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AIBU?

To give my 7months old 'tough love'?

214 replies

wednesdayjones · 25/01/2023 23:44

I feel like I'm a breaking point some day with my 7 months old. He is SO clingy, he's attached to me all day. I cannot go for the toilet without him (sometimes have to hold him as I do my business otherwise he'll scream even if I sit him next to me), I can't push a wash on as I have to hold him so I only ever have one arm free (unless he's napping).

Days are long and I just cannot see the end. We have to go for lunch with friends today and I'm dreading it so much - I know I won't be able to eat as I have to hold him. He doesn't even want my husband anymore.
DH has taken on all housework inc. cooking and cleaning. I'm struggling with just having to hold the baby ALL day, and I have to constantly MOVE because he gets bored after a minute and whinges. So I walk walk walk around the rooms, the garden - all day.

Husband said I have to just let him cry and stop him completely controlling me. I disagreed at first but today I put the bub down for a nap and of course he was crying, demanding I come in and rock him etc. I've just turned off the sound on the baby monitor and gone to the spare room and sat here crying. I have nothing left in me.

I get invited to mum catch-ups but they all have lunch in a cafe and mine just wouldn't sit in the pram and I'd have to hold him so I wouldn't even be able to have a coffee.

I feel like I've reached a point whether the baby breaks me or I break up his habits of being attached to me. Do I just let him scream next to me as I do some chores? I'd love to do chores as at least it helps to pass the day, but at the moment I just hold the baby 7am-7pm.

I am aware of separation anxiety so do I just wait for this to pass?

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Ashleiigh · 25/01/2023 23:48

I would absolutely be letting him cry a little in this situation. You have no life, you have to take a slight bit of it back. He's demanding in this way because he knows that kicking off like that makes you do what he wants. They do learn in the end. Try and leave him with your DH for small bursts at a time to get him used to being without you.

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talknomore · 25/01/2023 23:53

It will pass. My dd was like that. I remember leaving her with her dad and going out for 2 hours at weekends. It was tough but they had to cope without me. You need a break every day for a bit. Even if it is just a walk round the block.

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Whatthediddlyfeck · 25/01/2023 23:56

That’s not tough love, that’s self preservation and saving your sanity…be kind to yourself

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SleepingStandingUp · 25/01/2023 23:57

Yes a bit of tough love I'm afraid. Keep talking to him, encourage him to follow you around if you want but telly on, comforter etc, and go pee / grab some food etc.

Re going with friends, will he sit on your knee with one arm around him? Then you can eat with one hand and drink etc so you're at least getting out?.. What happens during naps?

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Vintagecreamandcottagepie · 25/01/2023 23:57

I'm sorry and I know it sounds harsh but that's how it is with older babies usually.

It will pass.

That's why I found our first the hardest, the shock of it. It does get easier but not for a little while yet. Hang in there

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Daniella36 · 25/01/2023 23:59

Something that is reasonable to you, can come across as traumatising to a child. That can affect them for life. Gabor Mate is worth listening to re childhood trauma - and later issues

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wednesdayjones · Yesterday 00:00

Ashleiigh · 25/01/2023 23:48

I would absolutely be letting him cry a little in this situation. You have no life, you have to take a slight bit of it back. He's demanding in this way because he knows that kicking off like that makes you do what he wants. They do learn in the end. Try and leave him with your DH for small bursts at a time to get him used to being without you.

That's what I'm hoping, that it will teach him independent play. But not sure if it's the right thing or he'll get traumatised.

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CaffeineMama · Yesterday 00:01

Solidarity to you mama! This is such a difficult phase for baby and you, but it just a phase. This too shall pass, although that is probably of little comfort to you right now.

You will not harm baby by letting him cry for a while, especially if you are in the same room as him and he can still see you. If you need to pop him down to go to the loo or have a shower, do it. He'll be fine for a little while. Same goes if you want to have a coffee, do a chore or scroll through your phone for 5 minutes.

When my DC was like this, I used to pop them in the highchair, in their playpen or in their cot with some toys and do what I needed to do. I'd try to stay in the same room (sometimes with earplugs in to dim the yells) and speak or sing as I was doing my tasks, but once DC started to crawl I would pop them safely in their cot while I went to the toilet or to make a got drink. Sure they cried but never for long and I always went back to interact with them.

Also as PP have said, if you can leave him with DH for a few hours and go out, then do that. You need to take care of yourself and let yourself be taken care of where the opportunity presents itself!

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determinedtomakethiswork · Yesterday 00:02

Being left with a loving father for an hour or two is not going to traumatise the baby. I know it's really really tough but you need to be kind to yourself as well.

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Cryingbutstilltrying · Yesterday 00:06

Put them somewhere safe, go to the loo.
You have to look after yourself as well op.
We’re talking a few minutes here, they will not be traumatised ffs.
If you need to put them down to do a task, do it. Keep talking and keep calm, I used to sing nursery rhymes when I couldn’t think of anything else to say about cutting up veg!
It will pass, and then the next challenge will arise. Don’t martyr yourself on the way through.

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wednesdayjones · Yesterday 00:06

'Re going with friends, will he sit on your knee with one arm around him? Then you can eat with one hand and drink etc so you're at least getting out?.. What happens during naps?'

I can do that usually for a few minutes, then he cannot sit, he whinges signalling me he's bored so I have to get up and start walking around. Or he wants to stand and I have to hold with both arms.

During naps I lay down and stretch my body as it gets sore from carrying him all day long. I also read a bit of mumsnet to escape my boring day a little bit. He only has two short naps a day so it's not long.

@SleepingStandingUp

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toomuchlaundry · Yesterday 00:07

If you had a second child they would have to get used to being left a little while whilst you dealt with their sibling.

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BrownCowHowNow · Yesterday 00:07

People will say that you will not harm the baby by letting him cry for a while but they don't know that.
Babies are all different and have different needs.
Do you use a baby sling/carrier to allow you have both hands free?

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wednesdayjones · Yesterday 00:11

'If you need to put them down to do a task, do it. Keep talking and keep calm, I used to sing nursery rhymes when I couldn’t think of anything else to say about cutting up veg!'

Today I quickly boiled some eggs for breakfast & I put him in the bouncer on the kitchen bench. I had to sing and dance non stop as I boiled and peeled the eggs, all whilst him whinging. It was so stressful ffs I just tried to make breakfast for once. DH came and took over the cooking so I could hold the baby (again).

@Cryingbutstilltrying

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GreenFingersWouldBeHandy · Yesterday 00:11

Put him in a safe place (play pen?) and let him cry a bit. Without running back to him to scoop him up. He's the one training you at the moment... also swap some chores with your DH so that he HAS to do some childcare. Then you can go and stick some ear plugs in and have nap for an hour... you sound exhausted. And your 7-month old is ruling the roost.

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wednesdayjones · Yesterday 00:12

toomuchlaundry · Yesterday 00:07

If you had a second child they would have to get used to being left a little while whilst you dealt with their sibling.

There would be no second child, I'd quite possibly have a mental breakdown to have two.
I do hear about siblings playing, but I just can't risk it.

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wednesdayjones · Yesterday 00:15

BrownCowHowNow · Yesterday 00:07

People will say that you will not harm the baby by letting him cry for a while but they don't know that.
Babies are all different and have different needs.
Do you use a baby sling/carrier to allow you have both hands free?

I do sometimes...but sorry for being oversensitive - my do people casually suggest just to put them in a carrier? He's 9 kgs, awake 9-10 hours in the day, imagine carrying 9kgs on you for 9 hours every day? It wrecks your back and shoulders. Why should a baby break my back. I do everything for him, cook clean sing dance...walk him loads every day. Kiss and cuddle him for hours. I really don't want to break my back for him.

Sorry if I sound mean- just tired and fed up Sad

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Dartmoorcheffy · Yesterday 00:18

He will never learn to crawl or walk if he's constantly being held so yes, put him down and let him cry for a bit, it really won't harm him.

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wednesdayjones · Yesterday 00:18

'also swap some chores with your DH so that he HAS to do some childcare.'

Husband has been taking baby in the garden saying 'mum needs a break' but it's only for 10 mins or so. We go out as a family a lot and husband always carries him, but recently bub will cry and reach out his arms to me. It's getting worse and I'm scared.

@GreenFingersWouldBeHandy

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toomuchlaundry · Yesterday 00:19

@wednesdayjones I’m not advising you to have another child! But if you already had an older child the baby would have to be left sometimes whilst you dealt with the other child, so it is okay to leave them for a little while, as many other parents have to do.

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Rosio · Yesterday 00:26

It's not tough love it's a requirement for your mental health. Can baby ever be looked after by a family member for an hour here or there or do a morning at nursery. He'll get there in time but he needs time apart from you to know that it's okay and you'll always come back for him. You can't go on like this much longer. I'd be putting the tv on at this point to distract him see if he will leave you alone a little while

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lifeinthehills · Yesterday 00:31

I have had one like this OP. I wore them facing outwards on my front, or carried them in a back carrier to leave my hands free. I ate many meals one handed. I'm here to reassure you - it doesn't last forever. When he gets mobile he'll want to explore. My child like this is now grown and has left home. Turns out they had ADHD though, so not sure if that explains why other babies would sit there while they constantly wanted to be on the move. It will end.

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wednesdayjones · Yesterday 00:35

@lifeinthehills I've started wondering if he will have ADHD. It's probably not right to be thinking that already when he's only 7 months ..

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lifeinthehills · Yesterday 00:44

wednesdayjones · Yesterday 00:35

@lifeinthehills I've started wondering if he will have ADHD. It's probably not right to be thinking that already when he's only 7 months ..

I only wonder about it in hindsight. There was just this sense that something was a bit different. Other babies sitting there while mine needed constant movement. It wasn't so bad in terms of ADHD though, they weren't diagnosed till teen years. Exceptionally bright too (probably because always so curious and exploring and seeking information), so ADHD isn't something to feel anxious about if you think it's possible. See what unfolds over time.

One thing some other people I knew with unsettled babies was taking them to osteopaths. That didn't make a difference for mine though.

Can you get someone to take your son for a walk in the pram regularly, even if you have to pay a childminder for it? It will give you a break and probably your son will sleep during the walk. Maybe a family member would be happy to do this?

On prams, mine was only happy if they were traveling in reverse, facing me, so could see me.

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lifeinthehills · Yesterday 00:46

Another idea to get a break - mine would nurse to sleep and I knew the minute I got up and put them down they'd be awake. So I held them for that nap (about 40 minutes) and made sure it happened to coincide with a particular TV show I liked.

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