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when will it get better?

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#1 José

Posted 01 December 2012 - 09:49 AM

i have been posting a bit about DS and his sleep because i am really struggling with it.
prior to DS i would sleep a solid 9 hours per night. i become impatient and emotional with a lack of sleep- even prior to DS.
so, now im really struggling. DS usually sleeps one good block (3 hours) in a 24 hour period. all other sleeps are about 40-60 minutes. he usually falls alseep on me. most of the time when i try and transfer him to his cot he wakes and screams the house down. i dont mind him sleeping on me, but its not really working for me to have him doing this all the time. i struggle to get to the toilet without him screaming, never mind take a shower. DS is a cranky pants most of the day and i think its because he is so tired. his eyes look tired and usually when he feeds he can hardly keep his eyes open.
we have only one chair in the house where i can sit comfortably with DS and am feeling trapped in that chair. im in there half the night and most of the day.
DH is great. he has taken additional time off work, but now has no more leave left, so any time off is unpaid. he gets up early every morning and takes DS so i can get 1-1.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
the only cooking being done is by DH.
i am feeling very sad today. some of my feelings are probably consistent with PND but i really think its just a lack of sleep. on the odd occasion where i get to nbap during the day i feel awesome.
this morning i have been holding a screaming DS while crying myself. -DH had to got to work this morning because of all the extra time off he's been having. if things dont improve soon i dont know how i will continue. i dont want to spend each day crying. i dont want to spend each day listening to my poor DS cry because he is so tired! have just tried introducing dummy with no benefits so far. if i put DS to bed awake he usually screams until he works himself up into a sweat, even if i stay patting him.
btw DS is almost 8 weeks old. saw dr. when he went for his shots who said no medical probs.

#2 Escapin

Posted 01 December 2012 - 10:00 AM

Sleep deprivation is just awful. I'm sorry you're having such a hard time. It does sound like PND - doesn't really matter if the lack of sleep is causing it, you should really talk to your GP. And do you have anyone who could come and help a bit during the day? I don't have any family locally so I know how hard it is. I know now I should have accepted those offers of help! Even so that I could just have a shower or hour's sleep.

#3 Wonderlust

Posted 01 December 2012 - 10:09 AM

hugs to you op  bbighug.gif I found the first 4 months and the lack of sleep really really hard.

I suggest try everything just to see what works for your baby. Do you use a wrap? Maybe a bouncy chair to rock to sleep? Also depending on weather, your ds could be too hot.

Just remember it will get easier and it won't always be so hard. I really wish somebody had told me that.

#4 Tesseract

Posted 01 December 2012 - 10:13 AM

It will get better, I promise. It won't be like this forever. One way or another, it won't be like this forever. They change so quickly. I found the first 12 weeks particularly challenging with feeding/sleeping but things did settle a bit after that. 8 weeks is a particularly difficult time - you have a wonder week going on (google wonder weeks, best info ever!) and crying for "no reason" also peaks at 8 weeks (also google 'purple crying' website).

If you think you might be depressed then speak to someone about it.

All new mums need help, don't be afraid to ask for help. My DD is nearly 2 years old and DH STILL does all the cooking. Looking after a baby is the same as three full time jobs, don't expect yourself to do much else, at least not until you're getting some decent sleep.

It sounds like your DS really loves being close to you. Have you tried a sling? I found the hug-a-bub a life saver, she would be content and have some good day sleeps in there. Also setting up a safe co-sleeping arrangement - this helps for night sleeping and also means you can have a nap with bubs during the day.

Other things to consider might be the Pantley Dance (google it) which is a technique for getting a baby down into a cot/bassinette without them waking up. I also found a warm mattress (I warmed it using a hot water bottle) and jersey cotton sheets, helped me get her down once asleep.

hugs to you, it can be a real challenge!

#5 Violet Devine

Posted 01 December 2012 - 10:17 AM

hugs. Couldn't read and not reply.

Those early weeks are tough. Perhaps focussing on a basic routine of wake, nappy, feed, (nappy again if they're anything like my boys), wrap and sleep. A bit ofna pattern helped me while I worked out what my boys needed. Less decision making helps me.

Please rest as much as you can (don't even think about housework).

Remember to eat.

Going for a short walk each day is great for us. Helped me know it was day time, bub would either sleep or just sound quieter out in the open.

Please do look out for PND. Maybe make a note in your diary for a month away to assess how your feeling ?

Don't mean to be bossy, just wanted to give you a few options to think about. If all else fails, chanting 'this too shall pass' whilencuddling in the early hours.  

Call anybody you thinkmmight be able to help, your families, friends, anyone who congratulated you when he was born is a great place to start. Tell them your still settling in, would love some company for a warm drink and a shower.

#6 feralisles

Posted 01 December 2012 - 10:19 AM

Hi OP,

Mine were like this - they would fall asleep feeding, then wake up screaming when I tried to put them down into the cot.  Once awake they would refuse to sleep again for ages, even though they were clearly overtired.  It's frustrating, isn't it!

The one thing I found worked for me was to feed them lying down in my bed or on a mattress on the floor.   When they fell asleep I would wait a few minutes to make sure they were properly out to it, slide the nipple out and quietly sneak away!  Because I wasn't having to move them they didn't stir.

I had my bed pushed against a wall, with baby between me and the wall so she couldn't fall.  During the day when I wasn't going to be in bed with her we used the mattress on the floor so if she did roll off she wouldn't get hurt.

I found mine started sleeping better naturally once they were mobile, but that is a few months away for you yet.  Hopefully the lying down feeds will help in the meantime.  I know a lot of people are against the feeding to sleep idea, but it was the only thing that worked for us.

A sling may be worth considering too, sometimes babies will sleep in these which allows you to be mobile.  Didn't work for us, but some mothers swear by them.

The only other thing I can suggest is trying to get your baby to sleep earlier after each feed.  If they are really overtired they seem to get more worked up and harder to settle.  When things got really bad I would sometimes go to bed with baby and a book, doing nothing but feeding and sleeping.  It seemed to help us both.

The stage between six weeks and three months was the hardest for us, then it slowly got better.  Good luck OP, I hope it improves for you soon.

#7 NunSoFeral

Posted 01 December 2012 - 10:22 AM

Feliz, you poor thing - it is so emotionally, physically and mentally exhausting eh?
I second escapins suggestions - they are sound.

I appreciate you had said the doctors had advised that your little one presented with no medical problems, but it may be worthwhile having a look at the symptoms corresponding to reflux.

I only suggest this as DS1 displayed similar sleep patterns and he had reflux.
Once we started managing this with medication (Zantec from memory) and sleeping on an angle, he started sleeping much, much better

Also - have you got a vibrating rocker or a papasan swing?
I found these to be lifesavers.

Perhaps seeks some advice from baby sleep centres - I'm not savvy on these details, perhaps other posters can provide some informaiton on these

These are just some suggestions that helped us in a similar situation.

I really hope that can find some relief - just keep talking and don't be afraid to ask for help.

#8 kittennic

Posted 01 December 2012 - 10:30 AM

Sounds exactly like me when DS1 was about 5 months old. I vividly remember sitting sitting on the sofa at 4.30 in the morning with DS1 on my lap crying and me crying too.
DH got a laptop for me to use during the day when stuck on the sofa.
It was hard, and really awful at times. Hang in there, it does get better.
Get help when you can - parents, friends, anyone who can give bub expressed milk while you sleep for several hours during the day. Seriously - now is the time to accept all offers of help, especially babysitting help.
Good luck.

#9 Alacritous~Andy

Posted 01 December 2012 - 10:39 AM

Hi OP,

I am not going to give you any advice about might be this, might be that, because it could be a whole range of things.  But I will say one thing - ask for help. If not from your GP, then call your local child health.  It sound like you could use some support right now, and there is a lot of it out there, just keep asking.  

I remember that same trapped feeling at about 8 weeks, and I joined a local mothers group run by child health, and also joined the ABA mothers group in my area.  The screaming doesn't seem so loud out of the house for some reason. And the support was amazing.

#10 Neko NoNo

Posted 01 December 2012 - 10:49 AM

It's awful isn't. There is some really great advice here, but if you are already doing most of this stuff and it isn't working, I recommend signing up for sleep school. In NSW it takes about 6 weeks to get in (I imagine it's similar in other states) and you don't have to go if things are better for you when you get in.

I kept being told babies don't sleep, it's normal. Well, at 11 months he still wasn't sleeping more than 3 hours in a row, and that was with cosleeping and breast feeding in bed. Sleep school saved me and my baby because if I hadn't got some sleep soon, I may have hurt him. It was just awful. I nearly left a number of times. I wish I had done sleep school sooner. It's not just the sleeping that helps, but the support, the cooked meals and no cleaning!

Good luck and I hope your baby turns into sleeping street very soon for you.

#11 José

Posted 01 December 2012 - 10:59 AM

Thankyou to those who have taken the time to reply.
To respond to a couple of things we have air conditioning in the lounge and bedroom. So bub shouldn't be too hot. All of DHs family is overseas. Mine is a good 6 hours away. My family visited once, requested a fully prepared meal, didn't offer to bring anything and didn't offer to help clean up after. I have a manduca which bub has been happy in when we are out but not around the house. I live in a small town with no mothers group. There is an ABA group about 30 mins away. I tried to get to their last meeting but at the time I needed to leave bub was having a rare nap so I didn't wake him.. as for house work we rent and had an inspection on Friday so had been trying hard to keep on top of that. One thing I didn't get to was weeding out the front and of course the real estate agent commented on how I should have done it.  I have an appt with DS and the child health nurse on wed. So that might be helpful. I like the idea of feeding laying down and then sneaking away. I'm going to try that.
Thanks again for the replies so far.

#12 Libertine

Posted 01 December 2012 - 11:07 AM

Random thought OP but  could your DS be cold? I was surprised in the hospital that they had DD in a wonder suit, wrapped and TWO wraps used as blankets when the Aircon was at 22-23.

I have Aircon in bedroom set at 24 and its taken me a few days to realise that DD sleeps better when I take her into a warmer room. Sleep deprivation has made me a bit slow on the uptake!!!!

Been some good suggestions from pps. The only one I don't agree with is sleep school IMO 8 weeks is too young - they are still so small and new to the world - for any form of 'training'

#13 CountryBumpkin

Posted 01 December 2012 - 11:25 AM

My DD is 17 months today and only started waking just the once at 16 months... It was a hard time, that I had to do on my own as hubby works away. I look back and wonder how I survived :-/

#14 Escapin

Posted 01 December 2012 - 11:33 AM

The other thing I would suggest is actually trying to get out of the house, at least once a day, preferably on foot (so you get some exercise). And you might meet some other people with babies around the place too. I know my mental health REALLY suffers when I'm only at home, even for just 1 or 2 days.

#15 *Caro*

Posted 01 December 2012 - 11:57 AM

I can't read and not reply.  Your post has brought me to tears, because I remember those days so well.  It is truly  overwhelming sometimes. We had no family support anywhere near us either, which made it particularly hard.

I hope your appointment on Wednesday is useful and you get some reassurance from the nurse. Some MACH nurses are wonderful and worth their weight in gold (a small minority however are terrible and you should ignore their advice and don't let them get you down.  Have your antennae up just in case!)  Have you been referred to a mothers group? My MACH nurse set me up in a group, we met for about 8 weeks with a nurse who presented on a different topic each week, and then we started organising our own coffee and walk meetings.  It was very helpful for sharing info and not feeling so alone.

When I was struggling at home alone with a crying baby, I found going for a walk to be really useful.  The main difference was that the crying baby doesn't sound as loud outside as it does inside.  I was also less likely to cry myself if we were outside!  Getting out in the sunshine can also assist - it will keep your Vitamin D levels up and can help set bub's body clock so he learns to know night and day. Once bub got used to sleeping in the pram, I also used the pram to settle inside during the day - it was much easier to get them to sleep in the pram than in the bassinet.  

Like others have said, it is worth seeing your GP.  I went to my GP once when I had a nonsleeping baby and a non sleeping toddler and sobbed to her that I thought I had PND.  We had a long chat, and she told me 'no, I think its exhaustion" but she ended up referring me to baby sleep school and knew then to check in with me whenever I saw her, just in case.  Asking for help was the best thing I did.  

i hope it gets easier soon, OP.

#16 MrsShine

Posted 01 December 2012 - 12:06 PM

Seconding the need for a swing or vibrating rocker they were a godsend at the crèche where I worked!

Also agree 8wks is a bit young for sleep school but maybe put your name down if the list is 6 wks plus in case you still need it then.

A lot of my friends feed laying on the bed and pop a pillow behind bub and often drift off to sleep themselves, otherwise once they are asleep pop a pillow on either side and go do what you need to do - he isn't going to roll anywhere at 8 wks.

8 wks is a bit young for a proper routine too, but I've heard great things about the book "The gift of sleep" when he's a bit older.

Try giving extra baths too if be likes them, even if he doesn't need one they tend to make them nice & sleepy.

Try a humidifier in his room, and a few drops of lavender oil in bath, on bedclothes.

A walk for you & him will do wonders with the fresh air - all the sights and smells make little bubs tired.

And if you can - try and see a homeopath or naturopath, I did not sleep at all when I was a baby (apparently an hr here and there even at night until I was 12 months!) and the only thing that helped was seeing a homeopath after many tests with GO's.

Hope that helps!

#17 TillyTake2

Posted 01 December 2012 - 12:17 PM

QUOTE (Escapin @ 01/12/2012, 11:00 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sleep deprivation is just awful. I'm sorry you're having such a hard time. It does sound like PND - doesn't really matter if the lack of sleep is causing it, you should really talk to your GP. And do you have anyone who could come and help a bit during the day? I don't have any family locally so I know how hard it is. I know now I should have accepted those offers of help! Even so that I could just have a shower or hour's sleep.

This is such good advice & I wish I'd had someone say this to me. Please see your GP & ask for a referral to a perinatal psychiatrist. There is a LOT of practical assistance available for FREE to women with PND & difficult babies. I wish I'd know this sad.gif PLEASE do see someone specialized in this area who can help.

#18 Futureself

Posted 01 December 2012 - 12:18 PM

DS is 11 weeks so I'm still in the thick of it but I can share things that we tried that improved things.

Using a Ergocacoon swaddle instead of traditional wrapping worked wonders for us. DS started doing 5 hours at night as a block as soon as we started using this. Love them.

Having a wrap carrier instead of a structured one was preferred by DS for sleep. I have a Caboo close carrier (an easier to use version of a HugaBub). It is still the only place DS will sleep for day sleeps. Pros of this: he does up to 2-3 hours in it; I can walk to the shops, put washing on and out, make food, go to the toilet, relax and read books...you get the idea. You're not trapped to a chair. Cons of this: you can't nap when he naps.

I tried him in a friends Manduca as I want to buy one once DS is older, he stayed awake and didn't relax to sleep.I think the wrap carrier hold him to to my chest and 'envelops' him more so he feels snug and can't see as much so sleeps. There is apparently free patterns available to make a 'wrap' carrier from a length of material if that's an option?

It's so hard, nothing but sympathy and empathy here! But having him do a little longer at night so I got more block sleep; and having him at least get good day sleeps so he wasn't overtired has made all the difference to us and stopped me crying on a daily basis.

#19 Cacti

Posted 01 December 2012 - 12:24 PM

It gets better, yes it does.

I was going to suggest the feeding lying down and sneaking away once asleep, I had many weeks where he'd only sleep while I was holding him (upright, on the couch, not moving) but I could sometimes feed him lying down and then sneak away. And then do a little dance. I was too paranoid to sleep next to him because I'd never fully relax, so I'd go and snooze on the couch.

My little guy hated the carrier when tiny but started liking it around 7 weeks, so sometimes I could put him in that and get out of the house. But then sometimes he would scream in it. It was a bit hit and miss. I also had a mechanical swing for him, which was a sanity saver - even if he wouldn't sleep in it, he'd chill out enough for me to go to the toilet and sometimes eat lunch. Sometimes he would sleep though.

Edited by Cacti, 01 December 2012 - 12:26 PM.

#20 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 01 December 2012 - 06:53 PM

PPs have given some great advice.

Just wanted to add that babies don't really learn a way to sleep (sleep associations) until around 4 months, so you can do whatever works for now without worrying about being stuck with it forever.  

One that worked for us was bringing the pram in the house and rolling it back and forth across a bump in the carpet every time he squeaked.  

#21 winkywonkeydonkey

Posted 01 December 2012 - 07:06 PM

i know how you feel i was there with my dd and co-sleeping helped me get more sleep but that is a personal choice and I know alot are not comfortable with it.You could always just try it and see if it helps.

It will get better and i think we just get used to it. Please try and ask for help from your Dh or a Gp or a sleep school

Your a good mum and sleep deprivation sucks but it passes eventually. hang in there.

#22 Loz07

Posted 01 December 2012 - 07:23 PM

Hi, agree with a lot of PP's, including the one about sunshine (especially in the early morning to help set their clock)

You said no medical problems, and a PP mentioned reflux, but one other thing to consider is - is he hungry? Has he been gaining weight ok, is your supply ok? With our dd, she slept terribly for the first 2 weeks, when I started doing a cluster feed in the evening (with a bath in there somewhere), she started sleeping blocks at night

Good luck

#23 1&Twins

Posted 01 December 2012 - 07:35 PM

OP you've had some great words of advice here, there's nothing more for me to add.

I really struggled for the first 4 months, especially during the day as DD wouldn't sleep unless on me for the first couple of months unless we were out pounding the pavement!  She more often than not loved the pram and the exercise and fresh air helped me a lot.

I just wanted to say that it does get better and these few first weeks will become a hazy memory (well it is for me).  I really started enjoying DD from about 5 months and now at 9 months, she just cracks me up everyday!

My mum told me that for the first couple of months it's just give, give give and you don't get anything back.. then they start smiling or reach out for you etc and it makes all this worthwhile original.gif .  Boy.. was she right!  I'll be honest and say that the newborn stage is not for me but there is simply no choice in the matter biggrin.gif .

Take care and know you're not alone, it sounds like you have a very supportive DH which is great.. I know I couldn't have done it without mine happy.gif .

Edited by ~ Lucy's Mum ~, 01 December 2012 - 07:36 PM.

#24 Pop-to-the-shops

Posted 01 December 2012 - 08:34 PM

I'm with those that say invest in a few gadgets.

I have a 5 month old and at one stage we had about 7 bouncy seats, swings, bumbos in the house!

We bought and sold a few on ebay and have finally found one he likes.

I also was reluctant to spend money on those love me swaddled, or ergo cocoon, but they seem to be working! Not sure if it is just his age, but he's not ready to be unwrapped on in a sleeping bag yet.

Is feeding ok? I was basically doing a feed, play, feed sleep routine, encouraging self settling where I could, but feeding very two to thre hours!

I also cut out dairy, cut back on coffee and chocolate too, and drank lots of camomile teas.

#25 Mumof1OneontheWay

Posted 01 December 2012 - 08:51 PM

Not sure how far away a chiropractor would be but we have seen great results in our sons sleeping. Also is he feeding enough/alot? Not recommending formula but when we changed to formula our son was a different child - I had supply issues. Def also recommend feeding lying down as you hopefully both get some rest that way. Have you tried white noise or music playing e.g. Music for Dreaming or you can get apps if you have an iphone. Is he swaddled? My bub loves the Wrap me up Swaddle - there is a lightweight summer one. Baby massage is another thing - Pinky McKay has a book on it or you could search online. Lavender oil burning?? A relaxing bath - you could both get in. I have an ergo which son doesn't mind sleeping in - takes a bit of time to get used too. Otherwise a swing. Good luck - let us know how you go.

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