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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, my spirit is breaking at this point. My newborn is not even 2 weeks old and he has not been sleeping. *I* have not been sleeping. It's getting so bad that I'm having auditory hallucinations from lack of sleep.

It's a nightmarish cycle. I hold him, nurse him, he starts to get sleepy. But then, he poops or pees. So he cries, I change him, I hold him, nurse him. He starts to calm down. Then he messes his diaper again. I went through 10 diapers just last night alone.

He seems hungry and I'm FILLED with plenty of milk. So that's why I keep nursing him. I also have an in-bed co-sleeper in hopes he feels safer. He hates being swaddled in a muslin blanket and a sleepsack. He is obsessed with his hands and seems to get upset to not have access to them.

Help me =(
 

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First, big hugs to you. Lack of sleep is absolutely dreadful.

It's normal for a 2 week old to be nursing around the clock. Two weeks down the road things will be different. Life changes very quickly with a newborn, so take heart.

Is the baby in cloth? If not, change poop, but don't change after every pee. That might help lengthen the stretches of sleep a bit.

Have you started working on side-lying nursing at all? My DD2 would only sleep latched on for the first several months. At first I couldn't even lie down with her and had to rely on a crazy array of pillows to keep her positioned at the breast. It worked and I was actually pretty well rested.

Lastly, what kind of help do you have? Is your significant other able to help at all? Sometimes the baby will sleep more soundly for a non-nursing person. Don't be afraid to beg people to help you! Demand naps from anyone you have available!
 

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The trouble with expressing and bottle feeding is that mum still needs to express as often as the baby feeds to maintain supply. So it doesn't usually result in extra sleep for mum.

I agree with everything Newmammalizzy suggested. Definitely learn to feed while side-lying if you aren't already. You will be amazed how much you can doze while feeding. And I personally would not risk trying to move him to the co-sleeper once he's asleep. Just leave him where he is and both of you sleep while you can.

If you are using cloth nappies, I'd suggest you use disposables. Just until everything else settles down.

You said you had lots of milk but he seemed hungry. Are you fully emptying one side before you swap to the other side? That will help him get the nice, fatty hind milk which will keep him full for longer.

And just keep repeating "this too shall pass".




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I have the same problem, so I know your pain...
In my case, it seems that he just needed nursing, or he's very uncomfortable (mostly due to temperature issue).

So my issue is to regularly take his temperature (like some 30mins interval).
Is there anyway to improve this?
or say, is there a more effective nursing method, so that I can send the baby to sleep nice and calm?

thanks in advance.
 

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What is the issue with his temperature? Is he too hot or too cold? How old is he?


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I hope things have already improved for you and that your days and nights of no sleep are behind you. Not that you're getting tons of sleep, I'm sure, but hopefully some!

The thing that stuck out most to me was the diaper changes. We used good disposables during J's infancy and I'm glad we did. Newborns pee a lot, and changing with every pee was just impossible. Unless your baby seems clearly bothered by being wet (less likely in a *good* disposable diaper than in cloth), I'd leave that diaper on until it's convenient to change it. I'm not going to lie and say that we didn't leave poop diapers for the end of a nap here and there, too. Not often, but there were times when sleep was simply more important. We used pure shea butter as a barrier cream and never ended up with rashes or irritation. Obviously leaving poop isn't a habit you want to get into regularly, but occasionally, sleep just has to be the priority.

The other thing is hunger. Newborns are very hungry. That constant, desperate need to nurse can cause some mothers to fear that they're not producing enough milk or that their milk isn't any "good." While the former is possible (although not likely, it sounds), the latter is almost never true. Newborns nurse around the clock, and in most cases everything is perfectly fine. You may want to research oversupply if you feel like your baby is nursing too often. Women often assume they don't have ENOUGH milk when that happens, but because of the way milk changes over the course of a nursing session, oversupply can be a culprit behind frequent nursing, too.

Above all, seek out good support. Moms and grandmas are great help, but a lot of our parents didn't have good nursing help of their own and were winging it as best as they could (they were nursing babies when our nation was in the midst of a big formula frenzy). So it's even better to visit an IBCLC. Some offices have free hotlines if you don't have the money or location to visit one in person.

I hope it all gets better! Let us know how things go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Things haven't gotten better. I haven't slept in two days now.

My husband has paternity leave, but is unable to console baby. All my husband can do is bounce, sway, cuddle, sing, put him in a swing, etc. Our baby doesn't care. He is also constantly wanting to nurse to sleep, getting too full, and then vomiting everywhere. The cosleeper is drenched. I'm drenched. Baby is drenched. But he keeps wanting back on over and over until I have nothing left. Even after I feel empty he wants back on and then gets mad nothing is happening. My breasts are currently very soft and I can't hand express anything, so I did figure that I was being emptied.

He would sleep on my chest when I originally wrote this thread, but now he wakes up squirmy as if he can't get comfy. I've tried more/less clothes and played with the room temperature.

I do use disposable diapers and he will freak out if his diaper is soiled. I've tried leaving him in pee diapers, but he kicks wildly whenever he soils himself. I've used Huggies and Pampers brands so far.
 

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Could it be colic? My daughter did a lot of nursing, then fussing and often spitting up, repeat, repeat...until the doctor prescribed a tiny dose of acid reflux medicine. It helped a LOT.

To me, the mainstream disposable diapers have a strong odor as soon as they're peed on. Since they don't feel wet until they're VERY wet, it's possible your baby is reacting to the odor. Maybe the less chemically diapers like Seventh Generation or Honest would work better for him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I will definitely bring up colic with our family doctor some more. She originally brushed off my concerns as him having a growth spurt. I guess their first one is estimated to be at around 2-4 weeks of age? I don't like feeling helpless, so I'll pester her again!

I should also mention that I am also not usually successful at burping him. He only has breast milk straight from the tap, so I was hoping the lack of burping meant he wasn't getting too much air down. I try to burp him after every feeding or before switching breasts in the same feed. Maybe I just suck at burping babies?

That's interesting about the diapers, too. I didn't realize he wouldn't be feeling the wetness after a single pee. The kicking he does is a bit confusing. I will try a different diaper despite the depressing cost lol. I do plan on switching to OS cloth diapers as soon as I regain my sanity and he's big enough for them. I have mostly pockets, so hopefully that gives him a drier feeling?

I'm glad I was able to vent a bit. Thank you guys for that. It feels awful when my baby isn't comforted by me holding and loving on him. My first thought is always, "He hates me." I know he's just a baby and can't really feel that way towards me right now. I feel like I'm failing at motherhood already.

I did just sleep for 2 hours. So yay?
 

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You are not failing at motherhood! Have you ever had a cold or gastro or morning sickness and your husband was really kind and loving to you? Did it take the sickness away? Probably not. Did you feel a bit better? Did you still love him? I bet the answer is yes :)

If your baby is feeling uncomfortable or in pain then he is not going to be completely settled but that doesn't mean that he doesn't want to be with you. I'm sure he would feel much worse if you weren't there.

I would see your GP as soon as you can. No sleep is not normal, even in the newborn period. He should be able to settle between feeds or feed quietly enough that you could doze while side-lying.

Also, if he is unsettled whatever you do, I would absolutely give him to your husband so you can sleep. He can put him in the carrier and take him for a long walk. This will be good for their bonding and being upright and outside can help a lot.


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Poor Mama! I hope this is all just a distant memory soon. Newborn time always feels sleepless, but it shouldn't actually BE sleepless!

Reading your second post, it seems like you may want to research reflux. Most babies have a little reflux, and some even spit up a LOT without being bothered, but other babies have it worse. J had it. She spat up a lot, but more importantly, it was obvious that she was uncomfortable after eating. That was the big clue. She never had it bad enough to require medication, but we had to do a lot of physical measures to help her.

I wonder if the messy diaper is *correllated* with his discomfort but is not actually *causing* it. Lots of babies pee/poop during every feeding, so it could seem like that's what's making him uncomfortable. But it could actually be his tummy/throat hurting from reflux after eating. Lying him down right away for a diaper change, if that's the case, would actually exacerbate the discomfort. We had to hold J upright for a half hour after each feeding, and nurse with her in a very upright position as well, in order to help keep the acid from rising into her throat as much. It didn't fix the problem, but it helped. Diaper changes had to wait.

Babies usually have one of two responses to the pain of reflux: either they stop eating as often because they associate it with pain, or they eat MORE often because the milk soothes their throat. Is possible you have a baby who is nursing to soothe the pain. That's how J was.

I also had overactive letdown and oversupply. After she turned 4 weeks old, J started going through evening cry-fests, and the overactive letdown in particular pissed her off BIG TIME. In the evening, my breasts were soft, and I thought she was mad because she wasn't getting enough milk. But it was actually just the opposite. She was wanting to comfort nurse after a long, overstimulating day and could not do that with my letdown. So she would come off crying, be upset for a long time, then want to comfort nurse to stop crying, then come off pissed again, over and over. We had to find other ways to fulfil her need to snuggle and suck besides nursing (she never took a paci, but daddy's pinky finger was a favorite for a while). Overactive letdown/oversupply may or may not be your problem, but I wanted to share that possibility with you just in case.

FYI, oversupply can cause similar symptoms to reflux and can actually cause reflux (too-full belly = indigestion). Which is another great reason to go see an IBCLC or call a hotline (I have a hotline number reference if you need one). Supply issues can be managed with a little work! J's reflux improved greatly once I got my supply under control.

Unless you're engorged, your breasts will always feel soft toward the evening. By four months or so, when your supply has regulated, your breasts will almost always feel soft, but your baby will be pulling down about 25 oz a day! I know soft breasts feel empty when you're used to the morning water balloons, but your baby is still getting milk! Unless you really do have undersupply, which of course is possible and should be assessed by an IBCLC, it's unlikely that your baby is fussy because he's not getting enough milk, even if your breasts are soft. Breasts make milk on demand as your baby is nursing. Even an "empty" breast can make milk for your baby when he needs it.

I hope something in here was helpful. I'd say another trip to the doctor and definitely a chat with a good lactation consultant should probably be on your agenda for this week! Good luck, mama!
 

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Does he sleep at all during the day? It is normal for newborns to have day and night mixed up. Fetuses often get active once pregnant mom lays down at night.

If you circumcised him that may be why every urination makes him cry and squirm.

Keep night time very dark and very boring. Resist the urge to talk and sing and play with him if it dark outside. Save all the "fun stuff" for daytime and soon they get the idea.

Any chance you have a nursing friend? One with an older child? Maybe she could donate you a serving or two of milk so you could get a few hours sleep.
Or catch a nap when your partner gets home from work so you can at least get a little sleep before facing another night ahead of you. Maybe they could go to separate part of the house or take the stroller for a long walk. Some babies love a car ride.

But get some sleep, please. Even a couple of hours would be better than going without. I know about sleep deprivation hallucinations. They can be wicked scary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So the night after my last rough one, I got 7 hours worth of sleep! I was actually advised to try gas drops before bringing him in....and I am hoping this isn't a fluke! He slept for 4 hours straight, had a long feed, and then gave me 3 more! The next night I got 5 hours. Now I need to figure out why he's gassy....

He still prefers to sleep on my chest, though. Any tips how to be safer while doing this is appreciated. Sneaking him into his bassinet is really difficult. I feel scared sleeping while he's dozing on my chest....
 

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I think you mentioned earlier that you have oversupply? That can give babies wind. Kellymom, pinky McKay and LaLeche League all have info on how to manage it.

My babies mostly slept on or next to me for the first 4-6 months as well. I just made sure there was nothing around me that they could get caught up in if they did roll off (they never did). I also had some success carefully rolling them off me once they were very asleep. But I didn't always risk it!


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Infant reflux. No cure for it (that I'm aware of... if there's a cure I want to know!) But there are ways to treat it AND get more sleep. My 5 month old has been sleeping in a swing since I was able to aquire batteries to power it. She was up once an hour till the swing was operational. Of course it was only an underwhelming travel swing, so we only increased the sleep to a max of 2 hours. Then when she was 2 months old we aquired one of those fancy swings. It had lights, a mobile, tons of music options, and multiple seat positions. In this swing she sleeps 5-6 hours straight! Well, she sleeps till the swing auto shuts off. Of course if I wake up before she does and turn it on again sometimes I get an extra hour. Yes, this is the only way we have been able to get any sleep around here. Is it ideal? No, but I'm not complaining!

As for the endless screaming or waking screaming we have slightly lessened it with a prescription for Zantac. I was on it during pregnancy so I'm well aware it's not super effective. It helps a little. We may try something stronger after her next dr visit. Are medications ideal? No, but it sure beats her being in constant pain.

As for the spitting up I have no real solution. The only thing that helps a tiny bit is frequent burping... if you can get a burp out! This baby was majorly burp resistant for months, so the projectile vomiting was a huge problem for a while. It's less now but not over. Here's how I cope: I place a waterproof pad or towel on the ground in front of wherever I'm nursing (side of the bed, in front of the rocking chair.) If I hear a sound that sounds like she's about to vomit I hold her over the pad/towel and allow her to vomit on it. After that I put a new pad down and toss the other in the hamper. As for keeping you clean a towel over the lap is helpful as is a folded in half receiving blanket as a burp cloth. I also nurse with one tucked under my breast to catch any vomit at the breast. Even with all this I end up soaked often, as does she. In her swing there's always some kind of blanket draped over it to catch any vomit there.

I get you on the no sleep thing. I ended up in the er with skyrocketing blood pressure and the worst migraine from the lack of sleep. Also did I mention I'm the ONLY PERSON WITH A DRIVERS LICENSE IN MY HOUSE. There was no "lying in" for me. Ugh. I feel for you.
 

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Oh, I also have oversupply issues in addition to everything else. Block feeding helps some, but not much. Honestly I go back and forth between having too much and too little milk. Every time she hits a milestone or growth spurt my milk supply goes down again. Trying to fix oversupply usually just bites me in the rear end when I hit those low supply times due to extra feedings. Really all you can do is un-latch them at let down and wait for the flow to diminish. It sorta helps... a little.
 

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It does get better hang in there!

I agree with others about not changing him at night unless he poops. You want to keep all stimulation low so baby doesn't wake up or can go right back to sleep. From day one I had my guy on a routine it really helped him learn night from day and he knows when it's bed time. Day should be bright and loud night dark and quiet. I started a bedtime routine right away. A bath or a soak in the warm water relaxes and calms. Then I take baby into my room and I keep it very dim just some light from the closet I do lotion jammies then feed and rock him to sleep. I keep a small fan running for background noise. My guy also hated having his hands in so I swaddled him with them out. Babies have a reflex that causes then to jump awake. Swaddling even with the arms out will still help with this. It took a few days of the routine but at 5 months I now have a baby that knows when it's bed time and the routine helps me keep my sanity.
 
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