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My child is miserableFirst time mom with a 3 month 3 week old little girl. I am a stay at home mom. My husband and I co-sleep with her. I exclusively breastfeed her on cue. I avoid dairy because I hate it myself and the few times I have had ice cream she throws up - I learned to stop eating that quickly. I have a sling and I use it and if I am not using that I have her in my lap and I only put her down to goto the bathroom and cook or when I just simply can't hold her any longer because I need a break or need to put her down for something.
After a month and half of age my daughter cries at everything. She's extremely demanding. She wants to be held certain ways, laid down certain ways. She loses her mind if she drops her binky or doesn't get what she needs/wants immediately. She will be sitting and playing and smiling and then snap. It is exhausting. We feel like we are on egg-shells. If we want to sit down while holding her she screams. She screams so hard she turns purple.
I think recently she has started teething because shes drooling a lot more and chewing on her fingers, my fingers and anything else she can get her hands on. I know teething can be painful, but she was fussy before this started, now it's just worse. She seems like she is miserable constantly! I took her to our pediatrician to make sure nothing was wrong and she's fine. I am considering taking her to a pediatric chiropractor to see if that will help.
My husband and I try everything to soothe her. Walking with her, bouncing, giving her things to chew on, massaging her, playing with her, and we talk to her a lot too.
I am exhausted and my husband is overwhelmed after working all day and coming home to a child that cries over the littlest upset. I know she is a baby and I can't expect her to have any patience. From what I've read she is past the colic stage and I don't honestly think its colic. She doesn't seem to be crying for nothing.
My family has no idea what API is and I've already been criticized for using a sling because that means I carry her too much. I think thats ludicrous. And I've also been told that it is my husband and I's fault she is "fussy" because we attend to her to quickly and she is manipulating us. I also don't think at her age that she is capable of that.
We are losing are minds. I am angry and frustrated and my husband is the same way. We are snapping at each other and it's hurting our marriage. Are all babies like this? There are no API parenting groups nearby at all. Please HELP!
My daughter wouldn't have gone in a sling either. I bought one because I thought it was "so cool" before she was born. I didn't even know about all the "benefits". I tried to put her in it several times because I just couldn't do anything around the house - she was very demanding as well. She loved to nurse and soothe on my breast for hours and hours and that's pretty much what we did a couple times a day. Anyways, about the sling, she hated it. She would put up such a fuss getting into it, that it wasn't worth it. Either that or after being in it for 1 minute, she would cry and want out. She loved to be held facing away from me, bent over my arm so she could "sit up" and see around. This was from birth. She hated to lie down in any way (back or front). I used a bouncy chair a lot, or just holding her on a knee sitting up. Also a swing - a swing was a saviour to get her to sleep other than on my breast.
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My biggest worry is that all the effort I am putting into AP isn't going to work. And what I mean by that is that my daughter and I somehow won't be bonded or have a close, loving, trusting relationship when she is older.
Anyway, I just wish there was an AP group here. The is an LLL group, but they are kinda far (about 30 min) and unfortunately they meet only once a month. I was hoping for a group that met more often. My MIL mentioned MOPS so I guess I will look into that.
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Oh my goodness, that could have been my daughter you're describing! My first-born was so high needs I was beside myself with frustration and depression. She cried constantly, and not just during the "colic" age but for many months. The ONLY thing that satisfied her (notice that I did not say "made her happy") was constant movement. We couldn't just wear her, we had to be moving too. As long as we were moving, she was quiet; of we sat down with her on us, she'd instantly start crying again. My husband's and my evenings were spent pacing the house...every night, every room, every floor, multiple times. When she wasn't in a carrier being worn by us, she was swaddled and being carried by us. Our swaddle blanket was a life saver.
Those times were stressful for my husband and me. Our dog was always cowering because of the constant crying, yelling, and tension in the house. What helped us was really just coming to an acceptance that we had an extremely fussy, high needs baby. We were constantly annoyed when people would meet us and our baby for the first time and, after the usual coo-ing and aww-ing, they would ask, "Is she a good baby?" At first when people asked me that, I wanted so badly to be "just like all the other moms" and rave about how "easy" she was, so I would make light of the comment or find something polite and heartwarming and glowing to say about my daughter.
When my husband and I were finally able to admit that our baby was exceptionally difficult, through no fault of our own, we were able to communicate better at home. We were both able to vent our frustrations and get angry and know that we were not blaming each other. We were able to recognize when the other person needed a break and the other one would do what needed to be done.
Know that things WILL get better! I fully believe AP is the absolute best thing you can do for your daughter. There WILL be a day when she doesn't cry as much, then there will be more and more of them. She will grow up and be an amazing person!
(Just an aside, our daughter is now 5 1/2 and she has been identified as gifted. We're positive this had A LOT to do with her chronic unhappiness as an infant...the disconnect between her mind and body was huge.)
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Thank you both for your kind replies. I appreciate any advice and support I can get from like-minded moms. My biggest worry is that all the effort I am putting into AP isn't going to work. And what I mean by that is that my daughter and I somehow won't be bonded or have a close, loving, trusting relationship when she is older. My mom and I don't and I am determined to prevent that between my daughter and me. I know AP is the best way to do things simply because I was doing these things before I had even heard of AP. I was glad to discover this type of parenting had a name.
Anyway, I just wish there was an AP group here. The is an LLL group, but they are kinda far (about 30 min) and unfortunately they meet only once a month. I was hoping for a group that met more often. My MIL mentioned MOPS so I guess I will look into that. I would start my own AP group, but I don't meet the criteria, which I understand and it is important. I wouldn't be a very good leader due to my newness anyway.
My MIL and my SIL are both supportive, unfortunately my SIL lives 1000 miles away. I tried calling my grandma about my DD, but all I got was a "Well why do you think she is acting that way? She learned to act this way because you blahblahblah" I was even more furious after the call was over heh. The worst part is she created doubts in my mind. And that is where I am the most vulnerable. Does AP work? Will my DD love and trust me when she is older? I am so afraid of the past repeating itself that I worry I am sabotaging myself by trying too hard. I don't think I am going overboard tho, I am sure there are moms out there who have figured out how to cook and clean while having their baby in a sling. Mine just doesn't like being in it all the time and trust me I've tried 4 different types of slings with her. She does like being held though, just not confined to a sling I guess.
Ok at this point I am just rambling! Thanks again!
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I can totally empathize with your situation. My DS was a "miserable" baby, and cried unconsolably for hours at a time, every night, for about 3 mths. The crying started to decrease at around 4-5 mths, but he still had a meltdown period every night around dinner time. I too experienced a lot of criticism about holding him, rocking him, and nursing him almost constantly during these crying periods, but I stuck with my intuition and did it anyway! There was just no way that I was leaving him all alone to "work it out for himself"- and I still don't. I know from experience that it is almost impossible to see past this time, and it seems like it will never end. But I will let you know that though my son is now beginning to reach the "terrible" toddler stage, he hardly ever has tantrums, is extremely affectionate, and cries less than most children his age. Try to hang in there, it is so hard, but so worth it. Best of luck.
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wow! you are a writing a page directly out of my life just over 7 years ago now. I can tell you that it gets better, but I know it's hard to feel any hope in the middle of it. What helped me a bit was reading "Parenting Your High Need Baby and Fussy Child" by Dr. Sears. I can't say that it solved any of my problems, but it made me feel like I wasn't alone or that I wasn't a bad mom, this was my baby's temperment. It was really hard, we didn't find any support until he was a year old when I found a local AP group. I highly recommend you try to find some people who are supportive of you as parents. If there's no API group, is there a La Leche group? Do you have friends who will listen and not criticize?
you need to find a way to communicate with your husband in ways that recognize each other's frustrations but aren't taken critically. recognize that you are in a difficult stage right now. give each other a lot of grace. "NonViolent Communication" by Marshall Rosenberg is another must-read.
to you, momma! hang in there, breathe, you are doing great! trust yourself.
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