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5 month old baby gets real 'rages' - am worried there is something wrong

(46 Posts)
BlameItOnTheBogey Sat 29-May-10 21:58:56

Can anyone give me any reassurance please? DC2 is 5 months old. She's not a particularly easy going child which I could deal with but I'm genuinely starting to get concerned there might be something wrong. She has what I can only describe as fits of raging anger. The smallest thing can spark them off (being in the car seat or the pushchair for example). She will stiffen her back, got bright red and shriek until she is hoarse. She can go on like this for a really long time (until I stop whatever it is that she is annoyed about). But it is unsustainable for me to e.g. not take her out in the push chair or for me to carry her all day (bad back and toddler to deal with too).

The noise she makes is well beyond 'normal' crying that I have ever experienced with DC1 and is so bad that people stop me in the street to tell me that I need to sort her out (how?). It's getting so bad that I feel house bound because we can't get on buses/ trains because she will have a raging fit and I'm really starting to worry about the impact this is having on the whole family. Does anyone have any wise words please?

Latootle Sat 29-May-10 23:00:22

why not go see a pediatrician. there is obviously something wrong but baby cant tell you other than by screaming. we are always told they can only communicate by crying.!!!!!! please do something urgently for your sake and the babys.

thisisyesterday Sat 29-May-10 23:07:40

i would imagine it is not a "rage" but something that is upsetting her greatly.
in fact, he was like it a lot, it turned out he had a dairy and egg allergy, and once I cut those out of my diet the terrible screaming stopped
i presume he was in pain, and that something about being in certain positions made it worse

some babies also just need to be very close to you. although ds2 improved after I altered my diet he was always a "high needs" baby and he did need a lot of touching and cuddling and carrying about

a decent sling was my saviour!

Pancakeflipper Sat 29-May-10 23:18:05

Obviously something distresses her. What was the birth like? Any squishy head or body parts that could be causing tension?

Any colic etc? Are you breast feeding/ using formula? As already mentioned allergies are a possibility.

My YS is 19 months and was a miserable baby, very hard work. No smiles, never snuggled into us. He had a quick 'easy' birth but his head got a little mis-shapen, and we recently found out it was causing him pain. Now he sleeps better and is now a really happy toddler.

ttalloo Sat 29-May-10 23:38:17

It does sound as if your DD is trying to tell you something is wrong (and at 5 months she's still too young to be throwing tantrums). If a paediatrician rules out anything obviously medical, maybe visiting a cranial osteopath might help (I'm assuming that might be what helped pancakeflipper's baby if his head was mis-shapen).

A CO really helped with DS2 after a two-week holiday in the US turned him from a happy boy sleeping through the night into a miserable one up and screaming half a dozen times every night; the CO said that he was suffering from ear pressure caused by the two transatlantic flights, and one hour of tweaking later, DS2 was back to his old self. Hope you find a solution soon - it must be awful for you and your DD at the moment.

Pancakeflipper Sat 29-May-10 23:54:06

You assume right Ttalloo - we have had about 5 sessions and my boy is a different little chap. Such a live wire and now full of love for us all. His head looked pretty ok once he was sitting up but obviously the pain was still there. Sadly we didn't take him until he much older.

He also had gastric issues and is on a dairy free diet now which has helped. And this makes him sound like a feeble unthriving weakling whereas no one took us seriously for 4 months cos' he is a tall chunky tot.

But OP - go with your instincts. Us mummies might not be able to name the issue but we know when it's not right.

ttalloo Sun 30-May-10 00:08:37

pancakeflipper's right - you know your baby better than anybody, and if her crying doesn't sound right to you, follow your instinct and arrange to have her seen by a paediatrician in the first instance. I hope it turns out to be something straightforward and easily fixed by a CO or a change of diet.

(And I know it's hard when people are giving you evils or offering unwanted advice because your baby is howling, but try not to pay them any attention or let it stop you from going out and doing the things you need to do.)

BlameItOnTheBogey Sun 30-May-10 04:25:54

Thanks for all the replies. To answer some of the questions; her birth was straight forward (if very quick) and we have been to see a cranial osteopath who declared her 'perfect'. I might take her back anyway. She is exclusively breastfed and I haven't started to wean her yet. I don't think it is allergies because it seems so clearly to be a response to being in a situation she doesn't like (e.g. push chair, sling, anywhere but attached to me). And I can't sling her because I am currently on medication for back problems and can't risk making that worse. It worries me that she seems so perpetually unhappy (she doesn't seem to do any cooing with delight as other babies her age do as she is so cross the whole time).

Thisisyesterday - how is your son now? I'd love to hear that he has grown up to be a happy healthy boy...

Casserole Sun 30-May-10 13:09:24

Blame - my son was like this, and for us a cranial osteopath didn't help but a McTimoney chiropractor did - it's a gentle form of chiropractic that is suitable for newborns right through to the elderly. I hadn't heard of it before and I was sceptical but several Mums recommended it to me and to be honest, like you, I was desperate!

I feel for you - I'd have tried anything to stop the screaming. In our case it's wasn't particularly his head that was out of alignment but pretty much everything else, ribs, hips and even his nose, bless him! He was purple and screaming when we went in (his default mode) and halfway through he just breathed out, looked up at her and beamed. Slept through the night from that night on and was a different baby really.

If you do go to one I personally would choose a McTimoney chiro for a baby, as my own experience of the other sorts of chiro is it's rougher and I wouldn't feel so safe with that.

Really hope one of these tips is the thing that helps you. I really do remember how wearing it is and how brittle I felt so am thinking of you.

MammyT Sun 30-May-10 21:50:11

My daughter was like this.. She had chronic reflux and was in general a tricky baby. She hated being confined - in the car, buggy, highchair. She was just v. hard work.

She is now a delightful child - very imaginative, bright etc - and the reflux is in the past. I just think she hated being a baby!

I would see a paediatrician to rule out a physical problem just in case.. Does she feed well?

beammeupscotty Sun 30-May-10 21:53:11

Is she very pale? DGS was never happy unless cuddled and comforted. screamed in car seat, pram, on rug, in jumperoo. Turned out his iron stores had run out very quickly and he was extremely anaemic the therefore tired and exhausted all the time. He did have a difficult birth though and was only 4 1/2 lbs so not comparable. Bonny and happy once iron meds had kicked in smile

AngelDog Tue 01-Jun-10 08:02:40

How does she sleep in the day? Could overtiredness be part of the problem?

FWIW, my 5 m.o. DS yells most of the time he's in the pram, although by the sound of it not in such an extreme way. People are always saying to me, "Oh, he's hungry" when I know it's just because he's bored & frustrated when he can't see what's going on. If I pick him up or put him in the sling he's immediately fine. I try to smile & nod and ignore people when they make comments, but that's easier said than done.

I would agree with the suggestions of getting her checked by a paediatrician if you can.

KodakTheBat Tue 01-Jun-10 08:11:33

Another vote for the Chiropractor... my DS was the same, at the the same age. Would go ridged when strapped into pushchair/car seat/highchair/bouncer. After a few sessions he was fine smile

teaandcakeplease Tue 01-Jun-10 08:16:51

I took both my DCs to a McTimoney chiropractor. She was brilliant. It definitely helped.

meandjoe Tue 01-Jun-10 08:22:49

Have to say that my ds was like this for no medical reason. Took him to cranial osteopath, had him on reflux meds (just in case), took him back and forth to the health visitor/ gp, nothing was ever diagnosed. He screamed at nothing sometimes, was very over sensitive, loud noises, getting dressed, any form of restricting him resulted in the wailing you discribe. Hehated being in the car seat and pushchair as you discribe. We were house bound and desperate really. He seemed so much harder than most people's babies happily cooing on a mat or in their buggies. DS never ever was content unless being walked around with in my arms. Even then he was rarely smiley, always hard work.

I'd definitely take her to the doctors to rule anything out. Only after months of searching and pestering professionals did we jut have to accept that it was ds' temprament and just had to go with the flow.

People often say 'babies don't cry unless there is something wrong' but people don't always realise hat different babies are sensitive to different things, for my ds something was wrong with him if he was in anyway being restricted in a car seat, high chair etc and wasn't being constantly carried around and stimulated. He was very very frustrated.

It's hard work. They do grow out of it though. Knowing my ds now at 2.9, I can totally see why he was an angry grumpy baby. He still has a very low threshold for frustration and is easily bored. That said, he is really a very very good (albeit sensitive) boy. A lot easier than most of my friend's toddlers who were angelic babies.

suwoo Tue 01-Jun-10 08:31:48

My friends baby was like this. It was mostly aimed at the car the seat and pram as you describe. I had never seen anything like it and my poor friend really struggled as her DD pretty much screamed all her waking hours. I can't remember exactly when she improved, somewhere before one? I know that when she went into her forward facing car seat that it made a huge difference. My friend also bought her a puschair that was a bit more upright than her big pram and bought some comfy custom liners for it and that also made a big difference. The pram was forward facing and she seemed to prefer that too.

Fortunately my friend was able to sling her a lot of the time, so that helped. Her DD also enjoyed the door bouncer, have you tried one?

Has she been checked for tongue tie? I know its very unlikely its that, given her age etc, but you never know.

suwoo Tue 01-Jun-10 08:33:04

Oh and I forgot to add that at 3 (the end of this month), she is a lovely well behaved child. A bit clingy still, but other than that just fine.

teaandcakeplease Tue 01-Jun-10 08:38:03

Suwoo has a good point there, my fussy baby loved the doorway bouncer and was also really happy once moved to a forward facing car seat too.

maltesers Tue 01-Jun-10 08:57:06

I hope your babe is ok and it will pass as she grows up. It is probably part of her temperament. . .serious and very bright. They say, dont they difficult and emotional children are very intelligent. Just give her lots of love to let her know she is ok secure. . . thats the best thing you can give them IMHO. As best you can remove her from situation that is driving her nuts. . . know its hard though when you are putting her in car seat etc. Stay calm with soothing voice. (Yeah right i hear you say) You can only do your best .
Seek advice i think and see what specialists say. Good luck.

BlameItOnTheBogey Tue 01-Jun-10 13:29:43

Thank you everyone for the kind replies. Sorry I have not been back before - we've been away for the weekend. It really helps to read these messages and especially those where others have been through the same and it has turned out alright in the end. I struggle with the fact that the only time she makes any noise it to shout and scream - no cooing like the other babies her age. I don't have a door bouncer for her but I bought her a jumperoo in the hope that that might work. She screams as soon as she goes in...

Sleep; well it's a battle during the day. She hates being put down and pitches a fit. She won't sleep in the push chair or the car seat. And I simply can't let her sleep on me because I have a very active toddler who also needs some of my attention. So she gets massively overtired and that makes things much worse. The only saving grace is that she does sleep at night. She goes down easily at 7pm and generally goes through until 6am. I'm very grateful for this. Maybe I will try turning the push chair around to face out and will definitely look into the chiropractor.

Thanks again for the kind words.

AngelDog Wed 02-Jun-10 21:20:02

BiotB, could you try carrying her in a sling? It might help her sleep and even if not, it could be a good way of calming her down while giving you your hands free to do things with your toddler.

Karoleann Wed 02-Jun-10 22:37:29

I had a cross one too, DS1 very sensitive, got very annoyed if overtired, hungry, too hot, bored etc.....he used to have this blue pumping vein on his forehead. I really sympathise. He's still quite sensitive and does cry a lot, at 4. We tried alternaive and non alternative therapy going (but its really worth trying them anyway - just for your peace of mind), but it made no difference.
He did get better when (a) I stopped breastfeeding and he coule get lots of food immediately. (b) a little better when he could crawl and significantly better when he could walk. Shoving a dummy in his mouth helped a bit too.
My DS2 was fine - hope things improve soon x

suwoo Thu 03-Jun-10 10:07:56

AngelDog, OP said she can't use a sling due to back problems.

AngelDog Thu 03-Jun-10 19:06:13

Sorry, obviously I wasn't paying attention properly. blush

mathanxiety Thu 03-Jun-10 19:23:09

I agree with Thisyesterday -- my DD3, now age 12, was like this until she began talking. She screamed in the car, non-stop, even on the way home from the hospital as a newborn, screamed in the supermarket, screamed everywhere in fact, except when I was carrying her around.

She was very sensitive to sound and motion (car and trolley in the supermarket were therefore problems) and would wake at the drop of a pin, which was a pity as she was DC4 and there was always noise. When she awoke from her very brief and infrequent naps she would go from zero to 90 in under 60 seconds, sounding frantic -- none of my other babies were half as loud or insistent when they cried. People stared when we were out; she reduced large shops to utter silence.

She loved to be placed under the big tree in the garden in her little carseat, and she would lie back and look up at the leaves, listen to the birds, and make little baby sounds for hours -- life became easier when I discovered this. I also got a book by William and Martha Sears, "The High Needs Baby", which saved my sanity, and in the house, I carried her around for hours, in a back carrier when she could sit up.

She's grand now smile. She has a lovely singing voice, loves acting and performing, does well at school -- she can be intense, but she's fun to have around.

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