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Old Aug 23rd, 2017, 14:16 PM   1
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First time mom feeling down...

I'm new to this site and I'm not sure if this is the right place for this post but just looking for a kind, listening ear. This is kind of long winded. Sorry...

First off, I am a first time mom to a beautiful four month old boy. My son has always been what I would call a "good natured" baby until a few weeks ago.

He would consistently sleep through the night (bed around 7-8 pm and up around 6-7 am) and napped appropriately throughout the day and was overall a happy baby. But lately he has been protesting naps (either taking 2-3 short 10-15 min naps or like one 30 minute nap all day) and fighting sleep no matter what you try. He also is now waking up once or twice a night now which makes for a tired mama. Is this is four month sleep regression that I've been reading about?

He also is breastfeeding CONSTANTLY (used to be about every 3 hours but now it is more like every 1.5-2 hours). I'm tired and my nipples are sore much like I have a newborn baby.

I just feel like I don't know what to do with him anymore to make him happy. Don't get me wrong, he has periods of happiness but a lot of the time I feel lost like I don't know what to do anymore to make him stop crying when he's been crying nonstop for hours despite feeding, changing, change of scenery, etc. Makes me feel like a failure for a mommy...

To make matters worse, my husband and I just recently moved states to be closer to family and went from living in a 2000 sq ft home to a 900 sq ft apartment. He works from home and I am a stay at home mom right now until I find a new job. It is very stressful to be in such tight quarters with my husband trying to keep baby quiet while he has a meeting or trying to not annoy the neighbors with a crying baby.

I used to be able to take my son for a strolled ride or car ride which would soothe him but now he screams bloody murder when he gets put in either of those as well...

My family is still about 2 hrs away so they can't help a ton but I'm just looking for a virtual hug or something to let me know that this is normal (or offer advice to try making my situation better). I just feel alone and helpless a lot of the time and lately kind of sad. My hubby helps some but only when I remind him that maybe it would be nice for him to get up with the baby once in a while at night and give me a break. He will for a night and then we're back to square one again. When I try to talk with him about this, he thinks I'm being dramatic. I'm starting to resent him, the baby, the move, everything and I feel helpless.

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Old Aug 24th, 2017, 01:27 AM   2
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Hun I am so sorry that you're stressed! 4 months is the magic number where our babies tend to change things up. There was a name for this but I can't remember it at the moment. The wonder weeks maybe? It has to do with mental development, our babies are learning and realizing new things and that tends to be very scary for them. It's not the same for every baby, though.

All I can say is tell you that it will pass. It's a storm that you have to weather through. It's nothing you did, you're a great mom!

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Old Aug 25th, 2017, 03:52 AM   3
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Everything you describe is normal and not 'caused' by anything you do. You're probably extra stressed by it because it seems like such a change from what he was before, but honestly I think it is really unusual for a young baby to sleep through for 10 hours and what he is doing now seems very "normal" (whatever that means!).

His brain is changing and he is getting much more aware of his surroundings, he is learning new skills constantly and this can lead to overstimulation and not wanting to 'miss' anything by going to sleep. Hs brain is racing and he doesn't know how to turn it off. He probably screams in the stroller or car because he associates this with the sleep he is fighting and there is less to distract him from his overtired brain - my LO did this. Could you buy (or hire) a sling/carrier? This would allow you to go for a walk and maybe he'd drift to sleep? Also persevere with the stroller - my LO would cry in hers right up until I got to the "correct" walking speed - which was a very swift pace that exhausted me - which would start to get her a bit more sleepy. Dark rooms can work very well for some babies but it is quite boring and isolating for parents!

In regards to the feeding more often, it may just be that it is comforting when he is feeling overtired and overstimulated and helps him wind-down, or it could be that after months of sleeping through the night he's just working on building your supply for the extra feeds he now needs for his growing brain. Also it means he's still taking most of his food during the day, as one or two night wake-ups is still 4-5hours between feeds which is quite a big gap. If your nipples are sore, it may be that the breastfeeding position you are using is now not getting him the best latch - which could also explain the more frequent feeding as he's not getting as much as he wants. This is quite common around 4months as babies get much bigger and have to be held a little differently to keep the "nose-to-nipple" position. Have you investigated breastfeeding support groups in your new neighbourhood?

Your home situation doesn't seem ideal and seems to be adding to your stress as you are worrying about trying to keep things OK for your husband and your neighbours. I want to say right now - THIS IS NOT YOUR JOB. Your job right now is to keep your baby safe and well and nurtured, and sometimes you wont know what to do and he will cry. If your husband or your neighbours have a magic fix for a crying baby I'd love them to tell the rest of the world who are just muddling along not knowing what we are doing. Yes it's not nice having a baby crying next door, but they are adults (presumably) who probably have the option of listening to music on headphones, wearing ear plugs, leaving the apartment to go for a walk or go to work. Some of them may even have been where you are right now and sympathise. Have a frank discussion with your husband about how the living arrangement is impacting his work/your sanity. You didn't force him to work from home in a small apartment with a new baby against his will - it may not be what he would have wished for in an ideal world but it isn't what you wished for either and is not your fault. On talking about it you may find he is accepting of it, and not bothered by LO crying, or maybe even wants to help at times (not sure what job he does from home and the type of flexibility so I'm just guessing). You already have a massively stressful job being a mum - please don't take on anyone else stress on top of that.

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Old Aug 25th, 2017, 14:38 PM   4
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Hey, just wanted to send you a virtual . I would say that the first year (sorry if that's depressing!!) is really hard going. They are learning so much, developing so quickly it can all just get a bit overwhelming for them - and for you.

My youngest is one and he has been a real challenge all year. We haven't had it as bad as some families but we've struggled with silent reflux and dairy intolerance, plus he is just naturally very loud! Despite the health issues, we definitely noticed a change for the worse from 4 months, and he also did what your son does with naps. It is so frustrating. He will only sleep longer than 30 minutes if he is either in the car or I am lying down with him (which I don't mind, incidentally!)

I am pretty sure our neighbours must be quite fed up hearing him at 3am or whatever, but I've learnt to get over it. It's really hard when it's yours - you feel like they are the loudest child ever and everyone must get really annoyed by them! But people can be more understanding than you might think, or if they are not, as the person above said they are adults, they will just have to deal with it! Babies cry, that's all there is to it. They have no other way to communicate. You are absolutely NOT failing as a mamma - you are trying to do your best for your child, your husband and your neighbours, who shouldn't be your concern. I know it's so hard not to worry about these things but honestly, life gets a lot easier once you stop caring quite so much about these other people; I have learnt that this year!!

I second the idea of a baby carrier - ours has been very well used. Also what about some mum/baby groups in your area? It could be a good way to meet new people and have other parents to talk to. I sympathise with the family situation as mine are 1.5 hours away and my husband also doesn't get up in the night. I mean yes he is disturbed by the crying and he has to go to work but it is so draining to be the one up all the time. I would try and talk to him about it again. My husband does the whole "oh I don't really like babies, I like them when they're older" thing, which is fair enough if that's how he feels but it's no good when the kids ARE babies. It just puts all the work on me. At least one morning a week he gets the kids sorted out in the morning and I stay in bed. We also try to give each other an hour or so to ourselves at the weekend. He is stressed with work and he doesn't get much down time, which I appreciate - so just being able to go off for a coffee alone whilst the other has the kids helps to refresh you a little bit.

I remember the first year with our first - it really feels like there's no light at the end of the tunnel but I promise you, there is. This past year has been really difficult for us but having had a child already it has been easier for me to cope, knowing that things absolutely do get better. Hang on in there

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Old Aug 26th, 2017, 16:33 PM   5
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I just want to send that to you first.

If I remember correctly, four months is around the time of the dreaded "sleep regression". One of the big ones, anyway, in that many babies around four months will suddenly wake up a lot, will be fussier than normal, etc.

I remember. I remember the sleepless nights, I remember wondering if I'd even get my sweet little baby back, I remember feeling helpless because nothing I did could soothe my baby. I felt like she had been replaced by an evil fairy - a changeling. Four months and 6 months were the hardest. I've always had a hyper, demanding baby. But four months and six months brought out a demon.

I just wanted to let you know... it does get better. You probably feel like it will never end, and that your sweet baby is gone. He's not. He's still there. This is a hard time for both parent and baby. his world is growing, expanding, and you're there for the ride. You have to deal with a baby who cannot speak your language. But it gets better. I don't recall exactly when it got better, but one night... I woke up at 3 am and realized my baby hadn't woken up at all. And then one day it was four o'clock, and I was bracing myself for her witching hour, and it just never came.

It gets better.

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Old Aug 26th, 2017, 23:06 PM   6
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One of the best things I was told with my first child is not to expect a baby's sleep to be linear, meaning things don't just continually improve as time goes on. There are tons of ups and downs, they will sleep amazingly well for the longest time them start waking 10 times a night even though nothing has changed from your perspective. It is all normal, albeit frustrating and exhausting! I found the constant change during the first year to be very frustrating, as soon as you feel some sense of routine and prefictability in your life things suddenly change, baby goes through a cranky phase or starts dropping a nap or something. The only thing you can do is just go with the flow, focus on baby and don't worry about everyone else. If your OH is bothered by the baby I'm sure he can go find a coffee shop to work in (assuming all he needs is his phone and computer). part of living in an apartment building is hearing your neighbors, it's unavoidable, so stop worrying about your baby bothering them. My little boy is pretty unsettled and fussy during the day (but his nights are quite good) and I find wearing him in a carrier to be the best way to survive the days. It was definitely an adjustment for me because my little girl was an extremely happy and content baby during the day (but her nights were horrible!) so I wasn't used to having a baby that would scream whenever he was put down, but you just have to adjust and just find ways to survive the day. Try finding some mom and baby groups or play groups that you can join, baby might cry on the way there but at least it's a change of scenery for you and gets you out of the house and into a place where people understand what your are going through. Just hang in there, things will get better!

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