Attachment parenting?

posted 2 months ago in Babies
Post # 46
44 posts
  • Wedding: July 2016

Hello you haven’t mentioned is there a reason why your husband can’t take care of your baby? Also are you exclusively breastfeeding or will she take a bottle? Ff she will take a bottle and you trust your husband, if he won’t help at home then I would just leave and get a room for a night. Is there family or friends house you could stay at that would help care for her so you just nurse? I think we can give you lots of suggestions, but it’s not going to be useful until you get more rest.

When I first brought my baby home she was up every hour, with me nursing her for 30 minutes, spending 30 minutes upright for reflux (which normally she slept during) usually I could put her down in her bassinet for about 10 minutes before she would wake up. So I feel your pain, sleep deprivation is no deal. That was only one week so I can’t imagine more.

A few questions for you, how often are you feeding her and how long does she eat? My daughter is 7 weeks old and went from being able to nurse to sleep to now nurse one side, fuss a little, nurse the other side, rock back in forth in arms offering pacifier to suck on, once calm sway back and forth holding her while while sushing, and patting her back. After 10 minutes of this she usually will fall asleep on me. If not we will go outside for a walk and then try the whole process again starting with a diaper change. Do you have any time during the day you go outside? Do you have a swing or rocking bassinet?

As others stated please ask someone to give you a break and talk to a doctor about anxiety. You need to take care of yourself before you can your precious little one. Also, once you can get some rest, I recommend posting on the what to expect forum for ideas about helping your baby get some sleep. I have seen similar posts with the same problem. 


Post # 47
166 posts
Blushing bee

helixthecat :  this is gonna be the length of War and Peace so tl;dr version is: sending BIG hugs, you sound like a really good mommy who’s trying really hard and that makes you mighty ❤

I want you to know you’re not all alone. I’ll offer any advice I have in case any of it helps you. I was going to ask if you were hallucinating. The biggest help for me when my baby was this age was to get my mom over to watch the baby for 2-3 hours in the evening once or twice a week so I could get one solid chunk of sleep. (Angels sang…) Is there anyone who can rock/walk your baby for you for 3 hours so you can sleep? Those few hours *saved my sanity*. The first six weeks felt like 3 looong days, it all blended together from sleep deprivation- and that was with help. I don’t know how you’re doing it alone. 

As for attachment parenting, keep what works and throw out the rest. I’ll never be a bed-sharer for a baby. The one book I read about AP had some crappy info “space out vaccinations, find more info about this online” and that babies who go to daycare are x% more likely to become criminals. Wtf. Bad info and guilt? No thanks. 

Having said that, I like the attachment idea and my baby is much happier to be out shopping and meeting people in her wrap instead of her stroller. At night when she was under 8 weeks walking was the only thing that would calm her. My husband and me both had dead arms (we hadn’t figured out the wrap yet).

Have you tried a swing? We had the Graco Lovin’ Hug swing and she’d like that for half hour spurts through the day to give our arms a rest.

If it’s something baby needs even if she doesn’t want it, you gotta do it anyway. What helped for me a bit (not always but often) is making eye contact and singing at those times. I’m no Celine Dion by any means but my little one has impromptu songs at diaper change, during baths and to wash her hands/face. A warm washcloth on the belly helped with bathtime as well as shampooing last.

My baby wasn’t colicky, she was just awake a lot, being a hungry baby and then a gassy one. The idea that newborns only stay awake for 90 minutes is laughable so I feel you there. 

Just want to say, babies suddenly pop out into a world that’s bright and cold. They suddenly get hungry instead of being fed through you, have a digestive system that has to start up and they don’t know how to make their muscles move. Gas is just the worst. They don’t at six weeks understand that you’re actually a separate person from them. In addition to all that your baby has pain from an operation that interferes with her eating. That’s enough to make anyone feel like crying (for you too).

At nine weeks my little one started really developing a personality and seeming to enjoy things. Fingers crossed for you that your little one feels better soon! 

Wondering a bit after reading the medical advice you’ve been given as support… What’s the  she’s taking and why does it have to be a half hour before she eats?

You said she takes a bottle after the second boob, are you formula supplementing?

Post # 48
1109 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1995

I had a colicky baby.  I could set my watch by her.  Every night she would start to cry at 9 pm and would cry until 3 am.  It didn’t matter what I did, rocked, walked, try to nurse, bounced, etc., she would cry, and cry, and cry.  And then like magic, it stopped at 3 months.  

Your baby is 6 weeks old.  At this stage, you are both in survival mode.  I would stop reading up on attachment parenting.  It sounds like a lot of the advice you are getting is confusing you.  At this point, you need to do what you need to do to get through — if it means hold her or wear her, then do it.  

I would also recommend not switching sides during a feeding.  The next time start with the other breast.  

Your husband could also take a shift at night.

Post # 49
3224 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Full disclosure. I had a baby who was delivered straight from the pits of hell. He may be Satan reincarnated, the jury is still out. He would only not cry if he was being bounced into the ceiling on a yoga ball or if he was nursing – but you had to lay at exactly a 45 degree angle and nurse belly to belly. He nursed for hours and hours and hours every single day. He did not sleep, period. His first 2 hour stretch of sleep happened at almost 5 months old. So don’t tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about or how you feel. I do. I promise. My second baby is happy and I still definitely didn’t get 5 and 6 hours of sleep with her as a NB. 

There is a group on FB dedicated to these babies. We call them dragon babies. Sometimes it medical or colic, sometimes it’s just personality. It’s too early to tell. But YOU DID NOT CAUSE THIS. Most babies are chill and sleepy the first week or two due to the whole being born thing (I did not believe this with my first, he was a demon from the second he popped out, took his first breath, started screaming and never stopped.) 

Stop worrying about cortisol or how babies are supposed to lay down drowsy but awake (bullshit, never worked with either of mine) or all this other crap. You’re in the fourth trimester. Your job right now is to survive, whatever it takes to survive, JUST DO IT. You can break your baby of being motioned to sleep later. Nurse to sleep every time if you have to. 

Tell your husband to man the fuck up and help out more. I’m a Stay-At-Home Mom and I do not do solo parenting at night, nope. Your husband going to bed at 10 and getting a solid 8 or 9 hours is him saying, it’s fine for you to endanger our child because you’re exhausted, I don’t care. Give him the baby and sleep from 7-12 or whatever when he’s home from work and then wake up and let him sleep while you be on baby duty. He needs to help you survive even if that means being tired. 

And i agree, cut out dairy. ALL dairy – so no bread baked with milk etc. This made a major difference in my dragon baby when I finally tried it. 

Post # 50
2413 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

You’re doing great. Remember that people here are just trying to help, and they respond to only the info that you provide (mostly in the OP since that’s what is always read). 

Read about the 5 S! Great tricks for calming a baby. When mine was 6 weeks old, I had to bounce on a yoga ball holding a sideways and swaddled baby and saying “SHHHHHHH SHHHH SHHHHHH” at top volume into his ear, for several hours a day while he screamed….

Why the serious fuck does your husband get to go to bed at 10 pm every night. No way no how. My husband and I traded off nighttime wake ups every night when I was on mat leave and when I was back to work. Unless he’s like, a brain surgeon or a helicopter pilot, he doesn’t need 8 hours of interrupted sleep every night. (And even then he doesn’t!)

See your OBGYN about anxiety meds. All this worrying about cortisol and being a shit mom is common, but you can address it before it eats you up alive. 

Can your parent or sibling or best friend come help for a couple days? Even hire a night nanny for a few days? You need a break. 

Post # 51
699 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2007 - City, State

helixthecat :  Your baby is 6 weeks old. This is normal behavior for a nursing 6 week old. She wants her mother and she wants food. These are the things that make her feel safe and loved and secure. She is literally dependent on you for EVERYTHING. 

Post # 52
151 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

I could have written this post when my daughter was 5 weeks. I had just gone to my mommy and me class and everyone’s kid was sleeping a minimum of 5 hours a night at that point. Not my girl. I was lucky to get a solid hour. She also would not sleep during the day. I called the Ped once in tears when she was up for 6 hours straight. I finally told my husband the AAP was full of shit and safe sleep = no sleep. I bought a snuggle nest, which is an in bed bassinet, and double swaddled her. Here is the not safe part, I put two rolled up blankets at the bottom of the sunggle nest so she was ‘touched’ on all sides. Miracle of miracles I got a solid 3 hours. It started to get better after 8 weeks when I started getting 6-7 hour stretches. But I had to figure out what would help her sleep.

The first 3 months are all about survival. Throw out the notions of things being bad for her brain. Babies literaly pop out and go WTF why am I not warm and snuggled tight to mom anymore.  Her only sleeping while moving isn’t going to create a bad habit right now. Seriously, do what you need to do to sleep. You are not alone!

Also when my husband  would get home from work at 6, I would give him the baby and say see if you in 4 hours.


Post # 53
405 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

carolinabelle Yes, the dragon baby group saved me. That is what I recommended to OP. Thank God my baby went from a full on, full throttle fire breathing dragon to a dragicorn. She will never be a unicorn, but I will take what I can get. 

OP, that’s two for joining the group. I promise, it will help. There are over 30 thousand women who feel exactly the way you do. I don’t know if me and carolinabelle are in the same group, but here is the link to mine.


Post # 54
699 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2007 - City, State

PaperQueen :  Yep. This was my first. Started at 8pm and went until 3 or 4. It was HELL. 22 year old me had no fucking idea what I was doing. I finally, after researching to death, bought a $200 swing that she slept in for the first 3 months of her life, and put her on Nutramigen myself. I was shamed by her doctor for “quitting breastfeeding”. These things helped but didn’t solve it all. She still has issues with dairy. She was on soy milk until 3 1/2 and then we switched her to regular milk. 7 years later, I realize this switch is what caused a million issues for her, and why she was such a demon at 3 and 4, and then rapidly gained weight at age 5. I’m just now taking her off of dairy again at 10.5. When she has dairy, she is mean, nasty, moody.

Post # 55
8162 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

helixthecat :  my daughter has way less tantrums than “normal” but I attribute that to her advanced verbal skills more than our parenting techniques (although we do use distraction a lot rather than trying to force her to do something just because we said so). Tantrums are caused by frustration and my daughter has been speaking in sentences since 18 months so she can communicate very effectively which lessens a lot of frustration most kids have. When she does have one we focus on her feelings such as “I see that your frustrated because mommy is rushing you right now and you don’t feel in control. How about we take a breath together and you let me put on your shoes and I’ll let you pick out a book to bring in the car?”

And yes we will override her for things that really matter. She has sensitive skin so we avoid too many baths anyways but she HATED them as an infant. We just moved fast and tried to distract with toys. For shots I always brought her hungry so that she could nurse immediately after – one appointment she was screaming so much I didn’t realize that I’d completely pulled out my boob while the doctor was doing the last shot so I could get her latched quickly lol. She never took pacifiers so nursing was very comforting for her. You won’t be able to avoid all crying – the point of attachment parenting is that you stay with them rather than leaving them to cry alone. Oh… And if you DO leave your baby to cry for a minute you won’t scar them forever. I had moments where I was exhausted and overwhelmed and I put her in the bassinet screaming and ran to the bathroom to cry, breathe, and get my shit together for a minute so that I could go back and be the calm mama she needed. 

Post # 56
3224 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Yep! Same group. My toddler is a dragicorn too now, he’s a great kid and definitely better than I ever expected when he was acting like a demonic asshole as a baby, but he is not easy going or easy to deal with when he doesn’t get his way. I don’t expect he ever will be. But at least I know I’m not alone! 

zoraneale :  

Post # 57
132 posts
Blushing bee

Oh man, I just feel for you OP. My baby slept ok as a newborn, but then basically stopped sleeping when she was about 3.5 months old. It was terrible, and I had some really dark days. I think I have some sense of what you’re going through. I basically ignored all of the advice and just did what i needed to do to survive. I held her for every nap, I let her sleep all snuggled us next to me at night (where she would wake up every 45 minutes to nurse), she pretty much lived in the carrier. We just worked on breaking her of those habits later. It took a couple months of work, but really wasn’t that bad. Just do what you need to do now. And also experiment with some strategies that are a little easier on you. Like insects of walking around with him, sit in the rocking chair. Maybe it won’t work at first, but give it a few tries and see if he accepts it once he gets used to it. 

I think some babies just have more needs than others, and it’s hard when you get one of those babies. But it absolutely does not make you a bad mom. You clearly love her deeply and want to do what’s best. I know there’s so much conflicting advice, and so much of it is bullshit (I also felt like strangling the next person to tell me that I just had to put her down drowsy but awake). It’s stressful to try to sift through it under the best of circumstances, let alone when you haven’t slept in weeks.

I also think you really need to talk to someone about how you’re feeling. From your updates it really sounds like you might be experiencing some postpartum anxiety and/or depression. Two of my best friends sought help for PPD, and they both felt a million times better after getting some help. 

I really hope things get better for you soon. Remember that this will not last forever. You will get through it. And no one is expecting you to do it alone. 

Post # 58
1412 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

– If the books and advice are making you feel bad then throw them out and stop reading and researching.

– Find your tribe. Whether it be on FB or on Wedding Bee or at a local Playgroup or LLL. find the people that are going to support you and lift you up. Anybody else can f*ck right off!

– Set up a safe sleep space so that you and baby can go to bed together. Research the “Safe Sleep 7” and go to bed with your baby.

– Get out of the house every day. Even if it’s just a walk around the block or a visit to the grocery store the change of scenery and fresh air will do everybody good.

– My third child was colicky and she taught me that crying isn’t arbitrarily good or bad, sometimes it just it is. At this age it’s all about being responsive and attending to their needs as best as you can, the cortisol is only a problem if you’re leaving her alone to cry and not helping her wee body to regulate.

– I’m assuming your husband gets days off so when he does you need to give him the baby and either get out of the house or go to bed while he takes baby out. If your husband doesn’t recognise that you need support then tell him to f*ck right off and go and find the people that will help you.

– Humans are carry mammals and it’s exceptionally normal for them to crave the closeness of your arms and to not want to be apart from you. You are their safe space and recent evolution can’t override what is biologically normal.

– Celebrate the small wins – make your bed, take a shower and eat breakfast every day so you can at least know you’ve achieved those things and nourished yourself (my oldest child is almost seven and I still make sure I do those three things

– Go see your Dr and ask for help. Keep calling them until you get that help.

And lastly, you are doing a wonderful job as a mother and you and baby are both adjusting to a new normal. Throw away any expectations and just take it one feed and one nap at a time – this too, shall pass!

Post # 59
277 posts
Helper bee

Your husband needs to step up- no more of his excuses or making excuses for him.  In the interim, you need to contact your ped for home nurse recommendations, and get yourself some relief.  You need to contact up your OB and have an honest discussion about PPD and your current mental health.  This issue isn’t that there is anything wrong with your child or your parenting, but the sheer lack of support.  You need to put your foot down and put your self first- which in the long run, is the best for your child.  It’s like the airplane analogy-  you need to put on your oxygen mask first. 

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