Anyone else have a high maintenance baby? - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 18 Old 12-10-2009, 12:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
Lacrymosa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Utah
Posts: 301
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Please tell me I'm not the only one...

I'm a first time mom and I really didn't expect it to be like this. I love her to pieces but she is so incredibly demanding. She will not stay in her swing, or in her bouncy, or on the floor on a blanket, or play with toys, or do pretty much anything for more than 3 minutes before she is fussing/crying. When I walk around and hold her she is usually kicking and thrashing all over unless she's incredibly tired, which she still fights falling asleep. I used to be able to rock her to music but that doesn't really work anymore. I wondered if it was because she was teething but now I'm not so sure, her gums dont look swollen or anything, and she does chew on her hand sometimes but not ALL the time.

It's not that she is always screaming, she isn't. She cries/fusses a LOT. Demands completely focused attention 98% of the time and even then she's not always happy. It seems like it's a lot worse in the late afternoons/evenings so I don't know if it's over-stimulation or colic.. she is 5 months old in a few days and I thought colic ended around then.

Is she a high maintenance baby or is she unhappy? I feel like a bad mother all the time even though I'm trying everything I can think of to keep her happy and it doesn't seem like it's working!

Happy mama to Asia born 07/15
Lacrymosa is offline  
#2 of 18 Old 12-10-2009, 01:03 AM
 
odoole's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 239
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Maybe she needs more naps? My 4 mo gets like that when he's tired. Luckily he falls asleep pretty easily if I put him in the sling or hold him on the bed in a very specific way. But he needs 5 or 6 little naps a day, easy. He's never really awake for more than 1.5 hours at a time before he gets fussy again. He used to be able to put himself to sleep when he was tired, but now he fights napping (but he's totally cranky without it).
odoole is offline  
#3 of 18 Old 12-10-2009, 01:33 AM
 
dislocator3972's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Northern Colorado
Posts: 863
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My LO is very similar to yours, so if you're a bad mom (and I'm sure you're not) then we both are.

DD seems to do better with her new self imposed schedule, but what seems to be making the most difference in her mood is my supply dropping down (to more normal levels) and my elimination of dairy. When I got rid of dairy she seemed MUCH happier, and now that her reflux and tummy are better her sleeping is better and with better sleeping her moods are getting even better.

Even with all this improvement she's still pretty high maintenance. Wants to be standing up or sitting somewhere high ALL the time. She HAS to see everything that's going on, and at her age that means both of my hands are busy all the time. I left her with DH last friday for an evening out and when I got home she wasn't yet in bed, the living room was trashed, and he looked up at me and said, "I have a whole new understanding of what it means to be alone with her." LOL!

Your DD may just be a bit more 'needy' (dang babies needing things! Didn't I feed you yesterday??) or maybe you'll find a gem on here that will work for you like nixing dairy did for me.

Either way you're not alone, and you're not a bad mom.

Good luck!

Sarah. Married to my Mirus, raising my DD1 (Aug. '09) and my DD2 (March '11) and waiting for my newest (April '14)!
dislocator3972 is offline  
#4 of 18 Old 12-10-2009, 01:38 AM
 
odoole's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 239
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yes, I also nixed dairy and it made a huge difference. I just didn't suggest that b/c I haven't heard of that making a difference with a 5 mo, but perhaps it will? I eliminated when DS was around 6 weeks, and at that stage I was worried that he was well on his way to becoming a High Needs baby. I was thrilled with the turn-around I saw with him fairly quickly.
odoole is offline  
#5 of 18 Old 12-10-2009, 02:16 AM
 
texaspeach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 8,622
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
ds demands to be held and paid attention. he isn't content to be in the swing for very long, or on his tummy or back. he is pretty content as long as he's in arms though.
texaspeach is offline  
#6 of 18 Old 12-10-2009, 04:50 AM
 
mambera's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,308
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I notice all the things you mentioned involve the baby playing on her own. I don't think it's abnormal for that not to work for very long - I suspect only the very calmest babies are willing to hang out and amuse themselves for extended periods of time.

Have you tried wearing her (in a sling or baby carrier) while you do daily chores and stuff? That may assuage her need to be held/cuddled as well as her need to be interested in what's going on.

Also, does she sleep enough? Like 14 h per day or so? Most young babies only tolerate about 90 minutes of awake time before they need to nap again. My LO (who is also an attention hog btw) gets fussy if she's not sleeping enough.

Me, DH, DD1 (5/2009) and DD2 (10/2011).
I'm not crunchy. I'm evidence-based.

Vaccines save lives.

mambera is offline  
#7 of 18 Old 12-10-2009, 12:04 PM
 
April Dawn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 525
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My son is just like your baby, OP! He's very high needs. He has reflux and it makes him fussy at times. I had all these ideas that as a SAHM I'd get stuff done while he napped. Ha! He won't nap unless I hold him the whole time, so I get NOTHING done. I love my son lots, but there are days I'm run ragged. The only advice I really have for you is to wear your baby as much as you can - it's been a lifesaver for me! Good luck!
April Dawn is offline  
#8 of 18 Old 12-10-2009, 01:46 PM
 
BlueWolf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Illinois
Posts: 688
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have a July high needs daughter too! She just woke up from one of her many cat naps.... She's fussy pretty much all day and it takes a ton of energy to keep her happy and content. Some days I'm okay with it and some days I'm pulling my hair out. When I started to put her to bed earlier, things got a bit better. She needs more sleep than she's getting, but it so hard with her being a cat napper. She's an absolute doll though. The opposite side of the fussy high needs coin is she's really fun to interact with. She wants to be apart of the conversation... and if you include her (like a dinner) she just lights up. She has things she wants to express!

Oh... something I've found thats worth its weight in gold is Hylands Colick Tablets. Some days, that's the only thing that will settle her down.

A tired mommy to DD (7/09) and loving wife to DH (08/06)
BlueWolf is offline  
#9 of 18 Old 12-10-2009, 01:47 PM
 
seafox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 687
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Our DS is like this, but it comes and goes (perhaps w/ teething? growth spurts? not sure) He was super high needs at a month old but when I eliminated dairy his *extreme* fussing (more like screaming) subsided. But he was still on such a clock - he could be happy for maybe a few minutes, need constant change/stimulation, and then at some point *nothing* would make him happy and so we'd bounce him for a nap. From 2-4 months he'd nap 45min - and only be awake for about 45min before we were trying to get him to sleep again. Though at the end of the day *getting* him to sleep takes so long that he was only sleeping 12-13 hours a day anyway.

At around 5 months he became much easier, and happier, and started being much more mobile (he crawls, kind of, with a flopping aspect), and then bam! last week he is fussing all the time again - you can distract him but it takes constant vigilance! and now his naps are more unpredictable again (can be longer than 45min) so timing them to not interfere w/ bedtime is tough.

I'm *hoping* that this current fussiness is teething. He got two teeth a few weeks ago, so I'm guessing more aren't far behind. And when the last two popped through he was kind of a mess for a few days the week before.


The poor mr. gets nothing done all day (he works from home) 'cept in the few naps that happen. He tries to do more of his work when I get home in the evenings instead.

mom to z (June 2009) and m (may 2011)

seafox is offline  
#10 of 18 Old 12-10-2009, 02:16 PM
 
GoestoShow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 654
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

.

GoestoShow is offline  
#11 of 18 Old 12-10-2009, 02:26 PM
 
mamazee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: US midwest
Posts: 7,500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Mine who was like that is now a very happy and well-adjusted 7-year-old. It won't last forever, although I know it's hard to see that now. All you can do right now is put one foot in front of the other and get through it.

I will say that while she is happy and well-adjusted and a real joy, she is also intense, dramatic, and can still be a bit of a handful. I think it is an indicator of overall personality.

My second was content all the time from birth. Funny how different they are. I have done the exact same stuff with both of them, but they are just very different.
mamazee is offline  
#12 of 18 Old 12-10-2009, 03:40 PM
 
allcat11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My first was like that, and I'm praying my 3 week old does not follow suit! Its so so so hard!A few things that helped us, and if you don't agree w any of these things don't jump all over me, a desperate mom does what she has to! First we got her some craniosacral work and a few chiropractor adjustments, which helped a lot, but that was around 2/3 months. Then we started using the hairdryer as white noise and it was magic. As soon as we would turn it off she would wake up again. So when that broke from continuous use we got a white noise machine. Then began a nighttime routine, bath, nurse, rock to sleep w white noise blarring. We also covered her windows w a dark sheet to block out light so during her naps it was dark in her room. This was about 5 or 6 months old. I really began to realize that the colicky behavior had taken a toll on her too, and she was overtired much of the time. Getting her to sleep longer really helped. Check out Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Baby (i think is the title), it was the only book I read that really addressed dealing w a colicky/post colicky baby and why the behavior continues after the colick should have stopped. Also at 4 months we got one of those jumper things and she loved loved loved it. I felt bad letting her be in it for too long but she would jump her heart out and cry when i took her out, so again weigh the pros and the cons!

I hope some of that helps! Know you're not alone and it sucks the life out of you, but it will get better!
allcat11 is offline  
#13 of 18 Old 12-10-2009, 04:14 PM
 
gossamerwindweb's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,099
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Henry is DEFINITELY high-needs. Or highly sensitive. My daughter and husband are highly sensitive, so I shouldn't be surprised. But Henry has taken the cake in exhausting and high-needs. He MUST be with mommy all the time. It has only been the last couple of weeks that he has at all let other people hold him... and only for a short time. He also won't stay in bouncy seats, swings, etc. without crying... so he doesnt' go in them! I did buy him a jumperoo for Christmas because I have seen so many babies who LOVE it... so we will see how that works. He is healthy and happy as long as he is in my arms and I am interacting with him. If I nurse him and try to do something else (like eat my own food) he gets upset. If he was a girl I would call him 'diva'

Angela lactivist.gif, married for 14 1/2 years to DHtwins.gif, mother to DD 8-5-97homeschool.gif, DS 8-5-09 uc.jpgbabyf.gif, and SURPRISE!!! pos.gif due 2-17-12

gossamerwindweb is offline  
#14 of 18 Old 12-10-2009, 04:34 PM
 
mamazee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: US midwest
Posts: 7,500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gossamerwindweb View Post
If he was a girl I would call him 'diva'
Our dd's nickname for a while was Her Royal Highness.
mamazee is offline  
#15 of 18 Old 12-10-2009, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
Lacrymosa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Utah
Posts: 301
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ahh, thanks for the replies. I wondered if it is just that she is overly-sensitive. I am wondering if it COULD be a sleep thing.. she sleeps great at night, out by 11 and up by 7 a.m. and then she only takes cat naps during the days. Some days she will honestly stay up for 5 hours straight before going down for another nap. Today my goal is to get her to take a nap, even a really short one, every two hours and see if that improves her mood. But it is really good to know that there are a lot of babies like this. Every time my sister babysits she can't help but mention how high maintenance Asia is and it just makes me think about it more and worry that maybe she is unhappy or something is really wrong.

It does take a TON of energy trying to keep her happy. I hate it when she cries/fusses, it just makes me really sad, so I dont ever let her do it for longer than a few seconds.

Also---I DID get a bouncy, and at first it worked wonders, she loved it for the first few days because I know her main frustration is that she just wants to do things SO bad, she wants to move around and be able to grab everything she see's, so the bouncy was a good way for her to move independently but now it isn't working for her. She gets frustrated after a couple minutes. Maybe we should try a walker? I'm hoping that when she can crawl maybe that will improve her mood a little?

Happy mama to Asia born 07/15
Lacrymosa is offline  
#16 of 18 Old 12-10-2009, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
Lacrymosa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Utah
Posts: 301
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueWolf View Post
Oh... something I've found thats worth its weight in gold is Hylands Colick Tablets. Some days, that's the only thing that will settle her down.
Thanks for the advice, I'll definitely try these. I never thought about it being colic because I thought it was supposed to taper down by 5 months, and her mood has been gradually getting worse... especially last week it seemed to jump up to an even more crazy degree of fussiness.

Happy mama to Asia born 07/15
Lacrymosa is offline  
#17 of 18 Old 12-11-2009, 02:14 AM
 
mambera's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,308
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lacrymosa View Post
I am wondering if it COULD be a sleep thing.. she sleeps great at night, out by 11 and up by 7 a.m. and then she only takes cat naps during the days. Some days she will honestly stay up for 5 hours straight before going down for another nap.
8 hours at night plus catnaps? I suspect insufficient sleep. Have you read 'The 90 minute baby sleep solution'? It's worth a read, but here's the summary: Babies have a rest/activity cycle that is 90 minutes long. 90 minutes after waking up, they are primed to nap if given the opportunity. If you miss the window, they enter another activity cycle and may not go down easily until another 90 minutes have passed.

I started 'offering' naps by the clock - check time when baby wakes. 90 minutes later, offer a nap (for us that means sit down in a dark quiet room to nurse). Even if LO does not look tired she will almost always go right down if she has been up for 1.5 h already. It is amazing.

My LO is a catnapper as well (naps last 20 min to 1 h usually) but she'll take enough of them to be a happy girl if I keep doing the 90-minute thing.

Me, DH, DD1 (5/2009) and DD2 (10/2011).
I'm not crunchy. I'm evidence-based.

Vaccines save lives.

mambera is offline  
#18 of 18 Old 12-11-2009, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
Lacrymosa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Utah
Posts: 301
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thank you! I'm going to try that today..

Happy mama to Asia born 07/15
Lacrymosa is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off