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My grumpy baby

(43 Posts)
KimchiLaLa Thu 11-Jan-18 20:29:29

I love DD, I really do. But I've had it.
She's only 3 months. But she's so grumpy. I can't do anything right. She is the only one who cries in classes, cries if she's tired, cries if she wakes up and finds that she's no longer in my arms - refuses to self-settle.
She's just not a chilled out baby at all.

I know she is so little but I just want her to not have to be held to sleep just once.
I also know it could be a lot worse but I suppose my tolerance is low. I feel like DH and I constantly tip toe around her, and that it's me.

If you miss her sleep window even by minutes she has a full scale meltdown.

She gets so much love and cuddles from grandparents and us but she's never happy. She only smiles in the morning, I suppose as that's when she's had her biggest stretch of sleep, or when she wakes after a nap and someone goes to get her after she has cried out.

I know she is likely overtired and I need to sort her nap times out but she wakes herself up (I swaddle, she kicks herself out of it), then I put her back down. Then she wakes up, etc. So by the time the day is over, she is tired as we've only managed to get about 3 hours in. But she does want the sleep.

I also know she is going through a "leap" so is pretty grumpy right now on top of her usual grumpiness!

I guess I just needed to vent.

ChristmasAddict Thu 11-Jan-18 20:38:03

Vent away! I also had an extremely grumpy baby who cried or shouted at me non stop. I struggled to meet up with other parents as if I went in a coffee shop etc he would scream non stop, I was so isolated. It all started to improve once he could crawl and then walk, I think he was really frustrated with his own limitations to be honest! He is now almost 2 and an incredible active but laid back, kind and loving boy who goes down for his nap and to sleep at night without a murmur. I spent months battling him over naps but now I pop him in his cot, tell him I love him and walk out. He chats to himself for 10 mins and then falls asleep.

Hang in there! smile

KimchiLaLa Thu 11-Jan-18 20:52:37

Thanks, that is helpful - to know she won't end up being a grumpy toddler/teenager/adult (we hope!)

It's made worse by the fact that the good friend I always meet with has such a chilled baby, and then there is my grump moaning away despite me cuddling her through lunch etc.

The truth is I also have a lot of family support but still find the nights trying.

ChristmasAddict Thu 11-Jan-18 20:54:27

I hear you about the chilled babies! Even now if DH and I see a baby out in public who isn't crying or even more amazingly just drifts off to sleep with no input from the parents we declare it to either be a mutant or drugged grin

GreenPillow Thu 11-Jan-18 20:57:34

No advice but we are going through the exact same thing! It got better for a few weeks but we are now back to a very grumpy baby. Love him to bits but it's hard work so I totally understand what you are saying. Apparently it does get better cake

TittyGolightly Thu 11-Jan-18 20:58:27

At 3 months she doesn't have the brain development required to self settle.

Have a google of the 4th trimester. It will make it make more sense.

FenellaMaxwellsPony Thu 11-Jan-18 21:00:41

If it makes you feel any better, my baby is one of the permanently cheerful ones. Which means on the rare occasions he does lose his shit I have NO idea what to do and end up panicking something is seriously wrong with him. Every single time. And he’s nearly one now!

RemainOptimistic Thu 11-Jan-18 21:03:18

Sounds normal. 3 months is very tiny still. There's no self settling at that age.

I used to love waking up to see DS smiling at me. It made my day if I got a smile as he also would only smile in the morning. One smile a day was enough for me for what felt like a very long time!

Now he's a year old he will not sleep on me or even next to me. Much as it was frustrating that he would only nap on me right up to about 5 months, I really miss it now.

This stage will be over before you know it, do what you have to do to get through it!

CluelessMummy Thu 11-Jan-18 21:03:57

Oh I feel you OP, mine was the same - always "that baby" screaming at the coffee group, during the swimming lesson, in the cafe... I posted about it when she was around the same age and received some amazing advice, but none of it worked - it was "just her". I stopped going to groups because I found it more stressful than beneficial to get out and about. In the end, she just grew out of it. Now she's 14 months and non stop, but naps and sleeps well, and can be left to go to sleep at bedtime. She even loves going to nursery! Looking back it was like she was born to run and was just getting frustrated she could only lie around!

KimchiLaLa Thu 11-Jan-18 22:02:52

-*No advice but we are going through the exact same thing! It got better for a few weeks but we are now back to a very grumpy baby. Love him to bits but it's hard work so I totally understand what you are saying. Apparently it does get better*

Green Pillow, what were the "signs" of the leap you experienced? I have the app and the book (so I can justify to myself it's a leap and not just my baby) but I would love to hear what you went though!

m33r Fri 12-Jan-18 07:16:12

DS1 was like this and it was awful. I had a group of nine mummy friends and all the other babies just chilled out in coffee shops while I paced around. Someone else always had to get my order; hold my baby while I went to loo (their baby gurgling in pram) and at classes I just click watched the whole time as if he wasn’t crying, I knew it was coming. Turned out - 6 months in - he had horrendous dairy allergy and I ate dairy all day long (BF). It took him a while to settle after this as I think he had so many bad habits by then BUT he is the most loving, well behaved amazong 2.9 year old and has been for years now. Hang in there (and look into CMPA).

ElphabaTheGreen Fri 12-Jan-18 07:51:52

From your previous posts Kimchi I think you have a lot of expectations that need adjusting about how a baby 'should' be. You get what you're given and your parenting at this stage really can't influence how she is. Your statement that she 'refuses to self-settle' is telling - she is not developmentally able to do either 'refusing' or 'self-settling' and you can't force it. Congratulations! You have a Velcro baby. Stop trying to put her down once she's asleep and accept she likes to be attached to you when awake. I kept trying to put DS1 down because I thought he had to 'learn' to be/sleep separately from me - all I achieved was an underslept, even clingier grump. He is still clingy and anxious at 5yo, I'm sure because I kept trying to force this irrational idea of independence onto him long before he was ready.

I got another Velcro baby in DS2 and knew this time not to fight it. He is by far the more independent and chilled of the two.

Sling ahoy and manage naps as follows:

At three months she wants a max of about 1hr 15mins awake time.
- Count 1hr 15mins from first wake up in the morning when she's most civil. You can get your shower in, maybe breakfast with her off you or in the sling if need be (I came to not recognise DS2 unless he had crumbs of whatever I had most recently eaten in his hair)
- At the 1hr point, put the kettle on, prepare drink and snacks and put by your favourite possie on the sofa.
- At first yawn, eye rub or fuss, park in your prepared spot and get her to sleep. Just let her sleep on you for as long as she needs to. Binge on crap telly or MN.
- She should be slightly more put-downable if she's had a good long sleep in the way she needs, so you can get any jobs done now with her in a bouncer. If she's still fussy, put her in the sling. Keep watching the clock!
- After one hour, go out for a drive or a walk in the sling or pram (DS2 hated the pram so it had to be sling). This was when I could get shopping done or meet with people as he'd conk out during the walk or drive (walk was better as he also hated the car 🙄)
- Again, she should be a bit more pleasant when she's woken up if she's fallen asleep and woken in the same place and been kept asleep by movement.
- Count one hour again- put on kettle and prepare snacks as above or, what I would often do, is co-sleep this nap as you'll probably be post-lunch by now. Snooze for both! Or lie there and sniff delicious baby head - I enjoyed my second mat leave so much more because I allowed myself to do this rather than fighting DS2 over how I thought his naps should be. Try feeding her back to sleep (assume you're BFing) if she wakes after 40mins and you may eke this nap out to a couple of hours.
- Again, you might have a more put-downable baby if she's had a good nap in the way she needs (and parental support for sleep is a need at this age - 3 month olds do not have optional 'wants', especially not the Velcro variety) so try her in the bouncer while you do some more jobs or prep the evening meal if this is your role. Watch the clock.
- After an hour watch like a hawk for sleepy signs - for DS2 I'd do a sling-and-dummy nap for this as DS1 would be home from nursery and it enabled me to play with him, or if DS2 was really in witching hour mode, it would be boob (plus or minus skin to skin) and white noise like an aeroplane was landing on his head while DS1 watched Peppa Pig. This one will probably only be a shortish 'catnap' of about 40 minutes.

Start night/bed time routine shortly after she wakes - if you're bathing her at night, you might want to crack on with this as soon as she wakes from her last nap as you want her to be in her pyjamas and ready to fall asleep a little over an hour after she wakes from her last nap. This could allow your DP/DH to do a nice long bonding bath with a non-grumpy baby, if he's home by that time, which will give you a few minutes to yourself.

You will incur 'rod for your own back' bollocks, especially from the older generation who have completely forgotten what babies were like, or left theirs in prams at the bottom of the garden to scream. But you will have a happier, better-rested baby.

ElphabaTheGreen Fri 12-Jan-18 07:58:49

Just spotted m33r's post. I did a strict exclusion diet of dairy, egg and soy for six horrific weeks and it made no difference whatsoever to DS2. It made me miserable but showed that it's just how he was. People are very quick to medicalise perfectly normal (if extreme end of normal) baby behaviour because it's hard work and we have this societally-enforced idea of how a baby 'should' be. Try exclusions if you can face it, but be fully prepared for the fact that you just have a baby that needs you close!

m33r Fri 12-Jan-18 08:32:34

elphababa I agree completely with your post and approach to managing the day BUT I also had your belief system about early medicalising. This is why i didn’t commit to excluding dairy from my diet for the first six months. Then I gave my baby formula and he reacted. I now feel absolutely shocking that I didn’t just commit to exclusion of dairy as he is very definitely allergic. FWIW, DS2 was also a Velcro baby and was in sling for first three months and we bed share so that we get a sleep (but I also don’t eat dairy!).

lovelyjubilly Fri 12-Jan-18 08:42:40

My dd1 was like this. We used to call her Grumpelstiltskin.

She's now an utterly delightful 7yo. It doesn't last op. Hang in there flowers

ElphabaTheGreen Fri 12-Jan-18 08:44:31

I did it when DS2 was a few weeks old, m33r, as it crossed my mind that it could have been something I had missed when DS1 was hell-baby. So I do agree it's worth trying as early as possible but it is hellish, especially on no sleep, an unputdownable baby and no caffeine to rule that out as well. I'm already a vegetarian, so I felt like a miserable, cake deprived, vegan cave woman living on nuts and berries alone with a screaming inoperable growth. 😩

Bluebelltulip Fri 12-Jan-18 09:33:11

My DD was like this but got much happier once she got older and could move about and didn't need as much sleep.

GreenPillow Fri 12-Jan-18 10:11:21

It's all a bit of a blur but grumpy stages are more feeding, very unsettled at night (up every 2 hours last night) and over tiredness kicks in around 3pm,he also fights naps and will only nap on me during the day. Thankfully he sleeps in his cot at night. Pretty sure they are leaps as he is doing something new each day - a new sound or movement. Trying to enjoy the good bits like he has recently started laughing so that makes it worth it to watch his development.

jellycat1 Fri 12-Jan-18 10:15:49

Ha i think i posted the exact same thing a few years ago! Also remember googling 'grumpiest baby in the world' It definitely passes. Just when you're really fed up it seems they change just enough to make it all worthwhile!

Bananarama12 Fri 12-Jan-18 10:30:18


I do a similar sort of routine with my 9 week old and also have had the stupid rod for your own back comment. (MIL insists i put him in the pram for naps. Bugger off!) I also co sleep and we are both very happy and get lots of sleep.
Just wanted to say thankyou for reassuring me I am doing the right thing for us.

ElphabaTheGreen Fri 12-Jan-18 10:46:20

Nice to hear you following your baby's lead and your instincts, Banana. Wish I'd done it with my first!

goodomens830 Fri 12-Jan-18 15:24:34

It may seem like she's the only baby doing this. But believe me she's not! My daughter just wouldn't be put down. And cried and cried. Give yourself a break. Maybe talk to your HV? It sounds likes she's loved and loves her mummy very much x

Rhodes2015again Fri 12-Jan-18 16:20:02

My DD Is now 6 months old and is just so grumpy all the time. Everything pisses her off. To be fair to her she sleeps ok (not brilliant but I know it could be so much worse) and sleeps in her cot in her own room now.
She does this grunting which eventually leads to crying. I actually dislike the grunting before the cry more than the actual cry.
We also tip toe around ours OP so I know how you feel.
It feels like she always wants to be able to do more than what she’s capable of and seems very frustrated.
Feel better to read others had grumpy babies that turned into non-grumpy children 👍🏻 Because having had 6 months of grumpiness feels like it’s never going to end.

Lou1324 Fri 12-Jan-18 16:57:06

My daughter was like this, she was only ever happy in her bouncer chair, and was such hard work out in public and at baby classes. Sometimes tho I think it's very easy to become so focused and worried about your own you don't realise a lot of other babies are the same. I remember feeling like my baby was ruining a baby class one day as she was the only one crying, and looking around feeling paranoid, only to notice there were 3 others crying too... I hadn't even noticed because all I could hear was my own baby screaming down my ear. You are not alone, and the phase will pass. Just power through and get some time to yourself if you can to have a break

ISeeTheLight Fri 12-Jan-18 18:02:26

She sounds a bit like DD who was eventually diagnosed with silent reflux and cow's milk proetein allergy. Go to your GP and don't be fobbed off, my DD was 6 moths before she was diagnosed and it was pure hell. flowers

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