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7 wk old hungry baby and tired mommy

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  • 7 wk old hungry baby and tired mommy

    hi. my name is erika and i am a single WAHM to my baby boy, juice. we are feeding on demand and cosleeping as well as baby wearing and i need lots of advice and have much to learn. for one thing, juice wants to be on the breast nearly every waking moment. so he is. on rare occasion i let him suck my finger for a minute and if he is not genuinely hungry this pacifies, but i don't want to give him an actual *pacifier*. still, it is very difficult to do simple things like get myself something to eat or go to the bathroom. i spend a lot of time stuck under the baby just starving to death, sometimes for hours, or having to pee for a very long time but not wanting to upset him so i just wait. i have found a way to prop up my breast and the baby so i can nurse hands free. this allows me some time to try to work (i am an illustrator) or answer emails but i am getting very little done, really. i am a single parent and without my income there is no income, so i have to work this out. at some point when he is bigger being on my lap all day while i'm working is going to be really hard. as it is, reaching over him to type and draw has caused me some rather severe chronic pain in my neck, back and shoulder. i want to do what is best for my baby and i know he will not always need these things of me, but i need to be able to eat, pee and work. what do i do? i have tried wearing him in a carrier at my desk but he will not go for this. he wants to be nursing and anything other than just makes him upset. thoughts? suggestions? casseroles?? i thought when you had a new baby people were supposed to bring casseroles....

    erika & juice

  • #2
    hi erika!
    welcome to API! your situation sounds tough. i remember those early days of nursing and it can be exhausting, but you're right, you must tend to your own needs as well. if you're not eating properly and caring for yourself, it will not give your baby all the things he needs, either.

    it is OK to put baby down so you can pee. he may cry, but it's just a minute and he will soon learn that if mom puts me down, she comes right back. you can take him into the bathroom w/you, maybe a bouncy seat or soft towel and talk to him, sing to him, etc.

    can you nurse in a sling? in a ring sling you can do a side-lying position and have him latch on.

    i'm sorry you're not getting casseroles! can you ask for them? can you ask for help froma friend/family member? have lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts available to eat and snack on, too.

    hang in there! it will get better!


    • #3
      Hi Erika,

      No one brought me casseroles either

      First, your baby is still really young. Things will undoubtedly change. It's great for both of you that you are so attentive to his needs. Remember that your meeting your needs is also very important for both of you, though.

      I understand your not wanting to use a pacifier, but you may want to reconsider. What is it about the pacifier that you don't like? For me, one big issue is that they can interfere with breastfeeding, but I've known attached parents who introduced pacifiers after their breastfeeding relationship was well-established, and they didn't have problems from it. Maybe you don't like the pacifier because it means baby won't be getting his needs met at the breast--but you can do both. Use a pacifier and still meet your babies nursing needs. Just because some parents use pacifiers in ways that can be harmful doesn't mean you have to.

      I remember when my daugher was so little and went through this phase where she got very fussy in the evenings and wanted to nurse "constantly." My husband and I both didn't want to use the pacifier, but we both agreed that if she would take that, it'd be worth it. We tried it and she didn't like it or use it, and we never tried again.

      Anyways, I'm not saying a pacifier is the answer, but it's not inherently a bad thing. It's what you do with it that can be good or bad.

      Give yourself more time, and meet your needs, too. You can do it. As a woman, you were made to be able to meet more than one person's needs!


      • #4
        I second the nursing in the sling idea. I also felt torn about the pacifier issue, but did use them for 4 months or so with both my babies in the beginning. For me it was important to wean them off of them before to long. Weaning from the pacifier happened when I had a long weekend with support as the extra sucking desire was initially by my nursers! It evened out in a few days.

        With little babies (before they could sit up) I have put them in the bouncy chair right under where I was working. They could see me and I also could bounce them a little with my foot. (I paint and sew so understand how you can't hold a squirmy baby at the same time) Alternately you could place a port-a-crib with the raised infant area next to where you work so you could reach over and pat or rub the baby.

        He may not like it at first but practice it. You don't need to leave him be upset but keep trying over and over. He will realize that Mommy always is there so its OK to relax.

        When the baby is older I have done things like set them up in a high chair next to the computer so they are with me but involved. Of course, I would keep all sorts of things nearby to give him things to play with.

        Finally, I think you need to locate yourself a support system. Have you looked for a local API group or LLL group. I really encourage you to do that. After you feel comfortable with another mother or two, you might try a childcare swap a few days a week. You could have her baby for dinners (or other time when you are not working anyway) and she could take yours on a walk in the morning so you could get a head-start on your projects.

        Please visit here often too!
        ---and congrats on the baby!


        • #5
          I am a mother myself and indeed it is very hard to divide things between you and your baby but we need to give space to ourselves. What I did I brought a pacifier and make him use it whenever I know that he is full already and get it when he is asleep. In that case I can do household chores and other things.

          Pacifiers are not bad at all if you use it in a better way.

          Last edited by melissa_h; 03-29-2009, 01:51 PM. Reason: Removed advertisement


          • #6
            I agree about rethinking the pacifier. I personally don't think they're bad if used right. Think of it this way, if your LO started sucking on his fingers to sooth himself you wouldn't try to stop that. A pacifier can sooth him after he has nursed and is full and that will leave you free to enjoy him more and you won't start to feel like a prisoner. I don't want you to start resenting nursing. And your right, you have to work there is no choice in that, so you have to be able to have time to do that. Your taking care of him by working. Just keep him nearby in a sling or in a bassinet or something similar, so he can see you and you can touch him. When he's older you can wear him on your back and still work at the computer and hopefully not have back and neck pain. I sit on an exercise ball while my baby is on my back. Usually he will not let me sit while wearing him, but I started sitting on the exercise ball and I bounce and he likes it.

            Part of AP is having balance and that means taking care of yourself too. You can be a better mom if you are able to take care of your needs.

            Good luck,


            • #7
              Hi sweetie,
              When I had my son I was very sick. I had spent my entire pregnancy on bed rest, then had a uterine infection, then they found lumps in my breast shortly after birth that they needed to remove.
              My husband had been out of work during my entire pregnancy, green card status would not let him work so when that changed the day after our son was born, he went to work immediately that day. Leaving me alone with a baby unable to get out of bed or take care of myself in severe pain and I had a high needs baby who was stuck on my constantly.

              With my girls I was a single mum and so this was so much of a flashback for me and I was a mess.
              I have no family and at the time no friends who would help. I wasn't eating for days on end and actually ended up wetting the bed a few times. The baby was hitting my breast where it had been left open to drain, five openings covering half of the breast...I was absolutely miserable. I was falling apart.

              What did I do.. 26 years I never used a paci, I did for two weeks, just two weeks, enough time for my infections to heal, me to catch up on taking care of me and to keep the baby comfortable while I did it.
              I got the baby one of those little baby chairs to put him in while I took a shower or had to pee.

              I went to the store and raided the freezer section of Amy's meals. (We are veggie and organic living here so I was thankful that I had an option) Grab some instant oatmeal. There are some healthy alternatives now and they are great for emergency energy.

              No one brought me anything either. That is more of a mainstream thing to do and I am working on changing that on a local level.

              What can we do to help you. Where do you live if that is not too personal. Maybe some of us are close enough to do something to help.

              Peace & Blessings,



              • #8
                Hi Erika
                I am new to the 'Mum business' to also with high needs bub, read my post 'new adn confused'!
                I found I could get some work done on my computer with Amber in a Moby wrap and bouncing on a swiss ball, this also 'pacified' her without having to use a pacifier(I admit I tried but she quite literally 'spat the dummy!').
                I don't know if this is a good habit to get into as my girl wont sleep well out of her wrap now, however I did manage to get some work done without back and boob discomfort!
                I also made some "breastfeeding balls" which had brewers yeast, skim milk powder, lecithin, wheatgerm, honey, peanut butter, mixed fruit and nuts all rolled into chunky balls kept in the fridge, these were lifesaving snacks! I also religiously keep a bottle of water on hand, I have a few around the house to.
                It's hard work ay?! I hear ya!