April 27, 2010,
C.C. asks from Worcester, MA on April 26, 2010
Crabby 6 Month Old Baby
Usually my son is perfectly content playng/entertaining himself but the past 2 weeks he is very needy. The second I start to walk out of the room he screams which is completely not like him. He did recently get a tooth so I didn't know if maybe he was in pain and just wanted to be comforted so I would give in. But he's had his tooth for the past 3 weeks. I just feel like i'm constantly holding him and dont want to start the bad habit of picking him up everytime he cries. Bedtime is already becoming a nightmare because he wants to be rocked for a long while before sleeping. I don't know if this is seperation anxiety or what? Any suggestions? And also he seems like he is ALWAYS hungry eating anywhere from 2-3 hours a day. He'll have 6 oz of formula and 1 jar of fruits for his first feeding second feeding he'll have 8 oz third feeding he'll have 6 oz with a veggie and fourth feeding he'll have 8 oz... Sorry mamas i know this is a lot of info to take in and probably a bit confusing! but love the helpful feedback from you guys!
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S.H. answers from Honolulu on April 26, 2010
6 months old is a time of MAJOR changes in a baby. It tweaks them and is not easy for them either.
And yes, teething IS painful, for many babies. So comfort him. And yes, they can't sleep when in pain. Comfort him. Nothing is wrong with that. A baby STILL needs to "bond" with their Mom even now and at different ages. Not just as a newborn.
Some of these things are:
1) Growth-spurt. They get mega hungry at 6 months old. You need to feed on-demand, 24/7, day and night... so that their intake keeps up with their growing and developmental changes. EVERY 3 months in a baby, is a growth-spurt time.
2) Teething time
3) time of major developmental changes, cognitive changes and motor-skills changes.
4) Time of emerging "separation-anxiety" AND "object permanence." These are developmental based things... which you cannot just make it go away. The baby is simply acquiring new abilities... and these are some of it. Look it up online. Its natural and normal. It means... your baby is developing well and normally.
AND on top of it all... ALL of these things can be occurring at the SAME time for a baby. It does not just occur one thing at a time. So... naturally babies get all "crabby" too.
I HIGHLY recommend the book: "What to expect the first year"... which you can find pretty much anywhere and online.
For the 1st year of life, a baby's PRIMARY source of nutrition is from breastmilk or Formula... NOT solids and NOT other liquids. AND they need to be fed on-demand. This is a building-block time, for the 1st year which is crucial for a baby.
My kids, often even went through what is called "cluster feeding" in which they even fed every s.i.n.g.l.e hour. Because they were growing and changing mega lots. Its normal.
Keep in mind, its not easy for the baby at these junctures either. They don't do it on purpose. Just feed and comfort. And no, it is not easy. But these growth-spurts and changes and hitting milestones in a baby is a phase. LOTS more phases will come up. This is not the end... but it does tweak their sleep ability as well. Because, their body and minds are changing so much. It means they are developing well... they need more nutrition and intake at these times.
Feed him more in his bottle... since it seems that he will and can feed more.
ALSO feed on-demand. The Formula or the breastmilk should be given BEFORE solids... not after. And at any other time baby indicates hunger.
all the best,
3 moms found this helpful
P.M. answers from Portland on April 26, 2010
What S H said. Babies at 6 months would still need LOTS of cuddling and holding even if they didn't have so much going on.
My grandson went through a very intense time around then, though he cut his first tooth a few months later. They are growing fast, learning so much and becoming highly stimulated simply because their motor skills are so exciting. Sleep becomes more difficult, for some babies even nursing/eating takes too long and they want to do all that new stuff they are learning. Their dreams seem to be more vivid; they tend to wake more at night.
If you're worried that he'll associate his fussing with your picking him up, you are probably right. Babies fuss to get what they need, and if that's extra cuddling, then hey, that's what they do.
But if you're worried that it will become a "bad habit," take the initiative and pick him up more before he fusses, so he won't see that so much as being comforted because he's expressing distress. My own experience with babies, though, is that they want the comfort because they need it. When they've been comforted enough, they will want like crazy to get down and get on with all the excitement of learning to use their wonderful little bodies.
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D.B. answers from Providence on April 27, 2010
C., I'm an advocate of holding, hugging, kissing, and consoling a baby whenever they need or want it. So my advice to you would be to pick him up and console him. I don't see the problem. He wants his mommy.
It's totally absurd to think one can "spoil" an infant...I mean really...your child is crying for you...go to him. There's no way you can form a "habit" of holding him, that's ridiculous to think that in my opinion.
You son needs you, now at 6 months and forever, pick him up and respond to him. He's only a baby.
As far as bedtime goes, he simply wants his mommies attention...is that so bad? What else is going on in your life that is so utterly important that you can't rock your baby to sleep? If you take a few extra minutes to rock your son to sleep, he'll sleep better and so will you.
Check out the book "The Vital Touch" by Sharon Heller if you have a chance...it's a fabulous book for moms.
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N.W. answers from Chicago on April 26, 2010
I agree with the previous post, your son might be going through a growth spurt, it usually happens around 6 months. So feeding more and waking up to feed at night is pretty normal around this age.
Eventhough he cut one tooth, he could be teething for the second one! You can always try a cold teether from the freezer, I used a washcloth that I keep in the freezer with my daughter, she just liked to chew on it! Especially at this age when they still cannot hold the teethers by themselves!
I think your son might just be looking for comfort, so try to comfort him for a little bit, it doesn't hurt to pick him up few times a day! I usually take my son who's the same age to the window and he loves watching the outside!
Also, I change his position throughout the day! I put him in the bouncer seat, Tummy time every now and then in the gym mat, exersaucer, jumperoo, and swing! I also alternate his toys! Babies do get bored, so you just need to keep them entertained!
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M.P. answers from Provo on April 26, 2010
i know exactly how you feel! My boy is just getting out of the 6 month growth spurt, clingy, tooth popping phase. Except Ollie wouldn't eat all that much. It will pass. Just ride it along. There is nothing wrong with picking up your baby to much if he needs you. Once this phase is gone then you can go back to not picking him up every time. 6 months is a big milestone. Right now they are learning TONS and it can be a bit overwhelming. Soon he wont want to cuddle or be held at all so enjoy it while you still can. (BUT, I know it can be a pain to constantly have to hold him. Ollie has been that way since birth)
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V.M. answers from Boston on April 27, 2010
Ohhhh I think he's going through a growth spurt by the sounds of it - the 3's and 6's rule is really true - growth spurts at 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months. Give him as much as he wants/needs to eat - there's really no such thing as too much food at his age (unless a problem has already been identified). My daughter was super pudgy and ate loads as a baby - it falls off them when they start to crawl and walk.... As far as the clinginess, he could very well be developing separation anxiety. It is a bit early according to the books, but every child is different. I would give him as much reassurance as possible, that's probably the most important thing right now. Also, while he has more attention span now, he also needs more stimulation, so maybe look at the toys/activities you're giving him, he may need something a bit more exciting? It's all a balancing act I find of what you think you're SUPPOSED to do, what they want or need, and what you can ACTUALLY do. Try and follow his lead as much as possible and you'll get there.... Good luck!!!
J.B. answers from Houston on April 26, 2010
Sounds like teething/growth spurt business to me. Boy I remember that at 6 months my first started fighting bed time a lot as well. We would stand over the crib and hold a pacifier in his mouth until he slept and then wisk it away as soon as it dropped out of him mouth, we were desperate! Finally one night we just had to let him cry a little bit and after about a week or so he was back to normal with each night having a little less crying. They go through a lot the first year or so and things will be rocking along so great and oops, here comes a tooth! For me, the boat would get rocked and then about a week later all would be well again. Overall mine slept great his first year with little pockets of trouble here and there. The eating sounds like a growth spurt. It will probably mellow out soon, but you can continue giving rice cereal as you introduce all the other food groups slowly. I think I gave mine rice cereal along with every meal! My first was always in like the 100% for length and weight, so he ate! I felt like I could have milked the neighborhood;) Best of luck and I think it will pass soon!
C.R. answers from Allentown on April 26, 2010
Sounds pretty normal. Seperation anxiety is common at his age. Different parents try different things. For our son what seemed to work was telling him I will be right back, then making sure his area was safe and hazard free before leaving. Then I would do what I had to do without responding to his cries. (we all know the difference between hurt cry and attention cry). Although we were out of the room we tried to keep the time at around 6-7 minutes tops at any given time. Even Mom's need a couple minutes to themselves throughout the day. Some are going to tell you that this is unhealthy but this is what worked for us.
As far as eating is concerned. He may be going through a growth spurt. Lastly as far as bedtime goes. What we did was had a 1/2 hour family session every night before bed as part of our routine. This included rolling a ball back and forth, playing with cars, clapping hands to a song etc. This was his way of getting in a couple more minutes of Mom and Dad time before bed. Then again, we never really did the rocking thing for bedtime. On the other hand we have a couple friends who's child is the same age as ours (22months) and they still rock their son, something I kinda miss at times. So, the choice is yours. Stand strong Momma. Whatever decisions you make are your own.