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Forum -> Parenting our children -> Infants
Is this just a stage? How do you live?
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Post Mon, Feb 05 2024, 8:03 pm
Yeah so re elimination diet, I didn't say "I'll try a week with no dairy and judge that." I said "maybe I should try not eating any dairy" and after a week I found it too hard to keep myself nourished with zero zero milk or cheese. I'm back to cereal and milk for breakfast because otherwise I start the day starving. I don't like fake milk (though I did try soy for a different one week, since we had a lot left from a recipe that needed some. It wasn't so bad but soy isn't supposed to be so good for you either)
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Post Mon, Feb 05 2024, 8:20 pm
amother Orange wrote:
I have a baby so I know how hard my advice is… but you need to put your foot down. It sucks to let a baby cry, but if he is obviously okay you don’t have a choice. It also seems like his behavior is going to get worse.

Simply he knows you will hold him if he cries and he wants to be held. He will be fine if he isn’t held, and he can cry to learn that.

Believe me I know how hard it is but honestly doesn’t sound like you have a choice.

This is very damaging advice, Op please don’t listen to this
.And don’t listen to the advice that gets him trained to wait longer and longer.
This is all very damaging advice.
For his security and emotional attachment try to respond as quickly as you’re able. If you are in a predicament where you can’t, then talk to him until you can.
It’s really a challenging stage but it will pass.

I know personally how hard it is.

The faster you respond the more secure he will be and the more emotionally healthy child you will have.

It’s hard in the short term but in the long term of raising him it will be easier iyH.

Try to make your life easier in the short term. Simple suppers, don’t fold laundry maybe hire help if you can. Good luck.
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Post Mon, Feb 05 2024, 8:23 pm
amother Orange wrote:
I get you, and honestly I don’t know if I would be capable of doing my own advice, but logically it seems right in your case. I also think that the older he gets, and he keeps this up, the worse it will get. If there is nothing wrong with him physically, and it’s only you, it’s obviously emotional. He wants to feel cozy, and mom gives him that. He wants it ALL the time- sounds like a person with high emotional needs. You as a mother can know that he is fine if he doesn’t get what he WANTS all the time, but he should get his NEEDS all the time.

If it helps, I think continuing this as he gets older will get more and more unhealthy and you’ll quickly become burnt out. Even if he wants you there all the time it’s not healthy for children. What’s healthy is that he learns that you love him and are there for him when he needs, but you are still your own person with needs. Obviously babies this age can’t learn this, but he will be able to comprehend this in a year. And at the rate your going he will not play independently or engage with others when your around.

I get the opposition to Ferberization, I don’t think I would do it, but I think it was made for cases like yours. Children need a measure of independence, this is essentially secure attachment. Your child seeing that your not getting emotional or scared from their cries, but your doing what’s right, will in the long run give them a secure attachment.

Hugs! I really get you and I hope you figure it out!

This is so full of misinformation I don’t know where to start.
Anyone with patience care to break this down.
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Post Mon, Feb 05 2024, 8:26 pm
mushkamothers wrote:
I would take baby to a chiropractor. And encourage tummy time so he can learn to crawl because a lot of times, intense high needs babies are just really stuck in their bodies and once they start to move their brains get more integrated.

Also to the poster who said "giving them independence will create secure attachment" no it doesn't work like that. It's the exact opposite- caring for their needs will create emotional dependence which then leads to physical independence. You don't teach a 6 month old anything you just care for them.

That said, you dont want to burn out... hang in there.

Thank you mushka. Op, this is good advice.
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Post Mon, Feb 05 2024, 11:03 pm
I didn't read the whole thread, only the OP. Yes, dear, it's normal. Such is life with a baby. Some babies are like this, and you just try to live with it and be there for them as much as you can until they eventually grow up and iyh give you muh nachas!
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Post Tue, Feb 06 2024, 2:44 am
Had this with my son. Screamed and screamed unless he was held, couldn't even put him down for a nap. I was literally losing my mind.
I learned that he needs a mother - and that means I need to take care of myself so that I can be a mother for him. It's a balance, so I can't tell you exactly what that will mean for you, but for me it meant that at different intervals in the day I put him down to take care of myself. He screamed, but I spoke to him the whole time and had him near me. There is a lot of research now that babies do understand a lot more than we give them credit for. So I spoke to him the whole time, while I was getting dressed, or making food so I would have healthy and wholesome food for myself to keep going, or while I was doing essential things to keep the house going. A lot of things fell to the side, and we didn't manage like we usually do, and it was tough. But knowing that I needed to focus on myself too was important. Like the classic bucket theory idea - I can't give to him if I'm running on empty.
It's a stage, and it passes, but in that time (which can last a few months) you might literally feel like it's forever.
Here are a few practical things that may help:
- getting household help
- sending him out to a babysitter (maybe there's a teen who can take him for a walk around the neighborhood?) even just for an hour each day. It'll give you a chance to rest/shower/eat/get something done
- alternative medicine. I'm not big into this, but I have seen it work many times when Western medicine fails to provide an answer
- would you consider working with a sleep trainer? I had such a positive experience. She helped me see how his feeding patterns and sleeping patterns were affecting each other and causing issues. It was gentle (no ferberizing) and shocked me that it worked
I hope this stage will pass soon and that you can keep sane meanwhile! It's tough. Sending hugs.
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Post Tue, Feb 06 2024, 3:01 am
amother OP wrote:
I'm the same amother as the baby nursing all night. That's not going great either but we have some longer stretches of sleep as long as I'm holding him the whole time.

Now he's almost 6 months old and does not let me put him down for a minute! Occasionally maybe 5. There's not much you can do in that time though. It took me 3 tries to get dressed today because each time I could only do a little bit before the crying got to be too much. I am desperate for a shower because while I can have dh or DD hold him for a little when they're home, I had to spend that time doing some other urgent things yesterday so there went my shower chance.

This includes naps. If I put him down, the nap is over.

He used to sit in a bouncy seat while I got dressed or showered, but he's too big now, can squirm out even when strapped.

He used to play on the floor, now only for a minute or two when he's in a generous mood.

He's no longer friendly about other people holding or playing with him, if I'm anywhere nearby he'll hang out with them for a minute and then cry for me.

The crying is pretty intense, I've tried ignoring kvetches but it just escalates.

How do people live like this? My back is breaking from holding him all the time and anything that requires two hands like washing dishes, folding laundry, showering, just doesn't get done!

Is this a normal rite of passage that will pass on its own soon? I feel like such a bad mother for wishing I could ignore my delicious baby more but I'm starting to lose it Sad

My daughter was exactly like this it was acid reflux /stomache pains
I literally didnt do anything all day besides hold her and she never napped she just cried I went off of dairy and it helped tremendously
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Post Tue, Feb 06 2024, 3:30 am
I had a rough time with my (currently) almost 10mo when he was about 6mo. I took him to an osteopath - and I'm not a big alternative person AT ALL - but we saw a big difference almost immediately!
And he also does sound extremely tired, based off this post and the nursing one. Would you consider sleep training using a gentle method? My baby's moods are like day and night the days he does sleep well vs the bad days...
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Post Tue, Feb 06 2024, 3:52 am
In my experience, it is a stage that gets much better when the baby can crawl and explore on their own. At this age, your baby is literally stuck wherever you put her. I got a fisher price jumperoo and that helped a ton- the baby is upright and can hit the things or jump for music and lights. I found it helps for this wanting to move but really can't get very far stage.

You said you tried two carriers- were they both the structured type that you stick the baby and buckle them in? Maybe more of a wrap style would make him feel more close to you? Someone suggested Ergo- I've heard that's very comfortable for both mommy and baby. I also would strap my baby in the stroller and rock him with my foot while doing things like cooking. He found it a bit more comforting than being just stuck in a seat.

Good luck, OP, I really don't think you're doomed for years of extreme clinginess with this baby/child. This is a very normal behavior for babies this age. Most I think do outgrow it, at least mostly. I don't think you need to "train" her now to be unclingy. But you do have to survive and take care of your needs.
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Post Tue, Feb 06 2024, 4:06 am
My kids usually reach the super attachment/stranger danger stage somewhere between 9-12 months, and it lasts a month or two. You need to shower -- that's a must.

I see two options before you until he relaxes a little:
1) set him up somewhere healthy and safe, like with his Abba or in his crib, and let him cry while you prepare for him a happy, healthy mommy.
2) bring him in the shower with you

Is cleaning/cooking help an option for you? Is there a program like אם לאם in your area? How can you get more support and strength?
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Post Tue, Feb 06 2024, 10:02 am
Thank you all for your support! Will try to answer as many as a can.

I would be interested in contact info for sleep trainer who helped with feeding schedules and stuff without crying anything out. I'm a little skeptical because without a personal trainer but just secondhand info I tried some "gentle" methods and they backfired.

For baby wearing I tried a few things, they didn't take off.

I think it's time to try going off dairy again just in case.

I do have a little help from family members but it just doesn't feel like enough. Like yesterday I was so tired that when I gave the baby to dh, I fell asleep. This was very necessary but it also failed to accomplish any of the other things that were very necessary.

I am optimistic that this will get at least a little better when he learns better coordination and crawling. It does seem like he has some frustration there. There also seems to be an emotional piece of wanting all Mommy but playing could be one step.
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Post Mon, Feb 12 2024, 12:43 pm
Bh he has been entertaining himself better. Still not crawling but he can move himself around a little and is a little more interested in toys. It's still pretty limited but bh way way better than the time when I couldn't put him down to use the bathroom.

The biggest issue we have right now is sleep, because he won't stay asleep as soon as I put him down, and then he's tired so he's not playing on his own either. I spend a LOT of time trying to put him to sleep, keep him asleep, and keep him calm when he's cranky because he didn't sleep enough but won't go back to sleep because as far as he's concerned he's done. So I'm going to head back to my sleep issues thread now Can't Believe It
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Post Fri, Mar 01 2024, 2:16 am
So he's really crawling now (well, more like swimming. But getting around very well) and I do get a little mileage out of that but overall everything is worse than ever.

He literally doesn't sleep unless I'm holding him. I've tried everything. Sometimes he goes down for like 5 min. But then that's a5 min nap and he's not going back to sleep. Sometimes he falls asleep in the car, but not as much as he used to, and he wakes up as soon as the car stops. I can often sleep while he sleeps, which is nice, but I can't do anything else while he sleeps.

Even holding him I haven't figured out how to MAKE him go to sleep. He has no schedule. It's just that if he falls asleep, I have to hold him. But right now for example I have held him and nursed him multiple times and he's not asleep. It's almost 2am. He's clearly tired. We can blame the fact that he napped from around 9-10, but I was hopeful that was his night sleep. If a tired baby wants to sleep at 9, why wouldn't you let him sleep? Except that he wakes up at 10 and then you're here on imamother at 2am with people asking why you don't put your baby to sleep earlier.

As you might have read in another thread, he stopped liking his babysitter. She's a warm, patient, very experienced mother and sitter and said she tried everything but he just doesn't settle. I'm interviewing a new sitter tomorrow but I have a bad feeling that this is just separation anxiety and he won't be better with anyone else, especially since it would be a stranger and not the person he's been happily staying with since he was 2 months old. I don't know what I'm going to do. It feels terrible.

I talked with the doctor about reflux. They said babies start to grow out of it around this age so there's no point in trying meds or anything right now because you won't know if they really need the meds or if they're just better because they're better. Truth is he has been spitting up less I think. He still does quite a bit but he used to sometimes have days here and there where it was a much bigger amount than other days, and it's been a while since I remember that happening. But he has just as much of the other red flags like wanting to nurse all the time, looking like he has a bad taste in his mouth a lot, not sleeping...

Worst of all, he just doesn't seem as happy as he used to be. He used to be a super super happy baby. Sure he was demanding, but as long as you met his demands everything was fine. He would cry when hungry, tired, irritated, but other than that he was always smiling and engaging. He still smiles and has a lot of happy times so maybe I'm just being paranoid and unrealistic but it feels to me like I'm seeing his sad/worried/confused face more often. It used to be an anomaly to see him looking nervous. Maybe a few seconds at a time, a couple of times a day? Now it feels more.

Anyway I'm getting to be a nervous wreck and I feel like I'm getting depressed too. Even when he is doing ok or being cared for momentarily by another family member it's like I can't remember how to do anything except care for him. At this point I'm really feeding into his sleep thing, a lot of the time I don't even bother trying to move him to a crib or stroller because it's so much easier to sit on the couch holding him and saying he's the reason I'm not getting anything done.

I swear I didn't start it this way. The thing where he *almost* never sleeps without me is absolutely his shtick and I promise I tried everything sincerely. He is definitely the reason I'm severely behind in housework and computer work. It's just that if I weren't in a mental rut I'd be at least a teeny bit LESS behind. And maybe I'd still be trying to transfer his naps because we were seeing a tiny bit of progress there (by tiny bit I mean that over more than a week of trying to transfer him numerous times a day, he had like one good stroller nap, one time of staying asleep through the transfer to stroller and then woke up within 5 min, one or two crib transfers that lasted like 15-20 min, and an additional couple of crib transfers that were successful in having him stay asleep when put down but then sprang up within a few minutes.) so yes a tiny bit but definitely better than before so it's a bad time to give up but I'm just so down.

I'm also going with the possibility that if I fill his bucket then maybe he'll feel more secure and less needy, but I don't know if that's true or if I'm just habituating him to an unrealistic level of holding.

I need help but I'm not sure I can find any, I'm quite sure I can't afford any, and I don't know if I can even apply any coaching or whatever when I'm feeling so checked out. I'm also starting to worry that maybe this is not developmentally normal. Like maybe I got a broken baby here. Maybe in a few years we'll find out he's autistic and ADHD and un-reflex-integrated and nutritionally and digestively messed up and we'll be like "oh maybe that's why he didn't sleep for a year." Maybe I should have signed up for that $800 guttman sisters course that is probably oversold but promises to fix and prevent all the things.

Anyway none of us are in a great place right now and I kept hoping things would get better and it's only gotten worse.

Some people upthread mentioned chiropractors and osteopaths and whatnot. I am ready for recommendations if you know any miracle workers in the Far Rockaway/Five Towns/Long Island/Queens area. Even Brooklyn if it's the kind of thing you can go to once or twice and be done. No snake oil please, I really don't have time money or energy for things that don't hold water.

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Post Fri, Mar 01 2024, 2:25 am
Major hugs OP! My current 18mo old was similar in a lot of ways. I also suspected reflux but didn't get any answers.

I co-slept and just slogged through that first year. It started getting better over time, and by a little over a year he was sleeping solid chunks. Now he sleeps for a good few hours (!!) and even in a crib (!!!) which is amazing.

One thing I noticed with some of my babies is that they are very sensitive to hard surfaces. I padded the stroller with a flat pillow (the ones that are so old they are not fluffy anymore) and he slept much better in there that way. I also pad the crib with a folded flat comforter to make it softer (they sell foam mattresses but I never had the extra money to try).

Gam Zeh Yaavor. REALLY! It's impossible while you're in it but there is another side and you'll get there. Hopefully intact!
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Post Fri, Mar 01 2024, 6:59 am
Gam zeh yaavor isn't really helping me when I need a babysitter daily now and he's coming home with red eyes from crying for an hour.
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Post Fri, Mar 01 2024, 7:02 am
Test the diaper for blood components ( dairy allergy)
Only way to know
It’s at ur pediatrician office
Kids with dairy sensitivities sleep less in studies
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Post Fri, Mar 01 2024, 7:52 am
He might be hungry. Please try to add food!
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Post Fri, Mar 01 2024, 8:06 am
At 6 months he should be old enough for some food.
Maybe try a rice cake or something in the high chair so you get a break.
When I'm desperate I give my baby a lolly (the 'healthy' type) and it gives me a nice 20-30 minutes of peace to get stuff done.
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Post Fri, Mar 01 2024, 8:09 am
Hi OP,

My LO is around the same age and acting similar... Also already ruled out dairy allergy, reflux, and some other things. Teething had started but the tooth already erupted and now she doesn't do the same types of sudden screaming she did with teething, so I don't think her crying the second I turn around has to so with that.

Have you read the book The Wonder Weeks? It talks about phases of babies' development and outlines when to expect sudden changes that will stress baby out and make them clingy. That could be part of it.

It is a phase and does pass, just to reinforce that point.

As for the here and now, it is so hard to do but you must accept that all the housework, all the errands, all the upkeep just isn't going to get done. And THAT's OK! Accept whatever help you can get, but if you can't - BH. Taking care of baby and yourself are the top priority. When it becomes overwhelming (as it surely does), give yourself a break or reward to rest or raise your chizuk. A yummy snack, a hot shower when he does sleep for a few min (forget the housework!!).

I can't let my baby cry, it breaks my heart even when I'm so frustrated I could punch a wall, but I DO leave her for a few minutes to do something like use the bathroom. Showers? Doesn't happen more than a couple times a week, sometimes only once, I'll be honest. But baby will be OK for a literal 2min while you use the toilet. Agree w talking to him the whole time so he hears that you are there and have not forgotten about him. Gather your clothes and get dressed as close to baby as possible, maybe where he can see you, or you can poke your head out of a closet or around a corner periodically.

As for sleeping, have you tried a baby swing? For my dd it was the only place beaides my arms she would sleep - and makes a smoother transfer than to crib or bassinet, AND is upright in case reflux is present.

This last piece of advice is something someone told me that helps me when I'm at my wits' end: Baby will grow up so fast, and you will miss this time when your whole life was just you and baby. Savor it. Enjoy it as much as you can. If you're stuck with baby, at least make it as fun and cozy as possible for yourself as well as baby. Let yourself indulge. You will not remember or care in 5, 10, 20 yrs if the laundry was done on any given day, but you WILL remember all kinds of moments with baby. Of course it's not always a sunny day, but the good times can help you through the tough times.

Chizuk!! Please continue to update!
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Post Fri, Mar 01 2024, 9:42 am
Op please get yourself help. I’ve worked with families helping them teach their babies to sleep properly in a way that supports a healthy attachment. All these babies become so much happier all around and the fussiness becomes a thing of the past. The stage you are in is so so hard but there’s help to be gotten. You don’t have to suffer. Do it for yourself and your family. Please call a professional sleep consultant who supports a healthy attachment and will help you train with minimal crying. These babies moods improve all around. You will not regret it.
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