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Thread: Fussy baby, concerns about return 2 work

  1. #1
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    Aug 2012
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    Default Fussy baby, concerns about return 2 work

    Our baby is 7 weeks and a few days, was born at 37.5 weeks. I was induced b/c of low fluids but successfully had a VB. She's a nurse all the time, needs to be held baby, which is fine while I am home, but the closer my return to work date gets the more concerned I get. Unless she's nursing, sleeping or being held while in motion (arms or sling not car), she's crying and motion doesn't work indefinitely. Unless she is in a deep sleep, she cries in a car seat, a swing with motor, or lying down anywhere but on us. More than 1/2 our diaper changes bring tears as she's placed on the changing table. I'm very hands on - hold her as much as she needs it and co sleep, but we have very few minutes in the day where she's just plain ol alert. There are short bursts but they're getting shorter, not longer. When those rare times do occur I read, talk to her, sing or do some development activity. We just started testing bottles of pumped milk given by my husband with me out of the house and she drinks them very fast (ex 1st oz last night in a matter of min and she had already nursed). I've explained to him that she'll do that and that he's got to slow her down to avoid overfeeding but he disagrees and says she's hungry. He will be her daytime caregiver w/someone else part time if I can find a good fit.

    So the issue in summary: how do I go back to work at 12 wks and leave a baby who is inconsolable most of the day unless at the breast or being held and walked (I have the greater patience for this) and how do I leave her with a caregiver, my husband, who loves her dearly but claims he can't over feed her and does not have the patience for so many 1/2 hour walk n rocks? I'm really struggling with this but I'm not in a position to take more leave and I'm not optimistic she's going to change in the next 4 weeks. I read 'why does it seem like I'm nursing all the time?" and it was SO comforting except the author of the post didn't have to return to a job.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Fussy baby, concerns about return 2 work

    Be optimistic because things will change in 4 weeks, I promise! At 7 weeks, I was very frightened, too, and shed quite a few tears about having to return to work. I was almost panicked at that point. My experience differs from yours in that we placed her in a daycare. I honestly didn't think she would get less fussy before I returned to work at 12 weeks, but she did. Everything was fine. It was a stressful transition but honestly I think it was harder on me than it was on her. At 7 weeks, I had to babywear her constantly, but by 12 weeks she was OK in her little bouncy seat or the swing, and she wasn't OK with those things before. This may be the case for you.

    Can your DH try babywearing in the sling or Moby? He will find his own ways to comfort her. Maybe he can get out for walks during the day (that almost instantly helped my DD), either with the sling or how does she like the stroller? He will find ways to soothe her, I promise.

    By the way, my DD has always hated diaper changes and still does at 12 months! Ugh!

    Enjoy your weeks at home with your baby and try not to worry too much Things have a way of working out and will change so fast!
    Lisa

    Mom to Aimee, born 8/22/11
    for 20 months!

  3. #3
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    Aug 2012
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    Default Re: Fussy baby, concerns about return 2 work

    Thank you. I've never needed forums before momhood. Boy has that changed. My husband is great about putting her in the Boba carrier and taking her for a walk. He does it once a day, she usually falls asleep and emphatically lets him know when time is up. Sometime he gets an entire hour (nice break for me). But when she is done she is done. I'm certain he'll need to have a bottle ready as soon as they return (and thus my overfeed concern stress noted above). The stroller is another story - that thing is the magic scream button, which also means car trips are rare lately as the fuss factor has increased and the car seat is the enemy. We've never tried a 2nd walk later in the day because it's so bloody hot right now. As it is she's down to the diaper and cover, but that's a lot of heat when you're pressed up against a dad.

    I hope hope hope you're right that things change in 4 weeks. Even though I spend so much of my day nursing, literally hours at a time, I am enjoying her immensely. I know how lucky I am even though it's the hardest job I've ever had.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    5,595

    Default Re: Fussy baby, concerns about return 2 work

    You have worked hard to breastfeed, and you have anxiety about returning to work. This is normal, so, respect these normal and healthy feelings.

    First off, i agree with pp. 12 weeks is 4 weeks away-think how much your baby has changed in just 8 weeks. A 12 week old is different than an 8 week old.

    But let's say your right and your baby is going to be just the same-or even more fussy. If rearranging your lives so you can stay home or be home more, or bring baby to work, is not an option, then you and your husband will need to make this arrangement work.

    What is your husbands plan if he does not 'believe' babies can be overfed with bottles (it's just a fact, not an opinion,-so it's like not 'believing' a gasoline engine would be ruined if you ran it on seawater.) But whatever- if he won't try paced bottle feedings and other comfort measures or handle diaper change crying, what is he going to do? Over feed her into a coma? Let her scream all day in a soaking diaper in the crib? I doubt it. Maybe he-and you-would benefit from a couple practice runs prior to the return to work so he can discover what it's like to take care of baby all day alone, and you can gradually gain the confidence your baby will be properly cared for and attended to-but maybe not in exactly in the same way you would do it.

    We all need parenting tools/suggestions to get us started, and from that we and baby figure out our own way. So give him your suggestions, print out the linked below articles, maybe even try bringing him to a LLL meeting or to chat with a LLL leader or an IBCLC. I like pp ideas for a daddy baby carrier- you can help him research infant carriers and see if there is one he would be comfortable with, etc. But then you will need to give him the space to figure out his path. What if your roles were reversed, and he worked while you stayed home-and you did not breastfeed? You would figure it out. He can too.

    How much expressed milk will baby need - http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping/milkcalc/

    Paced bottle feeding and milk handling http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...fyour_milk.pdf

    And http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/f...ottle-feeding/

    Fussy baby ideas http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...ybabyideas.pdf

    For dads http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...t_partners.pdf

    ps the dr.'s sears books & articles often have good suggestions for dads. www.askdrsears.com
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; September 3rd, 2012 at 01:10 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Fussy baby, concerns about return 2 work

    First and foremost, I really appreciate your reply. I'm used to being in command at work and now a 7 week old has rocked my world. We all go through it, but we're still blown away by the impact on our lives. My husband is a good husband, father and man. He willingly cooks and cleans, takes our daughter in the carrier for a daily walk and she cooperates most days (the stroller isn't happening much, nor are driving outings right now -she cries in the car seat), he does change diapers, chauffeurs us to check ups, takes her out of my arms when she's crying and I need to pee and does he read what I've given him, which includes most of what you provided in your post to me. I do NOT want to sell him short. I know how very lucky I am.
    What it comes down to is that there are things mom can offer that no one else ever can and I need to come to terms with the fact that I can't be the primary caregiver come Oct. It's an emotional thing for me right now and hard to swallow after pregnancy, labor, delivery and the honor and responsibility of BF thus far. Plus I had not anticipated she'd get tougher as time goes on. It would make me feel a ton better if i could predict she'd evolve some in the coming weeks, but of course there's no way to do that. Having the support of the forum and the continued assurance of normalcy, even though i know it's normal, is helpful and theraputic. And your suggestion of us both attending a LLL meeting is a good one. Thank you again.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    You have worked hard to breastfeed, and you have anxiety about returning to work. This is normal, so, respect these normal and healthy feelings.

    First off, i agree with pp. 12 weeks is 4 weeks away-think how much your baby has changed in just 8 weeks. A 12 week old is different than an 8 week old.

    But let's say your right and your baby is going to be just the same-or even more fussy. If rearranging your lives so you can stay home or be home more, or bring baby to work, is not an option, then you and your husband will need to make this arrangement work.

    What is your husbands plan if he does not 'believe' babies can be overfed with bottles (it's just a fact, not an opinion,-so it's like not 'believing' a gasoline engine would be ruined if you ran it on seawater.) But whatever- if he won't try paced bottle feedings and other comfort measures or handle diaper change crying, what is he going to do? Over feed her into a coma? Let her scream all day in a soaking diaper in the crib? I doubt it. Maybe he-and you-would benefit from a couple practice runs prior to the return to work so he can discover what it's like to take care of baby all day alone, and you can gradually gain the confidence your baby will be properly cared for and attended to-but maybe not in exactly in the same way you would do it.

    We all need parenting tools/suggestions to get us started, and from that we and baby figure out our own way. So give him your suggestions, print out the linked below articles, maybe even try bringing him to a LLL meeting or to chat with a LLL leader or an IBCLC. I like pp ideas for a daddy baby carrier- you can help him research infant carriers and see if there is one he would be comfortable with, etc. But then you will need to give him the space to figure out his path. What if your roles were reversed, and he worked while you stayed home-and you did not breastfeed? You would figure it out. He can too.

    How much expressed milk will baby need - http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping/milkcalc/

    Paced bottle feeding and milk handling http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...fyour_milk.pdf

    And http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/f...ottle-feeding/

    Fussy baby ideas http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...ybabyideas.pdf

    For dads http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...t_partners.pdf

    ps the dr.'s sears books & articles often have good suggestions for dads. www.askdrsears.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Default Re: Fussy baby, concerns about return 2 work

    My husband stayed home with my DS Joe and is now going to be a SAHD to both Joe and DD baby Maggie. Honestly, he had to figure it out, but it was okay. I didn't hassle him too much about paced bottlefeeding - if the bottle worked to keep the baby happy, and the amounts weren't totally crazy-pants and depleting my stash, I was okay with it, especially in those first weeks while we were all getting adjusted (this is a good reason to have a stash, but it doesn't need to be enormous). He wore our baby a lot, and that really helps. They found a rhythm and it worked out. Was I stressed? Yes. Did I grieve the separation with my baby? YES. But DH totally stepped up to the plate and did the job. Joe was well taken care of. I was uptight about a few things (no formula!) but I tried to micromanage DH as little as humanly possible (for my personality, anyway, eek!).

    Babies really do change a lot from 8 weeks to 12 weeks. I'm not saying it will be a picnic then, but one thing is for sure - it will be different! And indeed, most babies are LESS fussy at 12 or 16 weeks than they were at 8 weeks. It's going to be okay.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Fussy baby, concerns about return 2 work

    Wow sounds like you wrote my story. I had a mama-only, never set me down, hate all baby holders including his sling little man. Magically at eight weeks he started to enjoy small increments of alone time in his pack nplay or bouncer. I kept the bouncer in the bathroom so he could see me during potty breaks. It does get better. He likes the stroller now that he can sit up and eat snacks off the tray. Mobility and the independence it gave my son were big factors in calming my son's perpetual fussiness (around 6 mo for us).


    I wish I had a more positive experience with returning to work. I stuck it out for 6 weeks before deciding to stay home. My husband was also the caregiver while I was away but we both worked 3rd shift only on opposite days. We literally never had a day off together. My son would also not sleep for daddy, he stayed up the whole night most nights crying for the majority. We realized we could manage with one income, albeit with some lifestyle changes. It was worth it for us. I'll be returning to school next year when I feel he'll be ready for daycare.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Fussy baby, concerns about return 2 work

    Thanks for the response. On the bright side if all other needs are met she's fine with daddy and other holders for brief periods (longer if she's asleep) and likes walks in the Boba carrier. But not being held by someone still isn't happening much (maybe 10 min) unless she's passed out. I'll keep hoping for change w/age.

    Wish I had an option w/return to work, but i don't. Enjoy that time at home!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Fussy baby, concerns about return 2 work

    It's actually pretty normal for a baby that age to insist on being held all the time. I'm going through that with my 8 week old now. It does usually get better, but also, you just get used to carrying a baby around all the time! Baby carriers are the bomb!


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

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