I have 2-week-old and a 21-month-old boys. The 2-week-old has just began crying several hours a day. My oldest had issues with colick, so I know that this will not last forever. Though, if anyone knows of any miracle cures, I'm all ears!
My main issue is this: This 2-week-old little darling will not sleep at night unless I am holding him. I need advice on this. Cry it out methods need not reply, I'm not going there with a newborn. I have been sleeping on the couch at night, trying to get him to at least sleep in the swing, instead of in my arms. It works about 1/2 the night. He did have days and nights mixed up, but is starting to sort of get re-oriented. I have started waking him every 2 hours during the day to bf. He was sleeping all his long stretches during the day and waking every hour at night. (Oh, and he'll sleep anywhere during the day... he just has a holding issue at night.) My mom suggested I work on his sleeping/eating schedule prior to getting him out of my arms at night. Although... I am, of course, very concerned about the safety of this situation. I can't even lay him down next to me... he will be awake within a view minutes and crying.
With a toddler, I can't just sleep while baby is sleeping. I'm sure many of you sympathize. I am getting thoroughly exhausted and need some good, non-judgemental advice. Thanks!
For colic take him to the chiropractor, it worked for me and I've seen it work for at least 10 other people! And maybe swaddling will help with the holding issue? My newborn wouldn't sleep without being swaddled tight and having her sound machine (the sleep sheep) on for weeks.
Sorry to hear you're exhausted. I know my son was like this for the first few weeks, but by about six weeks settled down a lot. I think two weeks might be a bit early to schedule... As for colic, there's a lot of info about probiotics helping kids with colic. You can get baby probiotics at Whole Foods or PCC and they're totally safe. Hope that helps.
C.- I am there with you. I have a 2 1/2 yr old, 22 month and 3 month so I understand the importance of sleep. I found with my last two that swaddling them really well helped them sleep better. But you have to get them snug for it to work. If I don't do this my daughter will put her hands on her face and pull at it keeping herself awake.
I remember going through this with my son, now 3 1/2, who was colicky. It was really hard, and all I can say is that it didn't last forever. It helped to talk to other parents who also had sleep and colic issues. Advice from parents whose babies were not challenging this way can just be frustrating and make you feel like a failure, because all their babies responded to things that yours do not. My husband and I would take turns holding and sleeping in shifts. He would stay up til 1 or 2 am and I would try to go to bed early, then I'd get up with the baby and he'd go to bed. It was sooo hard while it lasted, but thankfully it doesn't last too long in the grand scheme of things. Keep trying with the swing, I know people who have had that work for them. Personally the bouncy seat and carseat were useless with my son. Swaddling tightly and white noise made a small difference at that age. Pacifiers, if we could keep it in his mouth, also helped a bit. Nothing really gave us much sleep until he just grew out of it though, gradually started sleeping more at night and being awake more in the day, and then we sleep-trained him at around 5 months of age. I was completely desperate by then.
Another thought is to see if you have anyone who can take your older son during the day for a few hours, then you can sleep while the baby sleeps.
Clearly one pp didn't read your question completely, because you never said you were sleeping on the couch with the baby. Anyway, my heart goes out to you, I know how hard it is, and I hope you find some things that help. I could be in your shoes in a few months with my third baby, I'm just hoping and praying he's a good sleeper, because my older two are BUSY during the day, and I anticipate being dead on my feet.
You didn't state if you were breastfeeding or if it is specific times of the day where your son screams. I'm a mom of twins not a toddler and an infant so my situation is a little different. But my son was a big screamer. We found that it was one of 3 things. Gas in which case I used Gripe Water (purchase at pharmacy at Target, Natural section at Fred Meyers, New Season's or Whole Foods), overstimulation, or hungry. So to fix the overstimulation, I would wear him in a carrier. use something soft and comfy a sling or moby wrap are my personal favorites. they were comfy enough for my son to sleep but also for me to sleep with them on as well. So I would put him in one and my daughter in the other and go for a walk. Within 20 minutes they would both be asleep. The nice thing about a sling is you can leave the baby in the sling when you take it off and it will retain some warmth and your smell and hopefully allow you to take it off and have him still sleep. Hunger is pretty obvious so I'll leave it at that.
I co-sleep with my two and love it. At first yes it was a little scary but you really get used to where you can roll and where you can't. So on nights where there was no way I could sleep without him physically on me, I would wrap him in the moby walk till he fell asleep and then wear him to bed.
I know others have suggested "Happiest Baby on the Block" which I found helpful with both of my kids. Also, make sure you are swaddling at night. (You may have to find something thin or use an old bedsheet cut to size now that the weather is getting hot.) I slept with each of my kids in my bed and it allowed me more sleep during the night in the early weeks.
First, congratulations on your new little one! We also have an almost 2 week old too so I totally relate to your exhaustion. :) My oldest son had colic when he was a baby, and I learned to sleep sitting up cause that is the only position that he was comfortable in. Have you tried gas drops? I know that they make homeopathic colic tablets too that you can buy at any local store. Our little girl is the same way at night. While I don't have to hold her, she doesn't sleep well unless she's in bed with us. I co-slept with my 3rd child, and I loved it so I don't mind so much, but it can get trying. Have you tried swaddling him at night? Maybe that might help if you aren't currently doing that. I hope you find something that works. Good luck.
My first baby would not sleep in his cradle or crib but he would sleep next to us or in his stroller. I think he just liked the closeness, as the cradle and crib were too open.
You can try that, or roll blankets to place around your baby, maybe that would work.
My second did the samething, she only wanted to be held. I did a lot of crying. :( Finally this stage passed and at 6 weeks I could lay her in her crib and she'd go right to sleep. :-)
Hi C., I feel for you. I went through a similar thing with my now 8 month old. It turned out he had GERD. I started co-sleeping with him, it was too hard with a 2 year old and I gave in (and was nervous the whole time, baby slept great, mom not so much). There is a book called the "No Cry Sleep Solution". Hang in there, go with what your heart tells you and what feels right, get help from family and friends so you can sleep during the day. It will end, he's only 2 weeks old and really new to all of this, he just knows he needs mommy. I also tried swaddling him in the shirt I wore during the day so he had my scent - it did help some nights, not all.
Good luck and take advantage of all help offered so you can sleep during the day.
Have you read "Happiest Baby on the Block"? it has some wonderful ideas for newborns. with swaddling, swinging, shushing and sucking they can sleep for hours. we put our newborn in a swing all night with a pacifer and she would sleep 6-8 hrs at a time! newborns are used to the movement and noise and confinement of the uterus. so these things remind them of that time and are a comfort to them. Hope it helps, it did for us. and I know that I am worthless without sleep! Good luck, as you said this too shall pass!
He probably desires the feeling he had when he was in the womb again. I would strongly suggest using a swaddler, or swaddling him with a blanket; they sell "Swaddlers" online and in stores such as Fred Meyer. They're great; and they really do the trick. Wrap him tight in the swaddler, then breastfeed him to sleep. I did this with my second, and it worked great. I'll pray that God will allow this to work.
I don't know how you'll find the time to work at home, taking care of a toddler and a newborn! I had both at the exact same ages! It's exhausting just taking care of the kids!
I worked in Labor and Delivery before my two children were born (2 year old and 9 month old) and one thing that helps with newborns is swaddling. Since it's summer you'll have to find a VERY light blanket (a sarong works perfectly since they are so light, or else just make sure it's a light breathable baby blanket) also once baby is asleep and you place him in his bassinet it helps to have a rolled up blanket or towel on one side or both sides of him. Not squishing him, just providing a feeling that something is there, that's always reassuring for a newborn. You can also try tipping him slightly to one side or another (very slightly) with one of the rolled up blankets, the hospital did that with my baby and it worked wonders!
Hi C. - Are you still bundling him really tightly with a blanket? Or there are the kinds cut to size with with velcro fasteners. My daughter couldn't sleep any other way until she was about 4 or 5 months old. You must be so tired, I'm sorry - good luck.
My heart goes out to you. I remember those days all too well and my youngest is four now. There are times when you wonder if you will just go completely insane.
Your husband needs to help you out here. Have him take the baby and toddler for a couple of hours so you can get some sleep. It seems at this point in motherhood, you need to be in 'survival mode'.
You can't realistically expect to get your newborn to get on a schedule until he's around 2-3 months old.
My son was VERY colicky and hard for me to bond with at first.
It turned out, when he was 10 weeks old, he we discovered he had a urinary tract infection. Talk to your pediatrician, just to rule out any other causes for your newborn crying for such long periods. It could just be colic, but better safe than sorry.
I can tell you, this too shall pass, but it seems like forever when you are living it.
Give yourself breaks. Go for a walk alone. There is no harm in letting someone else hold your son while he cries. If all his needs are met (he's fed, changed, etc...) let someone else care for him for short periods. It will make you a better mom.
Someone mentioned to try having the baby sleep in the carseat next to your bed. Gave me major flashbacks since I had a child that wouldn't sleep unles nursing on me and he wouldn't lay next to me in a bed so even if I wanted to co-sleep I couldn't. I knew I couldn't let him sleep on me at night so we tried everything and read every sleep book. The carset worked for a while and so did swaddling. We ended up resorting to having him sleep in his swing for the first 5 months of his life. He still got up constantly to nurse but the swing was the only way I could lay him down after nursing and get him to stay asleep for even a few hours. The one thing that saved us (in addition to letting him sleep in his swing) was the CD "For Crying Out Loud". We had a CD playing in his room that could play a song on repeat mode all night and we played the vacuum song on that CD all night long. There are other CDs out there just like that one with strange, soothing sounds like vacuums and hairdriers (both worked for us). Let me know if you want to know where you can find those CDs. I waited until 5 months before making my child cry it out and we only did it then because we had to get him out of the swing and into the crib and there wasn't anything else that would work. Thus, it's too early for you to worry about "crying it out" and I hope your child can respond to other ways to get him to sleep in the crib. Right now you just have to do what will "safely" work for you and there isn't any easy fixes here. You may have to do something that doesn't seem like the safest solution, like letting the baby sleep in a swing. You just need to find a solution that is as safe as possible and that will allow you to sleep. If people offer you an easy fix then they never had a baby with major sleep issues. Just hold onto hope that it will get better. I thought I would NEVER be able to say that because my son would only nap on me or in the baby bjorn with me standing or walking and I was a jack-in-the box at night since he woke so much. I can't imagine doing it while taking care of a toddler. Try the sound CDs. I had the hairdryer and vacuum going in the house all the time until I found the CD. They were some times the only thing that would help my son calm down and help him stay asleep.
T J gave you some good advice.
The only thing I'd add is to have him sleep in his car seat placed on the floor near you. We did this for our oldest and she had horrible time sleeping. The more upright position helped her tummy. I felt more comfortable with her in her seat than other options. It also has a comforting cradling effect. A adjustment by the chiropractor could help. The babies are all cramped up for months and then contort their way out into the world. I'd need an adjustment after that.
I hope this helps you get some sleep.
Hang in there, C.. My daughter was the same way when she was that age. For the first few months, she wouldn't sleep (at night or for naps) unless we were holding her. We learned to take turns with her sleeping on our chests. After a while, she would sleep laying right next to us. She eventually, and on her own, started sleeping farther and farther until she was in her own sleeping space in our bed. We haven't tried her own mattress yet, because the family bed works for us. She is now 16 months old, and still nurses at night, more so when painful teeth are coming in. Her sleep schedule has changed so much that I have just let her moderate her own schedule, and it seems to work for her and us, for the most part.
If your baby needs you right now, see if you can find a way to sleep or take turns with him sleeping on your chests. It helps moderate their breathing and their heartbeat anyways. Plus, it's great bonding, and he won't even fit there soon. He'll be too big and heavy (like your 21 month old!). And the days when he was tiny and liked to sleep on your chest will be a sweet memory.
Otherwise, as far as during the day, do you have any carriers for your baby? Maybe if he is worn more during the day, it might help speed up the independence stage. Babies that are worn for at least 2 hours during the day cry up to 40% less, as well as it helping with possible reflux, moderating breathing and heartbeat, and they become very independent and secure. If you need advice on carriers, or would like to try any, there are local Babywearing groups that have libraries of carriers and very helpful leaders. You can find which one is closest to you at www.nwbabywearers.org. Slingbabes is the one for the west side. I also help manage a meetup group for Babywearing mamas: http://attachmentparenting.meetup.com/451/ Let me know if you have any questions. Good luck! I'm glad you realize that this is all temporary. (Hard to keep in mind when seriously sleep deprived). :)
There is a miracle cure...drive straight to the book store today and buy the book "the happiest baby on the block" by Harvey Karp, MD. It explains exactly why your baby is crying and how to stop it everytime and it all makes perfect sense.
It was the only thing that kept me sane and is now the only gift I give at baby showers.
my son needed mylicon when he was a newborn because of his colic. that might help. other than that maybe try putting your newborn in a bouncer with the vibrations on. if your breast feeding try nursing him in bed on your side. that always works like a charm for my son.
By 3 weeks we figured something was wrong with our firstborn. He cried and insisted on being held all the time. He's allergic to milk. I cut milk out of my diet and he got better. (then he started teething at 3 months!)
Second child, same thing, but I had to cut out all milk products as well -- whey, casein, sodium caseinate, etc. Then he was better. But he's also allergic to soy, just not as acutely.
By the time child #3 came along, I knew the drill. She cried for a very short time because I had this thing figured out.
If we ever do #4, I'll know what to do!
Oh, btw, some kids are "high need" -- they just need more touches. My first one came that way on day one. I now have an 11 year old boy who loves to hug and snuggle! :)
Oh, yeah, I ended up sleeping with each of my kids for about 1 1/2 years in order to get enough sleep so I didn't walk into walls!
I'll be praying for you.
I have a 5-month old that didn't suffer from quite the same issue, but I do recall during this first two weeks when I'd put him down in his craddle he too would wake up and cry. I swore I'd never be a 'gadget' person, but my mom made the suggestion of a wedge - to help simulate what he experienced in the hospital. Boppy makes one with adjustable soft pillows on the sides, that combined with a good swaddle, helped him a lot. My guess is it kept him feeling like he was in still in close contact. Once he started rolling, we stopped using it, but it really helped us through that time...and then transitioning him to his crib.
hard to think of good advice, some kids just don't sleep much, but one thing you probably shouldn't be doing is sleeping with him on the couch. that is very unsafe. i have a horror story about that but i won't share. Have you tried a co-sleeper? Or maybe a bouncy chair on the floor next to your bed? If you feel like you absolutely have to sleep next to him, either get the cosleeper or bring him to your bed. It's much safer than the couch.
With my daughter, now 15 months, we had her in a bassinet in our room near my side of the bed. We kept her there until 1) she outgrew it at about 6 months old, and 2) we'd wake each other up with normal bedtime tossing and turning.
At two weeks old cry it out is out the window, he's waaaaaaaayy too little/young. So I'm not going there. There is, however, something that he needs that he's not getting, hence the fussing.
Another thing I've heard about, but never used, is a contraption that will hook, somehow, to the side of your bed so you're co-sleeping, but don't have the little on in bed with you. I'm not a big fan of co-sleeping, just because I was afraid that I'd squish my poor kids if I tried that. It might work for you though.
How much does he get held during the day? I know that both of my kids loved to be held and cuddled during the day, and I didn't have much problem getting them to sleep at night. Again, at two weeks he's still trying to figure out who this blurry thing in front of his face while he eats is.
Best of Luck and I hope things sort themselves out soon.
Hope this helps,
I just thought of this after I hit the send button. Maybe carry him around the house in one of those baby bjorn/snugli carriers so he's close the the familiar sounds of your heartbeat and your voice.
I have a 4 month old girl and a 18 month old girl. My older one was one of those perfect babies that you lay down and they just go to sleep. So imagine my surprise when girl #2 was nothing like that! She was better during the day, but at night she only wanted to be held or nursed. She would cry if I layed her down - and yes, I agree that you should NOT ever let a newborn cry it out. And the swing did not work - it just made her cry harder.
Finally after a couple weeks of me getting no sleep my husband took her for a drive so I could get a little sleep in silence. She fell asleep after him driving for probabaly 30 minutes. When he came home, he left her in the car seat and put it on the floor on my side of the bed. Miracle of miracles, she actually slept for 4 hours straight in it. I think sitting up a little was more comfortable for her than laying down flat in a crib. After a couple weeks of the car seat, we were able to transition her to a bouncy seat with vibration which seemed to soothe her.
I also noticed that at night she would seem so hungry and nurse really well for a couple of minutes, but then she was also so tired that she would fall asleep before eating enough. We started giving her a little bottle of formula right before bed and it seemed like she was able to eat enough to keep her satisfied longer before falling asleep.
Another thing I'm a big fan of is a schedule. I know a lot of people think it's crazy, but even a very small baby can respond well to a schedule. If you keep the same routine & time of bath, feeding, bedtime every evening it really makes a difference. I did this with mine and now at 4 months she sleeps 10 hours straight every night and takes 2 naps during the day. She sleeps in a co-sleeper bassinet next to me.
She is very happy and alert during her waking times. I don't have to fight to get her to sleep now either. She knows the routine and now will go to sleep on her own when I lay her down at the same time every night. 8:30 works perfect for us. I have some time to do a few things around the house and talk to my hubby before going to bed.
Keep being patient. I know what it's like to feel like a zombie during the day, oh and I can still tell you every infomercial that is on late night. :) It will get better. I promise!
I also suggest reading Harvey Karp's book called The Happiest Baby on the Block. It is extremely helpful for colicky babies. The swaddle works wonders! My babe never liked the initial swaddling, but once he was in it he was so content.
You can find the book at amazon.com or barnes&noble.com. Because of your current exhausted state, it might be easier to sit at the computer rather than take all three children to the book store!
We had some luck letting our fussy baby sleep in his infant car seat. We put a blanket in the bottom to soften it, and set it in his never used crib. In retrospect, I think he had some reflux, and the semi-upright position helped. I have heard that the latest theory of collick is reflux. You may want to ask your dr. about reflux.
Good luck, I hope you all get some sleep
Dear C., My wish for both you and your baby boy is the nourishment of good sleep. I find it interesting that your newborn sleeps in the sling of the swing. You might consider how the shape of the swing fits his body. Maybe it's more comfortable for his head and neck. The miracle of birth is the ability of the baby's head to expand and contract. Often during birth, the occiput has contracted in a way that is applying pressure on the vagus nerve. With craniosacral therapy this pressure can be released. Your baby need not suffer from the discomfort of colic and sleepless nights. I am suggesting to read more about how the birth process affects your baby's occiput. Here's a link: http://www.osteopathiccenter.org/common.html There are 2 pediatric osteopaths in the greater Seattle area. Also there are craniosacral therapists that specialize in releasing your baby's occiput to assist in sleep.
This is a new concept for moms. It's a serious topic that can be resolved in several weeks with treatment rather than the trauma of crying it out. It's a structural issue from birth. I have more info if you are interested in talking.Look under sleep at mamasource.Also this blog can recommend local therapists: http://birthyourdreams.blogspot.com/ Best wishes, B. C
For the gas, Little Tummies was our life saver! It is non-medicated so it can be given with every feeding if need be. As for the other, I am not sure. We used cry it out, but that was at 2 or 3 months when we moved our boys to their cribs. Until then we were co-sleeping.
My advise would be as soon as Papa comes home-- go to bed to get the rest you need. That awesome hubby of yours can bring you dinner in bed.
Since you are a nursing Momma put the baby beside you in bed and nurse to sleep without holding the baby (as best you can when he is still so little). He has your comfort and there is no setting him down to or shifting needed. Swaddling helped greatly with both of my kids.
I totally agree with Lisa G nothing wrong with letting them sleep on your chest, but wow it makes me feel engorged just thinking about that.
This is a very temporary thing and when you get a little more sleep things will feel much easier. My hugs to you Momma!!
I want to offer you some support because I went through the exact same thing last summer when my 2nd was born, and I had a 20-month old, as well. The total exhaustion is hard to even describe. It can bring you to tears. My daughter would not sleep at all unless I was holding her. I even slept for a while with her in the sling, so I could relax at night a little bit. After about 3 weeks of that, I bought a glider that would go back and forth at a pretty good rate, and she actually slept in that at night, right next to the bed. She would never sleep in the swing. I swaddled her really tightly, and she would just glide back and forth. She still woke frequently, actually she didn't sleep well until about 10 months old, when she started walking.
It has been a huge challenge with her. She hasn't followed the "books", which my son did very well. He slept through the night at 2 months old and was on a perfect schedule and actually liked his crib from day 1. But my daughter is just wired differently. I worked slowly and steadily to better her schedule and get her to sleep better and more independently, and now she's pretty good.
I just want to let you know that it will get better, but this year will be very tough. Kids this age need so much attention, and it's hard to divide it between a needy toddler and a needy infant. But I'm sure you're doing the absolute best you can and it will work out. You will make it, but don't be afraid to reach out to friends/family for help and support.
I also have a toddler and a 2-month old baby. With both my girls I took them to bed with me for the first month. I feel like when they are newborn they are used to being cuddled all the time and its an adjustment for them to be on the outside. By sleeping with them they seemed to transition easier to a day-night schedule. After about 3-4 weeks I started transitioning them into sleeping by themselves in the crib. I would initially put them to bed in the crib and if I felt like they needed it took them to bed with me after one of their feedings. My youngest now sleeps in her cradle at night. Sleeping with her got her used to nursing and falling right back to sleep. Now I nurse her in the rocking chair, burp her gently and put her in her crib and she goes right back to sleep.
Well I have read some of the responses and well a mother of a 2 month old and 5 1/2 year old well I know where you are at. My new daughter was just like that. It does get better and you can put them down but it takes some tricks and getting things just right sometimes. Yeah swaddling might help but my daughter was one that didnt like her arms tied down. Our ped told us that we could try to swaddle her with 2 blankets that is a sure fire way to get the arms locked down. It uses their body weight to hold them down and snug. We tried the gripe water & Mylicon for gas. I tried a swing next to where I sat to feed her and that help transition her. I would sleep on the sofa so I could see and hear her. I tried as she was done feeding it seemed to unlach her and carry her on my chest next to me to lay her down. We also tried when she fell asleep hard to have my husband wake up and be the one to carry her to bed. Each time one would work and then not the other. Just keep trying things and you will find some kind of pattern to work. Falling asleep with them isn't a bad thing either.
If your little one is falling asleep at the breast and isn't burping they can get a bit gassy. You can have your husband take them for a bit and get some of it out. I know hearing them cry for a bit isnt what you want but it isnt a bad thing. He is working out the bubbles for you so you can just sit or lay down (of course not sleeping) so that feedings will go just a bit better. I also found another natural product that is quick and in a small thing you can try. It is called Colic Relief COCYNTAL by Boiron. It really worked for my little one. I have found them at the Mill Creek town center in the Natural Market and at Centeral Market. I am sure you can find them other places.
If you need someone to chat with just look me up. Good luck to you.
We went through the same thing. We ended up using a close and secure sleeper from Target. Basically, I would keep my arms around him so he felt like he was being cradled while he was laying in the close and secure sleeper in our bed. This would allow me to lay down and sleep instead of sleeping sitting up on the sofa. It also made me less nervous about accidentally rolling over on him.
Have you tried swaddling your 2-week old?
It makes them feel like they are still warm and cozy in the womb. It may help your situation. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend "The Happiest Baby on the Block" by Dr. Harvey Karp. It helps teaches a new way to calm your baby and help them sleep better. It worked wonders for us. You may be able to pick it up at the local library or I know a place locally that sells them as well as the best swaddle blanket on the market. It's called My Precious Kid (www.mypreciouskid.com). The owner is unbelievably helpful, having raised 4 kids of her own. She is always willing to give advice and helpful suggestions. But I would definetly try the swaddling, it could really help.
E-mail me is you have anymore questions: ____@____.com
Have you heard of Dr. Harvey Karpp? He talks about the 4th trimester being out of the womb and the importance of swadling. He has a great video out and it shows 3methods of how to gently get your new born to stop crying. We used it with our twins and it worked wonders.