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Help my 8 month old premature is so unhappy

(18 Posts)
Seompmha Fri 14-Feb-20 21:42:18

My little girl was born 31 weeks ( 2 months early) she is now 8 months old (6 months corrected ) it seems like she gets upset all the time over the slightest little thing. She had meltdowns and when she cries she screams. It is not at any specific time and is not related to wind or teething. All I can think is that it is because she has an under developed brain and can't control her emotions. Does anyone else have any experience of this? Is this common for premature babies? How do you cope? When will she grow out of it? It is so upsetting and draining to see your baby unhappy all the time. She would let me hug and rock her all day if I could. I can't get anything done. Help

VeniVidiVoxi Fri 14-Feb-20 21:55:31

My ds was born at 32 weeks. He didn't get easily upset. He has always been a terrible sleeper though. I had a soft sling in the early months then an more supportive one as he got older. Having him close to me calmed him down and meant we could do things. He also loved being in a jumparoo, so basically always wanted to be upright. Maybe it was digestive issues. I wouldn't say being prem automatically means fussy. Can you try a few different tactics? I'm sorry, I know it's hard.

Seompmha Fri 14-Feb-20 22:15:31

Thankyou for replying , it could possibly be digestive issues but I'm not sure what I would do about this because my baby is still only on formula as I was told to wait a little while longer before I started weaning due to prematurity. Gripe water ,infacol, massage , bath doesn't make a difference. I do try different tactics she just escalates and gets more and more upset to the point where I have to be standing up with her she won't let me sit down.

MeadowHay Fri 14-Feb-20 22:20:43

My DD was born on her due date and screamed all the time as a tiny baby. It just very slowly gradually got less and less, she was a bit better by 6m, a lot better by 9m and miles better by 1yr. She gets better and better as she gets older, she's 1.5. We never found any medical reason for her behaviour (and she was seen by a few different HVs, GPs and a paediatrician).

It is so so hard. I had specialist therapy for the last 8 months or so. I was also depressed for about the first 6-9months of her life. But its for so much better. I used to dread her waking up when she was a small baby. Now I (mostly!) enjoy spending time with her and it's all much less scary and we have a strong bond now. It gets easier with time, lots of kids are like this. Google 'high needs baby' etc. You do what you need to do to get you all through it

MeadowHay Fri 14-Feb-20 22:22:01

By the way, babies can't control their emotions at that age anyway, prem or not.its far too soon for that kind of complex processes.

minipie Fri 14-Feb-20 22:24:10

How is her development generally?

Yesterdayforgotten Fri 14-Feb-20 22:33:16

My first dc was exactly like this and 2 weeks overdue! Sounds like a high needs alert 'spirited' baby.

Seompmha Fri 14-Feb-20 22:58:24

Yes it is really hard I get upset and feel like I'm failing most of the time . I try to take her to play groups and she is ok for 10 minutes then cries and people ask me if she's hungry or tired. It makes me feel like they think I'm stupid or think im forgetting to do something. I stay polite then it just plays on my mind and gets to me for the rest of the day. There is a very small amount of time I can enjoy with her and i feel guilty for complaining. I look at other babies and they are so much calmer. Her prematurity does play on my mind alot. I always think about going to the doctors but then I don't go because all I can really say is she cries alot. She is hitting milestones for a 6 month old baby which is about right. I just can't cope with the screaming and not being able to make her content.

MeadowHay Fri 14-Feb-20 23:10:46

Nothing wrong with visiting GP, we did. We tried Gaviscon and then ranitidine in case it was reflux. It wasnt, neither worked. But no harm in trying.

DD was a bit like that but generally she was better out at groups than at home. But she was still whingy and I would need to leave groups early or keep walking about with her rather than other babies laying on their backs contentedly etc. She would never lay on her back happily!! It got a little bit better when she could sit up as she would sometimes sit happily for short periods. People are just trying to be polite and make small talk, try not to take them as a criticism honestly. I'm sure they don't mean it like that. And you're not the only one. I would feel like the only one at groups too but I think that's cos lots of people with babies like ours don't even have the confidence to go to the groups in the first place. It's really good you're getting out, it's good for both of you and as your DC gets bigger they will enjoy the group's more and get more out of them.

VeniVidiVoxi Sat 15-Feb-20 06:43:01

I think everyone has their worries/problems with babies and honestly for no reason at all some are mostly content and other aren't. The mums with happy babies might struggle to appreciate what you are going through, they just need to feed or rock their LO and all is good. They are making suggestions that work for them, it's not a criticism of you.

In special care there was a boy same age as my ds who would scream and scream and cry and scream some more. There was nothing wrong, a whole medical team confirmed that. I felt for his family. My LO was such a quiet happy sleeper, then we got home and he turned into a monster! Would only sleep upright on me or dad. We almost died of exhaustion. I comfort myself that he'll be an easy teen (lying to myself helps) and all those happy babies that slept well will be right tearaways keeping their mums up at night with their antics.

It will pass. But if you need help now reach out to people IRL. Don't worry about the 'why', professionals might spot something but it's not that you are doing anything wrong.

Doyouwantanothercuppa Sat 15-Feb-20 06:53:40

Who has told you to wait until giving food? My DD’s neonatology professor said to use her actual (rather than corrected) age as a guide for weaning. She was born at 32 weeks.

Megan2018 Sat 15-Feb-20 07:01:41

Some babies are just needier than others, I have one that needs to be held constantly- she is in a carrier pretty much all day.
It is never a good idea to compare babies-mine is tiny and the only one in our NCT not sitting. But she is fine.

StylishMummy Sat 15-Feb-20 07:05:40

I have 2 severe preemies, 28 and 27 weeks respectively and both were difficult to settle but simply because they were stuck in the newborn phase until they were around 9 months. So I wore a sling and kept them close and they were much happier. We didn't need traditional baby groups but we did a lot of going for coffee and cake.

Babies can't 'regulate their emotions' until they're much much older than your DD. Try treating her a bit more like you would a younger baby, lots of cuddles etc and see how you go. Also look after yourself and see a doctor if you think you're at risk of PND, it's very common in prem mums

joffreyscoffees Sat 15-Feb-20 07:13:32

If she's hitting other milestones for a 6 month old and can sit up supported then I would definitely start weaning. Not saying it's going to be the answer - DD was quite a miserable baby, it just got better slowly, day by day.

GrumpyHoonMain Sat 15-Feb-20 07:22:37

I agree that the weaning advice is suspect. DNs were both born early (29 and 30 weeks) and despite reflux and allergies weaning was recommended at 6 months actual age. It made the crying a lot better - they were like different babies. Suggest you try some baby cereal mixed with formula

Seompmha Sat 15-Feb-20 10:01:27

With the stopping weaning I was told to stop for 2 weeks then slowly reintroduce because she was screaming in pain. I have now started reintroducing baby rice and she has started screaming again with a lot of gas/pumping. These comments do really help me because I think my mind wanders off a little bit and i end up thinking all sorts of negative things about her development and potential issues. It comforts me knowing that other babies are like this and they are totally fine. I will go back to treating her like a younger baby with cuddles etc. Also my mum quite often says it's because I tend to her too much which I don't agree with because if I left her she would scream then start with coughing fits getting herself into state.

girlmummy25 Sat 15-Feb-20 14:35:47

How long has this been going on for?
Could it be a milk issue?
Skip the baby rice and go straight for puree vegetables - my DD didnt ever like baby rice and quite a few babies dont.

MeadowHay Sat 15-Feb-20 15:59:00

Are you sure they were in pain? Not trying to be rude but as our DD screamed loads, people often thought she was in pain (us included), but she almost always wasn't, as we tried pain killers and they made no difference. nevertheless I can't give you any medical advice though of course.

I hope this is making you feel better. Honestly lots of babies are high needs and not prem, like mine. She has always been broadly meeting her milestones and growing ok.

I can't give weaning advice but maybe your HV or consultant would be worth speaking to about it? We mostly for BLW right from the start. We did spoon feed but only a couple of times a week. Mostly she just put whatever stuff in her mouth, we always ate with her and gave her whatever we had. She has always been pretty fussy though right from the beginning, but it's nothing too serious as to get het up about it.

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