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Am I doing this right?

(25 Posts)
lunavix Mon 31-Jan-05 17:29:32

I don't know whether it's me or something I'm doing but something doesn't appear to be normal.

I'm basically a SAHM (work evenings and weekends) and I have ds (9 months) all day during the week. Ever since he was born he's been really difficult to entertain and I'm sure I'm doing something wrong.

He's been clingy ever since he was born and has no interest in toys, and in the last month or so (since started teething) he's even more so! (I know this is normal though ) The problem is nothing keeps him happy, 4 days a week we do activities which gets us out of the house for an hour or two, but he normally whinges and cries through those, when we are at home he either is eating, sleeping, or grizzling at me. I know normally he wants my attention (which he can have!) but if I pick him up he struggles to get down again, if I play with a toy with him, after 5 minutes he's bored and no other toy can interest him after that. I read or sing to him but again after 5 minutes... so for most of the day he's wimpering as I desperately try to think of something new to entertain him!

When he does nap, I'm worn out (so usually come to mumsnet to try and feel like I have some sanity left!) but when he wakes up (usually after 30 minutes) it all starts again. I've tried entertaining him in the kitchen (pots and pans) with the hoovering and everything but he hates me doing something else.. so the housework gets done when he's asleep too. The ONLY thing that keeps him happy is this one damn tweenies video that I only let him watch when I'm cooking breakfast and dinner, and then I feel guilty that a solid hour of tv a day is too much at his age

I know I'm doing something wrong but I have no idea what it is, can someone far more experienced please help!!!!!

lunavix Mon 31-Jan-05 17:37:31


milge Mon 31-Jan-05 17:41:37

lunavix,I am sure you are doing nothing wrong, but can empathise totally about how frustrating it is when your child cries all the time. i found that my dt's were grizzling excessively, in desperation i took them for cranial osteopathy sessions. Turned out they both had headaches due to birth problems. Could be worth a try. Ds was sorted after 3 sessions, and CO has helped DD, who has special needs, enormously. She is a different child, really happy, a complete turnaround. Trying a treatment does not mean you have failed as a mum/aren't good enough, its just that 9mo can't pop an anadin to cure their headache..hth

beachyhead Mon 31-Jan-05 17:43:54

I second cranial osteopathy - even if there isn't a specific problem, it can be very soothing - or maybe baby massage....I found that very useful and peaceful and good for bonding

stitch Mon 31-Jan-05 17:49:28

i findit interesting that you say you are a sahm when you work evenings and weekends. if you add up the number of hours you work, then you are a working mom. is he happy with the childcare he gets whenyou are at work?
are you very stressed out? if so, he could be picking up on it.
just somethoughts, but do try the baby massage, we found it to be wonderfully relaxing.
good luck

lunavix Mon 31-Jan-05 17:50:52

I'll definately try that then, have no idea where we'll get the money from (did enquire when he was a few months old as he had terrible colic - then found colief )
He has NO interest in baby massage just fights me and tries to roll away.

He did have a bit of a tough birth, 31 hour labour, then his heart beat kept dipping (cord around the neck) then epidural, then ventouse...

Hopefully this could help. I just really needed to know if every 9 month old was the same or what I was doing wrong with him!

People keep telling me its attention crying but surely thats not too bad a small (well, big in his case!) baby wanting their parents attention - who can blame them? I've tried putting him in his bed when he starts grizzling but stopped, if I did he'd be there all day.

lunavix Mon 31-Jan-05 17:58:13

stitch - it could be something like that. For his first few months I was really stressed (moved to a village where there was noone our age and knew noone, no baby groups nothing), was eventually diagnosed with an overactive thyroid as well - I was exhausted all the time and did indulge in some lazy parenting - turning the tv on to keep him amused because I had no energy to even move.

I can only hope he's happy with the childcare, it's dp

charliecat Mon 31-Jan-05 18:30:03

Probably not much help but I used to put my babys at that age in the highchair with some water on the tray for them to splash their hands in. My first baby was a nightmare to amuse(still is age 7) but it used to entertain even her...!
Sounds like you are making all the right moves, maybe try leaving him for a bit and then getting his full attention after a bit of unentertainment...??

vicdubya Mon 31-Jan-05 18:39:22

How active is he, Lunavix?

My DS went through a couple months being quite irritable & frustrated about stuff when he was learning to crawl.

As soon as he was away (& also started cruising etc as well), he cheered up no end.

Also think the CO is a good suggestion, if he is like this all teh time, day in, day out.

aloha Mon 31-Jan-05 18:41:19

I'd suggest a couple of videos, eg Baby Einstein etc. You are only human! Some babies are just more clingy and easily bored than others. We all have crap days - mothers and babies alike. YOu could try the cranial osteopathy - didnt' make any difference to my ds but others do swear by it. Also maybe more of a routine to his daytime sleep might help - eg 45mins after two hours of being awake (eg 9am), then going down after lunch at 12ish every day. He might just be tired and that really does make a baby grumpy.

aloha Mon 31-Jan-05 18:42:26

BTW nothing I read in baby books made me feel as frustrated and inadequate as Penelope Leach's assertion that my baby would be fascinated to watch me peel potatoes. Because he emphatically wasn't.

oops Mon 31-Jan-05 18:51:49

Message withdrawn

lunavix Mon 31-Jan-05 18:58:58

I'm fairly certain sleep isn't the problem.

He sleeps 8pm till 7.30am (a little angel I know And if he does wake before 7.30 he'll play in his cot until 7.30 when he'll start to holler! )

He usually does nap for half an hour every 2 hours or so, although recently he's started having one or two big naps, but his grumping was long before this. He makes it fairly obvious when he's tired, with the eye rubbing and even louder grizzling!

aloha - I know I could try more videos and tv, but he already watchs an hour a day (with tweenies songtime on twice a day) and I get guilty at that...

LucyJones Mon 31-Jan-05 19:02:12

Hi Lunavix. I often just put ds down in the lounge with a heap of toys and watch 'adult' TV - This Morning, the news whatever and ds plays with his toys but occasionally watches the TV and smiles at the people. When I need to shower etc I leave him in front of the TV - usually GMTV. He never gets to watch 'kids' TV at all. I just think it doesn't matter at this age as he likes to look at people. Hope i'm right!!

aloha Mon 31-Jan-05 19:03:07

We all feel guilty! It's part of the deal. But it won't damage him and it gives you a break, and that's really important too.
Re: sleep, I do think 30min naps aren't really enough for most babies and my ds is still (at 3) noticeably less able to entertain himself and be cheery if he doesn't get some daytime sleep. You know your baby best, but grumpiness and a sleep deficit definitely went hand in hand in my ds's case. though how you get him to sleep longer is another question altogether!

LucyJones Mon 31-Jan-05 19:05:28

Aloha - can I ask you a quick question? My ds often wakes up 30 minutes after his nap crying so I get him up and he is grumpy later on. Would you leave him and see if he goes back to sleep (I dont think he has ever done it yet?!)

efmach Mon 31-Jan-05 19:09:02

Lunavix, sounds like you're doing a great job. Some babies are just like that - more 'high needs' than others. Does he crawl? Sometimes babies are frustrated due to the lack of mobility. Once they are moving, they are suddenly interested in their environment, especially since they are on the explore!
Just a guess. I only mentioned this because one of my children used to be like your ds. In a few months, hopefully he will improve in his mood.

aloha Mon 31-Jan-05 19:09:12

I'm a wimp for daytime crying, so if he was upset, I'd probably just go and get him up and try again tomorrow. If he was just shifting about and moaning, I'd leave him. As I say, I can't even remember how we finally got ds to have proper two hour lunchtime naps - I think we just kept putting him down at the same time until he clicked. He really wasn't a good sleeper at all for ages. But I do know he was a lot happier once he started sleeping well at about 8months.

charlie01 Mon 31-Jan-05 19:18:23

I agree about the sleep thing, at that age my DS was still having 2 (1-1.5 hour) naps, now at 12 months he generally has 1 long (2 hour) nap. The sleep thing has always been the most important thing with him, providing he's slept enough he's happy and easy to entertain but without enough sleep he is impossible!

Also once he learnt to crawl he was a lot happier, into everything that he shouldn't be and difficult to look after in a whole different way!

charlie01 Mon 31-Jan-05 19:20:12

BTW I am a baby whisperer devotee! I found her advice re sleep and naps invaluable and I don't know if it is a coincidence but he has always slept and napped (is that a word?!) really well.

lunavix Mon 31-Jan-05 19:23:51

Might have to try that then...

I used to be a GF devotee, got the feeds and most of the routine down but could never get him to settle into the naps. I've tried leaving him when he wakes up after 30 minutes, but he cries hysterically the second he wakes up (except first thing in the morning... strange) I started out leaving him, assuming he screamed because he was still tired, which would make sense if he doesn't after a nights sleep, but he just gets more and more hysterical until he's red in the face and screaming in a fit...

charlie01 Mon 31-Jan-05 19:38:58

There's a whole big thing about short naps on the baby whisperer website (messgae boards) which is what helped me crack DSs short naps. Now if he ever wakes up early from his nap he always wakes crying so I know he needs longer.

lunavix Mon 31-Jan-05 19:44:58

ooh do you have the website address? I might have to find a copy of that book...

lunavix Mon 31-Jan-05 19:47:21

Sometimes he's quite strange for example he'll be so grumpy with me, throw all his toys around, and kick his feet (which makes me smile... I find baby tantrums really cute! I know I won't think that when he's a toddler!) and tonight he seemed really tired after his bath, and hadn't napped for hours so I put him to bed an hour early (at 7 instead of 8) and he's just been playing in his cot. Won't play down here though.

aloha Mon 31-Jan-05 19:48:46

Charlie - snap - if my ds woke crying it was ALWAYS because he was still tired.

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