Experienced moms--does it get easier?

Manmohini

Cathlete
My son is 9 weeks, and although he is mellowing, he is still a fussy baby. Most of what I've read or heard says that by 3-4 months, the fussiness begins to diminish if the child isn't suffering from an undiagnosed food allergy. Is this true? Does it get easier? I swaddle my son a lot at night because if I don't, he thrashes about and wakes himself up constantly. It is hard for him to sleep soundly on his back in the day as well, but I've heard that too much swaddling can impair hip development. Anyhow, I get exhausted by all of the fussiness. Please somebody tell me that it's true that the first few weeks are the hardest. If it gets any harder than this, I fear I won't have the skills or stamina to respond well.

Manmohini
 

coradora

Cathlete
Yes, it does get easier. I remember the first night my daughter slept through the night - I think I got even less sleep than usual because I kept checking on her :)

I have never heard that swaddling can cause hip problems - I know that it helped both my daughters feel more secure and relaxed.

Have you also tried to use a baby carrier to keep your son close to your body during the day when you are doing things around the house? This comforted my little ones and helped with napping a lot.

You should be back to regular sleep and have your confidence and stamina built up in time for the next extra challenging stage - mobile baby that is into everthing :)

Don't worry - being a parent is the hardest job there is and you are usually thrown into it with no prior training. If possible, try to connect with other moms in your area who will be a great source of info and support. I highly reccomend a playgroup to make you feel less isolated.
 

FitNurseRN

Cathlete
I am not an expierience mom but, i found some good info from the happiest baby on the block. i got the dvd but there is a book out there also.

melissa
 

nspaulding3

Cathlete
Yes! It gets much easier. My son (now 3) was a very intense, fussy baby and he turned into a very happy and fun baby once he started crawling.

I've never heard anything about swaddling causing hip development problems, but if makes you feel any better I swaddled my son every time he slept or napped for the first three months because it was the only way he would sleep other than in a car or swing. He is a very healthy 3 year old now. Swadding was a life saver for me. To get any less sleep in my opinion would have a also been bad for his developement (and my mental state).

Hang in there.
 

Shopahollic

Cathlete
I found weeks 8-12 the worst. I was close to tears alot since DD#1 was up alot during the day but couldn't be comforted. At about 4 months, DD#1 began sleeping through the night and right around this time she became a person ,with her own happy personality. DD#2 was tough at times but an easier newborn than DD#1. Now at 20 months and 4 years old they are alot of fun. It does get better!
 

Stephanie0523

Cathlete
Yes, it gets easier. The first few months are SO hard. One thing that worked wonders with my first son and his fussiness during those first several weeks was the vacuum cleaner. Yes, the vacuum cleaner. The sound of it would lull him to sleep or either calm him totally. Let's just say, I had REALLY clean carpets those first few months. We even taped the sound of the vacuum cleaner and would play the tape to him when he was extra fussy. I think now they sell CDs of vacuum cleaner noise. A sound machine also helped him drift off to sleep at night. Also, have you asked your doc if your baby is lactose intolerant? If you're bottle feeding, this might be an issue too. My DS was lactose intolerant, and I had to buy a lactose-free formula, which really helped his fussiness too.
 

Manmohini

Cathlete
Thanks, ladies. To answer some questions, I sling him all day long, I breasfeed him on cue, I do not take dairy products, I even sleep with him. He does like white noise, and we use it. We use all of the strategies from "The Happiest Baby on the Block" and they work. I am part of a play group that brings us meals on a regular basis. My husband is on 3-month leave and co-parenting with me, so I don't feel isolated.

I guess I'm just wondering--when will I be able to put him down and he'll just fall asleep? A friend of mine who had a baby the same time as I said her son just started to do this. What a relief! Every time my son gets tired or overtired, he gets cranky and requires an enormous effort of at least an hour (swaddling, rocking, sucking, feeding, slinging, drives in the car, white noise, you name it) to get him to sleep. These things really work and I certainly don't begrudge soothing the poor little guy through his stress because he is my heart's treasure, but it is so damn tiring!

A week ago, his hands started to find his mouth and he's been sucking on fist and fingers. Sometimes he'll sit contentedly for 5 or 10 minutes doing this, so who knows, maybe we're about to turn a corner.

But all of this effort just to fall asleep.....Ay Caramba!

All of the books say at 12-14 weeks, fussiness diminishes. Please, please, please continue to tell me that that's true. My little one is coming up on 10 weeks soon. I think I can push through another month of this.
Manmohini
 

obrn

Cathlete
Manmohini
My oldest child, who turns (gulp)22 in April was horrible. I'd always wanted to be a mother, and when I finally was one, I thought I couldn't have made a worse mistake. My whole life revolved around getting/keeping him quiet/content. Fussy, screaming . .. .and when he wasn't he was just plain fretful. It seemed like nothing worked twice in a row, I was always coming trying to come up w/ a new way to soothe him. Being my first, I read everything I could ahead of time, wanted to everything just right, didn't want to make any mistakes. I'm not kidding when I say that, when my maternity leave was over I practially RAN to work to get away and feel competent at something again.
It does get easier. The first night my son slept thru the nite (sorry, I can't remember when, around 3-4 mos), I slept like I was in a coma. When I woke up and realized I'd slept all nite, I was afraid to go into his room to check on him, for fear something horrible had happened.
With all these years of perspective, there are some things I would have done differently. I breastfed exclusively and think a bottle of formula, given by someone else, who loved him (one of his grandmothers/aunts e.g.) would have done my husband and me a world of good if we could have gotten out of the house for a couple hrs. without him. I thought it would somehow 'ruin' him, but really, he was a high needs tightly wrapped firstborn and all that breastmilk and bonding wasn't making him happy and I was feeling like an enormous frustrated failure. (For the record, I have 3 children. My first had and has the most intense temprament. Part of it is just who he is, but I do think I contributed by desire to be his everything, not accepting help and feeling I could somehow change him. I think all firstborns have the potential to make their new moms feel inadequate, and high needs babies most of all. By the time I'd had my 2nd 2 yrs. later, I'd re-examined and revised a lot of my preconceived notions of what it meant to be a good parent. Kids 2&3 each got an occasional bottle and strangely, I breastfed my middle child the longest, but each well beyond their first birthday. I did work outside the home, but was able to pump to keep my supply up for when I was home and nursed 'em like crazy.
Some kids are just tough. When you're in the minute to minute mess of trying to keep your head above water, it seems like it will never get better. But it WILL. And you'll love him always, even if you don't LIKE him always. I promise.
Valerie
 

Stebby

Cathlete
Hi Manmohini,

Oh my, I remember those days. I was so exhausted, I was in tears or close to tears much of the time, and I was afraid it would last forever. I felt so inadequate. I will never forget what a lady said to me one day during that time. She acknowledged that I was going through a very intense time, but I should look for the joy in it, sleeplessness and all. She said, "You won't believe how much easier your life will be a year from now. It will go quickly and it will pass - be present in the life that you have now." And you know what? She was right. My daughter settled down at around 3 months, and things got progressively easier after that, month by month. She is now 5 1/2 years old and life continues to get easier.

Stebby
 

jaypea

Cathlete
Stephanie, I had to laugh about the vacuum cleaner. My sis-in-law actually bought a vacuum cleaner CD for their baby. They played it all the time when he was a newborn because that was the only way he would sleep. Now, they play it when he goes to sleep (he will be a year in April). Every time I would visit, I would ask her if she left her vacuum cleaner on! So, now they have CDs with that sound so you can save your electricity.:)
-Jen
 

Hej

Active Member
It gets much, much easier!! Not only because the baby will get better (and he will), but also YOU will feel better, i.e. you will recover slowly from your pregnancy and feel more and more like your old pre-pregnant self.

Both DD1 (now 4) and DD2 (7 months) had trouble falling asleep at the beginning and screamed as if we were sticking them with pins no matter what we did. If they were swaddled while they were rocked, bounced, etc., they screamed for shorter periods before finally dropping off and stayed asleep longer, but they still screamed, sometimes for hours, and it wasn't pretty;( . We took to wearing earplugs and that helped us a bit. The screaming ended by 4 1/2 - 5 months, and then I was really able to *enjoy* my babies, especially DD2. I am having *much* more fun with DD2, not because she's so much different than DD1 was, but because I'm different. This time I really understand that babies get sad, tired, irritated like anyone else and nobody can be happy all the time. When she's fussy I do what I can and if it doesn't work I sympathize, but don't feel stressed out and like a failure like I did with DD1. It doesn't "get to me" the way it did before, and anyway, I *can't* cater to DD2 every single minute (which I tried to do with DD1), because I still have DD1 to take care of. With DD1 I sometimes felt like an idiot at the beginning for trading in my job as a happy, competent, well-paid high school teacher for a job as an exhausted, useless, stressed-out slave, LOL. With DD2 now 7 months, I'm savoring *most* of my minutes with her because I know now how fast the baby months are gone. Big hugs to you!! The first few months are the hardest, and it gets a lot easier as time goes on.

Mary
 

star_dust

Cathlete
My dd is 14 mos old and it DOES get so much easier. I think when you become a parent, your limits are tested to the max! I remember at 2 mos, 3 mos, 4 mos etc telling myself I couldn't do it anymore!


Thanks, ladies. To answer some questions, I sling him all day long, I breasfeed him on cue, I do not take dairy products, I even sleep with him. He does like white noise, and we use it. We use all of the strategies from "The Happiest Baby on the Block" and they work. I am part of a play group that brings us meals on a regular basis. My husband is on 3-month leave and co-parenting with me, so I don't feel isolated.

As for putting ouyr baby down and just having it fall asleep? I am still not there yet! I think every parent wishes for that!:) BUT, think about how you sleep. Do you just lay in bed and conk, you're out? You just have to keep the routine going, whatever that routine may be. I bf dd and then hold her with a lovie for about 2 min before I put her in her crib and she sleeps. And that is so much easier than it was in the beginning. You just take small steps to get ther and help your baby along the way. Think of it this way - you have to teach your child to calm him/herself down and sleep. That is probably the biggest task during the first year - bigger than feeding even. He sounds like a very normal baby in this regard. Keep teaching him and loving him through it:) It really sounds like you are doing all of the right things. I think around 4 months, you can start introducing a more of a loose nighttime routine that will help cue your baby if you haven't already. I just remember that they start noticing it around 4-6 mos in age.

I remember 9-10 weeks very well! Suddenly her nursing condensed a lot and she had power poops! Life (hers and mine) did start to turn a corner around this age as well. You'll make it!
 

melanalyus

Cathlete
I must be a outcaster,...but I don't think it gets easier,....just different. Every age has it's challenges (and rewards). I do find that we (moms) seem to get more experienced,...and that helps. ;)
~Melanie~

Jadon born 11/23/05
Justin born 1/17/04
Jory born 4/9/94
 

Our Newsletter

Get awesome content delivered straight to your inbox.

Top