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Premature baby advice wanted

(34 Posts)
Doves Fri 24-Apr-20 08:57:48

Good morning all, My daughter had a baby on Monday morning she weighed 5lbs and was allowed home that afternoon. Daughter has been told she has to feed granddaughter every two hours. Breastfeeding is successful but baby screams until she is sick if she is put in the cot or handed to husband, so daughter is holding her all the time, both parents are now suffering from lack of sleep and tearful. I've suggested rocking, putting in buggy and rocking, getting a heartbeat app, etc. When the baby is asleep they are waking her after two hours because they have been told she must be fed every two hours. They live 7 hours drive away from me so impossible to get to help them. Any advice would be gratefully received.

Iam64 Fri 24-Apr-20 09:04:31

Keep calm Doves and try not to worry, as you know it won't change anything and will add to the stress and sadness you must be feeling.
We had a very similar experience but thankfully, not in lock down. Our daughter was told to wake her baby every two hours to feed because of a similar birth weight to your new grandchild.
The only advice is be at the end of a phone or face time. Stay calm and supportive. This too will pass, the breast feeding support worker and midwife best placed to advise. I agree with you about putting baby in a pram and rocking her. My grannie always said you can't spoil a baby with 12 months good nursing. Good advice x

GrannyLaine Fri 24-Apr-20 09:04:43

Doves where is your daughter? Are you in the UK? If so she should have contact numbers for support from the Midwifery team. It doesn't sound unusual for newborn behaviour and its great that she has done so well with breastfeeding. As new parents they are probably learning fast about life with a brand new baby!

Susan56 Fri 24-Apr-20 09:12:00

My daughter had similar issues with her second baby and several people recommended the 4 moms mamaroo chair.It was quite expensive but worth it as it did the trick and she sold it for the same price she had paid when she had finished with it.

Susan56 Fri 24-Apr-20 09:16:54

Have attached a picture.My daughter has just messaged to say he would settle in his basic baby chair after a couple of weeks.
He would never go in the crib for naps so maybe worth trying.

Hetty58 Fri 24-Apr-20 09:18:37

Holding baby and feeding every two hours sounds like very good advice to me. It's always exhausting in the first few weeks - unless you're very lucky and have a settled, peaceful 'good' baby. (The third of my four was good).

A shift pattern helps. Father gets a nap while mother copes. There's no point in them both staying awake. He can do essential chores and organise food.

When mum can cope no longer, she takes a nap and he deals with unsettled baby. A walk in the pram, car ride, being carried around the garden, rocked, sung to - absolutely anything that works at all, even a bit (preferably out of earshot) - just for an hour or two - enables survival!

Hetty58 Fri 24-Apr-20 09:23:21

Our most difficult one (the first) was reassured by always having close contact with my t-shirt (smell of breast milk I suppose) so when dad took over, I changed and the t-shirt went over his shoulder. Baby weighed eight pounds at birth - and still fed every two hours!

trisher Fri 24-Apr-20 09:25:15

Has she got a sling? It means she can carry baby with her, or the dad can and do some things. Takes off the anxiety of holding a baby. It's a difficult time with any baby but a preemie just now-poor things. Hope they get through it.

paddyanne Fri 24-Apr-20 09:27:16

tell her to buy a wrap or sling as wecalled them,prem babies do better when in close contact and a sling means she can do other things while carrying baby near her heart .Congratulations a new baby is always the best news even or especially in times like these.

gillybob Fri 24-Apr-20 09:32:48

Firstly huge congratulations on the arrival of your precious little granddaughter Doves smile

Both of my children were born around the 5lb mark so I totally sympathise with the feeding every 2 hours. Sometimes it would take them best part of an hour to feed and then they would sick it all back up again. I just put up with it with my son as I was very young and a single mother but I had a sling (as recommended by Paddyanne) for my daughter. Just went about the house doing whatever . Worked a treat .

Daisymae Fri 24-Apr-20 09:36:14

40 odd years ago 5lb was the discharge weight from the special care unit, so while it's small it's not a bad weight. At least they have each other for support. I am sure that things will settle down sooner rather than later. All you can do is to be a reassuring voice at the end of the phone. I would not be constantly checking, might make them more anxious. But they will get into a routine and things with settle.

TwiceAsNice Fri 24-Apr-20 09:40:30

A sling is good, only thing that worked well for me with second baby. In the Welsh valleys you would wrap a huge shawl around you and the baby and mother would walk around like that doing stuff. I remember my aunt doing it with my cousin when I was a child. I also had the basic baby chair ( before rockers came out) and would sit rocking it with my foot whilst I drank a cup of tea

Babyshark Fri 24-Apr-20 09:41:43

All really normal behaviour at this stage. Parents can take turns sleeping and slowly experiment with different aids and ideas to help baby feel settled when put down.

It’s tough but they will get there.

gillybob Fri 24-Apr-20 09:41:51

How gorgeous he is susan56 smile

Starblaze Fri 24-Apr-20 09:47:55

I used to feed one side and express from the other, that way it upped my milk supply and there was milk for when I needed a longer sleep. Wraps are a life saver and taking off your t shirt to lay baby on. Every 2 hours seems a bit harsh to me as I always fe on demand, even the little ones. Maybe once they are sure baby has gained weight they can stop doing that.


Doves Fri 24-Apr-20 10:01:47

Thank you all so much for your advice, hadn't thought of the t-shirt thing, that is another one we can try. Also, the feed with one express with the other a good idea. There will be a picture when every is calmer. smile

Babyshark Fri 24-Apr-20 10:59:17

Let your daughter know it’s ok to be absolutely frazzled by this -My youngest is 5 months old and we are out of the haze now! It’s easy to forget how rough it can be, think that’s nature’s way of enabling more than one child. I had definitely forgotten after my first!

GrannyLaine Fri 24-Apr-20 11:03:11

It's a bit soon to be expressing at such an early stage, baby only born on Monday and milk supply will only just be sorting itself out.
Paddyanne, I agree about the wrap /. sling, keeps Mum & baby together

EllanVannin Fri 24-Apr-20 12:35:30

I know the feeling too with a child that didn't stop crying for what it seemed like 12 months. Although she was 6lb 4oz born, she lost a lot of birthweight and I brought her home at 5lb 8oz.

Because there were no " gadgets " to make things easier in the early 60's, I used to make a hammock by slinging a long scarf around my shoulder and H fastened it at the back. Baby was then quite happy being carted around in a" sling "while I got on with things.

Susan56 Fri 24-Apr-20 12:50:37

Thank you gilly☺️

ElaineI Fri 24-Apr-20 13:26:30

Tell her it's ok for it to be like that and the baby will be making her produce more milk by being attached so much. Always have a teeshirt or something smelling of mummy for when daddy holds her.
There's a FB support group with trained lactation consultant - No Milk like Mama's which she could join if on FB as you can ask things and get advice. Also check the baby does not have a tongue tie. See youTube videos on how to do this - it's easy.
The heartbeat app needs to be on loudly to work properly. There is a soft cuddly toy called My Hummy which has different heartbeat sounds which can play for 20 minutes or all night if needed which is excellent. Both DDs have them. It has batteries AAA which are easily replaced.

V3ra Fri 24-Apr-20 14:07:56

Have they tried swaddling the baby when they try to put her down?
Old fashioned maybe but my daughter and her partner were amazed how my granddaughter settled better in the cot when I showed them. She was about a week or two old.
Agree about lying baby on something that smells of mum.

timetogo2016 Fri 24-Apr-20 14:14:02

Maybe the baby is thirsty and needs water.
Milk is a food.
I only say this as a friend of mine many years ago made the mistake of not giving her baby a drink and suprise suprise baby settled.

NotSpaghetti Fri 24-Apr-20 14:26:33

No, please don’t express or feed water. This baby is SO young and feeding Ok. The parents are just exhausted.
Pumping changes the flow of milk. The baby is already sicking some up so increasing flow out of kilter with baby’s needs is a recipe for disaster!
Breast milk is 88% water. Don’t fill up a tiny tummy on more water which in any way can risk sodium dilation which is really dangerous inducing seizures and worse. No baby should be having water till after about 6 months.

NotSpaghetti Fri 24-Apr-20 14:31:19

If they need lactation support, Doves I suggest you “treat” them to a session with a lactation consultant?
If they are amenable then it should at least help them relax about their situation. I think those of us who fed our newborns hourly will understand their pain!
Here’s a link to the NHS page regarding support. And congratulations to you all.