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5 month old screaming when put down - driving me demented!

(52 Posts)
gaelicsheep Mon 29-Nov-10 18:56:13

Firstly, sorry for the stream of consciousness that follows. I have a very short window before putting dinner on. I'll be back to check on thread later this evening.

For 5 whole months, almost everything I do has been accompanied by the raucous high pitched screaming of a hysterical baby. If someone is around to hold her/give her undivided attention then she is lovely, if not then she turns into the baby from hell.

Today I ended up getting my DS's and my lunch, eating my lunch whilst chopping and cooking some vegetables, all while breastfeeding DD in the wrap. She was carried around all morning, slept quite happily etc. etc.. The second she was put down so I could get some washing out of the machine and hang it up she started screaming. And screaming. And screaming. She will not stop until picked up again. Being in the same room isn't enough, and it's exhausting.

I am having to carry her/cuddle her all day and I am currently co-sleeping with her at night. She is waking to feed 3 or 4 times in the night. I need suggestions please. How can I get her out of this need for constant physical contact 24/7? I cannot cope with this any more. My DS is witnessing his mum turning into a shouting, crying nervous wreck.

To top it off I am currently away from home staying with my parents, without DH. My parents are doing what they can but the nights are down to me and I am totally totally exhausted. I don't know how we have got to where we are and I don't know what to do. sad

RuthChan Mon 29-Nov-10 19:21:25

I am so sorry to hear you're having such a tough time. It's not your fault and it's nothing you've done wrong. It's just a phase that your DD is going through.
She has realised who her mummy is and she knows that she wants to be with you.
It's a shame that you're not with your DH, but it's good that you're with your parents.
How are they helping? Are they able to carry her for you a bit? Can they take your DS out so that he gets time and attention away from his sister?
What kind of wrap are you using? Is it one where your DD can be on your bag and out of your way? She's big enough to be behind you now, where she has the contact she needs but she's not so bulky and in your way as you go about your day.
Have you tried an electric swinging crib or chair? I wonder if they motion would help to sooth her?

Do you have any friends who live near your parents? If so, could you get out of the house and visit them?
Sometimes, having a chat and a cup of tea with friends takes your mind off the feeding and cuddling and makes it all more bearable.

You are doing fine. It is natural that you are stressed by this. Please don't think any less of yourself for it. You should see me at my most stressed!

gaelicsheep Mon 29-Nov-10 20:40:04

Thanks RuthChan. I can't say I've noticed any particular difference recently. It seems like I've always been in this situation, right from the word go. It would be lovely if it is just a phase though, as that implies that it will end. Here's hoping.

My parents are doing what they can, but they're not in great health and I know they're pretty exhausted as well. Three adults to one baby - it's ridiculous!

I don't know about carrying DD on my back. I could possibly try it once DH is around again to help me, but I would really rather find a solution that doesn't involve carrying DD around all day long. I am back to work in less than 2 months time so I'm getting very concerned for DH.

Scootergrrrl Mon 29-Nov-10 21:16:31

My DS was similar at the same age and I found it helpful to go with his flow so if he wanted to sit on my knee all morning then so be it. I watched a lot of crap telly and the house was a pit but I found that much less stressful than the screaming when I put him down. Its a phase I think, when they realise they're no longer attached to you and it freaks them out a bit.
Its so hard though when you don't ever get a break and all you want is two minutes peace. Hopefully she will start to grow out of it soon.

CarGirl Mon 29-Nov-10 21:17:23

Oh dear. Honestly I would try a cranial osteopath, I wonder if she is in discomfort and being held and/or entertained keeps her distracted/relaxed enough.

I had a screamer it was undiagnosed silent reflux - it was the most horrific 4.5 months of my life. Huge sympathies!

gaelicsheep Mon 29-Nov-10 21:45:34

Thanks. I started another thread pointing to this one which also has replies. I'll copy my response here:

"Thanks both. I really don't think she's ill as she literally stops the moment she's picked up. There are rarely any tears and she'll often grin at you. She has been treated for reflux but my impression is that those particular symptoms have settled down. BCBG - we have tried leaving her to cry many times. She gets louder and louder and louder. She might quieten for a minute or two then it starts again. She has never fallen asleep when left to cry, never. And I can't bear to do it."

Just before I was getting her dressed for bed. As uisual she screamed blue murder. Full pelt, hoarse shrieking at the top of her lungs. A minute later she's sat on my lap blowing raspberries. She's a total Jekyll and Hyde.

I had a very stressful time during my pregnancy - money and work. I'm scared that might have damaged her somehow, that perhaps her brain is already wired to be stressed out. Does anyone know of any proven link?

CarGirl - does cranial osteopathy really work? I've heard mixed reports.

wannabeglam Mon 29-Nov-10 21:46:55

I'm sending you a virtual hug as I know how that feels. Mine were both like that to varying degreees. I did everything like cranial osteopath, coming off dairy etc. etc. and the biggest 'cure' was...time, I'm afraid. For mine I'm sure it was weaning. Both had silent reflux and were better on solids.

Try and hand the baby over to someone else to walk around with and get some rest. I co-slept from about 6 months - had to!

I nearly totally gave up on housework. Once every 2 weeks DH and I tidied up and the following day a cleaner came. My washing was picked up (clean) and returned ironed once a week. I bought in all food already cooked. Once I did that (DD about 4 months) life was so much better. Kept it up for 4 months - so she must have been a good bit better by 8 months. I don't begrudge a single penny and would have mortgaged the house to pay for it if I had to!

Things will change, I promise!

In the meantime, go home. Everything is easier in your own home. Your parents will understand (and may even be relieved).

gaelicsheep Mon 29-Nov-10 21:47:28

Scootergrrl - the thing is I've had this for 5 months and life has to go on! Some things just have to be done. If DH wasn't home much of the time to rescue me I fear I'd be in prison or the loony bin by now. sad

gaelicsheep Mon 29-Nov-10 21:49:07

wannabe - I'd love to go home, but DH is snowed in and 400 miles is a long journey to risk in this weather in any case. Plus we're away from home during renovation work and it isn't finished yet. Fingers crossed for next week.

TheSugarPlumFairy Mon 29-Nov-10 21:51:39

my first thought is that she hasn't learned to "be" by herself iykwim. i base that on the fact you say she has always been like this and it hasn't just started recently.

If she has always been in your physical presence and in your physical space, being by herself must be quite distressing for her.

I think if it was me i would think about some kind of timed response to her cries which will hopefully teach her that you will always come back, and hopefully that she is ok on her own.

Does she have any toys that she particularly loves that you can set her up to play with and quietly excuse yourself from the room. Then when she realises you are not there, you go back in after a few minutes, hopefully gradually increasing the response time as she gets more confident? Just a thought.

CarGirl Mon 29-Nov-10 21:53:17

You need to use a recommended one. She could be highly sensitive and just can't "cope" with stuff as well as the next baby.

What have you got to lose, a couple of hours and some money for a few treatments you will quickly know if it's making a difference or not.

It didn't help with the silent reflux but they told me straight away that there was loads of tension around her tummy which gave me the confidence to pursue the gp for treatment which worked.

CarGirl Mon 29-Nov-10 21:55:04

How about doing concentrated pick up put down with her which again teaches them that you always come back and it isn't scary to be on their own. I'd work on it for daytime rather than going to sleep though!

TheSugarPlumFairy Mon 29-Nov-10 21:55:30

also, i would probably nix the co-sleeping. I know that is controversial and i am sure it is lovely for both of you but if it is that she is insecure alone, the co-sleeping is just reinforcing that she is a part of you and cant be separate.

obviously it would have to be done gradually. you couldn't just chuck her out of your bed.

Just something to think about. Feel free to disregard but either way i hope it gets better for you. smile

gaelicsheep Mon 29-Nov-10 22:01:05

The money's kind of the problem just now CarGirl smile, but having said that I'd pay almost anything if I knew it would work. You're right there's not really anything to lose.

The other problem, of course, is the effect on my 4 year old. We can't let her cry in her cot in the evening/night because it wakes him. At my parents' it's even worse because then it's just me in the middle ofd the night trying to settle both of them.

But night time is one thing, it's the daytime that is totally puzzling me. DS was also hel;d and cuddled loads in the first few months, but he was never like this. She turns it on full pelt for as long as necessary and can stop at will. It's crazy.

gaelicsheep Mon 29-Nov-10 22:02:00

TheSugarPlumFairy - I hate co-sleeping but it's a total necessity to be able to deal with the nights by myself. sad

CarGirl Mon 29-Nov-10 22:04:16

Beg your parents for an early christmas gift for you and dd of cash!

If you're in London the osteopath centre treats for a donations?

gaelicsheep Mon 29-Nov-10 22:04:20

She's now on my lap sucking her thumb and cooing at me lovingly. Strange strange girl.

Once I'm back home she'll be back in her cot btw, whatever it takes. We can't co-sleep even if I wanted to as DH is a smoker.

gaelicsheep Mon 29-Nov-10 22:08:40

So does anyone think there's a link to my stressful pregnany?

CarGirl Mon 29-Nov-10 22:10:42

Okay because you've brought it up - she could have neuro developmental delay, I also had a horrendous pregnancy with my screamy baby and she turned out to have NDD.

It's sounds scary but it's about retained reflexes - mine had retained moro reflex so she hardly needed any sleep and jumped at the slightest thing on a constant state of alert - basically running on excess adrenalin.

Good news is that it is easily treatable but again takes money......not sure how young they start treatment though as you tend to seek treatment for under achievement at school, dyspraxia, ADHD that type of thing (just I went for the incredible non-sleep needing child)....

More info here

www.inpp.org.uk/

TheSugarPlumFairy Mon 29-Nov-10 22:12:17

i think the pick up/put down method that was mentioned is probably the perfect structure to hopefully teach her that being by herself is ok.

I don't know if you are familiar with it. We used it in the context of the BabyWhisperer sleep training but i can see it could work in this context too.

Basically when she cries go in and pick her up and soothe her. As soon as she is calm, put her down and walk away again. When she cries again, soothe her and again when she is calm, leave. repeat ad nauseum.

You would have to be quite methodical about it. I don't think it would be easy and might take some time but hopefully worth a try.

wannabeglam Mon 29-Nov-10 22:13:02

I slept in baby's room with baby in a single bed, DH was in our bed.

As she's sucking her thumb it does make me think she'll be able to self soothe pretty soon. I do think it's probably a phase and she'll stop soon. Enjoy these loving, peaceful moments.

Scootergrrrl Mon 29-Nov-10 22:25:20

Hopefully it's one of those baby things which is a complete nightmare while it's going on but fades out quickly when they naturally move on. Would there be any mileage in a very gradual withdrawal to teach her to be ok on her own? For example, holding tight, holding on hip, sitting on your knee facing in, then facing out then next to you but still touching and so on. I do feel for you so very much though and hope it gets better soon.

gaelicsheep Mon 29-Nov-10 23:00:46

CarGirl - my DD is the epitome of the incredible non-sleeping baby. I doubt she gets 7 hours in 24. She wakes at the slightest thing. How would I go about seeing someone about the possibility? Would a GP be able to refer, or is it a bit more borderline?

thecaptaincrocfamily Mon 29-Nov-10 23:17:04

OK start putting in her own room for naps. No toys etc, dark curtain, no light and door shut. Put down at 1 3/4 hrs after getting up for 45 mins (leave regardless of yelling), put down lunch time for 2 hrs (leave regardless of yelling) and then 20 mins late afternoon (again leave regardless). If you don't go back in and carry on for 1-2weeks she should sleep, then do evenings the same. At this point I advocate a GF routine for sanity. At night don't co-sleep, put her straight to bed at 7ish then only co-sleep after first core night feed but return to cot.

thecaptaincrocfamily Mon 29-Nov-10 23:18:33

PS I had dd1 waking 5-6 times per night and she slept after 2 weeks doing this.

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