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Exhausting, hyper 5 month old- will it get better?!

(9 Posts)
PossetFeatures Fri 15-Jul-11 16:14:07

My little chap is 5 months old and an absolute delight, wouldn't change him for the world and a "proper little character" as I keep being told by various people. Trouble is, he's EXHAUSTING and like a machine who never stops, and 5 months in to becoming a parent, I am starting to feel like i'm breaking down physically!

He doesn't sleep through the night still, and isn't a great daytime sleeper, despite us getting in to quite a good routine feed and activity-wise, and when he is awake needs CONSTANT entertaining. I can't seem to just leave him for more than a couple of minutes to play on his mat with his toys without him wanting my attention. I do love playing with him, but sometimes I need to do some chores (my DP helps with these but some things I HAVE to get done).

To get him to sleep during the day, I find myself having to go for long walks, which I enjoy but again, my body is starting to feel the burn and i'm nearly a stone lighter than pre-pg from just not being able to sit down for a second sad. I've been a bit more hardcore this week and have put him down for sleeps during the day in his cot, but at lunchtime he's woken after 20 minutes and proceeded to scream on and off for up to an hour despite me going in and comforting him (I know he's tired as thumb-sucking and eyes closed whilst screaming). In the end, i've given up after nearly 2 hours of this, and drawn curtians and got him up properly, and he's all smiles and ready to go again despite barely any sleep. I take him to various baby groups for my sanity and to keep him entertained which he loves, but come the evening i'm knackered and too tired to do anything. Even lying down his legs are constantly on the go and he's kicking happily like a maniac- so much so that EVERYONE new we meet comments on it! We've bought him a Jumperoo which has helped to keep him amused and burn off some energy, so that has been a bit of godsend. Laidback is not the word to describe him!

My amazing MIL has taken him out for a walk so i'm now flopped on the sofa with a glass of red at 4pm blush, but mostly it's relentless. I don't know what i'm trying to say, just offload really. He's amazing and such a happy chap, but I guess i'm scared that he'll be even more of a handful once he starts moving? Or might he be better once he gets on the move? Anyone else had/have a hyper baby and did it all work out okay?! I'm very scared of having another baby as not sure I could handle him and another 'on-the-go' one!

SenoritaViva Fri 15-Jul-11 16:23:45

Every stage is different and often they are exhausting in different ways (sorry!) It does sound like you've got an energetic baby and I've forgotten this stage plus wasn't on maternity leave then so didn't have every day with DD then. So I am NO expert. But.... if this was your second you simply would NOT be able to spend every minute of every hour with him and entertaining him. Maybe you need to be tougher on yourself about allowing him to entertain himself with you doing chores in the same room and him lying on his mat/sitting up (can he yet?) and bashing saucepans etc. I know it can be tough and they can grumble but he has learnt that if he grumbles he gets his mum's attention, he knows it works! (but ask me this time next year when my second is about that age!) You might have to start by not giving yourself enough time to do the whole chore but increase the time a tiny bit every day. Play lots of peekaboo games with him so he understands when you go you come back... Can you use a sling while you get on with chores as well?

With sleep... I have a poor sleeper. You could try re evaluating his sleep during the day? (ours dropped her extra sleep(s) much earlier than any friends and now goes to bed rather late..she's 4).

I'm sorry my advice isn't more specific and that you are exhausted, I'm sure someone will come along with better advice soon but didn't want you to go unanswered.

PossetFeatures Fri 15-Jul-11 16:30:39

Thanks Senorita, nice to be able to offload to someone/people smile

I think I do need to be tougher- my Mum keeps saying that if I had more DCs then I wouldn't have time to pander so much! I think it's also because he's struggling to roll at the moment so is frustrated. He's not quite sitting up yet but is on his way there, so that will help I think.

I'd have him in the sling, as we do use it sometimes when out and about walking and he loves it, but he's nearly 20lbs of pure muscle and very long, so doing chores with him in it is out of the question i'm afraid- my back would be fecked! grin

WhenCanIWine Fri 15-Jul-11 16:40:51

I have an active one who needed constant entertainment when young. For me, I found things always got worse in the build up to a milestone...he got more frustrated and needed more distracting etc. Then he would get there and would calm a bit! Until the next milestone! Certainly once he was mobile tho (crawling, then walking) he was much easier to keep happy and busy. The sleep thing is tricky - some babies do just seem to need less sleep than others. But if he is grumpy thro tiredness, then perhaps persevere with naps somehow. If he really doesnt seem bothered then you have my sympathy! Does he drift off in the car? Easier on you than walking the streets all the time?

PossetFeatures Fri 15-Jul-11 16:48:34

I have to agree with the milestone thing- he does seems to have been worse at certain periods before learning something new so maybe you're onto something there whencanIwine? (love the name by the way!)

He does sleep in the car, but tends to just catnap and therefore becomes irritable as the day goes on. He's so fab, but very high maintenance... I feel like I have a toddler already in some ways... at baby sensory group this morning there was a bit of it where they were given instruments to shake and when he had to give his back he screamed the place down so loudly and high pitched that only dogs could've heard him at one point- until he was distracted by next toy and was all smiles again! grin

SenoritaViva Fri 15-Jul-11 17:03:58

Have you tried swimming with him? I ask because it might tire him and help him sleep. He might need more 'exercise' but not be able to get it yet being only 5 months. Also could you not use the sling for walking and only for doing the (odd) chore?

WhenCanIWine Fri 15-Jul-11 17:07:53

Do you feel he actually needs to sleep more, or is he possibly one of those non-sleeping types? depoending on the answer to that, you could look into sleep training of some kind? he is still young after all.

garlicbutter Fri 15-Jul-11 18:26:39

I've looked after lots of babies like yours (it was easy to see why they wanted a nanny!) I agree with the others that [a] you need to learn to be a little more selfish and [b] he's likely to be wanting more exercise.

Swimming's a fantastic idea if you can manage it, and I'm glad the jumperoo's helping. I think the bouncers you hang in a doorway are great for high-energy babies as they can be quite violent in there - maybe look into them for when he grows out of the jumperoo? I used to add a mobile and - much to the parents' annoyance - a wind-chime type thing (baby glockenspiel). Babies like yours usually love destructive play, too, so experiment with noisy, messy things that he can wreck.

I adore "demanding" children. I think it indicates a lively intelligence. You sound like a wonderful, devoted mother - but you need time to yourself, too. Currently DS sees you as the most brilliant toy in the whole universe: you just have to let him discover it's fun to play with other things, too, and you'll still be there for him afterwards smile Don't be afraid to use a playpen, wall of cushions or whatever works as he gets more mobile.

PossetFeatures Sun 17-Jul-11 13:41:24

Sorry for the delay in getting back- been a manic couple of days with relatives visiting etc!

We already take DS swimming once a week (since he had his 2nd lot of jabs) which he loves- we have a floaty ring thing that he bobs and kicks in around the pool. That should hopefully burn more energy!

As far as his sleep is concerned, I think he is starting to cut back on his late afternoon nap which is fine, but what's annoying is at lunchtime when he's clearly knackered and needs his sleep, he'll wake after 20-30 minutes. If i try and get him to go back to sleep, it's a battle, and if I get him up, I know he'll be fecked after an hour of so, and fall asleep during his next feed, or spend the rest of the day cat napping and getting more and more grumpy. sad What kind of sleep training could i try? I've tried a version of controlled crying (wary as i know it's frowned upon under 6 months) and he was HARDCORE- screamed for 2 hours with me going in and out to reassure him and then I got him up and he carried on all smiley as if nothing had happened!

Garlicbutter- thanks for your kind words smile I really hope his demanding character does mean he's a bright little chap (That's what I keep telling myself anyway!)

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