please help...i get so angry with my son sometimes..

Amy - posted on 02/07/2014 ( 24 moms have responded )

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Hey moms. I would really appreciate some help/advice. I need to know how I can help calm myself down when my 4 month old son gets me really irritated. It's always in the afternoons---everyday. He acts tired, I'll put him down to nap, and he won't nap. He'll just cry for however long I leave him in his crib. I'm okay at first, but if I have to go in to soothe him more than twice and it still isn't working, I get really pissed off. I've never harmed him in any way, but I do get so angry that I need to leave the room and when I leave the room I'm usually out in the living room swearing up a storm and saying not very nice things. I feel like such an awful mom for EVER feeling like this, but it happens pretty much everyday when he pulls this i-don't-want-to-nap-in-the-afternoon-even-though-i'm-tired crap. I'm so over this nonsense he pulls every single day!! Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can stay calm/control my anger?? Or any suggestions as to how I can get him to behave in the afternoons and nap/be happy every afternoon??? Please, please help!

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Sarah - posted on 02/11/2014

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Amy, you're reaction isn't crazy - just misdirected. Becoming a mom can challenge you in ways you're not prepared for and those emotions can come out in the wrong way. As Leela said, remind yourself that you're the adult and he's the child. It's something I had to remind myself on many occasions when my kids were young and pushing all my buttons.

A great way to regain emotional control is to take 2-5 minutes and meditate. Focus on your breath and say "inhale" and "exhale" as you do this. I know time is precious when you're a new mom. But if you can find a few minutes to do this every day, it can help you develop more self-control. It really works. Here's more on this: https://www.sunchlorellausa.com/blog/2-e...

I also heartily advocate getting out w/ the stroller like Jennifer advised. 40 degrees isn't too cold - just bundle him up. And don't worry about getting all his snowclothes off of him when you get in - just unzip a little and take off the hat. Sometimes you can keep them sleeping.

If you can't go outside, plan some active indoor fun. Put on some music and dance around holding him and playing with him. Let him get as active as possible and stimulated so he's ready to nap.

Getting exercise yourself will help you with your emotions and help you stay more relaxed. Just do some pushups and jog in place for 2 minutes fast if you don't have much space.

Finally, I depended heavily on my little automated swing seat - that helped both my kids fall asleep for a nap.

BTW, you're right - you don't need to go big with the "me" time. Time for that will come soon enough. Just savor the few minutes you get here and there and dive back into your work as a mom and partner.

Leela - posted on 02/09/2014

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Amy I'm very afraid for both of you. Your reaction doesn't seem justifiable based on his actions, after all he's only 4 months old. I know what it's like raising a baby and there's just so much joy the two of you can have together. If you're angry now, think of when he's mobile and getting into everything!!! I recommend you take some time for yourself. Try to meet with other moms in your area so you get some adult companionship during the day. Remember that babies can sense your energy so it's important that you are calm as possible. This may help him to sleep more peacefully etc. Very importantly step back and remember that you are the adult and you have a baby, not a mini adult. He will need you for most things for a very long time. You need to re-look your expectations you have of him. Please be careful - your anger could cause you to do something you will forever regret.

Jodi - posted on 02/07/2014

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NO, 3 1/2 hours between naps isn't way too long - every child is different. He is getting older. His sleeping needs will change. Maybe he just needs a short nap a little later now. He is too young to CIO, so leaving him to cry isn't the solution.

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Sarah - posted on 02/11/2014

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Amy, glad this helped! Sounds like you've got a great "set of live weights" to exercise with while you're gym is under construction. My back and biceps got so strong when my kids were little b/c I was lifting them so much. Use his weight to your advantage. Put him in a snugli and do squats and sway your hips. Do chest lifts by lying down on your back and pushing him up into the air. Hold him close and do small squat jumps or just dance around.

Go slow - don't do too much at once if you haven't been active. But I worked out with my kids all the time when they were babes. We both loved it!

Amy - posted on 02/11/2014

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Sarah- Thank you! I will try reminding myself of that more often. Maybe I will try the meditating...I'll check out the link for sure. He just went down for his second nap, so I think we are going to head out for a stroll again this afternoon since it's supposed to get colder the rest of the week. And if he falls asleep again I will leave him in his car seat/outfit---I just don't want him to overheat (guess I'll just keep the heat down a bit lower, too than I usually do because I keep it up pretty high). I play with him as much as possible, but he is a heavy boy to be picking up and down a lot! Unfortunately my apt complex gym is under construction and has been since October, so working out like I need to isn't an option for a couple more months! And thanks for your suggestion about the swing seat--he has one, but the batteries haven't worked for awhile and we always forget to grab them when we're out so we'll do that today! I'm ready for summer, nice weather, and an older baby!!!! :) Thanks again

Jennifernider - posted on 02/10/2014

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That's great news glad it worked out now we just need it to warm up lol

Amy - posted on 02/10/2014

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thank you! we've got a great stroller as well....after taking him out today since we had to run errands, i remember how much he loves being outside and seeing new things and enjoys the stroller ride. maybe i will continue this...i think i'll try it in the mid to late afternoon when he likes to fuss up a storm! he did fall asleep in it today and was sleeping when we got home, but i had him all bundled up so i had to take him out of the snowsuit thing and of course, that woke him up.. :( right now i feel like i'm going to enjoy it much, much more when he's able to walk, talk and crawl and do more things on his own.....but who knows!

Jennifernider - posted on 02/10/2014

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My mom got me prob the best stroller it's a bike trailer/stroller and it's completely covered I used to put my izzy in her car seat right inside fit awsome and she was warm in the winter cause it was closed and we went for walks not long but enough for her to nap and in the summer strap it to ur bike,
Very soon u will be chasing after him lol then the baby prodding begins lol best if luck!!!

Amy - posted on 02/10/2014

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oh okay. if interacting with him, giving him time alone, putting him in his bouncer or exersaucer doesn't work, the tv won't work either. :/ once nothing works for this nap, i know he will go to sleep...but for goodness sake he needs to stop giving me signs that he's tired 2 hours before he'll actually sleep! lol. yeah we have little snowsuits, too and i'll actually be utilizing one of them for him today because we HAVE to go take a stroll outside to run some necessary errands. for me the cold weather just always makes me think he will get sick! but i should probably try and get him out more since he enjoys it so much when we actually DO get outside.

Jenny - posted on 02/10/2014

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I ment cartoons jus at that difficult nap time, if childs well wrapd up cold do him no harm, i had snow suits 4 my 3 boys n they loved them

Amy - posted on 02/10/2014

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thanks! well, i don't currently drive, otherwise my son and i would totally be out going places and doing more things!! the driving situation will change soon, so hopefully things get much easier and lots more fun! :) can't wait til he is crawling and walking around on his own!!!

Jennifernider - posted on 02/10/2014

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U can always take him to like walmart or the mall or even a gym with a walking track so u don't have to be outside or maybe a sling and he can be on u will u walk around the house it's just a bit longer but it will get Easyer trust me my 8 month old was so colicky since she came out lol but she's 8 month in a few days now shes crawling an walking around furniture so she's happy n tires her self out just be strong ull get threw it

Amy - posted on 02/10/2014

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Jessica--yes, our son sleeps on his stomach as it is the only way he'll go to sleep. and sometimes I do end up getting him back up because he just continues to fight sleeping, but it's not like i put him down to nap just because i felt like it---he gives me signs that he's tired such as rubbing his eyes and having the crying sound that lets you know he's sleepy so i really don't know why he won't sleep.

Jennifernider- i know he would love to get outside (as would i!!) more than we do, but it is way too cold and has been pretty much since he was born in October, so I/we don't take him outside unless it's absolutely necessary---i'm too worried he'll get sick if i just take him out for a morning or afternoon stroll and the high temp is only 40!! yikes. too cold for such a young baby, don't you think? and yes, the stroller usually does wonders because at one point or another he falls asleep in it if we actually get to use it!

Jodi- he does def get the 14-15 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period, most of which is at night. so what else can i do instead of the cio method? i don't want to pick him up every time he cries or fusses because i don't want him being dependent on me. however, we did finally put together his exersaucer a couple days ago (he loves it!) and it's def gave him something new (which i think he totally needed/needs because i'm sure he gets sick of seeing the same old stuff every single day in our apt). it has seemed to help with this afternoon nap a bit so far....i guess maybe it wears him out a bit having to use his leg muscles and it gives him new, fun things to play with and look at... also, I am unfortunately not breastfeeding as it was waaaaaayy too painful, so he's on formula. i'm coming around to the fact that he is still waking for a feeding, however, the bottle is only given if he has already slept for at least 6-8 hours and to eliminate him falling asleep to the bottle i give him about 4 ounces instead of the 5-7oz he gets at his daytime feedings.. he was waking at about 2am every morning for awhile and i would just give him a bottle but i believe he was waking at that time every single night for as long as he did because it was only a comfort feeding...he wasn't really hungry. and now when/if he wakes anywhere before the 6-8 hour mark, i'll pat and shush him back to sleep (he might make some noise or toss and turn a bit) but after a few minutes he's back sleeping. and i have heard babies can't be spoiled up until 6 months, but, i do want him to be independent and learn how to entertain himself for a bit, soothe himself to sleep, etc so i try not to run to him every time i hear a little 'ooo' or 'ahhh' (which is hard because i DO want to always be around him, hold him, etc but he does need his space to grow and learn on his own).

Leela- yes, i know i should make time for myself. but for me, i would rather spend time with my son and boyfriend when i get the chance. i mean, my son is only this little once (and i can go get my nails done or go do whatever when he's older)! we only get saturdays and sundays together as a family as my boyfriend works monday-friday and is gone from 5am-6pm so we hardly see him during the week. maybe i'm wrong, maybe i need to just go do something on my own or with a friend outside of the apt, but i'm perfectly content with staying home and taking care of my family because that's what's important to me. they're my #1 priority. would i like to go something? yes, absolutely! but i'm fine with staying home and taking care of my family. i have been working on my anger and it's getting much better. i've kind of adopted a philosophy of 'if he wants to be awake, he can be awake and when he wants to sleep he will/can sleep'. i know it doesn't do either one of us any good for me to get so angry.

Jenny- I would love to take him on a morning or afternoon stroll, but as i said earlier in my post, it's not very warm outside these days! :( so unless it's necessary to take him outside, i avoid it (until the weather gets nice!!). what do you think...is 40 degrees too cold to take him outside in his stroller? and i hate to put him in front of the tv (well, i don't ever just plop him in front of the tv, but the tv may be in his view at times). when i see he is watching it, i try to put it on an educational/learning show for him. i worry if he watches too much tv he's going to get fat and just always want to watch tv as a toddler and i do not want that.

Jodi - posted on 02/08/2014

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@ Amy, it is also not unusual for a child this age to be still needing a feed during the night ESPECIALLY if you are breastfeeding. I am disappointed to see so many people on this forum believing the myth that babies should be sleeping 10 - 12 hours at night without waking for a feed. That's bullshit. Every child is different, and to cram them into some mold that they must have this much sleep and that much sleep is just setting them AND yourself up for failure. If your baby is 4 months old and is waking at night because he is hungry (and this is generally why they wake at night), FEED HIM.

You cannot spoil a 4 month old. That is all.

This is coming from a mother with MUCH older children, none of whom have had any sleep problems because I "spoiled" them as babies. Research will also back that up.

Jodi - posted on 02/08/2014

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"jodi-you don't think 3 1/2 hours is too long for a 4 month old to be awake at one time??? that sounds like a crazy long amount of time for him to be awake... you also think he is to young to cry it out? i know people use that method with even younger babies than mine, but, maybe it's not working for mine (apparently?)."

No I don't think it is too long. As I said, he is 4 months old now. He is needing less sleep than he did when he was young. However, it depends entirely on the rest of his sleeping patterns. At this age, if they are getting 14-15 hours sleep over a 24 hour period, and they are getting most of this in their nighttime and other naps, then it wouldn't be unusual to be awake for 3 1/2 hours. Yes, he may be getting tired in that time, and fighting it a little, but they have more awake time as they get older, and in longer stretches. In fact, by the time he is 6 months, he will likely be cutting down to two naps, so maybe this afternoon nap, you could look at "wearing" him for an hour while he dozes. There is no harm in that if it settles him and that is the only nap where it is a problem. My kids were all very different, and we shouldn't delegate them into the one size fits all.

Secondly, even CIO advocates don't recommend CIO for babies under 6 months. It doesn't work. And in my opinion, it is not appropriate for babies under 6 months. In fact, I wouldn't use it on a child of any age, but that's me. Under six months, no way. There are other ways of dealing with it that are just as successful.
http://www.parentingscience.com/Ferber-m...

Jennifernider - posted on 02/08/2014

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It's really up to u bath time just tires them out I don't do the bath time at night I do it whenever I have the time day or night my girls went threw this to as they get they sleep less n even a five min nap will recharge them,they seam tired but there really not ull figure it out try talking him for a walk even around walmart the motion will help him fall asleep

Jessica - posted on 02/08/2014

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i have twins and basically did it all on my own. I used to get really frustrated too because the would cry for any little thing. There is not real way to stop it. I feel like they'll get over it. Its still pretty early and its a new place for him. You pick him up and soothe him sometimes but not too much because then he gets spoiled. Have you tried laying him down on his side or stomach? or he may want to sit up and wont really be tired. keep him up so when you do put himm down hes really tired and wont fight it. When you get like that you just have to stay calm, walk out the room or take a walk.

Amy - posted on 02/08/2014

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jennifernider-wouldn't later afternoon be too early for bathtime?i want him to associate bathtime with BEDTIME. and bedtime is def not going to be around 5pm. we always wake him from that last 'nap' and then do bathtime and lotion and so on. i don't know, maybe we'll try it though... but once he falls asleep for this nap he would totally be out for the rest of the night if we didn't wake him, but there's no way i could let his bedtime be that early! he'll want to start his day at 2 or 3am then!!! yikes.

jodi-you don't think 3 1/2 hours is too long for a 4 month old to be awake at one time??? that sounds like a crazy long amount of time for him to be awake... you also think he is to young to cry it out? i know people use that method with even younger babies than mine, but, maybe it's not working for mine (apparently?).

savia-the only problems with rocking him to sleep in my arms is that i do not want him associating falling asleep with having to be held by me (i want him to learn to soothe himself and go to sleep) and he is also too heavy to hold for a long period of time. :/

vicki-yeah, maybe that is his problem, too. but he needs to learn to sleep by himself and learn how to put himself to sleep---i don't want him needing me for that. he's old enough now where he should be able to sleep through the night (like at least 8pm-6am or 7am) and not need to be fed during the night, but it's just not working out that way... :( and our carseat is always strapped in the car, so i don't have it in the house, but i don't think i would use it for him to sleep in anyways. my son really can nap by himself...his other naps are usually great and he doesn't need me. 90% of the time i can put him down for the other naps and he'll go to sleep on his own with minimal or no fussing and i don't even need to go back in the room. so i really donl't know what his deal is with this afternoon nap.....

Vicki - posted on 02/07/2014

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I had the same issue with my daughter when she was 3 months old and I know some people may not agree but when I had difficulty getting her to nap it was because she didn't want to be alone. I had to put her in her stroller or even her carseat(buckled in of course) and let her have her nap in there for as long as she would sleep and if she woke up under 30mins I would rock the stroller or carseat, and let her fall back asleep. I always kept her in the same area as me. I did this for a couple days and then would move her futher away from wherever I was and within a week I could start putting her back in her crib again. She will be 1 in a week and has been napping by herself ever since. I hope this helps I tried so many things and this finally helped, good luck

Savia Machado - posted on 02/07/2014

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Hey Amy yr son's too small to get angry wide. I understand it cud be really frustrating at times. I was suggest putting on some soft music n rocking him in yr arms. For da 1st 5 mind it wide be difficult but eventually he'll definitely fall asleep always works for ma son. I'm da eldest of all cousins in ma family n did idea did work for all ma younger cousins as well.

Jennifernider - posted on 02/07/2014

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Maybe try giving him a bath just before the nap time with the night time soothing wash and lotion might help him relax and actually sleep and don't feel bad we all have our limits I felt the same way just breath and try something else but I have learned don't go in there to calm them down unless there losing there mind it really makes it worse

Amy - posted on 02/07/2014

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He's usually fine when I pick him up. No, I haven't tried 'wearing' him...I did that a few times when he was a month or two old, but haven't done it since. But if he falls asleep in the carrier, he's bound to wake up when I try to take him out to get him into his crib...

I know it sounds insignificant, but it's this same nap..everyday..every afternoon. There's only so much playing and trying to keep him entertained I can come up with. For example, this afternoon he woke up at 1:15pm from his midday nap. 2:20pm rolled around and he was rubbing his eyes and wasn't real thrilled with any activities I tried to play with him and he didn't want to play by himself. Sooooo, I put him down for a nap. Well, of course that didn't work out. He cried once I left, so I went back in after 5 minutes to soothe him. I left and he cried again, so I went back in to try to soothe him after 10 minutes. Then once 15 minutes rolled around and he was still crying, I just got him back up to play and do whatever might keep him happy. He finally just went down for a nap at 4:45pm. That's 3 1/2 hours between naps...isn't that way too long??? It is this same process every single day. It's honestly getting very old. What am I doing wrong??? Oh, and I feel angry because he won't sleep when he's tired. He's showing me signs that he's tired, so, why won't he sleep??!!

Jodi - posted on 02/07/2014

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How is he when you pick him up? Have you ever tried "wearing" him for that period of time? Maybe he will nap in a carrier while you get on with whatever it is you need to get on with.

Having said that, I am concerned that you are getting so angry over one nap. After all, he is only 4 months, he isn't "making" you angry. Why are you feeling angry? Is it just because he won't sleep, or is it because you are trying to get things done and you can't?

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