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2 wk old- when is it okay to let her cry?

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 

I'm a first time mom- my daughter is 2 weeks old. Unless I have already lulled her to sleep, if i put her down she begins to cry immediately. I can calm her by letting her suck on my finger- but she absolutely refuses to take a pacifier. I figured she didn't like it so I didn't force it. 

 

I'm desperate to do small things like make a sandwich or take a shower! But I can't stand the thought of just leaving her to cry. Even if she is fed and has a fresh diaper she still just wants to be with mama 24/7. I understand but I really need to be able to do some things for myself. 

 

What can I do? I find myself wondering how long is too long for her to cry, she's only 2 weeks old and I don't want to let her sit there like that. I feel terrible. :(

post #2 of 42

I would definitely encourage babywearing, it will sooth your LO and you will also be able to multi task having free hands.

I personally have never left my babies to cry, I have also responded immediately as there crying is asking for a primal need to be met. One is who responded to straight away is one that is also likely to settle easily as they have not worked themselves up.

http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/crying-dangerous-kids-one-expert-says-222400379.html

post #3 of 42

At some point, you need to go to the bathroom and make yourself a sandwich.

 

We talk all the time about letting babies cry, but we don't talk about what happens when we can't convince them to stop crying.  We offer what we can.  We do what we can.  But we have needs too.  You'll be a better parent if you're not a starving angry lady who wants to crawl out of her skin.

 

Babywearing helps sometimes, for babies who don't like to be put down.  And you do learn to do things one-handed.  But showering with a baby in your arms is just not on - I know tons of parents who swear by bouncy or vibrating seats for that. 

post #4 of 42
Do you live alone? Can you shower when someone else can hold her? Even if she cries, it'll be easier for her if she's in someone's arms, even if she'd prefer to be in yours.

For the sandwich, I'd put her in a bouncy seat in the kitchen (on the floor) where she can see you and watch you make a sandwich. At least she'll be able to see you. I would hold my kids while I ate - you can wear them in a sling to help with that - but then it's not so long for them.

Those are my two suggestions. The ideal is that they never be left to cry alone, but babies do cry, and crying in someone's arms isn't crying it out. Then for them to be in visual distance from you while they hear you talking to them isn't so bad either. But you do have to be able to eat and shower, so don't beat yourself up over not being perfect either. Just do your best and be pleased that you're able to do that much.
post #5 of 42
I have a very mummy-centric 4 week old so I know what you mean about wanting to do things. I wear her most of the time. I can eat and wee and do most household tasks with her in the Beco.

I have a shower when DH is holding her but, if I were on my own I'd just put her on the bathroom floor and talk to her while I had a shower (I used to do that with my, now, 2.5yo while DH was at work.

It is hard and it would be lovely if she was content to be with other people more but I try to tell myself that this stage doesn't last long... and sometimes that even works winky.gif
post #6 of 42

I would definitely try babywearing. MY DS was a NICU baby and needed to be held all the time. I started using a MOBY wrap while still in the NICU and it made all the difference for the two of us. With the exception of the shower, which I did when DH was home, I was able to make some food, fold some laundry, generally tidy the house, etc all while DS slept soundly to the beat of my heart! Congratulations on your new bundle!

post #7 of 42
My DD loved her infant swing. She would often fall asleep in it but it had a mobile and soft music that kept her happy awake too. I started out EPing for 10 weeks and absolutely needed a place I could put her down. I'm expecting my second and absolutely plan to baby wear so I can chase my toddler with two free hands. I'm still keeping the swing for around the house when DD really needs me one on one for a minute.
post #8 of 42

I think Little Miss was closer to 2 months before I completely flipped out and started screaming:  "I just want to wash my hair!" and the like.  My point?  I've been there.  I can't agree enough with the women above me who have lovingly pointed out that you, at some point, need to attend to your basic needs.  And guess what?  As baby gets older, you need to start attending to some of your not-so-basic needs too.  You'll go from just showering, eating and visiting the bathroom to stepping out for a haircut and coming home to have a glass of wine on the patio. 

I still have a physically uncomfortable sensation when Little Miss cries.  It was much, much worse when she was as new as your little bundle of snuggle.  I am not suggesting you ignore that.  I am suggesting you compromise with a 2-week old.  She wants you to hold her 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Mine also wanted this.  Some days, mine still wants this.  Perhaps you can arrange for someone else to hold her for an hour a day or so?  Then you run out like your hair is on fire, shower, eat, do whatever. 

And it does get better.  smile.gif
 

post #9 of 42

My mom came over to help me after work one day when my daughter was two weeks old and looked around and asked what she could do.  She was expecting, I think, that I request meals, dishes done, laundry, or walking the dogs.  Instead I handed her the baby and said "please just hold her while I shower".  And that's what she did a few times a week until DD was about two months old.  Just came over to hold the baby so I could shower.  I've been there and it is so hard.  Just know that it'll be ok.  If you can find someone (a fellow mom even who you can trade off baby holding with?) to hold the baby while you attend to your basic needs, it helps a ton.  I also basically wore her all day unless I was showering.  I got a Balboa Baby sling and tried to go for long walks, clean the house, etc.  Showering with her, for me at least, was a no-go.  That was something I needed someone else to help with. 

 

The other thing that helped me a lot was that DH made me easy to access meals in advance -- usually something like egg muffins with veggies or whatever -- so I could grab something quick and nourishing to eat while holding the baby before I lost my mind.  The PP have given excellent advice, so just hang in there.  It gets a lot better really quickly.

post #10 of 42

I think that 5 minutes of misery while mom makes a sandwich or washes her hair, and then a relaxed, satisfied mom for the rest of the afternoon is much nicer than an mildly irritable, hungry mom for the entire afternoon. A shower or being able to eat changes my mood that much, and I think my DD can sense the underlying tone of how I feel. So I'm going to say it's okay to let her cry for a few minutes several times a day, if need be. Talk to her, and she knows you're still there for her.

 

That being said, I agree with everyone else's advice, too. I put DD on a towel on the floor of the bathroom and sang to her while I washed, and I'd put her in her highchair (it has a reclining seat, so even when she was tiny she could go in it) and make a sandwich on the tray, and talk to her about what I'm doing. That, she actually started to like.

post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielleNZ View Post

I would definitely encourage babywearing, it will sooth your LO and you will also be able to multi task having free hands.

I personally have never left my babies to cry, I have also responded immediately as there crying is asking for a primal need to be met. One is who responded to straight away is one that is also likely to settle easily as they have not worked themselves up.

http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/crying-dangerous-kids-one-expert-says-222400379.html

There is a huge difference between CIO, and letting your baby fuss/cry for 5-10 minutes so you can meet your own basic needs.

 

OP, DD is 4 weeks old and it's finally getting to the point where I can put her in her swing and she is happy for 5-10 (sometimes even 15!) minutes. Do you have a swing? It is the only place besides my arms that she will sleep for more than 5 minutes also. But if I have to do something (eat, go to the bathroom, get dressed so we can leave...), I have to do it. I try to make sure she's changed, fed, and content first, but...she's a newborn. She's often not content. She is always hungry. And even if I change her, she may be wet again in 5 minutes. So you do what you have to. If what I am doing isn't super important, my general rule is 5 minutes. I'll put her in the swing and in 5 minutes, if she is crying, I'll stop what I'm doing and take care of her. It's getting to the point lately where she usually isn't crying after 5 minutes. But 2 weeks ago? I was lucky to make it to the 1 minute mark before she was frantic.

 

Keep trying with the paci in a couple of weeks, too- DD finally started accepting one and I'll give it her for ten minutes or so every once in a while if I need to do something. 

 

It's hard, mama, but it gets better. Just know that your baby WILL be fine if you have to let them cry for a few minutes here and there!

post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mummoth View Post
That being said, I agree with everyone else's advice, too. I put DD on a towel on the floor of the bathroom and sang to her while I washed, and I'd put her in her highchair (it has a reclining seat, so even when she was tiny she could go in it) and make a sandwich on the tray, and talk to her about what I'm doing. That, she actually started to like.

 

That's a good idea, DD's high chair is the kind that they can go it when they are tiny so I should start trying this.

post #13 of 42

Maybe you can have your SO make you breakfast while he makes his (proteins, proteins, proteins!!!!!!) and hold your baby while you take a shower in the morning ? So you start the morning fresh and ready for a good day with DD! Honestly I don't know what I would have done without my husband... He was and still is of great help!

I don't know how yours is but my DS is always pretty perky in the morning so it gives me the chance to at least grab a yogurt and make me some tea if I'm by myself! Also a bouncer is great, she might not like it at first but give it a few shots and you'll probably have a baby quietly staring at you while you do the dishes/cook/eat :)

 

But yeah, for the shower, if you get nobody to hold her while you take one... I would put her in a bouncer/car seat in the bathroom... So if she cries at least you're there, you can talk to her and peak from behind the curtains... My DS is always very calm when he hears the water running, maybe she will be too!

Good luck and congrats :)

post #14 of 42
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies! To answer your question, no I don't live alone. But Daddy owns a bakery so he's gone many MANY hours a day. 12-16 hour shifts are not uncommon.

 

I don't own a bouncy chair, but I do have a sling. She seems to like it okay but I need to master how to position her, because last time her head seemed to hang out the side and I didn't feel comfortable leaving her like that. I will try the sling again. :)

post #15 of 42

Try a wrap instead. They are much safer and hold baby upright in a position that is easier for you to move around and get things done. At this age, she'll need a stretchy wrap like a Moby wrap. Here's a video of how they look and how to use one. This was an absolutely LIFESAVER when my babies were little.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBBt2ML-woI

post #16 of 42
Oh I have been right where you are mama. Exactly. I couldn't stand to put my babe down. Let alone let her cry.

Get a Moby Wrap or pouch carrier. They are amazing and leave you hands free. Mine still loves being rocked and she's 3! Today, actually. In the mornings I would strap DD in a Moby and make myself breakfast, do dishes, take a walk. Once she hit around 6mo I started baby einstein on a DVD player so I could eat (sort if regret it, tho) and would roll her awesome bassinet in FIRST THING in the AM so I could take a shower. Sometimes-- I'd get out soapy because she would start crying. DH being home helped but she was all about mama. Still is really. That's just how some kiddos are so don't feel bad about it. Your doing great! So glad you posted!
post #17 of 42

Have you tried swaddling her? I used it lots in the beginning with this baby to keep him happy and we still swaddle at night to help him sleep better.

post #18 of 42

Swaddling is a great idea - my first daughter loved it, second dd not so much. I agree with everyone else - babywearing! I would never eat, pee, or get anything done if it weren't for it. My baby is 10 weeks old now, and I've really liked the Moby wrap. I highly suggest it. She is currently snoozing away wrapped up against my chest, I was able to make lunch and eat it AND now goof around on the internet for a bit... However, for showering or things that are wayy easier done without wearing her, I use a baby swing if my husband's not around. When someone gave us the swing, I never thought we'd use it, and at first I felt weirdly guilty about putting her in it. But she loves it, falls asleep in it, and I am able to get more done while giving my back a break!

 

As everyone says, it does get better! But babies love their mamas... they want to snuggle 24/7, and we've got to figure out a way to meet their needs and ours at the same time. good luck, and congrats on being a new mom!
 

post #19 of 42
There is controversy around swaddling. Studies of facial muscles of swaddled babies show distress. Lack of crying is not the same as happy. And the baby may tire after struggling to get free, and you may not be able to see the struggling.
post #20 of 42

pek64  I'd be interested in some of the research you mentioned around swaddling and distress. Do you have a source/journal article link etc?  I've only heard positive things about swaddling but I am very interested in other research.

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