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6 month old cant self entertain even for 10 mins

(30 Posts)
AlCookie Thu 27-Sep-12 02:51:26

My little boy used to be so easy to handle until 2 weeks back. He just turned 6 month last week and he cant stand being alone even for a minute. Earlier i used to leave him on the carpet and he would happily roll all over, practice crawling/creeping, mouth anything and everything. Whether or not i m aroubd, he was so happy entertaining himself. But all of a sudden he is so cranky and always wants someone. Since i m the only one around most of the time, its just so difficult. He just doesnt seem interested in anything when he is alone. Its driving me nuts. What did i do?!? He was never the one who was carried around a lot because i never had so much time. Hubby is always busy with office and i have no other help here. I really want to help my son with this phase. He has to learn to keep himself busy at least for a little while. I tried leaving him but he just cries louder n louder. I thought if i leave him, he may figure out something but no.could be separation anxiety but its not only me he wants, anyone being around is ok for him. Why is he suddenly so insecure and how can i help him overcome this?? Any ideas??words of wisdom??? Anything??? Please Please help!!!!!

AlCookie Thu 27-Sep-12 02:56:57

Just to add- we started him on solids just a week and a half back. Almost when this phase began but later (solids were added after this unusual crankiness began) sad

adoptmama Thu 27-Sep-12 07:21:36

He's 6 months old - he doesn't need to learn to keep himself busy yet. 10 minutes is a very long time. Sorry but you have to just get used to it. He's going through different development stages; the world is getting bigger to him and he needs the reassurance that you are still around. They mostly all go through a velcro-baby stage, for longer or shorter periods.

Andromaca Thu 27-Sep-12 07:29:02

Hello Alcookie, my DS is 6 months old as well and is in the velcro-stage as well, I'm afraid that this is how it works, her sister was the same until 8 months, when suddenly she discovered independence and decided that she wanted to do everything "all by myself" (and now she is 3 and this is still her catchphrase)

FariesDoExist Thu 27-Sep-12 10:17:54

He could be teething and therefore needing more reassurance, some babies find it quite painful and just need more cuddles and attention. Especially as you mention that he is cranky, that's what makes me wonder if he's got a little toothy coming through.

But really it could be anything, such as coming down with a cold, or maybe he's just got a lovely bond with you and loves having you play with him. Some babies want to be with someone all the time even when they learn to play. It is very hard I know.

AlCookie Thu 27-Sep-12 11:32:27

Adoptmama - do u really mean to say u wud sit with ur baby all day and anytime u left to run an errand he would cry?? He wouldnt stat busy in his play gym or with his toys even for 10 minutes??

I seriously find that very hard to believe.

AlCookie Thu 27-Sep-12 11:36:22

I also think its some change going on where he needs more assurance. Just wanted to know if this a common thing like a wonder week or something.

BlablaSos Thu 27-Sep-12 17:05:27

All normal in my experience. Some days/ weeks will be worse than others, but this may continue for a while. I couldnt leave my 12 month old alone for 10 minutes. She will usually play happy if I'm in the room but as soon as I leave that will be it. Has been the same since 8 months.

BeckyBendyLegs Thu 27-Sep-12 17:08:21

Agree; this is normal. He might be feeling frustrated and wanting to move around but can't yet. It could be that he's starting to realise that if he can't see you, or if you aren't near, it's not a nice feeling. My DS1 was like this, and he got worse just before each new stage of development such as rolling, moving, walking etc. I think you just have to go with it, and don't blame yourself.

adoptmama Thu 27-Sep-12 18:50:19

AlCookie "Adoptmama - do u really mean to say u wud sit with ur baby all day and anytime u left to run an errand he would cry?? He wouldnt stat busy in his play gym or with his toys even for 10 minutes??

I seriously find that very hard to believe."

Is your sceptism also the reason for the rude and sarcastic tone of your reply? What exactly is 'seriously hard to believe' - that my child cried if I left them, that I sat with them 'all day' or that I couldn't (or indeed wouldn't) leave them for 10 minutes to 'self entertain' at that age?

What I actually said was a 6 month old can't be expected, as you expressed it, to "self entertain for even 10 minutes" and you simply need to put up with that fact - as you do since you can't actually change it. Normal concentration span is identified by child psychologists as approximately 5 mintues (maximum) per year of life. Your infant can therefore be expected to concentrate and 'self entertain' for about 1.5-2.5 minutes. You are actually expecting your infant to display the concentration of a 2-3 year old. He can't. That is why he quickly loses interest in 'self entertaining' and looks for the reassuring figure of his mother.

A 6 month old infant is just beginning to start to comprehend he exists separately from the mother. That is the reason for his anxiety increasing when he is separated from you. What I said to you was that it is normal to have a velcro baby stage. It's how babies are.

Did my children go through stages of crying if I left them - yes. Did I sometimes have to have them with me glued to my side whilst I did things? Yes. Including doing the laundry, making the beds and going for a pee. It's part of life with a young child. Whether you find that "seriously hard to believe" is neither here nor there; though I am puzzled why you have chosen to make a thinly veiled attack in reponse to a perfectly civil reply to your thread. Generally speaking it is considered quite rude to essentially accuse someone who has taken the time and effort to respond to your thread of being a liar.

You need to see it from your baby's perspective, even though it is incredibly frustrating to have them go through this behaviour. You know you will return - they don't. They are learning this. And it makes them anxious until they develop that certainty that you are always coming back. And you know you'll only be 10 minutes, but your 6 month old doesn't - all he knows is that you have left. He has no concept of time and no ability to comprehend how long you will be gone by. These are the reasons he cries. Making a sarcastic and somewhat scathing comment to me questioning how I parented my children during these stages is not going to change the fact that your baby is going through a normal developmental stage - as all other posters have pointed out - and you need to simply suck it up and get through it.

cakehappy Thu 27-Sep-12 22:55:50

I'm afraid Adoptmama is right, you are expecting way too much from a 6 month old. 10 minutes is actually a long long time for a baby, and in my experience it only gets worse! My 11 month old cant be let out of sight for 2 minutes, If I leave the room he cries, and chases after me and if he doesn't cry it's because he's doing something he shouldn't be, like eating catfood. You just got to go with it.Enjoy it though, they will never be 6 months again.

pilotsprincess Thu 27-Sep-12 23:12:29

My 10.5 month old is still like this only she follows me and throws a tantrum if I don't pick her up grin you have to just adapt I think, lots of peek a boo and singing helps us blush

CouthyMowWearingOrange Thu 27-Sep-12 23:15:31

I can now leave my 20mo alone for 10 mins. If I don't mind a front room littered with broken TV and him about to nose dive off the table.

He will quite happily be left alone - so he can get up to mischief!

At 6mo, expecting more than a minute or two (literally) while you run for a wee, is expecting too much.

If you need to do housework - move the highchair, bouncy chair or bumbo to the room you are working in, so that they can watch what you are doing, and know where you are.

Nagoo Thu 27-Sep-12 23:17:05

that was a fair reply from adoptmama IMO.

they nap. You do the stuff while they nap.

If you need to leave them, then you chance it that they will cry.

That's the way it goes IME.

You will probably find that he is happier on his own once he cam crawl about. Obviously then you won't be able to leave him, as he will be able to crawl about grin

smellsabit Thu 27-Sep-12 23:22:30

you seem frustrated
baby also acting NORMAL!

steppemum Thu 27-Sep-12 23:44:05

try a treasure basket.

get a basket (not plastic) and put in it lots of real things (not toys and no plastic) make everything in the basket something that feels good, texture, weight etc. Sit baby sideways to basket so they can easily put their hand in. A good basket will keep a baby busy for a lot longer than 10 mins.

suggested items: (nothing should be small enough to completely fit in mouth)
wooden beads on very secure thread
velvet hair scrunchy
wooden spoon
emery board
metal tin lid
cork coaster
metal chain (plug chain is great)
woolly glove

AlCookie Fri 28-Sep-12 00:43:09

Adoptmama - Instead of writing out a flat reply i should have been more clear. I had explained that he used to play around on his own for quite a while and this suddenly changed. I was looking for an answer to this sudden change.

I had no intent of being sarcastic but on reading what i wrote, i apologise. I did not realise the tone it conveyed. I am a part of this forum because it feels better when i know other people have gone through what i m going through.

My sincere apologies.

All the detail that u have given, i m thankful for that. Just that my son really did spend a lot if time on his own with me walking around doing stuff. This changed overnight. So whatever u tell me about 2 mins concentration and all, i didnt see all this till 2 weeks back. The change is that disturbed me and not that i have to put up with it.

AlCookie Fri 28-Sep-12 00:52:49

Apologies to anyone else who may have felt offended. I should have chosen better words and been far more polite.

Sincere apologies.

peanutbutterandbanana Fri 28-Sep-12 00:55:43

AlCookie, your baby is going through separation anxiety (panic as he realises that you and he are not actually welded to each other), which may last a few weeks until he starts to be a bit more independent and move around a bit more. It is normal, but quite frustrating and tiring. When my eldest was a baby and I couldn't understand a sudden change in behaviour an older and wiser friend told me that I had to view everything in three week cycles. Things change quickly with babies and then they move on (enjoy each phase because blink and it has gone). Adoptmama is right - your baby doesn't know when you are going to come back. Talk to him, tell him that you will be back in a few minutes or that you are just going for a wee or to answer the phone or whatever - keep in contact with him (good for speech development too). And if he cries then he cries whilst you do that little chore, no big deal. When you come back, smile, hug him and tell him that 'see, mummy did come back'. He will get over this phase in a few weeks' time as he gets more mobile. It's called growing up! Good luck smile

piprabbit Fri 28-Sep-12 01:00:43

BTW Treasure baskets are a great (and cheap) way of having interesting objects for your child to explore... btu I would never recommend leaving a small child to play with the random contents of a basket while I went off to do something else. IMO they are best used under careful supervision.

dabdab Fri 28-Sep-12 01:01:52

Well done AlCookie for acknowledgement and apology. Also, sympathy, because yes, it is a normal phase, but it is also frustrating (for parent and baby!)

monsterchild Fri 28-Sep-12 01:07:42

Op, the change he's going through, from being able to be left alone to crying when you leave his sight is normal. As adoptmama said, up until 3 weeks ago, he didn't realize you were a separate person from him. Now he does, and with that knowledge, comes the knowledge that when you leave you may never return. A scary thought!

This is a pretty critical stage in a baby's emotional development, and if you keep him with you and don't make him think he'll be left alone, he'll get through it fine and be a happy kid. If you don't respond to him crying or often leave him for ten minutes at at time, he could develop what is called "attachment disorder" which can be very difficult to overcome and could have negative effects on him for the rest of his life.

you can look up attachment issues on google for more info.

But he's not having you on, and he's not acting weird, and he's perfectly fine, you're not doing anything wrong and neither is he!

rednellie Fri 28-Sep-12 01:08:11

Definitely separation anxiety. And that would explain why it didn't happen before - he wasn't developmentally able to see himself as separate from you. Now he can and it worries him. Try playing things like peepoo etc as it'll help him learn when you disappear you do come back.

Having said all that, don't expect magic. My two and a half year still insists on me being with .hr almost all the time. And I still follow my mum to the loo to continue talking to her and I'm 33. grin

AlCookie Fri 28-Sep-12 01:16:46

Rednellie - u following ur mom is really cute! smilesmile

AlCookie Fri 28-Sep-12 01:20:07

What are all you wonderful people doing helping me in the middle of the night???

By the way..,thanks. Separation anxiety and the insecurity that comes with it seems to b the most suitable explanation.

I guess i will try minimising separation times and try to forget about what he used to do 2 weeks back sad

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