High-maintenance/spirited baby and I'm at the end of my rope - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 10 Old 03-05-2013, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm a first time mother and a SAHM to an incredible 10 month old, and need some input/support. My child is funny, personable, curious, and is a very happy person. However, he's extremely high maintenance/spirited. Since birth, he hasn't napped or slept well alone so I hold him and I have held him for every nap for the last 10 months. At night, we sleep share and sleep in a separate bed and room from my DH so we don't disturb him since our son has always been a fitful and poor sleeper who awakens frequently. In the last month or so, he has been waking up every hour to two hours crying with tears spilling from his eyes all the while sleep crawling or sitting up. I'm very tired from the months of solo night parenting and it's taking a toll on my mental and physical health. I don't ever spend a moment away from him, which I love but at times it gets to be overwhelming. He has always wanted to be held by me and is rarely satisfied with DH holding him. I don't believe that a baby can manipulate or be spoiled, and I definitely don't believe in CIO. I have tried a variety of methods from patting him on the back instead of nursing him when he wakes, rocking him instead of offering the breast, singing to him, playing white noise, etc to no avail and end up nursing him throughout the night. DH is very little help at times and still asks for my assistance when I ask him to change our son's diaper, or bathe him, or change his clothes, etc. Our son now screams and throws tantrums whenever we lay him down to change his diaper, change his clothes or place him in his car seat, and will wiggle and thrash about even when put into his high chair if he doesn't want to be out of my arms. Everything is a struggle with him. However, when we're in a social setting or visiting with friends, he's an absolute peach and even the people we socialize with often comment on how laid back, independent, happy and calm he is, and they must think I'm crazy when I say that he's a very clingy and needy baby. My friends are of no help since they either let their babies CIO or have babies who took to cribs without issue. The ones whom I've confided in that I still hold my baby while he naps look at me like I have two heads and have suggested I try sleep training him, which is a not an option for me. Can fellow parents of spirited children give me your experiences or advice, words of encouragement, etc. I'd greatly appreciate it and am deeply in need of it. Thank you!
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#2 of 10 Old 03-05-2013, 10:17 PM
 
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nak but --- try more stimulation during the day. Walks, library etc. Sounds like he may be bored.

 

chamomilla 30x and pulsatilla 30x homeopathics work wonders for both while you figure it out.

teething is a bear on top of high maint...he sounds like my first


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#3 of 10 Old 03-05-2013, 11:14 PM
 
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When my son was 10 months old, he needed a lot of nursing,and since he was busy exploring when awake, that nursing took place during sleep times.

The fussing sounds like he's uncomfortable when laying on his back (diaper changes, etc). Have you noticed if it's always when he's on his back? Does he have any rashes? He may have gas or reflux problems.
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#4 of 10 Old 03-05-2013, 11:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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@Onemoreontheway, thank you for the homeopathic suggestion! I'll try it out. Will either of those effect my supply?

Unfortunately, stimulation doesn't always do the trick. We attend baby gym classes twice a week, go on daily one hour walks, and have play dates with friends and their babies once to twice a week. He's just as clingy and in need of constant contact as ever.

Dr Sears wrote about his experience with his "fussy"/spirited daughter Hayden and my son is pretty textbook high maintenance. I can't wait for him to start speaking so he can start expressing his needs. I thnk most of his fussiness comes from the fact that he can't fully express himself yet.
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#5 of 10 Old 03-05-2013, 11:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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@pek64 - it was suggested when he was a newborn that he might have had reflux but I didn't want to put him on any meds and his pediatrician said that breast milk was the best remedy and that he would grow out of it soon. I need to look into that again and make sure he gets examined for reflux. Do you know if there is any homeopathic remedy for reflux or are meds better at controlling it? He doesn't have any rashes, aside from the ones right now on his chin from teething. He doesn't only cry or throw a fit when he's on his back but whenever he needs to be restrained in his car seat or high chair and I'm not holding him.
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#6 of 10 Old 03-06-2013, 12:52 AM
 
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If he's having reflux and is exclusively breastfed, you can keep and food-symptom diary, and find out if certain foods in your diet are causing the reflux. I have reflux issues only if I eat certain foods. I prefer to change my diet than take medication.

The car seat would still have him reclined, so it's similar to being laid on his back. For the high chair, I just held my son, so I don't have any experience with high chairs.

My son wanted me to hold him until he was six years old. I had the impression it was because he wanted to see people's faces and be where the action (conversation) is, instead of looking at knees. He also has touch as his primary love language. What I'm saying is, other than ruling out reflux issues, your child sounds normal to me. It was draining, living through it, but he is now a teen, and shows more caring than most of his peers. I, too, had no one he was willing to be with, instead of me. I used nursing time as time to make phone calls, read or watch tv while snacking, or something else that was for me. The VCR was my best friend, though I kept in mind he was listening and learning, so it wasn't very "adult" in a lot of ways.

My advise is to make sure reflux is not an issue, and look for ways to recharge your batteries with your child around. Good luck.
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#7 of 10 Old 03-06-2013, 09:00 AM
 
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You might not like my advice (it's not CIO) but it worked for us.

The first 6 weeks of ds' life DH almost didn't hold him at all since I was breastfeeding allll the time and wanted my baby all for myself (hehe). But then I had to go back to work and dh was the one who was going to watch him while I was working 4 days a week. DS wanted to be held all the time while with me, but dh, who believes in a little more discipline than I do, changed that. He didn't let him CIO, but if ds would start whining when put down he would talk to him (in adult normal voice), saying no, it's okay to be alone once in a while, blablabla. DS would whine a little bit and stop and look around...! I was amazed lol! I think that your husband should keep trying, even if your lo is crying in his arms (it's not CIO if he's crying in his arms?) or crying while being handled by daddy, because you obviously need a break and he needs to get used to his dad (and he'll see that it's not that bad and that daddy can be a lot of fun)! Good luck and keep us posted!


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#8 of 10 Old 03-06-2013, 09:06 AM
 
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Are you wearing him in a carrier? That may help give you some "independence" while still giving him the closeness he craves. What about sign language? I know that helped my DD once she could communicate a few things. And even if he doesn't like DH as much, I would make a point to have DH hold/care/etc. him more often and for longer periods so you can get breaks and so that they can bond. They'll figure out their own way, but they can't do it if they don't have some time together.

My DD too hated being on her back, but she would tolerate being in a bouncy seat (so mostly upright) for 10-15 minutes as long as she could see me. Just using that a few times a day so I could pee, take a shower, make some food, etc. was very nice. My DD wanted to be held for naps, I just kept trying to get her to sleep alone and eventually she would, first only when she was fully asleep, then when she was mostly asleep, etc. It took FOREVER, but it was worth it so I didn't always have to have her napping on top of my lap. For night sleeping, she did just as well/poorly in the crib as she did in the bed with us, so that was easier.

It sounds like you are getting out pretty well, I know that was a problem for us and that she was getting bored. Make sure when you are getting out that he isn't bored, my DD got bored easily, she was not a baby to just sit and chill. She was progressively happier as she was able to do more for herself, grabbing stuff, then sitting, then crawling, etc. I think a lot of it was she just did not like being a helpless baby!

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#9 of 10 Old 03-06-2013, 09:27 AM
 
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My now tween was a very high-needs baby too. I know how exhausting it can be! I second the suggestions that maybe he needs more physical or outside time. I noticed this early on, and it continues to this day. He needs to be outside daily and playing HARD compared to other kiddos. He is very physical! When he was little, lots of walks either in the carrier or stroller and getting down to play when appropriate. Once the weather was nice, we'd spend hours outside playing--and he still does. I also got a little mini Little Tykes slide/climb thing for the house. Plunked it right in the living room and he could go for it inside when it was cold.

 

I also somewhat just gave into it and started lying down and napping with him myself since I wasn't sleeping well at night anyway.  I nursed mainly in bed so that I could nod off if he fell asleep.  I noticed that if I nursed him in bed and got him totally 'out' while side lying, I could move away...if not completely leave, I could at least unlatch and scoot over. I'd read usually or knit. I know too that  for me ages from when they start crawling/toddling until about 15-18 mos are the hardest for me. They just need SO much supervision and direct mama care. Seems like they need cuddled, loved, and nursed like a newborn while they are learning their new skills and exploring. 


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#10 of 10 Old 03-06-2013, 11:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by TigerAndPearl View Post

@Onemoreontheway, thank you for the homeopathic suggestion! I'll try it out. Will either of those effect my supply?

Unfortunately, stimulation doesn't always do the trick. We attend baby gym classes twice a week, go on daily one hour walks, and have play dates with friends and their babies once to twice a week. He's just as clingy and in need of constant contact as ever.

Dr Sears wrote about his experience with his "fussy"/spirited daughter Hayden and my son is pretty textbook high maintenance. I can't wait for him to start speaking so he can start expressing his needs. I thnk most of his fussiness comes from the fact that he can't fully express himself yet.

My high maint. dd didnt mellow until she was completely mobile and walking...I have so much sympathy, I remember what you're going through. The homeopathics are completely safe for you and him, and nursing. :)

Sounds like you are doing every thing you can! Hang in there, Mama!


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