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Ashamed and guilty-lost temper in front of 8 month old

(42 Posts)
CradleCrapNap Sat 22-Feb-14 20:25:15

I feel so sad and like the worst mum in the world. I completely lost my temper with DD at bath time today. She is getting to a generally fussy age. She's not happy for more than 10mins at a time and wants constant attention. She spends a lot of the day getting frustrated at various things and making a whiny noise or crying. I get frustrated listening to it on my own 5 days a week but I don't let it show to her (I hope). There are days when I think 'god if I hear that noise one more time I'll scream'!

The problem today at bath time, is that since Christmas DD has had eczema, which has become infected. She's just finishing her third lot of oral antibiotics. Getting these into her 4 times a day is yet another source of frustration as she hates them and clamps her mouth shut and cries :-( I also have to put cream on regularly (we've been through 3 different types and one lot of topical antibiotics) and are still using steroid cream as advised by the GP. It's been stressful to say the least and still isn't at a place where it's being managed. This gets me down. I feel a failure somehow. That it's my fault she has eczema (i have mild asthma and hayfever). That I let it get this bad and get infected. In my head I know that having been to the GP 5 times since Christmas and following their advice I am doing my best.

Anyway, she was fussing throughout bath time, grumbling, whining. Scratching the backs of her knees with her toes. When I moved her feet away, she instantly went for the same spot with her hands and then for her chin. It was like we were battling each other. This carried on on the bath mat getting dried. When I wouldn't let her roll over to grab the basket of nappies and clothes she started screaming and scratching and I just lost it. I screamed myself out of sheer carer fatigue and despair, then I grabbed the basket out of her way and started throwing things out of it and across the room in complete anger. She went quiet then got upset and I just felt awful. I was so ashamed of myself. How could I let something so menial wind me up? I tried my best to reassure her immediately, then I cried throughout the rest of bed time. She was quiet and subdued, although she did smile at me in the mirror which made me feel better. She seems to have settled without problem. I was worried I'd give her nightmares.

She's a good baby. Why is it so hard to be a mum?

Jinglebellsforthebetter Sat 22-Feb-14 20:31:24

Because it is brew
You love her but you are working really hard. Is there a P or H around to share this?

apermanentheadache Sat 22-Feb-14 20:34:33

You are human. Babies and small children try your patience like nothing else. She will have no memory - conscious or unconscious - of this event.

Be kind to yourself flowers

TheGreatHunt Sat 22-Feb-14 20:38:28

Many of us have had similar. It's isolating looking after a baby. Make sure you get out every day. It'll distract both of you.

As for the excema - you know its not your fault. Just wondered if you'd changed detergent to something mild (my ds reacts to everything including surcare which is supposedly mild except for ecover)? Also have you looked at diet - dairy is a common trigger (be it via your bm or formula).

Apologise to her in the morning. Next time you will know your triggers and walk away so she cannot hear you then vent a bit.

huhpuh Sat 22-Feb-14 20:38:37

Hey, don't beat yourself up. I have an 8 month old who is whiny and a PIA sometimes too. I lose my rag ocassionally - I don't think you'll find a parent who doesn't. I just try to breathe my way through it! As in labour-style deep breaths!

It's their age, tiredness plus that horrid eczema. She won't even remember come tomorrow.

DoItTooJulia Sat 22-Feb-14 20:43:00

Hey Cradle, that sounds tough.

Do you get any time out? Sounds like you could do with some. By 8 months I was petty fed up with the relentlessness of it all and I realised that my life was missing a bit of me time. I'm not on about anything major, just the odd afternoon to my self, or a book to read, on the bed for an hour all on my own.

Also sounds like your daughters excema is severe. I don't know anything about it, but is there anything else you can try? Are oats in the bath water meant to help? Lavender oil? I'm not suggesting that you are not doing anything, just is there something different you could try that could help?

Hope you're both ok.

FannyFifer Sat 22-Feb-14 20:44:00

Nothing bad happened.
You were stressed and shouted, it's sounds very difficult with the excema.

Dairy triggers it in both my children.
I could only bath them once a week as water really made it angry.

CradleCrapNap Sat 22-Feb-14 20:46:25

Headache, I'm clearly still emotional 2.5 hours after the event, your post made tears spring up. I will try to be kind to myself. After telling myself I was a horrible person and that DD is going to grow up hating me (really) I did eventually try a different tack and try to tell myself that yes I made a mistake but it doesn't make me horrible. It's hard to maintain some realistic expectations isn't it and know that you're not somehow damaging them. I think it would be completely unrealistic to think she'll never see me angry, but it's the context and what's appropriate vs what's inappropriate. Throwing things across the room (even if it was clothes and cotton wool) is inappropriate.

Jingle DH is on his way back from Twickenham
'Working' ;-) He is great and we have a brilliant relationship but I feel frightened to tell him the unedited version as I don't want him to think less of me. I know she has tried his patience too, I've seen the Same look on his face when she really gets to him. But he has the relief of the office during the week so he handles it when it happens. For me, I've been on mummy duty from 6.30 am Monday to 6.30pm Saturday night and I can't lie, it gets a bit tedious and it's not what you pictured it to be when you planned a family. I'm finding the 8 month mark far harder than those early days, and our DD fed every 2-3 hours day and night for the first 3 months!

CradleCrapNap Sat 22-Feb-14 20:48:10

Fanny it has crossed my mind just this evening as she was scratching in the bath, that water isn't helping. Had thought it best to keep it clean and dry, but might drop some baths, thanks x

CradleCrapNap Sat 22-Feb-14 20:54:58

Thanks everyone, Hunt, I switched to surcare (washing powder and a small amount of surcare softener) having read it was gentle but it could still be irritating her skin. What else should we try?
Julia- I get a couple of hours on Thursday am when MIL comes and takes her out. It's invaluable as I get to go to the gym or do other stuff that's impossible to do with a baby like take the cat to the vet! I dread to think what I'd be like without those hours. DH always offers to take DD out at the weekend but generally I like us to do stuff together when we get the opportunity, but it does mean I still feel 'on duty' and therefore I don't really relax! Also, I'm going to start going to a once month eczema group the HV recommended for some peer support and advice.

Aliwithtwins Sat 22-Feb-14 21:05:03

Just wanted to say I've been there! There's so little you can do to stop excema becoming infected. My only advice is to use the steroids and don't hold back from asking for an increase in strength to get on top of it. The chances are this is a short term thing and in a couple of months you'll be through it.
I lost it with my little girl too. I found apologising really helped me. I'm sure she hadn't a clue what I was saying but it helped me to feel better. It's really hard when you can't make them happy! I thought that's what mums are supposed to be able to do... Be we can't, we're human.
I don't know if it helps but I find it much easier now they've turned two. It's still hard hard work but there's a lot more fun and its a lot less mundane and repetitive.

Meglet Sat 22-Feb-14 21:05:22

Try cutting back on her baths. Turned out hard water was the cause of my DC's excema. It stopped almost overnight when I started showering them every other day.

I know how frustrating it is when you're trying to slather cream on them and they just scratch it off seconds later.

Have you got anything planned for tomorrow? I understand you want some family time but after 6 days of looking after your DD you should try and get at least a couple of hours peace.

PourquoiPas Sat 22-Feb-14 21:06:54

She won't remember it at all. Don't beat yourself up. We've all had one of those days.

Regarding the eczema, if it is still sore and inflamed book an appointment with the GP and tell, don't ask, to be referred. GPs may have had as little as 10 lectures on skin conditions so your GP may well know very little, and if it hasn't got better yet it's worth pushing for a referral now as it will take a while to come through, you could always cancel it later.

Other things to help with eczema - huge amounts of cream not a few dans, slather it all other after the steroid cream. Cows milk is a trigger for my DC, their eczema is reduced to a bit of dry skin without it in their diets as opposed to red raw constant infections with so worth thinking about her diet. Oatmeal in the bath water is an old trick but does work, also quite fun if you let her play with it!

CradleCrapNap Sat 22-Feb-14 21:16:30

Meg, I'm definitely palming her off (I do love her m, honestly) on DH tomorrow! He can take her out for a good few hours at least.

Will try the oats too. Have heard this but not tried it yet.

I cream her lower half at every nappy change and her face and chin before and after meals or when going out in the cold.

Diet, I have temporarily stopped giving her any cows milk or bread/cereals in case it's these. I know you should only stop one at a time but I was desperate for it to heal so stopped both and plan to reintroduce them separately if it ever fully heals. The chin looks better, it was the worst area, but the backs of her knees are raw from the scratching now.

TheGreatHunt Sun 23-Feb-14 09:39:52

Ecover non bio is the only thing ds doesn't react to!

Also what cream do you use? Again my dd reacts to oilatum and e45 cream (it might be the paraffin, not sure) so I now use Burt's bees non perfumed stuff. Expensive but works.

TheGreatHunt Sun 23-Feb-14 09:42:09

Also if her chin looks bad, does she drool or have a dummy. My dd does so I make sure I clean and dry the area and put a thin layer of barrier cream on to protect from drool.

TheGreatHunt Sun 23-Feb-14 09:43:20

I'm getting my ds and dd mixed up (auto correct!) I do have one of each. Ds reacts to oilatum/e45 and dd has a dummy/drools!

BalloonSlayer Sun 23-Feb-14 09:56:57


First things first: she won't remember it.

Secondly: Eczema advice. Ask to be referred to a specialist. We did, and felt like we were fussing. We turned up to the first appointment and the Doctor took one look at DS and admitted him! So erm we were not fussing enough!

You may have a specialist allergy/asthma/eczema nurse in your area. We did - although we only met her in hospital - and she prescribed a concoction of cream that had to be made up by the chemist (he reacted badly to a lot of creams, no use listing them as no baby is the same, but they included ones that "no one ever reacts to" apparently hmm ) The nurse showed us how to do wet wrap bandages.

Essentially, there is help out there, and I think now you need to go to the GP and say "Enough is enough, DD needs more specialist help than this."

FWIW I detested bathtimes because of DS1's eczema and I still feel sad when people talk about bathtime being the best time of the day because for me it was always the worst.

Good luck!

Cringechilli Sun 23-Feb-14 09:59:16

She will forget about it almost instantly.

Cut down on the baths - if her arms and legs are covered with clothes in the day, she isn't dirty - wash hands, wipe mouth and do a really good job of nappy changes and you should then not need to bath her more than once a week or even 10 days.

I wouldn't use any softener at all - if you tumble dry the clothes, they will be soft. Also, make sure you are using a very small amount of washing liquid / powder (the amount on the packet is way too much) and make sure the machine is doing a good rinse.

HelenHen Sun 23-Feb-14 10:26:57

I second cringechilli. I only bathe ds every 4 or 5 days cos I worry about eczema. At 8 month's it was once a week. He's never got it. I wash his face and hands with s facecloth after every meal and morning and before bed.

Also I have eczema. We ran out of fabric softener about a year ago and I never got around to buying more... My eczema has disappeared for the first time in years. It's the only change I can think of! Worth a shot dropping it!

AGoodPirate Sun 23-Feb-14 10:33:08

Yes just to agree- we only bathed every four / five days when DD's eczema was bad. It really made a difference.

ZebraZeebra Sun 23-Feb-14 10:55:09

Please don't beat yourself up. Dealing with an itchy baby is the worst kind of torment for both of you. I also got mad at my DS a few times, screaming "Just stop fucking scratching!!" and then leaving the room to sob. It's the worst thing because they don't understand, they're in distress, their constant scratching is a torment for you and even worse, they continue to hurt themselves with the scratching which is even more distressing.

Generally and day to day you sound like you are doing a wonderful job. At the moment it's like trying to medicate and treat a small animal - there is no ability to explain and ask them to hold still or stop scratching or take their medicine. It's very hard on both of you. I really think my baby's scratching did something to me mentally; I can't explain it but although we have eczema under control now, if he does a single normal scratch, I tense up immediately.

Be kind to yourself; you're a great mother with a challenging situation for both if you. Bath times are the worst. It wil get better, one at or another. She'll either grow out of it or grow old enough to understand. But you're doing great - no one can understand who emotionally and mentally hard it is with a scratchy baby until you have one!

ZebraZeebra Sun 23-Feb-14 11:00:50

Also, get proper allergy testing done. Bug your gp and don't let them keep offering creams. You need to get to the root of it. It's near on impossible to identify everything she might be allergic to yourself. DS has some very surprising ones - things he's never even had. If we didn't know, we might expose him to those things and mistakenly think that's the only one.

Amber76 Sun 23-Feb-14 12:25:01

My 7 month old has excema but not as bad as yours - doctor says key to managing it is moisturising the skin. I use Oilatum in the bath but try to do only 2 baths a week. Elave shampoo and moisturiser.

If it looks like there might be a flare up I strip him off and cover him head to toe, scalp and all, in Paraffin Oil - he looks ridiculous but it works for us! I put the hydrocortisol cream on any stubborn patches. At the moment he is clear.

I think you have to keep trying different things.

Also, do you manage to get out for a walk each day? Even when its raining I bundle him up in buggy and put on the plastic cover and off we go. Its not as good as getting time to yourself but its a good substitute.

Corabell Sun 23-Feb-14 12:35:00

I second getting a referral to a specialist - GPs have a woeful record with skin in my experience.

Use the steroids to blast te worst patches and do ask for stronger if you need to.

Persil or fairy non bio works best for us and no fabric conditioner.

Limit the baths.

If the skin is infected you dd may need antibiotics.

When you get to see the dermatologist you might want to ask about Milton bleach baths - there is some research that it reduces infection on eczema.

Cool temps ( less likely to sweat) may help.

Avoid products with sodium laurel sulphate (especially the dreade aqueous cream)

You can also buy baby grows with integrated scratch mits designed for itchy babies which might help.

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