Well, I am going to be THAT mom that tells you about my experiences with my “not so-easy child”. Please don’t take this as I don’t love my child, or I am angry/upset with my child. This is not the case at all! He is my WHOLE entire world and I love him with EVERYTHING despite how hard it has been! But, I will be the first to admit and be honest with you about how my child has not been the easiest child. Sometimes you’ll talk to mom’s who will tell you how their babies sleep all the time and they barely cry. Well, I am here to tell you about dealing with the complete opposite type of scenario. I am here to talk about the struggles that I have had since day one of bringing my son home.
My Son’s First Month Home
I will never forget the feeling I had when we were bringing our son home from the hospital for the first time. I was overwhelmed with SOO many feelings. I was anxious, excited, worried, exhausted, yet so in love all at the same time. It’s crazy how you go through labor and deliver your beautiful baby and a few days later (sometimes more) they release you from the hospital and simply say, Good Luck! It can be extremely terrifying knowing that all the responsibility is in your hands. There are no nurses or doctors just outside your door anymore. It is all up to you and your significant other.
The first month of my son’s life was absolutely amazing but it was also very HARD. He is definitely one of the babies you say are “not-so-easy”. When you talk to other mom’s who talk about how good their babies have been sleeping and how they barely make a peep. Yes you are happy for them but you are also secretly despising them. This was me, especially the first month I brought my son home. Who I am kidding, this is still me but not nearly as bad.
Sleeping at Night
The first struggle I am going to discuss is sleep. I am that type of mom who constantly researches information. This can be good and bad. I had it ingrained in my head that the only way to put my son down to sleep at night is the “SAFE” way, which is in a bassinet on his back with nothing else. Now don’t get me wrong this definitely is the safest way to put a baby to sleep but it is not the ONLY way and at the time I believed it was. I started to dread night time to the point that I would basically start crying when night time came around. Night time meant I had to spend another full night trying to get my son to go down in his bassinet and continue to fail and be sleep deprived. My son HATED the bassinet. I would sit in the recliner with him rocking and feeding him until he was sound asleep, and I mean sound asleep. Once he was sound asleep I would place him into the bassinet and I kid you not within 15-30 minutes later he was up screaming and crying AGAIN. It felt like every single time I would go to lay down in bed, 5 minutes later I was up again. It was a very draining process and mentally very challenging. I did this for two weeks. Finally my husband made me realize it was okay to try other ways to get him to sleep. My husband was worried I was going to get sick and risk my own health because I was only getting 2 hours of sleep at night. Enough was enough and I decided to co-sleep with my son. This changed everything. Literally the first night he slept for 3-4 hours straight which was like HEAVEN to me! I don’t understand why in the US they are so against co-sleeping. In other countries they teach SAFE co-sleeping and have mom’s co-sleep in the hospital with their babies. I wish it was like that here because you constantly feel like you have to do things a certain way or else you are a bad mom. That was me, I felt like I was a bad mom for not being able to get my son to sleep in the bassinet. I felt like a bad mom at first with having my son co-sleep. But then I researched more and found safe ways to co-sleep and I finally started to feel good about myself again. So I am here to tell you that sometimes you have to do what works best for you and your baby. That is OK and you are still an amazing mother!
The second struggle I am going to discuss is daytime and daytime naps. I was under the impression that my son would basically sleep 24-7. Majority of the time all you hear is “all babies do is sleep”. Yeah, no that is definitely not always the case and it was not the case for me. My son would stay up ALL day if he could’ve. When I say he would stay up all day, this does not mean he was content. He would most certainly cry and fuss because he was tired but could not sleep without help. He is not the type of baby you can just put down and he’ll doze off, or hold and he will doze off. He needed to be held all day and rocked in order to fall asleep. This meant no naps for momma, and no sitting down for momma. My boy needed constant movement. Thank god for baby wraps, and thank god my son liked them because these were LIFE changing. I would place him in my wrap and just walk and bounce throughout the day to get my son to sleep. But wait for it, you can’t sit because the minute I sat down, his eyes were wide open it’s like he knew. This was great for exercise, but damn was momma tired. I was doing this up until a few weeks ago when my son was about 1.5-2 months of age. I finally have been able to put my son down for naps. I have to place him in the swing because hello he still needs movement. But, putting him down for any nap was a victory for me! At first he would only do 1-2 naps in the swing and the rest in the wrap but as we progressed he is now able to go down for every single nap! Yay victories!!
Later on in a future post, I will be discussing in specific detail how I was able to finally get my son down for naps. So, don’t worry if your baby is that type of baby that can’t be put down for naps yet it will get better. I have proof and the experience!
Evening Fussiness/Witching Hour
You may or may have not heard about the “witching hour” yet. The witching hour is when your baby continues to cry and be fussy for about an hour for no reason and is basically inconsolable. Yep you guessed it, my son also had a witching hour. It is most common in the evening time which is when my son had it. Generally at about 5:00pm every night you could count on my son starting his witching hour/fussiness. But, for us it was not usually just an hour. He pretty much had fussiness throughout the entire evening until we went to bed. The ways that I got through his fussy times during the evening were again wearing him while bouncing or putting him on my boob. Those were the only TWO things that would work for us. I started to get used to eating while standing, eating with one hand while holding and feeding him with the other or just not eating dinner at all. It was ROUGH I won’t lie to you there were many times that I hated my life during these moments. I hated that I felt like there was nothing I could do for my son. I hated that no matter what I did he was not happy. It was the worst feeling in the entire world. But, I am also here to tell you it will get better I promise! The first month was the worst, it slowly improved and by the time he hit 2 months he had very mild fussiness during the evening times. Now, I can put him down while I cook/eat dinner at nights which is AMAZING! I truly believe it got better 1) because he is getting older, and 2) because I was so consistent with his daytime/nap time routines. Jameson finally goes down to sleep for his last nap in his swing where for the longest time his last nap still had to occur in the carrier.
Car Seat/Baby Carrier Struggles
Well you see my son is funny. He loves movement and constantly had to be rocked in a carrier his first month of his life to sleep. He used to love car rides, and walks in the stroller as well due to the movement. But, for some crazy reason now my son HATES his car seat, HATES car rides, and HATES being in the carrier. Even though he still has to have movement to sleep he HATES all of those things. It makes car rides very difficult especially since we live farther out and have to travel about 25-30 minutes to anywhere we want to go. Every time I drive with him in the car now he will scream and cry almost the entire time. Talk about stress! The only time he can be content is if Jeremy is driving and I am sitting in the back next to him. But, this does not always work either and he will just continue to cry until he is out of that darn car seat. Crazy right? I think it is because my son hates to be constricted now that he is moving a lot more. But, who really knows? All I know is that it stinks because I went from being a SUPER ACTIVE mom going on walks throughout the day to get my son to sleep, car rides sometimes if we were desperate, and rocking for 30-40 minutes at a time. Now, my son hates 2 out of those 3 things. So don’t be surprised if your baby goes through these random changes. It is like once you have one thing figured out, another thing pops up that you have to try to figure out. Well, I am still trying to figure out the car seat situation so I don’t have advice for you yet. I have tried using a vibrating cushion, toys hanging from the top, and a white noise machine in the car and it does not help at all. But, maybe those things could help you! I have also tried feeding my son right before we leave, or transferring while he is sleeping and both of those do not help either. If I do find things that work/help I will keep you in the loop I promise.
As you can see my journey with Jameson has not been the easiest journey so far. Although it has been pretty difficult it still has been an amazing experience that I would not change for the world. I am here to tell you that if you are going through this right now it really does get better. Whenever mom’s would say that to me in the moment it really did not help me feel better to be honest. Usually I would brush it off, and say to myself when? When is this going to get better? I was constantly hard on myself thinking it was something I was doing wrong. I would cry to my husband all the time thinking I was not doing enough. But, I will tell you that you are doing everything you can, I know you are and that is all you can do. It takes time, consistency and patience and I know having patience is one of the hardest things when you have listened to your baby cry all day long. I know you are exhausted, I know you are at your wit's end but you can DO it! I believe in you, you need to believe in yourself.
More Stories Coming Soon!
There are some other struggles that I will be touching on in other stories including gassiness/pooping and cluster feeding. One of the other biggest struggles for us was gassiness/pooping. Jameson struggled to poop and would often cry so hard, arch his back and turn red while trying to poop and fart. We also went through a period where Jameson would “cluster-feed” from 6-10pm every night for almost the whole first month of his life. Continue to look out for these stories in the near future. I will go into specific detail regarding both of these topics.