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6 month old has always been grumpy. I'm so so sad.

(75 Posts)
OddBodd Tue 17-Jul-12 19:42:11

Hi all.

My 6 month old DS has been high needs and grumpy since day one. We struggled to establish breast feeding. For months he barely fed but snacked every 40 minutes or so even throughout the night. We just went with it hoping it would get better. I just slept with him on me. Eventually it worked out and by 5 months he has been sleeping around 10 hours straight at night, feed at 5am and back down til 7am so can't complain!

During the days though he is just so miserable. I have been at the paediatricians and tried infant gaviscon and ranatidine incase of reflux, I am now dairy free and have been since 12 weeks incase of intolerance. Basically I feel like we've tried everything, even 2 sessions of cranial osteopathy but nothing has cheered him up.

He is over tired most of the day as he only nas for 30 mins at a time and always goes to sleep screaming on me unless I manage to feed him to sleep. He wakes up grizzly as he's clearly still tired. I have tried putting him doewn every 2 hours but he's just exahausted ll the time and screams.

It's totally impacting on my mental health now. I am on edge and shakey. He cries so often for no reason I can find other than I am assuming he's tired but I can't soothe him back to sleep after a nap. I've tried feeding rocking shhhhing, patting, white noise. Nothing works, his eyes pop open and the crying begins. What am I doing wrong? He is so grumpy all day. Please help.

YouveCatToBeKittenMe Tue 17-Jul-12 19:46:00

I had a grumpy baby too. It's nothing you are doing wrong it's just how they are. To make you feel better mine is 16 now and is absolutely lovely, a really easy teenager. We still talk about how grumpy he was as a baby.

OddBodd Tue 17-Jul-12 19:54:27

Thank you. It's just so difficult seeing everone elses happy bundles of joy while mine's writhing about on my lap fighting me yet crying when I put him down! I know I shouldn't compare but my best friend had a baby 12 weeks ago and the difference in their tempraments is huge and it makes me feel like a failure. When did he start to cheer up?

Smokedsalmonbagel Tue 17-Jul-12 20:03:13

I feel for you.

DS2 was a grumpy baby and unfortunately is still a bit of a grumpy toddler.

He had reflux and would vomit often which made him miserable plus he has really struggled with all his teeth. DS1 barely needed calpol when teething but DS2 regularly has calpol and brufen when he is teething.

He is nearly 2 and if everything is perfect for him he is sooo happy and a delight. But if he is not happy about the slightest thing I know about it!!!

It won't go down very well on here but have you thought about letting him cry himself to sleep. My sons both needed to do that at some point. I remember one evening we'd tried everything to get DS2 to sleep - rocking, cuddling, feeding etc etc. I got to the point where I was exhausted and put him in his moses basket as I just needed to put him down. He whinged a bit and was asleep in minutes!!

Charliewasagoodhamster Tue 17-Jul-12 20:04:29

I am sorry I can't help much but my 6 month old was a real pain to get to sleep I. The day which made her cranky. Someone on here gave me wonderful advice that worked first time. Time 1 hr 45 mins or 2 hours after waking before tiredness hits and start to wind down for nap. I feed to sleep, know it isn't the most advised thing to do but it works for me. When asleep put down on front. It has taken my daughter from short cat napson me to at least 1 hour naps at a time. For us it is about 10am and 2 pm.

Perhaps if you can get one thing like naps working other it's will fall in to place?

Good luck, it can't be easy and I hope something works. For what it is worth my baby has changed so much since napping and turning 6 months. Now we are weaning we have fallen in to a routine that works for both of us and it all feels easier.

Cubtrouble Tue 17-Jul-12 20:10:27

OddBodd, if you can afford one get a baby swing, my baby had bad wind and the swing helped us so much, he falls asleep within a few moments of the motion starting. It gave me a chance to eat and rest for half hour before starting again, i usually wake him around feeding time, give him a nice cuddle while he wakes up but have his bottle ready so no crying.
Also found a baby gym with lights and music was a big help.

I give him a bath to settle him down before bed and a bit of baby massage and he wakes up a happy boy the next day.

I spoke to the HV about my baby and there can be so many reasons other than the hungry/dirty nappy/wind i thought,
over stimulated/bored
wants a cuddle/wants to be left alone!

Very confusing little beings, chin up its nothing you are doing!!!

good luck


OddBodd Tue 17-Jul-12 20:18:40

I am just worried he will always be this way. I feel like I can not please him. Will he just be a difficult child? I can't understand why if he's tired he just won't sleep in the day!!!

BitchyHen Tue 17-Jul-12 20:21:14

DD1 was like this. We think she just hated being a baby. She started to get better once she could sit up unaided, and once she could move she was happy. She is now 14 and still very vocal and a bit prone to the miseries.

BlablaSos Tue 17-Jul-12 20:23:10

I had one of those! Mine did have silent reflux but was still grumpy even once it was under control. We had 3 sessions of cranial osteopathy. Once she hit 9 months and could crawl well and entertain herself a little better she improved a lot. She now smiles loads, in fact people bow describe her as a smiley baby, and she doesn't cry that much.

Her naps have got a lot better too. I didn't do anything - just gave her time.

I know it is awful but it will get better.

Piccalilli2 Tue 17-Jul-12 20:28:40

Dd1 was a very grumpy baby. She didn't sleep (ever). She's still quite a serious 6 yr old but utterly wonderful and great with her sister and sleeps well and I love her to absolute bits. They're all different and some babies I think take time to make their way in the world. It's not you, just keep loving your baby, get help if you need it and it will come right

nannyof3 Tue 17-Jul-12 20:34:53

Have u tried baby massage?

mercibucket Tue 17-Jul-12 20:44:50

Ds2 was a very grumpy baby. He is a delightful child, sunny, good natured, never ill, healthy and strong. Nightmare baby though sad he always wanted to walk and talk, did both at an early age and never looked back.

wigglybeezer Tue 17-Jul-12 20:45:41

Swaddling? Baby swing?

Being tightly wrapped helped grumpy DS1 settle. Did end up doing controlled crying too though.

mercibucket Tue 17-Jul-12 20:46:43

I wish I'd used a sling with him - he didn't like being put down and liked to sleep next to me - a sling would have helped I think

wigglybeezer Tue 17-Jul-12 20:46:58

Swaddling? Baby swing?

Being tightly wrapped helped grumpy DS1 settle. Did end up doing controlled crying too though.

Irate Tue 17-Jul-12 20:48:53

my DS was an abosolute nightmare with colic until he was about 7mths, he screamed all the time and never smiled. We did a bit of CC but with handholding, and the more solids he ate the better he became, you would never know he was the same child now, please dont worry Im sure things will get easier for you very soon.

Runningblue Tue 17-Jul-12 20:50:16

Re daytime sleep. Does he sleep in the car, in the buggy, in a sling? Could you begin to use one or more of these to try and tease more daytime sleep. I read a very good tip by Elizabeth pantly which said to basically try to get them into a habit of napping however the method, then once the habit is there, you can work on the preferred location...
So sorry if you try all of this, just thought I'd suggest.. My DS was a grumpy little devil with not enough daytime naps and wasnt helped by lots of nighttime wake ups. I resorted to several sleep books and made it a bit of a mission to try getting better quality naps, and it did take some effort but worth it for sanity.
I feel your pain and angst, it's knackering and debilitating.

xkatyx Tue 17-Jul-12 21:11:21

You poor poor thing!! I have 5 children as my second child was like this!! I tried everything as you have.

She was awful I couldn't go anywhere she screamed all the time, no one wanted to have her to give me a break, she crie allllllll the time!!
It's sounds horrible but after a while I really didn't like her much at all. It had a huge impact on our family me and dh argued all the time because we were both tired and I resented the fact he could go to work!! Everyone thought I was mean always saying what a misserable baby she was .. Buy honestly she was!

I used to see other baby's all happy and wounder where I went wrong!!

I did nothing different but when sw turned 1 it got a whole lot easier once she could do things for her self like feeding her self so she could have snacks and being able to walk helpe a lot!!!

She still is a massive winge bag and some days she really doesn't stop (she is 6) but now she is older enough to understand SHUT UP helps a lot smile
You will get through it and it won't last long, the older your little one gets the easier it will become

I also did develop PND because of this also but managed through it all and even went on to have 3 more babies whom are very very happy smile

BlackOutTheSun Tue 17-Jul-12 21:15:35

DD spent her first year with an angry face

Another one here, no one would take her to give me a break as all she did was scream. She did improve once she was on the move.

Sittinginthesun Tue 17-Jul-12 21:17:10

Yes, I had a grumpy one too! He's 8 years now, still serious, but gentle with a wicked sense of humour.

wigglesrock Tue 17-Jul-12 21:23:16

My dd2 was a grumpy old sod for the first 18 months, she was a dreadful sleeper at night as well. It really was exhausting and debilitating, but at about 18 months she seemed to turn a corner, I don't remember how or why but I do remember it happening grin

She is now 4 and from about 2 years she was the most delightful child ever grin She is a real ray of sunshine (I never thought I'd type that 3 years ago!) and an absolute wee star, she is as well super smart and I put down the first 18 months as her being a genius in the making grin

wigglesrock Tue 17-Jul-12 21:23:59

Oh meant to say, I drove her around in the car during the day to encourage her napping.

akaemmafrost Tue 17-Jul-12 21:26:13

You have described my dd.

I actually considered that she might be ill or have a tooth abscess (read that it is possible in babies) because she was so miserable ALL THE TIME! I was in despair, constantly on edge myself, churning anxiety whenever we left the house waiting for the first piercing shriek. The looks we used to get when out! Gave up on taking her out to eat or shopping, because she would always create and I would end up in tears, posted about her on here actually and was bluntly told to on line shop grin, which I did for two years. The tantrums were epic!

She is five now and still VERY sensitive and high maintenance, but she is also very funny, very kind, helpful, incredibly creative, really good company and loves her family so so much. I wouldn't change her for anything, it was all worth it.

ceebeegeebies Tue 17-Jul-12 21:28:15

Another one here who had a grumpy baby - DS2 seemed to spend his early years in a permanent grump although I have no idea what about grin I was fortunate in that he did sleep extremely well but when he was awake, it really was difficult!

It seemed more pronounced as DS1 was (and still is) one of the happiest, sunniest baby/child that there is.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that DS2 is now 3.8 and is so much better - he smiles and giggles and plays and is generally a happy little boy now smile However, he is very quick to let you know if something isn't to his liking and can tantrum with the best of them but me and DH often comment about how happy he is these days compared to the baby days.

Hope that is reassuring in some way smile

akaemmafrost Tue 17-Jul-12 21:30:15

Oh and she never slept during the day either. Would be beside herself with tiredness by the evening, it was hellish but luckily (for both our sakes!) she slept through the night but only from 10 months onwards.

ComeTalkToMe Tue 17-Jul-12 22:19:15

My DD, 7 months is pretty grumpy too and fights nap time like a good 'un! I feel I spend my life trying to get her to sleep or worrying if she is going to kick off - so sympathy.

One thing I have noticed is that she's happier when she can do something new eg roll, sit up so I'm hoping she'll improve more when she can walk and talk!

OddBodd Wed 18-Jul-12 07:04:03

Thank you everyone. It helps massively to know others have/ are going through this. Iy's just such an emotional time. I try and please him and more often than not i just seem to p*ss him off! I have no idea how to cheer hin up. He is just grouchy and cries so hard for nothing apparent. Clearly he has a reason but I can never find out what it is and how to fix it. It's like walking on egg shells everydy and I hoped by 6 months I'd feel more stable and he'd be more settled.

iMoniker Wed 18-Jul-12 07:17:50

My DD was a grumpy baby - starting around 4 months and escalating to her worst at about 18 months of age. She was truly hideous - she would scream and perform if anybody that she did not know so much as looked at her and would become hysterical if somebody she didn't know came to the house.

I eventually got to breaking point and enrolled her in a nursery school for 3 days a week when she was 21 months old. It was the BEST thing we have ever done.

She's five now and started school in January - she proudly announces to anybody who will listen - "my teachers say I am the happiest kid in prep"...

Hang in there, it will get better...

brettgirl2 Wed 18-Jul-12 07:42:45

6 months is too old to get a baby swing - I've just given mine away cos dd was too big to strap in and was trying to climb out. Playstation helped from that age with my first. OP I think that sometimes rather than looking for solutions you just have to accept how things are? If you've tried different things then probably he's just a difficult baby. My first was high maintenance and I always felt like it was my fault. My second is completely different - lovely sunny baby and its only now I realise how easy it should be!

mercibucket Wed 18-Jul-12 08:30:12

Apart from the obvious (nappy, hungry, tired, ill) there's nothing you can do really. Stick him in a sling if he likes them and get on with the day. I was luckier with ds2 as he had that treatment whether he liked it or not as I was running round after ds1. It would have been harder if I'd had to focus on amusing him all day. My theory on babies is they need to be close to an adult, fed and watered and that's it, let them soak up 'being in a family', no need to come up with ideas to amuse them

Houseworkprocrastinator Wed 18-Jul-12 08:54:32

I had a grumpy one, I feel for you, it's not nice and just feels like a job rather than a joy. Health people blamed colic, reflux, etc... (but it didn't stop at 3 months) When my second was born she started out a bit like that too but I found a really useful article on the net how some babies are said to have colic when really they have thrush, this can be in the esophagus so not able to see it. I did have to take this article to 3 different doctors before one took me seriously and prescribed medication for it and with in a few days she was a different baby.
Sorry cant find the page right now.

YouveCatToBeKittenMe Wed 18-Jul-12 11:38:23

I didn't want to tell you how long it took him to cheer up, as it wasn't till he started school at 4. TBH I think he was bored. He was a different child at school but used to start moaning literally as soon as he came into the house!
I was obviously a dreadful under stimulating parent!

I couldn't believe when he started school and within a few day teachers were coming up to compliment me on raising such a happy, knowledgeable child. I honestly thought they must have mixed him up with someone else.

Although at the moment every day seems forever to you, I can assure you in the long run it is such a short amount of time. Chin up, it will get easier.

lyndie Wed 18-Jul-12 12:19:27

I know not everyone likes these books but I found The Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg really useful. Ignore the routines but she writes so nicely about loving the baby you gave birth to, how to calm a grumpy baby and interpret the different cries. Lots of stuff too about winding down for naps and dealing with crying, colic and reflux. Good luck.

Chubfuddler Wed 18-Jul-12 12:23:57

Another one whose child hated being a baby. Ds cried for six months. At least yours now sleeps - ds didn't sleep through the night until he was about 4. Years.

He is the most loving, affectionate, amusing and funny child on earth. He can still be grumpy when tired. Your baby will grow out of it. You aren't doing anything wrong. I know that because I treated dd exactly as I had treated ds and she was the most contented newborn. It's not you.

ChippingInNeedsCoffee Wed 18-Jul-12 12:42:43

Lots of suggestions here - I hope you find something that helps.

What I would do:

Try a different Osteopath.

Get a routine that suits you. For me that would be bath about 6.30 (for him not you!!), story (yes he's little, but it's calming), milk and light out at 7. Shush pat for as long as it takes, for as many nights as it takes (I'd expect it to be hidious for about 4 nights).

Decide on a time in the morning you can deal with (for me it's 6am) and anything before that is nighttime - more shush pat - I know it's soul destroying and hard, but it's worth it in the end. Anything after your set time is 'morning'.

Morning nap 3 hours after your 'designated morning time' for as long as he'll stay there, but anything less than 40 mins, shush pat.

Afternoon nap 3 hours after he's woken from his morning nap - same routine.

Then I would take him to 'stuff' - whatever you can bear - rhyme time, toddler groups are free/cheap, but also Music with Mummies, Baby Sensory etc - just a) get out of the house & b) give him other things to do/look at. Talk to other adults and don't be confined to the house with a screaming child.

Is there anyone else who can look after him to give you a break?

Look after yourself - do as much for yourself as you can do/can afford to do (nice new book, proper coffee out/takeaway, food you enjoy). Reward yourself for getting through another day without leaving him on a church step x

SophieLeGiraffe Wed 18-Jul-12 12:53:55

Have you tried just leaving him to it when you're trying to get him to sleep in the day? My DS wasn't grumpy but I did notice early on that he most definitely did not want me hanging around singing or shushing or cuddling or whatever when he was trying to get to sleep. All of that just made him more awake and very cross. Leaving him to winge it out usually meant he was asleep within minutes. I don't mean full on crying - there's crying that means "come here, now" and crying that means "blah blah blah I'm off to sleep now".

SomethingSuitablyWitty Wed 18-Jul-12 13:06:53

I think my DD was a little bit older, but around the same age when we got the TinyLove mobile with the classical music. She loved it so much. It used to buy me up to 40 minutes at times. Might be a help? For naps at that age I used to put her in the buggy and just push it with my arm while sitting having a cup of tea. It used to take a while but she used to fall asleep in the end. I agree with previous posters that you can be worrying about the location of the naps later, the main thing would be for your DS to sleep a bit more - it would surely help even if only in terms of giving you a break.

OddBodd Wed 18-Jul-12 13:25:03

Thank you everyone. Oh my word yougottobekitten 4 yrs?????!!!! How the hell did you cope? Was it just 4 years of hell? I don't think I'm coping very well at all. I just feel very down about it. It's not enjoyable at all taking care of him and I know that must make me sound horrible but I just feel like I wnt someone to come take him and do it until he cheers up. I know that's awful but it is such hards work. Even my friend who has 2 children said when I took him round to the other day how difficult he was and how they can understand how I must be losing my mind with the constant crying. There has to be an end to this. I can't keep trying to work out what's wrong with him while he wriggles and whinges whatever I try. :-(

antonchigurwouldliketomeetyou Wed 18-Jul-12 18:06:29

My friend had a really grumpy baby.

He is an adorable, kind, sweet, charming cuddly toddler. Once he was a bit more mobile things improved a lot.

brettgirl2 Wed 18-Jul-12 20:13:55

Oddbod be kinder to yourself. You arent a horrible person at all, things are just really tough at the moment. Tbh mine is 6 months (and easy) I am starting to feel ready to go back to work.... Not everyone is cut out to be at home all the time - we are who we are!

sittinginthesun Wed 18-Jul-12 20:15:54

Just expanding on what Cometalktome said, even as my DS1 got older, he went through really grumpy phases where he was almost unbearably grumpy, couldn't sleep, no eye contact, his coordination would go funny, and I would be in tears trying to work out what was wrong. It would last for around 5-7 days, and then he would suddenly snap out of it and perform an amazing new skill!

He basically cried non stop from 2 weeks until 4 and a half months, then learned to roll. Then another awful phase until he learned to crawl at 7 months. Then he was fine on and off until 19 months, and was then the grumpiest child in the world for 5 months. I actually remember the second he snapped out of it. We'd been to a pantomime, which was loud and a bit scary, but he'd stood watching the whole thing. In the car on the way home, he suddenly started speaking in sentences, and was laughing.

Just to say, you basically have to roll with it, and try not to compare with all the placid little sweeties out there. Remember, your child probably has deep thoughts and spirit! Mine is certain bright, and I do wonder whether half of the misery was frustration.

derekthehamster Wed 18-Jul-12 20:19:48

My now 12yr old ds was a really grumpy baby, right up until 7 months when he started to crawl. It does get better grin he had colic and what I now realise was reflux.

(He's very intellegent, so I think he was bored as a non moving baby grin)

Noggie Wed 18-Jul-12 20:25:23

Oh gosh I really feel for is awful having a crying baby. MY dd1 cried so much day and night that it drove me to tears (often). She was really colicky and didn't sleep well apart from when I drove her around to get her to sleep. It was soul destroying sad . 6 years on and I can honestly say she is lovely, a wee bit sensitive perhaps but always happy, artistic, loving and full of fun. My dd2 was totally different as a baby- just as well! It is so hard having such a tough time- it will get better as he starts to crawl, feed, be able to communicate more effectively.

AlpinePony Wed 18-Jul-12 20:32:18

I've got a 5 month old monster and I live overseas with no help. sad we've had a diagnosis of reflux which we're treating but he's just so unhappy and it drains my soul.

I just keep telling myself it'll get better when he can crawl.

Chin up, it helps the tears roll!

AlpinePony Wed 18-Jul-12 20:33:09

Ps my husband had a vasectomy 8 weeks ago, we are never doing this again.

5madthings Wed 18-Jul-12 20:41:07

oh you are describing my ds1, except he didnt sleep through the night till he was 3yrs old!

he was miserably, got a teensy bit better when he could sit and then better again when he could walk (which he did on his frist bday) then he learnt to talk, by 18mths he was talking in sentences and was a delight, honestly he just hated being a baby! he is now almost 13 and still very serious and has always been like an old man, far too grown up for his age. we always said he was like that robot the one called no5 in the film? 'i need input i need input' we couldnt keep him entertained at all! but he did get better as he got older and i have had 4 more since, none were as grumpy as he was!

Alurkatsoftplay Wed 18-Jul-12 20:57:17

Ds1 was terrible. Wept himself to sleep and wept himself awake. I almost wished he had colic because then we would know and eventually it would stop. It must have stopped eventually coz he is now a lovely (slightly grumpy) kid and I went on to have two very cheery babies.
Take all the help you can get- no one is affected by your boy's wailing as much as you.

airhostess Wed 18-Jul-12 21:22:49

My Son screamed and never slept as a small baby. We had the midwife for 10 days!!!He was a vontuse delivery and his head was badly mishaped, the hospital advised us to see a cranio osteopath asap. He had two sessions within days of coming home which made no difference. I got in touch with another cranio and she diagnosed him with neck and head pain. We saw her once a week for about 6 weeks and she gave me my beautiful contented baby! Still can't get my head around what they do but I can't recommend them enough. Change your cranio and patience is the key ( difficult I know) within two sessions he started to change, he could only turn his head one way when born and gradually his neck got better. I will be taking any future babies to her, she saved my mental health and my baby that was in pain.

He would feed for 4 hours and still scream straightway ( the midwife sat with me for 1 1/2 hr once checking the process. Went to breast feeding cafes, nct breast feeding advice etc. in the end the HV told us to top up with formula, 6-8 wks later I gave up BF and gave him formula, saw a huge difference in him immediately. He was hungry. He was 8lb 15 born.

I found by chance that a random blanket settled him one morning in the lounge, I wrapped him in it whilst holding him ( thinking wtf have we done more than likely)and he started to close his eyes. Slowly day by day I got the blanket out and he settled, sometimes he slept for 5-10 minutes which in my eyes was just amazing. We moved from putting him on the sofa to his Moses basket over a few weeks and he learned to associate the blanket with nap time and built on this.

My Son now sleeps 0930-1000, 1230-1430 7pm-7am and has done since 6 months. At about 4 weeks old I bought the Gina Ford Contented Baby book. For me at my wits end it worked. He was never left to cry but I did use the pick up put down method from the Baby Whisperer book by Tracy Hogg. Took patience and took 17 times one night but used this when he was a couple of months old.

I have no family near so totally understand but if I was you def check out a new recommended cranio osteopath. Good luck it will get better and every day I repeated the mantra 'tomorrow is a new day' !!!!

MigGril Wed 18-Jul-12 21:35:20

sounds like you have a very high needs baby. Dd was like this but she also had reflux and didn't sleep, so I feel your pain. I felt isolated from groups with mums with news babies like it must have been something I was doing wrong.

Two thing I sounds that helped 1) Joining my local NCT coffee morning where there where mums with older preschool children, who where all like don't worry it does get better. 2) Reading Dr Sears books especially the one on high needs babies

She had stages where she got better, first at six months when she stopped being sick, 18 was hell on the sleep from. But she was happier during the day as could talk quit well. Got a lot better when she started preschool. But is still a winger at 5 years.

MigGril Wed 18-Jul-12 21:37:10

oh and I've gone on to have a lovely chilled out baby in DS. Now 19 months.

OddBodd Fri 20-Jul-12 20:01:12

Thank you everyone. I just feel like such a failure. He can be very smiley and lovely but will immediately whinge or cry sometimes I can't tell the difference between a little laugh or a whinge because when I tickle him it can go either way :-( He is just so tempremental! It helps to know I'm not alone. Thank you.

brettgirl2 Fri 20-Jul-12 20:13:16

You arent a failure but I felt that way with dd1. Dd2 has shown me how easy it is for most people! Hang in there it will get better.

bishboschone Fri 20-Jul-12 23:51:11

My ds is just like this . He is 11 months and cries all the time. It's soul destroying isn't it ? Have you got a jumperoo ,? That thing is my salvation !

mercibucket Sat 21-Jul-12 10:22:41

I just remembered something! Iron deficiency is very common in older babies and toddlers, who are born with enough to see them through the first 4-6 months (less if cord clamped straight away) but often don't eat much iron-rich food til a bit older. It makes them clingy, anxious and whine a lot. Dd was like this. Worth a thought. Hv can do finger prick test or you can just up the iron in their diet

mercibucket Sat 21-Jul-12 10:22:42

I just remembered something! Iron deficiency is very common in older babies and toddlers, who are born with enough to see them through the first 4-6 months (less if cord clamped straight away) but often don't eat much iron-rich food til a bit older. It makes them clingy, anxious and whine a lot. Dd was like this. Worth a thought. Hv can do finger prick test or you can just up the iron in their diet

olibeansmummy Sat 21-Jul-12 20:52:10

Ds was a difficult baby, he had colic too and was physically and mentally I guess, very advanced. As soon as he could do one thing he wanted to do the next. For example, he sat up himself at 12 weeks and then wanted to get moving straight away, but couldn't. He didn't sleep much and wanted to be entertained all the time. He didn't sleep through til he was 2 1/2 either.

But now he is the most amazing 3 year old! He's bright and well behaved and sooo much fun smile

The baby stage seems like forever at the time, but it really is just a short time.

Iggly Sat 21-Jul-12 21:25:58

Odd, have you spoken to anyone about this? Just wondered as you sound a bit down. I have two refluxy high need babies and recognise the feeling of being down.

Remember though, your baby will grumble more when you're there if something is up. Simply because they know you make it better (in the same way you cry in front of people who you trust/care about iyswim?)

I found a sling helps. Also a pushchair which faces outwards. Helped loads with both of mine when they're grump. Took them out for a walk, so they could watch the world and sometimes they'd even nap!

Iggly Sat 21-Jul-12 21:28:13

Also, forgive me as not read the whole thread. Have you also eliminated soya from your diet? If he's dairy intolerant, could react to soya too. I personally think its nasty stuff - my two reacted even more to soya than they did to cows milk.

HenriettaPootle Sat 21-Jul-12 22:12:11

DS1 was just like this. It's grim to go through; I really feel for you. I also found that nothing 'worked' - we tried everything we could think of (diet, cranial osteopathy etc) and nothing made a blind bit of difference. He's now nearly five, and still fairly unusual - quite high maintenance, temperamental, sulky - but he's also incredibly bright, rewarding, interesting and lovely. So I wouldn't exactly say he'd grown out of it - in that I think the way he was as a baby is linked to his personality now - but he certainly hasn't kept crying for four years!! I've recently read a book about Highly Sensitive Children and, while I don't really like these labels, it did seem to fit my son very well (the theory being that, basically, some children are just more sensitive to the world around them in practically every way - visually, aurally, emotionally etc etc). According to the author, there's nothing you can do to change it, you just need to learn strategies to manage their environment and experiences. And with my DS1, I do think that things became easier when I stopped trying to 'cure' him, and just accepted that that's the way he is. It's certainly NOT the 'fault' of your parenting - I went on to have another DS (now nearly 2) who is the sunniest, most laid back child you could imagine.

Also, you should realise (you probably do already) that nobody (your friends, family or health professionals) who has not had a baby like this REMOTELY understands what it's like. I had friends say helpful things like, 'Why don't you try giving him a cuddle, maybe that would settle him down?', and doctors saying 'Oh, I should think he's got a bit of colic'. Which, particularly when you're a first time mum, makes you think that somehow you're overreacting, or not handling it very well. It's nonsense - they just have no idea what it's like to have a child that's so unsettled. Which doesn't make it easier for you, but please don't let anyone make you think you're a) contributing to the problem or b) overreacting to it. How about your partner? How well does he cope with it, and is he around enough to offer much support?

(Incidentally, DS1 never slept in the daytime either, until suddenly, around 9 months, he started napping for 2 hours at lunchtime and carried on until he was three! So don't give up! I would keep trying to put him down for sleeps, even if you don't feel like you're getting anywhere.)

AlanMoore Sat 21-Jul-12 22:40:49

Agree with other posters that it's how he is, friends ds just the same but once he was crawling and knew the sign for milk he cheered up a lot.

To get a break in the day can you do forward facing, comfy in buggy, and push him for an hour or so while you listen to music on earphones? Try bumpy terrain, this might get him off to sleep, I've known a few babies who liked being "shaken" to sleep like this! My dd wasn't a grumpy baby but she was very resistant to napping. I started putting her outside at about 4m and she started having an hour in the morning & 2 at lunchtime, from literally no nap at all. Worth a try? I think you sound like you have the patience of a saint btw, I'm sure things will get better soon [hugs].

firstimeforeverything Sat 21-Jul-12 23:04:16

Is he still feeding very frequently, little and often? One of the best bits of advice I have received on babycare was early on with DS1 when he was feeding every half an hour and I was getting so stressed - my mum simply said 'just feed him every two hours, and not more frequently than that. He won't starve!'. It only took a couple of days to get established in this routine, and he began to sleep much better, instead of the constant cycle of sleep, wake, eat hour after hour. DS1 always dropped off on the boob, and once we got into this pattern he would sleep well for a couple of hours before waking again.

That said, he didn't have reflux. DS2 does, so I would add a word of warning to make sure that you don't overfill him. Anyway, just a thought. I'm sure he will improve, probably once he becomes more mobile as others have suggested. It's such a shame that his reflux hasn't resolved itself yet - I think you've been very unlucky with that.

InNeedofIdeas Mon 23-Jul-12 14:06:04

He sounds just like my DS was Odd. It is so so hard, I completely know what you're going through. We tried gaviscon and cranial osteopathy as well and it didn't make any difference at all!

I did want to give you a ray of hope though - my DS is now 14.5 months and is so much happier. He still much more high needs than friends' babies BUT in comparison with what he used to be he's like a different baby. One thing to bear in mind with a grumpy baby is that as they get older there are just more and different ways to distract them, which really helps. If DS is grumbling now, we can always go out to a playgroup/try a new toy/give him a ricecake/read a book and because he's so much more aware, he actually responds to these things now. I remember at around 5 or 6 months just feeling hopeless as nothing seemed to make him happy.

You say it's impacting on your mental health and I definitely know what I mean. Can you make sure that you build regular breaks into your week - eg. can your DH take him for a few hours at the weekend while you go out and do something else. For me, it was important to actually get out of the house, as if I was home and could hear him crying I didn't relax at all. Maybe go and see a film or something that will really take your mind off it as I know how all-consuming it can be.

OddBodd Tue 24-Jul-12 07:28:01

Thanks everyone for the replies.

Firsttimeforeverything No he doesn't feed particularly frequently now, usually every 3 hours in the day and goes 10-12 hours at night which is great. He used to be a terrible feeder, every 45 mins but he has grown out of this thankfully.

henriettapootle thank you, yes perhaps I should stop looking for a 'cure' and hopefully as he becomes older his response to things will be easier to manage. It's helpful to know others have been through this. i just couldn't stand it if I thought there was something wrong with him that I have missed but there's every chance it is just his personality.... which also scaes me and worries me how we will cope with him :-(

INeedofIdeas your post has helped me realise that it will get better so thank you. I just hate the sound of him crying and it affecs me so much. I feel like such a failure and it is so hard getting out and about with him as a melt down is never far away. I have no idea how I am going to get through this next year.

surreygirl1987 Sun 31-Mar-19 11:20:20

@OddBodd just in case you're still on mumsnet all these years later... did it get better? I'm in the same boat and am finding a lot of these threads but with no ending! Hopefully you can reassure me that my grumpy 6 month old won't always whinge all day long 😔

Oddbodd Sun 31-Mar-19 19:08:46

Hi it's meeeee! Must admit I don't come on mumsnet anymore but I got an email to alert me that I'd been mentioned and I couldn't not reply.

Firstly habe you ruled out reflux or milk intolerance? Iron deficiency? We tried everything with our son and nothing medical was ever discovered to explain why he was sp difficult. We even went to a cranial osteopath to try and 'correct' any issues. Nothing made any difference.

However... the good news is he is now 7 years old and I can promise you he isn't still crying all day! In fact I can't remember the last time he cried. He's very chatty and friendly little boy who I think just didn't really enjoy being a baby.

He still isn't particularly smiley to be honest. He's a deep thinker, very articulate and funny. Weirdly now everyone always comments on what an easy going child he is. All his school reports comment on how laid back he is and what a calming influence he has on the class. It baffles me as he was definitely not laid back as a baby!

He's lovely. Very cuddly and happy to potter about. Loves a good chat and is extremely sweet natured. Just to give you some hope!

For us we never found a magic cure. It just steadily got better. Sorry I wish I could offer you something more but as he grew up and could walk and certainly talking seemed to alleviate some of his frustration.

He was never a high maintenance toddler and has only ever had a handful of tantrums so you never know, you may get pay back for all these hard days you are going through now.

I know how miserable and lonely it is but it gets so much better I promise. Just hang in there and feel free to message me if you need a hand to hold haha.

surreygirl1987 Sun 31-Mar-19 22:56:43

Fantastic!! That's so good to know, thanks! Glad you got my message!
We think he has allergies through breastmilk and he's under hospital care for that but we are wondering if his constant whinginess is separate to that as even when he doesn't seem to be reacting he is whingy anyway! But so nice to hear it gets better!! Thanks!!! smile

DelphiMum Tue 02-Apr-19 12:50:17

I had this baby. For us it started getting better around six months when he started eating and crawling.

surreygirl1987 Tue 02-Apr-19 15:57:00

Well he's 6 months old next week... so there is hope! He's quite a way off crawling though. But weaning begins next week smile

Twinkletoes19 Tue 15-Oct-19 19:03:12

@surreygirl1987 Could I please ask if you've seen any improvement yet? I too have this baby and I'm in despair (and nearing breaking point). She's 8 months and she cries/whines all day every day and has done since she was six weeks, no matter what we try. It's clearly not a physical problem - it's just who she is. As you know, it's unbelievably stressful and exhausting. I have no happy memories from this year of my life. I can see that the other posters have said that eventually it improved. I just wondered if you or anyone else could please say WHEN it starts/started to improve as I have to have a sense of when this might end. I'm not sure I will cope if it continues for another eight months. Thank you everyone.

surreygirl1987 Tue 15-Oct-19 20:08:38

Hey! YES!! I have a one year old now... and he is soooo happy! Seriously, he's one of the happiest babies at nursery, he naps and eats well, and most of the time he is a dream to look after. He is still high needs though and has a massive personality. I find him exhausting as he NEVER wants to stay still, and he throws proper toddler tantrums if he doesn't get his own way. But the vast majority of the time he is super happy 🙌

A lot changed when he was 7 months old as that's when I stopped breastfeeding him and he went on prescription formula. Something in my breastmilk was bothering him. Then he was super happy for a while bit then he got met a miserable and needy again as he got a double ear infection, a cold, and teeth all in one go. After that, since around 8 or 9 months, he's been mostly happy the majority of the time. He also became happier when he started nursery (I think he needs the stimulation?) and a million times happier when he began crawlinf at 9 monhs! I think a lot of it was frustration- with every new skill he seems more cheerful. Don't get me wrong - when things aren't his way he whinges. He's currently obsessed with opening and closing the door, and if he can't open it he will whinge until I open it for him. He throws angry he tantrums if I dare to change his nappy, and if he gets overtired he will just sob. He's still hard work. But so very cheerful most of the time and I no longer despair. I said to my husband thst I hated him on more than one occasion, it got that bad. I can't imagine feeling like that about him now.

Your baby will be fine. They change so much in the first couple of years and in my desperate research I discovered endless stories of grumpy babies becoming lovely toddler or children. Apparently both I and my husband were like that too! But the main thing is to make sure you're looking after yourself too. I know from experience that it is so so so hard. I was constantly comparing my son to the other babies and felt like such a failure. But now I feel silly for caring about what others thought and comparing. Hindsight is a wonderful thing hey! I do think I ended up with PPD as a result of my son being so difficult though and it made the first 6 or so months very miserable for me. Going back to work really helped me (part time) and was good for him too. Do whatever you can to get through the tiresome times and the whining and the crying... my son is evidence that it doesn't last for ever- and trust me, I was so sure that there had never been a baby as miserable as my son ever before! 😂

surreygirl1987 Tue 15-Oct-19 20:11:19

Oh and feel free to message me if you want to talk further! I do remember very vividly how soul destroying and draining it is and I reached breaking point too. It got pretty bad for a while. If you're on Facebook I found some high needs baby groups really great support as it helped me to know I wasn't alone and didn't actually have the only miserable baby in the world!

Twinkletoes19 Tue 15-Oct-19 21:32:33

Thank you so much for replying! It's so kind of you, I really appreciate it!! And thank you for giving me hope - your message has given me a real boost. I'm pretty sure the root of the problem for my baby is the same - not enough stimulation and feeling frustrated. She's almost crawling, so hopefully that will help - and your tips about nursery and going back to work make sense, too. Thank you for sharing your state of mind at the time - her behaviour does make me feel like a failure - always thinking I must be doing something wrong for her to be like this and I feel envious of the happy mothers I know whose babies are so much easier and who have genuinely enjoyed their maternity leave. You can't help but make comparisons and wonder what you did to deserve this. It's been hard to get out with her because there's always a point where she starts to complain and then cry and it becomes disruptive for everyone else so I gave up on coffee groups etc. because I was always having to leave early and apologise/make excuses for her. I'm a bit worried about taking her to nursery when I go back to work and whether they'll ask me to take her out again because they can't deal with her! It has been bad - so bad that my husband and I pretty much decided we wouldn't have another baby, even though we always wanted more, because we didn't think we could handle another like her. But it sounds like we just need to give it time.

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply and I'm thrilled for you that your son is so happy and settled now and that you can enjoy your time together.

surreygirl1987 Tue 15-Oct-19 22:50:25

No worries! Seriously don't worry about nursery. I honestly thought he would be unmanageable and get kicked out but apparently he's actually one of their 'easy' babies, ha! 🤦🏼‍♀️ I have a friend with a really easy baby (in my opinion) and he hates nursery and grizzles of the day. I guess they either take to it or they don't! You won't know until you try... and remember they've seen hundreds of different babies so they've used to all sorts of temperaments!

I hated maternity leave! I'm occasionally a bit sad about that but to be honest I'm just glad we've got through the miserable days and relieved he's happy now! When he turned one I wasn't even that emotional as I find him easier with every month that passes!

I had moments when I swore we would never have another baby but actually We are now planning to, and are starting to try again. Things change quickly.

Also you are NOT doing anything wrong! Babies are just born with different temperaments. And this often changes as they grow up anyway. Google High needs Baby (Dr Sears). There's also an amusinf quiz I did that categorizes your baby by personality (eg Angel baby)... might got dubbed 'sprited', which describes him to a T.

Oh finally one more thing... what worked really well for my son was getting him into a really good routine. We did this early on so it wasn't exactly a deal breaker or a miracle cure, but we've realised in recent months how important it is to him as he gets grumpy and temperamental when he's overtired. A routine means we can plan social events for times when he's most likely to be happy and rested ... as he is definitely not the sort of baby who just falls asleep whenever and wherever he feels like it!

Best of luck. I know how tough it is but there are thousands of other parents in the same shoes so you're not alone!! You'l be reporting back to this thread in a few months time giving other parents hope smile

Twinkletoes19 Wed 16-Oct-19 20:21:28

that's so good to hear re: nursery, I was starting to think no-one would want to look after her (or have the patience a parent has).

I will look up the high needs baby and thank you for the advice about a routine. It's also so helpful to know there are other people out there who have been through the same thing - and survived! I will come back and post when we make it out the other side! Thank you so much for all your help and have fun with trying for the second - you give great advice so you must be a wonderful mother xxx

surreygirl1987 Wed 16-Oct-19 21:38:06

Hahaha I wish! My husband and I are totally winging it and have no idea what we're doing but thanks for saying that anyway! ❤ Yes please do post back to say how you get on!!

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