New mum, Unsettled baby. HELP!

Tracey - posted on 06/25/2010 ( 82 moms have responded )

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I'm a new mum and have a very unsettled baby. Jye was born 13th of june and he cries almost constantly. we've tried feeding him (he will down 150mls of pumped breastmilk every 2-3 hours no problem), burping him (he burps easily at half way and at the end of feeds), holding him (seems to put him to sleep as long as u pace with him but as soon as u put him down he wakes), entertaining him (he has the attention span of an ADD child lol i dont know if thats normal for most newborns), laying him on a blanket with us in the lounge room, puting him in his bouncer.. there have even been times where we have let him cry in his cot because we are lost for things to do and both of us are getting upset.. Daddy is busy with work and such in the morning so i have to fend for myself. I cannot pace the house with him because i have back spasms for no apparent reason and can only carry him for a minute at a time b4 i back starts to hurt majorly. i have a physio appointment in july but it upsets me that i cant calm my own son down. does anyone have any suggestions as to why he may be unsettled so often. he sleeps fairly well at night.

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Sherry - posted on 06/28/2010

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Hi Tracey,

I'm sure you've heard alot of good and bad advice by now. I don't want to overburden you... your babe is only a couple weeks old. Sounds like the little tyke is eating enough for his age right now... So I wouldn't worry about that.

As for him/her crying constantly.. mine did that for a while too.. best thing to do for us was throw in a movie, sit down comfortably and cuddle.. don't pace, just sit.... watch the movie coo to the babe talk to him or even read a book... baby needs as much contact as they can get a this point... Might be a bit of separation anxiety if he wakes/starts crying when put down... at least in my experience.. you can not spoil your child right now.. the babe is way too young...

I'm also a physically disabled mom but my issues are with my legs not my back. it's rough.. I know... Don't forget that chores can wait.. it's not going to bother anyone if the dishes aren't done tonight.

A babe shouldn't be put in a bouncer (jolly jumper type/excersaucer type) way to young for that they need neck control! but if your talking a bouncy chair.. those can be a godsent! you might want to try a swing and/or a rocker with a vibrator on the front.. Those are to kill for (I'm so not joking) strap him in and bounce or rock with foot.. wow.. I was sorry I didn't think of it sooner! it took almost 2 months before we got one....

Attention span-- is the attention span more then 1 second??? he's FINE... my son barely made eye contact until he was 4 months. at 2 weeks everything is blurry... will be a about a month I think (don't quote me) before they can see as well as you and me... and there's ALWAYS something to look at over there... no wait.. over there... or... no over there... LOL don't worry.. honestly I'm not joking (just making light) it's funny sometimes try to find that humor it will make the day go a little faster

Best of luck.

s

Brandi - posted on 06/28/2010

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my daughter had a problem like that when she was first born she was colic the only thing that seem to calm her was walking outside where she could see the trees and soft music, she also didnt want to be on her back so we started laying her on her tummy. good luck

Ilene - posted on 06/27/2010

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Well, when i had my first kid I wasn't exactly mom of the year. The depression got the better of me and I was not nice. When my son was a few months old I changed into a blossoming mommy pretty quick. I'm still not sure how that happened so fast. Anyway, as I was becoming this supermom, I had to hold Jared all the time. I could never do anything. I eventually started putting him on a pillow, in his jumpy thing or his saucer and made it a point to talk to him in a very quiet, soothing voice very close to his face. Like a foot away from him. It took months but he finally got the picture. I was eventually able to tell the difference between the spoiled Jared and the hurting Jared. when I would go to the laundry mat (it was literally out my front door) I carried him by the back of his blanket sleeper like he was a book bag. He loved it. It made him laugh hysterically Looking back I am SOOO glad I never dropped him. lol.

CarrieAnn - posted on 06/27/2010

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Me again..1 more thing about your back...I have to take major pain meds to control my pain. I'm to a point that the meds give me more energy and numb the pain and I'm able to do alot with the babies. I take them to parks and go on lots of walks. I know walking period is a good thing for just about anything almost. Also, I've been getting procedures done from a spine doctor. They have to sedate me of course, but we've found recently on a "test" that was done what to do. The test consisted of them temporarily numbing the nerves in facet joints. Going home from the procedure I was so mad at the doc and everyone. The pain was horrible. They sedated me enough to not jump off the table in pain, but be awake and still feel things so I could help direct them to the major pain areas in between the tears.



Anyways..after about 2 days, I noticed I slept in bed ok..not too much pain, got up in the morning..not too much pain, got the babies out of bed and changed them and then realized the pain wasn't the same. It was practically just muscle soreness. I was floored. This temp procedure lasted for about 5 weeks. I went back last week for a follow up and because it worked as it did, they are going to now do the permanent procedure. I'll be sedated (hopefully all the way this time) and they'll use a machine to see my back parts and guide them to the nerves in my facet joints. They are then going to burn the nerves in my facet joints that send signals to my brain to report pain. This procedure is called Medial Lumbar Block. I was concerned about over-doing it and without the normal pain I'd hurt myself more. They explained that with the bulging discs not responding to all the procedures and muscle relaxers and pain meds I've been on, the current option other than this is back surgery. Which will remove the nerves in those area's anyways.



With 2 babies 1 & 2 as well as my 17y who was diagnosed last year with a severe mental illness..I don't have time for that severe of a surgery and the required recovery time. Not to mention, that 4 discs are in my lumbar area and the other 4 in the cervical area. They'd be 2 separate major procedures. Maybe find a spine specialist and start getting tests done and see where they direct you. I hope this helps some. Let me know if you have other question on back stuff and I'll share. I even have brochures I can scan and email to you the doc gave me if you need it.

CarrieAnn - posted on 06/27/2010

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Hi Tracey,

I'm so sorry you are having a hard time right now. But it will pass. Regardless you need help now. Have you checked to see if the milk may be causing his tummy to hurt or be aggravated? Have you called your doctor to inquire and maybe get in a little sooner? He may have gas. Have you tried to put him on a blanket or something and then move his legs like a bicycle when he fusses to see if it helps the gas out? Also, he could be working in a tooth. I know it seems too early..but all babies are different. Some even come out with teeth. Check for white on the surface of his gums and then feel them to see if you feel a small tooth. If you don't but when you rub them he settles a bit maybe that is a sign he might be teething.



Ok for the walking/pacing you have to do..I have 8 bulging discs in my back. So I know! Here's what I did for both my babies:

Emma: Our highchair had wheels on it, we put her in, laid it back as far as it goes and wheeled her around till she went to sleep. When she did we could stop and then she was safe and asleep in the highchair. She also LOVED her swing and a bouncy chair that vibrated.

Jacob: We have done the highchair, which he didn't care for so much but we also went as far as putting him in the stroller and walking it around the house laid back and then when he fell asleep he was safe. We've had to even take him for car rides at night (most recent a month ago at 2am). That helps.



With you son being new..both you and him have to learn about each other. So be patient with him..but yourself. Try something and give it a shot for a period of time..10-15 minutes and see if it works. Just because he fusses for the first 14 min doesn't mean he didn't like it..it meant he was getting use to it and if he starts to settle down then you found something! Within a few weeks you'll be surprised at how much you know about this little guy and he can't even talk yet! :) I hope these ideas help. I'm keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. I understand. I have a 17y and was 20y when I had him and alone. It was so hard..but then I had my to little ones at 35 & 36years old and they are now 1 & 2. It is really hard chasing 2 that can go anywhere and normally split directions. Not to mention they have to share a room and are complete opposites on what the like and don't like. Each one is different..so take things/ideas and make a list..post it and mark and "X" on the ones that don't and circle the ones that do..this will help your hubby maybe give you a break on weekends or evenings when he's not working.



Again, prayers and BIG HUGS!!

PS: My youngest, Jacob who is now 1 was in the NICU for RSV at 2 months and then had to have Pyloric Stenosis surgery at 3 months. He's had a long journey..sorting through all you think you know and might have learned is hard enough when something happens you aren't aware of. Try and get to a doc soon if you can for him and your back.

PSS: You can do this!! Have faith in yourself and let your instinct just kick in and work! :)

Nora - posted on 06/27/2010

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Is there a reason you aren't feeding directly from the breast? Try letting him comfort nurse, worked when my son was little.

Renae - posted on 06/27/2010

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Hi Tracey,

I think I have read all of your posts. It does sound like your baby has colic.

I want to clear up a few things:
Colic can start any time up to about 6 weeks.
Whoever told you babies settle down at 6 weeks should not have said that, MOST babies improve between 8-12 weeks. Colic usually clears up at 12-14 weeks but can last up to 6 months. Reflux clears up between 6 and 18 months and can start as late as 8 weeks.

You need to see the physio about your back (why are you having to wait so long?) I also have back problems so I completely understand where you are coming from. Also see your doc and ask if there are any muscle relaxants that are safe to take while breast feeding.

Your baby is not trying to see how quick you jump to him - he is not capable of that even if he is the smartest newborn in the world. And yes it is normal for him to have a 3 second attention span.

Have you been told about growth spurts? You mentioned it seems like he wants to feed every hour. Hourly feeding is common at 3, 6 and 12 weeks when they have growth spurts and usually lasts 24-48 hours. The frequent feeding is baby's natural way of increasing your milk supply so that you make more milk for them after their growth spurt and they can go back to 3 hourly.

Can you not swaddle him because you can't bend, is that it? How do you change his nappy? Do you have a high bench so you dont have to bend? Can you lay him on there while you swaddle him?

You absolutely need to see a public / child health nurse at the clinic. You need to be shown a few other ways your baby can be held (you may not be able to do it but you can show hubby and grandma), ask about the colic hold.

Have you been informed about making sure he doesn't stay awake too long? Overtiredness is very common in unsettled babies. At 1-6 weeks they need to sleep after 30-45 minutes of being awake. Google "newborn tired signs" to learn how to tell when to put him to sleep or ask the nurse about it. If you try to put him to bed but he suddenly seems perky and wanting to play - this means he is OVER tired and you waited too long to put him to sleep. By 12 weeks they can usually stay awake for 45-60 minutes at a time. By 4 months they can be awake for 45 min to 1.5 hours. Babies often need their first nap of the day very soon after waking up. A newborn may feed and go straight back to sleep or only stay up for 15-20 min. By 4 months they usually need their first nap after 45 min.

Remember that babies are basically a little ball of instincts. They are not capable of making decisions or doing any deliberately (for the first few months especially) they respond instinctively to the world around them and especially to the things they feel going on inside their body. They dont understand what they are feeling, they just know that it isn't good so their little brain reacts by crying to alert the caregiver.

I think a trip to the nurse will be very helpful. In my experience they are very good at identifying colic and reflux. Try to see one with lots of experience if you can.

Let us know how it all goes.

PS I'm glad he is sleeping fairly well at night!

Schmoopy - posted on 06/27/2010

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When my son came home from the hospital, he cried for 5 hours a day - no joke. This went on for at least 6 weeks - it's all a blur. I don't remember much!

Anyway, once I found out I had Thrush in my nipples (from BFing) and began treating both myself and him, he turned into a completely different baby. So my theory is that he was in pain from Thrush in his throat and mouth (that wasn't obvious at first glance).

My point is, maybe your baby has a physiological issue that you haven't yet pinpointed.

The other possibility is that your baby is simply upset about being in the world! Maybe he's just not used to being "on the outside" yet. He'll settle once he adjusts, but it might take a little while.

Hang in there!!!

Tracey - posted on 06/27/2010

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just tossing up whether to take him to the health care clinic or my doctor to find out if it is reflux/colic.. he doesnt like being on his belly across my legs like i was suggested to do and tummy time at this time and a real drama for him caus ehe would rather bury his head in the small baby blanket we put on the floor for him to lay on. i tried to get a deep massage but that only helped my back for an hour or 2 b4 it started to hurt again. the Snugli baby carrier i have sits right on the point where the pain is with its straps and so doesnt make it comfortable for me either :( and we cant afford to drive around for hours in the car just to keep him settled between feeds... i guess i'll just have to get his grandmother to wlak the floor with him between feeds or something.. in the hospital i had no problem with him sleeping in my arms while i was laying down cause due to blood loss i was be ridden and didnt smoke for a week. but now that i'm back on my feet and smoking again i am worried about doing that and increasing the chance of SIDS...Should i take him to the doc and find out or just grin and wait it out hoping it passes. By the way i tried some grout water solution that the chemist suggested and it just went right through him giving him a single bout of the runs...

Kim - posted on 06/27/2010

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It seems like you are doing all you can. The only thing I can suggest is to try cutting out the broccoli. It is very gassy and can be causing gas in the baby. You could also check to see if those baby drops for gas might work, they didn't have them when my daughter was a baby. Good luck. And my daughter started with colic the day she got home from the hospital at 5 days old.

Heather - posted on 06/26/2010

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Sending you hugs!!! I had some serious back problems after both of my kids were born. With my first I thought that it might be due to the csect. Took me a few weeks but soon found out that it was really heartburn! And I am not talking minor back pain, I am talking totally incapacitating, so I would try treating yourself for that for the back pain. Both of my kids were nursed also and I found that if I was having back pain they were crankier. It was never a specific food for me, except for tomatoes. Good Luck momma and remember this too shall pass!

Shalah - posted on 06/26/2010

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Running the vaccum cleaner helped my restless babes, as well. I would have thought it would scare them, but they seem to like it. Also, I free fed all my babies, it seems to make them calmer. I know how difficult it can be to be recovering from the birth and trying to adjust to a cranky baby. But it does get better, and you will figure it out. If it's gas, try laying him on his back and slowly rolling his knees up to his chest and back down several times, or just gently massage his abdomen. Hope this helps.

Tabitha - posted on 06/26/2010

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sounds like colic my son had and if we put his knees to his belly and wrapped him tight in a blanket it helped. any pressure we put on his belly helped. and swing the kind that go side to side.

Nicole - posted on 06/26/2010

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I am sorry you are struggling. I would go completely off the dairy especially if you are intolerant. You should see some difference within a week but it can take up to 6 weeks. It might be worth it.

As far as the reflux my son had it and never threw up. The doctor's told me my daughter who was born after my son could not have reflux within a few days of her birth (too young) but she did. She was on medication also. Are you able to take him for a walks? They always helped the babies and ME!!

Can you do skin to skin throughout the day instead bc I know you said it's hard for you to hold him with your back? Can you use a back carrier? He may be too little but the Ergo is a front and back carrier and I liked it and I have a lot of back issues. Are you seeing someone for your back? You need to take care of yourself. Good luck.

Malina - posted on 06/26/2010

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maybe the baby is colicky? there's colic drops for that. also, do try to be calm. if u must, go to a separate room & breathe for a fe seconds. try singing to your little one. that worked for me 95% of the time. remember, this phase will pass. i struggled with it too & it gets A LOT better :) keep your head up mom!

Tracey - posted on 06/26/2010

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quite a few good suggestions there. although i cant swaddle him cause of my back. i dont use formula and as long as i can pump my breast milk i wont use formula till at least 6 months old (which is transition to soft foods anyways). I am lactose intollerant so the milk i do drink has the lactase strain in it to help break down the pasturised milk and i dont have cheeses very often or any other dairy products. I do drink a fair bit of tea but that is all i can think of that could affect his mood trough my milk. So far the only thing we have that calms him is a car ride. but if u stop the car he stirs again. the bathroom is right next to his bedroom so i'm trying the bathroom exhaust fan on to see if that helps his settling. only time will tell with that now.

Debora - posted on 06/26/2010

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TRY USING THE VACUM CLEANER TO SETTLE HIM DOWN OF COURSE IF YOUR HIGHLY STRESSED HES GOING TO PICK THAT UP FROM YOU.so try remaining as low stressed as possible try drinking mint tea for yourself as it settles you it will help him be calm as will a relaxing bath you can use a fountain if it relaxes you while listening to your fav.type of music or try reading to him .

Alyssa - posted on 06/26/2010

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Broccoli is known to cause colic in babies. Also, you may try stopping the intake of all dairy. When i had my son, he had horrible stomach aches until I stopped drinking milk. We gave him lukewarm bottles of very weak mint tea. That helps settle their little tummies.
As for knowing how to "push" your buttons, no 2-week old infant has enough awareness to know you're getting upset with him, even when it seems that way.

Jonae - posted on 06/26/2010

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Put a few towels in the dryer and let them get warm then wrap him up. Don't feel bad about not being able to get him to calm down. Its trial and error. The more you try and comfort him the more he will come to realize he can rely on you. Try rocking him. I think he is to young to have colic. He may be having trouble digesting the milk or formula.

Vicki - posted on 06/25/2010

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Oh and in my opinion babies may seem to be pushing your buttons on purpose but they are just telling you there is something they need. Even if its just being held and comforted. :)

Vicki - posted on 06/25/2010

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My daughter is what some would consider a high need baby. From the beginning she wanted to be nursed every hour. It seemed that she digested better that way. She also loved sleeping in our arms. I also had back spasms after having her. I had back pain in pregnancy and then all back labor. So my back was very weak in those first few weeks. Pay attention if when you hold or nurse him you are twisting funny or leaning. I found that I was leaning over forward to nurse and it was making it all worse. having her propped on pillows on my lap and leaning back in the rocking chair really helped. Also my baby wouldn't tolerate broccoli or eggs. Watch for him pulling up his legs to his belly...thats usually a sign of gas. And the bathroom fan or water running helped too. LOL hopefully from all these posts something works for you. Best of luck.

Juliah - posted on 06/25/2010

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swaddle , my kids seemed to enjoy it up to @ 4months / warmth, our bellies were really cozy! / although we are told to have them sleep on their back, my kids have liked being on their side, so I tucked a blanket at their belly to keep them from fully rolling over/ white noise, fan, ac, dryer, radio, anything, silence doesn't work they need noise, think how noisy our body was before they born/ when baby cries go thru the motions, change diaper, feed, check for something that may be bothering him like a tag or itchy clothes/ if you ran thru all the list lay him down somewhere safe and walk away , he may just calm himself down and fall asleep because he's over tired, if not you've had a few minutes to yourself to try again. if all else fails, nurse him on call, rock him, walk him whatever it takes, because this will pass and he's too darn cute to let cry ! =)

Tracey - posted on 06/25/2010

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i wouldnt be surprised if he just wants to see how far daddy and i jump when he cries lol. he is very clued on. as for colic i thought that 2 week old babbies were less likely to get it until the 4-6 week period. i'll try those suggestions and see how i go.

Chanea - posted on 06/25/2010

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when breast feeding you have to feed more often but i could also be what you are eatting that gives him gas or tommy ace . then to he could be testing you babies are alot smarter then what ppl give them credit for we think that they are just so clueless because they can't express but we forget they had nine months to learn from the time that brain developed and those tiny ears developed so he may wanna see how fast you and daddy jump

Tracey - posted on 06/25/2010

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My diet is pretty strict at the moment because i lost over a litre and a half of blood due to bursting an artery and having to have surgery done on it. i never got the first few hours of hold with bubby. i dont have garlic but i do have to take iron suppliments and vita C as well as have been told to eat broccoli and lots of red meat. (blood count was 66 before the transfusion, 87 after it by the time they let me out of hospital). maybe missing out on that first vital few hours has contributed to this? Can a baby really get colic in the first 2 weeks after birth if fed from a bottle of breastmilk? i thought they didnt really get it until after the 4-6 week mark? I do have ways of how to deal with that thanks to a friend of mine who had a seriously colic baby. tho it doesnt seem to settle him so i'm not sure... only a gp could tell me right?

Tracey - posted on 06/25/2010

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i cant cause of the back spasms. i cant even sit or lay in any awkward position (which normally would be comfortable for me) because it starts acting up. I didnt get an epi by the way. Gas was all i had. so i cant find a reason y i have back pain in the first place besides having overactive muscles after so long of carrying bubs.

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Try wearing him. I have a Moby wrap and it's fabulous. That way your not using all your strength to hold him. He will probably like being snuggled up against you.

Tracey - posted on 06/25/2010

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It could be reflux. i might have to talk to my gp about that. Because after he's fed on some occasions he will spit up some milk. its not often but it does make me think about it now after what u guys have said. i will have to give the White Noise a try and see how i go. i havent thought of what to use but i'm sure i could find something like an old radio or something.

Kim - posted on 06/25/2010

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Big huge hug!!! Sounds like he has colic. My 2nd child, my 1st daughter cried a lot and I mean like from 5 or 7pm every night until midnight, plus during the day. She only calmed down if I stood and rocked her, not even sitting down! The swing helped a lot, she would nap there 45 mins or so, not a long nap but a break anyway. It was so hard since I also had a 3 yr old son and my husband wasn't home until like 11pm each night. One thing that set off all my kids was garlic so watch that in your diet, but if you have tried everything and your son cries or doesn't cry with specific things then its probably just colic. Like I said earlier my daughter was fine in the swing and while I was rocking her standing. And I started to nurse more often, like you were saying just split up the nursing so they are getting about the same in 2 hrs but with nursings every hour. I think if i had started that earlier it would have helped a lot. And if you can find anyone to watch the baby while you take a walk do so or take him for a walk in a stroller or Snugli. My daughter was born late fall so it quickly got too cold for walks and my son wouldn't walk HE wanted the stroller and my Snugli was broken, the buckle was closed in the trunk door. But you are right it will pass, but it was 5-6 months before my daughter stopped. Good luck!

Catherine - posted on 06/25/2010

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I know this can be really difficult because my baby was like this when he was born too. We ended up finding out that our baby had reflux, and once we started treating that, he got a bit better. Also, we discovered that he liked to listen to the exhaust fan in the kitchen (for the first 3 months of his life, if there was nothing wrong, he would stop crying within 30 seconds of us turning it on). I've also heard of babies who like the shower, the vacuum, radio static, any sort of white noise. Maybe go around the house and see if any of that helps.

Tracey - posted on 06/25/2010

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when i hold him i always talk and act in a calm collected manner. Hoping that if i am unsettled then it doesnt show through body language or vocally. but cause i cant hold him up close, i have to rest him in the nook of my crossed legs due to the back spasm he cries and gets agitated. His bouncer has a vibrating function (although we havent got batteries for it lol) and i have thought of trying that hoping that might make him feel better. He seems like he constantly wants to feed every hour. but we were told to try and hold out for the 2 hour time period. i dont know what to do. feed him 60-70mls (half his normal feed) every hour or just wait it out. I'm already counting down the weeks to the 4-6 week mark where everything starts to straighten out (so i've been told). for a newborn he is very clued on and it makes me think he already has us down packed that if he cries himself to agitation we will respond no matter what. making letting him cry harder than it seems.

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Are you feeling anxious or unsettled? (that's a silly question to ask a new mommy, I know) Babies can pick up on our feelings. Think, what makes you calm? Music? A nice candle? A bath? Okay, calm yourself down. Then calmly focus on him. Sing or play classical music for him. I've heard people say that lavender baby lotion can help. (never tried it) Does he get upset when you sit down? Try a rocking chair or massage chair.

Something else to think about. What are you eating that could get into the breastmilk? Sometimes babies are sensitive to milk products, tomatoes, and gassy foods like broccoli.

I know it doesn't seem like it, but it will get better!

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