Baby Eating Issues...

Updated on July 19, 2009
D.V. asks from New London, WI
35 answers

Hi there. I am a new mom.
My baby is 4 weeks old, and taking care of him has become quite stressful for me.
The first thing is that he doesn't sleep during the day. He probably takes a 45 minute nap in the morning, and an hour and 20 minute nap in the afternoon. I thought he'd sleep alot during the day.

I have also been having problems with feeding him during the day. He falls asleep when he eats. He'll sleep for maybe 10 minutes, wake up crying cause he is hungry, then go to sleep for 10 minutes, wake up crying because he is hungry... etc. We are also having problems burping him. He spits up ALOT.... so I am wondering if this is why he needs to eat constantly. I feel like I am feeding him all day long. It is so hard to be patient. I don't want to constantly have the need for my child to be in my arms all day long eating.

He eats fine during the night. He'll eat 4 oz, sleep for 3 hours, eat another 4 oz, sleep for 3 hours.. and by that time it's morning. I guess I don't understand why he has issues eating during the day when he is fine at night when he sleeps the most.

Is it normal that I still cry alot? Most of the time I cry because I just want some time to myself to workout and lay out in the sun. I find it absolutely frustrating when my infant constantly needs me to feed him. Is this normal? Am I supposed to devote attention to my child 24/7? Am I a bad mother if I feel like I need some time for myself??? I don't know. Raising a child has been harder than I thought it would be.

Any suggestions would be helpful.
Thank you.

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K.P.

answers from Madison on

Hi D.,
Pick up a copy of Secrets of the Baby Whisperer. Terrific book that got me through the difficult start. She has a great schedule - Eat Activity Sleep You (EASY). Sounds like you definitely need the "YOU" part.

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C.H.

answers from Des Moines on

You are not a bad mother! Having a baby is an incredibly tough thing and having these kinds of demands is hard to take on anyone. You need some help and a break - don't be afraid to ask.

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J.G.

answers from Milwaukee on

Hi D.,
You've received so many messages so quickly. It's wonderful that you have this support. I'll try to stick to things that no one else wrote.

In post-partum depression, it has been found that Omega-3s are very important. Be certain that you are getting enough of this with your diet and supplements- it is NOT in prenatal vitamins, but it is essential for your physical and mental health. The baby needed a lot of it to develop the entire brain and nervous system, so many new moms are very deficient and this has been linked to post-partum depression. Be aware that Omega-3s are not in every kind of fish, and most people need a separate, quality supplement to get an adequate supply. The Vit D already mentioned is also important.

Now, for your baby's struggles- there may well be a link between the reflux/feeding/sleeping difficulties. That would possibly be needing probiotics. You can get liquid drops for infants. I would definitely try this a lot before switching your baby's food. He may not have the proper bacteria that he needs in his gut to properly digest food and produce serotonin (hence the sleep difficulties). Research shows that 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut, not in the brain, but you need the right bacteria in there to do it. Switching to soy would not fix this underlying problem, and soy is controversial as food for humans, as some claim it may cause hormonal problems. Many people benefit from keeping sources of probiotics in their diet for a lifetime, whether it is homemade yogurt, kim-chi, sauerkraut or supplements. If you have not been doing this, then perhaps you didn't have the probiotics to pass along to your son, but you can give them to him now, and then keep on giving them!

Other things like getting time to yourself are also very important. It will be much easier to do that when the sleep and feeding issues are improved. Also, you'll find that once your son's digestion is improved and he is more comfortable, the two of you can have a glorious summer. He'd likely delight for hours in being outside on a blanket (in the shade, of course).

Best wishes,
J.

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A.R.

answers from Minneapolis on

D.

There is a lot of great advice from other mom's here. Let me add to the reassurance that what you are experiencing is very normal. Even with my second, I was a wreck until about the six week mark. My advice is for you to do three things...
1. call your doctor immediately to talk about postpartum depression; I did not with my first and cried until she was three months and I went back to work.

2. Read the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Dr. Marc Weissbluth. I saw someone else recommended it and it's fabulous.

3. Read the book "How to Get Your Kid to Eat - but Not too Much" by Ellyn Satter. It will change how you look at feeding your children in the most positive way, even as newborn infants.

Okay, four things...
4. Be very good to yourself and both ask and accept for help whenever it is offered.

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A.D.

answers from Davenport on

My first was a cat-napper and snacker also. I thought it was something I was doing wrong but now I know that is just her personality. She has never been a good napper and I felt like a human pacifier because she would just continuously nibble. Strip him down, blow on him, put a washcloth on him to keep him awake while he's eating so he gets a full belly and maybe he'll sleep a little longer. The thing that has saved my sanity with both my children is to use a sling. There are many different types you can get. It will help you get some "me" time, even though you'll be wearing your baby, he should be asleep and it will help you re-group. I am able to make supper, do dishes, do laundry, vaccuum, walk around the pool, and get some excercise like using handweights and walking. It's a lifesaver and my newest little one will sleep for HOURS when he's wrapped up against me. Check out www.wearyourbaby.com and "make a wrap". I always use mine while shopping and am constantly being asked by people where I got it and that they want one. I think slings/wraps improve the moods of both mom and baby. There is less crying and fussiness, more sleeping and you have more "free" time to get stuff done. You're not a bad mother for wanting "me" time, but yes, infants need constant attention. I also sleep with my babies and I love it but that's a whole other topic. You really should get checked out for post-partum depression, there may be some things you could be doing to help yourself cope better- and definitely see if you can get someone to watch your baby a couple hours a week.

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T.C.

answers from Des Moines on

It will get better. And soon. I remember 6 weeks being a big turning point for my son. I am a believer in having children on a flexible schedule. I think it is easier for them to know what to expect and easier for you to know that their needs are being fully met. I read to books that really helped. The first, is Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. The second (which I adapted to be less rigid for my son) is On Becoming Baby Wise. You can probably find them both at the library. These books were immensely helpful to me. However, you have to do what works for you and your son. God gave him specifically to you because He knew you were best suited to care for your son's needs. You are the perfect mom for him. Keep giving him your best and take heart in knowing that this stage doesn't last forever.

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A.D.

answers from Minneapolis on

First of all, you're not a bad mom!!! Everyone feels overwhelmed when they first have a baby because it IS really hard!! A couple of things to help him sleep through the night (which will go a long way to help you feel much better about things).

1. He needs to eat 8 times a day so try to fit the 8 feedings into 16 hours (thereby leaving 8 hours of sleep hopefully). That does mean feeding him every 2 hours even if you have to wake him up. You will feel like you're feeding him really often but this goes pretty fast and soon you can spread them out to 3 to 4 hours at about 2-3 months. If you're breastfeeding, you should shoot for 15 minutes on each side. To keep him awake while feeding, stop in the middle (either between breasts or in the middle of the bottle) and change his diaper. I also used to keep my little ones awake by nudging their cheek to make sure they finish.
3. Get a swaddler blanket at Babies R Us with velcrow. At that age, they still have the startle reflex which wakes them up. This keeps them nice and snug. Make sure he doesn't get too hot though.
2. Put him down the same way you do at night during the day, this will get him out of your arms and give you some time back. Also get into a routine. Like, feed one side (or half the bottle), change diaper and swaddle, feed the other half and put down asleep. Do this every time he's supposed to go to sleep and put him in his crib or bassinet. He'll start to learn that this means he's going to sleep.

Also, some crying after birth is normal with major fluctuations in your hormones. But, if you start feeling hopeless or like you want to hurt yourself or your baby, please notify your OB/GYN ASAP. There is no shame in that. It's not you, it's the hormones. Good luck and keep reaching out to other moms when you feel frustrated.

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S.K.

answers from Minneapolis on

Rasing a child is harder than most people think it is going to be - so you're not alone there! You leave out some important information for us to help you i.e. are you breastfeeding or bottle? do you have a partner? Is there family around? Re; the issues you mentioned:
Yes being there for your baby is a 24/7 rest of your life job. That being said if you do have family around/ $$ for a babysitter scheduling time out for yourself is a priority. Do it weekly and make it the same time/day so that both you and your child expect it and it's part of your schedule.

re: feeding I have twins and SWEAR by the scheduling method - a lot of people think the baby should dictate the schedule but w/ 2 you can't do that. Buy the book The Ferber Method (the title is something like that). The basis of it is you need to teach your child the difference between day and night. When you feed during the day sit by a window where s/he can get lots of light and don't let them sleep more than three hours at a stretch during hte day (not your current issue I know!). I also swaddled my kids when they were young and swear by that as well. They slept thru the night from 4 months on and have only varied from that when they were teething.

I mentioned if you're bottle or breast feeding b/c if you are breastfeeding you may want to pump so that others can help you with the feedings. If you're able to get some free time and your crying doesn't abate you may want to talk to your doctor re: postpartum depression - it's far more common than people think. It will get better and no, you're not a horrible mother. good luck

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J.N.

answers from Minneapolis on

I want to let you know that I felt the same way. It is a huge shocking life change having a baby. They need constant attention and the first few weeks are really exhausting. The first few weeks were really hard for me. I wish someone would have told me that it gets a lot better...fast. By 12 weeks your baby will be sleeping better and eating more on a schedule. He will also start to smile and interact with you. Truthfully I didn't enjoy the first few weeks but by 12 weeks it was SO different. My baby also had a lot of acid reflux and like yours cried alot and didn't sleep a lot in the beginning. Her Dr prescribed Zantac and it helped SO much. You mentioned that your baby was spitting up a lot, you may want to ask your Dr about this. It's very common.

It's good that you are reaching out. Please be open to your friends and family about how you are feeling. You will need their support. I cried alot in the beginning - don't hesitate to talk to your Dr. Post-Partum depression is VERY common and really treatable. Trust me, motherhood will become more enjoyable for you.

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T.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hang in there, it gets easier every day.

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B.

answers from Minneapolis on

Just another vote to call your doctor and be sure to be screened for post-partum depression. It can happen to anyone and has nothing to do with how great a mother you are or will be. Also check in with your pediatrician to see if he/she has any suggestions to make your baby more comfortable.

Slings are brilliant! So good for calming a baby and soothing them to sleep and so helpful to allow you to get other things done. If you aren't familiar with all the different kinds, head over to Peapods on Snelling and St. Clair in St. Paul and ask for a demonstration of different options. A wrap sling like a Moby looks complicated at first but can soothe your babe and hold him securely so you can get outside, get stuff done, etc. Definitely look into them!

Whatever you do, do something. Call your doctor, a friend, your mom, someone. Nothing makes life with a newborn harder than sitting in your house all by yourself. Good for you for reaching out here - keep it up! It will get easier.

All the best,

B.

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M.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

let me say that you should not feel guilty about wanting a bit o 'me' time. Do you have help - a spouse, SO or partner? Do you have family around to help? Is he gaining weight as he should? If you haven't been in for a weight check, maybe go in. If he's not to par, he may have pyloric stenosis (sp?) it's where the lower stomach valve isn't mature enough and doesn't open properly, thus he doesn't gain or digest. Also, it's quite common for boys to have an immature upper stomach valve, so they spit up more for awhile.

Second - you're only 4 week post, you shouldn't be exercising yet, wait until you get the all clear from your doc.

Third - if you're concerned about your emotions, call your doc RIGHT AWAY! Or go to your chiro, find a professional who can refer you to some med or homeopathics or naturopaths, I'm not fond of western medical doctors and their drugs, but you may need something. I pray you get the help you need both emotionaly and with baby. If you have a church, you can call them too, grandma figures are always more than willing to come hold a babe for you to take an extended shower! Don't be afraid to ask for help, even if you don't have a lot of close contacts where you live.

M

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K.T.

answers from Sioux City on

D., the first thing I want to say is yes your normal... You sound like I did when I had my first child.You need to find someone to allow you to get away. If you don't have anyone go to a church and ask for help.

I have a couple questions First r u nursing or formula feeding? If nursing you may not have enough nutrience in your milk. My daughter cried constantly till I tried formula.she was a different baby within a day!

I want u to be able to talk to someone so email me private and I will give u my info so you have a life line :)

Smile life will get better!! K. from Iowa

[email protected]____.com

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C.K.

answers from Des Moines on

Hi D.,

Those first few weeks can be really stressful for new moms, especially when they aren't getting a lot of sleep. Don't know that I can help you much, but just wanted to ask if you put your baby in the same bed for naps as you do at night???? Also, if the room is not as dark during the day, maybe it would help to get room-darkening blinds. Do you swaddle him???...I've heard that helps, but haven't ever really done it myself, but I've heard it comforts them. Probably the reason he is eating more at night is because there is a longer time between feedings...you may have to try and just hold him off during the day, so that he will eat more and sleep longer. You really shouldn't have to be holding a newborn all day long...and he should be sleeping a big percent of the time. I've heard you can't spoil a newborn, but in my experience this is not true....they learn very quickly....babies are born smart. BUT they need to be content to sleep, so if something isn't quite right that could be the problem, too. It's a whole new world for them, and sometimes it's just hard to get adjusted at first, for both of you.

Good Luck!

C.

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C.K.

answers from Bismarck on

1. Go to your Doctor today and get checked out for post partum... your baby is paying for your feelings so you need to get help immediately. He needs to feel loved and wanted, and when you're annoyed with the fact that your SON wants or needs to be held or fed he can sense that. You should be cherishing these days, one day you'll look back and regret that you didn't hold him more.
2. All babies are different about sleeping, some sleep most of the day and at night, and some don't. If you're concerned he's not getting enough sleep, talk to your pediatrician.
3. Also check on reflux.. could be why he spits up. Are you bottle feeding?? Try switching bottles (Dr Browns made a big difference for my oldest), it also helped to warm the bottle.. I know its more work, but he really ate the best when it was warmer than room temp.
4. Its fine to want some time to yourself, don't be afraid to ask for help so that you can have some time... but also try to figure out things that you can do with your son that will benefit you. Some other posts mentioned going for a walk with a stroller, putting him in a sling so you can get some stuff done.
Bottom line, get help right away so you can start enjoying these precious days. It is not normal to be frustrated that your son needs you, so take that as a clue that you need help.

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C.O.

answers from Minneapolis on

Newborns usually DO sleep more during the day, but his night time schedule sounds normal.
I agree it's a possibility your baby might have reflux. That would cause him to spit up and not sleep. Make an appointment to talk to his pediatrician about any and all concerns you have.
It's also possible he is lactose intolerant. We had the same problem with our oldest, except it was projectile vomit after almost every bottle. You could try different formulas to see if one sits better in his tummy.
Have you tried burping him by sitting him upright on your lap and patting or rubbing his back? That seems to work better with my babies than the more common over-the-shoulder method. You can also try burping him more often. My oldest had to be burped ever 1/2 ounce.
It is NOT normal for you to be crying all the time. You need to take care of yourself. Raising a child is one of the hardest things you will ever do, and you have to make sure you are healthy enough to do it. Get exercise SOMEHOW (I notice a humongous difference in my ability to handle things when I can get a workout), even if it's plopping your baby in a stroller and walking around the block. I've never done it, but I know you can do lunge walks and other exercises while pushing the stroller. Just google "stroller exercises" and you'll find descriptions and videos.
Get someone else to take over for a little while, even if it's just to take a nap or do the grocery shopping. There's nothing wrong with taking a break and getting away by yourself sometimes.
Talk to your doctor about your emotional state, too. Post-partum depression is not something to be ashamed of, nor do you want to treat lightly. You need to be whole in order to care for your baby. Sometimes therapy is enough, but sometimes medication is needed. One of my friends has been taking medication for pp-depression and it has worked wonders. Don't wait.

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J.A.

answers from Minneapolis on

I know the Dr's tell you this is a no no and might get nagative opinions from other moms...but it changed things dramatically for me. My son was the same way, he would take several cat naps through out the day and sleep for about 2 hours staight at night.....I was exhausted and concerned that my baby also wasn't getting enough sleep either. I couldn't accomplish anything during day not even a shower, preparing lunch nothing. My son also spit up so much, I was concerned he wasn't eating enough and all he wanted to do was nurse all day and all night. One day I decided to place him on his stomach for a nap, he slept for 4 hours straight. ( I couldn't sleep because I was told to follow the "back to sleep" and I was constantly checking on him)I think that added pressure on his tummy from the mattress helped with any stomach problems he was having. My mom reminded me too that when I was little she was told to put me on my stomach. My son is now 18 months and still sleeps on his tummy every night.
Just know every day gets better, just like when we think pregnancy will never end it does and when you look back it was just a short chapter in our life. Good Luck! Don't forget to ask for help, there is no shame in that being a parent is a huge responsibility.

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D.D.

answers from Madison on

I noticed no one else has mentioned pyloric stenosis. Has your baby always spit up a lot or has it seemed to become extreme just recently? My first son needed surgery but I spent almost a week with him having this condition before I took him to the Dr because everyone ket telling me that he just spits up a lot. I don't think enough people are aware of pyloris stenosis. You could go to webmd.com and see the symptoms. If you think it might be a possibility, you should have him seen immediately.
And as everyone else has said, yes, you are definitely normal.

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E.T.

answers from Rochester on

Hi D.,
You are not a bad mom for wanting to have some time to yourself! Our daughter is 2 now and one of the things that I wish I could do over would be to ask for help sooner and more often just so I could get some time for myself. I had PPD. There were several things that contributed to it, but I think a big part of it was my independent streak and the thought that I should be able to do it all by myself. I was exhausted, irritable, and cried a lot. That made me feel like I wasn't being a good mom. Things started getting better when I finally started to ask my husband to watch our baby so that I could go and do something for myself. I also started to feel better when I started getting treatment for my PPD. (I just did counseling, no meds since I was breastfeeding.)

The first month or two are pretty difficult. It takes time to get into a routine and to get used to all the changes that come with a baby. I agree with the others who have said to try and feed your baby when he first wakes up. For a long time our daughter would only sleep for a few minutes at a time unless someone was holding her or when she was in a bouncy seat, the swing, or the car seat. Another thing to try is to put your son in the stoller as soon as he falls asleep and take a walk. Just getting out into the fresh air and getting some exercise will help you feel better too. And the movement of the stroller might help your son sleep better.

Our daughter also was a huge spitter! The first couple of times she had big spit ups I was a wreck! I was on the phone with Ask a Nurse and sure there was something horribly wrong! When I talked with our doctor about the spitting, he said that if our daughter wasn't crying and didn't seem like she was in pain, it wasn't acid reflux or lactose intolerance. And as long as she continued to gain weight it wasn't something to be concerned about. Some babies are just spitters! She outgrew it within a couple of months.

Hang in there. It will get better! Don't be afraid to ask for help or to try different things to help with getting your son into more of a routine during the day. From my experience, the most important thing that helped me to be a better mom was to take time for myself. It took me a long time to learn that just because I was a mom now, I didn't have to give up who I was before I was a mom. But, you can't do it all on your own.

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W.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi D. - I suggest you talk to your doctor about postpartum. You are not a bad mom so get those thoughts out of your head. You just need some help creating "you time" and there is nothing wrong with that. Reach out and ask for it. Your baby seems normal - give it some time to figure out his schedule. Feeding and sleeping are two things that take time to find a rhythm.

Good luck!
W.

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T.D.

answers from Bismarck on

You are getting lots of great replies! Absolutely get that PPD checked out! Seems like that's a big part of everything! - but hearing you talk about craving the sun - find ways to do that! I had never considered how that affects me - but now know that getting out for even a 1/2 hour each day gives me the vitamin D boost equivalent to a cup of coffee! - and I chose not to drink caffeine as I nursed.

About that. I have been either pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to become pregnant for more than ten years - and truly feel it has been a decade devoted to my children. Yes - ohmygosh - it's so hard! But I was so fortunate to befriend a lovely gal - a lactation consultant and nurse who'd come to our home for a newborn baby home visit with my first. She stayed the better part of two hours visiting and watching me feed our son, although she didn't share her observations until she was close to leaving. She'd taken no notes or jotted anything down - just had an amazing way of remembering everything. And she was crystal clear when she brought things into our conversation. At the time, it seemed like friendly conversation - now I know she was instrumental in my becoming a longterm breastfeeding mom. Things she said were to feed that baby as much and as often as possible. To take him outside and enjoy the sun, and feed him when he needed to be fed. 'Feed him on demand.' She encouraged feeding him in different positions - to bring him down to diaper to feed him - and to listen to his cues. He was never a sleeper, and sadly, we chose to co-sleep with him to get me a couple of hours here and there. Seriously, we're talking four total hours each 24 hour day. THAT was an issue with his pediatrician. She thought he was thriving, happy and checked out fine... 'It's his biorhythms', she said.

That's where it started. I fed baby nearly around the clock - but he grew into a need for other stimulus from dad, grandma, etc - and I took them up on it. Seemed he was content to be walked or rocked with them - loved his swing if they put him in it - and it gave me that much needed shower or walk outside, alone.

So - do that PPD check, it may be nothing or you may be helped out in that department, too. Feed him. Undress him and run a warm washcloth along his legs - he'll perk up to eat more :)

And maybe consider a pacifier. I didn't with my first - was totally convinced I could 'do it all'. But with my middle child, I was a mess with her hooked on all day. I still fed her on demand, but was able to make dinner, feed her as I ate, and then lay her down with a pacifier as I cleared away the mess. I felt like I was productive as well as providing all of her needs! And she didn't become attached to it - just bridged her sucking needs with my need to set her down between feedings.

I'll pray for you! You sound so much like I felt... like friends have told me they are feeling - but know there's hope and absolutely, baby will be out of this stage soon - and into teething :) - yeah!

best wishes!
T.

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L.M.

answers from Lincoln on

I'm sorry you're going through this. I didn't have the troubles that you are having but here is some advice.

I nursed my son so no spitting up but have you tried a different formula if you're formula feeding? Many babies have problems with formula because it's cow's milk. Maybe try something organic or soy. My girlfriend had to use soy because her son had the same problem.

As for you . . . it is so normal! I cried over every little thing! Call your doctor and he can help you! That's what they are there for! Good luck!

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C.M.

answers from Bismarck on

Dear D.-

Having a new baby IS overwhelming. I remember (9 years ago now--it does go fast!) thinking what have we gotten ourselves into?! They do need you for everything when they're this age and it can really wear you down.

One change you might consider is feeding him when he wakes up rather than when he is close to going back to sleep--it might help with his digestion and the spitting up problem too. There's a lot of information out there on the internet and in books for getting your baby on a schedule. One book I read was Babywise--you might check it out just to see if it will help.

You're not selfish for wanting some time for yourself. Are there any other moms or gramma type ladies that might give you a little break a couple of times per week? Hang in there and find some support for yourself!

**Hugs**

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S.J.

answers from Wausau on

Hi D. - I don't have a lot of advice, but I just wanted to say hang in there, it DOES get easier! I'm a new mom too, my little girl is 11 weeks. She had a similar sleep pattern at that age, and I also thought she would sleep a lot more, or at least longer naps, but she still for the most part just cat naps - either 5 30-45 minute naps a day, or 1 longer nap & 3 cat naps. As far as feeding, I agree with the other poster, maybe you can try feeding him when he gets up, before he is sleepy. Although that didn't always work for me, even if she was wide awake, somehow eating made her sleepy ;-)She would do the same thing until a few weeks ago. She was a very lazy eater, just wanted to eat a little, sleep a little, so I share your frustration that it seems like you are always constantly having to feed them!

I would definitely try to find some support people who can give you a break occasionally. Even an hour a day to work out or take a shower, decompress, etc. feels like heaven! Or an afternoon once a week to lay out - even if you have to pay someone for a couple hours a few times a week, it will be worth it! Good luck & just remember that it really does get easier over time.

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A.L.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi,
You are not the only one who has gone through this. My first child was the same way--spitting up all the time. I was so tired of smelling like spit-up and all of my clothes were stained. I also had a difficult time adjusting to life with kids and sometimes really miss my pre-children life (carefree, no schedule, lots of personal time, etc). The first couple of months can be very difficult. Like others have said, see what you can do to get a babysitter for an hour or 2 a couple of days during the week. Until we got into full-time daycare there were many days that I was frustrated with how little I could accomplish--taking care of them is very time-consuming at this age. BUT--they grow up so quickly!! Don't wish the time away because the newborn stage doesn't last long. Soon he'll be sleeping through the night and will be able to entertain himself a little more with toys and playing.
As others have said, you may want to talk to your doctor about PPD...I didn't with my first and probably should have...it probably would make your life a LOT better to get some help (either from your doctor or someone who can help with some babysitting).
Hang in there! Sending warm thoughts your way!

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K.T.

answers from Minneapolis on

Maybe he needs a different size nipple? That way he doesn't have to work as hard and he can eat the bottle more quickly at each feeding.
I completely understand the frustration. My son had colic for the first few months and only slept for 8-9 hours total including naps as well. That amount of sleep is simply not enough, especially when it is broken up into 1 or 2 hour intervals!!! There is no chance to even go into REM sleep. I needed help for the most basic things, just to go take a shower or be able to make a sandwich or do some laundry. He continued to have sleep issues even after he stopped crying all of the time. I changed his formula a few times and ended up putting him on soy and that helped a lot. He was also a big puker and was diagnosed with reflux. He is 18 months now and still wakes up once/night [not to eat..honestly I am not sure why].
You might want to talk to his doctor about it. And talk to your Dr about postpartum depression. I never saw a Dr for mine but looking back I wish I had because it could have gotten better sooner if I had sought out the help I needed.
Get as much help as you can to get some more sleep, from anyone and everyone. And see if you can get someone to watch him for 3 hours once or twice a week just to give you a little break.

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E.B.

answers from Duluth on

You don't say whether you're nursing during the day or not...but...I know, especially with my first, nursing him and being exclusively responsible for his feeding made me feel very claustrophobic. I felt trapped by this baby and was resentful of needing to nurse him. I continued, and that feeling went away relatively quickly, but considering how short-lived it was, it definitely made an impression (it was over 5 years ago). Even if you're not nursing, I suspect that, if you are home alone with Baby, that you're feeling that same overwhelming sense of responsibility. Can you get family to come help, to give you a break? I basically went out and gardened, but it was a HUGE break from mommying. Also, my kids ate like that--fell asleep eating, woke hungry, and we had very poor sleeping children--so if you can do ANYTHING to set up a better habit (I can't give advice; it's happened to us twice now!), I would strongly encourage it--like maybe waking him the minute he starts to fall asleep to finish eating? Good luck, and congratulations!

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A.B.

answers from Fargo on

Congratulations on your new little man! I'm sure he's beautiful. ;)
I remember the days of what seemed like continuous feedings quite well! My first was a pokey eater...she'd took a good 1/2 hour to eat a couple ounces and then didn't nap real well. I was nursing her for the first 6 weeks before I discovered that my milk wasn't what it should have been. I felt like she was always wanting to eat even after I had just fed her. We switched to formula and things got better, but she was spitting up a lot and sometimes projectile. We then switched to soy formula and what a huge improvement! Hardly any spit up and a much more content baby who actually napped like she "should". I also learned to not go in immediately when I'd heard her crying or waking up after a nap. Sometimes she was just readjusting or just falling back asleep by crying a little. Start listening to how he crys during the day. You'll start to notice the different sounding cries.
Do you have a baby swing? All 3 of my children loved their swing and that would give me enough time to eat some lunch or throw a load of laundry in.
Also - sometimes babies just need to "stretch" and not be held. I learned this the "hard" way with my first after being with a friend's family for a few days. My daughter was just a little younger than your son now and everyone wanted to hold her. She was fussy even though I had just fed her about an hour before. I took her to our bedroom and layed her down to change her diaper and she just loved it! All she wanted way to just lay on the floor and stretch and kick her legs.
There will still be days when you feel like crying, but it really shouldn't be all the time. Your hormones and emotions are still getting back to "normal" and that takes some time. I would talk to your doctor about it.
Also, someone else suggested a pacifier. Go for it! If all your little guy is needing is to satisfy his suck, but not have food, he'll be a much happier and content baby if he can do that with a paci. Some babies need to suck more than just what they get with their feeding.
Lastly...have fun learning all about your new little one! Take a walk with him and enjoy the sunshine. Go visit some friends for a few hours or just walk around the mall with him in the stroller. :)

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C.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi D.!
First, it's okay to feel the need for some time to yourself. First time parenting can be tough...and emotional!
Second, new babies DO sleep alot during the day--try to do some things to relax yourself while feeding him during the day (they can sense your stress), like nursing while laying down. Also, do things to try to keep him awake a bit more, like a diaper change prior to feeding him, patting the bottom of his feet while feeding him, and keeping him cooler, not snuggled up, while feeding him to see if he'll stay awake to eat more during the day--then he may sleep better for you.
Infants are normally fussy the first several weeks, but it DOES get better. Around 6 weeks, they start to get a little more "organized" in their nervous systems and digestive systems--hang in there! It will get better. Just take it one day at a time.

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T.L.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi D.
No it is not normal for you to still cry all the time you need to go to the doctor and talk about postpartum depression. Also it sounds like maybe your baby has reflux which will make him puke alot and also not be able to sleep for long periods. Have you tried letting him sleep in his swing or carseat or put a pillow under the crib mattress to elevate it some that may help if he does have reflux. Being a mother is one of the hardest things you will ever do. I agree with the posts that you should ask someone for some help just to give you a break. Good luck If you just need someone to talk to please feel free to instant message me.

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L.P.

answers from Des Moines on

if you are feeding your baby with a bottle have dad do this sometimes, get out of the house and workout! An hour a day doing your thing will make you feel SOOO much better!!!

All babies are different, if your baby is sleeping at night then I would not be worried about him. Is he growing? That is what matters.

If you start getting away an hour a day and you still feel this way then I think you should go to your doctor about PPD. Don't worry about your baby being in your arms too much. As long as he is sleeping outside of your arms at night then embrace all the time he gets in your arms now. =) Hang in there, if he is still spitting up alot in a few weeks when he is older then ask the Dr. at his next visit. For now, take care of yourself, but make sure your baby feels safe and secure. Doing that now will make his entire life better even as an adult (trust me I know). My parents left me when I was 4 months old and didn't care for me before that. My husband now has to make up for that by holding me and basically being there all the time when I need him.

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K.M.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hey D..
sorry to hear that it's so stressful for you right now, and the lack of sleep certainly doesn't help. When I had my first son, I was fortunate enough to have a very mild mannered baby who slept through the night by the time he was 2 months old. Now that I've had my 2nd I see how lucky I was with the first. My 4 month old experienced some of the same things you're going through with your son but since we have righted the ship and being a mom is much "easier" that it was in the beginning. I'm sure it will get easier for you too.

RE: feeding, my 4 month old had a really hard time at first and I felt like I was feeding him constantly, even at night. He also had trouble with spitting up, which my first baby never had. I'm not sure why yours is doing so good at night, but for me, after trying out a few different formulas we settled on Similac Sensitive and the spit ups are now few and far between. Although it's a painful process, I would try a few different formulas (we went throough 3) and hopefully that will help. I'd also ask my Dr. to see if there is an allergy possibility or reflux that is causing it.

RE: you. It is absolutely 100% normal to feel like you need some time just for you and does not make you a bad mother - just a human being. It is very hard to give 100% of yourself, 100% of the time and never get any relief. I would suggest trying to find someone (friend or relative) that can help out by taking the baby for an hour or 2 here and there or possibly an afternoon so you can have some "me time. I know it's rough, especially with the troubles your having but you need to keep thinking about what an amazing accomplishment it is to be a mother and how great it is to have this little being so dependant upon you. While I still find myself overly emotional at times (just a silly song, book or word can sometimes get to me)I am a little concerned that you feel like you are crying a lot. There are many resources out there that you can use for assistance. I would start with your doctor who can assess your situation and put you in contact with local organizations - just talking to others helps a ton. While being moms we place so much emphasis on raising our children we often times forget to take care of ourselves, but at the end of the day, we are the most important thing in the world to our kids so we have to be sure to take the time to take care of ourselves too. It's great that you've realized that is something you need.

I'm sure that everything will work out well for you and someday you'll look into your little boys eyes and think back at these frustrating times and know it is all worth it!

Best of Luck!
K.

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K.R.

answers from Minneapolis on

Oh, D., first a big hug! Congratulations on your new baby. And most importantly, you are NOT A BAD MOM because you want some time for yourself. Being a parent is very, very hard under the best circumstances, and we rarely get those circumstances. Are you single? If not, then take advantage of your partner to get some time to yourself; explain that you are going to be a better mom and a better partner if you can take care of yourself too. If you are single, find someone else who can help you out. If you have friends or family who can offer you some support, take advantage. If you don't have anyone you feel like you can turn to, maybe seek out some community organizations that might help you to find that support, like a church. But find a way to take care of yourself. You can't do anything about the fact that babies need a lot of care, all the time. It will ease off, bit by bit. But you can, and should, make sure you're not the only one doing it all the time.

If you're crying all the time, talk to someone. I had mild PPD with my first and third, but it was worse with #2. And the thing about that experience is that, though my husband says it was pretty obvious, I was embarrassed to admit the way I was feeling to anyone; I thought I must be a lousy mom to be feeling this way. But admitting that you don't feel right is an important step toward taking good care of yourself and your baby. It doesn't mean there's something "wrong" with you.

I would look into reflux. You may also want to try a different feeding position or even strip him down to just a diaper when he eats. All my kids had trouble, especially when they were brand new, with falling asleep while they were nursing so that I felt like all I ever did was nurse. Things like blowing in their faces, stroking their cheeks, and stripping them down seemed to help them to stay awake long enough to eat.

Good luck, and let me know if there's anything I can do for you!

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E.I.

answers from Duluth on

talk to your doctor about postpartum depression. its normal, and completely treatable. you will be fine, but its good that you are aware that you are overwhelmed and frustrated.

one thing i will say is that the life you had before your baby was born will not be the life you will have now. when you have a baby your life changes, and yes, for the most part, your baby needs your presence and comfort and all of that in order to feel safe, secure, and in the future, in order to become independent. babies dont grow into independent toddlers and children by being forced into independence. they need to have the safe landing place of dependence on you in order to feel secure enough to be independent later.

that being said, your baby does need you 24/7, but there is no harm in taking a break, or having someone come over and visit and take baby for a while, or just be there while he sleeps so that you can talk a walk, read a book, lay in the sun. also, you can put him in a stroller and go to the park and do those same things, he might sleep better in a moving stroller anyway. its perfectly healthy and safe for you to take some time to yourself during the day if its possible for someone to watch your child for you. someplace you can trust to care for him like you know he needs to be.

also, it is VERY important that you check with your doctor!!!! you are not to the 6 week mark yet, you should concentrate on resting, not exersizing. you are NOT fat, you have just nurtured and grown a baby!!! :D it took 9 months to put it on, its going to take at LEAST that long to take it off. so have patience with yourself, if you are feeling bad about yourself and your post baby weight, that also might be connected to post partum depression. again, see your doctor. this is common, they are used to hearing about it, and they will get you the help you need. if they dont, see another doctor until someone is willing to help you. for the most part, even pediatricians are supposed to be watchful of new moms just as much as new babies. :D so yes, you can even talk to your son's pediatrician.

some gyms have child care available, or call a family or a close friend. its especially helpful to you if you exersize, thats good for you at any stage, but if you are breastfeeding, take it easy, maybe do some strengthening exersizes, weight lifting, and light walking, nothing strenuous. take it easy.

as for your questions about eating and sleeping, this sounds entirely normal. babies are SO tired, and yet they are doing a LOT of growing, so they are hungry too! babies double their height and triple their weight in the first year thats TREMENDOUS growth, and that makes them EXTREMELY HUNGRY.

however, there are little things you can do to help him eat more at a time, though they might not help a lot. one is to just wiggle him gently when hes starting to fall asleep, that should get him to suck down a bit more. also, try pulling baby away from his meal, usually that will wake them and cause them to eat a bit more.

im wondering if you are breastfeeding or formula feeding.

if formula feeding, consider the possibility that baby's immature digestive system isnt able to handle the kind of formula you are feeding. try a soy version, or something else and see if a different kind will bother him less. formula fed babies often spit up more when they are allergic to the kind of formula they are eating. and also, cows milk is HIGHLY allergic, no matter what formula companies and doctors will tell you. its just not made for human babies, so a lot of them have reactions. just try a different formula.

if breastfeeding, try eliminating different things from your diet. milk of course would be number one. anything that gives you gas will give baby gas, and that can cause spit up also. dont feel like you have to completely restrict yourself from something, perhaps just have less of it? go to none for a week or so, see if it helps, and then add little bits of it at a time to see if baby can handle it.

burping is tricky! we couldnt get our son to burp either. you can literally throw baby over your shoulder and pat them pretty good to get them to burp. another way is to lay baby across your lap, with the leg under baby's tummy higher than the other one. this can cause more spit up i suppose because the tummy is just higher than the mouth, but from what ive seen, laying a baby on my lap just helps them burp. or, putting something under baby's belly that gives a bit of pressure on the stomach might also help. its the same idea as having your knee pressing their tummy. so a blanket, rolled up towel, something like that. also a heating pad works to help with tummy gas and stuff. especially if they have pains with it.

baby is just trying to get used to this new world he is in. mostly, he wont understand that you and him are even separate people for another couple months. so have patience with him. really, i think that talking to your doctor about some post partum depression will be your NUMBER ONE thing that will help you. it doesnt sound like you have a very bad case but its enough that you are bothered by it. so see your doctor and like i said, its common, normal, and you will be fine. :D

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K.N.

answers from Minneapolis on

Oh my, could I identify with what you described of your new baby and you! You will be surprised that this is coming from a 65 yr. old grandma, but I still definately remember just what you mentioned here with our first baby! Back then we had to weigh them b/4 they nursed to see how much they were getting & that was awful because our baby was hungry and crying while I tried to get his weight! Plus, it woke my husband who had to get up early to go to work in the morning! My baby always fell asleep too while nursing or bottle feeding! The nurse in the hospital said to flick his feet with my fingers to wake him, but it never worked. It was exasperating and I was so very tired too....that is probably why you are crying from lack of sleep. I feel so very sorry for you, but try to remember that it isn't going to last & give thanks that you have a normal baby! I know how hard it is when you don't have time for yourself cause you need that just to keep your sanity! My mother use to tell me to get someone to come in just so I could lock myself in the bathroom to have a nice bath to myself! I too wanted to go out and tan and I resented his taking my time. Now I feel guilty for feeling that way and wish I had spent more time with him. Know that you are doing the best that you can, I'm sure you are. I found too that lifting them up under the arms often produced an burp or just getting them up over your shoulder and gently tapping their back or lay them across your lap, face down while tapping their back works for burping too. Be patient and remember it won't last forever. They grow up so fast, but right now it feels like forever, I know.

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