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My Virtual Glass of Champagne Thread- Hope to all with grumpy/ high needs babies!

(31 Posts)
meandmyjoe Sat 16-Aug-08 20:23:26


Just wanted to write this for my own reasons but also to offer hope to anyone who is at the end of their tether with a screamy/ inconsolable/ hyperactive/ grumpy / overtired baby.

As most of you on here will know by now, my ds was the grumpiest, whingiest baby I've ever met. There was never anything medically wrong with him, yet I was convinced there must have been. I took him to the doctors and tried him on reflux medication, different formulas (both of which did nothing!) I ended up in tears on Health Visitors so many times as my baby wriggled, cried and squirmed on my lap.

He was a complete misery guts from day one. He would never let me sit and cuddle him, I always had to keep him up in my arms moving, if I stopped walking he'd cry, if I put him down he'd cry. He'd scream in the pram, sob in the car seat, rejected feeds, even when on solids.

I could never ever sit and enjoy him. He cried for seemingly no reason, was very over sensitive to noise/ new people/ new environments. Everything semed to bother him and although he met all his milestones early and could smile and laugh, he mostly just frowned and scowled at people!

I really thought there was something medically/ mentally wrong with him and cried so many times with him crying as I paced up and down my kitchen with the extractor fan on trying to soothe him with white noise. He seemed to get so overstimulated by everything and became so over tired in the day that he'd just meltdown. Thank God he always slept well at night or else I think I would have gone completely loopy.

DH is a fantastic daddy and was very supportive and helped as much as possible but works 12 hour days so I was alone with ds a lot. I was miserable and isolated. Anyway, after posting so many times on here, I found people with similar stories to tell and eventually realised that he wouldn't be a baby forever and things would change.

Well, ds turned 1 last week and just to offer a tiny bit of hope to anyone who is struggling, THINGS DID CHANGE! Very very slowly. There was no one day when ds woke up and was suddenly happy and smiley, it happened so very gradually. He lightened up dramatically after he'd perfected crawling. Settled even more when he could cruise, he walks (in an odd stumbley fashion!) now and is getting easier and more of a joy everyday.

He naps well in the day and settle himself at night. He eats very very well (after a nightmare with weaning!) and just makes me laugh every day. He smiles and laughs most of the day and although he knows how to throw a pretty good tantrum when he doesn't get his own way, he is a complete delight and so much happier than I ever believed he could be.

I was terrified he'd be a miserable, unhappy, unsociable child. I was so wrong. He is happy to go to new people (in his own time). Last week my Health Visitor came round to do his 12 month check and with in 5 minutes of her arriving he's staggered over to her and was offering her his book and beaming up at her, then proceeded to raid through her bag and rumage through her papers! She actually commented on how friendly he was. I never ever thought that I would hear a compliment about my ds' behaviour.

I guess the reason I'm writing this is for anyone out there who is feeling how I felt and to say that the baby stage is over with so quicky, although it sometimes feels like the days are endless, things do get better. There seemed to be constant ups and downs with my ds, just as we thought one area with him was sorted, another problem would arise. I hated being around other mums as they just seemed to be finding so easy and I struggled for a long time almost being house bound as ds cried so much I was embarrassed to go anywhere.

Just wanted to thank every single person who took the time to reply to my posts and everyone who sympathised and offered their support. So many people who offered me hope and understanding, Bodkin, Kittywise, Mrs Mattie, Suzi2, Baby Isaac, Laksa, Twinkleymum to name but a few!

Thank you so much for making the first 9 months of my son's life bearable. Even around the 9 month stage, I was still regularly in tears with him. He seemed so different from anyone elses babies and was just so high needs and needed constant movement and stimulation but too much stimulatiom amd he's scream. It was like walking a tightrope everyday.

Anyway, Joseph is now a 'totally adorable, friendly little charmer' (quoting my Health Visitor!). I never thought I'd feel what I feel for him now and although I feel guilty for not enjoying his babyhood, I am so glad that it's coming to an end and he turning into the most wonderful, spirited little toddler.

My theory is that he was just raring to go and very frustrated. He has a lot to say and babbles away all day long. Instead of screaming, he points at what he wants now. He is so so responsive and goes to get things like his shoes or his cup when I ask him to, he feeds himself with a spoon so all the meal time problems have vanished. He has the most adorable, infectious laugh and is such a fantastic little child.

There is light at the end of the tunnel although just a few months ago I would never have believed the gorgeous little boy my grumpy baby is becomming.

moondog Sat 16-Aug-08 20:25:06

How lovely. smile

wessexgirl Sat 16-Aug-08 20:27:05

Great idea for a thread; sometimes you just need to hear that the difficult times won't last forever. smile

thisisthelast Sat 16-Aug-08 20:50:34

Aww lovely thread, well done for survivng!

We are still struggling but things are getting easier gradually but I don't always notice it until I look back and this has reminded me of how far weve come.

angel1976 Sat 16-Aug-08 21:12:11


So glad to hear the good news! I was just thinking today (my DS is almost 6 months) how different my LO is now from the baby he was in the beginning! Things started getting better at around 4 months for me... But things have definitely taken a turn for the much, much better in the last few weeks.

I've realised my DS just needed a lot of entertainment. He is such a curious boy - everyone comments on it (when we are out and about, he's always straining to look at things etc). I take him out everyday, he loves going to baby groups so he can play with new toys and look at other babies/children. Every time I take him out, someone will inevitably comment on what a gorgeous and smiley baby he is! My DH didn't believe strangers would randomly comment on that and today, we went to the local swimming pool as a family and the girls at reception were all coo-ing over him! He still gets whingey if he doesn't get his way or if we are at home for too long and prone to the occasional hysterical meltdown if we let him get too tired... But gosh, he is so much fun now.

I am so glad that the dark days in the beginning are over... For me, I am so lucky things got a lot better so early on. I am so looking forward to him getting bigger and doing more each day... You've been such a great support to all of us with whingey and high-needs baby so I would like to propose a virtual toast to you and Joseph! Enjoy! grin


SpinningEm Sat 16-Aug-08 21:16:56

Fab story - well done you for being so strong!

peggotty Sat 16-Aug-08 21:26:11

Meandmyjoe, I've read quite a few of your posts over the months and I am so happy for you that things have improved so much! My ds was a very unsettled younger baby but has also improved a lot in the last few weeks (is now nearly 7 months). It does seem like things are never going to get better when you have a grumpy baby! Reading this has made me realise that things will only get better and better with my ds grin

alvinandthechipmunks Sat 16-Aug-08 21:29:36

I have a similar story - ds was very tricky indeed as a baby. Colicky, would refuse feeds, scream in the car (until we moved to a forward facing seat), nightmare to wean etc.
He was always the baby screaming when i met up with my NCT mates. Always! And as time went on he would basically cry everytime we met up with someone else (I think he really just wanted attention and I'd be chatting to friends not giving it to him in an undivided way but the other babies seemed fine with that!)
To be fair he did always sleep pretty well but the days were a nightmare sometimes!

He got easier as he could walk and more so once he could communicate and now is a lovely, sweet and sensitive little 3 year old. I wouldn't say he is easy going per se but compared to the average boy his age I have it very easy (and bless him he had a lie in until almost 9am today!!)

I kind of think it's ok for me to say this without sounding like I'm gloating because boy did I do my time in the baby days!!

MEANDMY - so glad you've got through this and your little boy is such a joy.

alvinandthechipmunks Sat 16-Aug-08 21:30:56

p.s. my ds was constipated a lot as a baby and I always wonder whether it was all partly because his stomach just couldn't deal with milk and then wasn't ready for solids really at 6 months and whether this caused a lot of his problems then.

meandmyjoe Sat 16-Aug-08 22:12:39

Forgot to thank sneekpeeks, thank you so much for being a lifeline! Have just emailed you now! xxxx

dar72 Sun 17-Aug-08 08:29:24

lovely thread. hope it offers hope and reasurrance to lots of mums.

Babyisaac Sun 17-Aug-08 10:33:34

Thanks MAMJ for posting this and thanks for all YOUR support! It is truly a remarkable story that there can be such a dramatic turnaround and that Joseph is such a lovely little toddler now. You have given me so much hope that Isaac will be this way one day. We have good days and bad days - he's coming up to 7.5 months and the changes are very subtle and gradual but they are there if I try and think back. Like I say - good days and bad days!!

Wonderful news. Well done. He is a credit to the endless patience you and your dh have had this past year and for the never-ending hard work you have put into making Joseph the gorgeous little one you always envied others for!

There is light at the end of the tunnel - you have showed me that grin

Thanks MAMJ


P.S. We took Isaac to the pub yesterday and, although he didn't sit in a highchair (as predicted!), he would sit on our laps and ate his lunch and then, as long as he was passed around, walked around a bit, given different toys etc, he was okay. It was certainly achievable - being outside helped though. Yesterday gave me a teensy bit more hope! smile

meandmyjoe Sun 17-Aug-08 10:57:23

Well done on the pub outing Isaac! I remember with Joseph that little things like that would make me feel like we'd climbed mount Everest! Things thast most mums take for granted.

So glad that things are slowly improving for you, like I said it will probably be 3 steps forwrds, 2 steps back for a while.

We still have whingey periods when Joe doesn't get his own way and he can't quite communicate what he actually wants but on the whole he has mellowed and changed so much. He can happily entertain himself by pottering around on the floor with toys for an hour while I talk to him or read to him.

He actually comes to me for cuddles now and doesn't whinge and cry to be walked around with!

He is fine in a high chair although I still take toys out for distraction in case he gets bored. We don't have bad days anymore but we certainly have a bad 15 minutes or so everyday but I'm sure that's the case for most parents with toddlers.

Basically the changes are remarkable. I'll probably never understand why he was like he was or why he had to be on the move all the time but I am so glad we stuck with it and went with the flow.

We carried him around all day sometimes, rocked him to sleep in the day to avoid melt downs, fed him on demand, just let him do things in his own time really. However depressing it was it eally has paid off and he is so independant now which is probably why he was so grumpy as a baby. He wanted to do everything himself but couldn't.

He settles himself brilliantly for sleeps now and doesn't whinge anymore than any other baby I know (apart from when he's teething but that's not suprising).

Hope you get the same result babyisaac, remember that everything you are going will pay off at some point. Just try not to compare yourself or your baby to others. I used to and I was stunned at the ridicullous lengths we had to go to just to keep ds pacified and trying to accommodate his naps to avoid meltdowns but I'm so glad we did! We seem to be having it easier than other people who had easy babies now so it's all swings and roundabouts. You will get your pay off soon. Also Isaac, sorry about the incredibly long rambley email the other night, I was just trying to list everything that helped us and I had loads to write but am crap at verbalising things so it ends up comes out as waffle! xxxxx

romysmum Sun 17-Aug-08 21:38:01

Really good to hear this story, I have posted about my grumpy dd before and you responded, so pleased to hear things are sooo good now, can I ask what ds's eye contact was like. DD doesn't always like to look at me (or anyone!) if she is in a grump, i asked gp about it, but as always, she grinned and looked her right in the eye! she can and will look at me if SHE wants to, but cannot be cajoled into doing so. I also think that she wants to do things, and is unable, so she gets very frustrated, like you I constantly think she is ill, and have been back and forth to the docs, I think they think i'm a complete hypocondriac!!

LynetteScavo Sun 17-Aug-08 21:43:29

meandmyjoe, you took the words out of my mouth "there is light at the end of the tunnel". That is exactly how I felt when DS1 turned one.

meandmyjoe Sun 17-Aug-08 21:44:02

Ahh I remember I used to worry about the eye contact too, I forgot about that! Yes, he seemed to be able to look at me but not for long, he'd quickly be distracted and didn't seem to ever make full eye contact. I never did find out why. I think babies like this are just so aware of everything that they need to keep looking away and taking it all in and also means they are easily distracted and looking for something more interesting to look at. If she CAN look in people#s eye and smiles, coos, tries to communicate then I wouldn't worry at all. DS still avoids eye contact with strangers for the first few mins but then is climbing all over them and demanding their attention grin. I remember your thread. If you are worried, sod what the doctor thinks, go anyway because I know how sometimes you just need to put your mind at rest. Hope you are doing OK. How old is dd now?

Badgermoose Mon 18-Aug-08 13:04:22

I'm so pleased for you.
My DS was very similar. He is now 18 months and a complete delight. I think I amost appreciate him more now after the hideous first 9 months. Things improved once he could crawl. Now that he is walking and talking (not sentences but prob has 500 or so words) so that he can communicate better he is like a different child and so lovely grin He is still very determined, and you could never call him placid, but he's just so funny. I really struggled for the first few months, and it was only because DD was similar (though not as bad) that I had the confidence that one day he would stop yelling. I think he was just massively frustrated.

So, <clinks virtual glass of bubbly> congratultions on your lovely son.

romysmum Mon 18-Aug-08 18:17:54

dd is 5 months today!!, and is watching me type this!! (im sure she knows it is about her!!) I think you are right, i am boring now, and everything else soooo much more interesting!!, she is very easily distracted, but studies things she wants to look at really intently. Unfortunately, she doesn't sleep well, and doesnt see the need during the day at all! so tires me out completely, but it is worth it when she does smile, it just melts your heart!

meandmyjoe Tue 19-Aug-08 11:25:04

Ahh romy yes it does, just a shame my ds so rarely smiled at that age. He was so serious all the time! I'm watching him walk around my living room smiling as he bobs up and down picking crumbs off the floor hmm. I can't believe he is the same child. He still doesn't look at me if he's really engrossed in something! If she studies things and is smiling (Albeit occassionally) then I wouldn;t worry. hve you mentioned it to the doctor? I never did but it doesn't seem to be a problem now. He looks me in the eye when he's babbling ar when I'm playing peekaboo or omething like that so I think they are just easily distracted when they are younger and also don't have any experience of communication so maybe eye contact is something that is learned over time rather then inherrant? Not sure but my ds is fine now as I'm sure your dd will be too!

may08 Tue 19-Aug-08 15:45:33

Hi, I'm new to this site but just wanted to say I found your post very helpful.

I am also a member of the unhappy baby club! My little boy is 10.5 months old and has never been very happy from day one. We do have happy times but my main problem is that he seems to hate being in the house with me. I spend most of my day going different places such as tescos, shops and visiting people etc and just out constantly walking just to keep him happy. The only time we are at home is for feeding and sleeping! He screams as soon as I put him down but if I take him out in the pram he is fine (as long as you keep the pram moving - dont ever get stuck in a queue = screaming!) He improved ever so slightly when he started to crawl but I was hoping for a big change and it didnt happen. Like it has been mentioned I cant believe the lengths I have to go to just to keep him happy and get through the day.
The good stuff is that he eats well (although a bit too well cos hes really heavy and having to carry him so much when he is crying is taking its toll on my back - and like you I have to keep walking when I carry him - no standing still!) and he sleeps well at night; thankgod because I think I would have gone mad by now if I didnt get sleep as well.

Anyway I'll just hold on to the hope that when he starts to walk and communicate perhaps he will be happier. It just feels very personal when I want to do everything so properly and he looks at me and screams!

Good luck with toddlerhood - enjoy!

meandmyjoe Wed 20-Aug-08 10:31:12

Sounds very similar to my ds May08. I could never queue for anything, if there was a cue I had to either take ds out the pushchair and jiggle him around in my arms then endure a screaming fit when I put him in the pushchair again or else just leave the shop and go back later!

I was hoping for a huge improvement with crawling but whilst he did improve he seemed to be frustated with the fact that he couldn't walk! There was always something making him unhappy!

My ds is (usually) more than happy to play around the house now although he is still strong willed and quite often throws a toy down and screeches at it if it's not doing exactly what he wants! Think he has a strong personality which I'm hoping will be a good thing when he can verbalise things.

Does he let you sit and cuddle him? I think that was my main problem with ds, he wouldn't be put down but equaly he wouldn't let me cuddle him, I walked round our house with him so much my legs and back ached everyday!

Things will improve. x

may08 Wed 20-Aug-08 15:19:47

Yes, similar problem in that he doesnt like cuddles very much. Doesnt want to be cuddled but doesnt want to be put down either - just walked around with! The annoying thing is that I've just been to a baby group and he played for over an hour quite happily and hardly noticed that I was there until near the end and then I bring him home, put him down and he screams. I cant help but think that its the house that he doesnt like sometimes!My husband says he is 'free spirited' - yes thats a polite way of putting it!

I really want to enjoy these baby moments with him because I know they grow up quickly but its so difficult to be positive when you know how much crying the day has in store for you - thats crying for him and me!

Thanks for replying, its good to know I'm not alone and that there is light at the end of the tunnel x

may08 Wed 20-Aug-08 15:30:31

sorry just one quick question - did you ever leave him to cry it out? I've tried and I simply cant do it. I can leave him to cry if I know he is tired because he will go to sleep normally within 10-15 mins. If its playtime then I cant do it because he just sits and howls with tears streaming down his face and then his bottom lip quivers and I get so upset that I have to pick him up. Just wondered if you ever tried and do you think it works anyway?

Ta x

romysmum Wed 20-Aug-08 18:01:39

Hi, Thanks MAMJ dd loves peek a boo!! no prob with eye contact while playing. however her temper is becoming something of a talking point!!She goes from zero to 100 in less than 10 seconds, people are generally amazed by her ability to do this! I have tried to leave her to cry but her persistence is becoming legendry, at least an hour, I have tried pick up/put down, but she never calms enough for me to put her down again. I hope that when she can tell me what she needs it will improve!?

romysmum Wed 20-Aug-08 18:01:43

Hi, Thanks MAMJ dd loves peek a boo!! no prob with eye contact while playing. however her temper is becoming something of a talking point!!She goes from zero to 100 in less than 10 seconds, people are generally amazed by her ability to do this! I have tried to leave her to cry but her persistence is becoming legendry, at least an hour, I have tried pick up/put down, but she never calms enough for me to put her down again. I hope that when she can tell me what she needs it will improve!?

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