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Old 03-05-2010, 06:42 AM   #1
 
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Default High-needs baby? I'm going through a rough patch

I thought about posting this on mothering.com where most everyone is "crunchy" like me, but I feel like I "know" you guys better so I'm posting here.

I'm going through a rough patch with Abram. Solomon was the EASIEST baby (though of course he hasn't always been an easy toddler), and Abram can be a little more challenging. I think a lot of it may be situational, the fact that I can't always meet his needs as quickly and completely as I could with Solomon because now I have two children. But nonetheless, I'm struggling a bit.

One of the biggest issues is that I can't put him down pretty much at all. I hold him or wear him in a wrap almost all the time. We do have a bouncy seat that I can sometimes put him in for a few minutes, but even then he often needs to be directly entertained (making faces at him, tickling him, etc.). I don't mind so much having to hold him when he's awake, but I can't put him down to sleep either. I had a good thing going for a while where I was consistently putting him in the moses basket for naps after he fell asleep in my wrap or nursing, but ever since he got sick with RSV at 8 weeks of age (about a month ago) I haven't been able to put him down asleep either. Every time, he wakes up either during transfer or after a short time. At bedtime is the worst... if I get him to sleep and give him to DH to hold while I put Sol to bed, he always wakes up and cries and I have to start over again once Sol's asleep (or sometimes DH will come get me if he knows Abram needs to nurse, and then Solomon just has to wait). Before anyone suggests it, we've tried having DH put Sol to bed and it doesn't work. Daddy-time is playtime for him so he just won't go to sleep.

My other big issue is the car. He really really hates the car. It does not put him to sleep like it does with most babies. For a while, I was having good luck if I got him to sleep before we left the house, then I could transfer him asleep from my wrap to the carseat and back again without waking him up. Now he always seems to wake during transfer or while we're driving. If he wakes up, he wants to nurse and will scream. If I know he needs to nurse I pull over and do so, but as soon as I put him back in the carseat and start driving again, he starts crying again. It breaks my heart and I often end up crying too, and have been known to pull over multiple times, but sometimes I have to get someplace on time or I have to just keep driving or else we'd never get home. I'm finding myself avoiding going places because of this, which is hard because I go stir-crazy and so does Sol. Plus, certain things are my responsibility since I'm home, like food shopping and errands. I remember having trouble with Solomon in the car around this age, and he grew out of it pretty quickly, so I'm praying it's the same way with Abram. But with Solomon, even when he had trouble, he could always sleep in the car. We're supposed to go to my in-laws' for Easter which is a 6 hour drive, and I'm seriously worried about it already. My husband says we may just have to leave at bedtime, but I'm worried if he'll even be able to sleep. When DH drives and I sit in back with the kids, it's sometimes a little better because at least Abram can see me, but it's still rough for long stretches.

I don't know if I'm asking for advice or just a virtual hug, but either are appreciated. Thanks for reading.

ETA: One more thing I just thought of... Abram will only sometimes tolerate being worn on my back. So if I'm wearing him in front for his whole nap, I feel like I can't get stuff done around the house. Sometimes if I catch him at just the right level of tiredness I can get him on my back and he'll fall asleep right away, but if he's too tired then he'll cry until I take him down and either nurse him or wrap him in front. And when I do get him to nap on my back, he can feel VERY heavy after a while (like right now, it's been an hour and a half). But that's probably a question for TBW....
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:29 AM   #2
 
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(((Pixie))) Danae was a terrible sleeper at this age, too. It really did get better at the magical 12-week mark. No advice, but hang in there; it will get better!
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:59 AM   #3
 
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Good luck. I don't have any advice (well, maybe one little bit). S was always like that - couldn't sleep, wouldn't sleep, had to be held all the time (and was still really really restless in arms. If I put her down she screamed and threw up, if I held her she fought and rolled and stretched and pushed...and threw up), never slept in the car, HATED the car, hated the swing, etc. Sometimes if the weather wasn't too bad, I could take her outside and that helped A LOT. Even just sitting in the porch swing or her swing or on my lap...something about being outside helped so much. It was like hitting a reset button. We put some bird feeders along our back porch and a wind sock or two, some chimes, etc, and that was good for a lot of entertainment.

She just had to outgrow it because nothing I did worked. I know it sucks, I hope he grows out of it faster than she did, but I think some babies are just like that. People will make a lot of suggestions that may make you think you MADE him like that or you should be doing something to make him not so needy, but I think some kids just come into the world with their personalities stamped on them and there's not a lot you can do.

If it helps, S got better with every bit of independence - sitting up, crawling, walking, being able to talk and tell me at least some of her needs. HUGE difference.

The only thing I can suggest for your car trip...plan for it to take a lot longer so you're not rushed and you can stop. If it's not cold, sometimes you can find a park or even a nice rest area - even babies like outside and for whatever reason, it seems to wear them out. And can either you or your husband sit in the back for some of the drive? Sometimes that helps.
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:14 AM   #4
 
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Thanks for the replies. I do feel lucky that at least he does sleep, even if it needs to be on me. Sometimes he fights it a bit, but I don't think any more than most babies. CGNYC, I always sit in back with the boys whenever we go somewhere as a family. Maybe if they were both asleep I'd sit up front with DH, but we like to have me back there just in case. I even made a (semi) joke to DH that maybe we or at least Abram and I could fly to visit his parents, because then he could be on my lap on the plane. I wish we could just cancel the trip, but MIL and GMIL haven't even met Abram yet (there was a big snowstorm when they were supposed to come visit us) and I know we'll get a massive guilt trip if we don't go.
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:20 AM   #5
 
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You won't like my advice, but...

If all his needs have been met (diaper, food, temperature, etc.), then I'd let him cry a little. It won't hurt him. I found music (sometimes very loud music) worked well in the car to drown out the crying so I didn't get too upset about it. A few minutes of Aerosmith and the crybaby would be sleeping (babies can't compete with loud noises and will often just shut down).

I held my kids a LOT when they were babies...practically all the time...but there was only so much I could do. I had other kids to attend to, who had usually waited very patiently when the baby had a need that couldn't wait. I had places to get to, things to get done. They all had to learn to adapt. Everyone compromised (we still do).
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Old 03-05-2010, 11:46 AM   #6
 
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I'm sorry, that is hard. My daughter was the same way at that age. She screamed her head off in the car, no matter what we did. She would only sleep with me and putting her down once she was asleep never worked. She wouldn't tolerate swings or bouncy seats for more than a few minutes.

I don't have any solutions, just wanted to say that I've been there (although I didn't have a toddler to deal with). It gets better, hang in there!
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Old 03-05-2010, 12:01 PM   #7
 
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Nadia was like that at that age too. I wore her constantly and help her constantly, she napped exclusively in a stretchy wrap. It was a little easier because Ben was older and weaned, but I wore her ALL THE TIME. I don't think she tolerated more than 2 minutes in the stroller until 6 months. Just make the best of it, tell yourself it will pass. Once he settles a little you can work on putting him down for naps.

She also screamed in her car seat. We had an infant seat and she screamed and screamed. One day on a whim I took Ben's convertible seat from the other car and turned it rear-facing and put her in it, and she was so much happier.

I don't know if you would consider a pacifier for Abram for the car - that was very helpful for us as well. We introduced it at a couple of months only for situations like the car where I could not hold her or breastfeed, and it worked out fine. Did not have an adverse affect on nursing.
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Old 03-05-2010, 12:13 PM   #8
 
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She also screamed in her car seat. We had an infant seat and she screamed and screamed. One day on a whim I took Ben's convertible seat from the other car and turned it rear-facing and put her in it, and she was so much happier.

I don't know if you would consider a pacifier for Abram for the car - that was very helpful for us as well. We introduced it at a couple of months only for situations like the car where I could not hold her or breastfeed, and it worked out fine. Did not have an adverse affect on nursing.
We do have another convertible seat (currrently in DH's car for Sol) so maybe we can try that. And it's funny you mentioned the pacifier - my friend in my AP group (also the founder of my AP group actually) suggested the same thing, since he's a few months old and BFing is well-established. Couldn't hurt to try.
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:07 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geeky View Post
She also screamed in her car seat. We had an infant seat and she screamed and screamed. One day on a whim I took Ben's convertible seat from the other car and turned it rear-facing and put her in it, and she was so much happier.

I don't know if you would consider a pacifier for Abram for the car - that was very helpful for us as well. We introduced it at a couple of months only for situations like the car where I could not hold her or breastfeed, and it worked out fine. Did not have an adverse affect on nursing.
We do have another convertible seat (currrently in DH's car for Sol) so maybe we can try that. And it's funny you mentioned the pacifier - my friend in my AP group (also the founder of my AP group actually) suggested the same thing, since he's a few months old and BFing is well-established. Couldn't hurt to try.
I have a friend who is a pediatrician and also a certified lactation consultant. She said one of the theories behind why pacifiers can interfere with breastfeeding is that using the pacifier can cause missed cues that the baby is hungry (tongue-thrusting, rooting), delaying food until the baby is VERY hungry and probably tired and now upset. Since bfing takes more work on baby's part, when they get that way they often just can't expend the effort to breastfeed, thus the difficulties.

I'm sure there are people who disagree, and I have no personal experience, but i did think it was an interesting perspective.
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:09 PM   #10
 
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Good luck. I don't have any advice (well, maybe one little bit). S was always like that - couldn't sleep, wouldn't sleep, had to be held all the time (and was still really really restless in arms. If I put her down she screamed and threw up, if I held her she fought and rolled and stretched and pushed...and threw up), never slept in the car, HATED the car, hated the swing, etc. Sometimes if the weather wasn't too bad, I could take her outside and that helped A LOT. Even just sitting in the porch swing or her swing or on my lap...something about being outside helped so much. It was like hitting a reset button. We put some bird feeders along our back porch and a wind sock or two, some chimes, etc, and that was good for a lot of entertainment.

She just had to outgrow it because nothing I did worked. I know it sucks, I hope he grows out of it faster than she did, but I think some babies are just like that. People will make a lot of suggestions that may make you think you MADE him like that or you should be doing something to make him not so needy, but I think some kids just come into the world with their personalities stamped on them and there's not a lot you can do.

If it helps, S got better with every bit of independence - sitting up, crawling, walking, being able to talk and tell me at least some of her needs. HUGE difference.

The only thing I can suggest for your car trip...plan for it to take a lot longer so you're not rushed and you can stop. If it's not cold, sometimes you can find a park or even a nice rest area - even babies like outside and for whatever reason, it seems to wear them out. And can either you or your husband sit in the back for some of the drive? Sometimes that helps.

Totally agree with the bolded. My son was a HARD baby period. Cried constantly, never wanted to be put down, hated the carseat, the swing, the bouncy seat, the stroller, the pacifier, you name it, he hated it. He even hated when I tried to wear him. He would fight sleep like it was the most evil thing and then when I finally would get him to sleep he'd take a 20 min catnap and cry/fuss again until the next nap. I'd drive him around in the car or push him around in the stroller forever and he just wouldn't fall asleep. I remember bawling my eyes out in the car too.

He's my first so as a new mom, I was sure it was something I was doing wrong. It seemed like everyone else in the world had easy going babies but me. But now, I realize that it's just his personality and there was really nothing I could do to "change" him at that time and make him less fussy. He was very hard to "read" so by the time I'd realize he was tired, it was too late, he'd go off the deep end and then it was like stopping a runaway train.
He's almost 5 now and he's still a very strong-willed, independent little guy, never afraid to tell you what he thinks or wants but thank God, with a lot less crying. It's just who he is. My hubby says he's a lot like me but I'd like to thinking I'm not that difficult.

Things got a little easier for us around the 6 month mark when he was able to roll around and sit up and "do" more on his own. I swear he just hated being a helpless immobile baby and it frustrated him. I'm expecting number 2 and I just pray that I get a more easy going one this time.

I know how hard it is but hang in there. It will get better.
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:13 PM   #11
 
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Thanks everyone, I really appreciate the responses.

newcurly - that's an interesting perspective and makes sense. If I do try the pacifier I would only use it as geeky suggests - in situations where I can't hold/nurse him, like the car. And I will still continue to pull over and nurse him if I know or even suspect he is in fact hungry.
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:58 PM   #12
 
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I can commiserate about the car crying - both my babies hated the car. There were many times when we were all crying by the time we got home from a car ride LOL.

I would also suggest the pacifier. Both my kids got it at around 6 weeks-2 months and they were both good nursers. They just had very strong sucking reflexes and there were times (like in the car) that they needed that extra comfort.

He's still so small - things will get better soon enough.
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Old 03-05-2010, 03:51 PM   #13
 
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I don't have any advice. I just wanted to say I hope things improve soon for you.

Sebastian was a pretty high needs new baby and isn't anymore. I don't know when the change happened but it had nothing to do with anything I did. In the last few weeks, he really enjoys watching anything Alexander does which enables me to get a lot more done.
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Old 03-05-2010, 04:15 PM   #14
 
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I'm sorry it's a rough time right now. I remember when they're little, it feels like they're always going through some transition phase.

The only advice I have is Bob Marley Legend. That cd always worked wonders on my crying babies. It was frequently in the car cd player when they were tiny.
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Old 03-05-2010, 04:52 PM   #15
 
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Hang in there. It was really hard for me at that age. I also have the easy, extroverted first kid and the really sensitive second one, and it was really rough. Pretty much everything you said--I had to wear E ALL the time, he wouldn't sit with daddy or anyone else, and HATED the carseat (would scream so badly that I thought the carseat was hurting him at first). It gradually got better. He started to like the car seat at around 3-4 months, now he just chills in it and falls asleep if he's tired. I still wear him a ton, but once he's limp, I take him down to sleep in the bed. This was something i had to "teach" him. At first, he would always wake up and I'd have to lay with him and nurse him back to sleep. Gradually that became and and less, and now he's so used to being put down asleep that 90% of the time he just rolls onto his tummy and keeps sleeping. And once he learned to sit, I was able to start putting him down with some toys, and he'd play for a few minutes. Then he started to crawl, and really play giving me much longer stretches to get things done. Sometimes the two boys will play nicely together for quite a while. I still wrap him several times a day, but not for hours at a time like I used to.

So I know none of this gives you a solution, but maybe it's a light at the end of the tunnel. I think it only gets easier from this point on.
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:14 PM   #16
 
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Hi Pixie,

I've only just joined this site as my 14 month daughter is just beginning to go curly...and I came across your thread.

My DD was exactly like that in her first few weeks. Constantly crying and would just never sleep! She got so overtired and grumpy, it was awful and I felt like I was on the verge of tears most of the time.

Fast forward a few months though and she is just the happiest little soul imaginable...everyone comments on what a relaxed happy little girl she is. It's almost like she got all her grumpiness out of the way in her early weeks and now has none left!

Hang on in there
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Old 03-17-2010, 04:52 PM   #17
 
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Both my kids hated the car for a period of time, but Callie was bad. She would cry the entire time she was in her seat. On trips to see my parents 3 hours away I would even try nursing her while DH was driving, but she wasn't hungry, just mad to be in the seat. We knew her needs were being met, so we had to deal with the crying.

I think she finally grew out of it around 6 months old.
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:20 PM   #18
 
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How is it going, F?
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:31 AM   #19
 
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Thanks for asking, M. It's gotten a lot better. He's hit-or-miss with the car now. Since he's gotten bigger it's hard to transfer him from wrap to carseat while asleep, so I generally am planning trips when he's awake. Sometimes he's fine and other times he's not, so I pull over, but it's not running my life quite as much as it was before. He still sleeps in the wrap for most of his naps and I do plan to work on putting him down so he can get used to it. I've been meaning to ask you, since I know you cosleep with both your boys, when you put them to bed at night (or if they nap at the same time) do they both sleep in the bed without you and your husband? I worry if I put them both in bed together that they will wake each other up, if I'm not right there to quickly nurse them before they get loud. I've been thinking if that's a problem, maybe Sol can start napping and starting out the night in "his" room and then sleep with us at night when we go to bed.

The best thing is that Abram hasn't been crying as much as he did in the early days. We've gotten into a decent groove where I'm able to anticipate his needs and meet them before he gets too upset (usually). So I'm quite a bit more sane now.
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:45 AM   #20
 
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Yep, I put them down together, well at least when Dylan goes to sleep at a reasonable time (sometimes he stays up until we go to bed ). I put a pillow between them so they won't roll into each other, and just run in there if one wakes up and starts crying. Usually, the other one is sleeping deeply and won't wake up. We have a crib sidecarred to a king-sized bed, so there is plenty of room, and I try to lay them as far away from each other as possible.
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