My 6 month old is exhausting both of us!!

Katy - posted on 11/03/2013 ( 1 mom has responded )




After a rocky road with my baby girl (planned home birth ended in emergency c-section after 30+ hours of active labour and numerous other things, she continued over months to not gain/lose weight despite me breastfeeding and not having issues with supply, leading us to formula and then Alfare for allergies, thrush in her and me, and a host of other things), she's physically on track, healthy, and has hit all her developmental and behavioural milestones since birth. However, since the day the came into the world she has been incredibly high needs!

I chose to co-sleep from birth, and breastfed for as long as I could (up until around 4 months, which took a loooot of effort). I also carry her in a woven wrap or a sling most of the time when we're out. These are all choices I don't plan to change.

The problem is this: no matter what, she needs to be with someone and interacted with. I understand that babies are very dependent, obviously, and don't like to be left alone, but if we put her in her bouncer, on her play mat, in her seat at the table with toys next to us, it only takes a few minutes before she gets bored with her toys and wants to be interacted with, which we do - a LOT! If we're outside walking around, or I'm taking her for a run in the pram, she's usually okay - there's lots to see and she's stimulated. But even with lots of toys we can't leave her to her own devices (in the same room with us, in eyesight) for more than a few minutes before she starts crying (grizzling, not really full on crying, unless we leave her in which case she gets more upset).

My husband and I aren't currently working, and even with both of us with her full time, she's exhausting. Sometimes you can't even just sit her on your lap, or lie her down next to you - she has to be up and about, or standing (while being held - she hates lying down), or *something*.

She doesn't sleep a whole heap during the day, and hasn't since birth - usually half an hour at a stretch, maybe more every two days (although she generally sleeps from 8pm to 7am with two or three wakings for feeding). We've tried everything suggested or that we can think of to get her to sleep longer, but she just wants to be awake and doing.

Has anyone had any experience with a baby like this? A lot of people recommend babywearing around the house, which works for a while, but I can't do everything with her, and I can't be walking around all day, and if I sit down with her in the wrap (or even just in my arms) for more than a few minutes, she wiggles and squirms and gets annoyed that I'm not moving about.

We don't expect that we can lay her down and have her be quiet for hours at a time, but being able to go to the toilet, or do a quick lot of washing up, without having one of us to directly entertain her, would be a relief. Please help! We don't want to do anything harsh like just leave her, and it may be this is just something we have to live with, but if you have ideas on how to encourage her to self-entertain for more than 5 minutes at a time would be a life-saver!


Michelle - posted on 11/03/2013




Make sure that when she starts fussing don't go and pick her up straight away.
She has learned that as soon as she makes a noise you pick her up! This is great because most babies get restless being on their own but when you rush to their side then they have you doing what they want.
As long as she is fed, changed and clean then there's no reason you can't let her fuss for a bit. It will save your sanity in the long run because you DON'T want a demanding toddler or even worse teenager!!!!

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