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Please help me, I'm struggling. Grumpy 4 month old

(17 Posts)
Berry34 Thu 11-Jun-15 08:02:48

My almost 5 month old baby is grumpy. She grumps and moans all day long and It's starting to really get me down. I'm getting so tired of trying to make her content without success. She is happy if someone is smiling at her/singing/playing with her for about 2 mins and then she starts moaning again like she has had enough. She's not happy if she's held or put down on her own it seems to make no difference. She's grumpy at home, in the pram, out and about. She sleeps well at night and naps reasonably well in the day (though short 45min naps usually and moans herself to sleep) she's formula fed. I think she might be teething (red cheeks, dribbling, chewing on everything) but would this make her grumpy ALL THE TIME! Can I give her teething gel, cal pol every day?

Is this normal? It's making me so sad that I can't make her happy and the constant moaning is getting to me.
We haven't really got a routine, would that help? Or early weaning? She doesn't seem particularly extra hungry though?
Please help me or I think I'll break!

Brightonmumtoatoddler Thu 11-Jun-15 08:30:08

Try teething gel and calpol for two days and see if it makes a difference. If not, maybe look into craniotherapy - people rave about that and apparently have different babies afterwards! Is there anyone who can have her for a couple of hours to give you a break?

mumofboyo Thu 11-Jun-15 08:31:57

I remember this stage well! For mine I think it was just the frustration of wanting to move around and to explore etc but not physically being able to. That, coupled with teething, made for a very grumpy and seemingly never happy baby! As I remember, it lasted until they were around 8-10 months when they learned how to crawl. After that, they seemed like different babies.

Unless your dc is showing signs of wanting food I probably wouldn't offer it or start weaning just yet - it might cause more problems than it'd solve with constipation and tummyache for example.
I think that if you think your dc is in pain then there's nothing wrong with offering calpol and teething liquid (I always found it easier to apply than the gel).
It's tough, and very draining, but this stage doesn't last forever and there will come a time when they're happy and less grumpy again and then they learn how to throw a fabulous tantrum.

gamerwidow Thu 11-Jun-15 08:38:25

I agree with above posters. It could be teething or just frustration at not being able to move. Is she showing signs of digestive discomfort like excess wind or frequent vomiting? If so it might be worth changing her milk or getting her checked for reflux which will also make her miserable.
Try calpol to see if it makes a difference it won't hurt at the correct dose.
I really feel for you my DD was a miserable baby and it's exhausting. She did grow out of it eventually and is the happiest child you could meet now but that first year was a long slog.

Berry34 Thu 11-Jun-15 08:42:20

8-10 months!

I'm sitting here actually crying (I've just had a cry in the shower too) at the thought of having this until then. Baby is stirring from her nap and I've looked at the clock and realised it's not even 9am yet. I've got another long day stretching ahead if me. Is it normal that I'm fantasising about going back to work early?

Right, I'm going to boots to get done calpol and teething stuff.
I'll look into craniotherapy too. Thank you.

Roseybee10 Thu 11-Jun-15 08:44:47

I wrote a very similar thread yesterday.
If I remember correctly from dd1 it's a combo of the four month sleep regression, a developmental leap and teeth.
It didn't last that long with dd1. Hoping dd2 follows suit.

How is her napping? X

mumofboyo Thu 11-Jun-15 09:20:33

I started back at work when mine were 7 months, both times. It seemed to make sense for us - my maternity money had stopped by then (started leave early and they both arrived late); and I felt like I was going mad staying at home all day, on my own, with a toddler and a newborn. I thought that it was better to see them less often (I only work 3 days) and look forward to it than to spend all day, every day counting the hours to bedtime! In short, no I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to go back to work!

Would it help if you break the day into chunks of time? I used to think about getting through breakfast, then think about the chunk between breakfast until dinner, then I just had to make it til teatime and after that it was only a few hours until bedtime! It seemed easier than thinking, "Oh goodness, it's only 9am and there are 10 hours left to kill before bed. How the Hell am I going to cope with that?"
I used to try everything I could to settle mine - rocking, cuddling, reading, singing, playing, splashing in water, the bouncy door hanger thing, the mechanical swing etc etc and then, if they were still moaning and whining and grumping, I'd more or less leave them to it and get on with my day cooking and cleaning and other household drudgery. Either that or take them out. I thought that if they're going to scream, they might as well do it in the supermarket or the cafe or the park!

ODog Thu 11-Jun-15 10:19:37

It might not be 8-10months. I have a very interested DS who just wanted to see things and move at that age. I found that once he could sit up it was a lot easier as he could sit and bang toys. I also left lots of toys within his grasp so he could reach for them himself. It then got even better when he started crawling and now he can amuse himself for hours, with interaction from me here and there. In the meantime try a sling when out and about and pottering about the house and/or one of those sit me up things. My baby was the same and everything seems like so far away at that stage but it does get easier and quicker than you think. I remember crying when he was a few weeks old and struggling to burp and someone tried to comfort me by saying that it would only be about 5months until he could do it himself. At that point it seemed a life time away!

Berry34 Thu 11-Jun-15 11:28:46

Yes sitting her up does seem to help (for a while!) so hopefully once she can sit on her own it'll be better.

It's just a phase- I'll keep telling myself. However parenting so far seems to be one phase after another, all equally as hard.

Naps- she can't do longer than 2 hrs without a nap and when she's tired she gets absolutely beside herself. She does tend to moan/cry/grump herself to sleep, I've learned that rocking, patting etc tends to make her angrier! She tends to have short naps though often only 45mins.

I feel dreadfully guilty. I wanted this baby so much and I love her and enjoy being a mum but never really understood what people meant when they said it's the hardest job in the world. It really breaks either.

Berry34 Thu 11-Jun-15 11:33:36

Gamer- I forgot to say, yes she does seem to have some tummy trouble. She has a lot of wind and sometimes is a bit constipated. We've tried different milks and seem to be on the best one for her at the moment.

RevoltingPeasant Thu 11-Jun-15 14:18:10

Hi op, I hear you! DD is 19w and is actually quite cheery but seems to need quite a lot of input these days. Also she was sleeping seven hours a night straight and that's all gone to hell.

I feel exactly the same about loving her, wanting her but sometimes wishing nap times were someone else's problem!!
I think it's frustration at not moving so keep doing physical play to stimulate her and you'll get there in the end, I reckon!

Brightonmumtoatoddler Thu 11-Jun-15 14:34:07

This is a bit random but have you tried a door bouncer or a jumperoo? Saved my sanity with my daughter at that age. It entertains them, confines them AND wears them out. Win win win.

BlueThursday Thu 11-Jun-15 17:20:58

I feel your pain. 22 week DD has gone from sleeping 10-12 hours down to waking at 3am sad

DH works away so a good few weeks till he's back!

cowbiscuits Fri 12-Jun-15 11:36:45

Have you tried a sling? Means you can keep her upright and cuddled close to you while you get on with stuff.

I know its a cliché but it will pass. I remember starting a thread about ds1 being grumpy because I was worried he'd always be grumpy, but he changed almost overnight to a happy smiley baby, at around 4-5 months.

Berry34 Fri 12-Jun-15 18:44:29

We've had a better couple of days. I've given her calpol and teething gel both days so I don't know if it worked or is a coincidence!

I tried a door bouncer and she loved it so thanks for the tip, I tried it a few weeks ago and she didn't get it, she just sort of flopped but today she was pushing her legs down and bouncing, lots of smiles.

I tried just leaving her on the floor (with toys within reach) and although she moaned to start with (when I would usually go and pick her up) I carried on with what I was doing nearby and chatted to her and she seemed to settle a bit after a while with the occasional moan and groan!

Cow biscuits I've tried a sling before and she doesn't like it she's not a very cuddly baby sad

Thanks everyone for your kind words and ideas you've been so helpful and I now have hope that this phase might not last forever!

September60b Fri 12-Jun-15 19:20:41

Op have you looked at the wonder weeks app at all? It gives you an idea of when babies go through developmental leaps and 4 months is a really big one as they try to master rolling, sitting, grabbing etc. My dd was exactly the same-really grumpy and got really frustrated with her toys and with me!

She's just turned 5 months and is much much better so this phase will pass. For my dd she was much happier when she could reach her feet and put them in her mouth! There's a growth spurt around this time too so my dd's milk intake increased.

I've found that it really helps my sanity to try and get out every day. Even if just for a short walk. She needs the stimulation and I need the fresh air!

Buglife Fri 12-Jun-15 21:05:07

4 months was a tricky time, DS was an absolute delight at 6 months, sitting unaided and being able to grab and work his own toys, loved the Jumperoo, and weaning gave the day so much structure it whizzed by. His entire 4th month I had to carry him in a sling as he would only sleep on me and would scream in his pram. Also he would line on his back and scream. If I propped h up with something within reach it was better.

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