My Baby is never Happy - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 03-09-2009, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Please help me figure out what to do with my perpetually cranky baby. He is 8 1/2 months old, and has always been cranky and high maintenance. He might have a few hours, a few days, or even a week when he's sweet and wonderful, but he just seems to default to "constantly complain." If we carry him around, he doesn't make noise, but doesn't seem much happier either. He just spends hours making this whiny, yelping noise nearly nonstop.

He has never been easy on his babysitters, has never been the kind of baby that would smile at anyone but mama and daddy. So most of our family are afraid to babysit him, and as a consequence, it's hard to get a break.

I'm willing to discuss his feeding and sleeping habits and daily and bedtime routines. Someone please help me figure this out. Maybe partly, I just wanted to see if anyone else had a baby that was always cranky, and how it worked out. We're always stressed out and I feel awful and guilty. I feel like I'm being a terrible mama for disparaging him, but I'm terrified that that's just his personality. Help!
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#2 of 13 Old 03-09-2009, 05:37 PM
 
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my now 4-yr-old was like that.. and we couldn't fix it. it turned out that she had/has sensory issues and food allergies, so we have been on elimination diets and we have tried many 'techniques' to help her but she is still a 'high needs' child. lately, she has been doing well but when she was a baby I probably cried myself to sleep everynight (I know what you mean about the child care, no one in my family wanted to help either )

So, all I can do is send a and let you know that you aren't alone. If I were you, I would look into digestive/sensory/allergy problems and maybe a swing ()

Sara

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#3 of 13 Old 03-09-2009, 05:41 PM
 
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I'm half braindead today, and can't think of anything, but wanted to second the idea of a swing, if you haven't tried one. DD was very similar as a baby (and she is a bit solemn, even now), but she was usually content to be in a swing.

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#4 of 13 Old 03-09-2009, 05:49 PM
 
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My youngest is 6 (DD) and she has always been this way. It started around 2 weeks old for her. She seriously could never be happy. She had horrible colic for almost the whole first year, reflux problems, constant ear infections and colds for the first year or so. Once she started crawling she had longer periods of happiness and then once she started walking it helped a lot too. I always figured it was her independence trying to come out all along. Even now my DD is a very stubborn, free-spirited, not afraid to let you know when she isn't happy, outgoing little girl. I remember DH and I trying to console her and it was like she could never be happy enough with her love and nurturing. It made life very hard on me PP for the first year because I wanted so much to bond with my first little girl. We are super close now and have been for quite some time. Try not to worry, although I know it's hard because I've totally BTDT and I know just how tough it can be.

Proud *single* mom to 3 amazing kiddos
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#5 of 13 Old 03-09-2009, 05:55 PM
 
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DD was (and to some extent still is) similar to what you're describing. She was NEVER happy for pretty much the first year of her life. Constantly crying and whinging, screaming if you put her down, the whole 9 yards. We live abroad so there's no one to help but DH and he works a lot, so it was pretty much all on me (I'm a SAHM).

It's absolutely draining to have to look after a baby 24/7 that's just never content. You feel like nothing you do is right and that you must be a terrible parent. NOT TRUE!! Coping with a baby like that and remaining AP is a marvellous achievement! The majority of babies really aren't that difficult, so try not to compare yourself or your baby with other moms and babies - it'll only make you feel bad.

Now, for the sort of good news. I found that DD's temperament has gradually improved over the past few months. I think a lot of her unhappiness was due to her inability to do everything she wanted to do. Now that she can walk and has a good signing vocabulary (she's still not verbal) she can interact with the world an awful lot more, and it really seems to have alleviated a lot of her unhappiness. She is now capable of occasionally playing by herself (with me in the room of course!) for a couple of minutes. I can leave her with DH for an hour or even 2 to get out and run errands without her screaming hysterically the whole time - now they actually have fun together.

I think other things that contribute(d) to the unhappiness apart from frustration with her own lack of abilities were; silent reflux (I've started her on some mild meds and seeing some improvement), teeth (she has an awful time with teeth and nothing really seems to make it better and she's nearly constantly 'teething') and possibly some food sensitivities (though I haven't been able to pin those down yet, and I suspect they're relatively minor in comparison with the other things).

HTH

Lisa - mama to Eleanor Rose 01/08 and Saoirse Lily 09/10
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#6 of 13 Old 03-09-2009, 05:56 PM
 
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I know that others are mentioning a swing. I got one when my DD was a little bit older, around 4-5 months and she didn't really like it. She liked being in her stroller and I also bought one of these: http://www.toysrus.com/product/index...ductId=3319369 She loved it. So this and her stroller were all that made her happy, other than constantly holding her or wearing her.

Proud *single* mom to 3 amazing kiddos
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#7 of 13 Old 03-09-2009, 07:08 PM
 
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Could it be a comfort thing?

(I'm just blowin' through but I thought maybe I could help a little...)

I'm 19 years old now. When I was a baby, I literally almost sent my mother to a mental institution. From what she and Dad tell me, I had two modes: sleep and scream. As a child I was very picky about things like the seams in my socks, how tight my shoes were (if they weren't threatening to cut off circulation, i wasn't content) and other stupid (in hind-sight) comfort things.

I'm fine now. In fact, I'm EXTREMELY adaptable. I guess it doesn't help you much, but I just wanted to say that it might just be a "baby" thing. Maybe it'll get better. I wish I could help out more--you sound really frazzled. Hang in there, mama.

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#8 of 13 Old 03-09-2009, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I want to thank everyone for the ideas so far. With the sensory issues, how were you able to isolate that factor and determine that was the issue? I have the same question for the food allergies. This definately seems more emotional than physical to me, although I realize that the two are related, especially with babies. Anyone who taught signs to their baby, what signs did you find the most helpful, and how did you teach them?
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#9 of 13 Old 03-11-2009, 04:37 PM
 
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My baby is kind of like this. I do get some smiles out of him during the day but they don't come (or stay) easy. He is content to be carried around in arms. Hates the wrap, hates his stroller, screams if I walk away for one second even if he was smiling the moment before. He always wakes up as soon as I try to put him down and only falls asleep without crying if he is nursing. He is work. He is teething, I guess that is something, are they always teething once they start? hmmm. I have to confess that I never thought about food or sensory issues. Should I? I don't know. I just thought that either he is a high needs particular kind of a guy....or he is manipulating me and I am spoiling him. I hope the latter isn't the case. I feel for you. I hope it gets better for you.

I have boys! My first baby boy was born 10/08 and my second baby boy was born 7/12

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#10 of 13 Old 03-11-2009, 05:45 PM
 
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My DD was like this. I didn't want anymore because I thought this was just how babies were. It was so hard and I'm really sorry that you are going through this right now. I have semi-good news though, My DD is still very much "hard to satisfy" but she is happy more and more of the time as she gets older. She is old enough to satisfy some of her own needs or at least tell me what is bugging her. Things she requests are sooo specific there is no way a non-verbal baby would be able to convey so of course she always seemed miserable. (Like the line on her socks has to be a certain way, all across the top of the toes EXCEPT the littlest toe the line must cross that toe.....seriously )
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#11 of 13 Old 03-11-2009, 05:53 PM
 
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WRT baby signs: I started with DD about 7 months or so, with a few basic ones "Milk" (obviously! - and it was the first one she learned LOL) "More" "Finished/All gone" "Up" and "Eat". Once she mastered a couple of those I started adding more in. A lot of the time she just wants to communicate with me - she'll point to something and make the sign for it, if she knows it, or if not do the 'what?' sign and I'll have to tell her what it is and try to invent a sign for it if I can!

Really, I think a lot of babies like this are just super aware and clued in, and need lots and lots of attention to meet their cognitive needs. People used to comment about how 'aware' DD was, pretty much from birth - and I think that's a large factor in this. Some (most?) babies are content to just sit/lie around and look at things until they're able to do more, but some babies are constantly trying to do more than they are physically capable of, and get terribly frustrated when they just can't move/communicate as they think they should be able to, KWIM?

Lisa - mama to Eleanor Rose 01/08 and Saoirse Lily 09/10
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#12 of 13 Old 03-11-2009, 06:46 PM
 
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My third son had/has sensory integration issues. He was not all that fussy for his first six months but the way I had mothered him was ideal for a baby with sensory problems. He had soft clothes, I held him all the time, I didn't give him baths, he was breastfed with no bottles or pacifiers (babies with sensory problems don't like certain things in their mouths), ect.

When he was 6-7 months he wouldn't start solids. It was obvious he was having developmental delays because he didn't want to leave my arms. He became failure to thrive because he wouldn't allow food in his mouth. If you tried to force him out of my arms or to do things he didn't want to do he would scream.

This was in the late 1980's and they were just starting to have occupational therapy and physical therapy for sensory difficulties. He responded well to therapy once he got the right diagnosis. He also needed speech therapy. He did need therapy for years and continues to have skin sensitivities and is limited in the foods he eats.

: Grandmother , 3 Adult Sons

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#13 of 13 Old 03-11-2009, 06:58 PM
 
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The baby across the street was like that too. But, with her, it was obvious that she had dry yucky skin and red puffy eyes. So, by 12 months, they had come up with the right mix of medications and special lotions that made her feel a little better.

She's five now. She still MUST wear long pants and long sleeves or the itching can come back. (even in summer) and she's always in a great mood now.

But, while some unhappy kids can be explained by a medical issue.. some kids just seem to hate the world. It isn't anything anybody is doing, or not doing, some people just have that personality. Most outgrow it when they find that really great stage.. either walking, running, running AWAY, or whatever it is that pleases them.

But, it sure is miserable for a while.

Is he happy naked? Maybe he really is uncomfortable in his skin?
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