Forum: Adults / Baby On Board

My baby is malfunctioning (karma: 4)
By leogirlPremium member
On Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:29 PM

My kid is 6 months old and refuses to be okay if I'm not holding her or directly playing with her. Some days playing with her is enough, other days even that isn't acceptable and she needs to be held in order to silence her. This lovely phenomenon has been going on for months, and while some days are better than others, on the whole she is unhappy being left to her own devices.

I leave her on her own every day, in hopes she will somehow, magically cry it out, and begin to understand that crying won't get her what she wants. I provide her with toys and distractions, blankets and cozy things, and still nothing works. I've even made it into a game, I call it "Separate But Okay," but she flat out won't play. Rather, she made up her own version of the game, Separate and Most Definitely NOT Okay.

In the past I've always stayed in the same room with her while we play the okay game, reading a book and mostly ignoring her, but just today I had enough and left her in the living room while I sought refuge in the office. That's where I am right now, cowering in desperation with ear plugs in, trying to ignore screams that are so high pitched I swear all the neighborhood dogs are going to show up in our yard.

Having worked in childcare for years I know some of this is normal for babies, but I've never encountered this level of, shall we say, intensity. She simply will NOT give up, and while I've dealt with tough babies, they have always figured it out. But not this one. And this one happens to be mine. She is amazing and joyful and animated and I love her to bits, and sometimes she drives me nutso! Please, Mommies with experience in relentlessly apoplectic babies, TELL ME WHAT TO DO! Or anybody, really, experienced or not, I'm open to all feedback!

First, there was colic, now there is...whatever this is. Oh Motherhood, truly the most interesting journey I've ever embarked on!

18 Replies to My baby is malfunctioning

re: My baby is malfunctioning
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:35 PM
Just wondering... is she teething? Hitting a developmental milestone? Just recently been sick? Getting sick? Anything new or different in her life? Change of schedule? Etc.? Sometimes those things can make a baby extra clingy.
re: My baby is malfunctioning
By leogirlPremium member
On Fri Dec 09, 2011 02:34 PM
She isn't teething at the moment. As for developmental milestones...well, I did just switch her out of her swaddle at night to sleeping on her tummy. She seems to really like it and it has been a fairly smooth transition. I suppose the change could be affecting her during the day, however this clinginess has been an ongoing issue for the last three months or so. I wasn't too clear about that in my initial post, it seems a background of baby screams isn't conducive to detail.

So yeah, it's been three or so months of trying to get her to realize that a)screaming will not get her what she wants, and b)she is indeed okay if left on the floor with her toys. Some days it's so bad I can't even go to the bathroom without her freaking out. It's not separation anxiety, because she is fine if I leave her with my folks or friends. It also has nothing to do with if she can see me or not.

Earplugs are a constant feature in our house now, she gets so loud. Today the FedEx man came to the door and I forgot to take my earplugs out. I shouted "whaaaat??" at the poor guy every time he spoke, while sporting visible earplugs sticking from my ears, and didn't realize it until he'd gone. Of course my daughter chose that moment to be absolutely silent, so there wasn't any detectable reason for the earplugs. It's a good thing I decided long before having a kid that pride is over-rated!
re: My baby is malfunctioning
By TuniePremium member
On Fri Dec 09, 2011 02:44 PM
Have you taken her to the pediatrician yet?
re: My baby is malfunctioning (karma: 1)
By PureTapPremium member
On Fri Dec 09, 2011 03:20 PM
Until a child begins to verbalize, crying is a baby's way of letting you know it has needs. At this age a baby doesnt cry just for the sake of it. Whether its because a baby is hungry, wet, pooey, dirty, in pain or lonely. Also when they sense stress or anxiety, anger or are overstimulated.

Playing games at this stage (if you were serious) is not going to make one iota of difference because a six month old doesnt know the difference between real life and a game.

Here are some things to take into consideration, if there are no health concerns, if you want to:-

1. Are you overdressing/underdressing your baby?
2. Is the house too cold or warm?
3. Is her diaper or clothes uncomfortable - its amazing the difference in diaper makes and their fit.
4. Is your baby getting enough stimulation? She is learning about this big wide world she is in & looking at the same four walls all the the time is not exactly exciting stuff - take her for walks, let her feel grass on her feet, rain on her face, etc. getting out will also give you a break from the tedium & noise - crying is so much quieter when it's not echoing.

If all else fails, invest in a baby backpack and throw her on your back - she'll still be close tou you for warmth, but not hindering your movement.

Also, keep in mind that just because a tooth hasn't popped through her gums, doesn't mean she's not teething - there's a lot of manufacturing that goes on underneath the gum line before they come through.

And remember every day is a new day and has the potential to be a better day than the last, the same as each stage a baby goes through.

I do feel for you though - been there, done that & have survived intact...just!

re: My baby is malfunctioning
By Queen_Jojo
On Fri Dec 09, 2011 04:53 PM
I've got no real advise as but was wondering about the sleeping on the tummy bit in your reply.
In the UK we are advised never to put a baby to sleep on the fronts, is this different in other countries?

I really hope you can get some help with your baby as screaming babies can get frustrating!

Queenie xx
re: My baby is malfunctioning (karma: 1)
By hyehokismember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Dec 09, 2011 05:15 PM
Oh I have/had a baby like that! My youngest was a cryer to the extreme. I should have know what cards I was dealt with when I left the hossy and she had a smirk on her face!

What you are dealing with is a high needs baby. I have one and let me tell you- its no walk in the park! I have a few questions for you- if you dont mind (1) was she ever colically? (2) just a fussy thing in general? Mine was and still is and she will be 4 in 3 days!!! My suggestion would be to have her cry it out, but I tried that and it failed miserably (for 2 hours mind you)! She just did not stop!!! I tried the swing- nope! Bouncy seat- nope. crib- no way!! Nothing stopped this child. I was ready to tear my hair out.

I wish I had a magic cure all for you, but I dont. It makes enjoying her kind of hard huh? It did for me. Babies go through so many phases and so fourth. She may grow out of it (hopes), but the fact of the matter is she wants you. I really wish I had some advice for you (I wish someone had some advice for me), but I completly understand what you are going through.

re: My baby is malfunctioning (karma: 1)
By Gioiamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Dec 09, 2011 05:21 PM
I don't have a child, so I don't want to over step or anything, but when I read this it could have seriously been written by my sister in law, down to the cat you have as your avatar, it looks just like my brother and sister in law's cat! Anyway, I just wanted to say that my brother has been having this problem with their daughter since she was born, and she is 1 1/2 now. They have talked to their pediatrician about it several times and the doc always tries to assure them that it will get better. If my sister in law is not holding her or close enough that she could reach out and touch her, she gets upset. SIL is a stay at home mom and she was so worried that because she was always there at home with my niece she was causing her to be clingy. They do mommy and me classes, moms groups, and activities constantly and she is growing out of it, just slowly. She is ok with other people now for short periods as long as she is entertained. What I am wondering is if your baby's cries are the same as my nieces, it is more like a tantrum. She can turn it on and off with the snap of a finger. She will cry and scream "MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY" with tears and everything and then my SIL gets closer to her she just stops. I have the same length and color of hair as my SIL and when my niece was really little, sometimes she would get confused and be ok with me while mommy left the room for a bit, then she would finally figure it out and start crying again. My brother and SIL love to go to the gym and work out, but their gym daycare has a 10 minute cry rule, if a kid cries for 10 minutes straight they go get mom or dad. They ended up increasing the rule just for my niece to 20 minutes, haha! There is absolutely nothing wrong with her, she just needs constant, and I mean CONSTANT stimulation to be ok with not being with her mommy, there is still only 1 person at the gym who can keep her happy while mom and dad work out. I know this isn't helping really, but it sounds like maybe you need reassuring that you aren't a bad parent and your kid isn't doomed, some kids are just tough. My brother gets sad constantly because he wishes that his own kid wasn't always screaming for mommy. Maybe you should talk to your pediatrician about it next visit, to assure you that your kid is ok, she just needs more time to figure out that if mom leaves its ok she will be back! You are a good mom because you care so much, see your pediatrician to put you at ease for at least a little bit.
re: My baby is malfunctioning
By leogirlPremium member
On Fri Dec 09, 2011 07:59 PM
Thanks to all who replied! To try and address the questions (and if I forget some forgive me, the brain is not what it used to be):

She was colicky for about 2 months. What is going on with her now is different (thank God) from that. Her colic cry was an 'I'm in pain' sort of cry. It was the absolute worst. This, while annoying and frustrating, is easier to handle and remembering that helps me deal.

We take her to her normal pediatrician check ups, and she is healthy and growing well, so no worries there.

I've experimented with temperature and diapers, and it doesn't appear to make a difference. I haven't experimented with clothing, as in trying out different fabrics (which I know some kids are sensitive to), but most of her clothes are all cotton anyway. Although I guess she could be crying out for polyester...I wonder if they make leisure suits in infant sizes. In terms of stimulation I think at times she's probably not getting enough, so I'll try some stuff there.

If I go with what my gut is telling me, I'd have to say my baby isn't the one with a problem, it's me. I think I need to get better about just letting her be, however she needs to be, rather than approaching her behavior as a problem needing to be fixed. She is doing just fine, growing and healthy, happy mostly and has the best smile ever. I think I need to just breath, and relax, and trust that just as she grew out of her colic, she will grow out of needing to cry so much.
re: My baby is malfunctioning (karma: 1)
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Fri Dec 09, 2011 08:08 PM
^ Yes, absolutely. There are several reasons that she COULD be crying, but the point is that it is more detrimental than helpful to just let her cry at this point in time. Right now it's her only means of expressing herself and making her feel like her only means of expression won't work wouldn't be an ideal option. Perhaps once she gains more confidence to be alone (at which point she will willingly explore a room alone and of her own motivation as long as you are close and she feels secure in the setting), or perhaps when she gains more intelligible communication, you will see a drastic change in behavior because of the new quality she has. Until then, remember that she is telling you what she needs the best that she can (you're on the same team!) and she WILL grow out of the crying-noise stage.
re: My baby is malfunctioning
By hummingbird
On Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:08 PM
Some babies are criers, it makes sense to take them to the doctor to make sure that there are no underlying issues that need to be looked at but some kids cry more than others.

My second son was a crier, I would nurse him, he would fall asleep and I would take him to his crib, the minute my arms left him on the mattress his eye's would flick open and he would start to holler! It got to feel like being part of a horror movie in the end, I just got so stressed and tired it really was like living a nightmare.

He's now a healthy, stroppy, opinionated teenager who dwarfs me.

Sometimes a baby needs to be left for a short while so that you can get some rest, lets face it if you make yourself ill listening to baby 24/7 then baby will suffer too.

How long do you leave her for at a time?

PM me if you don't want to answer that question on an open forum, I know this can be a very personal and exhausting issue.
re: My baby is malfunctioning (karma: 1)
By kandykanePremium member
On Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:31 PM
I'm very against the idea of 'letting them cry it out'. I think it's cruel. And totally heartbreaking to go back into that room and watch that child sweating and hiccoughing and sobbing and see that little red face streaked with tears and snot. I just couldn't do it.

The rocking chair was my best friend during this period. Or I'd put them in the car seat and take them for a drive, put them in the stroller and go walking. Give them a warm bath, sing to them, turn on the radio and dance, just anything to distract them. My daughter had a stuffed clown with a wind up mechanism that I would lay on her chest and I would sway her back and forth in the cradle and she would nod off while it played its little song. What a relief!

I hope (and pray) for patience and stamina for you. Sometimes, you just have to outlast them. And yes, it's exhausting.

re: My baby is malfunctioning
By Emi89member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Dec 12, 2011 06:02 AM
i work in a nursery with little ones from 6 months up.... (they arrive from 7:30am and most stay up to 6:30pm)

we have some who are happy to do their own thing and will come over to see what you're up to every so often. others who want to be held or played with all the time.

we usually sit close to them, either opposite to play with them or near enough that they can feel you're there (between your legs or cross legged with your leg touching their side or so they can lean back on you) ... that seems to soothe them without having to be holding them all the time as we try not to get them used to that ... one because we have a number of children in our care and its just not possible and 2 because it helps them to be more confident, independant and self soothing (this by no means implies that we leave them to bawl their eyes out... we just dont pick them up every time, we try other methods to soothe them)leaning over and cuddling her while she's sitting is another sneaky way of doing the same thing without picking up and holding every time.

also, for sleep time we dont rock/hold them to get them to sleep. we pat/rub their backs, stroke their hair, cheek or forehead. again this allows them to get to a point where they can fall asleep by themselves and in their own bed.

we do put them to sleep on their tummies (we are in the UK) and all children who nap start off lying on their tummies (of course they will move in their sleep). that being said, they are supervised for nap time so we are able to keep an eye on them.

i definitely advise to get her used to not being held and picked up all the time, of course be there and be close to her she'll soon learn that she's ok even when you're not holding her.

a lot of influence comes from parents or adults in a little ones life.. for example, have you even seen a small child fall over... pause and look at you as if they're asking what they're supposed to do.... look panicked or worried about them falling and they'll usually cry, smile and tell them "up you get" and they're usually fine about it.... keep up the smiles and tell her everythings fine if she seems unsootheable.
re: My baby is malfunctioning
By Chaconnemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Dec 12, 2011 09:32 AM
That wasn't your baby who was at my concert yesterday? :P. We had a screamer there (fortunately the mom took here out of the venue to a side room.) We musicians joke that the problem with family concerts (and family restaurants) is that people actually bring children to them, LOL. One of my colleagues had her teen-aged daughter and tween-aged son to yesterday's concert. Mom is a cellist with whom I have often played chamber music. When they were infants and toddlers they were both screamers and criers. I hadn't seen her kids for quite some time but yesterday I was introduced to them. Her daughter was now 16 and a Junior in high school (and had a boyfriend in tow.) Her mom introduced me again to her and said "Remember my daughter ____ ? She did outgrow her "crying at concerts" phase."

When this girl was a little bit older, maybe three or four, and we used to play string quartets with her mom at her house, this girl would get our all her stuffed animals and place them on the staircase facing us so that we would have an "audience" for our playing. :)

re: My baby is malfunctioning (karma: 1)
By hylndlasmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Dec 17, 2011 07:47 AM
I'm not a fan of CIO for several reasons but mainly because if you think of it from a human evolutionary standpoint it isn't what nature intends or what we are hardwired to do when it comes to our babies. A crying baby to our ancestors would have signaled to predators that prey was nearby. I'm a big fan of baby wearing for this reason. There is also some research that suggests that the stress that it causes the baby could be the reason behind behavior problems later in the child's life. . . .

I had a crier too for a couple of months there. I ended up wearing my baby in a sling or on my back in the ergo for this reason and the crying stopped and I could get stuff down.

It is very tough spot to be in....and I feel for you. But I don't think ignoring the crying and self soothing is the way to go in this case. Your baby eventually will not need you as much so get all the holding and snuggling in that you can NOW! Because when they become an independent toddler's they want to just go go go and you find you miss the cuddles!
re: My baby is malfunctioning (karma: 4)
By Jennamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Dec 17, 2011 08:42 PM . . .

You're not alone. I've heard there is a widespread recall of 2011 babies.

I have no practical advice - but maybe a bit of humor will help :)

Best of luck!
re: My baby is malfunctioning (karma: 1)
By leogirlPremium member
On Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:48 PM
Thanks for the replies and suggestions!

I'm happy to report my baby is going through a better patch. It might be temporary, but I will enjoy it while it lasts. I can walk away to go to the bathroom without starting WWIII, hurray!

Chaconne, I'm sad to report it was not my baby at your concert. Not that I want to be THAT parent, the one with the public screamer, but it would be heavenly to go to a concert!
re: My baby is malfunctioning
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Dec 22, 2011 02:07 PM
My aunt, for a long time, whenever anyone would ask her if she planned to have more kids after my cousin, always said that my cousin was such a needy baby, that why on earth would she do that to herself twice?! So, you've got a built in defense when people start coming at you, wanting to know when she's getting a brother or sister.

(Oddly, I've only gotten that from my family once. Which is especially odd, considering that my family isn't quite known for their being meek and all. My response was to bug my eyes out, and go "You shut your mouth!" I haven't been asked again since! Ha!)
re: My baby is malfunctioning
By kandykanePremium member
On Thu Dec 22, 2011 02:16 PM
^ OMG, no kidding! If my daughter had been my first, she'd have been an only!

Glad the little one is settling down, leogirl. enjoy the peace while it lasts!



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