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Whingy five month old baby- help needed from other parents of high need babies please!

(15 Posts)
Firstimemum86 Fri 29-Jan-16 09:46:00

Hi everyone
As you can guess from my original username I'm a first time mum, so I'm really looking for some advice and reassurance from you mummies out there who have older babies or children

I love my five month old son to bits, but he is SUCH hard work. I know, I know, babies are hard work. But my little boy, for want of a better way of putting it, just seems miserable for 80% of the time. He almost constantly whinges grunts and moans. My husband and I keep trying to figure out what he wants- sleep eat play walk but we find it very hard to cheer him up. The only time he seems really content is the first thirty minutes after a sleep...the cue the whinging whining moaning and groaning. He is also very upset by other people and has been since three months, which I'm told is too young for stranger anxiety. He still cries at my siblings and my dad even though he's seen them loads, and is only ok with me my husband or mum.

I dread taking him out socially. I went to a local baby group the other week and whilst all the other babies were content and happy with playing or looking at their mothers, with the odd cry or moan quickly soothed, my son just constantly whinged moaned and cried. He screamed at three people who tried to speak to me and also a baby who seemed to look at him for maybe a little too long. I do my best to reassure him and keep calm and smiley to try and teach him everything is ok but I'm starting to feel drained and if I'm honest worried as to why he is so anxious and unsettled. Sometimes he breathes quickly like he is scared or unsettled when we're doing something different or there are my family round. I know I shouldn't compare him to other babies because babies all have different personalities just like us and I'm obviously only seeing a snapshot of other people's babies so I don't know what they're like at other times, but my friends and family have all acknowledged that he isn't like their babies and seems unsettled and hard work

I'd really like to hear from other parents who have had seemingly unhappy or hard work babies. Did you find they grew out of it? What did you do to help them? Did you find that something was wrong medically? My son is ebf and my parents keep saying he will probably be happier on solid food ( he is generally a good sleeper so there's no issue there but they think it might make him more content during the day- has anyone experienced a change in their baby once on solids? They also thought he might be happier once he can crawl walk sit up on his own. At the minute he can sit up but not steady enough to be left on his own and he can't sit up without our assistance nor has he rolled over

My son does smile and giggle so he's hit those emotional milestones but on balance he definitely doesn't do it as much as crying whinging and moaning. I really feel for him because he seems like he is so frustrated all the time? What am I missing? I've booked him into the doctors next week but am worried that she'll just say all babies cry!

Would really love your help guys!

HalfStar Fri 29-Jan-16 09:58:30

You're not doing anything wrong. I feel for you as this is very hard and I've been in your shoes. My daughter was identical. Try not to compare your baby too much to others (though I did all the time).

Dd is nearly 15 months now and things are a lot better. There has not been a single magic cure but growing out of reflux certainly helped. Is it possible your son has reflux? I think a GP appointment is a good idea to rule stuff like that out. Often there are minor health things going on that cause babies to be in low-level pain and that really affects their form. Sometimes though, they just have a sensitive temperament.
He will grow out of this one way or another. All you can do is keep going as you are. Once he is walking, in particular, he'll be a lot better I would guess. It's good that he's sleeping well- hope you can recharge a bit in the evenings.

So hang in there thanks

jbee1979 Fri 29-Jan-16 10:08:21

My daughter was like this until recently - she's 9 months next week, and it started at 5 months. Also EBF.

It was the constant complaining that wrecked us, "um um um" in a very dissatisfied way! We came to realise that she sometimes just did it because she could, it became a habit.

I make sure she's happy, clean bum, wee feed, play with her, cuddle and reassure her, make sure she's napping 2.5 - 3 hrs apart, and I could do no more, except try not to let it get to me!

Solids DID NOT help, wait, honestly, and introduce them slowly - it was a whole lot for her wee gut to process, made her more unsettled, more annoyed, and made the poos inconsistent and irregular.

When she did the fast breathing I copied her, she thought it was funny and snapped her out of her rage. She's still high maintenance but will squeal her rage now! At least it's a change in tone to the constant "um um um"!!

Firstimemum86 Fri 29-Jan-16 11:42:52

Yes, the um um um is a familiar noise!

I must admit one time when he was whinging I whinged back at him in a very childish way because I lost my patience and it caused a smile. Sometimes I think he doesn't know why he's whinging or what he wants. Now I'm wondering if it's possible , because he does it so often, that he's so used to doing it that it feels strange to him not to do it. Sometimes I do t go straight to him in the hope that he might soothe himself or just give up on being mardy because it's not getting him anywhere, but it doesn't work.

Has anyone tried cranial osteopathy for an unsettled baby?

Does a high maintenance baby become a high maintenance toddler and the child? Do they develop other problems? Emotional? Behavioural? Or is it just that some babies are more needy than others?

waitingforsomething Sun 31-Jan-16 09:58:25

Poor you Op. My first child was like this- always crying whatever I did. I actually found that she was tired much more than I had realised; she still needed to sleep every 90 minutes and grizzling was because of tiredness. Is it perhaps that? She was always high maintenance but as she got towards 1 and could do things she really cheered up. She's now 3 and a delight. Try a bit more sleep but hang on in there- it gets better

Pyjamaramadrama Sun 31-Jan-16 22:02:01

It will get better op, it's so hard.

My ds2 is a bit of a whinger. The moment he was born my first though was how loud his cry was.

He has got a lot better since he's started sitting up and crawling. I still feel he's quite demanding though. He seems to spend a lot of time just going "ummm, ummm, ummmm".

No one can predict what they will be like as they get older. With ds1 I found it easier once he could communicate a bit more.

It's nothing you're doing wrong. Have you got a jumperoo? Ds likes his and it gives me somewhere safe to put him for a bit.

Remember when you have those moments where nothing seems to please them it's fine to pop them somewhere safe while you take 5 minutes.

It might be worth looking into silent reflux or a potential allergy.

There's a high needs baby thread going in the sleep section atm that you might find supportive.

AuditAngel Sun 31-Jan-16 22:04:49

My grumpy miserable DS had silent reflux. He is me my easiest child.

Pyjamaramadrama Sun 31-Jan-16 22:09:05

My ds has reflux for sure and although it's improving I'm sure he's in discomfort at times.

It's frustrating because we feel we're doing everything we can for them but they can't tell us can they? I try to remember how completely helpless they are and it helps when he's shouting at me!

Eastie77 Sun 31-Jan-16 22:36:52

Sounds very familiar. My daughter was like this. She developed stranger anxiety quite early on and from around 5 months old she would scream and cry if a stranger so much as looked or smiled at her. Woe betide anyone apart from me or DP who tried to pick her up. It was all so draining and upsetting and I started avoiding social events with her as she seemed so unhappy around other people. Her childminder (25 years experience) said she was one of the most challenging mindees she has ever come across as it took her so long to settle in (DD absolutely adores her now). Friends and family members just looked at me sympathetically when they witnessed her antics.

She is 2.5 now and things are a LOT better although she is still a bit wary around people she does not know. I don't think a high maintenance baby necessarily becomes a high maintenance older child. DD is a pretty easy toddler in most respects. She is never going to be that kid who hugs and kisses everyone she meets and I suspect she will always be quite reserved but hey ho - that isn't always a bad thing.

Incidentally I spent a lot of time worrying her behaviour was due to something I'd done. However I now have a second child and he is an incredibly chilled, easy going baby who constantly smiles and happily goes to people so it really is just down to a child's individual temperament which is not something you can control.

purplewhale Sun 31-Jan-16 23:02:32

We had a lot of grunting and groaning when he was little, it was colic. He also screamed for several hours every evening. I went to the doc as I couldn't cope with the screwing and he put him on nutramigen for cows milk protein allergy. He stopped grunting and groaning within a day and is a totally different baby now. The colic vanished within 2 days

BotBotticelli Mon 01-Feb-16 13:22:26

It WILL get better OP. My first son was like this as a baby.

He cheered up immeasurably as he got older and more independent. He just hated being a baby!

He crawled at 10mo and got a bit happier. Walked at 12mo and got a LOT happier and when he started talking in small sentences around 18mo (and was therefore able to make his many and varied opinions and wants understood!!) it was like he had a personality transplant!

He is now a vivacious, lovely, lively 3yo who I love to bits.

He is also very bright and I think he was just very frustrated as a baby. And I think his teeth caused him real grief too.

I have since has another baby who is now 5mo and he is one of those "sunny happy content" little babies you see at playgroups! I haven't done anything different this time around - he is just an easier baby. I don't think it's anything the parents do or don't do - it's just the baby you get.

But it bares no relation to what the baby will be like as a toddler or preschooler. So don't worry! Drink wine, eat cake, and ride out these months as best you can!

purplewhale Mon 01-Feb-16 17:31:28

Screaming not screwing!!!

Rosenwyn1985 Tue 02-Feb-16 22:24:59

My second ds is a whiny little thing. I'm pretty much certain it's frustration. He watches his older brother and tries to lurch or wriggle to him. He's just turned 5 months and despite having a tiny flat we've got him a sit in walker. He's had it a week and is pottering about now and much calmer. Might be worth a try? I'm also being quite strict about nap time as he resists and tries to wriggle if he's near his brother. He does not like to sleep in the day! Thankfully he sleeps all night .For what it's worth my first was super chilled and didn't moan this way. And I also admire that you said you love him to bits. I have to remind myself of that one at times!

Firstimemum86 Mon 11-Apr-16 15:44:06

Hi Everyone

I just thought I'd give you an update.

My little boy has not entirely stopped his whinging/moaning/groaning but there has been a marked improvement. I think this has probably come about just because he is maturing all round - being able to understand what is going on around him as well as being able to do more for his self, plus his reflux is not as bad as it was before. He is definitely more playful and more smiley. He does still have quite grumpy days where nothing seems to work but it has got better and I hope that it will continue to do so - so anyone else who reads this post and has a similar issue, hang in there!

His anxiety of people hasn't improved to the same extent - his six month photograph he cried hysterically for twenty minutes until we just had to call it a day and leave. But I'm hoping that he will grow out of this like he is growing out of the whinging, though I feel it may take longer. He will only just warm to people if they approach him gently and talk to him quietly, takes a while for him to warm up.

So thanks everyone for your messages of support - they really helped smile

Eastie77 Tue 12-Apr-16 15:51:00

Great update OP and glad to hear things have improved.

His anxiety towards people sounds exactly like DD who I described up thread.

I was advised that the best way to get her to warm towards people is to basically have them completely ignore her and give her a chance to see them interacting with me first. It seems to work. I was amazed last month when I took her with me to meet a friend (who she had never met before) for brunch. Friend gave her a brief smile and hello. DD then sat and watched us talking for a while, observing my friend closely. At the end of the brunch she happily took my friend by the hand and walked off with her. She even let my friend carry her which is absolutely unheard off!

She will not warm towards anyone who rushes up and tries to interact with her before she has had a chance to 'assess' them.

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