I really think you need to deal with your own issues of stress/anxiety first, then focus on bub. He's probably picking up on the stress anyway. But I just wanted to say as many other PP's have said, some babies just don't settle. They don't lie down in their cots like the text books say, and gently drift off to sleep. They cry, a lot. And you can't calm them down.
My DS1 was exactly like this. He would not ever ever let me put him down. He cried a lot, for no reason. I had to wrap and rock him to sleep, and hold him while he slept, until he was 13 months old. Fortunately for me, he was my first baby, I had read no text books, I was not a forum member, and none of my friends had babies. So to me, he was normal, therefore I wasn't stressed that it wasn't working, I wasn't upset, so he wasn't picking up on any stress which would have just made him worse.
He's now 11 and doesn't ever let me touch him, so luckily I got all those cuddles in when he was younger.
I'm not saying your baby isn't ever going to settle, but I guess what I'm trying to say in the nicest way possible is- deal with it. If you have tried so many things like you say, then you are just going to have to deal with it. Get it out of your head that your baby should have a routine and feed nicely then go to sleep in a cot. Because it just might not happen.
Learn how to either make meals you can eat (and cook) with one hand, or just learn how to eat with only a fork. Learn to love day time TV while you sit on the lounge with a sleeping baby on your chest. Learn to have a little fun and rock him off to sleep while dancing to music on the radio. Learn to hang out washing and do ALL other housework with one hand. Learn to pick things up with your feet, so that you don't have to bend down and wake the baby.
This is all stuff I did with my DS1. It's actually really easy when you get the hang of it. Yes it's different to what every other mother is doing, and if you go to a MCHN you will get very frowned upon, but ###k them, they don't know how hard it is to have a baby that just doesn't settle.
But first things first, deal with your anxiety. Have you been to the GP? Have you thought about PND as well? It doesn't have to be this hard, and just reading all your posts about how hard everything has been is making me exhausted.
Good luck and I hope this doesn't come across as heartless.
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leaving him for 4 minutes alone gives him an opportunity to know once you know he's full, warm, wrapped etc and you put him down that its sleep time.
So give him 4 minutes, if he doesn't settle or is too worked up (even before 4 minutes is up) go to him and do the pat shhhhhhh but don't pick him up.
Just wanted to say YAY! for the little guys first sleep without you having to be with him.
I know you said using a carrier was hard, but have you tried one of the ones that you can cross straps with? I wear DD2 a lot, and constantly in the beginning, and an ergo and I think a manduca you can cross the back straps so it makes it so much more comfortable and you don't feel baby at all.
I feel for you, I really do My DD was the same, we had the feeding issues like you are having. It's hard *** work. I had PND and horrible anxiety issues and once I learnt to deal with that, dealing with DD was a lot easier.
I wrote a post earlier but read it back and it was a flipping essay! Deleted it cos was embarrassed how long it was.
I think some members have been giving you really good advice. Some babies are MUCH more needy than others. This could be due to health problems (and often is) or temperament/intellect or both.
Maybe you will get your baby doing *exactly* what the "books" say but at what cost? What cost to you and your baby?
Routines are supposed to serve you and your baby, not the other way around!! If a routine isn't work for you (and I'm not saying don't give it a try. I tried for many months...) then don't work for it!!
If you become a slave to a routine, which won't work for a high needs baby anyway, then you will be more and more isolated, more anxious tip toe-ing round your house, just waiting for the cry to start up...10 minutes, 20, 30 whatever after you've put your bubs down...and to settle in a cot and shh/pat to sleep, which may have taken you double the time he sleeps for anyway.
Looking back on this time you will wish you'd just taken your baby to bed with you and let him feed to sleep or got out of the house anyway and savoured some precious moments of sharing the outdoors with your baby--even if he was crying for some of it.
In my opinion, your baby is asking for MORE reassurance and security from you and not less. Self settling and stuff at this early stage will not make him feel reassured or secure. I am quite sure that how hard I tried to 'help' my son actually made his sleep worse in the long run and for a long time. He didn't sleep through until 2 years 4 months and still wakes up more nights than not at 2 years and 8 months.
At least now he knows sleep is a safe and good place, but I made a mess of things trying to 'fix' everything and we didn't even do CIO or CC.
I don't mean to be disrespectful, but the mums who say that you're just missing his tired signs, not giving him enough play, just reading him wrong...if your baby is truly high needs (mine was, sounds like yours is too) they are just dangling carrots your way. I don't believe any mum who has raised a truly high needs baby could ever believe that a slight 'tweak' to a routine is all that lies between your baby and perfect sleep, etc. If they'd had a high needs baby, they would know that that just isn't true!
And the post above this is nearly an essay. My bad. Never been good at the short version of things, lol!
This! What you say about high needs bubs and those that haven't had one can't truly understand. I spent the first 6 to 8 weeks stressing about bubs sleep soooo much. She would never be put down and would go from whinge to hysterical in 5secs. Once I chilled out and found a way to let go of expectations and make life easier (bulk cooking when hubby home, having lots of easy to grab snacks etc) we were both happier. Now at 10mths she is still a pretty craps sleeper but we go with the flow and it's much better because I have coping mechanisms.
When DD is an adult I'm never going to look back and say I wish she slept in her cot more.
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