to be worried about my parenting?(34 Posts)
dd is nearly 5 months old.
things have been ticking along nicely. Breastfeeding exclusively, sleeping well, getting out to groups/meeting friends etc. Everyone says she is a contented and beautiful baby.
DH had a bout of depression closely followed by a badly broken ankle meaning he was unable to do anything for about 3 weeks. We have no family close by and I had been doing everything for DH and DD. About two weeks ago DD sleep changed, waking up more etc. She is now teething and has been really uncomfortable.
She is also having massive screaming fits. These seem abnormally extreme.
Getting a coat on
Getting in the car seat
Coming out of the bath
She also screams when she wants to move, jerks her legs out rigid, pulls and thrashes at my boobs, gets absolutely frantic when trying to get teething toys into her mouth. Seems utterly frustrated with herself at times and seems to be most calm when being carried around or in the sling.
I am knacked and feel like i have nothing to give. I hate hate hate her looking up at me and screaming inconsolably, i feel like she hates me and the screaming fits are going to develop into a full-blown behavioral problem.
Am I being unreasonable to think the fact that i am knackard/feeling frustrated/ emotionally detached/feel incapable of providing for this lovely little being's emotional needs is related to these epic screaming sessions and very very strong protests?!
Please be honest. I do wonder whether i was feeling loving and more in tune she would be less stressed.
Period you are probably feeling very stressed and down yourself with all the caring responsibilities of both your husband and your baby coming to you.
Her protests all sound normal to me, as she starts to develop as a person and realises that she's separate to you and can express dislike/scream. Car seats totally normal, baths lots of babies hate. This is perfectly normal behaviour, you just feel guilty as you are run down and shouldering so much.
And, feeling cross and like you can't stand the noise is normal when your baby cries. I can't say I used to feel very loving during my children's epic tantrums, but this doesn't make any difference to your care for her.
This all sounds normal but you need support- can you talk to any of these mums, your own mum?
((hugs)) my god it has nothing to do with you. you sound like a wonderful mum. can you feel her teeth cutting? when does she scream the most? does she suffer from bad wind? the kicking of the legs made me ask that. if your concerned maybe trip to gp to discuss her symptoms and put you at east but sounds normal to me tbh. is it your first?
Nothing at all to do with you, PeriodFeatures, though I entirely remember trying to make sense of my baby's wails by relating them to something I'd done wrong. It's natural to look for 'meaning' or patterns in demented baby behaviour, but everything you describe sounds perfectly normal, if temporarily exhausting and maddening for you.
This phase will pass, and you don't need to do anything to make it pass - it will do so alone. Teething will end. She'll be able to get her toys into her mouth more reliably, and to get around and grab what she wants to grab, and will be less frustrated and screamy.
You, on the other hand, sound at the end of your tether. Can you arrange for some extra help, whether that's your husband doing a feed with expressed milk to allow you to sleep, or taking some time off to give you a break? Do you feel depressed? If so, talk to someone.
She is teething and possibly getting a bit frustrated because she wants to be mobile and upright. Is she rolling over? It may be she is learning that. Babies can be fussy when they're learning new skills.
IMO, calpol or nurofen is best for the teething pain. Apart from that, how about a door bouncer? Prop her sitting up with some cushions? Carry her so she can see (slings are great for this!)? Screaming at car seat, bath and coat are normal
If it was something that came on suddenly a couple of weeks ago then there is probably a cause that will disappear just as suddenly.
You aren't doing anything wrong! I remember that age being a particularly challenging time. They go through massive changes at five months, they become more so much more aware but also more frustrated, sleep less etc.
I found it very difficult to deal with the constant demands and lack of sleep, and felt like it must be because I was doing something wrong. In hindsight I know I was a perfectly good parent and so are you by the sounds of it.
I went to my HV and then GP for support and I would advise you do the same to talk it through with them.
Oh god, we really struggled with this. We had undiagnosed silent reflux so all the milk she was having was burning straight up again. Horrendous. The screaming was agony, we pretty much took turns passing dd between us. No more than ten minutes of crying per person. It fucking sucked. Now she's 8 months and it's so different now.
Tell you what helped me, dancing with her to music. It made me feel so much better, I put on all my favourite songs and danced with her in my arms. She calmed down and would be quite cheered up. It was a nice bonding experience that wasn't related to feeding or anything potentially problematic, like bathing (something else which she really didn't like and now she will happily stay in the bath for fifteen minutes splashing about).
This is not you. Keep posting, keep talking about it.
Oh poor you. I want to give you a hug. Everything has been said by the kind posters above. If any consolation, My DD was a nightmare! Also I was coping with backpain, dying MIL, 3 year old ACTIVE DS, grieving DH. I struggled... but, she was an angel from 6 months (obviously not perfect) but pretty easy. Now a lovely calm (mostly!) 20 year old. My Ds2 was an easy baby but a terribly frustrated toddler. He used to rage at closed stairgates, getting dressed, car seat, buggie, and don't even go there with suncream! He got better behaved when he got older and is now a sport mad 16 year old. I suppose what I'm trying to say is...it WILL get easier, don't take it personally, your baby is learning SO much...and sometimes, sod house work, just sit and cuddle and play.
Thanks everyone spongebob her most epic screams are when being dressed after a bath and getting into the car seat. Also putting clothes on with sleeves.
Yes tallesttower i feel guilty. Loads and loads.I'm tying myself in knots worrying that i have attachment issues, am hurting her etc. I am currently preoccupied thinking that the neighbours are going to call social care because she really does sound like she is being tortured!!
Funnyvalentine she isn't rolling over yet. She gets VERY frustrated on her play mat. She enjoys the door bouncer. Bookroom DH is mobile again and is lovely and giving me plenty of breaks. I think ive just got past the point of exhaustion and stress to really feel the benefit from it (Yet!)
I have spoken to the health visitor and friends and it would appear the blood curdling screaming (my ears actually ring!) Is apparently normal!!? I am inclined to believe MNetters over everyone else. I am in a state of mind at the moment where i feel like everyone is either scrutinizing my parenting or judging it. I have started formula so DH can take over some feeds (expressing a gazzillion ounces - she will take up to 6 ounces per feed - feels an mammoth task) I felt really terrible about this and have had a snooty comment from someone when i was discussing ff. I was thinking about it for days and days and it drained the hell out of me.
It will get better, won't it..
its such early days yet...screaming like this for a few weeks then you may get nothing..do you use nelson teething granules and bonjella...whether they work or not I find the distraction is good for screaming..
distraction is the biggest by word in much parenting...keep items to hand to distract at any usual times of kick off....a rustle closed packet of crisps she can grap and chew on...new toys, your car keys to hold while you strap her in, sing a funny song, make bird noises! anything that makes her stop, before the screaming starts!
Absolutely it will get better. My son is heading for two now, and despite being demonically self-willed and verbose, liable to break into song at 3 am, and capable of running at the speed of light when I'm carrying something heavy, life with him is genuinely delightful, and it is about a thousand times easier than the early months. I was only saying to my husband today that being able to communicate properly with him - him being able to tell us what's wrong - makes so much difference, compared to all the awful guesswork about what a baby wail means in the first months.
Don't let anyone get to you about formula. I wasn't able to breastfeed at all - supply never came in, despite almost two months of trying, pumping, using a SNS etc - and I was absolutely crushed about it for months and the occasional sneery look or remark really got to me. If I had that time back, I would stop being so bloody hard on myself, embrace formula, and try to panic less about new and difficult phases of baby behaviour. It all passes. The thing you are frantically worried about now will resolve itself in a week or a month, by which time you'll have forgotten it ever bothered you.
I'm in the same place with my 5 month old.
Sleeps through, which everyone seems to think is the end of.
NADA sleep during the day. End. Of. Tether.
Am thinking 1. Tomorrow's another day. 2. This too shall pass
I've only skimmed your post and subsequent relies but just wanted to say you are not alone! DS is older (nearly 2), but we're in similar circs. He was ill over Xmas, then got better and DH got ill, which eventually led to a five night stay in hospital. (Thankfully he's home now) but he is very tired and still recovering, so I've been doing everything for everyone and I am knackered, on top of working three days and two evenings a week. DS has spent the day with me and howled EVERYTIME I've done anything, changed his nappy, got him changed, everything. He then took nearly two hours to settle at bedtime. Last night he was at grandma's and fell asleep immediately. He saves all his crap behaviour for me! Roll on DH getting better, sending you lots of empathy and virtual chocolate!
Ugh I feel for you. Dd turned from a calm and happy baby into a grouchy one overnight at that age. I was so frustrated and upset, exhausted too. I think she was just really miserable because of teething and it seemed to go on forever poor baby. Eventually it passed though. I honestly don't think it's your parenting, you sound like a lovely mum.
OP my 3&half month old really really hates putting on sleeves-after a bath it would cause him to have a massive crying fit so much that it would then be really hard to get him to settle/feed/sleep-i discovered that just putting the feet of his babygro on him and then taking him for his feed works for him and then when hes contented and almost asleep feeding its easy to get the arms on without a hassle - just an idea in case that might work for you??
You sound like a lovely mum and your baby sounds like a very normal 5 month old. I promise it gets easier.
Hmmm having said that, sleeves can still be an issue here at 2 years old
OP you sound exhausted and everything seems worse when you feel like this. Hopefully now that your DH is back on his feet the burden on you will be less. Worry comes with the territory of being a mum I'm afraid but please try not to worry so much, you are a good mum and you are doing a great job.
Of course you're stressed! But your baby is behaving totally normally. My son did this at this exact age. It was like being given a completely new baby - I felt demented. It was teeth. Up to you, but I'd give calpol and carry her round in a sling/bjorn if you can. Being this tired makes you feel DESPERATE. It will feel so so much better if you get some rest, so maybe DH can take her out for a couple of hours for you? You are not affecting her in any way by being tired and stressed by the way, that's a total myth, don't worry.
thank you so much, I do feel loads better after all the replies. Much better few days.
Troopers lane I hope you are having better days too?
Is it normal to feel ambivalent at times though? i worry that i'll do some kind of psychological damage if i'm lacking the sunshine and stars and cheer for days on end.. ?
It sounds like she's teething and it sounds like you need a break. Have you got any friends or family nearby who can take her out for a couple of hours while you get some rest?
It could be the fact you've introduced formula, some DC just don't get on with cows milk but the symptoms can make you think its teething, a cold, some get asthma like symptoms, runny bottom. Both my DC are intolerant to cows milk but the symptoms present in different ways. We switched to goats milk and never looked back. I know you can get goats milk formula but not sure at what age you can introduce it, maybe 6months plus. Or perhaps express for your dh to give feeds?
OK, just saw your problems with expressing, so ignore me on that. Teething can make them incredibly irritable but it tends to be come and go. So perhaps watch and wait and see if the problem persists. Maybe she'll be happier once she's crawling, perhaps its frustration, some babies just want to be on to the next stage. When mine were particularly irritable I just used to stick them in the pram and take them out for a walk, the fresh air would quiet them and they'd usually fall asleep.
Of course we all should think about how we parent but sometimes I think worrying about it too much makes us forget that we are just people getting on with our lives as best we can, and that our children need to see us like that too, not as an all-singing, all-dancing parent bot.
It sounds like you are doing a great job under very trying circumstances! It is natural to feel a bit ambivalent somtimes - and having your baby scream in your face is very stressful indeed.
Can't help with the crying (sorry!) but it sounds normal and so do you. Give yourself a break, lady.
Interestingly i did consider a soya based formula. I will definitely keep an eye on that. She is only having it occasionally when DM or DH has her. one morning or pm a week at the moment.
Thank you. Useful.
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