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To still be finding my nearly 6 month old incredibly hard work?

(31 Posts)
OctopusLimbs Tue 28-Mar-17 16:49:58

After my daughter was born everyone was saying "the first 6 weeks are so hard but it gets easier", then it became "oh it all slots into place around 3 months", now it's " it becomes so much better at 6 months". But Unless we have a very quick change, I can't see 6 months being the turning point.

She cried a lot as a newborn, this seemed to improve a lot a couple of months back but recently she seems to be really cranky and grizzles a lot or cries for no obvious reason. She is particularly grumpy after 4pm. We do get smiles and times she seems happy, but it never seems to last. I introduced another nap in case it was tiredness but since doing that she just seems to be awake half the night (and she wasn't sleeping great at night before anyway). She will wake up around 1am and just not go back to sleep for hours. And then if she is in a bad mood the next day it is so much harder to deal with it if I am exhausted. She is asleep on me now and I don't have the heart to wake her up as she is obviously tired and full of cold but I know I will regret this late nap tonight. I just feel like I am really getting it all wrong but I don't know how to make it better. She has also had 3 colds back to back which doesn't help.

She hates slings (I have tried 4) so often I just end up carrying her around on my hip which is really hurting my back, and even this doesn't always improve her mood.

My husband is really supportive and I only have one baby so I feel ridiculous to be coping so badly. I love her, but I feel like I am struggling to bond and like I'm letting her down somehow. I really felt like things were improving before, but now they seem harder than ever.

StarlingMurderation Tue 28-Mar-17 17:22:02

flowers YANBU. DS was like this, but it did get easier once he could crawl and then walk, because he was happier. I think he hated being a baby! Now he's an incredibly chilled and happy toddler and friends who had easy babies are finding their toddlers much harder to handle.

ElspethFlashman Tue 28-Mar-17 17:30:59

6 months is a wierd time. You feel like it should be getting magically better, but it doesn't of course. In fact, all that changes is that you introduce solids into the chaos!

I will say though that it's an age where you have to be careful about naps, as they're changing a lot. Try naps at 9/12/3.

waterrat Tue 28-Mar-17 17:34:53

Well I find my 5 year old hard work! People just don't want new mums to realise that parenting is hard for many years!!

Sorry. Not helpful. In terms of baby stuff getting easier it gets better when they sleep well. Better when they are mobile and can amuse themselves and eventually much better when they can walk and you don't have to carry them everywhere.

Carrying a baby around is absolutely exhausting. It really does get easier x

NapQueen Tue 28-Mar-17 17:37:08

Whats her usual daily routine for sleeps and food? Tbh they tend to go from one development stage to another until eventually they move the fuck out.

123rd Tue 28-Mar-17 17:43:13

There is always a phase the child seems to be going throughhmm this too shall pass as the old saying goes but I found all ages quite hard work to be honest. Just in different ways... My DC are teens now. So, physically not so much work but emotionally they still are.

Rednailsandnaeknickers Tue 28-Mar-17 17:52:44

Is she teething? Even the most chilled out baby will be grumpy with sore gums, raised temp and possibly runny acidic poo that's burny, poor wee toots.
In my baby group we all knew about "witching hour" 4-5pm they turned into horrors, it was as if they were just overloaded by the days stimuli by that point and either flaked out or had a grouchy wailing hour before food, bath, bed.
Don't beat yourself up, it's HARD and you are doing your best, just like the rest of us.

ElspethFlashman Tue 28-Mar-17 17:54:00

Oh and try limiting naps to one hour a pop. So no more than 3 hours a day. Might sort your wakefulness problem.

In the No Cry Sleep Solution she recommends keeping a log for 10 days. I did that and was militant about the 9/12/3 thing and even though it disrupted my life quite a bit, it did improve the nights and you could see it change over the 10 days.

ProudBadMum Tue 28-Mar-17 17:55:30

I have a nearly 6 month old and lately she's been off. I think it's teething and she's also so nosey so won't sleep if we are out or someone's here.

She gets time out in her cot with her music thing playing and it works. She either calms down and settles or sleeps.

IrregularCommentary Tue 28-Mar-17 17:58:28

I have semi nightmare 6.5mo old so no help I'm afraid, but Nap's comment made me laugh!

OctopusLimbs Tue 28-Mar-17 19:21:47

I do realise it will always be hard to some extent, I guess I just don't feel like I am coping very well at the moment. I suppose in reality that is what I need to deal with, rather than waiting for it to get easier. I just keep reading things on here about people just popping babies in slings and doing all the housework and making dinner, and I'm not sure I've even really got out of the newborn stage of feeling pleased with myself if I managed a shower and lunch!

I did wander about teeth as she has very rosy little cheeks, but there's no sign of anything. Although I have heard they can start teething a long time before they pop through the surface. And she has been a poop machine recently, if that's related to teething? Could teething be giving the appearance of a cold, because she seems to have had a ridiculous number of colds recently?

Food wise she had been having 180mls about every 3 hours, but the colds have really knocked her appetite so she's feeding more little and often at the moment. She has two longer naps (morning and lunchtime) and a shorter nap late afternoon (3ish). I have been reasonably flexible on timing because going to groups etc. have been keeping me sane and of course they are all at different times. And recently I have been letting her later nap go on longer, to try and keep her mood a bit better, as someone on the sleep boards suggested she sounded overtired. It is just so hard to get the balance right.

TheTombstonesMove Tue 28-Mar-17 19:27:44

IMO, the sooner you decide you don't care what other people/books say your baby should be doing, the happier you'll be. I know I was, with my first.

SheepyFun Tue 28-Mar-17 19:37:23

For me, the turning point was about the one year mark (possibly linked to going back to work, albeit for only 1 day a week - DH has DD on that day, so I didn't have to get her up and out to nursery).

Interesting that a pp suggests children are happier when they're mobile - DD crawled at a year. But it took until a year for me to manage to get her to any form of baby/toddler group (and I didn't have PND; DH took over the nights at 6 months because my mental health was deteriorating, but decent sleep really helped, suggesting I was exhausted rather than depressed).

So you aren't the only one.

OctopusLimbs Tue 28-Mar-17 19:46:55

I guess I don't mind too much what other people say, I just want her to be reasonably content which she doesn't seem to be at the moment.

It is reassuring to hear from other people who have had similar experiences. And I get what you mean about distinguishing between exhaustion and PND. I don't think I'm depressed, just tired and overwhelmed, but I don't really know.

typedwithcertainty Tue 28-Mar-17 19:53:07


Don't really want to introduce another 'turning point' however I personally found at about 8 months everything go soooo much nicer, went down to two naps, ate better, moved more (less frustrated because of that maybe) and I actually enjoyed spending time with him!

Bumblebee35 Tue 28-Mar-17 20:12:01

Got a 6 month old lg here too. Agree with doing what you feel/ think rather than reading other peoples ideas of parenting. The Wonder week app is quite good as it highlights when developmental leaps are occurring which is reassuring and gives you a count down to when a 'happy' phase should be in! Second time round for me and definitely more relaxed smile I am sure you are doing an amazing job and it will get better

Hollyandtheiveee Tue 28-Mar-17 20:12:45

Another one here that found it much easier once my daughter could move. She was just desperate to be independent and is still like that at 4! Once she could sit up, she was happier, then even happier when crawling and walking. She was able to explore and play by herself/reach her toys which made her happier. Teething was also pretty bad for her. Don't feel bad for using calpol/ibuprofen on the really grumpy days.

StarlingMurderation Tue 28-Mar-17 20:24:23

We firmed up our routine with DS at about six months, and he became a lot more content. Before that we were entirely baby-led, but he seemed much happier once he knew what was coming next - we weren't so much strict about timing, but we always did things in exactly the same order, every day - I think it went bottle, breakfast, nap, bottle, nap, lunch, nap, dinner, bottle, bath, bed. With gaps between for playing of course.

Regarding the supermums who pop their baby in a sling, do four hours of housework, pop to the shops on the bus while baby breastfeds in said sling, pop baby on a mat for an hour while they pop a casserole in the oven etc - reflux colicky tongue-tied DS was never going to be one of those babies, and due to severe and unresolved SPD, a broken coccyx, two slipped discs, and a birth injury that required surgery six months after his birth, I was never going to be that mother. I congratulated myself on both of us being alive and fed at the end of the day, when DP got home. That really is the main thing. And now, DS is a lovely happy toddler and 'helps' me tidy and do the laundry, though he still won't let me cook! Try not to compare yourself with others, or if you must, do what I did and assume they're all lying! ;)

Outbackshack Tue 28-Mar-17 20:29:05

I've got almost 6 month old and found starting food has made a real positive impact on both his happiness and sleep. Having 3 year old and juggling nursery runs/groups etc we don't have set nap times but he is def happier on days when he gets a good nap in. It's bloody hard. Don't beat yourself up.they do get happier and easier to entertain

bananamonkey Tue 28-Mar-17 20:48:39

6.5 month old here and it is hard work!

There's so much going on for them developmentally at this stage, throw in teething, weaning and clinginess and it's all a bit much for us and them. DD is desperate to eat but hasn't quite the hang of it, wants to sit up but isn't there yet and is dying to be on the move but can't so is quite frustrated and therefore difficult to entertain. Throw in nap refusing and awful sleeping (although she's always been a poor sleeper) and I'm stressed and knackered. Can't wait for a bit more progress.

acquiescence Tue 28-Mar-17 20:58:49

I found it really very hard up until around 13 months, it is a lot easier now and so much more fun (ds is 16 months).
It was constant teething, poor sleep, tired days, early starts. Now that he sleeps a little better I realise he was probably tired all the time as he woke up 6 times a night etc.

It will get easier, and it will come quickly. The first bit seems a blur. I'm a lot happier now I am back at work park time and o really enjoy my days off with him. Hang in there OP, it is all worth it.

LorelaiVictoriaGilmore Tue 28-Mar-17 21:00:09

I was fine until 6 months and then everything got impossible! Ds wouldn't eat, wouldn't sleep... I get cold shivers just remembering how bad it was! Things did get better. Much better. But you just have to remember that every child is different and try not to get too down when other parents tell you how much better things are now that their dc is sleeping, eating, crawling walking, talking... Even though it's hard to hear when your dc either can't sleep/eat etc or (even worse) is sleeping/eating etc but everything is still totally impossible!

NapQueen Tue 28-Mar-17 21:15:13

If she is teething try some calpol. Takes about 20mins to work and if she settles after at least you know its comfort related.

JustMyLuckUnfortubately Tue 28-Mar-17 21:33:18

My DC has been a happy go lucky baby who slept through from 10 weeks with the exception of 2 nights with a bad cold plus teething around Christmas. He's just about to turn 7 months but this month began to show signs of separation anxiety & has been teething on and off so has been grouchy at times. He's also showing signs of a growth spurt so has needed 3 naps daily instead of 2 bug because he's increasingly active & inquisitive sometimes fights all three naps!

I think at 6 months babies are starting to seem like little people, massively alert & inquisitive and therefore can be overwhelmed and overtired occasionally. One example is how much he adores his jumparoo and looks like he wants to stay in it even when I can tell he's had enough!

As other PPs have said I think we need to not focus on exactly what other babies do. Baby groups and friends with kids have taught me there is a range in personalities & behaviours. I'm just focusing on every lovely day with him (even when he's a grouch!)

Rosy cheeks and grumps sound like teething and it can be ages before teeth actually show. My DS loves his Gummee glove & Nuby teething toys that can be chilled on the fridge. Aston & Parsons teething powder is good as is Calgel.

Whatsername17 Tue 28-Mar-17 21:44:29

I've been there and it's tough. Dd1 had colic, cut teeth at 4 months, was a crap day time sleeper and woke twice a night until she was 2. Definitely give calpol if you think it's teething and consider using Ashton and Parsons powders too. I have no advice or cryst8sl ball that can tell you when it will get better but I can tell you it will. For me, it was once my dd was mobile things got easier and by thr time she was walking she was an.absolute delight. We never had 'the terrible twos'. Her biggest tantrum involved sticking her bottom lip out for a few minutes. Now, aged 5.5, she sleeps in until 8am every weekend (she goes to bed at 7pm). She is funny, caring and kind. She is very clever and soaring at school. I like to think I got the shitty times out of the way when she was a baby. Some of the mums in my mother and baby groups who had babies who were quiet, content and napped at regular intervals were tearing their hair out when their kids hit 2. Hang in there.

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