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  #1  
Old 06-18-2013, 09:26 PM
DoperChic DoperChic is offline
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How to cope with my six-week-old who won't let me put her down - EVER

My six week old had quite the rough start. After 6 weeks of bed rest due to pregnancy induced hypertension I was induced at 38 weeks when pih graduated into full blown preeclampsia. Born weighing only 3lb 15oz, DoperBaby spent 4 days in the nicu while the doctors tried to determine just why she was so tiny. Meanwhile I was stuck in my hospital bed on 24 hours with a magnesium drip. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. After numerous tests, they found no real cause for her size and through process of elimination figure it's probably just from the pih. She is gaining beautifully and the doctors ate thrilled with her progress. She's now about 7lbs and is even starting to get some rolls!

Our first few weeks home were great with just a few blips as we gradually decreased formula supplements and increased breast milk. At about 3 weeks our so DB started refusing to be put down.Now it's to the point that she might go in her swing for about 10 minutes before the wailing begins.I can't even put her down at night. The only way she'll sleep is next to me in my bed. I am oh so careful to follow all the guidelines for bed sharing but I'm still scared out of my wits that something may go wrong.

It's heartbreaking. And exhausting. And frustrating.

My house is falling apart. Laundry is piling up. Everyone is arguing.We're all going a little nuts here .

I'm at my wits end and don't know what to do.

HELP!
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  #2  
Old 06-18-2013, 09:30 PM
DoperChic DoperChic is offline
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Please, before anyone even replies, please don't suggest that I just let her cry it out. At 6 weeks that's just too young and downright cruel in my opinion. I'm game for just about anything else.

We've got a few months to work this out. I return to work in September and Doper Baby will then be going to a daycare. As my in laws love to remind me, the daycare provider won't be willing-or able-to hold her all day like we currently do.
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  #3  
Old 06-18-2013, 09:30 PM
Blackberry Blackberry is offline
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Have you tried a sling?
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:34 PM
DoperChic DoperChic is offline
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Originally Posted by Blackberry View Post
Have you tried a sling?
I bought a Moby Wrap. It's in the washer now in fact. It's rated for least 8 pounds though so I was hesitant to try it until she got a little bigger. That's my next mission for tomorrow, to figure that thing out!
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  #5  
Old 06-18-2013, 09:39 PM
rivulus rivulus is offline
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Originally Posted by Blackberry View Post
Have you tried a sling?
Second the sling. I recall being able to do laundry and other light housework with the sling on.

Also, may I gently suggest, there is a middle ground somewhere between letting her cry it out and holding her all the time. So... maybe now it's 10 minutes in the swing. But it won't kill her to fuss for a few more minutes. My son was very needy, wanted to be held a lot too, but sometimes I just stuck him in the bouncy chair in the bathroom, took my shower, and if he fussed, he fussed. He survived. I survived.

Not sure about putting her down at night. We used the swaddler with both kids and a sound machine that made a heartbeat sound with our daughter. That did the trick... but kids are all so different with what works. Best of luck!
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  #6  
Old 06-18-2013, 09:45 PM
BetsQ BetsQ is offline
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That sounds like a rough start for everyone! I'm glad to hear that you're all doing well now.

There's a saying I like about having very young children: The days drag on forever, but the years fly by. It's been fairly true in my experience. This probably isn't very helpful advice, but in the grand scheme of things, DoperBaby won't be tiny and want to be held constantly for all that long. Just do what you can while you hold her. IMHO, of course. Good luck!
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  #7  
Old 06-18-2013, 09:46 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Slings are a godsend. If the Moby doesn't work for you and the peanut, try another style. Every duo has their favorite, and hates another with the fire of ten thousand suns. One of the infants I nannied for adored the Maya Wrap and still sleeps with it as an extra blanket at 10 years old. My own girl loved it for a while, but then really wanted to ride facing out, which I'm not well shaped for in a Maya Wrap, but a Snugli solved the problem nicely. (The Maya Wrap came back into play when she started toddling, when it became a toddler leash for a while.)

Ok, if you swear swear swear you won't turn your back for a second, I'll share a Mommy Secret: babies love the clothesdryer. It won't let you go get the dishes done, but a baby in a box lined with a blanket (or strapped into a baby seat) on top of the running dryer is most often a calm baby. Don't ask me why. The heat? The vibration? The white noise? All of the above? Don't know. But it let me sort and fold and do it without an earful of sobs. Just Don't Walk Away. Things on dryers do shimmy and move and the last thing in the world you want is a baby in a box to hit the floor!
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  #8  
Old 06-18-2013, 09:47 PM
Troppus Troppus is offline
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Check with your doc before you wrap her. My ped didn't want me to wear baby until she was over one month and showed some neck strength. After one month of similar symptoms, I figured out baby was getting too much foremilk and not enough fatty hindmilk. Partly because I had an oversupply problem and was engorged, and partly because I was an inexperienced mother who popped a breast in her mouth each time she cried. The consequences of too frequent nursing were breasts loaded with enough milk for two babies, and my little one would fill up on sugary foremilk then suffer terrible belly aches. The solution was "block feeding", or feeding several times on the same side. This was uncomfortable for me for a week or so, but once my supply leveled out we went back to nursing both sides evenly at each feeding.
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  #9  
Old 06-18-2013, 09:47 PM
Lacunae Matata Lacunae Matata is offline
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Have you tried swaddling? It might help her calm down. No guarantees, but it might help.
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  #10  
Old 06-18-2013, 09:58 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Oh! I forgot. This guy is a little weird, but absolutely a Baby Whisperer. This silly method really works for 9 out of 10 babies I've tried it with. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddRkI5wVIqQ
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  #11  
Old 06-18-2013, 09:59 PM
CanvasShoes CanvasShoes is offline
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I had a "poof" when my son was little, and I slept with him in it for quite a while after he was born. It kept me in a position where rolling over was impossible, and when he needed to nurse, I barely even had to wake up.

I second getting some sort of sling. Then she can be cuddled next to you while you do housework etc.
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  #12  
Old 06-18-2013, 10:21 PM
DoperChic DoperChic is offline
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Thank you all so much for the ideas. I'll reply more appropriately once I'm able to get back to my computer. Keep the suggestions coming.
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  #13  
Old 06-18-2013, 10:24 PM
CanvasShoes CanvasShoes is offline
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One more thought.

Cleaning and scrubbing
can wait till tomorrow...
for babies grow up
we've learned to our sorrow...
So quiet down cobwebs-
dust go to sleep...
I'm rocking my baby
and babies don't keep!

IMHO, it's not a problem to hold a baby when it wants to be held.

(ps. NOT my own poem, I wish it were).

Last edited by CanvasShoes; 06-18-2013 at 10:25 PM..
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  #14  
Old 06-18-2013, 10:28 PM
Tracijo67 Tracijo67 is offline
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I carried my fussy boy everywhere in a Snugli. And I swaddled him when laying him down to sleep. I did let him fuss for a few minutes but never longer than a few. I know many parents swear by that technique but I just couldn't do it. After the first few months, he was content to be close to my heart and toted around with me. It was less stressful for me too, though I sure wished at times that I could have a few minutes to myself.

Fussy little one is now a happy, well-adjusted 6 year old. There are days I'd give anything to be able to tote him around in a Snugli again!
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  #15  
Old 06-18-2013, 10:42 PM
DoperChic DoperChic is offline
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For those of you that wore your babies in a sling, how long did that last? I would gladly do this for as long as she needed but I'm not sure how that would work come September.
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  #16  
Old 06-18-2013, 10:52 PM
DoperChic DoperChic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanvasShoes View Post
One more thought.

Cleaning and scrubbing
can wait till tomorrow...
for babies grow up
we've learned to our sorrow...
So quiet down cobwebs-
dust go to sleep...
I'm rocking my baby
and babies don't keep!

IMHO, it's not a problem to hold a baby when it wants to be held.

(ps. NOT my own poem, I wish it were).
I love this. Such a sweet poem. FTR I love nothing more than cuddling up with my baby girl. I'm a firm believer that a baby's need to be held is just as real and essential as their need for food or clothing. It's just that I don't do much of anything else lately.
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  #17  
Old 06-18-2013, 10:59 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Originally Posted by DoperChic View Post
I love this. Such a sweet poem. FTR I love nothing more than cuddling up with my baby girl. I'm a firm believer that a baby's need to be held is just as real and essential as their need for food or clothing. It's just that I don't do much of anything else lately.
You know, that's a really great way to look at it. And try this on for size: her need to be held is exactly as real and essential as her need for food and clothing. And her need for food and clothing is as real and essential as her need for being held. Sometimes, briefly, one of those needs has to go unmet while one of the others are handled. And since for her to eat, you have to eat, that includes taking care of yourself. Just as you might let her fuss a bit when she's hungry, because the stinky diaper really must be changed first, it's also okay to let her fuss a bit while you eat. I'm not talking great panicked screams, just...don't fall into the guilt trap for taking care of you. Taking care of you, and her, and your home and your relationship with your husband...that's a lot, and it's all real and essential. Yes, she's super duper special and needs to be the focus right now, but that doesn't mean the rest of it can fall apart. [Insert airplane oxygen mask metaphor here.]

Last edited by WhyNot; 06-18-2013 at 10:59 PM..
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  #18  
Old 06-18-2013, 11:05 PM
Zjestika Zjestika is offline
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My baby was very clingy too. It was really hard, there we some days that we would have epic breastfeeding sessions that would last all day to the point that my butt hurt from sitting. I watched a lot of ridiculous TV and always had my Kindle and phone and bottle of water within reach. She's 14 months now and is only starting to be less clingy now. We co-slept from the beginning and still do. Only you know what kind of sleeper you are, but I'm sure you've read everything online about co-sleeping and it can be done safely.

Also, don't let your inlaws make you feel like you're spoiling your baby. You cannot spoil a 6 week old. She needs you to live, to be happy and to feel safe. Hold her and enjoy it as much as you can, things will be ok.

I know how hard it is to feel like you have no time for yourself and I commiserate. It's taken me a long time to relearn self-care. And sometimes just when everything is getting better it backslides and is really hard for a couple days- regressions happen every few weeks it seems. But everything will be ok, really.
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  #19  
Old 06-18-2013, 11:08 PM
DoperChic DoperChic is offline
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Originally Posted by WhyNot View Post
You know, that's a really great way to look at it. And try this on for size: her need to be held is exactly as real and essential as her need for food and clothing. And her need for food and clothing is as real and essential as her need for being held. Sometimes, briefly, one of those needs has to go unmet while one of the others are handled. And since for her to eat, you have to eat, that includes taking care of yourself. Just as you might let her fuss a bit when she's hungry, because the stinky diaper really must be changed first, it's also okay to let her fuss a bit while you eat. I'm not talking great panicked screams, just...don't fall into the guilt trap for taking care of you. Taking care of you, and her, and your home and your relationship with your husband...that's a lot, and it's all real and essential. Yes, she's super duper special and needs to be the focus right now, but that doesn't mean the rest of it can fall apart. [Insert airplane oxygen mask metaphor here.]
I honesty never thought of things that way before. As a mom, I am so focused on my children's needs that my needs always come second, always. But thinking of the family as a whole really puts things into a whole new perspective. Thank you for that!
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:25 PM
Tracijo67 Tracijo67 is offline
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Originally Posted by DoperChic View Post
For those of you that wore your babies in a sling, how long did that last? I would gladly do this for as long as she needed but I'm not sure how that would work come September.
I carried Jegan around in a Snugli until he was 5-6 months old. It was darn near full-time up to 3 months old and to a lesser extent as he became less fussy. By the time he was 6 months old, he was ready for a stroller. He wanted to see more of his environment and grew to dislike the Snugli (also by then he was too heavy to carry around for long stretches anyway). I am not recommending this; it worked for me because I had nothing but time. It was just the two of us during the week, and I stayed with my in-laws on weekends and the family would take turns holding and carrying him (I was living overseas for the first year of his life while my husband remained and worked in the US). This obviously would not have worked, if I had other children, a job, or even just my husband around and also in need of my attention and affection I just wanted to share with you, it's OK what you work out that makes sense for you and your precious child. I was very insecure about motherhood and worried I was making my son too dependent on me. I listened for a while to well meaning people telling me to let him cry it out, it would be good for him. In the end it came down to what I could live with. I felt my fussy, colicky baby needed my reassuring touch and comfort and feeling my warm body and my heart beating against his quite clearly soothed him. And he made it through my angst-y, smothering love just fine
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  #21  
Old 06-18-2013, 11:28 PM
overlyverbose overlyverbose is offline
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I had a somewhat similar experience to the OP's - I had eclampsia, magnesium drip for a few days, then I had a two-week long migraine from the seizure and high blood pressure after being discharged, then after that migraine went away, it was like my son was making up for lost time and wouldn't let me put him down. To make matters worse, the complications after I had eclampsia made nursing difficult and I didn't realize my son wasn't getting enough to eat until his two-week appointment.

That said, I would definitely:
-fourth the sling recommendation

-and the swaddling recommendation

-urge you not to feel guilty if you're bed sharing safely and it's working for you (as my pediatrician (who recommended bedsharing) once said, "Both you and the baby have to sleep, and the baby didn't read What to Expect books.")

-I agree that it's ok for a baby to fuss for a bit, but if she's really miserable and you need a break, hand off the little one to your spouse or someone else for some sanity; she very well may cry, but better she cry in the arms of a well-meaning, loving adult than alone

Another thing to keep in mind, too - your baby was very small when she was born. It's possible that she's trying to catch up on eating, having trouble regulating her body temperature or otherwise still kind of on the immature side.

I know everyone tells you how much you'll love being with your baby every single moment when they're first born, but suddenly having another creature attached to you every second of the day can be exhausting and frustrating, especially with such a hard birth and a needy baby. Feed her on demand, try to help her get to sleep and try not to go crazy. And post here if you're feeling frazzled. Or if your baby manages to poop across the room, because I for one, love a good poop story.
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  #22  
Old 06-19-2013, 12:09 AM
Tracijo67 Tracijo67 is offline
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Originally Posted by overlyverbose View Post
I had a somewhat similar experience to the OP's - I had eclampsia, magnesium drip for a few days, then I had a two-week long migraine from the seizure and high blood pressure after being discharged, then after that migraine went away, it was like my son was making up for lost time and wouldn't let me put him down. To make matters worse, the complications after I had eclampsia made nursing difficult and I didn't realize my son wasn't getting enough to eat until his two-week appointment.

That said, I would definitely:
-fourth the sling recommendation

-and the swaddling recommendation

-urge you not to feel guilty if you're bed sharing safely and it's working for you (as my pediatrician (who recommended bedsharing) once said, "Both you and the baby have to sleep, and the baby didn't read What to Expect books.")

-I agree that it's ok for a baby to fuss for a bit, but if she's really miserable and you need a break, hand off the little one to your spouse or someone else for some sanity; she very well may cry, but better she cry in the arms of a well-meaning, loving adult than alone

Another thing to keep in mind, too - your baby was very small when she was born. It's possible that she's trying to catch up on eating, having trouble regulating her body temperature or otherwise still kind of on the immature side.

I know everyone tells you how much you'll love being with your baby every single moment when they're first born, but suddenly having another creature attached to you every second of the day can be exhausting and frustrating, especially with such a hard birth and a needy baby. Feed her on demand, try to help her get to sleep and try not to go crazy. And post here if you're feeling frazzled. Or if your baby manages to poop across the room, because I for one, love a good poop story.
Excellent final points. I meant to add, there were times of extreme frustration for me. When I knew I just had to have a break, not only for my sanity but for my son's continued well-being. People do not talk much about how utter exhaustion and sacrificing your every desire, day in and day out, and listening to your baby scream and cry inconsolably despite your best efforts can make you craaaaaazy. There were days when I'd wonder if I was cut out for motherhood. Days when I would have given anything for the chance to just simply stroll into a coffee shop with a good book and hours to kill (and would feel immensely selfish and ungrateful for entertaining the thought). If I could go back 6 1/2 years and confront my slightly younger and vastly more ignorant self... I would tell me to not be so hard on me . You aren't going to love your little wailing bundle 24/7. Whatever you can do to preserve your sanity and keep your daughter safe..good on you. Even if that means sometimes swaddling her, laying her gently into bassinet or crib, closing the door (and several other doors to muffle the sound and playing some music while you're at it) and slipping into a warm bath for a luxurious 15-20 minutes. She may still be wailing when you return to her (or you may be lucky and she wailed herself to sleep) but that measure of self presevation was good for you and hence, good for her too. I was so super freaky about doing everything "right" with Jegan - and blamed myself when I couldn't fix what was wrong on his really bad days - I was needlessly hard on myself and lost out on some of the early, simple enjoyment of living in the good moments with my son.

Some of the more experienced moms here probably read my 24/7 account and cringed... Not for my indulged little guy, but for me, knowing by experience how difficult it can be to so thoroughly subjudicate one's own needs. That is part and parcel of being parents to an infant, but in isolation, with limited help, it can also be the very recipe for disaster. Be sure to carve out some moments for yourself. It will make you a more patient and loving parent to your daughter.
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:23 AM
Shakes Shakes is offline
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My son wasn't quite as bad as yours. He'd wake up in the middle of the night as soon as he realized he wasn't in bed with Mommy.

So I took one of his Mom's worn shirts and laid him on top of that in the crib. Mom's exact words were "That's not goona work, he's not a dog."

Well, guess who slept through the night that evening?
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:39 AM
Charley Charley is offline
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I'd echo all the great advice about trying the sling, and finding a middle ground between constant attention and crying it out. I'd also say that as her mother, there's stuff only you can do for her. There's stuff that only you as you can do. There's also a whole tonne of stuff in your lives that any able-bodied human being can do. Let them do it - if it needs doing at all. Yes, the washing needs doing. That doesn't mean you have to do it, if you're busy doing something else that only you can do.

I also want to reiterate this too:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsQ View Post
The days drag on forever, but the years fly by. It's been fairly true in my experience.
I'm probably massively projecting here, but you've mentioned the September changes a couple of times. It may just be practical planning, but if I were you I know I'd have a voice right now in my head going 'September! have to sort this out before September!' I just wanted to remind you, in case you have any anxiety about this: September is a lifetime away right now. It may seem like you have a looming deadline, but the potential and inevitable changes between now and then will blow you away. You have time to find a way to live together, and for her, with your help, to work out a way to manage this whole life business. Don't let anyone pressure you into anxiety about this.

Course, if you hadn't ever looked at it that way, I've just brought it to your mind and now I feel like a massive cow. Sorry about that!
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Old 06-19-2013, 05:57 AM
Wallenstein Wallenstein is offline
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We're in a similar space with our 4 month/old. Feeds every 2 hrs through the night, only sleeps when in a buggy, and bellows if he's left alone for more than 5 mins.

Drives my wife crazy, no time to get anything done round the house, and our 5 year old spends a lot more time in front of the TV than we'd like.

But we figured that life is short, babies love cuddles, and the washing up can sort itself out. It's unlikely our 5 y/old will suffer too much from watching a bit of extra TV until I get home from work. A bit of dust and dirt is good for building their immune systems, and if tea is cooked straight from the freezer rather than made from scratch it doesn't really matter.

My wife's accepted that 10-15 mins of crying won't harm our son, but those 15 mins to grab a shower, get some sunshine in the garden, or drink a cup of tea that's actually hot make a huge difference.

Because it's our second child we also know that it passes eventually and it never seems so bad in retrospect.

It's hard to actively enjoy it, but we've embraced it as a specific short-term phase of our lives, and we've agreed that when the kids leave home in 15-20yrs I can have the house as tidy as I like, but until then as long as it's not actively hazardous to health we're OK with barely-organised chaos.
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:47 AM
Troppus Troppus is offline
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Doperchic, when it's time for daycare, share the story of your little one's entry into the world and explain that you had/have trouble keeping her settled and comfortable. If she's still needy and you're worried about the transition to strangers and less frequent touching, tell them. A little bit of empathy can go a long way.

Also, my one year old never took a pacifier or sucked her thumb, and she's still waking up demanding comfort-nursing three times each night. I'm having a terrible time breaking her of the habit, rough time weaning and I feel like taking a pacifier away would have been easier. Pretty sure most people wouldn't encourage dependence on a pacifier, but I sure wish my girl had another option besides chewing on me for comfort.
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:48 AM
stui magpie stui magpie is offline
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I'm a bloke so I'll give no comment on how to deal with the child.

What i will advise is to cut yourself some slack with the housework. The kids going to get older and cleaning aint gonna get any easier.

So my suggestion to help you stay sane is prioritise. No one's going to die if the dishes sit there for a day or 2 or if you don't do washing every day. It might feel very uncomfortable to let things slide but living with a baby isn't like living without one, as you're finding out.

Focus on what's important, prioritise what needs to be done as opposed to what you would normally like to do, and work through the situation. Basically do what you can to keep your nostrils above the waterline until the waterline starts to recede.
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:04 AM
Rick Rick is offline
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Originally Posted by DoperChic View Post
Please, before anyone even replies, please don't suggest that I just let her cry it out. At 6 weeks that's just too young and downright cruel in my opinion. I'm game for just about anything else.

We've got a few months to work this out. I return to work in September and Doper Baby will then be going to a daycare. As my in laws love to remind me, the daycare provider won't be willing-or able-to hold her all day like we currently do.
Our first was clingy. Tried a bunch of stuff. Nothing seemed to work so we decided to go the cry it out route.
First night 10 solid minutes drove us crazy.
Second night 5 minutes. Only drove us half crazy.
Third night? About 15 seconds.
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:42 AM
Manda JO Manda JO is online now
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Originally Posted by Rick View Post
Our first was clingy. Tried a bunch of stuff. Nothing seemed to work so we decided to go the cry it out route.
First night 10 solid minutes drove us crazy.
Second night 5 minutes. Only drove us half crazy.
Third night? About 15 seconds.
At six weeks?
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  #30  
Old 06-19-2013, 08:15 AM
Sattua Sattua is online now
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There is a ton of good advice in this thread. I'd like to emphasize: sling, swaddler, clothes dryer, don't always put your needs second, other adults can hold her too, let the housework go, and she may very well be getting cold.
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  #31  
Old 06-19-2013, 08:17 AM
Girl From Mars Girl From Mars is offline
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What worked for me (recognising that every baby is different!):
No crying it out - babies under 6 months have no capacity to understand what you are trying to tell them. All they know is they are crying, and you aren't coming. I also read that you can't hold a new baby enough, so don't worry if you can't put it down.

Sling - I used a mai tai style from newborn, which I didn't need to worry about head control with - the Ergo has a newborn insert which is also good. A friend had a baby like yours, he spent 3 months solid in the Ergo simply so she could get things done. The cross body 'sling' ones have a small risk of suffocation, so I'd research them before I went that path.

Swaddling - lots of vids showing how to do this to keep their hands tucked in nice and tight. I did this from day 1.

Cuski - it's a sleep comforter that I swear by, it's my newborn gift of choice. You wear it for a bit so it takes on your scent, and then put it in the cot with your baby every time they go to sleep. They begin to associate it with sleep and it's important to start good sleep habits early. Easier to find in the dark than a pacifier and no risk to teeth. My 17 month old loves hers and made getting into daycare habit really easy as her routine travelled with her. It's safe from newborn (remembering that any other toy, bedding, bumpers etc should be removed for kids under 12 months to reduce SIDS risk).

Put the baby down to sleep while they're awake if you can. I learnt the hard way with #1 who I rocked to sleep for 5 months, only for the 5 month sleep regression to hit me like a hammer. #2 was self-settled from 6 weeks and sleeps like a dream. Lots of patting and shussing (so it's not crying out, you're there with them), but try not to hold them if you can help it.

Pram? I used to take a daily walk and get mine to sleep in the pram, the gentle movement and ideally being able to see you as they go to sleep can really help. Helps them learn to sleep without being held.

White noise - you can download lots of different sounds off iTunes - I preferred mountain stream stuff, but heartbeats, airplanes, waves etc all work. It's noisy inside and we make the mistake of thinking we need to be quiet when the baby sleeps.

Dr Harvey Kapp - the 5Ss is a wonderful thing, works beautifully.

3 months is a good measure of when things get easier - feeding is quicker and sleep routines start to form. It seems like a lifetime, but you do what you need to to get through it. If that means closing a laundry door or living on takeout - it's only for a few months.

Congrats! Only another 18 years to go...
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  #32  
Old 06-19-2013, 09:24 AM
AnaMen AnaMen is offline
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Carrying an infant all the time is all well and good if you want to go that route, but what about the upcoming transition to daycare? No provider is going to be able to pay constant attention to one charge. You've dismissed "crying it out" as cruel, but making that transition harder than it has to be isn't very nice either.
You mention that she can go ten minutes in her swing and then starts to wail. Build on this by taking her out BEFORE she tires of being there, just leaving her in it for a few minutes at a time. If you respond to her crying by doing exactly what she wants, you are reinforcing this communication method, so try to break the cycle by having others offer her comfort, offering feedings when she has not yet started to cry for them, offering comfort or distraction without picking her up, etc. Also, try a carrier that props her up a bit so she can look around, and carry her from room to room so she can watch your activities without being in constant physical contact with you.
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:46 AM
Drain Bead Drain Bead is offline
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The Miracle Blanket is a godsend, seriously. Best swaddle ever.
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:54 AM
April R April R is offline
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Originally Posted by AnaMen View Post
Carrying an infant all the time is all well and good if you want to go that route, but what about the upcoming transition to daycare? No provider is going to be able to pay constant attention to one charge. You've dismissed "crying it out" as cruel, but making that transition harder than it has to be isn't very nice either.
You mention that she can go ten minutes in her swing and then starts to wail. Build on this by taking her out BEFORE she tires of being there, just leaving her in it for a few minutes at a time. If you respond to her crying by doing exactly what she wants, you are reinforcing this communication method, so try to break the cycle by having others offer her comfort, offering feedings when she has not yet started to cry for them, offering comfort or distraction without picking her up, etc. Also, try a carrier that props her up a bit so she can look around, and carry her from room to room so she can watch your activities without being in constant physical contact with you.
6Wks is a bit young to expect them to self sooth and be ok being set down if they don't want to be. The baby needs momma for a reason. The older they get the longer they can be expected to be set down. 6 wk olds can't see very well and like to be up close so they can see, smell, and hear you.

Last edited by April R; 06-19-2013 at 09:55 AM..
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  #35  
Old 06-19-2013, 10:25 AM
Dinsdale Dinsdale is offline
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6Wks is a bit young to expect them to self sooth and be ok being set down if they don't want to be. The baby needs momma for a reason. The older they get the longer they can be expected to be set down. 6 wk olds can't see very well and like to be up close so they can see, smell, and hear you.
I'm honestly curious, what is the basis for this perception, and the OP's opinion that 6 wks is "too young and downright cruel"? It has been 23 yrs since I've had a 6 wk old. What age IS old enough for them to cry it out?

My suspicion is that very young infants are more aware and capable than many folk give them credit for. I honestly do not know if 6 wks is too young. But I suspect that even newborns in ICU do not get held every time they fuss or cry.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:34 AM
emmaliminal emmaliminal is offline
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Good advice above -- ditto especially overlyverbose, not so much AnaMen who I think is thinking of older babies -- here to add this: Everything Will Change All the Time. There is practically nothing about your baby's behavior now that you can count on being relevant to September; not much that you like, not much that you don't like. Especially because she was early and small, she will just be a whole different kid by then. Things that work to soothe her now might not work any more, things that don't work now or that you've never thought of and wouldn't believe will work instead, her sleep patterns and preferences could be all over the map between now and then and will continue to change without warning until she's a toddler and then every once in a while after that. Nobody told me this!

Dopers as a class are keen on figuring things out, solving things, but a baby is a game of Calvinball, especially when it comes to soothing and sleeping. That said, The Happiest Baby on the Block (Dr. Karp) helped us the most at this stage, especially the tight swaddling and loud shushing.

For a while when he was about 6 weeks old, my son would only quiet down if I bounced on my toes holding him football-style while singing something fast like the Kitty Cat Dance song. And he had his pacifier plugged in. Proof.
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  #37  
Old 06-19-2013, 10:36 AM
emmaliminal emmaliminal is offline
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Originally Posted by Dinsdale View Post
I'm honestly curious, what is the basis for this perception, and the OP's opinion that 6 wks is "too young and downright cruel"? It has been 23 yrs since I've had a 6 wk old. What age IS old enough for them to cry it out?

My suspicion is that very young infants are more aware and capable than many folk give them credit for. I honestly do not know if 6 wks is too young. But I suspect that even newborns in ICU do not get held every time they fuss or cry.
This happens to be a very hot-potato topic in the parenting world, on the level of "shoes on/off in the house". Are you sure you want to get into it? I'd suggest spinning it off to another thread if so.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:37 AM
April R April R is offline
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Originally Posted by Dinsdale View Post
I'm honestly curious, what is the basis for this perception, and the OP's opinion that 6 wks is "too young and downright cruel"? It has been 23 yrs since I've had a 6 wk old. What age IS old enough for them to cry it out?

My suspicion is that very young infants are more aware and capable than many folk give them credit for. I honestly do not know if 6 wks is too young. But I suspect that even newborns in ICU do not get held every time they fuss or cry.
It's called The Ferber method and it recommended from about 3 months of age, when they have better control of their motor skills and can do things like self sooth by sucking on their own fingers for an extended period of time and visually focus on things such as mobiles and crib mirrors. Before that they can't really distract themselves that way, and crying is their only way to express their frustration. It's not a question of whether it is cruel or not, it just isn't normally feasible that a young infant will reasonably stop crying just because you let them "cry it out". If they do stop it is from exhaustion not from learning to stop on their own. I let my twins "cry it out" at three months, after m,y husband moved them to their own room and cribs, and they began sleeping about 6 hours a night at that point. Before that they need to feed frequently and be near their caretaker for comfort. It part of normal development.
That being said, as previous posters mentioned, putting baby in a safe location like a crib or car seat, and stepping away for a few minutes to catch your breath or take a shower is perfectly fine. I don't think any baby has ever died or suffered permanent damages from crying; a frazzled momma is much more dangerous than a crying baby!! (Personal experience speaking, after having sever PPD after my twins were born)
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  #39  
Old 06-19-2013, 10:42 AM
April R April R is offline
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the Ferber Method Demystified
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:43 AM
Alice The Goon Alice The Goon is offline
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Any time you pose these kinds of questions to a message board, you get this bickering- "let the kid cry, it's good for 'em!" "hold the precious thing 24/7- she needs you!" "don't co-sleep!" "always co-sleep!" blah blah blah

I found that what really helped me was to schedule an appointment with my baby's pediatrician, to specifically talk about these issues. That's what they're there for, that's what they've trained for, that's what you pay them for. And yes, my pediatrician was far more towards the "train them from the beginning to be more independent than dependent on you for things like falling to sleep, self-comforting, etc" but yours may have different ideas that will help you and your family. With much less differing of styles and bickering than is found on the SDMB.
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  #41  
Old 06-19-2013, 10:45 AM
April R April R is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emmaliminal View Post
Good advice above -- ditto especially overlyverbose, not so much AnaMen who I think is thinking of older babies -- here to add this: Everything Will Change All the Time. There is practically nothing about your baby's behavior now that you can count on being relevant to September; not much that you like, not much that you don't like. Especially because she was early and small, she will just be a whole different kid by then. Things that work to soothe her now might not work any more, things that don't work now or that you've never thought of and wouldn't believe will work instead, her sleep patterns and preferences could be all over the map between now and then and will continue to change without warning until she's a toddler and then every once in a while after that. Nobody told me this!

Dopers as a class are keen on figuring things out, solving things, but a baby is a game of Calvinball, especially when it comes to soothing and sleeping. That said, The Happiest Baby on the Block (Dr. Karp) helped us the most at this stage, especially the tight swaddling and loud shushing.

For a while when he was about 6 weeks old, my son would only quiet down if I bounced on my toes holding him football-style while singing something fast like the Kitty Cat Dance song. And he had his pacifier plugged in. Proof.
aww, I love the floppy feet
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  #42  
Old 06-19-2013, 10:52 AM
Sattua Sattua is online now
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Originally Posted by emmaliminal View Post
For a while when he was about 6 weeks old, my son would only quiet down if I bounced on my toes holding him football-style while singing something fast like the Kitty Cat Dance song. And he had his pacifier plugged in. Proof.
That video is so freaking adorable. Most relaxed baby ever.
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  #43  
Old 06-19-2013, 11:01 AM
AnaMen AnaMen is offline
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Originally Posted by April R View Post
6Wks is a bit young to expect them to self sooth and be ok being set down if they don't want to be. The baby needs momma for a reason. The older they get the longer they can be expected to be set down. 6 wk olds can't see very well and like to be up close so they can see, smell, and hear you.
That's why none of my suggestions involved actually doing that. I'm talking about picking her up BEFORE she starts to cry... if she can handle ten minutes in the swing and then starts to cry, instead pick her up at seven or eight minutes (obviously babies are not on timers, so times will vary). Yes, the baby will gradually be able to be put down for longer bits of time as she ages, but if she is being held by one particular person and sleeping directly next to that person nearly all the time, going to daycare will be a very abrupt change and may be quite difficult. September is only a couple of months and change away, so the time to start gently and gradually getting the baby ready for this isn't something that can be put off indefinitely.
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  #44  
Old 06-19-2013, 11:01 AM
Troppus Troppus is offline
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Originally Posted by Girl From Mars View Post
W
Cuski - it's a sleep comforter that I swear by, it's my newborn gift of choice. You wear it for a bit so it takes on your scent, and then put it in the cot with your baby every time they go to sleep. They begin to associate it with sleep and it's important to start good sleep habits early. Easier to find in the dark than a pacifier and no risk to teeth. My 17 month old loves hers and made getting into daycare habit really easy as her routine travelled with her. It's safe from newborn (remembering that any other toy, bedding, bumpers etc should be removed for kids under 12 months to reduce SIDS risk).
I took this advice and it improved my older baby's ability to sooth herself and sleep longer and more soundly. She has a soft toy lamb attached to a silky blanket similar to this Carter's Ducky security blanket that she only gets access to at naps and night. It only took a few days before she started seeking it out when laid down for sleep.
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  #45  
Old 06-19-2013, 11:11 AM
Dinsdale Dinsdale is offline
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Cool. Thanks. I've got no 6 week old, so I've got no dog in this fight.

I remember when my middle kid was somewhat older - had an URI. After a few sleepless nights, our ped had him admitted to an O2 tent - at least one contributing factor was to give US a break. We asked what would happen when he cried, and they said he would cry. But, like I said, he was over 6 wks - probably closer to 9-12 mos.

It is also my opinion and experience that many parents appear to think kids - of all ages - need more "coddling" and are less capable than I believe. And I'm not convinced the combined effect of those parental practices are beneficial over the long run. I'm regularly astounded at folk who ask how to address their 5, 10, or 15 - year olds' behaviors - and I always wonder what the heck they've been doing for the past 5-10-15 yrs.

Also, was just hearing recently about newborns having amazing abilities at an incredibly young age - I think they described imitating facial expressions in their 1st day or so. But I'm perfectly willing to accept 3 mos as a bottomline for self soothing - or likely much other "training".

It is hard to get my head around an infant not being willing to sleep while not being held. At some point she HAS to sleep, no? How long does she sleep at a time? When you lie down next to her and she goes to sleep, why are you unable to get up and do what needs to be done?

Best of luck.
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  #46  
Old 06-19-2013, 11:25 AM
AnaMen AnaMen is offline
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Originally Posted by Dinsdale View Post

...
When you lie down next to her and she goes to sleep, why are you unable to get up and do what needs to be done?
Moms have to sleep too, you know! She's probably too exhausted from taking care of the baby to get up and do laundry when it finally falls asleep.
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  #47  
Old 06-19-2013, 12:54 PM
rhubarbarin rhubarbarin is offline
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Didn't read the whole thread, but I just wanted to say congrats, best wishes and good luck! Hope she continues to grow healthy and that you are able to get more rest.

6 weeks I'd definitely too young for CIO/sleep training but I agree that letting her cry for a bit while you get things done is not the end of the world.

If you're nervous about bed sharing, have you heard of the 'sidecar' method? It's safer (since babby sleeps on outside of the bed with a railing) and gives you more space/ability to get comfy in your own bed.
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  #48  
Old 06-19-2013, 12:55 PM
OldnCrinkly OldnCrinkly is offline
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Tiny Tender Tyrants

DoperChic, take it easy on yourself. Laundry, dishes, all of that will still be there next week, next year, forever. Is your baby happy when you are with her? If yes, then you are successfully navigating parenthood. If she wants held, hold her. Every other thing in the world is less important. She's six weeks into a rough start, she needs you. I'm sitting here now with my 9 month old sleeping on my lap (she's sick today), looking at the disaster zone that my home currently is. Luckily, the mountain of laundry is in the basement outta sight, outta mind! I have 5 older children AND my house is the neighborhood "clubhouse". I do not like for my house to look like this, and yet, whenever there is a young baby in the house, it does, and I keep having them. Look, when my body is freely mine and not subject to the needs of an infant, you can eat off my floors. You have a house for the baby, not the other way round, right?

However, it is true that sometimes you just have to pee, or shower, or something else that is difficult one-handed. Sometimes she'll cry. Its what babies do, yano? Good for their lungs I think.

Anyways, YOU just had a baby, and you are only six weeks into your own rough start. You're not sleeping right, your body is still adjusting to not being pregnant, and nursing. You're not %100, so don't expect to be. Everything will work out eventually, really it will. If your best friend was in your shoes, wouldn't you be sympathetic? You're only human! Babies are terribly inconvenient, but they're so stinkin awesome you can't hardly hold it against them! Best of luck to you and you family
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  #49  
Old 06-19-2013, 01:04 PM
OldnCrinkly OldnCrinkly is offline
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Next year

Please please read this thread in about a year, just after you see someone with a teeny tiny brand new baby and say something like, Oh I miss those days! I bet a bazillion dollars you will. Crazy, but true.
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  #50  
Old 06-19-2013, 01:38 PM
boozilu boozilu is offline
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A couple of thoughts:

- Remember that this will eventually pass, so don't worry about housework and the like.
- Don't rush to pick up the baby right away. Whenever my first would make even a small sound I would pick her up right away. Turns out I was interrupting her sleep which made everything worse!
- Remember that this will eventually pass!
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