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So my dear friend has a 2-mo babe. I just spoke with her on the phone and she sounds totally exhausted.

Her DH works 15-hour days so she is alone with the baby the majority of the time. When he is at home (evenings and weekends) the baby is not comfortable with him so he'll hold him for 5 min and then hand him back crying. Her mom comes for a few hours twice a week and holds the baby so my friend can get a break. Other than that, she is on 24/7. It is pretty cold out and she rarely gets out of the house.

She thinks her DS is "high maintenance." Honestly he has some gas/reflux issues but other than that he sounds mostly pretty normal to me. Wants to be held a lot, needs to eat at night, that kind of thing.

(Not sure if it's relevant but she is starting to EP during the day. They EBF the first month but she says now he screams after 5 min on the boob so she gives him pumped milk in the day and BF at night. She doesn't find this a problem, supply is good and she feels it is more time-efficient than BF. She does think he may be overeating - he takes 7 oz at a sitting despite alternative comforts, paci, pacing and upright feeding. Not sure if this is related to his gas issues.)

Unsurprisingly, she sounds like she is having a really hard time. I remember being pretty ecstatic most of the time in the early days (I have a very supportive and available DH
) and she is clearly having a very different experience. I remember feeling totally overwhelmed with love for my DD and I'm not hearing that from her - she clearly enjoys him but is also finding him very hard. I'm not sure if there's a little PPD speaking or if I'm just overanalyzing.

I tried to normalize things for her over the phone and brainstorm about how to get more help (I suggested she hire a mother's helper for a couple of hours a day so she can get a break). Other than that, what can I do to help her? I so wish I could run over there and do a load of laundry, cook a meal and hold her kid for an hour but we live 3000 miles apart now and that is just not an option.

TIA mamas!
 

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FOOOOOOD! You could figure out what restaurants (that do take-away) are near her and get her a gift cert. That was HUGE help to us! We had a gc for Panera bread and that was great b/c of soups and breads.

HTH
Penny
 

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Two ideas... co-sleeping during the night and at naptime during the day for a bit.... so she can catch up on sleep..... Seriously, she shouldn't be worrying about much besides baby care at this point in her LOs life....
Second, she shoud try to get a great baby carrier (Gypsy Mama Wrapsody BBS, Kozy mei tai, etc) that allows her to have her LO near during the day, but will allow her to get stuff done, especially once the LO gets older and she can do a back carry.
Oh, and a third piece of advice (even though I wrote two things....) cook in the crockpot... it takes only minutes to throw dinner in....
Good luck to your friend!
~maddymama
 

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2 months old was a really hard time for me too. My DH was also gone for long hours, and I was home alone. I didn't really have other mom friends to get together with. I felt like I was bored for lack of adult conversation and incredibly busy with the baby all at once. I could barely get any housework done because as soon as I'd get started with something, DD would need something again. I wouldn't classify my baby as "high needs" but she did have a lot of needs. I have no family in town, and I just felt like I was on the clock all the time, giving 100% of my attention to my baby. Based on my experience, here's what I would recommend:

Tell her that it will get better. In another month or 2, her baby won't be crying so much. I'm sure it feels like he's crying every moment he's awake right now.

Get her a sling and teach her how to use it. It's a great for the baby and great for her. She can get a couple things done without having to hold onto her baby all the time, and the baby is calm and comfortable. If she says that the baby doesn't like it, she's probably using it wrong and needs help.

Get her out of the house. My husband works all day 4 days a week, and I really didn't settle into a routine that I liked until I had something to do out of the house 3 of those days. A young baby doesn't interact with the other children or truly appreciate the museum, and all the "kid-friendly" events around town are designed for older kids, and you can't just go hang out at a park in the winter time, making it so hard for moms to find something to get out and do, but you just can't live your life at home all day every day. Get creative and brainstorm with her things that she can do, just for an hour or 2 every day.

Let her know that if she offers her breast when the baby cries, he will eventually decide that her breast is a source of comfort, even if it's hard now. He will also get more efficient at getting the milk out of the breast. Unless DD is tired or just wants to cuddle, she generally eats only 3-5 minutes now. I wouldn't argue with her about pumping if that's what she wants to do, but I wouldn't give anything for my ability to calm my crying baby with my breast. It didn't work at 2 months, though. I really had to keep trying.

Encourage her to take a nap with her baby every day. Being a new mom is such hard work, and her body is still healing from giving birth. She's adjusting to her new sleep schedule that involves waking up several times a night, even if she is sleeping with her baby. She needs all the sleep she can get. I still take an afternoon nap with my baby. It helps her to have a better nap and me to make sure I don't accumulate too much sleep debt.

Listen to something. Turn on the radio or music or whatever makes you happy. If political talk radio gets her too stressed out, choose something else. It really helped me when my religion started a radio station in town.
 

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Is she on MDC? Or does she have a network of new moms to talk to? Maybe find a LLL meeting in her area and email her the info. I know that when I struggled with PPD, talking about it was the only thing that really, really helped.

Hugs to you and your friend. I so clearly remember how scary those first few months can be when it feels like the world is caving in on you.
 

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I wasn't ecstatic at 2 mo. either, but I didn't have PPD. I agree just with encouraging words--actual notes in the mail, maybe mail some healthy snacks?
A subscription to Netflix? I know it sounds kind of bad, but being able to just veg out in front of the TV helped me "escape" the overwhelming feelings for a little while. And at 2 months the babe shouldn't be really into the TV yet. Or maybe send a good novel?
 

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She has to get out of the house, even if its cold and even if she does not want to.
My husband was around, but i can tell you, i don't think i even liked my DS until he was 8ish weeks old, and even then, it was not all the time. All he did was cry, and all i wanted was a minute of quiet to be alone w/o a crying baby! So other than a sitter for an hour or 2 a week, or food, i would say do the research for her
....like what is the closest library, and when is there baby story time, where is the closest new moms group (here the hospitals offer them) and when is it, what is a good round trip walk in her area (maybe to a coffee house, or some destination), and get a sling to go with, is there an AP moms group in the area? .....stuff like that.
It was a lot of work to find groups so that i HAD places to go.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mambera View Post
(Not sure if it's relevant but she is starting to EP during the day. They EBF the first month but she says now he screams after 5 min on the boob so she gives him pumped milk in the day and BF at night. She doesn't find this a problem, supply is good and she feels it is more time-efficient than BF. She does think he may be overeating - he takes 7 oz at a sitting despite alternative comforts, paci, pacing and upright feeding. Not sure if this is related to his gas issues.)

TIA mamas!
This made me think of the the problem I was having around that time. My ds was crying at the breast and not staying on for more than a minute or two. However we had an established bfing routine at night (co-slept). When I went to an LLL meeting someone mentioned how their babe would not nurse when tired or over tired. Which made me think that was why night time nursing was going well. I started bfing ds right when he woke up from naps during the day and nursing during the day became much easier and he was so much less fussy. Day time nursing now at 3 months is no problem. I realize she may be happy with the pumping but he may have just needed more time to get in the groove of things, kwim?

Other than that I agree with pp. Gift cards for food is so helpful. We had tons of help with meals and that helped me a great deal, even after dh had gone back to work. Having a good carrier for those days she doesn't have any help and needs to get something done. Get enough sleep, either by cosleeping or napping with baby.
 

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Sounds like our story too.
At 2 months, we had just moved to a new country so DH and I were alone with DS. No support from family, and DH was working long hours, plus was still trying to get everything settled in this country (SSN, banking, insurance, etc)
I don't think I had PPD, but I wasn't on cloud 9 either. And we have an easy, super mellow baby who would sleep 6-8 hours at night already.
I just didnt bond with him yet. He didnt feel like a person, he was more like a thing to me at that point. Things got much better once he started smiling and babbling and showed his personality a little more. I don't think we really connected until he was 4-5 months. I loved him, but never felt what other moms have described. I didn't miss him when i would go out (*IF* i went out...), while i didnt like hearing him cry it didnt break my heart.
When I felt more like I had a son instead of a doll, I felt much better.
The other thing that helped was to sign up for a meet up group (meetup.com) in my area, I got to meet tons of other moms. We have playdates at my house every other week, which saved my sanity because we don't have a car and getting anywhere in the winter in so hard.
I wish i had something more practical to suggest, but i dont... just wanted to share my experience. She may still have PPD, but it might be very normal too
 
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