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Struggling with 9 month old(13 Posts)
I'm seriously running out of ideas with my 9 month old DS and constantly feel inadequate when it come to playing with him. I also can't find anything that will keep him occupied (with or without me) for more than 5 mins. I realise this is normal but how does anyone get anything done? By 'anything' I literally mean one meal cooked and the tiniest bit of tidying up.
He naps max 30 mins in the morning (during which I usually shower and dress as he protests vociferously if put him in his bouncy chair in the bathroom). That gives me 15 mins to do something quickly. He'll nap longer in the afternoon (an hour) but only if he sleeps on me or if I'm pushing him in the pram.
He has always been very attached to me and I think is going through full on separation anxiety now as he screams whenever I put him down, leave the room or look like I'm going to leave the room. He has never liked being in a sling though; he just wants to be held. Except as soon as I hold him, he wriggles around to get down and then cries when I put him down.
He sits and stands well but doesn't crawl or cruise yet.
I try to get out to groups as much as possible but he's had a few bugs/colds lately which I haven't wanted to pass around so we've been mostly at home. Even when we do get out it's one thing a day for an hour or two. I often have him on my own for almost the full 12 hour day because of DH's working hours.
He wakes multiple times every night - every 1-2 hours - and has always been like this. He will usually only settle for me at night. I'm shattered.
This is what I have tried in terms of play/entertainment:
- toys like stacking cups, blocks, Tomy eggs, ball, shakers
- treasure basket - I managed to make one of fabric scraps but he empties it in 5 mins and then looks at me like 'what's next'?
- Tupperware and spoons from the cupboards
- A couple of tries at messy play with trays of cereal, flour, etc. He does seem to like this but it still only lasts 10 mins.
- Activity table
- Jumperoo - which he suddenly hates after loving it for the last couple of months, possibly because it's where I put him when I need to leave the room
- looking out the window/in the mirror
- standing holding on to things
I feel drained and actually dread any long stretches of time when we're at home as I just don't know what to try.
Was there anything that your DC really loved at this age that I could try out?
He is totally lovely but always seems to be on the go and I'm finding it relentless at the minute.
The weather will be better soon and at least you can add ‘be outside’ to your day.
For now, will he sit in a highchair while you get stuff done? I used to put my son in his highchair in the kitchen, maybe with a snack, and I could make dinner/wash-up/all that necessary, but not exciting stuff.
It sounds like you’re doing plenty! What happens if you’re not actively entertaining him? So, you can both be on the floor, but you’re not trying to engage him in exciting play?
I’m sympathetic, my oldest was into everything, and it looks like my frustration-ridden six month old is similarly minded. It’s tiring - but spring is coming, and you can take a picnic rug to the park and while away some time in the warm.
My 8 month old suddenly loves the supermarket now he can sit in the little seats properly in the trolley. He loves looking at the lights, babbling / smiling to people, trying to grab stuff off shelves. I have added 'supermarket trip' to our weekday activities now even though I do online grocery shops just to entertain him a bit.
I also always go for a walk with him everyday, even if it's just a brief 15 minute walk (although I usually time it so he naps for some of it so often is much longer).
Keep trying the jumperoo. Mine stopped going in it for a week and has started going back in thank god - can enjoy my morning cuppa once again!
Set him up with some toys and get on with what you need to do, ignore the complaining. You can be in the same room and chat to him while not actually holding him.
Pets at home visits (free zoo) kills a bit of time.
Otherwise sounds like you’re doing just fine, it can be mind numbingly dull but won’t last long. Agree summer coming is good. Swimming also kills lots of time and might prolong naps.
Both my dds didn’t sleep well, just like yours-it’s hard but try hard not to dwell on it too much, just accept you’re tired, be kind to yourself and get on with stuff as much as you can (fuelled by haribo and cake).
How about a walker. I'm not sure if it hinders walking but I don't use mine too often. I drag it from room to room with me depending on where I'm cleaning/cooking etc. It was £5 on Facebook marketplace and gives me a bit of a break!
Get a sling so you can wear him on your back to cook dinner etc.
Sounds like you are really good at doing things with him, it's just the age he's at.
It sounds like you're doing all the right things.
You could also try some unambitious involving him in your housework - I used to sort laundry while DD put knickers into the laundry basket and took them out again. That kind of thing. (Now she's a toddler, I yearn for the days that that was all it took!).
I'd just say that you really don't have to keep him home from groups and activities because of colds and sniffles. They all get them all winter, and if he doesn't have a temp or anything, then it's totally fine to take him out in the world. All the other mums will be doing it. You're making things harder than they need to be as it stands.
I bought a second hand my first till with basket and plastic groceries today for my three year old to play shops and she's not got a look in as my nine month old has played with it all night. He also likes his pretend phone and walker. I think they're probably all VTech and dreadful light up plastic but he likes them.
Those round things with the cloth seat that has the play tray? (A not a walker walker bc walkers need direct supervision)My dc loved it. They sit or stand turn and around so can watch you. I can still hear them laughing and babbling. (Heartfelt sigh, as they are grown now)
For meals, I would put them in the highchair and interspersed playing, feeding and cooking. Dd would almost always fall asleep bc she was finally made to stop moving about.
Best wishes! These are wonderful days and they fly by.
Thanks for all the really helpful responses.
Callamia - yes, although I normally love winter I can't wait for the weather to change this year, especially with the big freeze coming next week. Unless it's actively snowing I still bundle him up and go to the park - he's just big enough for a quick go on the baby swings but it will be so much nicer when it's warmer. Then I'll be back to work though
Katniss - I haven't done a supermarket trip with him as I do all our shopping online so I'll definitely give that a go. Good news about the jumperoo!
Marcine - I do what I can but he really wails at the moment.
Orange - thank you for the kind words and the pets at home idea - another one to try for sure. I do try to take him swimming once a week and it's the best thing we do but he's had a couple of tummy bugs recently which have meant we can't go.
Padfoot - I've been wondering about a walker but like you I wasn't sure if it would hinder rather than help walking. I'll have a look at some.
cheque - do you have a back carrier? If so, what make is it? I already have a stretchy sling and a front carrier, both of which he refuses to go in most of the time. I thought about maybe asking about back carriers at my local sling library.
Rain - I'm sure you're right about colds. I just feel guilty, especially when there's people I know well in the groups. Lately though it's been tummy upsets so we really have had to stay away.
I've tried the laundry sorting trick a couple of times and again it's been 5 mins before he cries (or tries to find some way to pull himself to standing, fails, and cries). I will keep going though as he's just got interested in handing things to me, so we could do some of that with clean muslins and things.
Nicnoo - thanks for the toy tips. Pretend groceries sound like a great idea. I've just bought a flashing singing vtech ring stacker in desperation!
Abbylee - I think I know what you mean. Will look at those too.
And I'm trying out some more highchair time for him with snacks. That has worked out okay a couple of times so far.
Thanks so much all.
Does he watch TV...?
I did some research and, as long as he's not watching anything age inappropriate, there's no harm in TV. In fact one study founds children who watched Sesame Street have a bigger vocabulary.
9 months is hard work, I found. It's easier when they're more mobile as they can amuse themselves. DS is 16mo and can happily play by himself for twenty mins, or watch TV. Mealtimes take up some time as well - he takes about half an hour to eat.
I have a nice big playpen and used to sit in it with DS - he was happy to crawl around as long as I was in there, even if I was on the phone for five mins!
Make the most of nap times too - I always held DS because he'd sleep longer. Made sure I had remote control and phone handy
It gets better, honestly!
Do you have a local farm park/zoo you can get an annual pass for? I've found our zoo pass a godsend, really got our money's worth. I sometimes meet a Mummy friend or my MIL there, but one of my favourite days out there was just me and me DS.
He loves people watching and now he's a little older (10 months) he does quite like watching the animals when they are close enough
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