How do I deal with frustration?

Hannah - posted on 12/03/2012 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I am a new Mom to an 8 week old baby boy. My son's sleeping habits are very poor, sometimes he is up for 12 hours (takes only about half our naps if I am lucky)-keep in mind that is only on a really bad night. Then some nights (only on rare occasions) he will sleep 5 hours straight. I have tried everything to get him to sleep but am failing badly.



What I am having most of my issues with is the lack of support and help I have. We do not live close to family or friends so I only have my fiance for help and support and I feel like I am not getting what I need. Between the constant lack of sleep I have I still have all of the house chores to do and taking care of the baby. I am not the type of person to complain or need the help of another constantly ( I am very independent) but he knows that I am getting worn out but yet he is still not helping at all. He does have a job working nights so I don't expect a lot all I want is a diaper change once in a while before I feed (as I am breastfeeding so he can't help there) or him to do up the dishes so I don't have to.



I hate feeling frustrated all of the time because I feel it is going to affect my relationship with my son when it is not his fault. I just feel terrible for wanting the help and feeling like I diserve it because I am his mother, this is my job. But it is getting to be too much for me to handle. Is this normal?

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Samantha - posted on 12/11/2012

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I agree with Whisper as far as sleeping and caffeine. My baby had been especially fussy/sleeping irratically for a few days and I had been drinking mostly soda to help keep me awake. As soon as I stopped drinking caffeine she was much less fussy and sleeping much better. I also found I have to swaddle my baby tightly or she wakes herself after 30 minutes. I have a Halo Sleep Sack and some Kiddopotamus wraps that have Velcro so you can get them tight and they stay. My baby doesn't always like being wrapped but I do it anyway because I know it will help us both sleep better.



In regards to your fiance--I understand being the primary caregiver and how tiring it can be. My husband works 15-18 hour days starting in the early morning hours so I do our entire nighttime routine on my own. I'm also exclusively breastfeeding so he can't help much anyway. My husband doesn't help with any house chores and I don't expect him to because of the hours he works. I do what housework I can during the day but if it doesn't get done I don't worry about it. The time I spend with my baby is the most important to me. I always tell myself, "She won't be little forever." It makes me happy when she's screaming and sad when we're cuddling. Just enjoy your time together because the chores aren't what matter in the long run. I also put this quote by Charles Osgood on a stcky note in my living room (where we are when she's having a melt down, trying to go to bed, etc.) :



"Babies are always more trouble than you thought-and more wonderful."

Whisper - posted on 12/09/2012

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Your probably drinking excessive caffeine while breastfeeding. Stop immediately. It takes several days for caffine to leave your babies system vs an adults. If this is true please visit your pediatrician to check for possible liver inflamation...it happened to my son..who also ontop of not sleeping had tummy upset and spit up often.

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Tami - posted on 12/12/2012

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Oh yes, Hannah, forgot that part, swaddling is the best! As for the bath, it's just because the baby's skin tends to get dry, that's why I put a tsp of olive oil in the bath and I didn't always wash his hair because of dry scalp. Bathing every night is just fine..your baby lived in water for a while, lol! Bathing will calm him and show him what is next-feeding, then sleep.



Oh...and...if you have a noise machine that plays like a white noise or waterfall sound, it helps a lot! Drowns out other noise and reminds them of being in the womb. My sleeps so well with it!



I think the best way to deal with the frustration is to realize that you are not alone, that all of us moms are going through this together. Babies grow and get easier, it's just a rough patch, but well worth it!

Hannah - posted on 12/12/2012

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@Tami



Thanks for the great info, I am going to try and start a new routine. I was told at the hospital not to over bathe so I have been just doing it every 3 days as they recommended but I have noticed that he sleeps alot better on the nights that he has a bath. I usually always swaddle as he loves it.



@ Samantha

Thanks for the helpful tips aswell. I have tried to leave the house work but I worry so much of the baby living in a dirty house (even though the house may not be that bad). I think that my worst problem is that I am putting too much stress on myself to be a good mother that I just get overwhelmed. This is something that I am trying really hard to work on.



Thank you all for the help, it is greatly appreciated.

Hannah - posted on 12/12/2012

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Nope no caffiene, I am not a huge fan of coffee or pop. I drink mostly water and some orange juice in the morning.

Tami - posted on 12/12/2012

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Hi Hanna,



First off, congratulations. Second, it will get better-with the baby that is!



This is a time of extreme frustration. You've just been pregnant for the last 9 months, given birth, are breastfeeding, and most of all have to care for this baby. It is an emotional time, a hard time, and you need your husbands support. If talking to him (at a time when the baby is asleep) doesn't work, try writing him a letter. Sometimes seeing things in writing helps men take it in a little better.



Okay, about your baby not sleeping. I recently met with a sleep consultant to learn how to get my son to sleep his nights. While your baby is too young to "Sleep Train" (You can only start that at 4 months), the understanding of sleep is contrary to what you may think-I was doing all the wrong things!



Here's the main thing you need to know. The MORE naps in the day, the better your baby will sleep at night. Sleeping in the day, actually makes a baby sleep more and more. At this age, it doesn't really matter where they are sleeping (car, swing, whatever), if they can sleep in their crib-great, if not, all they really need is sleep! I began a nighttime routine from 6 weeks on: a bath every night (For routine reasons..but I added a bit of olive oil in order not to dry him out), then feeding in the rocking chair, while singing the same time every night. Babies love routine and they love to know what comes next. Whatever your routine is, it should be the same every night.



Once your baby hits 4 months, it is important to make sure he/she wakes up by 7am at the latest and naps EVERY 2 hours after each waking time, in the crib, in the dark, for the first two naps. The last nap can be anywhere (swing, car, whatever). So for example, if your baby wakes at 6am, he goes back down at 8am, with the same 'sleep' routine, so he knows it's time for sleep. If the baby wakes up at let's say 9:30am, he goes back down two hours later-11:30am. And so on. Make sure baby is not sleeping past 4pm. The last stretch of being awake should be 3 hours. So if your baby wakes from his last nap at 4pm, bedtime is at 7pm.



I know it's a lot of info, but if you follow it completely, it works. If you follow it half, it doesn't.

Don't forget though, for the first four months, you don't follow what I just wrote above, they'll sleep even more than every two hours! The more sleep, the better! Remember that.



It will work out. I know everyone says it'll get better, it's really true though.



Good luck!



Tami

Sarah - posted on 12/05/2012

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I would suggest sitting down and talking with your fiance. Let him know how you are feeling and that you need help. Even though you may have said it or feel he already knows or can see it he may not. Guys look at the world differently and often times we need to let them into our minds for them to understand how we feel and what we need. I find that if you do it in a way where it is NOT pointing fingers or accussing then you get further. Let him know that it is hard for you to ask for his help because you are very independent and I want to do it all.



To help with the sleeping patterns try to nurse at least every 3 hours during the day(this will also help with keeping your milk supply up). At night let him sleep until he wakes. He is still pretty little and will start to get more into a routine around 3-4 months, but you can start with introducing one now. Each baby is different but usually around that age a typical routine is for them during the daytime is to wake, eat, play for a little bit and then be back down to sleep. I learned with two of my kids that their tired cries were much like their hungry cries, so I would pay attention to when they last ate and if it had not been that long ago I would first try and see if they were tired. I would swaddle them and lay them in their beds.....sometimes they would fuss for a little bit but then fall asleep. If they fussed for longer then 5-10 mins. then I would pick them up and try something different (rocking, feeding, burping, etc.) With my last child if I did NOTget all the burps out and would lay her down she would cry, but if you held her she would fall asleep....so some nights we slept sitting up because she would have a burp in her that I could not get out.

Becca - posted on 12/03/2012

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totally, babies need every two hours a boob/bottle and sooo they wake you almost every two hours up until the age of 5/6 months atleast

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