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I admit it, I have a high maintenance baby and there are times when I really can’t cope

Babygirl really needed to be a firstborn baby and not a second – she just isn’t cut out for a life where there is already one child in the family. In short, she is high maintenance, incredibly full on, monumentally demanding and yes, this is beginning to really wear me down. There are times when I think I cannot take another minute of screaming, that I really consider just letting her scream instead of going with my usual instinct to comfort her.

She cries A LOT. And not always for a reason, sometimes just because she wants to.
And needs to be cuddled A LOT.
And needs to feed A LOT. And whilst she is feeding much less frequently she still gets really cranky if she goes a minute over three hours between feeds (or if I’m not around from two and a half hours between a feed … just in case there is a risk I might not be there for the next feed).
And when she’s done feeding she throws up A LOT. Sometimes silently, sometimes with screaming as well.
And she needs to be an exact temperature.
And she cries … and cries … and cries … and there is nothing you can do to make her happier – not feeding, not winding, not jiggling, not going in the car (she hates her car seat). She just screams and screams and eventually will suddenly go to sleep … if you’re lucky.
And when she goes to sleep she needs perfect quiet or she’ll wake up and the cycle will start again. Which isn’t really going to happen in a house with a toddler, or to be fair anyone who isn’t able to tiptoe silently around her. And she’ll only sleep for a quick nap during the day. Although to be fair she does have a good slug of sleep after bedtime – thank goodness.
Which if I’m being honest is beginning to wear me down – I hate that I can’t comfort her and make her happy like I could Toddlergirl, that I haven’t discovered the magic formula to calm her and that I cannot get things done because she is just so full on.
But then she smiles …
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34 comments to I admit it, I have a high maintenance baby and there are times when I really can’t cope

  • Hayley

    >A smile makes it all melt away :D I remember that well! Still applies in toddlerhood too!

  • notSupermum

    >I'm sorry it's so difficult with Babygirl. Have you spoken to your health visitors or GP, just in case the crying is caused by something specific? Might be worth a try perhaps?

    Take care of yourself, rest when you can x

  • The Moiderer

    >This blog takes me back to when the little one was a baby. Some days I would just sit on the bed crying because I didn't know how to help her, how to stop her crying. It was a mixture of desperation and despair. As you say, the she would smile or giggle and I found that special secret reserve that helps us cope somehow

  • Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy

    >Oh hun, it is tough with a demanding baby. My second was too. It was exhausting. I found it so so so hard. The crying and then the guilt when I couldn't do something with the toddler because of the crying.

    But, it does get better. Believe it, it really does. It takes time (someone told me that it would take a year, and I used to find myself of walks saying 10 weeks down, 42 to go). And one day, suddenly it was better. Now it is brilliant. No. 2 son would still prefer to be a first and only child, but he does like having an elder brother too.

    Hang on in there. Take all offers of help (don't worry about it at all, if someone offers, take them up on it – now is when you need help so don't be proud) and keep enjoying those smiles.

    Big hugs. xxx

  • SnafflesMummy

    >ah the post crying smile. These little ones certainly know how to pull on your heart strings.

    I hope she settles down soon and you get some rest.

  • BNM

    >Car was exactly like this. Bel was so simple (first child) and was sleeping and feeding and being a baby without all the vomiting, cuddle need and non baby things that Car used to do.
    She turned 2 yesterday and happily normality is resuming.
    A friend once told me that because I had an easy first then the second needed to be different and harder!
    You will get through it – even if you come out the other end covered in vomit!
    Hugs
    BNM
    x

  • Danny

    >You hit the nail on the head with the post cry smile, because of those smiles non parents are told its the best thing in the world having a baby, and fail to mention just how hard it actually can be!

    Having a baby IS the single most rewarding thing in the world, its also haaaaaard….my heart goes out to you hun and I hope things improve soon x

    I have to say its a breath of fresh air someone telling it like it is for a change, rather than glossing over all the hardship and just writing about the smiles!!

    Danny

  • Emily O

    >Sending you my sympathy, it's tough. My second was (and is) the same. I thought second children just 'fitted in' but they don't. He had colic for his first ten weeks which was horrendous. He's always been endlessly demanding and noisy and still wakes up crying every night for no apparent reason. I can't tell you when he last slept through the night and he's 18 months. I think some children are more sensitive, demanding and fussy than others. He is, though, completely wonderful and gorgeous too and I can't imagine him any other way. Number 3 is chilled out as long as I don't put her down (typing this one-handed) and she feeds every 2 hours. Quite demanding too really! At least they're healthy and normal (whatever that is!), it won't last forever.

  • make do mum

    >I think K is high maintenance but then I only have my friends babies to compare her to!
    I hope things get better for you soon x

  • scribblingmum

    >Hope last night brought some bit of sleep and today is a good day. Its so hard isn't it but I hope that you do get some comfort from hearing everyone experiences. You will be doing an amazing job and being a wonderful mum to them both.

    Note to husband of muddling mummy: tell her this every day regardless.

  • Pippa

    >Hugs for you and for everyone else too.

  • jumblyMummy

    >It makes me exhausted just reading about your baby girl. We all know you'll get through it. Put on a brave face and try to stay mellow and you'll come out at the other side with a smile.

  • Mummy Bear

    >I had the same with Little Miss P. For the first 6 months she screamed constantly. I would hear Mr Scruff coming home and I'd drop to my knees in tears. I was told it's because Little Miss P was so 'aware'. Well, whatever it was, she grew out of it and is the bonniest little pickle. hang in there, and seek sanctuary in whatever makes you feel good – for me it was a nightly hot candle-lit bath! Even if it was interupted by a yell, Mr Scruff had to deal with it, just for that half hour!

  • fun mum / glum mum

    >oh i feel lucky as my baby girl is pretty laid back, however when her temper flies it really does go! i know many parents do not like to let their babies cry but i will allow my girl to cry if i know there is nothing wrong, even if its only for 10mins while i stand in the garden for a few deep breaths. my mum said she did it with me as i could scream for no reason at all. sometimes you have to be strong enough to take a step back and let them get on with it.

    the other thing is she definately warm enough? imogen is my first baby and when i brought her home my mind was full of warnings about overheating etc but after some awful screams i realised my girl likes to be super cosy! sometimes i get her up and she is sweating and i think omg what am i doing, but then she wont sleep without being completely wrapped up and covered in blankets!

    keep going hun, you can do it xxx

  • Muddling Along Mummy

    >Thank you – its great to know that other people have gone through this and survived (and I think survival is all we can try and do really)

    Its strange, she's so different from Toddlergirl that its almost like having to start again from scratch with this parenting thing – guess I need to stop assuming they will react the same way to things

  • Amy

    >my second was a bit like that until i found the right method of doing things and then she was as happy as larry. It will take time but you'll get there. Keep smiling at that gummy grin xxxx

  • skirts and wellies

    >Not sure how you feel about this, but what if Dad took a night, or a day to relieve some of the pressure. The only thing is this would mean bottles and expressing. We gave my baby one bottle at 10 so I could go to bed at 8 and then my husband would do the 10pm feed so I could sleep until 2. It was a lifesaver for us. I hope you can take a break in some form. Every mum who needs mojo needs a bit of rest time too. :)

  • MrsA

    >I think you're right to assume they won't be the same – they are little individualy from the word go. Quite often people think the 2nd will be the easy, mellow one, but it's not always the case. Also I do think that babies ARE hard work and nobody tells you about it (as DANNY said).
    JJ is REALLY clingy at the moment and more demanding (if that's possible) and all I can put it down to is teething or growth spurt. Maybe that's just the way he is?!!!
    Anyway, take some time out for yourself, even if for only 2 hours (to fit in with feeding) – get pampered – hair, pedicure, massage or something. All mummy's deserve this. I remember going shopping and having a hair cut after about 10 weeks and feeling like a different woman! x

  • Geriatric Mummy

    >Oh Gosh ! I struggled, still do, with a first born low maintenance baby. I cannot imagine the hell it must be for you. I couldn't cope.End of. I Don't feel able to give much in the way of advice as I haven't been there, not anywhere near, other than to say, enjoy the good bits and hang on in there.

    Perhaps you could take her to see a cranial osteopath ? I've heard some very good reports from parents of high maintenance babies…

    Big hugs x

  • It's a Mummys Life

    >OH god it's so hard with the second isn't it. There's just no let up. Something I tried to keep the 'quiet' you talk about was a white noise machine, recommended to me a lovely maternity nurse. I got mine on amazon by typing in 'white noise machine' in search. Well worth it. You just put it on near her and it filters out other noise. Also I'm not sure how old your baby is, but remember life does get easier at 12 weeks. Mine's 7 months now and we've really all settled together after a very colicy start. sending lots of hugs and sympathy and virtual gin & tonic!

  • Mwa

    >Oh, that is a terrible time to be having! You know it won't last forever, but I'm sure just now it seems like that.

    I hope you can get some help. Will someone take her for a while so you can get away to clear your head? It's so important to take care of yourself as well.

    Big hugs – I hope it gets better soon. xxx

  • solveig

    >Oh I really feel for you. My first was high maintenance – it felt like she spent most of her first 6 months crying (screaming…) or feeding. I used to find her so tricky to handle and at first my second seemed so easy compared to her. BUT! Now she is my easy one! My second was horrendous at night from around 3 months to just over a year and then from around a year he developed this stubborn/energetic personality out of nowhere! He exhausts me now…

    I really hope she settles down soon. I don't know anything about it as haven't experienced it myself, so apologies if it's off the mark or unwanted advice, but my best friend's little girl used to cry and sick up a lot and she had reflux? Could be worth asking about?

    Anyway, hang in there…S xxx

  • Metropolitan Mum

    >So sorry to hear that. Do you have any help? Mum, friend, babysitter? It won't last forever, I am sure of that! xxx MM

  • Crystal Jigsaw

    >They melt our hearts with their beautiful smile yet hurt our heads with their screams. But still, it will pass, and the smiles will be more frequent. It seems such a long time ago since my daughter, who's 10, took me through the constant crying phase, unable to pacify her.

    CJ xx

  • Emma

    >The smiles all do make it worth it. Sorry to hear , I pray it all gets easier soon and she settles soon! :)
    *Hugs! xx

    As for the gingerbread house , It was a kit! (a after Christmas reduced one from tescos!) I wouldn't know where to begin with making gingerbread!
    But catching up on blogs.. SnafflesMummy has found a way!

    http://snafflesmummy.blogspot.com/2010/01/gingerbread-houses-how-can-girl-resist.html

  • Notes to self plus two and the need for red shoes

    >Totally aware that this suggestion comes from no experience at all … have you seen baby hammocks http://www.moffii.com/.

    I believe they are often use by mum's whose babies are crying just too much. If their claims about getting babies to sleep are even half true I reckon the baby hammock is worth a punt.

    I am definately going to get one for Little Red Shoes.

    much thought to you x

  • Muddling Along Mummy

    >Thank you for the lovely comments, incredibly things seem to be getting better suddenly and Mr Muddling has let me have some extra sleep this weekend and things seem less grim

    She's a sweet little thing but just has a very distinct set of things she likes and dislikes !

  • Liz

    >My second child WAILED the first 4 1/2 months of life. He was JUST like you are describing. I was dealing with him, a rough c-section recovery, and an almost 3 year old. It was the toughest few months of my life. I CAN SO RELATE!

  • Muddling Along Mummy

    >Oh Liz you poor thing – its just so tough isn't it – I think until you've been there its hard to understand just how much a baby can cry and how hard it is to cope with

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