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Thread: Ready to give up

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    89

    Default Ready to give up

    I'm not sure if this is the correct place to post this but I don't know where else it belongs.

    I've just about got to the point where I can't take any more. I've posted before about problems with DS2's sleeping and some issues with slow weight gain. Sleeping is still a disaster. Last night I got 3-4 hours sleep and then spent all day running around after two kids completely exhausted. It's now almost 2am and I've given up trying to sleep for tonight after getting 2 hours of sleep. I can't keep going on like this.
    DS2 is currently feeding every hour during the day, except when he naps for 2 hours. This is great, I feel he is eating more and gaining more weight. He has more dirty diapers each day so I am confident that allowing him access to nurse all day has been a good thing. But how is it possible that he needs to eat every hour at night too?? I don't think he wants to eat, just to suckle, but if I don't feed him he will scream the house down for hours. He is such a sweet happy little baby when he is being held, fed, played with, etc. But when I go out in the car, go shopping, cook the dinner, or do anything that requires he be left down he screams and screams and screams. I am getting so exhausted from listening to his screaming and I feel that it is traumatising DS1. I don't even think I can go to the local grocery store again because people have started to recognise me as the woman who comes with the screaming baby.
    There is no reason (like reflux) for the screaming because as soon as he sees my face or I pick him up he gets all happy and excited.
    I've started trying to put him in his crib for naps as he is getting too big for his pram (where he has been napping until now) but he refuses. Nothing will calm him down, this child could scream non-stop for 2 hours! He falls asleep in my arms but I can't let him nap there because I also need to spend time with DS1. I put him in a carrier, and guess what, he screams. He is only happy in it when I am paying attention to him, talking to him, rubbing his head etc.
    I feel like I could happily leave for a week to get a break from it all. I never remember feeling that way with DS1. How can I get DS2 to sleep in his crib? Sleep longer than 1 hours intervals at night? I'm not even sure if he is getting enough sleep at night. He goes to bed at about 9pm and gets up at 6-6:30am. But with the frequent wakings he must only be getting about 7 hours of sleep overnight. I'm afraid to put him to bed earlier in case he is up at 4am! During the day he typically naps twice, 1hr + 2hr. But with the move to his crib during the day I'm not sure if this will continue or just be replace with hours of screaming. What would be a typical sleeping schedule for a 5 month old, e.g bedtime, time to get up in the morning, naps etc. I know people on here are not a fan of CIO but I'm getting to the point where I want to let him in his room until he falls asleep because I don't know what else to do with him

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    Default Re: Ready to give up

    How old is your baby? Have you tried a wrap or a sling? Some babies are what we call "High need" which means their need for physical contact is really high. If you have a child like this, even if you stopped breastfeeding him, he would still be this way. And now you would have the extra screaming from the time you need to be away while you mix formula and clean bottles. So don't let the fact that he is high needs be the reason you quit. When I felt trapped and like I could get nothing done I went to a baby wearing class and bought a moby wrap. Then he could sleep on me but I was hands free so I could put away dishes and laundry and get myself some food. They would also leave you hands free to deal with your older child. Another thing you can try at nap time is taking your shirt off and wrapping around your baby in his crib. So he can still smell you.
    But just know that it IS possible and NORMAL for babies to eat every 1-3 hours around the clock. The amount of milk they take in at each feed is so small and they digest and absorb it so quickly that IS often the case. Usually they hit a sweet spot where they can hold more and got longer somewhere between 12& 16 weeks.
    Another thought, does your older child still nap? I know that one thing that helped me was letting go of the idea of getting all my sleep at once. It just wasn't going to happen to obsessing about it made it work. I figured out that as long as I got 8hours somewhere in a 24hour period, I'd survive. So one of the ways I did that was by laying down with my kid from about 4months on for one nap a day. It was good for 2hours and I needed the rest. It's harder with older kids but if your older little still naps usually the baby can be led to lay down so there is on period where you are ALL sleeping. Also on the weekends when you have extra support, carve out the time for naps. Sometimes just knowing you are hanging on for the weekend works to get you through. But if you need more the person to carve that out with IS your partner. My DH took the baby every night for2hours after dinner before bed. If you KNOW that you are going to be up all night, again a 2hour nap can really help get you through it.

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    89

    Default Re: Ready to give up

    DS2 is 5 months old. I am currently using the Ergo to carry him around but he only likes it if I keep my attention focused on him. I don't see how that would change with a wrap. I tried to prepare dinner with him in the Ergo last week and he screamed and arched to get out until I eventually gave up.
    The title of my post was poorly chosen I think. I wasn't referring to giving up nursing, that is not something I am considering because I don't believe that is the solution. I was more referring to my feelings of wanting to leave my life right now.
    I tried putting some of my milk on his crib sheet last night but clearly that didn't work. I estimate I got about 3.5 hours sleep in total and DS2 is up for the day since 6:30.
    DS1 is a great sleeper and still naps 2 hours in the afternoon. If I'm lucky I can time it so their naps overlap for maybe 1 hour. During this time I am usually trying to grab lunch and check my emails. This is the only precious time I get to myself all day. I could nap, but it takes me so long to fall asleep that it wouldn't be worth it and on the occasions when I have napped I wake up feeling 10 times worse and find it more difficult to get through the rest of the day.
    DH tries to help but he is only here for 1.5 hours in the evenings before I go to bed. During this time I prepare dinner (the other option is that DH prepares dinner while I watch the kids, but I prefer to get a break from them by this point of the day). Then I get the kids ready and go to bed. So napping in the evenings is not possible. DH does all the cleaning up once I am gone to bed with DS2.
    I am worried that I am damaging him by letting him cry but I have to shower, go to the bathroom, take care of DS1, etc. During all of these tasks he screams. It is like he hasn't learned that I will eventually come back and get him. He stops crying immediately once I pick him up. I just have no idea what to do with him anymore!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    24,040

    Default Re: Ready to give up

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*podutti View Post
    It is like he hasn't learned that I will eventually come back and get him.
    Exactly! At just 5 months old, he really does not know that you will come back for him. Can you imagine how freaky that is for him?

    One secret about cribs is that they are great for storing laundry and toys, but not so great as places for babies to sleep. It's really common for babies to simply HATE being in the crib, to resist sleep when they are in it, and to sleep in shorter stretches when they are in the crib. Some things to try when your child hates his crib:
    - Bed on wheels- have him nap in the stroller or pram. If he has outgrown his pram, buy a bigger one. There are the ones that can hold 2 kids, for example this one: http://t.jcpenney.com/baby/strollers...ku=34331170018. With a good double stroller, you could potentially get both kids napping simultaneously.
    - Swing- a lot of babies nap well in motion. My girls napped in their swing until they were around a year old.
    - Co-sleep. You don't mention where your baby is sleeping at night...?

    If none of that works, then I would get a copy of Elizabeth Pantley's book "The No-Cry Sleep Solution". It has some gentle, middle-of-the-road approaches to getting a baby to sleep longer and more independently. If these approaches work, awesome! If not, and changing your baby's sleep set-up does not change anything, and you are still totally debilitated by lack of sleep, THEN it might be time to think about doing some sort of sleep training. But it should not be the first thing you try, right? It's going to be hard on you and hard on your baby, and honestly I think there's a good chance of you getting even less sleep during it than you have been.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    484

    Default Re: Ready to give up

    I can definitely endorse cosleeping. Your DS2 sounds exactly like my DS at the same age. You may not get a longer stretch of sleep cosleeping, but it will help you fall asleep more quickly--or not even fully wake--during the night feedings.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Ready to give up

    DS sleeps in a crib right next to my bed. I have read the benefits of co-sleeping but it really isn't something I am comfortable with. We have no risk factors but there has been loss in my extended family from sids and I would never be able to relax with a baby in the bed. The crib we have is on wheels but even rolling it won't get DS to sleep at night or for naps. When he used to nap in the pram he would sleep after only 1 minute of rolling it. I think maybe it was the small enclosed space he liked.
    I tried putting DS to bed 1 hour earlier last night at 8pm but, after waking every hour, he got up for the day at 5am. So that didn't help. I just feel like I am going insane sometimes, between being awake all night and being stuck in the house with a screaming baby all day. I am embarrassed going anywhere with him so it's easier to just stay here.
    I have spoken with two health professionals about it and the advice was (1) start solids (2) give water when he wakes at night. Last night DH started pushing formula/solids again. He thinks it would fill DS up better and make him happier in general. I have argued that solids will not help his weight gain or sleep, but DH wants to know why I trust information on the internet more than the information given to me by trained professionals. I don't know how to answer that question.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Ontario
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    627

    Default Re: Ready to give up

    Well, reliable information on the internet is often more up-to-date than professionals that were trained decades ago with antiquated thinking and who perhaps haven't kept up with things as well as they should have.

    I love my Ergo, but my DD went through a phase where she hated it. Have you tried doing a hip carry or putting him on your back in the Ergo? I'm wondering if that would be a more interesting position for him and might get you some respite at least.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,040

    Default Re: Ready to give up

    What if the bed was a mattress on the floor, with just you and baby?

    with Carm3 about the difference between advice that comes from health professionals and that which comes from community of mothers. La Leche League exists because of this difference! Back in the 50s when LLL was invented, the medical profession knew NOTHING about breastfeeding. Most of what they know now still comes from LLL, not the other way round!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: Ready to give up

    Is he swaddled? My LO won't sleep more than an hour unless she is swaddled. You could try a pacifier too, although I haven't had any luck with that. What about having hubby be "on duty" for part of the night - he changes the diaper, brings baby to you, you nurse lying on your side and try to sleep while baby nurses and hubby watches for him to finish and then puts him back to bed. You don't have to get up or even wake up all the way. My hubby is starting a night job soon so he won't be able to do it anymore, but this system has been working well for us until now. He would be on duty until about 3am, then I let him sleep and I take over.

    I know a lot of people who have tried starting solids thinking it will help baby sleep longer and it backfires. Solids are harder to digest so you may end up with a baby who is awake all night with a belly ache.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    Default Re: Ready to give up

    I never had an ergo but I think my kid did so well in a wrap because he was all swaddled up in it like in my womb. So the being all encased combined with the bouncing generally put him to sleep pretty quickly.

    Way too lazy for formula

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