Post # 1
New mother of a 2.5 week old baby. Husband does not get paternity leave or vacation with his job but has an average of about 12-13 days off a month which is better than most. I am feeling overwhelmed by baby duty though on the days he does work. For example I take care of baby overnight so he can get his sleep and then also while he is at work. When he comes home I get a few hours break but then take over again if he’s working the next day. I try to sleep when baby does but it’s easier said than done for me. I feel exhausted. Days he is off he takes over til 4am while I sleep and then I take over so he can sleep.
What do you all do? I know sleep deprivation is normal so do you think I’m just being a wuss over this? I’m still recovering from a c section and now I have mastitis. Baby is so colicky at night it wears me out with the inconsolable crying. We have a babysitter who comes by about 3 times a week and I don’t know how I would keep my sanity without that. Motherhood is so much harder than I thought it would be and I didn’t go into this expecting rainbows and sunshine all the time.
Post # 2
hspw714: Don’t worry. 2.5 weeks is *very* early days. The earliest weeks are the hardest and it does get better.
I have heard of couples having a system, before a certain time (say, 4 am) it’s one parent, after it’s the other. We didn’t do that. I just accepted that on his work days, I’d be up a lot and be very tired the next day. (And I had C-sections too). Yes it is draining and all-encompassing but it doesn’t last forever. I suspect that even in a month there will be improvement.
Post # 3
Yup, the first few weeks (or months) of motherhood sure can suck! But the good news is that it does get better 🙂
To be perfectly honest, the month or so are purely about survival – making sure everybody gets fed, washed and slept. I remember my midwife telling me to forget about any expectations and just do what I can do and it was really good advice! My LO was EBF so I did all the night wakings but my DH was awesome and helped out with the cooking and housework. My Mum also came over every couple of days to give me a break and help out with whatever I needed.
Make sure you’re eating plenty of good calories and drinking enough water to assist you with your healing and milk production, a wee bit of gentle walking will also help you to feel better.
Take any offers of help that come your way – most people genuinely want to help!
Get some sort of wrap or carrier so you can hold baby close when she’s fussy or colicky.
Hang in there Mama, this too shall pass 🙂
Post # 4
Honestly, when I had my baby, even when DH was home, I did all of the baby duty stuff. He would hold her and snuggle, but I would do all the getting up, feeding (I was breastfeeding), diaper changes, etc). He was working, and since he’s an electrician, I didn’t want him going to work groggy.
I didn’t mind it, but I also didn’t have a colicky baby. My heart freaking goes out to you. Have you ruled out a medical cause of the colic? Perhaps it is something you are eating that is upsetting the baby’s tummy? I remember cutting out milk & tomatoes early on because they both were hard on my baby.
The first few weeks/months are very challenging. You will get more used to the sleep deprivation. Just make sure you’re not over exherting yourself during the day. Eat well, and if you have a friend or family memeber who can help, take advantage of that.
I am so sorry that you’re struggling. Having a new baby is tough when they sleep a lot…I can’t imagine having a baby who is colicky 🙁 It WILL get better though. I promise you that.
Post # 5
Hang in there. The first few weeks are definitely the hardest. Between sleep deprivation, baby blues and mastitis, I think I cried non stop for the first month straight. then around the 5-6 week mark, it’s like the sky opened up and everything changed. Even when it was hard, it didn’t seem quite as hard.
With me and DH, he had two weeks off with me in the beginning but then when he went back to work, I would go to bed early and he would be on baby duty until around 12-1AM. Then anytime she woke up after that, I took over. This way, at least I got a few hours of uninterupted sleep. I was pumping though, so he was able to bottle feed.
Post # 6
Another thing to remember, is that your hormones are seriously all out of whack right now too. That can effect your mood, sleep, energy, appetite, outlook, EVERYTHING. I remember being so foolishly emotional over so many things in the first few weeks.
Onces things level out hormonally, that will make a big difference too!
Post # 7
I agree with PPs, the first 6 weeks are the hardest. Then something happens when it starts to get easier. My DD is 14 weeks now, it’s night and day from the rough first weeks. But I still have the odd day where I just need a break. I’ve been blessed with a DH that will give me that break if I need it.
That said, being a mom is a full-time 24/7 job. Just because your husband works doesn’t mean you’re not working too. If you are overwhelmed and need more support (or sleep) ask him. A happy and healthy mom makes for a happier baby.
Post # 8
- Wedding: November 2011 - Florida Aquarium
We were super lucky, and my husband took the first three weeks off of work to be with us. Without him home, I don’t know what I would have done. I had a csection, too.
Our daughter is almost five months now, and we still maintain a similar run of house compared to the early baby days. He changes her in the middle of the night and brings her to me to feed. When he gets home from work, we have family time and go for a long walk. He gives her a bottle of my milk a half hour before bedtime, and then he reads a story to her. I do bedtime now, but he used to. He got traumatized by her crying one night, and has wussed out since. On weekends, he hangs out with her while I run errands or bake.
I will say, though, Luciana is a crazy easy baby, and wakes up ten hours after going down… Which she has done since one month. Still, her daddy is happy to help in any way.
Have you tried noise canceling headphones so you can comfort her but not be deafened by her cries? Talk to your husband and share your concerns. Hopefully he’ll step up more.
Post # 9
Sounds like he helps a lot and between him and the sitter, you have a lot of help. Just hand in there. It does get a lot easier after about 6-8 weeks.
Post # 10
hspw714: I also felt like this motherhood thing was way harder than I thought it would be. As some PP said, when my son was 6 weeks old, suddenly evrything was a bit easier, I had less trouble breastfeeding, he was a bit easier to put to sleep, although he would only sleep on me, so there goes “sleep when the baby sleeps”.
I did not have a colicky baby, but he had acid reflux undiagnosed until 4 months, and that’s why I could not put him down. I had a LOT of help, my husband took his 6 weeks paternity leave straight at the beginning, and my mother came and stayed with us for at least a month, and even after that she would sometime come back for a week or two.
My best advice (learned from hard experience) is to not be ashamed to ask for help, to as many people you can. My mother would cook, clean, rock my baby while I would sleep, and so did my father, who spent 2 weeks with us when he was off from work. It also helps to have an adult to talk to. Call some friend, ask them to come visit and bring some muffin, call family, call everybody!
My second best advice, take it a day at a time. I sometime felt like if I contemplated the whole week I would lose it. So instead, I’d go like “I’ll keep breastfeeding for the day, then I’ll see. “I’ll reach the next nap, then I’ll see how I feel”, and so on.
Take heart, you have about 3 more weeks to go and then it will get better.
Post # 11
hspw714: I feel your pain! DH returned to work the day after I got out of the hospital and I had a csection too. The first week he worked two shorter shifts and last week he had an extra day off for Easter but this week he is working full time and it’s rough! It doesnt help that when he isn’t around my anxiety spikes out of control and I am convinced she is sick in some way. Today is our 5th doctor trip in 2.5 weeks, although to be fair to me I always call and talk to a nurse who advises me to come in haha.
As far as baby duty goes, I get uninterrupted sleep anytime from 10pm-2am. DH is amazing and usually has her changed, sometimes fed, and my pump supplies set up for me. I watch her the rest of the night. Usually I am up with her until 5am, then again at 7 and again at 9. I am trying to keep her more awake during the day so I can get more sleep at night but she has her own ideas of when naptime should be and usually she wins.
No advice for you other than what pp have said- ask for help when you need it. Typically I get DH up at 7 to let the dogs out and help me with anything I’m struggling eight, and the other night I woke him at 5am too when she was extra fussy. He still gets more sleep than me and never complains about pitching in.
Other than that, remember we are in survival mode right now. Only a couple more weeks to go until I hear it starts getting better so hang in there, and PM me if you ever want to talk!
Post # 12
hspw714: My DH stayed home for the first 5 weeks and we were both exhausted. Our system, when baby chooses to participate is – I go to bed in the guest room at 8am (thats my goal time) and DH and baby hang out together until after her 1am feeding (its usually around that time) sometimes earlier, sometimes later… DH ultimately puts baby down in her bed in the master bedroom and goes to bed as well. I get a solid 4-5 hours of sleep before taking over for baby and DH gets a solid 5 1/2 hours of sleep once I take over. At “shift change” DH moves into the guest room and I go into the master bedroom for the rest of the night. We are both tired but at least we are each getting enough sleep to function during the day. I try to shower in the morning before DH goes to work and during that time we leave baby on the floor in the bathroom (in her bouncer, on the boppy, pretty much where ever) and DH gets dressed while I shower and will tend to baby if she needs anything. He usually leaves by 8 and thats right around the time DD goes down for her first nap. I should nap at this time too but instead i pump (to get milk for DH’s PM bottles) and drink my morning cup of coffee. By the time DH gets home 5:30/6 we tag team and take care of baby together until I crash at 8. This system works for us because I’m more of a morning person and DH is a night owl. As for napping when baby naps, Ha, I’m here on the Bee while she is snoozing in her swing. I hope you two find a system that works for your family!
DH misses cuddling with me at night but he says being in seperate rooms is worth it when it comes to getting quality sleep. We try to cuddle and snuggle on the couch always kiss good night – we tried to sleep together as a “family” last night but DH is wicked tired this morning because baby girl is noisy when she sleeps. We agreed the seperate bedrooms is best for us =)
Post # 13
DH stayed home for the 1st week. Then he went back to work. He stays up with our daughter until midnight and then I take over. This gives him 6hrs of continuous sleep plus whatever he gets between feedings until midnight. I go to bed at 8:30pm to try and get 3 1/2 hrs of continuous sleep, plus whatever naps I get in between feedings during the day. Whoever is on baby duty sleeps inthe spare bedroom with the baby in the bassinet. This works ok when DH is in town, but he travels a lot for work. So this week, I’m on my own and it has been rough!
Unfortunately, we too have a fussy baby, who eats every 3 hrs, frequently screams between feedings and needs to be held a lot. We are exhausted. Good thing she is cute!
Post # 14
hspw714: Have you read Happiest Baby on the Block? This book has helped me with calming our baby. She still screams bloody murder, but we usually can get it uner control. I use a white noise app at night that seems tohelp her fall asleep after getting worked up.
Post # 15
hspw714: hspw714: you poor thing! Ita still early and it gets SO much better (and quickly!) getting through the 3 week growth spurt was rough but after tgat it’s been smooth sailing. You’ll feel so much better once you’re feeling better physically, so do what you need to do to take care if yourself, too!
DH quit his job when baby was a few weeks old but I still do majority of baby care. I just ask him to do whatever I need. He has morning duty to change her and hang out while I get an extra hour or two of sleep or just time to myself. He also has after dinner duty so I can take my before bed bath or shower and relax to recharge. My baby is a really good sleeper so I can get a lot done during the day when she naps.
Happiest baby on the block saved us during her witching hour (which at 9 weeks disappeared!) YouTube the video and start practicing ASAP! Wgite noise baby app is amazing! My DD loves the hair dryer noise (turn it up loud and she stops crying within seconds and falls asleep within minutes).
hang in there Hun, I promise it gets easier!