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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.

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 you....it 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

Hi,
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 www.askdrsears.com/topics/fussy-baby/high-need-baby/12-features-high-need-baby.

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.

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