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how to cope with a crying baby?

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:22 pm
by Constance
I think I'm at a breaking point and need some words of wisdom... My 6 months old baby does not stop crying, he spends a few moments of a day smiling and chatting and then he just screams so loud for the rest of the time. I think this is getting worse, but I'm not sure why.

We've had quite a good history of crying this time, started with mild reflux and milk intolerance, when we fixed the problems, he settled down a bit, but in the meantime he has managed to train his "vocals" so well, that when he screams the whole world stops.

We have better and worse days, and at nights he normally sleeps, this week though he just does not stop, he takes only short naps during the day and wakes up screaming, he screams when I put him down or give him toys, when I put him in his jumperoo or on his baby gym, when I hold him or sit him on my lap, when I put him in his highchair so he can see me, when he's hungry, when he's wet, when he's tired or sleepy, it just does not stop and I feel terrible.

I feel I'm such a bad mother because I'm struggling to cope, my older son has no quality time with me at all, and whatever happened I am first to get really annoyed. My face feels like my skin is too tight, so do my hands, and whole my skin itches when I feed him at night and then try to go back to sleep. I feel like I'm falling apart? DH helps when he comes back from work and he normally gets lots of smiles...

Do I have a really annoying baby? Can it be teething???? I could understand if he wanted me to hold him all the time but it does not help as well, I've been thinking about it and still cannot come up with a solution to the problem.

On top of that we've had lots of work done to the house and there is lots of cleaning and tidying needed, especially with Xmas coming, but I can only look at jobs that need to be done while dealing with a screaming baby.

I'm sorry for the long post... Has anyone been through something like this?

Re: how to cope with a crying baby?

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:26 pm
by cliveceltic
How are you managing the reflux and milk intolerance? Reflux meds are weight related if using ranatidine. Otherness might be the same.

Xanthe cried day and night to start until we got her on the hypoallergenic milk and meds. She soon got better. We had to use a swing in the end for settling her. Now it's the rocking chair part we use.

Have you started weaning?

Sorry can't be much help. I find constant crying from a baby really difficult. Some people have tried white noise CDs can help.

Re: how to cope with a crying baby?

PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 8:03 pm
by Constance
He is on Nutramigen, has been for a few months, as for reflux, we use gaviscon - on and off, the other meds did not really make a difference when we tried them mostly because he refused to have them... that was a few months ago - perhaps I should go back to the GP and ask for the reflux meds again??? We started purees some time ago, he is not great at eating them yet though, he only has very small quantities.

We went out shopping today, just to give us a break and he was really calm and did not cry at all - I don't know what it is, some kind of cabin fever that affects babies???

Re: how to cope with a crying baby?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:19 am
by espoir
Just wanted to send you lots of ((hugs)) - I read this while having one of those mornings so you're not alone. DS2 is quite similar to Simon - he just seems to spend the day moaning or complaining about something, but come evenings he's usually in great form! It's very wearing, and I think it's made harder by the fact that my other 2 are not like that at all.

With DS the crying is normally either hunger or fatigue. He needs his naps and sleeps much better than DD, but she tends to wake him and cut his nap short, and then we end up with a grumpy boy :-( If Simon is not napping well, then he may just be over-tired, and you end up in a vicious circle where he can't/won't sleep. What I've done with DS2 just now is - I could see he was tired and so put him in his cot, but he was still crying after 20 min, so have fed him, even though it was a bit early, and he's gone for his nap now (or maybe I'm hearing crying!!). If you go out for a walk it will probably help Simon to sleep. I also think they suffer from boredom at this age, and frustration because they cannot do things they want, so cabin fever is really a possibility. How often is Simon feeding? DS is doing every 3 hours.

We are using anti-reflux Aptamil which has helped reduced the laundry! I think teething is also a possibility - my two have their fists in their mouth all the time!

Any chance he's picking up on your stress? I think it's so much harder second time round - I can't believe how busy it is now - I don't know it's just due to the fact that I've got 2, as by themselves they are not hard to manage, but there's a lot more going on now it seems than when I had DS1. It's been almost impossible to do any sort of routine for them, as I'm always having to drag them off somewhere. Maybe the same for you - I mean the work on your house is probably comparable to having another child, and I can understand the frustration about needing/wanting to get things done, and having someone preventing you from doing that. I do tend to let things go at home, but then it's not undergoing renovation. Are you managing to find time alone for yourself? I'm going to try harder at this, as I think you really to take a bit of a break without having someone attached to you!

I don't know if any of that helps, but wanted to let you know you are not alone, and you're definitely not a bad mother xxx

Re: how to cope with a crying baby?

PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:03 pm
by espoir
Today was not a too bad day for, this is what happened - we were out in the morning for an appointment and then had a walk around the shops - DS slept most of that time. He had a feed when we came home - we had a lot of fun and laughing together, he went down for a nap, and then woke up screaming, and did not stop for ages - over 20 mins. I didn't think it was possible he was hungry as it was only 2 hours since his last feed, but apparently he was, and that solved it.
So, in our case I think the screaming is down to tiredness, hunger or boredom - (and possibly trapped wind??). If I notice anything else Constance I'll let you know, as it's just exhausting, and DS is probably not that bad even compared to other babies.

Re: how to cope with a crying baby?

PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:47 pm
by sicily
Hugs Constance, it sounds really trying and I'm sure the additional stress does not help either of you. I got some very stressful news just today and my LO seemed to just feed off my stress and kicked right off!

I don't have much to offer other than have you tried carrying bubs in a sling for some of the day? By which I mean an inward facing, ergonomic one where baby is basically cuddling you like a connecta, manduca or other soft structured carrier or a wrap. The touch, warmth, lulling motion and heartbeat might soothe him. I sometimes find with my LO that she'll writhe and scream blue murder at me if I try to hold her in arms but if I put her in a sling or wrap and go for a brisk walk or just get on with things (slightly ignoring her sometimes!) she'll calm down and eventually fall asleep. It's almost like swaddling them. It leaves you hands free for time with your other LO and to get on with chores. As you said I'm sure the change of scene probably does him good and he'll have a new vantage point from up high.
At this stage if LO isn't used to a sling it might take some getting used to but in time might help. You can even back carry him if you want to ignore him even more ;-) my LO has been worn in a sling since pretty much day dot so she's very used to it and it's our fail safe sleep trick - it works for virtually anything when she should be asleep but isn't, where everything else fails like distraction, lullabies, breast feeding, bottle feeling etc.

I really feel for you, I get that tight skin feeling too when I just feel so in uncomfortable in my skin. can you talk to someone who could take the LOs for a few hours maybe this weekend and give yourself a bit of a pampering session. Forget the cleaning etc, focus on yourself for a few hours with a nice bubble bath, candles, face mask, paint your toenails and just try to get comfy in your own skin again. Of you can afford it, maybe a trip to the salon or a massage. Sorry I hope this doesn't sound trite, I know it's not a long term solution but sometimes you just need a bit of me time and to feel like yourself again! Xx

Re: how to cope with a crying baby?

PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:12 pm
by cliveceltic
How often does he feed? My two were both 2 -3 hourly right up until weaning properly kicked in. Never more than 5oz a feed. Little and often really helped.

Re: how to cope with a crying baby?

PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:04 am
by Constance
Hi ladies, thank you for your replies.

I was talking to another mum on Monday about her and my baby teething and we started looking in their mouths and I noticed a tiny white dot on his bottom gum - I think his tooth is trying to come out, so that may be one of the problems, but in the meantime he also came down with a cold and temperature, the GP said to give him calpol for a few days. It seems to make a big difference (having him drugged with calpol), so perhaps he was generally in pain. Normally we have better or worse days, but recently we just had bad days, plus bad night at the beginning of this week when the sore throat kicked in... Getting calpol into him though it becoming more and more difficult as we go...

Cliveceltic - he does first 3 feeds every 3 hours and then goes to 2 hours breaks till he goes to sleep - nothing changes there, he is on solids now, but not very interested so we are starting really slowly...

Sicily - thank you for your ideas, we only have a babybjorn carrier - he does not like being it in and it hurts my back, feels like I'm pregnant again with a 7 kg baby... it may still be a good idea, but I'm not sure whether there is any point in buying a new sling, I would not know which one to go for and he is already 6 months old... The pampering session is a great idea and I must do it, I really need an osteopath to loosen my muscles up, I am so tense right now it is just stupid. I am so busy though, and Xmas is coming, next week I'm going to move my disabled mother in with us (from abroad), right now I don't know where my head is, I think I will forget to collect my turkey if it goes like this, lol... Perhaps I'll just push it and have a me evening with a nice bath, etc. Now that you told me I'll try to make that happen.

Espoir - it's so difficult with such sensitive babies, isn't it? He is 6 months now but still not as happy to play on his own as Daniel used to be, and I find it really strange. He can be a smiley baby, but these are only moments, mostly when he meets people. The house is very irritating right now as well, with all the dust settling down it looks dirty a day after cleaning, and I find it really upsetting...

Thank you for all your kind words, I'm hoping things will start improving as he grows, it would be good just to have a small portion of the improvement now...

x x x

Re: how to cope with a crying baby?

PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:57 pm
by shinycat
I haven't read all the replies carefully, but I just wanted to answer your post. My son (now 17 months) was a very difficult baby. A real screamer. We used to call him the grumpiest baby in the world as he seemed to cry all the time. It wasn't colic, there was an element of reflux but even after I fixed my diet (he had dairy and soya intolerance) the screaming continued. He seemed very highly strung and, basically, angry! We saw gradual improvements from around 7 months, and then a massive, HUGE, improvement when he started walking. Fortunately for us, he was a very early walker (before 9 months) and it seems so much of his frustration was down to being unble to get about on his own. He hated being laid down, even in a bouncy chair, and wanted us to hold him upright all the time, even when really tiny. We thought it was down to the reflux but on reflection I think it was actually him wanting to be involved in everything, see the world from an upright perspective etc. He is still a highly spirited child, and still cries a lot but now he is older we can see the things that are making him cry, and it is obvious he just gets frustrated very easily and has a very low threshold for things not going his way. On the other hand he is easily calmed now, loves being cuddled and kissed, and I am still breastfeeding him which also really helps.

I don't know if this is any help to you but thought I'd add it in just in case any of it rings true with you. I totally know where you are with being "at the end of your tether" as I have felt like that so many times, but like everything else, this phase will pass.

Re: how to cope with a crying baby?

PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:16 pm
by sicily
You're welcome hon, I hope you manage to find yourself a bit of time to pamper yourself.
I remember in the few weeks after C was born I had so little time and I used to cherish 15 minutes alone in the bath while someone held her!

With the slings, baby Bjorns are notoriously uncomfortable after a few months as they don't have the support but I've personally never used one. I know quite a few people who've recently switched to slings post 8 months (as their babies get clingy with separation anxiety!) so it might not be too late if you want to give it a go. If there is a sling library near you maybe you could borrow one for a couple of weeks before investing? although the second hand market for good quality slings is excellent and you can sell on for more than half of what you paid, eg a new connecta is £65-70 and they sell secondhand for £50-55. If you're interested let me know and I can add you to a couple of the fb groups.

Hope some light is at the end of the tunnel soon! Xxx

Re: how to cope with a crying baby?

PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:24 pm
by Sazwell
Hi constance x
I'm sorry your having such a tough time but it sounds like you the dosing up on calpol seems to be working! Some babies seem to suffer so badly with their teeth than others.
I haven't got anything much to add apart from that I'm always here if you want to chat. .
Caedan seems to cry when he doesn't have my full attention or is laid down, sounds a bit like shinycat out of frustration! Its hard to know when they so small, just hope Simon improves snd its his teeth xx

Re: how to cope with a crying baby?

PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 10:40 am
by Constance
Thank you ladies.

Sarah - we're off calpol now, I had to buy on of those medicine dummies otherwise calpol would get everywhere instead of inside him... He came up with full head of red rash during the week and I took him back to GP on Friday - apparently it is eczema - OMG, I have never seen it like this, his whole head is covered and he has some angry areas on his face as well... GP said that having a cold set it off for him...

Sicily - I should really look into the slings...

Shinycat, yes the thought of him being frustrated has crossed my mind several times, but I always think he is too young to feel like that??? It does not help that he does not sit up on his own yet, and he hates belly time - my older one was on his belly all the time at 6 months old, reaching out for toys and turning round like the handles of a clock from one toy to another, and he was all smiles... But on the other hand he does not want to stand up when I hold him either and he seems to get bored with any position very quickly. He has been getting more and more interested in toys and things very slowly, so hopefully one day it will become easier. Thank you

x xx

Re: how to cope with a crying baby?

PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 3:02 pm
by espoir
Constance, just wondering if you'd tried napping him more frequently, as you said Simon wasn't napping well. When you wrote this I wondered if this was our problem, so the last few days I've been really keeping an eye on this for DS2, and he seems to be napping way more during the day now (not yet affecting night time sleeps touch wood), and he's less grumpy. There are some points where I'm putting him down for a nap an hour after he's woken up from the last one, and def not longer than 2 hours between naps. Sometimes he naps, sometimes he's just relaxing I think. If Simon is sensitive, just having some time out for himself may help? DS will sometimes scream when I put him down, but this is just him winding down.

I know we're 1 month behind, but our two also seem behind DS1 at the same age...they have had very little tummy time, as I don't like putting them down straight after feeding, and by the time we've done whatever the day is gone! The HV told me for DS1 it was important to do, but tbh, I think they do it when they're ready. Til now I can probably count the number of times mine have been on their tummy on two (maybe even one!) hand, and yet when I put them on their belly they can manage to hold heads up. They also don't have a lot of interest in toys. I guess now that I have 3 I can really say that every child is different. DS1 and DD are quite similar in personality/behaviour, and already get on well together, but my two DSs are quite different and they don't quite gel yet.

Have you tried some of the homeopathic remedies for teething? May be easier to administer than calpol!

Re: how to cope with a crying baby?

PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:43 pm
by sicily
Lol, I'm a bit evangelical about slings, don't know how I'd cope without my 5 (!) slings!!

Re the teething, we've recently tried a gel called anbesol. I was a bit against teething gel that numbs their gum but she's a bit older now and well used to eating/gag reflex working well and to be honest she really, really seems to suffer with teething, so we tried and it works most of the time... Hard to administer like the Calpol though.
Eek to the eczema :-( poor baby, was it a reaction to something coming on suddenly like that? Poor poppet and poor mum having to deal with it too xxx