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New here....need some advice...

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  • New here....need some advice...

    I'm a first time mom to an 8 month old son. He's been co-sleeping with us since day one, and it's made our lives a lot easier thusfar. We also have been exclusively breastfeeding.

    My problem is that I'm beginning to get 'done' with it. I'm getting touched out and mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted being my son's only source of comfort. It's getting to the point where I'm getting frustrated with my son, and that's not good. I feel terrible about being short with him, but I'm his only care provider (my husband works long hours and really isn't able to do much other than play with our son for awhile at night so that I can maybe shower) and am literally touching him all day, every day. I'm considering weaning to formula for the next few months. I'm also considering moving him to his crib....but I have no idea how to do so. I just don't know how to continue happily co-sleeping right now. He nurses to sleep for naps and at night, and I have NO intention of letting him CIO at how do I move him to his crib while still maintaining some AP principles??

    I'm just feeling super guilty and upset about feeling this way. I love my son more than anything, I'm just worrying that I've dug myself a hole that I have no idea how to get out of. If I planned on extended nursing or co-sleeping till he asks for his own bed, fine --- but I just don't think I can do that. So how do I go about getting him to sleep in his crib happily??

  • #2
    Is he crawling or sitting up by himself? That was immensely helpful when my baby started playing for a while by himself. Do you have a group near you or at least other mothers that you like that could come over and play with him while you get some 'me' time. You certainly seem worn out and maybe you should try to remedy that before you make any drastic changes.

    Making the big switches you suggest actually are a lot of work for you, it wouldn't totally make it a walk in the park! Cleaning and preparing bottles for the first time...the patience required to be attentive and still get him used to the crib.
    Is your baby eating? Sometimes I can get 20 min free of baby time (I am still in the room) by giving him some food to eat (for him to fed himself!-- small pieces of fruit) Are there other stressors that you could remove at the moment to help with your feelings of exhaustion? Let the house get a little dirty, go outside, go visit a friend a few hours away.....
    Is your baby teething or otherwise uncomfortable and then as a result extra clingy?


    • #3
      i hear your stress and exhaustion. you're feeling touched out. being the sole provider is difficult. it sounds like you need a little R & R for yourself. switching to formula and the crib are not likely to solve these issues. in fact, you may end up becoming more stressed.

      formula feeding is a lot more work (ETA: not to mention A LOT more expensive!). then you may have to deal w/digestive issues related to that, esp. after EBF. you and your son may also have a difficult time w/the weaning process.

      my second son sleeps in his own bed (my oldest is still w/us it's the way that he's insisted since he was very young. and let me tell you, it drives me nuts! if he needs anything (and he always does) i have to actually get out of bed to take care of him. getting up and down all nite doesn't end b/c they're not next to you and/or not bfing.

      all this being said, you have to do what's right for your family and what you can find peace in your heart to do. i just wanted to let you know that these may not be the solution to your problems. try to get some reinforcements for yourself. naomi had some good suggestions. and let us know how you're doing.....
      Last edited by PaxMamma; 07-03-2008, 08:58 AM.


      • #4
        i can personally attest to how bothersome formula is. i was soooooo happy to finally get my oldest latched on so i didnt have to make all those bottles! all that washing and drying and mixing and warming. its maddness.
        we often think how easy formula and cribs are but they can be a brain melting too.

        a little ot: have you tried a mei tai or wrap?
        people often forget they have the baby on thier backs, its a passive touch. and you can get stuff done without a baby in your face all the time...


        • #5
          i also have to add. like naomi said 'go outside'

          sometimes part of touchedoutness can be claustrophobic and taking walks/playing outside can help alot more than youd ever think.


          • #6
            Thank you all so much for your kind welcome and advice.

            I do wear my son all the time outside the home, and some of the time inside. He's crawling now, so he wants to be into everything.

            I know in my heart that weaning and/or stopping co-sleeping wouldn't be the solution to my problems. I think I just need help. My husband works long hours and really isn't able to help much with our son beyond playing with him long enough to let me shower.

            I think our whole family unit is just under a lot of stress right now -- my husband is looking for a new job, as his current job is sucking the life out of him.

            I think we just need to recharge -- we're going on vacation with our whole family Sunday, that should really help.

            ETA I can't really take DS outside much right now because of the TERRIBLE mosquitos...the worst I've ever seen them. I used to take him out running random errands just to get out, but with gas prices....ick.


            • #7
              do you have any friends or family that can help? is there a LLL or API group near you? could you hire a mother's helper? it's awesome that you recognize that you need help. now you just have to put a plan in place to get some.


              • #8
                I think what you express here and in your BFing thread are really normal!! I often feel very trapped and touched-out that first year. I particularly did with my 1st!!

                I think a huge part of the problem for me is that it felt like it would last forever and I'd NEVER get to be by myself again. It wasn't until my oldest got older that I realized how fast that infancy stage goes by. When you're there is seems never-ending. Now that my oldest is 5 it seems too short (and I imagine that when he's 20+ it will seem like it never happened!)

                I agree with PP's advice to get some YOU time for sure. Now that I'm back in the infancy stage again I'm working hard at staying in the moment and not fighting it. Having an infant is hard, hard work - I'd forgotten how hard - so give yourself a break and some credit for all you're doing. Both the good news and the bad is that they're only little for a short time.


                • #9
                  I agree! With my first, I thought it would never end. Now that she's 4, she's been in 'her bed' for about a year, and I miss her madly!

                  I think the best part is that that you are aware of your feelings and want to do something about it. BRAVO!! But as has been pointed out here, what seems like an easy solution (formula and cribs) isn't always.