Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I need Super Nanny.

Isn't there a show that is, or used to be, on TV called Super Nanny? I think the premise of the show is that a British woman, claiming to be a parenting 'expert,' comes to a family in need of some reforming.

We are that family. Nothing we do works.

I mean, sure, baby G is only 10.5 months old, but things are absolutely ridiculous around here. I really don't know what to do anymore. I even told my mom, "I am over it. I'm done being a mom." and I only kinda didn't mean it.

Earlier in her life my husband and I patted ourselves on the back for having 'such a good baby.' People loved seeing her and she was a really social baby. She played well. She was up for any adventure we went on.

At one point in her life, G slept through the night. Those were the good days. We were better parents, she was a happier baby; we were all able to actually enjoy our lives.

Not any more. I was thinking it was just a phase; but I think months of bad behavior can make it official. If all of her "bad" behavior is due to teething, then I wonder what will she be like when she is done getting teeth. She won't know any other way to act.

Yes, she is a great gift from God, and we love her a lot....but she is NOT AT ALL an easy baby. I try to remain positive. I smile at her, I sing her songs, and I really relish the good times (because there are good times).

Many days I find myself longing for bed time. Although, even then there's nothing to get too excited about because 95% of the time I have to get up with her 4 or more times at night (and I do mean have to get up with her). We've tried sleep training, but it's really for the birds. Maybe it worked for you, and I thought it worked for us...but my daughter reverted despite all of our attempts. My husband has tried to go to her in the middle of the night. Even if he can get her "calmed" down, once he lays her down she screams bloody murder again. Last night we tried for 2 hours and finally I just nursed her back to sleep because we were all in dire need of sleep. Perhaps you think we should let her sleep with us....it's too late for that. I've tried, but she doesn't fall asleep outside of her crib.

She often thrashes about, even while we try to hold and snuggle her. She arches her back and kicks her legs. She flings herself backwards when we sit her down to play with her. Then, she hits her head on the {carpeted} floor, and of course it hurts, so she gets even more mad. I didn't know it was possible for a 10 month old to throw a tantrum, but she does.

She refuses to eat anything but puffs, peas, yogurts, and sweet potatoes. I offer her lots of foods and she refuses, throwing a fit in her high chair. Meal times are super fun.

I try to take her on walks, and she ends up crying for nearly half of it. Yesterday, I ran the last half of our walk...not because it kept her from crying, but because it got us back quicker.

She is not well behaved in church; we have to pace the back with her to keep her from screaming.

AND SHE'S ONLY TEN MONTHS OLD. What the heck is she going to be like as a 2 year old????

So...thanks for reading. I wouldn't be a true mommy blogger if I didn't tell it how it is sometimes.

ps. I just got off the phone with my mom, who politely informed me that whatever we are doing isn't working (duh), so I should try something else. Any thoughts on what that something else is?


  1. I feel your pain as far as the tantrums go. I didn't think babies threw huge tantrums until they were at least 18 months, but my 12 month old is really good at them. She throws herself backwards and gets this harpy'ish scream that is something else. She also likes to hit. I try to redirect her with something else to stop the tantrum. I'll give her a toy or something to hold. And show her how to be "nice" and stroke her cheek and then have her hand stroke my cheek so hopefully she understands hitting isn't nice.

    My baby girl also has stopped sleeping through the night lately because of teething. She wants to be held and comforted and screams if you put her back down. However, I have learned to wait at least 10 minutes before going back in to see if she will calm down on her own. I won't speak to her or turn on the light in her room. I only put on the light in the hall and crack the door open just a tad so I can see. I will pick her up, hold her, rock her for a while, and then try to put her down again. It has worked for the most part, though I have had to let her "cry it out" a few times.

    I think that this is the stage of "will exertion." I'm hoping that it passes. I hope that you are able to find a strategy that works for you.

  2. Teething can be brutal. My son didn't sleep through the night until 6 yrs and his teething nightmare started at the 2nd tooth, around 7 months and lasted until the 2 yr molars came in at about 30months.

    That said, the eating challenges and arching, not wanting to be touched you are experience - I did too. They are a possible sign of significant sensory issues. I wish I had known then, what I know now. My son turned out to be hypersensitive/SPD. I urge you to start googling around - especially great blogs and tweeps at Hartley's Boys, The Coffee Klatch and I just noticed a woman named Becky Blake today that seems to be great for older SPD kids. There is no one trick, but they key is to reduce stress and sensory overload. Some kids at some point, just become very hypersensitive to any stimulation. I would recommend immediately ensuring baby's schedule is tapered back for less input, i.e. avoid loud places, florescent lights, limited to no video/tv, malls are terrible for these kids, etc. Try switching to all natural detergents, removing all chemical cleaners and solvent, deodorants, perfumes, parabens, artificial colors etc. to avoid smell issues and allergic reactions, eczema etc. The food issues also point to strong sensory preferences. Most of these kids have a combination of sensory seeking and avoidance. My DS is orally VERY defensive. Often you will see the child prefer 'white' food, soft foods that don't require chewing.

    For naps, you might need to allow 40 mins to get to sleep. Do the same routine every time, for each nap, make life predictable for her. If she doesn't want to be held, it's ok, -whatever calms her. Sometimes firmer pressure is better, soft touches may be too ticklish.

    Use dimmer lights, soothing music or white noise especially ocean sounds.

    Watch for signs of ASD, failure to point, repeating certain phrases or behavior/s, possible eye contact issues, etc. There are SPD checklists and ASD checklists. Find a good Occupational therapist familiar with eating issues. There are great books. If you start with one online at Amazon, they will recommend others. Hartley's Boys has one, also the Highly Sensational Child I believe and Not Just Spirited, Building Bridges by Paula Aquilla and others are out there to help! (if that is what it is)

    The sooner you get to know the heart of the problem, the sooner you can make positive changes.

  3. Have you talked to your Parents as Teachers educator about these problems? I think it's great asking for people's opinions, but the problem can be that you will get many different perspectives and it can be confusing/frustrating/overwhelming. Your Parent Educator might be able to help you with parenting advice based on solid research as well as help you identifying if there is an underlying issue that you haven't discovered yet (something medical, etc). We are so fortunate to have the Parents as Teachers program in our area (it's pretty rare to have it offered so widespread like it is here), so I say take advantage! Just my thoughts.

  4. Awe, I am so sad to hear things are going so horribly. I will be saying an extra prayer for you. Hopefully this is just a faze and with a little time, patience and consistency she will return to the baby you once knew.

    I would agree with the above advice too since it never hurts to be over cautious and ASD can for sure manifest this early. The only thing we experience that is similar is the arching of the back and temper tantrums so that may just be an age thing. If I know Alethea truly needs something I respond to the temper tantrums, but if not I ignore and they seem to stop quicker that way. I also make her come to me in that instance if she is throwing a tantrum and wants some comforting.

    Good luck and thanks for being so honest and open about your struggles. Being a mom isn't easy and I am sure you are doing a great job, just going through a rough patch. Don't lose faith in yourself! :-)

  5. I also had a very fussy and high demanding child. He is my # 3 out of 4. He was a terrible sleeper (he is now 4 1/2 and we just celebrated his 1 year of sleeping through the night) and he was a very picky baby. He only ate cheese, bread,puffs and pears. At 2, he went into a mac and cheese phase for 3 months and only and I mean ONLY ate that for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He hated soft touches and would hit constantly. I would kiss him and 50% of the time he would hit me back. He was such a cling-on, severe seperation anxiety and never let us leave the room so we never got a babysitter.....my number 4 is now almost three and he does not sleep through the night either. You will make it to the other side. Promise. Number 3 is super smart and very athletic. He is a very determined kid, high spirited and still difficult but can now sleep and eats more variety.....kinda! LOL!!! Good luck!

  6. I laughed when i saw that photo on this post....that's just what my almost 1 yr old does! (and has been doing since around 10 mo) He sleeps w/ us because, quite frankly, we needed our sleep. In that case you're blessed because my baby boy immediately wakes up when placed in his crib- oh to be able to stretch out in my own bed! I'm still nursing him-which I don't mind; we decided to do baby-led weaning- but that also means I'm woken up 3, 4 even 5 times at night! My little guy started biting around 9 mo and still does once in a while. I don't know if you've tried this but when my guy starts to throw a tantrum I lay him down safely and let him be....obviously i'm in the room with him but he usually stops and moves on to something else.
    As far as the food thing goes...my husband and I were just talking about how concerned we are that he doesn't seem to eat other foods besides his homemade oatmeal, puffs and sweet potatoes!! He hates jar food, which is fine, but whenever we try to give him small bits of what we're eating he makes weird faces and spits it out! My advice to you is one i'm hoping will work for us- give it time.
    When things get really tough and I'm exhausted I try to remember that he's only going to be at this precious baby stage once-he won't always have his baby smell or chubby hands/feet.
    If nothing else, just know you are not alone--- we totally get how you're feeling and maybe we can all gather strength knowing we're in this together! :)

    annae07 at aol dot com

  7. Thanks for all the comments mommas... it REALLY makes me feel better to know that I am not alone!

    I appreciate all the stories and personal experiences, and Kacie I'm going to email our PE tonight!

  8. My son is 11 months today and we're dealing with bad behavior already as well. I too, am so scared of what's to come.

  9. My daughter still doesn't sleep well and she's almost 2. The biggest thing that has helped me is to try not to pay so much attention to the fact that some babies are amazing sleepers and to make peace with the fact that my daughter isn't the best sleeper but that this won't last forever.


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