE crying? I think they say it peaks at about 6 weeks. It’s very normal. Hang in there OP, it is exhausting but you’re doing a fantastic job.

http://purplecrying....rple-crying.php

#14 Lou-bags

Posted 07 January 2019 - 01:36 PM

My DS1 was a lot like that, at a similar age. I was breastfeeding so I can assure you that it’s not that- he would scream unless he had a boob in his mouth. Feeding 1-2 hours was his norm at that age also, together with huge weight gains.

You’re not alone, it’s bloody hard work, and it won’t always be like this. Expelli has given some great advice. Hang in there.

#15 cabbage88

Posted 07 January 2019 - 01:45 PM

For one, when it's your first bub and you have a bad week its terrifying because you don't yet have perspective and you get scared everything is going to last and become your new normal- it won't nothing lasts. Three kids in and some days they just scream and I don't know why- do whatever you've gotta do to survive- baby wear, cuddle, rock don't worry about it. It won't last. Eventually you learn they're separate little people and their screaming and bad days is no reflection on your success or failure.
And as others mention, 6 weeks is peak crying. There is a reason and all babies do it. Just do whatever helps you survive. And look up wonder weeks- will make you realise those bouts of crying are predictable, and a really important developmental milestone.

#16 cabbage88

Posted 07 January 2019 - 01:50 PM

View PostBottlesAndBooties, on 07 January 2019 - 12:55 PM, said:

Wow, thank you everyone for your replies and encouragement, it really does make me feel better.
The dummy - well and truly in use. Sometimes works, mostly he just takes it for a moment then seems to realize it’s not a bottle and screws his face up, out goes the dummy.

I did wonder about reflux he has never really vomited significantly, I will chat to our doctor about it though.

I’m trying to get out of the house as much as possible but at the moment I can’t even brush my teeth because he’s having a meltdown as soon as I put him down or stop feeding him. The poor dog (our first ‘child’) is barely getting a look in lately, let alone a walk. My visions of the three of us strolling through the neighborhood are not coming true at the moment.

I’m trying to be consistent with putting him down for naps in his cot but at the moment the only time he will shut his eyes even for 10mins is when I’m holding him. Which is leading to me spending most of my day on the couch, nothing gets done around the house (I know I should just let that go but Type A personality here and it just makes me more crazy)

When I’m trying to put him to sleep in his cot, I’m doing the thing where you leave them settled but awake but at best he’ll lie there for 5 mins awake, maybe nod off for 5 mins before he’s awake and screaming again. I’m trying to persist but I can be resettling him half a dozen times with no success. At which point I admit defeat and let him come and sleep for a little bit longer on me. I have tried doing the housework with him in the baby bjorn but he was having none of it again, just wanted to feed. I’m told you can’t ‘over feed’ a newborn but I do wonder with the amount I’m giving him, sometimes 1-2 hourly, he’s gaining an average of 400g a week!

We also have a swing which is gathering dust at the moment because, you guessed it, as soon as I put him down, meltdown begins.

Oh and on top of everything, I’m sick - had the worst cough I’ve ever had for the last 3 weeks. Course of antibiotics hasn’t made any difference, GP assured me it wasn’t presenting as whooping cough (thank god!) and luckily DS and my partner haven’t got sick. But it’s just another thing to deal with.

And then (wait, more whinging while I’m here!) I had grand plans to exercise at home while he slept to trying and get some baby weight off in some attempt to try and feel a little bit better about myself, today was going to be the first day of getting back to eating well... and it’s all out the window before 9am. I know this isn’t going to last forever and I’ll miss these days when he’s so little and I could just sit on the couch all day. But gee it sucks now!

Thank you all again for your advice, it really helps knowing I’m not alone

Oh and to echo others just put bub down and do what you need to! I had a rule with my twins- if I'm making/ eating a meal, toilet, coffee whatever I was finishing whatever I was doing before I got up again to tend to the screaming kids. I still do that, otherwise I would not have eaten/peed/ drank coffee for a year!

#17 Drat

Posted 07 January 2019 - 01:54 PM

Most importantly, huge hugs to you.

My daughter was a monster as a newborn and I didn't get a 5-6 hour block out of her until she was closer to a year old!

There's nothing super important that I can tell you other than to hang in there and it DOES get better eventually (sorry!). Now the first 6 months of hell I can barely remember.

Don't worry about exercise, or your body or any of that other crap that everyone pushes you to do asap, the most important thing is that you take care of your own mental well being.

Find yourself some good support. For me, it was my dad. I could call him and he'd come over (he was retired) and I could cry all I wanted and he'd cuddle my daughter and take her for a short walk or just listen to me. huge relief.
I also joined a mums group and our little outings gave me a reason to get out of the house. This was massively hard for me because my daughter would scream for 8+ hours a day regularly, so I literally never wanted to go anywhere. Being with mums who had other crying babies really helped. My husband basically had to force me there and i'm super grateful that he did! My dad also took me for long walks down the beach and we put my daughter in the baby carrier and that actually was really helpful.

Hang in there. It can be a super hard time, if you're not coping, call someone. Even if it's a parenting/sleep hotline. I called tresillian like 100 times with my daughter and even though it didn't make her sleep, a friendly voice made everything feel better.

#18 Prancer is coming

Posted 07 January 2019 - 02:17 PM

Oh gosh, a lot of your post takes me back to when I had my first.  I still remember looking into the cot at him and wondering what on earth had I done, knowing I could not give him back.  I actually feel sorry for new parents now, as there was not much joyous about my first 6 months as a parent!

I recommend going to big w or Kmart and picking up some cheap jeans and tops that fit you now, rather than worrying about needing to fit back into your old stuff.  Don’t worry about eating healthy and exercise until newborn life is easier.

Do you know much about babies?  I know that probably sounds stupid, but there was so much I had no idea about.  I knew nothing about settling, it was either cuddle baby to sleep or place in cot and inevitably, crying would then happen.  I learnt lots of helpful techniques and with newborns, found patting them in the cot for a while after they were already asleep helped them stay asleep.  It is okay to ask for help or tips, but keep in mind everyone has an opinion and if you don’t like what they say, you don’t have to take it on board.

Could be worth having a chat to your child health nurse?  They may have tips. And check you are ok.   I ended up with pnd and by the time it was realised, it was really bad!  So much more easier than to get on to these things quickly.

#19 Lou-bags

Posted 07 January 2019 - 03:28 PM

View PostBottlesAndBooties, on 07 January 2019 - 11:27 AM, said:




I don’t even have a question to ask here, I think I just needed to get it out. I do speak to my partner about my concerns but I hate burdening him with too much when he’s gone back to work because I don’t want him distracted and worrying about us at home when he’s working.



I’ve just re read your OP and wanted to comment on this also. Your DH is your baby’s father and your partner in life which includes parenting. Please don’t feel you should have to shield him from any of it, it’s not your job to protect him from worrying about the two of you. What you are doing now, being the sahp of a grumpy newborn that you grew in your body and birthed is one of the most challenging times in your life. You have every right to lean on your DH for support here. It might not be popular to say so but he has the sweet deal here, getting to go back to work. He’ll have to learn to manage the distractions of being a working parent like any of the rest of us.

It’s so so easy to fall into traditional gender roles when babies come on the scene and it is so damn hard to claw your way back up that slope when your mat leave finishes.

I realize you don’t need anything else to worry about other than getting through each day right now (newborn days are survival mode), but just keep that in the back of your mind and try not to let your DH off the parenting book too much.

Be kind to yourself, you and your baby will get through this together. As they say- this too shall pass. x

Edited by Lou-bags, 07 January 2019 - 10:26 PM.


#20 coolbreeze

Posted 07 January 2019 - 03:34 PM

6 weeks is peak crying time.
This too shall pass and you will be into another stage to delight and confound you!
You can absolutely brush your teeth or do other things.
When my first daughter was that age if the crying got too much, I would swaddle her up and pop her in the cot. I would then have a lovely hot shower. Hair wash too and then get out and start again.
Sometimes she was asleep, sometimes not. Sometimes bubs just need a wind down scream and cry. Then they are off to sleep, sometimes not.
Babies are remarkably resilient and you are just finding your groove as a new mum.
My first daughter is now fiveteen and a delight, so the showers and reset seemed to be ok when she was a newborn! My second child did cry as well, I think they all do and well he just fitted in.
As a PP mentioned you only have so many hands.
Be kind to yourself, it is a period of new adjustment and skills. Keep your sense of humour and reach out for help when need.
CB

Edited by coolbreeze, 07 January 2019 - 03:37 PM.


#21 Ellie bean

Posted 07 January 2019 - 03:48 PM

Babies are hard, you’re doing great
Could just be normal 6 week crying but if it doesn’t pass it could be something like silent reflux or a cows milk protein intolerance, my babies had both and needed special formula. Don’t be afraid to get medical advice if things don’t calm down with the screaming.
Eta people told me “all babies cry” and it took me a while as a new Mum to figure out my babies crying was extreme and not normal

Edited by Ellie bean, 07 January 2019 - 03:49 PM.


#22 Ellie bean

Posted 07 January 2019 - 03:52 PM

Also I did no tummy time ever (I’m not recommending that by the way!) and both of my kids are remarkably strong
If your baby needs a nap, skip tummy time that day, do what works!

#23 BottlesAndBooties

Posted 07 January 2019 - 04:01 PM

...

Edited by BottlesAndBooties, 04 February 2019 - 02:18 AM.


#24 MooGuru

Posted 07 January 2019 - 04:28 PM

Another thing is babies can be really reactive to your mood. So if you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed and anxious it can be really hard to settle them because they can feel your heart rate etc.

I know I felt like the worst mother ever when everyone but me seemed able to settle him at one point there. I reckon if there was footage of me I'd probably look like a highly strung Taz Devil at times trying to do all things at once in my frantic desperation to calm him down. Some mindfulness and deep breathing etc can't hurt.

Like EllieBean DS had medical issues which were dismissed for far too long with rolled eyes "all babies cry" so don't be afraid to check in with health professionals for reassurance.

#25 BBC

Posted 07 January 2019 - 06:28 PM

OP,  I hope you took advantage and had a nap and some "me" time.

You are doing a good job.




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