What to do with a 6 week old. Getting 6 hours of broken sleep a day. I'm desperate.
Posted 06 January 2012 - 05:37 AM
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Posted 06 January 2012 - 06:42 AM
Hang in there, you can do this xxx
Also - could he be hitting a wonder week this week? They always made me
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Posted 06 January 2012 - 08:40 AM
The other issue is that Leo will feel your desparation and stress and that will be so detrimental to him as well.
YOU NEED SLEEP. Sleep will help you boost your breastmilk and put you in a more relaxed and calm state. I think that once you are feeling better about things and are in a better frame of mind Leo may also calm down a little.
I am also in Sydney. I know you don't know me well but I would absolutely come and help you. Those first 12 weeks for me were pure hell with a reflux baby who never slept. I remember ringing the ABA at 2 and 3 in the morning crying my eyes out because my baby wouldn't eat or sleep and would NOT STOP SCREAMING!!!!!!!!!!
Please - take offers of help. They are genuine and they WILL help. Your body language affects your baby SO much more than you realise. It took me months to realise just how much of an impact my stress levels were having on Alexander.
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Posted 06 January 2012 - 09:02 AM
DD was a very tough baby for the first 4 months or so and I struggled daily with her constant crying and my fragile emotional state. Although her night sleeping was great, it was taking hours of crying to get her to go to sleep in the first place and then lots of praying and hoping she wouldn't wake when we put her in the cot. Sometimes it would take me up to 5 minutes to actually get her from my shoulder to her mattress! And as for day sleeping, well that was pretty much non-existent for the first 7 months of her life!
But it did eventually change. I found a strict bedtime routine really seemed to help as she started to associate bath and BF in our room with sleep time. It took a while to go from putting her in the cot very drowsy (almost asleep) to awake but we got there in the end .
And please take anyone up on their offer of help. They won't offer if they don't mean it. Even now I still find that even half an hour/an hour away from her when I've had enough really does help me.
Posted 06 January 2012 - 09:52 AM
I’m going to offer some advice which I think is really important.
I know you and Sam are rock solid BUT this trying time will take its toll – I can tell in your tone that you are already suffering.
Despite what they say, your husband simply does NOT understand the full extent of your feelings and desperation, they simply can’t. It has to be spelt out in black and white.
It’s really important to try and remember that you guys are on the same team and you need to somehow try and make him understand just how you are feeling and that his denial/flippance at the situation is NOT helping any of you.
This may be a very big call but I fully believe the birth of our daughter (and the horrific nature of it) and those first 3 months contributed to where we are now. He just didn’t get it and I hated him for it – the damage was done and I don’t think can be fully repaired.
I don’t mean to sound melodramatic, just trying to be realistic. Perhaps a sit down without the baby around (my offer is always there) would help Sam see how desperate and close to breaking point you are.
Always here if you need.
Posted 06 January 2012 - 03:29 PM
I agree with Sarah - Elizabeth Pantly "the no cry sleep solution" , "Helping your baby to sleep" (can't remember author offhand but it is sold by the ABA mothers direct website) and Pinky McKays "Sleeping like a baby" are amazing books and really saved my sanity!
Pinky Mckay also does phone consultations for approx $80 hr if i remember correctly... she is such a great person to speak to and she is an expert on gentle techniques that work wonders.
Posted 06 January 2012 - 04:52 PM
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Posted 06 January 2012 - 05:26 PM
I'm another vote for Priscilla Dunstan (the different crying examples) I have the DVD I could post you to borrow if you like? I'm sure the thought of reading books and studying up on things with no sleep is the last thing you feel like doing.
Also we took H to the osteopath as she had a heomatoma on her head from birth and sandifer syndrome (severe reflux with posturing) once a week for 12 weeks and then once a month after it, she always slept better after her sessions and its NON manipulation form of treatment, very gentle and she used to relax and really enjoy it. couldn't reccommend it highly enough. My DH rolled his eyes until he came to a session and saw what they did and how much it helped H and then he was the Osteo's biggest fan
The hardest thing is that all babies are so different, that unfortunately its a little trial and error until you find the right thing for little Leo (then you'll be answering threads like this one in a year's time saying 'Leo was a terrible sleeper..until.....! I know it doesn't make it any easier to bear in the interim!! H is still terrible and I'm still telling her pead she has stomach 'issues' which keep her awake (hysterical crying until she gets farts out at 13months etc) daily constipation which she has had since birth...which he puts down to an immature bowel still. It's frustrating as I'm sure she'll get to 2 or 3 and start telling me where it hurts and what it is....but for now it's an 'immature bowel' and we just have to 'wait it out'
Lastly, if all else fails visit a peadiatrician and say flat out that you know you are a 'first time mum' (they are so quick to dismiss us) but you know what isn't healthy for Leo and you would like whatever treatment/tests to be ordered as the usual things that cause sleeplessness in a newborn have been ruled out and your gut is telling you there is something more going in. Explain you are extremely well read, intelligent and have gone down the usual paths of sleep school and ruling out hunger etc and he is still only sleeping 6 out of 24hours max.
GAH! good luck xx
Posted 06 January 2012 - 06:55 PM
I was told the crying and unsettledness peaks at 6 weeks old and its a hard time
I went to my local daystay family care cottage I was referred by my health nurse. It really helped alot she taught me how to settle Jess when this happened. lucky I was able to manage but I think the next step would have been a referral to overnight sleep school
p.s: I just read that you have no support. My heart is racing as this hits close to home I had no family support nearby also and it was so hard on my health and marraige.
That doctor isnt listening to you enough it might be time to find another one
You also need to find a health nurse that you really connect with. Tell her how hard it is and say you want to be referred to your local family daystay or even overnight sleep school. You need this help and there is great help out there you just need to get there whatever way you can
A Paediatrician can refer you also but the nurses know the system and how to get you in quicker - it would be very beneficial if you can get in and your husband also attends even for a few days
we ended up at Tresillian and it was a godsend - as part of the stay a Paediatrician will visit and examine all bubbas there to rule out any health issues also
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Posted 06 January 2012 - 07:19 PM
6 hours is definitely nowjere near enough. No wonder the poor thing is screaming! And poor you!
If this were my baby honestly the first thing I would think is that he is not feeding well. If I investigated and thoroughly ruled it out ie heaps and heaps of wet/pooey nappies I would seek urgent help from Karitane/ Tresillian. Go to a different doctor/ MHN and insist upon help, possibly even a pead to rule out something more serious than unsettledness than silent reflux.
Posted 07 January 2012 - 08:05 AM
You poor thing. Bits of your posts ring true for me although we had a much easier ride than you. But even then, it was still horrid, so I can't quite imagine what you are going through at the moment. You are amazing to get this far.
I think there are two issues going on here. The obvious one is Leo's lack of sleep and the second one is YOUR lack of sleep. You can't make any decisions for Leo until you are better rested so you need to tackle that first. Please, please, please take advantage of offers of help on here. Or get a night nanny, or leave some milk with Sam and go check yourself into a hotel for a night. Just something, anything, so that you can get some solid sleep, preferably over two days/nights, and things will be much clearer to you.
Then you need to tackle Leo's sleep issues. Honestly, it sounds to me (keeping in mind that I only have one child and before this had no experience with children) that there is something more going on than just your usual baby sleep issues. Firstly I would check that your feeding is going okay, so I'd go see a lactation consultant to check that attachment and everything is okay, and get their opinion about whether he is getting enough, i.e. does he have a full tummy. If in doubt, I'd offer a bottle of formula or EBM after a breastfeed to see if he wants any more.
Once any feeding problems are ruled out, I'd go see whatever health professionals you need to to get an answer. This degree of sleep disturbance is not normal and none of you can continue like this long term. The GP fobbed you off, so go to another GP. Call a sleep school, see the MCHN, see a paed, see a chiro, see an osteopath, a naturopath, a dietician, whatever. It sounds like you've tried all the usual methods of settling a baby and it's at the stage now where you can't continue to do this alone, and you need some help. And I think something is up with Leo more than just the common sleep problems.
I know it's all easier said than done and at this stage, just 'go to the GP' probably sounds like an impossible task. Having a shower is probably an impossible task at the moment! That's why I think you yourself need to get some rest before you can help Leo rest.
I can't help with the husband problems because I am still struggling with that myself, but just wanted to say that I understand. Completely. The men just do not get it, and it is infuriating and hurtful when they don't understand. I wish I could just give you a squishy hug and make you a cup of tea but I'm too far away. Stacey, please allow some of the girls on here to care for you for a bit. Giving birth is such a momentous thing, and in a ideal world you'd be able to hibernate for a while and lick your wounds and come out bright eyed and bushy tailed, but unfortunately you can't, so you need to take up offers of help and get some rest and TLC.
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Posted 07 January 2012 - 01:56 PM
I think the night nanny could be a good idea. They're not cheap, but what price sanity? I had a very traumatic labour and birth etc. and was very sick afterwards - my husband had a nervous breakdown when Lucy was a week old and I was left literally holding the baby with very little support. It was the most exhausting, anxious time, and the GP's and ECHN I saw offered very little help/advice. We ended up hiring a night nanny once a week over 3 weeks. Knowing that I had that one night of fairly unbroken sleep a week to look forward to and rejuvenate a tiny bit helped me get through the rest of the week and stay sane.
I'm in Sydney too and will happily help in any way I can if you need a break for a little bit.
Posted 07 January 2012 - 07:32 PM
Haven't really stuck to one thing consistently TBH. These last 2 weeks have been a manic throw-everything-into-the-mix-athon and it's made things worse.
TBH, I'm probably too much of a sook to stomach CIO anyway. I can't bear to hear him cry in his bouncer whilst I pee I just can't leave it though. Whatever damage CC might do, lack of remotely adequate sleep has to be worse for him.
Hes not sleeping during the day either. He's getting 6 hours per 24 hours.
I think I need to get a night nanny just so I can get a decent nights rest and focus again. I wish my mother wasnt so lazy and selfish. You should hear her carry on about what a great nana she is but even when I begged for help she said she couldn't as she had to feed the dog My life is currently a circus
Eva was a terrible sleeper too, and I am so sorry you are having such an incredibly tough time. Sleep deprivation to that degree shapes everything and the effect on you mentally and emotionally can be enormous. Unlike you, I didn't put my hand up and say I was in trouble until she was 4 months old, by then I was so far gone that it was very very hard to come back from it. So I am so glad you are putting it out there now. Obviously Eva and I had other issues as well, so I don't want you to feel disheartened by that comment! If you need a night nanny and have the resources for that, then I say do it. You are the one trying to cope with all this, you do whatever you have to do to get through it as well as you can. You can also try getting a referral to a Mother Baby Unit, they deal with the baby over night, and help you work out sleep issues etc night and day, whilst also keeping an eye on you and your mental health.
Your family sounds very familiar as far the feed the dog comment goes. I get every thing from I can't help, I have to weed the garden, or mow the lawn, or go to the supermarket etc. I was literally dying infront of them and they would say sorry, I can't help I might feel like going out later. Etc etc. Whilst they do help at times, and I appreciate enormously what they do, most of the time I felt like I was bleeding to death in front of them and they just stepped over me and went shopping. I still feel that way now.
I don't even want to try to suggest things to help your baby sleep, clearly I am no expert, as I tried everything that worked on the boys and everything else I could think of and nothing I did made Eva sleep. Babies are so different, as I learned with my boys vs Eva. Try your child health nurse, also if they have a Parenting Centre where you are they can be great for sleep, but personally given the extent of your problem I would be going for an MBU. They can also get your Paed in to check the baby incase there is an underlying issue, as well as extra support for you to help you through this.
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Posted 07 January 2012 - 08:30 PM
I am probably not going to be much help, but I'll try.
We used to give Liam formula at night and breastfeed during the day. It filled him up quicker and zonked him out. I got rid of the wraps and did a sleeping bag. Heaps of walking during the day and fresh air would tire him out. Since we had no support in Sydney at the time either and I HADN'T A CLUE WHAT THE HELL I WAS DOING, I referred to my great friend Tizzie Hall and followed her Save our Sleep routines from 2 weeks. At age 3 we are still following some of her rules and he ended up being a great sleeper. That booked saved my life and quite frankly my mental health.
I hope things get better soon x
Posted 07 January 2012 - 08:31 PM
I rang them when DS was about 3 months or so and was beside myself with his lack of sleep and what we should be doing.... I must have rung at a busy time as I had to wait on hold for a little while. When I had the chance to speak with someone I put DS down in his cot, he was not happy about it but I knew that no harm could come to him whilst I spoke to them to get much needed advice for 5-10mins or so. I do remember asking them what I needed to do to get an admission there and I was pretty desperate at the time to get one! within 48hrs of speaking to them over the phone and following their adivce, things had improved dramatically
Best 5-10 minutes ever spent, totally saved my sanity. I think its great that they have this service for Parents nowdays as we can all use some help/ advice and a friendly non-judgemental person to speak to on the other end.
Your ECHN will be able to give you a referral to Tresillian if you ask for it, when I asked they said the process is to do a 1 day sleep school program (we went to Possum Cottage in Sydney) and then you are eligable for a longer stay at Tresillian if you need it. If you let Tresillian know that you are really in need of help they will put you on a priority list for when they have cancellations, which they actually do get a few of, so you would be able to get in sooner than you think.
Hang in there, things do get better.... a LOT better!
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