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5 month old cried all through baby group!

(12 Posts)
jesstar Thu 15-Sep-11 14:58:08

Hi,

I went to my first baby group today as it was the first time she was awake at the right time! She will be 5 months in a few days' time, and I have been taking her out to the park, nursery rhyme at the library etc and she sees a lot of my niece and nephew (2 and 4 years, very loud!). But she just cried in the baby group for the whole hour today! I took her to another group on Monday and again she was unsettled and grumpy so I left after half an hour.

All the other babies were peacefully lying on the floor or on their mummies lap playing etc, and she was the only grumpy one there. Had to stand in the garden and listen to the talk while she played with the door! Felt so embarrassed to have the 'difficult baby' and it really stressed me out, don't think I want to go back again. Doesn't help when the other mummies ask 'Why is she crying?' like their babies never cry! She was ok one-on-one and smiling, so it's not a stranger thing ... seems to not like groups of people/babies I think.

Is she just high needs, will she grow out of it, anyone else with experience that can help us???

NeedToSleepZZZ Thu 15-Sep-11 16:55:20

Hi jesstar,

Firstly, I agree that other people asking 'why is she crying?' is NOT helpful. I know that feeling of being the only mum in a group whose baby is crying and feeling as if I'm doing something wrong and feeling ashamed but in all honesty that's not the reality. You are doing a lot for your daughter by taking her out and letting her socialise, my ds (only 7 months) still has moments like this and it's always when we're in public. The reasons can vary from teething, overstimulation to tiredness and / or hunger as babies don't follow any schedule you have planned and just the fact she was awake doesn't mean she wasn't tired iyswim. I have wondered at times whether he is very needy but I do believe that he'll get used to things with practice.
Sorry for the rambling, I'm not sure what the answer is really I just wanted you to know you're not alone and she is still very little and chances are that things will improve drastically as she gets older. Good luck and I'll watch this thread to read any advice given smile

jesstar Thu 15-Sep-11 18:20:40

Thanks so much, it is hard as I am not the most confident of mums as it is, never have had much self-esteem and it took a lot for me to get there today! Not sure I want to go again, they all seemed to know each other so well and sat there looking so smug with their perfect little babies! Will see how I feel, I'm glad I'm not alone. I'm not the most social being on the earth so I guess she might not be either, can't force her to be someone she isn't! She might just be a homebody smile

Campaspe Thu 15-Sep-11 18:28:53

Jess - my DD (now 4) was like this. She was a colicky baby and remained unsettled and quick to cry all through babyhood really. I too had my fair share of having to cope wiht people asking why she was crying and being embarrassed at having to stand up rocking her (the only way to get some peace) whilst other mums sat down chatting with smiley, gurgly babies on the floor or their laps.

I do recommend that you persevere, but for your sake rather than your DD's. In time, some of the other mums may be chatty and may turn out to be really nice people - but sometimes you have to keep showing your face at these sorts of activities/places for a while if you know what I mean.

Anyway, my - admittedly, very biassed - view is that sometimes it's the really bright babies who are difficult and take more settling. I used to try to tell myself this anyway when I was pacing the room!

And finally, it will improve as your DD gets older. Don't give up, keep trying, keep looking for like-minded mums, and do remember that there are other mums out there struggling just as much even if you can't see it.

gurgling Thu 15-Sep-11 19:32:57

I used to leave baby groups because my dd seemed to be screaming really loudly all the time. She had colic and cried for what seemed like most of the time for the first six months. In hindsight, a young baby crying is actually quite quiet and not a problem at all to others at playgroup.

Once she started weaning she stopped crying and barely cried at all after that - people commented on how little she cried! I get really angry with people who say "babies only cry for a reason" because mine just cried all the time for the first six months - she was well fed, dressed, swaddled, entertained, nappy dry - it made no difference.

Try and hang in there - it will get better. And ignore the silly comments.

Weissbier Thu 15-Sep-11 19:35:18

Jess I feel your pain, I still remember the nursery open evening where DD screamed the whole way through and I couldn't leave as signing-up was at the end...she still got a place, although I knew they were lying when they phoned up and said "I remember how sweet your baby is grin ".

But don't let it get to you, really. Look at it another way: your DD might just have good taste. I met some lovely mothers at baby group, but others can be SO annoying, with their why is she crying (why is any baby? Who knows?) and the "my baby slept through the night at two hours old" etc. and so on. ad nauseum. Zzzzzzzzz. It used to bring out the worst in me, when the boasting started I would look as wide-eyed as I could and say "NO! REALLY? WOW. There is NO WAY DD could do that!".

I went to a babygroup where the zealous group leader made us do heads shoulders knees and toes at double speed so it would be "more challenging" and had made up extra verses which got emailed to us so we could PRACTISE them before the next meeting...

If you would like to go to baby group, persevere, your DD might have just been having a grumpy day or two and Campaspe is right that you usually have to go a few times to feel comfortable. If it turns out your DD really doesn't like it, maybe there are other activities you could do - round here just going to the park's a great way to meet nice mums, and there's a few cafés where there are always a lot of babies.

Babies are all different and I second Campaspe that it's probably a strong sign of intelligence! One thing's for sure, another mother's smiley placid baby is not any flippin' sign of achievement on her part at that age, for all she likes to think it is, any more than your DD not liking baby group is any mark of failure on yours. You sound like a brilliant mum to me. Your DD is fine one to one, she gets lots of fresh air and to go to the library for songs, and she'll love watching your niece and nephew. Sounds like an ideal life for a 5-month-old!

jesstar Thu 15-Sep-11 20:03:25

Thank you so much for your insight ladies, it has made me feel so much better. I was feeling like a failure, did I not take her early enough, have I made her like this because I'm a quiet person etc etc ... I will try to persevere and see how she gets on. She's starting nursery next month and I'm now dreading how she will settle in so I think I will need to make sure I get out every day and try and meet other babies. You've all been so lovely, wish I could join you all in a baby group near me! smile

Weissbier Thu 15-Sep-11 21:14:19

Babies are very adaptable Jesstar, we underestimate them in that. She'll almost certainly be fine at nursery and there's a good argument for starting them younger so they get used to it more easily. In the unlikely event she isn't fine you can find another solution, move her to childminder or similar and then that will be fine. Don't worry. Many French babies go to nursery much younger than your DD and there'll be some quiet ones among them yet they still grow up all right!

pozzled Thu 15-Sep-11 21:28:02

Try not to worry too much OP. Babies will cry, it's normal, it doesn't mean she hates baby groups and it certainly doesn't mean you've done anything wrong. Most likely the other babies were more used to it, it can take a while to get used to a different setting. But I bet that if you do go back, you'll see other babies that do the same thing.

Do you know any other local mums at all? You'd probably find it a lot easier and more relaxing if you could go to a group with someone you know. If your niece and nephew live close to you, maybe you could find an under 5s groups that you could all go to?

Otherwise, just keep doing the other things like the library with her, and try going back in a month or so and see if she enjoys it more.

LittleMilla Thu 15-Sep-11 21:31:15

Jess, I read your post before I'd had a glass of wine and it made me cross. Now I've decided to post.

My initial reaction to the people that asked "why is she crying" was to simply tell them to "f*ck off". I would NEVER do that (honest!), but what absolute nobheads! We have ALL been in that situation and I cannot imagine how/why these people behave like that. Grrrr angry, makes me SO cross. And it makes me even crosser that it's made you feel so utterly shite.

Back to practucal advice. I am a considered to be a fairly confident person, yet I wither when faced with new people. My DS is only 19 weeks, so I am really not a pro. But I am slowly starting to meet new friends. The best ones I've met are at a pilates class actually. I find the baby groups hard becuase the babies are often different ages and it's hard to figure out how old the kids are, if there boys or girls etc. I made the FATAL error of asking how old someone's little boy was...just to be told it was a little girl! Whoops.

Try and pick off anyone that looks like they have children the same age. And simply start by asking how old their LO is. Once you break that ice it's often a little easier. And don't feel that you have to pretend that about eveyrthing. I am always (probably) too honest and say that I am finding XYZ tough and ask how they're doing. Most people lie IME, so I always start off being very frank and then people tend to open up a bit more.

People feel the need to front it the whole time. Yet the reality is that their LOs were probably bawling before/after baby club, so don't feel that you have the only one that cries. They all flipping do!

Good luck and hang on in there! Really thinking of you xxx

breatheslowly Thu 15-Sep-11 21:33:44

I think it is great that your DD is starting nursery next month - babies settle in really well at 6mo and it gets more difficult as they get older. My mum also has a theory (sorry to parents whose babies don't fit this) but the younger they start the more the nursery staff get attached to them. Once my DD settled at nursery (at 6mo) I found it a great comfort that she had another environment that she is happy in and parents whose babies don't go to nursery tend to ascribe my DD's sociable and fearless nature to nursery. Remember that at nursery she will be in one environment all day and more than once a week, so it will become familiar very quickly. I am still amazed by how rarely I see a baby crying at nursery - the staff are excellent at comforting.

I didn't take my DD out to groups for about 4 months after she was born as I was ill, but she got the hang of them (sort of). She did have times when she cried, often because I dragged her out when she was tired. My DD isn't quite like yours, but doesn't behave like the others in a baby group. She won't stay still or lie down for songs, she often crawls off and leaves me singing on my own while she goes off to explore and she won't sit on my lap unless there is something really exciting to watch. No one has every said anything to me about this, even when DD goes over to explore them and their baby.

I know that it is hard to leave a baby group part way through, so would you consider turning up when there was 10 or 20 minutes left to go? People were often late to the groups I went to. It is really easy to say that your baby was asleep and you didn't want to wake her or needed a feed or a new nappy just when you were ready to come out. That way you won't be stressed about her being upset as you will know that you only have a very short time at the group. This would mean that she wasn't picking up on your uncertainty. You could then lengthen the time you spend - her attention span is probably very short at this stage.

emmyloo2 Fri 16-Sep-11 03:23:23

Hi there,

I haven't ever taken my DS to a babies or mother's group because I went back to work very early and so didn't have the opportunity (for which I feel a bit guilty) but anyway - I can sympathise. My DS is now 10 months old and is always on the go. He is always wanting to do something - and he is hard work. We were at a lunch the other day with family and my DH's cousin was there with her 8 month old and her baby was happy to sit on the mat and just play for the entire 2 hours of lunch. Then he happily went into his pram and sat there for another hour while we all ate lunch. My DS on the other hand didn't sit still. He had to be entertained and we spent the whole lunch nursing him or carrying him etc etc. It was quite embarrassing because the difference was remarkable. I am quite sure they think he is like that because I am not as laid back as his cousin, but I really think that is rubbish. It is just different personalities I am sure. Also - my nanny said (and I cling to this!) that babies who are easily bored or high maintenance, are bright! So that's what I keep telling myself!

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