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How to handle an overactive 7 m/o?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Is this normal? And if so, how do I deal with it?

 

My first baby was a watcher. I carried her around everywhere and her eyes were just glued to everything I did. She was happy in my arms, though she was extremely high-needs. It worked for us.

 

I'm on my second and he's 7 months today and for the last month, I have been sure I am going to lose my mind. He has always been a chill, happy dude and polar opposite to his high-needs sister. Lately, however, he's been extremely overactive. I wanted to use the word "psychotic" since that's exactly how it feels. He's not even close to crawling yet and can sit up with assistance. He still falls over from time to time, especially if he's reaching for something.

 

Lately, he has gotten SO STRONG. I can't hold onto him anymore. If I'm carrying him, he starts tearing at me and clawing at me like a squirrel trying to climb a tree. He twists around in my arms or dives for the floor. He's all over the place! This goes on all. Day. Long. Every. Minute. He is rarely chill anymore. It seems like he wants to be put down so he can just go, but he can't move around by himself yet. If I do put him down, he cries piteously. It's the really sad cry that makes me cry, too, not just his fuss cry.

 

He wants to be held, but is constantly diving, clawing and twisting while I hold him. I literally cannot keep a hold on him anymore. He's too strong. I'm scared I'm going to drop him. I put him in different carriers (our favorite is the Ergo) and sometimes he will sit still for a few minutes, but mostly he just fusses or screams while scratching/hitting me. He doesn't want to be confined. He wants me to hold him in his arms so he can twist around and get into any and all mischief and reduce my skin to shreds.

 

What do I do? I can't seem to find a way to make him happy. I'm not allowed to sit. I have to be moving all the time. I can't do chores anymore. He gets so angry. He wants to have everything that I'm holding and if I don't give it to him, he flips out like a toddler does having a tantrum: arches his back, throws his arms out and cries while kicking his legs. I can't get any food or drink into my mouth, even if I hold him on my hip and turn my head the opposite way. He will grab my shirt and climb up to my face. He's tearing the straps off of my tank tops.

 

I'm just not strong enough to hold him anymore. Ideas? I've considered it might be teething, but he's not drooling and isn't interested in chewing on anything any more than he ever did. He doesn't seem to be in pain. He just wants to go go GO!  He's like a ferret on speed. energy.gifSometimes I just hold him out at arms' length just so I can have five seconds' peace.

post #2 of 18

oh my goodness. i can relate. totally, totally. my guy isn't ALWAYS like that but he is very very much an on-the-go baby who has had phases of the behaviour you described. the few weeks before he crawled he was exactly like your little guy and just miserable. once he could move himself around he calmed down quite a bit. now he's close to walking so he's been pretty adamant about not being held when we're out for a walk (it would be funny but, like you said - I'm scared of dropping him! not to mention i have scratches on my chest, arms and back/neck). trips to the store, walks and any kind of outing really have turned into a nightmare lately so I'm hoping he masters walking soon! (although, then he'll just be running away from me...what am I thinking?)

 

hopefully your babe is on the verge of crawling and will be a bit more content once he's mobile. 

 

i just have to commiserate- having a super active baby is challenging! I was not expecting my son to be so adamant about being on the move and being out and about. at only 11 months old, he already communicates to me that #1) we must be moving at all times (I wear him quite a bit but i MUST be moving. no standing still.) and #2) we must not be at home because home is boring and there are no new people and things to look at and explore. so, we go out A LOT, but once in a while I  need to catch up on things around the house! i always imagined i've have a baby who would happily sit in a wrap for hours on end while i made dinner, did the dishes or folded laundry. nope. not enough action!

post #3 of 18

My 7 month old is like this but she crawls and has been since 5 months. I have no idea what she would be like if she didn't learn to crawl so early! She's always reaching for everything and tries to dive out of my arms for what she wants. Can you help him learn to crawl? Maybe show him? It might be that he has so much energy but doesn't have a way to release it yet, and crawling could help. He might like a jumper. My DD likes her for about 20 mins. 

My DD is standing a lot and climbing the stairs. I figured out that letting her climb the stairs before nap tired her out quickly. I sit right next to her when she climbs them.

post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks, mamas! Oh, it feels so good to know I'm not alone! (Not that I'd ever wish this on anyone else.)

 

No, he can't crawl yet. I can get him into a hands-and-knees position, but he doesn't even have the balance to stay upright yet. He just topples over after a few seconds. He's way too excited about things to balance. He just starts diving like he thinks he knows what he's doing. So excited!

 

Maybe I should try something like a Johnny-jump-up? A friend is going to loan me her baby's old...uh...what's it called? Basically, a ring with a seat in the middle and a tray in front with plastic spinny toys and buttons that make squeaky noises, etc. I can't remember what they are called. When his feet reach the floor, he can stand up in it. I'm normally super AP, but this little guy is just too much. I HAVE to put him down. :-P
 

post #5 of 18

I call those things jumpers, but I think its one of those things that everyone has a different name for. I also think that they're AWESOME for a short amount of time. Some babies will spend all day in those if you let them (which can't be good for them), but babies like ours only last 20 mins, and then they want out. ;) No harm done in 20 mins. 

 

What about swimming? Is there an indoor pool around you? My DD does baby swim lessons and sleeps like a rock afterwards. 

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

LOL! I live in Hawaii. No need or an indoor pool. :) He does love the water, but will still pull on me.
 

post #7 of 18

What's not AP about putting your child down?  I think it's completely fine to let him play in a johnny jump up or excersaucer (?not quite sure how to spell it?) if he likes it.  Maybe he just needs more stimulation (smart baby!) and if providing him toys like that will give it to him, why not?  You don't need to feel bad/less AP.  :)

post #8 of 18
Yeah! Totally go for a jumper and/or exersaucer. Good idea! And good luck smile.gif
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

An exersaucer! That's what it's called! Brain fart. duh.gif

 

It's not that I'm worried about "being less AP." I don't care about a label. It's the way I feel when I put my kids down. I try not to feel guilty when I put my 4 y/o in front of the TV to keep her quiet during baby's nap. But I do. I feel guilty putting my baby in a plastic seat and walk away to do something. I know it's fine. I know it won't scar him and he'll probably love it. It just miss him and then feel guilty that I'm letting the seat babysit him. I worry that I'll start to put him in it more and more. I worry about the plastic toys and lead and phthalates and other toxins.

 

Basically, I'm just a worry-wart. And that's sort of WHY I'm so dang AP sometimes.

post #10 of 18

Getting over how we feel about what our kids need is the ultimate of being there for them.

 

Within the limits of keeping them from true harm, there is a huge spectrum of what best meets the needs of a particular kid in a particular phase. and even in my quite limited experience, i am consistently challenged and impressed at how often meeting those needs is with things that i didn't think i would expect or sometimes even want to do.

 

just as much as the mom who needs to get stuff done but hauls around a kid on her back for days on end is working to meet some babies needs,

the mom who lets go of preconceived notions and worries and lets their kid play solo or in a bright plastic toy is meeting the needs of another type of kid.

 

In the right situation both are being great moms, and likewise BOTH can be over done to the detriment of the kids.

 

I might suck in many ways as i mom, i dont know, but i rock for seeing and following my kids lead in their independent play and search for adventure. and yes that sometimes looks like me putting them down and walking off. in reality it is me letting go and stepping back. great things (and many giggles) happen.

 

 

go for it!

post #11 of 18

Adorakble, yes you rock!  lol. I philosophically consider myself an anarchist/unschooler, BUT my oldest responds horribly to me acting out these philosophies.  It has been so so hard to let these expectations go but in the end it has been best for him.  Amberskyfire, I know!  I am anxious and a bleeding heart type and I think that a lot of my decisions are because of those tendencies. It's taken a lot of heart work to figure out what is healthy and good for me and my family, and what is not.  

post #12 of 18

your post made me laugh.  Before my daughter was crawling she would do the twisty archy escaping thing to be put down thing and I would wonder, WHY? what are you going to do?  And then when she could crawl but not walk she would want to be put down in very un-crawling friendly spots, like a busy parking lot... 

An exercauser sounds great, and a jolly jumper, and whatever it takes for you to do something for 5 minutes here and there!

post #13 of 18

In a way I'm kind of glad to read this... I have a 7.5 month old that likes to scratch and twist the hell outta me.  He's also a big baby (22 pounds) so yeah...I share your concerns.   He seems less hyper then your guy...he will actually allow me to put him down...for 10 minutes.  Any longer and he starts to cry.  He has not made any move towards wanting to crawl either, even though I KNOW he would really enjoy it.  He's kind of a watcher..he loves to be carried around and observe...but also hurts me.  

 

oh, I'm in Hawaii too!  Big Island, Puna region.

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

OtherSoul, I'm in BI Puna as well! HPP. LOL, I probably know you IRL!

 

Thanks, everyone. :) I'll try the exersaucer.

post #15 of 18

My 6mos DD has a jumperoo and she loves it!  I let her go in it 3x10 mins or so a day, once when we are eating dinner because she gets quite cranky before bedtime.  She is able to expend quite a lot of energy in the thing which is great because she can't crawl or sit up yet and it really frustrates her...

 

She's in it right now going craaaazy!  It gives me time to have a coffee without worrying she's going to snatch it out of my hand winky.gif  She's also very clear on telling me when she's had enough of it.

post #16 of 18
I did want to put out there that toys that put a lot if pressure on babies legs, like the doorway hanging "Johnny Jump Up's" are not considered safe for developing bones in the legs. And exersausers are best when they just always a little bit of foot touching, kinda like toe play, or are so low that they make the kid squat and then stand up on their own once they are strong enough, if that makes sense. But toys that override the nature stages of supporting weight and spine stuff are really iffy. So them being held up by something continuously and being able to stomp their feet hard could lead to issues. Most decent exersausers have some way to adjust height, or I put some foam mats in one to make it a distance I felt better about.
post #17 of 18
My son was walking before he learned to crawl. He crawled *after* seeing me start to crawl to get to a toy across the room. He beat me there! So, I wonder, have those that aren't crawling *seen* crawling?
post #18 of 18

I thought about getting my DD and exersaucer/jumper or something too, and I think they're a great way to get some stimulation when used right.  But I haven't gotten her one because she is a bit hyper and wasn't crawling yet, and I didn't want her to spend any time in something that wouldn't encourage her to crawl.  So what has worked for us in this time in between is to sit her down (maybe with some pillows around her for the occasional tumble) with toys or preferably household objects to explore.  She is totally like your son in that the forbidden objects are the most desirable.  So I had to find things around my house that look grown up, and put various different things inside of them (like a mint tin with pennies in it, tupperware with rice in it, cooking pot a toy in it to discover, etc).  Over time, she has become a bit more mobile and has become quite happy to be on the floor exploring and practicing her crawling.  I do think lots and lots and lots of time on the floor is best during this time to practice crawling, sitting himself up, pulling up, etc.  It sounds like he is sitting "ok", so is setting him down somewhere with a decent amount of padding an option?  And finding some things in your house that will pique his curiousity?  I think he will be a lot happier once he can get a little more mobile...  Also, for eating/cooking times, my DD loves playing with a sippy cup with water in it.  We have the kind where the fluid comes out without having to suck and she just has a ball of a time pouring it all over herself and the kitchen, ha!

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