Is this REALLY normal? (sleep/breastfeeding issues....)

AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
I'm getting frustrated, because I have discussed this with 2 public health nurses, 2 counsellors on the breastfeeding hotline and my doctor, and they all say this is normal, but is it really?

JJ will sleep fairly well some nights (by fairly well, I mean he wakes to feed every 2 hours - once in a while it is 3 or 3 1/2) but then goes back to sleep. But every couple of nights, he doesn't want to sleep at all. Take tonight for example. He fed at 6:45 and then slept until 10:15. I was really surprised. I wanted to start him on a walk/bath/bed routine but I didn't want to disturb him. When he woke, he fed, and was then wide awake and calm. I was getting tired but I knew he wouldn't sleep yet, so I did a few chores and things and around midnight decided to try to go to bed. As soon as JJ realized what was up, he began screaming. I figured he was hungry and fed him. Well, the next 5 hours, all he has done is scream. I feed him, he is quiet for about 2 mins, and screams. his last feeding, he was screaming with my breast in his mouth. He has been awake for almost 7 hours straight, and I haven't slept either. I've tried him in the bed beside me, in his own bassinet, on top of me, lullaby music, sitting in the rocking chair...

At some point, maybe 6 or 7am, he will eventually sleep and so will I, after 7 hours or so straight of breast feeding, with the breaks in between consisting of him screaming, and with my breasts feeling very tired and sore, but then he will continue to wake to feed every 2 hours, so I will never really get any rest. At some point, maybe 1pm or so, I will get hungry and get up to have something to eat. Half my day is already gone. The rest of the afternoon and evening, I will be so tired I won't want to do much other than play on the computer or lie on the couch and watch TV in between feedings. Forget doing anything in the house or anything for me (except I do force myself to work out no matter what.) Never mind that, but I feel like I should be playing with the baby, singing and talking to him, giving him tummy time, going for walks, reading, etc. and I don't have the energy to do that. I have migraines several times a week from no sleep, and can't take my meds. Whenever he has a night like that, we both have a wasted day and I feel like the worst mother because all my son does all day is feed, sleep and be exposed to TV. But apparently that's "cluster feeding" and is "normal." Not that I want to go anywhere anyway - I am so tired that I look awful. I don't even like taking pictures of JJ and me because I look like death in them.

Then, instead of getting him into a nighttime routine as has been suggested, I am so tired by 10pm I just shove him in his bassinet and go to bed, and if he sleeps, great. But because I have been napping all afternoon/evening, so has he, so he often doesn't.

As to feeding, the nurses kept telling me I had a milk oversupply and that I should only feed on one breast at a time for up to 12 hours. I did that faithfully for about 3 weeks and still had the fire hydrant squirting milk, baby choking and fussing at the breast and feeding every 1-2 hours. Plus the unused side was dripping constantly, my clothing was soaked all the time and it was all over the couch, bed etc. and he didn't seem satisfied after being on one breast, even for an hour. I was also told that that was "normal." I got fed up and since I didn't see results, I went back to both breasts and it's about the same except I have less wet clothing. People keep telling me that I'm feeding him too much, he shouldn't feed more than every 4 hours etc. but if he has to wait at all to feed, he screams. I've been told to let him scream, but after a while, I just can't do that, plus my husband has to work and I feel bad keeping him up too, so JJ and I moved to the couch. But at the same time, how fair is it that my husband is snoring away and I've been up all night?

Plus I am supposed to do a show in a couple of months and should be learning music now but I have no energy for that... and how will it work during the show if he is still like this? And I still have to cross the hurdle of pumping and bottle feeding. The people who said this was "normal" first said it would get better after 2 weeks, then they said 4 weeks, then 6 weeks, and now it's 3 months. So how do I know what to REALLY expect?

On those TLC shows, Baby story and Bringing Home Baby, it makes me so mad because the first night home, the couples will always complain that they're sleep deprived because "she woke up twice in the night." Then you see them the next day going to the park, playing on the floor with the kid, doing stuff with baby and their husband and there's no way I could do any of that at least half of the week. And no one seems to REALLY get it... not my husband and not my mama. She's over here a lot to help me... but she is scandalized that I am in bed past noon and tells me I have to get up, take a shower and comb my hair because how can I feel good if I don't, and then she starts complaining about how messy the house is. She also can't believe he isn't going at least 4 hours between feeds and 6 at night, because that's apparently what she did with all of us right from jump, and if we cried in between, too bad. My husband says he understands how things are, but then he'll make "helpful' suggestions about things I can do in the day with the baby.

OK, there are a lot of days that are not like this, but a lot are, too. And I know I am blessed to have him, and that he is healthy and gaining weight well. And I chose to do this and knew what I was in for. But it's still so hard, and it seems like a lot of other parents have it so much easier. And then people ask constantly "Is he sleeping through the night?" as if he is supposed to, or they ask "who gets up with him more?" (I'm breastfeeding, who do you think?) or "Do you make your husband get up with him?" (what's the point? he only wants to eat. My husband has tried rocking with him, walking, etc. etc. etc. but he screams until he eats... even if he just fed for 45 mins 10 mins ago - but that's "normal" cluster feeding...)

I feel guilty, because it is hard to get him on a routine and calm because there are always so many people over here, and I have taken him out quite a bit so I can see my friends and do stuff, and I think I totally overstimulated and confused him. But he is always so good and alert during the day and evening that it doesn't seem like a problem at the time if I'm up to it, and if I am, I am just so excited about doimg stuff.

I don't believe in pacifiers, but I am sorely tempted....
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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Comments

  • sarah42sarah42 Posts: 4,034Registered Users
    ((((HUGS)))) Babies (and sleep deprivation) can be extremely frustrating!

    It sounds like JJ has a usual time of day when he gets fussy. That, plus his age (around 6 weeks), suggests colic to me. From what I know of it, doctors don't know what causes colic, and there's not much you can do for it. You basically have to wait it out until baby's nervous/digestive/whatever system gets slightly more mature and they outgrow it. This is usually at age 3-4 months. The book The Happiest Baby on the Block has some advice. For my DS (who was definitely not as screamy as yours), sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. In a nutshell, the advice is that babies are soothed by being swaddled, rocking motions (e.g. rocking chair, infant swing, being carried/worn by mom or dad), "shush"-type white noise, and sucking. Carrying him in a sling or putting him in a swing, if you have one, might be helpful during his sleepless nights, and you could try swaddling him to go to sleep if you're not already. The pacifier might be another thing to consider, if you're willing to give him one. You've obviously gotten well-established with breastfeeding, which is one of the big arguments against them for newborns (nipple confusion). My $.02 is that I think babies can have a strong sucking impulse that goes way beyond nutritional needs, and my family all would have gone crazy if my DS hadn't taken a pacifier.

    How long is JJ nursing at a time? If he's just nursing for a minute or two and then falling asleep, he's not getting enough nourishment to sustain him for 3 hours. I would gently try to keep him awake by rubbing his hands or feet and encourage him to take a full feeding. If he's nursing for a long time, can you hear him actually drinking and swallowing the whole time? If not, he's probably pacifying himself at the breast towards the end. If you're giving him a pacifier, that would be the time to offer it.

    You have to be able to see your friends and get out of the house sometimes, otherwise you'll go mad. Don't feel guilty about it. If you're out and you can see him starting to get tired, either try to pack up and head home then, or see if JJ will go to sleep while you're out. A sling or other baby carrier can be a lifesaver in those situations.

    Good luck! Keep us posted.
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  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    No advice because I'm not there yet, but I'm sending some (((HUGS))) your way.
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  • fuzzbucketfuzzbucket Posts: 996Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Hugs to you!

    My little one is not screamy, but he has nights where he is just awake and feeding every hour. Miserable, I know! He does have good nights where he gets up once between midnight and 6 AM and I'm looking forward to having those be the norm. Happiest Baby on the Block has helped us a great deal when he has had his crying jags.

    Instead of a schedule, I'm working on getting him to keep day and night separate. I keep things dark and quiet from 11 PM until 6 AM and then during the day, I make more noise and interact more. It's hard to do on no sleep, though.

    I hate to say, that it does sound fairly normal. 6 weeks is usually a growth spurt with cluster feeding, fussing at the breast and disrupted sleep. We are just coming out of one and have had 3 better nights in a row. I can totally sympathize, since my boy is a big eater too. Hang in there and don't let the advice givers get you down.

    Edited to add: Ditto on the sling or carrier! DS loves both the Moby wrap and Snugli carrier. I'm with you on the pacifier, but I had a revelation yesterday. Harry was popping off and on the breast wanting to suck, but getting mad that there was milk. He would root when he was on my shoulder, but cry if I brought him down to feed. I put in a paci and he happily sucked and fell asleep. He spit it out after a little bit and was happy. I'm not against using it a bit if it helps.
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  • Jenny CJenny C Posts: 1,195Registered Users
    You might need to give in and try a pacifier. I was hesitant too in the very beginning, but I soon realized that it was the best thing ever invented.

    Babies need to suck, and unless you want to become a human pacifier, you might want to give it a try. If it works - great, if not you're no worse off.

    4 hours between feeds is long time for a bf baby, but you should try for every 3, with a paci inbetween.

    Oh and forget about doing stuff around the house. Just try to rest when you can - a messy house never killed anyone. Once things become more stable you can get to cleaning and other chores. Have your hubby help too, since he can't get up during the night, he should help you as much as he can during the day.
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  • geekygeeky Posts: 4,995Registered Users
    Hugs.

    Sounds normal to me. Sounds like colic, yours just happens at night, not in the evening like it does for most people.

    Whoever told you that he should be going 4 hours between feedings and 6 at night either never breastfed a newborn or got lucky with the easiest baby in the world or is plain LYING or has a selective memory.

    We were still up every 3 hours (or more) at night at that age. And we were nowhere near a routine till like 5 months.

    A sling definitely helped. I would say the hours between 5 and 9 or 10 were spent with Ben in either a sling or nursing the while time. Cluster nursing during colic fits is definitely normal so don't let anyone make you feel bad about that.

    Also don't feel like you are a bad mom if you try a pacifier. Sounds like he has no problem breastfeeding and is gaining well, so it won't interfere there. Some babies need to suck a lot, and what they need is non-nutritive sucking. If you can't be a pacifier for him 100% of the time (and it's really hard, very few people can) there is absolutely nothing wrong with helping him get this need met another way.

    You need to find a balance between going out and having people over and also getting your needs and JJ's met. If people are at your house getting in the way of things you need to do, you ask them to come back a nother time.

    As far as the milk oversupply, I had a period where Ben could not even latch on the flow was so strong a t first. What worked for me was hand expressing a bit onto a cloth diaper right before I latched him on. I had never heard of the one breast for 12 hours thing, but sounds like it did not help much.

    What worked for us was like fuzzbucket said, helping distinguish between night and day. If he woke up in the middle of the night and looked wide awake after nursing, I just kept the lights low, rocked him, shushed him but did not talk to him or play with him. After a couple of weeks he got the idea and started going right back to sleep after eating.

    Oh, and I was always the one who got up in the middle of the night with Ben. I had the milk, I didn't see why both if us needed to wake up. Also my husband was going to work, I was staying home for 6 months. Actually till about 7 months I stayed in the bedroom with Ben and my husband slept in the other bedroom. Husband only started getting up at night when we decided to night wean at 10 months.

    Don't feel guilty above all. babies are hard, getting them on a routine is hard and it takes a long time.

    Is he napping during the day? I had a kid who also seemed alert and was just not napping at all. I think by the time evening rolled around he was way overtired and overstimulated. Signs that they are tired are very subtle but I read that a newborn till about 3 months should only stay awake 1.5 to 2 hours at a time. You might try the book The No Cry Sleep Solution, it was very informative about baby sleep needs and patterns, and also had lots of tips for establishing routines and sleep at many ages.
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  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,059 Administrator
    my advice:

    1. change your notion of what's fair. If you keep trying to keep score on who does more and how much (especially with the sleep thing), you'll always end up being pissed off.

    2. consider wearing the baby with him being nekkid against your nekkid chest. I found that helps him with burping and keeps his tummy feeling good. I don't know why.

    3. forget the advice on how often to feed, which side to feed etc. Just do whatever seems to keep him calm. Try feedign on the side, or slightly elevated. Try burping him sitting upright, or have him lay on his tummy.

    4. keep your own energy calm. deep breathing, stretching between feedigns help. Drinking camomile & nettles really helped me not be as anxious.

    5. consider getting daytime help. Time to cash in all of those offers for help. Maybe getting some meals delivered to the house or hiring a cleaning person.

    The first couple of months can really suck.
  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    Well, he is up again and that is unusual - maybe he is having another growth spurt as fuzzbucket suggested - he's 6 weeks on Saturday. Some good advice here - thanks.

    Sarah42 - he nurses usually about 30 mins, sometimews a little longer, and I hear him drinking and swallowing most of the time. Maybe the last few minutes are comfort sucking. I do use slings and wraps and so on - he loves being close to me. He rarely cries or fusses when we go out - he loves to go anywhere and is a perfect angel until we get home!!!!!

    geeky - my mama is the one with the 4 hours at day and 6 at night. She says we all did that and "why are you feeding him so much?" but then is also amazed that I can take him so many places because when she took me out, I would scream (probably because I was hungry! I was such a tiny baby, I can't see how every 4 hours was enough for me.) The feeding on one side is a recommendation by Dr. Jack Newman that my nurse gave me to regulate over supply - except it didn't.

    Now I feel like I have to defend JJ, LOL. He doesn't scream or cry all the time like this. It is maybe every third day or so and his cries are not super loud but loud enough! The other nights he is either a perfect angel who goes to bed well and sleeps well (but wakes and fusses every 2 hours or so to feed) or he is awake and fussy and wanting to nurse a lot, but not super loud. He is a really alert, curious baby which is cute during the day but not good at night - and I too thought he should sleep every couple of hours, not be up for 7 or 8. I already do the day and night thing as much as possible, except that when he's been up like this I end up being quiet and sleepy in the day too just becauae I am tired!

    He probably is not THAT bad, but I am a person who needs my 8 hours plus so (not) sleeping like this is torture.
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    Hallelujah, he seems to be settling down, so I can go back to bed.
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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  • geekygeeky Posts: 4,995Registered Users
    Don't feel like you have to defend him. He's a baby he is doing what babies do. It's tough adjusting to life outside the womb. I've heard the first 3 months called the Fourth Trimester and it really helps to think of it that way.

    Like I said, I had a super alert baby who seemed to stay up for 7 or 8 hours too. I thought if he needed to sleep he would fall asleep. If I had it to do over, I think even if he seemed alert I would encourage more naps and quiet time during the day. See if you can go in a dark room and rock him to sleep or even put him down in a bassinette or lie down with him during the day, after he's been up for a few hours. It might help the fussiness.
    To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
    I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

    Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
  • wavezncurlzwavezncurlz Posts: 1,814Registered Users
    Amneris,
    Know that this too shall pass. I remember those days fondly. I found the Happiest Baby on the Block to be one of the best books out there. Kennedy needed the s's and once I gave her all her needs, she was indeed happy.

    I was anti-paci and finally gave in. I was Kennedy's pacifier and I was sore, sleepy, and plain tired of always offering the boob. She was gaining weight and doing well. Dr actually suggested I give her the paci as a break for me. She had an crazy desire to suck - and it worked. She was an avid nurser until we stopped at 18 months and she just gave up her paci.

    I still don't like the things but in the end it was a lifesaver. It didn't interfere with our nursing or her language development. Just a thought.
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  • curly_keltiecurly_keltie Posts: 791Registered Users
    All I can say is to hang in there. I remember that DS's crying seemed to peak at about 6 weeks old.

    With regards to nursing and JJ choking and gagging - he's still learning how to nurse. At this age, he's still working a lot harder than he really needs to. He'll figure it out. I remember DS would just nurse REALLY hard and would gag and choke. Once he figured out he didn't have to work so hard - things improved.

    I know it feels like you are doing nothing when you are taking a much needed break. The house cleaning can wait for another day or for someone else to help you out. With my c-section, I wasn't allowed to do anything. I had to let my mom and SO do all the housework and laundry.

    Just follow your gut - it doesn't often lead you astray.
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  • medussamedussa Posts: 12,993Registered Users
    Yup. Lilly turns into a crying mess at around 9pm every evening. She's 7 weeks. So right on schedule.

    Amneris, I hear you on that crying at the breast thing. How heartbreaking is that? They latch on and try to suck through the wails. But all I can do is make sure she's fed, clean and comfortable. I cover her face with kisses and hold her close, while she cries. Eventually she tires herself out and falls asleep.

    This too shall pass, A.
  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    OK, another thing - he spits up and vomits some time after every feed, and often a lot. This got worse since I went back to nursing on both breasts - so maybe I SHOULD go back to one side? I don't know. Is it OK that he does this?
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    This is the age at which I introduced the pacifier. I was also totally against it (because he needs his Mama's boob, not an artificial nipple etc... etc..), but he was so ornery and I was so tired that I reached the point where I was ready to try anything. And it worked like a charm. He had a strong need to suck and the pacifier really soothed him - in fact he seemed to prefer it sometimes rather than getting an unwanted mouthful of milk from the boob. He was a paci-fiend for about 3 months, and that was about it - he gave it up on his own.

    So, I do encourage you to try the pacifier.

    I also found a cradle swing (the side-to-side type) was very soothing also. He slept and relaxed in that thing for many a nap and night time.

    Other than that, just hang in there! 6 weeks is apparently when the screaming fits peak and it will get easier from there. 3 months old was the real turning point for our little guy.
  • MunchyMunchy Posts: 5,206Registered Users Curl Novice
    medussa wrote:
    Yup. Lilly turns into a crying mess at around 9pm every evening. She's 7 weeks. So right on schedule.

    Amneris, I hear you on that crying at the breast thing. How heartbreaking is that? They latch on and try to suck through the wails. But all I can do is make sure she's fed, clean and comfortable. I cover her face with kisses and hold her close, while she cries. Eventually she tires herself out and falls asleep.

    This too shall pass, A.

    Aww - I'm feeling teary eyed.
  • cymprenicympreni Posts: 9,609Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I had the EXACT same thing happen to me, and I don't think anyone believed me, I felt like screaming at all the nurses HOW DOES A 3 WEEK OLD BABY EAT FOR 7 STRAIGHT HOURS!!!! But they'd all smile and say not to worry, it's normal, he's just using you as a pacifier. Don't worry??? I am going nuts!! I 'bout ripped my hubby's arm out of his socket just for touching my arm!!! I asked if I should give him a pacy, they said no I would risk nipple confusion.

    I had quit smoking cold turkey for my pregnancy, I was so proud of myself because even 9 months later I still had cravings bad every day, but I resisted. But 2 weeks after he was born I gave in, because he wouldn't stop screaming and eating, and smoked one, and I didn't want to come back in the house. And I felt like such a horrible person because I didn't want to be around my son, and I felt like I was doing something wrong.

    In my case, I don't think I made enough milk, I had asked lactation consoltants about that, but they said don't worry that is so rare you shouldn't worry. "But what if I am the rare case???" "Dont worry about it" I learned to hate lactation consoltants.

    I ended up going back to the hospital to talk to the nurses there, and there was this one older nurse who was very kind to me during our stay after my son was born who gave me the best advice I was ever given: Just do what you think is right, breast or bottle it doesn't matter. I gave into the pacifier and formula. I expressed whatever milk I could, and topped him off with formula. Any milk that came from a bottle, my husband feed him to give me a break. He never had any problems with nipple confusion, and after about a month then he calmed down.
  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    cympreni wrote:
    I had the EXACT same thing happen to me, and I don't think anyone believed me, I felt like screaming at all the nurses HOW DOES A 3 WEEK OLD BABY EAT FOR 7 STRAIGHT HOURS!!!! But they'd all smile and say not to worry, it's normal, he's just using you as a pacifier. Don't worry??? I am going nuts!! I 'bout ripped my hubby's arm out of his socket just for touching my arm!!! I asked if I should give him a pacy, they said no I would risk nipple confusion.

    I had quit smoking cold turkey for my pregnancy, I was so proud of myself because even 9 months later I still had cravings bad every day, but I resisted. But 2 weeks after he was born I gave in, because he wouldn't stop screaming and eating, and smoked one, and I didn't want to come back in the house. And I felt like such a horrible person because I didn't want to be around my son, and I felt like I was doing something wrong.

    In my case, I don't think I made enough milk, I had asked lactation consoltants about that, but they said don't worry that is so rare you shouldn't worry. "But what if I am the rare case???" "Dont worry about it" I learned to hate lactation consoltants.

    I ended up going back to the hospital to talk to the nurses there, and there was this one older nurse who was very kind to me during our stay after my son was born who gave me the best advice I was ever given: Just do what you think is right, breast or bottle it doesn't matter. I gave into the pacifier and formula. I expressed whatever milk I could, and topped him off with formula. Any milk that came from a bottle, my husband feed him to give me a break. He never had any problems with nipple confusion, and after about a month then he calmed down.

    Yeah, that is it, except I definitely make more than enough milk - I just hand-expressed 3 oz. of it in about 20 minutes from one side! But your first paragraph - you EXACTLY get what I am saying. My breasts are fine when he eats more normally but anything that brushes against them after a mega-feed like that is torture!!!!!
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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  • inheritedcurlsinheritedcurls Posts: 2,954Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Ditto to everything Geeky said. I couldn't have said it better.

    I gave Chas a pacifier in the hospital because he liked to suck so much. The nurses all frowned but he never had nipple confusion. The child came out of me sucking his hand...
  • Oregano  (formerly babywavy)Oregano (formerly babywavy) Posts: 5,297Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Okay, first of all, try to take a deep breath and relax. If you stay relaxed, there's a better chance the baby will be relax. Also, go with the flow, and let HIM dictate when, and how he wants to eat. If he wants to nurse often, then let him. If it calms him, and gets him to stop crying, then do what works!

    Between the frequent crying, not being able to sleep at night, and frequent spitting up, he may actually have a bit of a reflux, or immature digestive system. You could introduce some Gripe Water - you can get it at the health food store, or any CVS or such would sell one that I use by Little Tummy's that contains ginger and fennell.

    Very important is burp him often! Babies have such sensitive tummys that they need to be burped all the time. Burp him whenever you pick him up. Try to get one out before a feed - and after you're done feeding, just because he has burped once, don't assume that he's done. If he's giving a more whiney, or irritated sounding cry, rather than a constant persistent one, he may be gassy rather than hungry.

    And no, don't expect a breastfed baby to sleep 4 to 6 hours already! Being such a young baby, there's no reason he should be on a schedule, unless you're focusing on trying to get him there, which may be more frustrating for you. You'll probably notice that if he goes a long time sleeping and without a feed, the next day he may cluster feed to make up for it. There's nothing wrong with that, as long as you're okay with following his lead.

    Once again, the best thing to do is just go with it. I don't even wait for Bella to cry before I feed her. If it's been a couple of hours, and she wakes up, I just put her to my breast. She's gonna wanna eat anyway, why wait until she's crying for it?

    Plus, the more you go with what makes him comfortable, the more at ease he'll feel, and he may calm down for you.
    ~ the artist formerly known as babywavy ~

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  • CynaminbearCynaminbear Posts: 4,476Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Amneris, I remember those days with my first. He nursed every 2 hours, for an hour at a time. At night he'd be up every hour from 10 pm until 2 or 3 am. My dad suggested I start recording everything he does for the day and try to figure out his natural schedule. It really helped me to see when he ate, when he slept, and how long he slept. After recording that for a week or two his pattern became obvious to me, and I was able to figure out how to adjust him, and when I could nap. I think he finally settled into a livable routine around 8 weeks. At 5 months we moved him out of the room, and he only woke up once a night until 18 months. Turns out I was so tired I was talking very loudly in my sleep and woke him up, which made him cry and then needed to nurse back to sleep.

    I really hated the 'helpful' suggestions that were really meant to help. They felt more like judgement and it hurt so much more than helped. Each baby is different with different sleep and touch requirements to be happy, and some of the suggestions really felt like there was a hint of 'What's wrong with you?'

    ((hugs)) it's so frustrating to not know what to do, and know you're the one who has to make it better.
    Does he like movement? A swing can give you a little break if he enjoys the motion. My oldest loved the swing, and at around 4 months figured out if he leaned forward at a certain time he could make the swing go faster. (this was the old wind up kind) I also had a front carrier that he really liked, but it was hard to wash dishes while wearing him that way. :lol:

    My youngest was extremely gassy and I found when he was constantly crying and dealing with tummy pain to hold him face down, with his tummy on my palm and his face by his elbow. Then, I could bounce my arm a bit while moving around and it seemed to relieve the pain in his tummy. He was the one I broke down and bought the baby gas drops to help him. I also had to cut out all dairy and onions because they caused gas in him.

    I've never heard of 12 hours per side before. Your body should eventually regulate itself, so keep nursing on both sides. Expressing a little before nursing really helped relieve the pressure of the flow, and softened the breast up a bit so they could actually latch on. Toward the end of each nursing time they're getting 'hind' milk, which is excellent for them, and that's why I think you should nurse on both sides. That, and the pain/leaking factor.
    And, because it's so hard for new mom:
    ((hugs)) again
    There's no such thing as global warming. Chuck Norris was cold so he turned up the sun.
  • medussamedussa Posts: 12,993Registered Users
    This swing has saved my life. If Lilly is fussy, I put her in it and she falls to sleep. I don't know what it is about that side-to-side motion.

    We haven't had a screamfest since Wednesday night.
  • CGNYCCGNYC Posts: 4,938Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    My baby cried and puked the first five months of her life. It was awful and you have my sympathy.

    I always feel compelled to put it out there - consider it might be reflux. The constant need to suck and the puking could be a result of that. Read up on it and talk to your ped and if you suspect it might be the problem, insist they do more than write you one prescription and then tell you there's nothing else they can do.

    I feel for you. I found the newborn phase to be exhausting.
  • MeghuneyMeghuney Posts: 4,263Registered Users
    Tyson woke up every two hours...NO MATTER WHAT. EVERY TWO HOURS! So, really, there was no point in sleeping. Once Tyson went to sleep, even if we TRIED to sleep, we knew we'd have to get up and were anticipating the cry, so we didn't sleep well anyway. We ended up doing shift work. I'd stay up with Tyson from 6 p.m. until 2 a.m. while his dad slept and then at 2 a.m. his dad would take over and I'd sleep until 8 - 10 a.m. It was the ONLY way I was able to get sleep.

    However, I was expressing breast milk or had changed to formula by that point. Has JJ started taking breast milk from a bottle? Have you tried expressing some milk since you are having an oversupply?

    I didn't breast feed that long, so sorry I can't be of much help there.

    Sorry that you're having to go through all that though. And it was a very guilty/jealous/angry feeling if somehow Tyson's dad got more sleep than I did. It was the cause of many late-night battles.
  • M2LRM2LR Posts: 8,630Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Very good suggestions here.

    Another thing I might mention is to throw out the notion that Baby Story and all of those crapass shows show you what goes on. They are taped for TV. No one wants to see the screaming babies, the crying mom, the fatigued dad.

    As for what's "normal" I think that JJ is fine. Sounds a bit colicky, as mentioned, and perhaps a little reflux going on as well, esp. if he's spitting up as much. Babies as this age don't really "vomit" from what I have been told, it's mostly spit up, some babies get more projectile than others. If he's colicky and is spitting up, the reflux might be causing him some discomfort. Personally, I would ask about it at a Well Baby check up, just to be sure.

    I agree with Webbie on stopping keeping score on who is doing what. My husband didn't get up at night, and he also worked nights, so I didn't get a break even in the evenings or during the day. It's also not a problem if you hand hubby JJ and say, "I need a break." Go take a bath/shower, go up to the store, drive around, even if just to be by yourself for a while.

    Personally, at this age, I wouldn't follow a schedule. We didn't get into routines until at least 5 or 6 months, mostly fed and slept on demand during the first months. Geeky is right about the Fourth Trimester. Human babies are born with a VERY underdeveloped nervous system. Keep up with the 5 S's as well - Shushing, Swaddling, Swinging, Side-Lying, and Sucking. I would personally recommend pacifing. You can't be a human pacifier. You don't have the time, and you also will end up with VERY sore nipples. I was against pacifiers, too, esp with #1. However, he turned one and they were gone cold turkey. Try and use them only when he's really fussy, however, like geeky said, some babies desire to suck is greater than others, my boy had a strong need to suck, my girl didn't and gave up her paci on her own before 6 months of age.

    Lastly, the first few months are very hard. I find it surprising that you're trying to do a show, and prep for it. I think that would be a little too draining, esp if you are so tired all the time. I think I would take some time away from performing, at least during these first months. YOU need rest, too. Your body will not heal, and you need rest to make milk. You make the most milk when you sleep. You have an oversupply right now, but who's not to say that that will change in a couple of months. Him nursing/sucking to pacify right now could also be upping your milk supply, resulting in the other breastfeeding/letdown issues that are occurring.

    Another thing, and I know this will sound wrong...but stop consulting with so many people looking for an answer. This is JJ. It's not someone else's baby that they knew, or other mom's and what they went through. This is JJ and this is how he is going to be as a baby. If he's gaining, doesn't have a fever, blah blah blah...this is just how he's going to be until he adjusts, etc. "most babies" does not equal ALL babies. "Most babies sleep more than 3 hours at one month." Well, there are some that are 12 months and still don't. EACH baby is different. At 6 weeks, we were still up every 3 hours at night, or rather *I* was up ever 3 hours. :)

    GL .
    :rambo:
  • cymprenicympreni Posts: 9,609Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    M2LR & Co. wrote:
    Very good suggestions here.

    Another thing I might mention is to throw out the notion that Baby Story and all of those crapass shows show you what goes on. They are taped for TV. No one wants to see the screaming babies, the crying mom, the fatigued dad.

    As for what's "normal" I think that JJ is fine. Sounds a bit colicky, as mentioned, and perhaps a little reflux going on as well, esp. if he's spitting up as much. Babies as this age don't really "vomit" from what I have been told, it's mostly spit up, some babies get more projectile than others. If he's colicky and is spitting up, the reflux might be causing him some discomfort. Personally, I would ask about it at a Well Baby check up, just to be sure.

    I agree with Webbie on stopping keeping score on who is doing what. My husband didn't get up at night, and he also worked nights, so I didn't get a break even in the evenings or during the day. It's also not a problem if you hand hubby JJ and say, "I need a break." Go take a bath/shower, go up to the store, drive around, even if just to be by yourself for a while.

    Personally, at this age, I wouldn't follow a schedule. We didn't get into routines until at least 5 or 6 months, mostly fed and slept on demand during the first months. Geeky is right about the Fourth Trimester. Human babies are born with a VERY underdeveloped nervous system. Keep up with the 5 S's as well - Shushing, Swaddling, Swinging, Side-Lying, and Sucking. I would personally recommend pacifing. You can't be a human pacifier. You don't have the time, and you also will end up with VERY sore nipples. I was against pacifiers, too, esp with #1. However, he turned one and they were gone cold turkey. Try and use them only when he's really fussy, however, like geeky said, some babies desire to suck is greater than others, my boy had a strong need to suck, my girl didn't and gave up her paci on her own before 6 months of age.

    Lastly, the first few months are very hard. I find it surprising that you're trying to do a show, and prep for it. I think that would be a little too draining, esp if you are so tired all the time. I think I would take some time away from performing, at least during these first months. YOU need rest, too. Your body will not heal, and you need rest to make milk. You make the most milk when you sleep. You have an oversupply right now, but who's not to say that that will change in a couple of months. Him nursing/sucking to pacify right now could also be upping your milk supply, resulting in the other breastfeeding/letdown issues that are occurring.

    Another thing, and I know this will sound wrong...but stop consulting with so many people looking for an answer. This is JJ. It's not someone else's baby that they knew, or other mom's and what they went through. This is JJ and this is how he is going to be as a baby. If he's gaining, doesn't have a fever, blah blah blah...this is just how he's going to be until he adjusts, etc. "most babies" does not equal ALL babies. "Most babies sleep more than 3 hours at one month." Well, there are some that are 12 months and still don't. EACH baby is different. At 6 weeks, we were still up every 3 hours at night, or rather *I* was up ever 3 hours. :)

    GL .

    very good post, I especially aggree with the highlighted.

    My mini-breaks is what saved me, I started doing all my shopping at night, just to get away, any excuse to get out by myself for a few minutes. I would drive around for a while listen to my music loud, and it really helped.

    And the last highlighted is something I had to learn the hard way during my own similar experience. Parenting is a very individual thing. You have to pick your battles each day. Your the one who has to do the fighting, so choice the style that fits you best and ignore everyone else.
  • geekygeeky Posts: 4,995Registered Users
    Great post, M2LR. I especially agree with the other people bit. It's one thing to get suggestions, but very often the suggestions come with a whole lot of unwanted baggage and judgment. And you don't need that.
    To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
    I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

    Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
  • geminigemini Posts: 3,325Registered Users
    Amneris:
    I think everyone here has given great advice. Sometimes you just have to nod, smile and throw the unwanted suggestions away, even if it's coming from family. You and your husband are raising the baby, so you are the ones who decide what will work best for you both.

    No matter what is on those baby shows, or what books tell you, or what people tell you about the perfect experience they had when they had their baby, there's just no way to know what your life will be like until after you have the baby. Then after that happens, it's a massive adjustment. I will openly admit that the first year with my daughter was one of the hardest years I have lived. i used to call formula the "great equalizer" because both parents can feed the baby. I nursed, but I could understand why someone would not want to do it. And like Webbie said, try not to keep score, you will only end up getting pissed off.

    Being a mother is hard, and it's okay to admit that it's hard or that you are frustrated. From what everyone has posted, hopefully you won't feel like you're alone in feeling that way.

    I miss some parts of having a baby around, but during that first year, anytime someone asked "So when are you having number 2?" I either felt like laughing or chewing them out. :clown:

    The good news is that J.J. will become more self sufficient with time and YOU will have more time to yourself as well. :)
  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    Thanks everyone for the advice!

    Since that night, he hasn't had any screaming fits - just wakes up a lot to nurse (I have a sixth sense when it comes to him, so I hear him squirming and grunting before it gets to the crying stage.) He's usually up every 2 hours - once or twice it's been 3 - 3.5 hours on a good night - but last night it was almost every hour. Yesterday he was really sleepy too and has barely been up at all in the past 24 hours. He was 6 weeks yesterday - is part of a growth spurt being really sleepy?
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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  • cosmicflycosmicfly Posts: 1,814Registered Users
    Yes, and if I recall, 6 weeks is a common time for a growth spurt.

    I remember going through this with my older child at about 5 or 6 weeks of age. What ultimately helped me was to express some milk and feed it to him in a bottle before going to bed. He'd only take an ounce, but when I'd put him down, he'd scream. He learned pretty quickly to take a larger feed at that time, after 3 days, he took 5 oz instead of 1, and started to sleep for 3 or 4 hours at night. I did not continue with the bottle, he continued to sleep longer (albeit not as long as he was "supposed to"), and I regained some sanity.

    The other thing I did was to wake him to feed him every 2 hours during the day if he wasn't awake already. I figured that I didn't really have anything else to do, and maybe he would learn to eat more during the day and less frequently at night.

    Like M2LR said, though (excellent post, btw), JJ is your baby and you really will figure each other out. My second baby was nothing like my first in terms of her nursing needs. It was also a lot easier for me to go with the flow with her and respond to her needs while maintaining my own sanity/ helping her adjust to a schedule (I use the term very loosely) that worked for all of us.
  • CGNYCCGNYC Posts: 4,938Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I have a sixth sense when it comes to him, so I hear him squirming and grunting before it gets to the crying stage

    As much as I do agree that there can just be an overload of advice, I'm now going to throw out a little more. Sometimes they're just rearranging in their sleep. If he can grunt and squirm a bit and get himself back to sleep, you're ahead of the game. I really think a lot of my daughter's later sleep problems were because we always jumped whenever she made noise - my husband was especially bad about it. My theory was I wanted to get her fed before she got worked up so she'd be easier to put back down. I shoud've waited to see if she was actually waking or just moving around a bit.

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