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6 month old has always been grumpy. I'm so so sad.

(75 Posts)
OddBodd Tue 17-Jul-12 19:42:11

Hi all.

My 6 month old DS has been high needs and grumpy since day one. We struggled to establish breast feeding. For months he barely fed but snacked every 40 minutes or so even throughout the night. We just went with it hoping it would get better. I just slept with him on me. Eventually it worked out and by 5 months he has been sleeping around 10 hours straight at night, feed at 5am and back down til 7am so can't complain!

During the days though he is just so miserable. I have been at the paediatricians and tried infant gaviscon and ranatidine incase of reflux, I am now dairy free and have been since 12 weeks incase of intolerance. Basically I feel like we've tried everything, even 2 sessions of cranial osteopathy but nothing has cheered him up.

He is over tired most of the day as he only nas for 30 mins at a time and always goes to sleep screaming on me unless I manage to feed him to sleep. He wakes up grizzly as he's clearly still tired. I have tried putting him doewn every 2 hours but he's just exahausted ll the time and screams.

It's totally impacting on my mental health now. I am on edge and shakey. He cries so often for no reason I can find other than I am assuming he's tired but I can't soothe him back to sleep after a nap. I've tried feeding rocking shhhhing, patting, white noise. Nothing works, his eyes pop open and the crying begins. What am I doing wrong? He is so grumpy all day. Please help.

surreygirl1987 Wed 16-Oct-19 21:38:06

Hahaha I wish! My husband and I are totally winging it and have no idea what we're doing but thanks for saying that anyway! ❤ Yes please do post back to say how you get on!!

Twinkletoes19 Wed 16-Oct-19 20:21:28

that's so good to hear re: nursery, I was starting to think no-one would want to look after her (or have the patience a parent has).

I will look up the high needs baby and thank you for the advice about a routine. It's also so helpful to know there are other people out there who have been through the same thing - and survived! I will come back and post when we make it out the other side! Thank you so much for all your help and have fun with trying for the second - you give great advice so you must be a wonderful mother xxx

surreygirl1987 Tue 15-Oct-19 22:50:25

No worries! Seriously don't worry about nursery. I honestly thought he would be unmanageable and get kicked out but apparently he's actually one of their 'easy' babies, ha! 🤦🏼‍♀️ I have a friend with a really easy baby (in my opinion) and he hates nursery and grizzles of the day. I guess they either take to it or they don't! You won't know until you try... and remember they've seen hundreds of different babies so they've used to all sorts of temperaments!

I hated maternity leave! I'm occasionally a bit sad about that but to be honest I'm just glad we've got through the miserable days and relieved he's happy now! When he turned one I wasn't even that emotional as I find him easier with every month that passes!

I had moments when I swore we would never have another baby but actually We are now planning to, and are starting to try again. Things change quickly.

Also you are NOT doing anything wrong! Babies are just born with different temperaments. And this often changes as they grow up anyway. Google High needs Baby (Dr Sears). There's also an amusinf quiz I did that categorizes your baby by personality (eg Angel baby)... might got dubbed 'sprited', which describes him to a T.

Oh finally one more thing... what worked really well for my son was getting him into a really good routine. We did this early on so it wasn't exactly a deal breaker or a miracle cure, but we've realised in recent months how important it is to him as he gets grumpy and temperamental when he's overtired. A routine means we can plan social events for times when he's most likely to be happy and rested ... as he is definitely not the sort of baby who just falls asleep whenever and wherever he feels like it!

Best of luck. I know how tough it is but there are thousands of other parents in the same shoes so you're not alone!! You'l be reporting back to this thread in a few months time giving other parents hope smile

Twinkletoes19 Tue 15-Oct-19 21:32:33

Thank you so much for replying! It's so kind of you, I really appreciate it!! And thank you for giving me hope - your message has given me a real boost. I'm pretty sure the root of the problem for my baby is the same - not enough stimulation and feeling frustrated. She's almost crawling, so hopefully that will help - and your tips about nursery and going back to work make sense, too. Thank you for sharing your state of mind at the time - her behaviour does make me feel like a failure - always thinking I must be doing something wrong for her to be like this and I feel envious of the happy mothers I know whose babies are so much easier and who have genuinely enjoyed their maternity leave. You can't help but make comparisons and wonder what you did to deserve this. It's been hard to get out with her because there's always a point where she starts to complain and then cry and it becomes disruptive for everyone else so I gave up on coffee groups etc. because I was always having to leave early and apologise/make excuses for her. I'm a bit worried about taking her to nursery when I go back to work and whether they'll ask me to take her out again because they can't deal with her! It has been bad - so bad that my husband and I pretty much decided we wouldn't have another baby, even though we always wanted more, because we didn't think we could handle another like her. But it sounds like we just need to give it time.

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply and I'm thrilled for you that your son is so happy and settled now and that you can enjoy your time together.

surreygirl1987 Tue 15-Oct-19 20:11:19

Oh and feel free to message me if you want to talk further! I do remember very vividly how soul destroying and draining it is and I reached breaking point too. It got pretty bad for a while. If you're on Facebook I found some high needs baby groups really great support as it helped me to know I wasn't alone and didn't actually have the only miserable baby in the world!

surreygirl1987 Tue 15-Oct-19 20:08:38

Hey! YES!! I have a one year old now... and he is soooo happy! Seriously, he's one of the happiest babies at nursery, he naps and eats well, and most of the time he is a dream to look after. He is still high needs though and has a massive personality. I find him exhausting as he NEVER wants to stay still, and he throws proper toddler tantrums if he doesn't get his own way. But the vast majority of the time he is super happy 🙌

A lot changed when he was 7 months old as that's when I stopped breastfeeding him and he went on prescription formula. Something in my breastmilk was bothering him. Then he was super happy for a while bit then he got met a miserable and needy again as he got a double ear infection, a cold, and teeth all in one go. After that, since around 8 or 9 months, he's been mostly happy the majority of the time. He also became happier when he started nursery (I think he needs the stimulation?) and a million times happier when he began crawlinf at 9 monhs! I think a lot of it was frustration- with every new skill he seems more cheerful. Don't get me wrong - when things aren't his way he whinges. He's currently obsessed with opening and closing the door, and if he can't open it he will whinge until I open it for him. He throws angry he tantrums if I dare to change his nappy, and if he gets overtired he will just sob. He's still hard work. But so very cheerful most of the time and I no longer despair. I said to my husband thst I hated him on more than one occasion, it got that bad. I can't imagine feeling like that about him now.

Your baby will be fine. They change so much in the first couple of years and in my desperate research I discovered endless stories of grumpy babies becoming lovely toddler or children. Apparently both I and my husband were like that too! But the main thing is to make sure you're looking after yourself too. I know from experience that it is so so so hard. I was constantly comparing my son to the other babies and felt like such a failure. But now I feel silly for caring about what others thought and comparing. Hindsight is a wonderful thing hey! I do think I ended up with PPD as a result of my son being so difficult though and it made the first 6 or so months very miserable for me. Going back to work really helped me (part time) and was good for him too. Do whatever you can to get through the tiresome times and the whining and the crying... my son is evidence that it doesn't last for ever- and trust me, I was so sure that there had never been a baby as miserable as my son ever before! 😂

Twinkletoes19 Tue 15-Oct-19 19:03:12

@surreygirl1987 Could I please ask if you've seen any improvement yet? I too have this baby and I'm in despair (and nearing breaking point). She's 8 months and she cries/whines all day every day and has done since she was six weeks, no matter what we try. It's clearly not a physical problem - it's just who she is. As you know, it's unbelievably stressful and exhausting. I have no happy memories from this year of my life. I can see that the other posters have said that eventually it improved. I just wondered if you or anyone else could please say WHEN it starts/started to improve as I have to have a sense of when this might end. I'm not sure I will cope if it continues for another eight months. Thank you everyone.

surreygirl1987 Tue 02-Apr-19 15:57:00

Well he's 6 months old next week... so there is hope! He's quite a way off crawling though. But weaning begins next week smile

DelphiMum Tue 02-Apr-19 12:50:17

I had this baby. For us it started getting better around six months when he started eating and crawling.

surreygirl1987 Sun 31-Mar-19 22:56:43

Fantastic!! That's so good to know, thanks! Glad you got my message!
We think he has allergies through breastmilk and he's under hospital care for that but we are wondering if his constant whinginess is separate to that as even when he doesn't seem to be reacting he is whingy anyway! But so nice to hear it gets better!! Thanks!!! smile

Oddbodd Sun 31-Mar-19 19:08:46

Hi it's meeeee! Must admit I don't come on mumsnet anymore but I got an email to alert me that I'd been mentioned and I couldn't not reply.

Firstly habe you ruled out reflux or milk intolerance? Iron deficiency? We tried everything with our son and nothing medical was ever discovered to explain why he was sp difficult. We even went to a cranial osteopath to try and 'correct' any issues. Nothing made any difference.

However... the good news is he is now 7 years old and I can promise you he isn't still crying all day! In fact I can't remember the last time he cried. He's very chatty and friendly little boy who I think just didn't really enjoy being a baby.

He still isn't particularly smiley to be honest. He's a deep thinker, very articulate and funny. Weirdly now everyone always comments on what an easy going child he is. All his school reports comment on how laid back he is and what a calming influence he has on the class. It baffles me as he was definitely not laid back as a baby!

He's lovely. Very cuddly and happy to potter about. Loves a good chat and is extremely sweet natured. Just to give you some hope!

For us we never found a magic cure. It just steadily got better. Sorry I wish I could offer you something more but as he grew up and could walk and certainly talking seemed to alleviate some of his frustration.

He was never a high maintenance toddler and has only ever had a handful of tantrums so you never know, you may get pay back for all these hard days you are going through now.

I know how miserable and lonely it is but it gets so much better I promise. Just hang in there and feel free to message me if you need a hand to hold haha.

surreygirl1987 Sun 31-Mar-19 11:20:20

@OddBodd just in case you're still on mumsnet all these years later... did it get better? I'm in the same boat and am finding a lot of these threads but with no ending! Hopefully you can reassure me that my grumpy 6 month old won't always whinge all day long 😔

OddBodd Tue 24-Jul-12 07:28:01

Thanks everyone for the replies.

Firsttimeforeverything No he doesn't feed particularly frequently now, usually every 3 hours in the day and goes 10-12 hours at night which is great. He used to be a terrible feeder, every 45 mins but he has grown out of this thankfully.

henriettapootle thank you, yes perhaps I should stop looking for a 'cure' and hopefully as he becomes older his response to things will be easier to manage. It's helpful to know others have been through this. i just couldn't stand it if I thought there was something wrong with him that I have missed but there's every chance it is just his personality.... which also scaes me and worries me how we will cope with him :-(

INeedofIdeas your post has helped me realise that it will get better so thank you. I just hate the sound of him crying and it affecs me so much. I feel like such a failure and it is so hard getting out and about with him as a melt down is never far away. I have no idea how I am going to get through this next year.

InNeedofIdeas Mon 23-Jul-12 14:06:04

He sounds just like my DS was Odd. It is so so hard, I completely know what you're going through. We tried gaviscon and cranial osteopathy as well and it didn't make any difference at all!

I did want to give you a ray of hope though - my DS is now 14.5 months and is so much happier. He still much more high needs than friends' babies BUT in comparison with what he used to be he's like a different baby. One thing to bear in mind with a grumpy baby is that as they get older there are just more and different ways to distract them, which really helps. If DS is grumbling now, we can always go out to a playgroup/try a new toy/give him a ricecake/read a book and because he's so much more aware, he actually responds to these things now. I remember at around 5 or 6 months just feeling hopeless as nothing seemed to make him happy.

You say it's impacting on your mental health and I definitely know what I mean. Can you make sure that you build regular breaks into your week - eg. can your DH take him for a few hours at the weekend while you go out and do something else. For me, it was important to actually get out of the house, as if I was home and could hear him crying I didn't relax at all. Maybe go and see a film or something that will really take your mind off it as I know how all-consuming it can be.

firstimeforeverything Sat 21-Jul-12 23:04:16

Is he still feeding very frequently, little and often? One of the best bits of advice I have received on babycare was early on with DS1 when he was feeding every half an hour and I was getting so stressed - my mum simply said 'just feed him every two hours, and not more frequently than that. He won't starve!'. It only took a couple of days to get established in this routine, and he began to sleep much better, instead of the constant cycle of sleep, wake, eat hour after hour. DS1 always dropped off on the boob, and once we got into this pattern he would sleep well for a couple of hours before waking again.

That said, he didn't have reflux. DS2 does, so I would add a word of warning to make sure that you don't overfill him. Anyway, just a thought. I'm sure he will improve, probably once he becomes more mobile as others have suggested. It's such a shame that his reflux hasn't resolved itself yet - I think you've been very unlucky with that.

AlanMoore Sat 21-Jul-12 22:40:49

Agree with other posters that it's how he is, friends ds just the same but once he was crawling and knew the sign for milk he cheered up a lot.

To get a break in the day can you do forward facing, comfy in buggy, and push him for an hour or so while you listen to music on earphones? Try bumpy terrain, this might get him off to sleep, I've known a few babies who liked being "shaken" to sleep like this! My dd wasn't a grumpy baby but she was very resistant to napping. I started putting her outside at about 4m and she started having an hour in the morning & 2 at lunchtime, from literally no nap at all. Worth a try? I think you sound like you have the patience of a saint btw, I'm sure things will get better soon [hugs].

HenriettaPootle Sat 21-Jul-12 22:12:11

DS1 was just like this. It's grim to go through; I really feel for you. I also found that nothing 'worked' - we tried everything we could think of (diet, cranial osteopathy etc) and nothing made a blind bit of difference. He's now nearly five, and still fairly unusual - quite high maintenance, temperamental, sulky - but he's also incredibly bright, rewarding, interesting and lovely. So I wouldn't exactly say he'd grown out of it - in that I think the way he was as a baby is linked to his personality now - but he certainly hasn't kept crying for four years!! I've recently read a book about Highly Sensitive Children and, while I don't really like these labels, it did seem to fit my son very well (the theory being that, basically, some children are just more sensitive to the world around them in practically every way - visually, aurally, emotionally etc etc). According to the author, there's nothing you can do to change it, you just need to learn strategies to manage their environment and experiences. And with my DS1, I do think that things became easier when I stopped trying to 'cure' him, and just accepted that that's the way he is. It's certainly NOT the 'fault' of your parenting - I went on to have another DS (now nearly 2) who is the sunniest, most laid back child you could imagine.

Also, you should realise (you probably do already) that nobody (your friends, family or health professionals) who has not had a baby like this REMOTELY understands what it's like. I had friends say helpful things like, 'Why don't you try giving him a cuddle, maybe that would settle him down?', and doctors saying 'Oh, I should think he's got a bit of colic'. Which, particularly when you're a first time mum, makes you think that somehow you're overreacting, or not handling it very well. It's nonsense - they just have no idea what it's like to have a child that's so unsettled. Which doesn't make it easier for you, but please don't let anyone make you think you're a) contributing to the problem or b) overreacting to it. How about your partner? How well does he cope with it, and is he around enough to offer much support?

(Incidentally, DS1 never slept in the daytime either, until suddenly, around 9 months, he started napping for 2 hours at lunchtime and carried on until he was three! So don't give up! I would keep trying to put him down for sleeps, even if you don't feel like you're getting anywhere.)

Iggly Sat 21-Jul-12 21:28:13

Also, forgive me as not read the whole thread. Have you also eliminated soya from your diet? If he's dairy intolerant, could react to soya too. I personally think its nasty stuff - my two reacted even more to soya than they did to cows milk.

Iggly Sat 21-Jul-12 21:25:58

Odd, have you spoken to anyone about this? Just wondered as you sound a bit down. I have two refluxy high need babies and recognise the feeling of being down.

Remember though, your baby will grumble more when you're there if something is up. Simply because they know you make it better (in the same way you cry in front of people who you trust/care about iyswim?)

I found a sling helps. Also a pushchair which faces outwards. Helped loads with both of mine when they're grump. Took them out for a walk, so they could watch the world and sometimes they'd even nap!

olibeansmummy Sat 21-Jul-12 20:52:10

Ds was a difficult baby, he had colic too and was physically and mentally I guess, very advanced. As soon as he could do one thing he wanted to do the next. For example, he sat up himself at 12 weeks and then wanted to get moving straight away, but couldn't. He didn't sleep much and wanted to be entertained all the time. He didn't sleep through til he was 2 1/2 either.

But now he is the most amazing 3 year old! He's bright and well behaved and sooo much fun smile

The baby stage seems like forever at the time, but it really is just a short time.

mercibucket Sat 21-Jul-12 10:22:42

I just remembered something! Iron deficiency is very common in older babies and toddlers, who are born with enough to see them through the first 4-6 months (less if cord clamped straight away) but often don't eat much iron-rich food til a bit older. It makes them clingy, anxious and whine a lot. Dd was like this. Worth a thought. Hv can do finger prick test or you can just up the iron in their diet

mercibucket Sat 21-Jul-12 10:22:41

I just remembered something! Iron deficiency is very common in older babies and toddlers, who are born with enough to see them through the first 4-6 months (less if cord clamped straight away) but often don't eat much iron-rich food til a bit older. It makes them clingy, anxious and whine a lot. Dd was like this. Worth a thought. Hv can do finger prick test or you can just up the iron in their diet

bishboschone Fri 20-Jul-12 23:51:11

My ds is just like this . He is 11 months and cries all the time. It's soul destroying isn't it ? Have you got a jumperoo ,? That thing is my salvation !

brettgirl2 Fri 20-Jul-12 20:13:16

You arent a failure but I felt that way with dd1. Dd2 has shown me how easy it is for most people! Hang in there it will get better.

OddBodd Fri 20-Jul-12 20:01:12

Thank you everyone. I just feel like such a failure. He can be very smiley and lovely but will immediately whinge or cry sometimes I can't tell the difference between a little laugh or a whinge because when I tickle him it can go either way :-( He is just so tempremental! It helps to know I'm not alone. Thank you.

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