A whole new meaning to high needs.

(68 Posts)
Kafri Sun 24-Feb-13 19:23:15

I have never yet met a baby as high needs as my ds.

I have tried absolute everything I can think of (and have had suggested by lovely MNers) and im making the phone call in the morning to book an appointment for cranial osteopathy.

he is a very unhappy little boy. he either screams all day or in the short periods he's not screaming, he's not far off it. he is almost never just a contented little baby.

he hates going out in the car or pram which makes going out no fun for either of us.

if he's enjoying play on his playmat with me, it's for a couple of minutes maximum and then the tears kick in and there's no comforting him.

he hates his swing seat, bouncy chair, playmat, play nest, being motionless. pretty much everything to be honest

please come and join me in my despair!

any suggestions welcome.

SanneSannes Mon 25-Feb-13 14:35:26

I know exactly how exhausting this is....DC2 (now 5 mo) was like that...a truly unhappy baby, crying non-stop that i thought that she must be seriously in pain. however, GP said she was totally fine. Like you i could not believe that I was not enjoying my baby. I was in tears pretty much all the time and at some point completely shut myself off from the outside world as i was so sick and tired of all comments/suggestions from people who apparently all had children who were easy going and hence it must be me who was doing something wrong...although i have a DC1 who has always been pretty easygoing, which should have told me that i am capable of parenting...anyway....it all improved miraculously when Dc2 was 3 mo and since then she is super easy, happy and cheerful!

go to GP to rule out any medical issues. If he is (hopefully) fine, HANG IN THERE. Some babies just need to be with their mum non-stop and need comfort in all possible forms in these first weeks. My Dc2 slept on me and was with me in a sling all the time, and of course i was told by some I would spoil her ...well, by the time she was 4 mo she was suddenly happy to be put on a playmat, settling to sleep by herself (without any sleep training) and happily sleeping in her bed. Forgotton are those tearful first 3 months!!! Good luck!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SanneSannes Mon 25-Feb-13 14:38:49

Forgot to say-don't try to get any advice from parents other than those who have similarly high needs babies. Anyone who doesn't cannot possibly comprehend how hard this is and in my case their comments usually made me feel even worse!

Chandon Mon 25-Feb-13 14:45:16

My oldest wqs a HN baby, due to reflux and also personality traits.

He did jot even like to be held, which was hard, I felt so rejected...

I had him in the maxi cosi type pram, so he was not flat as that worsened his reflux. I would feed him, change him, wrap him up warm and take him for long long walks.

That kept me sane, and fit, and also ended up calming him.

If people comment about him screaming, just say you fed him a minute ago and walk on. Smile and nod and ignore. Again, smile and nod and ignore. And walk on. They know nothing.

Also, I found having a routine ( same time feeds and naps, walks) really helped. My DS used to cry, literally scream, for an hour ( a full hour) before he would fall asleep. But he needed those naps. It was hard to leave him scream, but as I knew he was no happier in my arms I left him.

Still feel a bit bad about that, but still do not know what I could have done differently...

Good luck!

Buggy is a bad idea for reflux...sounds like it is that if he likes lying on his belly. My DS hated the sling too. I used to put him lying on his side in the buggy and just keep a really close eye on him. But only when I had already rocked to sleep. He wouldn't go to sleep in buggy until he was big enough to sit up in it at around 3 months I think. Maybe try a different sling? There are sling meets around where you can try before you buy.

The best thing I did was go to A&e in the middle of the night when he was screaming and I thought I may have missed something big. They sent me to paediatrician straight away so bypassed GP who often don't help much. Paediatrician was really helpful with reflux.

Iggly Mon 25-Feb-13 15:49:16

You can get little foam wedges for prams.

crip Mon 25-Feb-13 17:23:42

Mine was like this. She opened her eyes at 2 weeks old and just wailed and screamed instead of sleeping for months. It was a horrible time. But she gradually grew out of it and we have found the years since then so easy because nothing compares to the nightmare of the first months. And none of the advice we got worked - apart from white noise turned up really loud. But it passed and she's a charming happy toddler now. I feel for you - what you describe is just horrible.

MXP78 Fri 01-Mar-13 18:41:03

You have pretty much described my DD when she was the same age. Nothing seemed to make her happy. She hated the pram, car seat, bouncy chair, play mat, basically anything that wasn't a moving human. What sort of sling do you have? When I first put DD in mine she cried but I just started walking and she soon stopped. My advice would be to put your DS in it and just start moving. I had a Kari Me which was great as it was very womb like and hugged her very close. The good news is, the crying does stop. She stopped crying all the time at about 3 months. But she would still start crying bang on 5pm. I think she stopped the 5pm crying about 4.5 months. She now doesn't cry like that but is still very high needs. I can only take her out in the pushchair if she's due a sleep and tired otherwise she'll cry/squeal to get out. She will never sit still, only plays on her playmat for about 10 mins. I've got a jumperoo which she'll stay in for 15 mins on a really good day!
It's very hard and unless you have a high needs baby, I don't think you can truly understand. I also had fertility treatment to have my DD and so also had the guilt feeling at the start about not enjoying it.
My other bit of advice would be to do whatever works and gets you through. Don't worry about what that might mean down the line (e.g. I stressed about using a dummy, letting her sleep on me, always carrying her around in a sling etc) as thought it would cause problems later. I really wished I hadn't stressed about that and just felt good about whatever worked. I'm sure you are doing a brilliant job and just remember, it's NOTHING you are doing wrong (another thing I was constantly worrying about!)! x

Kafri Sat 02-Mar-13 00:09:50

thank you mx - its nice to know there are others who have come out the other side of this grin

I think the worst part is people in rl thinking they know best and i should put him in his room and leave him to cry. then go in and soothe him without picking him up and he'll soon learn sad or 'you're making a rod for your own back sad or my bro thinking he knows best cos ds was ok in his pram the one and only time db took him out. so sick of people thinking they know best. funnily enough-having spent every day of the last 10 weeks with him, I do know his ways quite well.

MXP78 Sat 02-Mar-13 09:44:12

I know what you mean about people thinking they know best. The thing is, they don't understand high needs babies. What works for most babies, doesn't work for ours! When my DD was about 3 weeks old people kept saying she'll sleep if you take her for a walk in the pram. If she cries just keep walking she'll soon fall asleep. So off we set with our lovely new pram. Put her in it she started screaming straight away. We walked for 30 mins with her screaming the whole time. After 30 mins it was clear she was not going to fall asleep as instead of petering out like everyone said she would, she got more and more worked up. So I picked her up and it took me 2hrs to stop her crying. Yes, most babies probably do fall asleep in prams, not mine! So people are giving advice on what happens for most babies as they assume they all fit the same mould. We also tried to let her cry in her crib to go to sleep, same thing happened. I do feel like I've contradicted myself as did tell you to start walking with her in the sling even if she started crying. However of course I wouldn't expect you to do it for 30 mins if your baby didn't stop crying... I just meant that the first couple of times I tried mine she cried when I put her in so I took her straight out without moving. Then someone said to me just start walking and she will probably like the movement. So I started walking and her after a few mins her crying started winding down. I think because it's very womb like.

Don't worry about the making a rod for your own back. As I said, I totally stressed about that as people said the same thing. But you need to do whatever gets you through at the time. Yes I held her a lot and she still likes to be held now but that's because she's a high needs baby, not because I spoilt her at the start.

Again I'm going to feel like I'm contradicting myself but when DD turned 6 months, we did do controlled crying at night. I know it's very controversial but I was near breakdown point having pretty much not slept for 6 months. It was either try CC or me completely lose it. It worked for us and she now pretty much sleeps through the night. It's not for every parent, but it was what we needed to do for us and it means I am a much better Mummy to her during the the day. I do believe you need to wait until they're older though. On the advice of my Mum (like the advice you're getting) we tried to let her cry one night earlier on (maybe 3 months old) and it just wasn't right, she wasn't old enough to know what was going on and I really regret it. Anyway, just hope it gives you some hope that things will change xx

cloudhands Sun 03-Mar-13 11:34:53

You poor thing. It's so hard when you are doing the very best you can and still your baby cries a lot.
I agree with other posters, to check out if there's a health issue or anything doctors suggest. i'd also make sure you are getting enough support and rest to be able to deal with your DS.
I found the new parent podcasts from Hand in Hand very useful, and a good way to get a different perspective on the crying.
(and you don't need to be a new parent, they are useful for all parents of young infants)

here's the link to them.

New Parent Podcasts

janey223 Sun 03-Mar-13 22:45:40

How long has he been on pepti? DS screamed (nothing like before) for about a month after + got very constipated from it and needed luctalose. He could also need neocate.

Colief would still work in pepti as it has lactose (apparently so they don't become lactose intolerant too!), have you tried gripe water? I always found a mid feed spoon of it helped a lot.

He was half way up in his pram about 3 months by recommendation of a&e paed and tuts from the HV. Does your sling have a different way he can sit? He hated sling until he was old enough to be on my hip tbh, I used a carrier sometimes which he liked.

Most importantly... It gets better - promise!

TwirlyCat Mon 04-Mar-13 17:19:33

I feel your pain. My 3mo dd spends most of her awake time crying, unless being marched around the house in our arms. It gets more tiring as she is getting bigger now. It is depressing as the week by week baby book I have has been on the count down to them stopping crying by now, but my dd obviously didn't get the memo. I went to a baby group and was gob smacked at these babies lying quietly on play mats (I'm a 1st time mum), my dd wasn't having any of it.

Colief, gripe water, infacol not made much difference for me.

I can go out in the pram though, I strap in my wailing dd then have to go flying out the door and practically sprint around the local streets and usually she falls asleep. I can't go too far though as if she wakes it is melt down time again, if I go into shops she sets off because the ground isn't bumpy. I feel I have a baby bomb which could explode at any time! My DH took her to a supermarket, ended up with a till being opened just for him and another customer jiggling dd, staff frantically packing for him while dd cried...

The best thing that works for me is white noise and singing.

The other thing that helps me that is now she is bigger I do get smiles and chuckles in response to my songs about her being a grumpy pants.

Kafri Mon 04-Mar-13 17:28:48

haha twirly - it all rings true here! ds is currently in meltdown as dh clearly didn't boil the kettle fast enough for his feed grin
yup if we do brave the pram, shops are a no go - instantly causes meltdown which doesn't stop. The food shopping has become my worst nightmare. car to shop - all of 5 min journey - screams. do shop with ds in sling - ok til come to check out and packing. car journey home - scream.
unpacking shopping - defo the worst bit. ds is already upset after journey so then ti out him down for 10 mins to unpack - well, anyone would think I'm the worst mum in the world.

I hold my hands up THIS WAS NOT WHAT I WAS EXPECTING. sad

Kafri Mon 04-Mar-13 19:13:42

Right so another silly question here...

How much is too much sleep? We seem to have got DS to sleep at night. He has his 8pm feed then goes in his cot. Then has an 11pm feed and usually sleeps through to 7.30/8am (maybe stirs at 6 - wind i think??)

The problem is that he is reluctant to nap in the day but i'm just starting to get him to now. But... he only wants to sleep once it starts to get dim outside. So, today he has had his 5pm feed and has fallen asleep on DH. I don't want to upset his 8pm - 8am routine by him deciding he wants to sleep from 5pm onwards if you see what I mean???

Ghostie Mon 04-Mar-13 19:51:28

Hey Kafi, I was going to write a similar post myself, so some comfort to know there is someone else out there! DD2 is 10 weeks and such hard work - she cries and is grizzly all the time. I don't think quite as bad as your DS but similar and so different to DD1. She does sleep well at night, and is okay when she sleeps during the day, but the rest seems a bit of a battle and it is turning me into a hermit - being out with a screaming baby isn't fun, but then being in with one isn't either.

I do get a bit of respite, half an hour here or there and the afternoons are worse. But she does seem to be trying to find her thumb (won't take a dummy, I have bought and tried every type) I didn't want her to suck her thumb, as I sucked mine until 11, but now I'll take anything for a happy quiet baby. DD1 had flu this week and it has just been a nightmare, I am shattered and getting sick myself.

Let me know what you think of CO, I am thinking of doing it. I did do one session with DD1, but I am not convinced, but similarly willing to try anything. DH says not to, but we fly to Oz in a few weeks and I am feeling a bit desperate!

I also took her to the doc this morning, who told me some babies are just difficult. A young guy and I don't think he really knew what to do with us. He gave us some infant gaviscon, tried to give it to her this afternoon, but she was just spitting it all straight out! sad

janey223 Mon 04-Mar-13 21:43:43

They still need loads of sleep so don't worry about a 5pm nap! I only stopped DS' 5pm snooze at about 9 months!

Let him sleep whenever he wants to & use white noise (hair dryer was my saviour for a loooong time) to help them drift off into a deep sleep.

Urg, I had my share of doctors who were all for babies are just like that. I think it's crap, i do believe that if they're upset all the time there is something wrong. Babies cry when they're hungry, wet/dirty, want a cuddle or they're uncomfortable or in pain.

janey223 Mon 04-Mar-13 21:44:04

Or tired obviously!

Kafri Mon 04-Mar-13 21:55:01

ghostie I honestly feel like i don't have a bloody clue what I'm doing! grin
gaviscon - watch out for constipation. some babies are fine - mine wasn't, which only added to our problems! !

a trip to Oz. now thats the one place on earth im DESPERATE to go to but hell would have to freeze over before i took ds on a flight that long just yet! lol.

CO - I really don't know just yet. had 1 session last tues which ds screamed through and took me ages to settle afterwards then took him back on Friday. he wasn't quite as unsettled for the second one. has it made a difference - er. ds does seem slightly better but it could be him getting older. I can't say I saw anything miraculous happening but it could well have played a part. I was dubious when the guy didn't charge me.... im gonna see how he goes on this next week as to whether I go back again. he charges 20 quid for kids ordinarily which is cheaper than a lot but is still quite a bit if I'm not convinced about it.

girliefriend Mon 04-Mar-13 22:31:54

Hello Kafri, I remember being where you are now, it is such hard work. I used to look at other babies gurgling away happily and then look at my dd and wonder what I was doing wrong!!

I now have a 7yo so have just about come out the other side!!

My advice is to be consistant with some sort of routine in the day, as soon as I started to consistantly put dd down for naps at set times in the day things got eaiser.

Tips for helping naps in the day are making sure the room is really really dark, have a calming down time. I used to feed her in the darkened room, talk very quietly, strip off bottom half just leave top and nappy, pop down in cot (dd went into a baby sleeping bag) put soothing music on. To start with I sat near by and just gently stroked her face or tapped her back.

If she started to really kick off I would persevere for a bit but if she wasn't having any of it then that was o.kay I would admit defeat!

It took sometime but once dd got the hang of it she was better able to manage in the day and so was i

To this day dd is eaisly overtired and overstimulated. She is lovely but very sensitive and I think you just have to try and manage their worlds as best you can.

Dippy001 Mon 04-Mar-13 22:52:54

What sling are you using? The commercial ones are not supportive or comfortable for babies, www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=408839049180730&set=a.263258900405413.64028.246366758761294&type=1&theater.

My DS had reflux and I had to hold her upright all night so she slept. It was a hard time but with the right meds she was better. If your LO is so upset then I would go back to consultant and see if meds need to be adjusted. My DS was NEVER ever flat. In fact, when she did start to sleep by herself one end of the cot was on a chair, that's how much of a slope she needed.

Kafri Tue 05-Mar-13 08:18:32

im wondering if his milk/omeprazole is becoming ineffective - his squirming and wriggling is creeping back into each night now. sad

MrsDonnieDarko Tue 05-Mar-13 13:40:59

Big sympathy from me. Both of my babies have been like this. It's so heart breaking, especially when you see other families out with peacefull happy gurgling babies while yours is screaming blue murder in the pram (I have been there!!).

You've had some great advice one here regarding reflux issues. I have nothing to add other than to offer you hope that it will get better.

For us we have taken both of ours to doctors, tried reflux meds, dairy free, feed less, feed more, cranial osteopathy, even got a referal to paediatrician at the hospital for DS2 because I was desperate to not go through it all again after the horror we had with DS1. Anyway, for us, it wasn't anything medical (as far as we know!). None of the above things we did made any difference although DS2 is still on milk free diet as is does seem to give him excema.

Anyway, DS1 is 5 now and after a year of hell (sorry, don't want to panic you, it may not be this long for you!) things finally started getting better. He basically just didn't like being a baby, his lack of understanding and language just seemed to frustrate him. He cried endlessly for no reason, hated sitting in high chair, car seat, pushchair etc, we just basically had to give up on any of the things we saw 'normal' babies doing and just carry DS around constantly. It was awful. He gradually mellowed when he got walking and massively improved by the time he could talk well at about 18 months. By2 he was easy peasy and never been a hard work toddler or child.

DS2 seems to be much the same. He's 14 months now and is frustrated at not being able to walk an talk. Just hoping he cheers up soon in the way his brother did!

Good luck. Try not to compare your life and your baby to others. This really is temporary. It really does get better.

JoEW Tue 05-Mar-13 14:24:54

Hi Kafri,

I really feel for you, it's so tough when you have a baby like this, I remember when my DS was in the early couple of months and I felt he was either asleep (on me) or screaming. Have you tried a Moby sling? This worked well for me, as long as I was walking. I walked A LOT.

I promise it gets easier, the first two to three months are the hardest and you're almost through that. Don't feel guilty, I bloody hated those early months and I now burst with love for my DS, we're so close - you will get there and this will seem a distant memory.

Reflux is hellish, we were also on Pepti and omeprazole and they were both helpful. I would also try using the carseat on the buggy wheels, instead of the pram. Have you tried that? As they are sitting up slightly it's more comfortable. I knew a lot of babies with reflux (we were prem and it's more common) and the carseat worked for all.

A wedge pillow (under the mattress) in the cot/basket at night is also really good.

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