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Where am I going wrong?

(51 Posts)
Cupcakemummy85 Thu 08-Nov-12 20:22:29

I have posted about a hundred posts about sleeping, eating, tantrums and I am still no closer to cracking it. I feel so hopeless and out of my depth. All I face from my dh and MIL is "she's not herself is she?! How very strange!" So frustrating. My dd is 16 months, doesn't walk (gave up after a few steps and i have no energy to carry her as im pregnant), makes mealtimes a battle ground, has started screaming at bath time, throws tantrums if I stop reading her book after her the 20th time. Why am I doing wrong? I am doing everything that the lovely mums of mumsnet advised me to do ie stay calm, don't react at mealtimes, give her affection when she kicks off etc and after today I feel as though I have hit a wall. I reduced the nap times to one nap after the advise on here and now she seems to tired to eat lunch and too tired to eat dinner. Once she was in bed I threw my hands in the air and sobbed. What am I doing wrong? Please help or tell me this is normal. I feel like such a crap mum and I'm trying so much to make my little girl happy.

Cupcakemummy85 Sat 17-Nov-12 22:13:32

We seem to be making a little bit of progress regarding bath times an dinner time now. Dd still seems unsettled in the bath but I put all bath toys in the bath and try and distract her but when I see she has had enough we get her out as i don't want to push it.
I've just tried to preserver with it all and try and stay calm. for example, went to our first rhyme time, total disaster, she wouldnt sit still Wanted to leave, i nearly cried lol. But I forgot about it quickly and realised it wasn't for her. I would've broken down before, she would've picked up on it and disaster would hit!
sometimes hearing that u r doing a good job from someone else makes all the difference as I feel like my dh is on auto pilot saying I do a good job lol. He tries. So thank you again for that smile it boosted my confidence for someone to say I sound like a good mum. I really do care and I so want to do a good job.

Rootatoot Thu 15-Nov-12 16:02:09

Well we all need telling we're doing a good job now and again and if your DH is anything like mine, he 'forgets' these things matter to us!

Just an idea regarding bathtime...have you tried getting in the shower with her? Or else could you try a totally random time for a bath like after breakfast? So you could rule out her just being tired and fed up rather than fearful of the water. Did you say you have lots of bath toys? My DS likes his boats and stuff which helps lots. He usually has a little screamy protest after bathtime getting into his grobag but he's happy once he gets his milk smile

Cupcakemummy85 Thu 15-Nov-12 08:14:16

Thank you so much rootatoot seeing ur routine is such a massive help! And thank you for ur sweet comment. I really try hard to make sure my daughter has everything she needs and she feels safe and loved. It's really distressing when u see they are not eating and everything u put infront of them is met with horror. It seems her favourite is just tinned spagetti.
She slept for 2.5 hrs after play group in the afternoon, I had to wake her up as she was nearly sleeping til 4.30.
I tried bathing her with me last night and she screamed, when I tried to sit her down she freaked out. It's so strange, she loved the bath. She actually used to look forward to it. I'm not sure what to do now. The hv said don't bother putting her in the bath just top and tail wash her but I how long should I do that for?
Lol how confusing!

Rootatoot Wed 14-Nov-12 21:58:24

Hi cupcake

Ds is 15 months & a half. He isn't walking yet either. Was late crawling. Physio said he's fine, just at low end of normal. We're on 1 nap too. Used to have naps 10.30 & 3. Now its 11am for about hour, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter. When afternoon nap made bedtime difficult, cos it was getting later, tried nap after lunch cos this seems 'the norm'. No good for us. He got too tired to eat & just had meltdown.

Our routine (not set in stone always) is...

Awake around 6.
Play in playpen while I try & doze (usually up in the night)
Bf around 7.
Breakfast 7.45 or later. Usually finished by 8.30
Dressed & some telly whilst I shower etc
Play for hour.
Sometimes walk dog before nap or might go to playgroup.
11ish nap in cot
12.15 awake
10 mins chill with telly whilst he wakes up
12.30 lunch
Out & about & play in afternoon.
Snack around 3_4 pm
Teatime 5pm
Play dad 6pm
Bed 7pm

He sometimes has impromptu nap in afternoon still. If he does, i keep him up bit longer.

Teething is massive factor on everyghing at mo. Sometimes doesn't want to eat. Sometimes wants just crunchy things, sometimes only soft food.

I think u sound like lovely mum who is just v tired & poss bit hormonal understandably. Don't think your dd sounds out of ordinary but you know best. Don't loose confidence.

Wap some bonjela on, encourage her lots with standing & walking. You'll get there.

Cupcakemummy85 Wed 14-Nov-12 09:04:07

smile it's reassuring to know that they soon start trying again to walk. She just walks on her knees now and as although we encourage and praise her when he does two steps for example she just doesn't want to do it. But I suspect it's more because the whole family is waiting for it to happen. I try not to pressure her though an sometimes dh will make excuses for her or say look other children r doing it which makes me Feel sorry for her. I don't think she quite feels steady enough yet.
Her sleep was very good yesterday so if I can just try and stick to that pattern we should b fine. smile

capecath Tue 13-Nov-12 12:26:32

ps. I don't think she has necessarily given up on walking - DS1 took a month after his first steps to walk properly and regularly choose to walk over crawling, and I think this is very normal. It is very tough being pregnant with a little one (DS2 is 3 months old)!! Hope you get a chance to have a break and a rest.... x

capecath Tue 13-Nov-12 12:24:23

Hey, I do remember your last thread. Just to say, it is a difficult stage this when you're transitioning from two naps to one. I remember feeling like routine was all over the place. DS1, now 2.3 still sleeps 1.5 - 2 hours for his one nap and isn't too much for him. I'd still aim for one nap but if you find she falls asleep at some other point earlier (or later really) then let her sleep.

Hard stage too this, because they're trying to learn to communicate but can't quite talk, and they're trying to learn to play more on their own (and with other kids) but don't quite have the concentration span..., and they're also trying to move more but can't always... then that topped with tiredness from adjusting sleep patterns............. Sorry but don't have much advise!! Just hang in there - sounds like you're doing a good job - stay calm and patient, this stage really does pass. About the tantrums, do be firm and say "no, we don't do xxxx" and be very consistent, but also pick your battles - offer alternatives and distractions. I think at that young age these come more from frustration rather than intentionally trying to be contrary.

manitz Tue 13-Nov-12 11:34:11

yeah, she must be picking up on all of that and she's only a little dot herself. she's only been eating food for a few months so she kind of has to learn how to do it. I'm convinced one persons 'eats loads' is another's 'picky eater'. I would always describe my kids as good eaters but in reality it's breakfast plus one other meal with some snacks in between I wouldn't really worry about what other people are doing too much.

good luck.

Cupcakemummy85 Tue 13-Nov-12 10:58:09

We did toys but she just seemed so scared even to see her favourite dolly in the bath. So tonight i will do just a flannel wash and perhaps in a few nights time I will try a monkey cling bath lol.
It seems to me like she is doing the one meal a day thing. In fairness to her she ate quite well at dinner last night and at breakfast this morning. I've made a bolognese hidden with lots of vegetables for tonight so hopefully that will go down ok.
After all ur great advise its made me see that she is doing things that are pretty normal for her age. I think sometimes when I go to say a baby group for example and see my friends and hear how much their children eat it makes me slightly worried but I get it now that children are all different. Also I think she might b picking up on the fact that there is a big change coming (the new baby) and maybe she might even be picking up on my anxiety about it and my warped pregnancy hormones lol.

manitz Tue 13-Nov-12 09:44:27

she will get into food later though, keep making nice stuff but only feed it to her once a day, simple stuff the other meal. I also forgot to say that i really believe in small portions as mine have been scared off by large plates, then they have seconds sometimes or not, means they feel they have some control. So for example no more than an ikea plateful, about 8-10 penne for a kid this age each one cut into about 3, and everything is bitesize so one sarnie cut into 16ths. Also all mine have had one good meal a day and tend to pick at the other, this seems normal (ime). My younger kids love tomatoes and that's because I forked out for some hugely expensive tomberries (tiny tomatoes) once, it was worth it because now he'll eat all tomatoes. Also they love seeing food grow and would eat stuff off a bush which they would ignore on a plate - so pick your own is a good idea in the summer or some tomato plants etc.

how did toys in bath go or did you not get that far. They don't sweat so they don't really need washing, apart from if they've got muddy or foody. at least if you go swimming you know she's getting a good bleaching!

Have you thought about having a bath at the weekend and inviting her in? My girls used to do the monkey cling at swimming pools and seaside. I once walked around a shallow pool with one attached to the front screaming and the other one on the back screaming - that's when we started lessons just so we could ensure we went regularly. One screamed for a whole term then it became the most enjoyable thing we did together so they grow out of this sort of thing...Have hope and give it a bit of time, it wont last forever and it's far far worse when you are pregnant. x

Cupcakemummy85 Tue 13-Nov-12 07:34:30

Some great advise there thank you so much. Yes I think she is teething and not feeling 100%. I think sometimes I find it hard to accept she isn't eating because I love cooking and baking and a lot of the stuff I make is homemade and when she refuses it it's like her saying my hard work isn't good enough. I know she isn't saying that at all though. I have to ride it out and keep offering her stuff.
As for the bath thing. Wow, the bath was met again by an awful high pitched scared scream. It was really strange a frightening to see. She clung into me like a monkey. So wierd. She goes swimming, haven't been for a while though. I think we will have to flannel wash her for a bit I guess not much else I can do. She pretty much has the control she wanted on the food and bath front :s

manitz Mon 12-Nov-12 13:13:07

just re read one of your recent posts, my kids can go off food for ages (sometimes 3 weeks or so) with just a cold. when she's better stick to something she likes for one meal and maybe introduce something else fo rthe other one. Also I have something on my plate and give ds 'kids' food then find he wants what I'm eating because he figures it must be nicer. if she's unwell just let her relax and don't worry too much. x

manitz Mon 12-Nov-12 13:02:47

dont drive yourself crazy. I accept that guilt is part of parenting and it can become overwhelming. my friends son only ate honey and bread for 2 years. My kids have always had a varied diet and I don't know if thats because they have less tastebuds (are they child of our time non tasters ?) or because I'm a fantastic parent. I am an overweight parent and I love food but is it just a genetic thing or am I using the right techniques? who the hell knows or cares. I can tell you what i do but I dont know if it's right and I don't know your kid. I also know that now I have to cook for 4 kids I offer them much less interesting food. I feel I have trained ds to like soup and he gets either beans on toast, heinz tom soup or sandwiches for lunch. I once cooked food at lunchtime and he was very suspicious grin thought I was trying to send him to bed early.

However, we have lots of meals together as a family, with dc1 we used to go out to lunch every saturday til dh lost his job, just pizza or noodles and we made it as fun as poss for her (we had to be served eaten and out in 30-40 mins or she would go mad) I've always given them tasters off my plates. There have been several weeks where it's pretty much been pasta pasta pasta and then some where I'm more inventive. on tv, house of tiny tearaways tania byron said they need to try something 20 times before they like it so I don't take no for an answer and I say as long as they've tried it I don't mind if they eat it or not. dd will never like mushrooms and I don't force it.

Re routine i have a relaxed one I found dd was a routine child, we think she'd love a bit of prison/army so she put herself into one. But I've read loads of books and taken info from them. For both sons I found the one we are not allowed to mention really helpful from about six months but as a guide rather than the letter of the law.

Sorry it's such an essay but I really wanted to tell you what I do in case something helps you as you sound like you are at the end of your tether. I think telly is ok but you also need to let them get bored and you need to initiate some imaginative play - geting out of the house for a walk might make you think a bit of tv is ok and relieve the guilt for when you get back. you do need to teach them how to play I find but then leave her to it. Their attention span will be limited 5 or ten mins at this age but gets better as they grow. However you calm is better than no telly and amazing play so use tv when you need it. I think it's good to chill out a bit (as a child) when dropping naps. also how about playdoh now? just rolling sausages and also maybe make plates and ask her what food she wants on the plate so you can talk about what food she likes?

Hope that's given you food for thought. x

Cupcakemummy85 Mon 12-Nov-12 11:40:09

Im driving myself crazy with this! Lol it's like I'm Obsessed lol

Cupcakemummy85 Mon 12-Nov-12 11:39:18

I'm so sorry if this is annoying but I bought two books yesterday trying to find some sort of an answer to routine and I've spoken to the health visitor before but with my dd not eating much it's difficult to come up with some sort of set routine for her. Some people aren't fans I routine, I am to a certain extent. I like a flexible routine. I just want to know what sort f routine I should b aiming for at 16 months. I don't feel like I have a very good one. She seems tired in the morning so she naps, seems tired in the afternoon but won't nap and then gets fussy around dinner. I have a feeling I'm going wrong somewhere

Cupcakemummy85 Mon 12-Nov-12 07:52:57

We r sort of doing one night bath one night off. I dont think she is well at the moment, teething etc. she had me up last night from twelve til three sad I'm shattered! I might have to give in a watch a bit of tv with her today. I don't want to feel guilty about the tv but I just seem to feel guilty about everything. I don't even think she watches as much as I think hen I add it all up. As for her eating, omg! It's pasta shapes in tomato sauce at the moment seems to b the only exceptable lunch and dinner for her lol. Not a yummy homemade stew. I will keep trying though.

manitz Sat 10-Nov-12 13:16:11

ps have you taken her swimming? regular lessons help with water phobia if that's what it is...also i remember mine screaming at bathtime until they got a cup or particular toy and forgot they were in there, they were a similar age. ds2 doesn't ahve any issue with water, he was crawling into the surf like a turtle in the summer! None of my others have been like this, all seemed to go right off it.

manitz Sat 10-Nov-12 13:14:32

i suppose if she really hates the bath you could ditch it. my kids have learnt letters and numbers from the tv it's not all bad but I think you are right to drop it at the moment but I think you need to replace it with something. Don't feel too guilty about it, it's an absolute lifesaver when you have a toddler and have to breastfeed a newborn... in fact try not to feel guilty, easier said than done.

Cupcakemummy85 Fri 09-Nov-12 20:35:49

Well in the end she ate her dinner quite well an even a little yogurt. I was so pleasantly surprised. The only thing that worried me was her freak out when she had a bath. She was fine for one minute and then started screaming. I've never seen anything like it. I wonder if the bath hurts her tummy or something as she seems a little windy in the evenings. But I'm seeing the plus side that she had her dinner, played well with me and my dh and went to sleep ok.
U r right I'm shattered and I really need to stay positive and keep as calm as possible and breathe smile I've cut her tv right down today as I was worried she watched too much. Another thing I felt paranoid and guilty about lol.
I sobbed to my dh because I said I just want to make her happy and get it right for once. Could just b my hormones.

manitz Fri 09-Nov-12 17:12:34

hi you are prob knacked too. try not to do anything other than mothering during the day for a bit. On days like that I sometimes just have to play with the buggers. I second trying snacks. dd1 was a 5 small meals a day girl. Sometimes ds just chucks all his food overboard. I'm on a dead cert with a fromage frais or a banana though so I usually make him have one of those. at this age it's all about experimenting he wont let me feed him with a spoon so he has it as a handy pointer whilst he feeds himself soup with his other hand grin. what with that and the pteradactyl shrieking i'm really enjoying this at the moment.

dont dread mealtimes. she isnt going to starve with one missed meal and if you are tired hummus sarnies are really nutritious. also you need

also i really recommend not thinking about one nap two naps. ds has had one nap for 3 days then two long sleeps today completely out of the blue.

Sorry it didnt go to plan...x

diyqueen Fri 09-Nov-12 16:23:44

I feel for you, I've been there too though my dd was a feisty one from birth and has really improved over the last couple of months (19mo now). I came to the conclusion that all I could do was my best - offer nutritious food at regular intervals, give lots of positive attention, set boundaries, give her opportunities to sleep etc, and the rest was up to her. Try to take a step back and see a frustrated, confused little person rather than worrying about your failings. i would hazard a guess that your dd is getting frustrated and that things will improve greatly when she walks - could she be teething molars as well or does she already have them? Try to relax and make life easy for yourself at the moment - offer healthy snacks between meals to stop you worrying so much at mealtimes, go out for a walk with the pushchair if dd's getting tired and cranky if that helps, and trust that it's a phase and will improve.

Cupcakemummy85 Fri 09-Nov-12 15:59:40

Well I tried the two nap thing and oh dear god I got it wrong again! What does this child want lol. SHe looked really tired so i put her down and she is crying and crying and then standing up talking. I feel like I have no clue what the bloody hell I'm doing. I'm absolutely dreading dinner and bed time. I'm in hell right now sad she has whined the whole day I'm really at the end of my teather and all my dh says is just ignore it.

manitz Fri 09-Nov-12 12:14:02

great that you are feeling more positive. Sometimes that's all it takes. We are all either good or bad mums depending on the way it's gone that day. One screaming rant bad decision does not a bad mum make and you are in and about to undertake the hardest part (toddler and newborn) it's all up from there - I havent hit the teens yet so I speak from only a little experience!

NigellaEllaElla Fri 09-Nov-12 10:10:03

Good for you Cupcake. Please report back!

Cupcakemummy85 Fri 09-Nov-12 08:04:29

What amazing advise everyone has given me thank you. I'm going to try to put her to bed when she seems tired (normally half ten then three). Hopefully she won't b too tired to eat then.
As for the groups I will stick to our favourite ones which is only two but I won't go to anymore for now. She sort of enjoys them until she gets tired or gets knocked down by another child. She is really sensitive and doesnt like other children poking her in the face (neither would I really).
Having a plan today has made me feel a lot better so hopefully some part of the day will work out. :s

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