October 01, 2007,
C.E. asks from North Andover, MA on September 27, 2007
My 11 Month Old Son Cries All of the Time
My soon-to-be 12 month old son cries everyday, all day long. He has always been quite attached, but he has been even more attached since we move to our new home about a month ago. The only 2 times he doesn't cry are when he is taking a nap or eating. Occasionally, he will play for about 15 minutes by himself.
I am a stay-at-home mom so I have plenty of time to play with him. I don't over do it because I don't want him to become too attached. I give him his alone time but it only lasts about 5 to 10 minutes maximum before he breaks out into one of his famous screaming sessions. I do let him cry in his room for up to 2 hours with the door opened so he can see what's going on, and I check on him just about every 10 minutes to let him know that everything is alright.
I don't work and I find it extremely difficult to get the house cleaned everyday. My son still wakes up during the night so I lose a lot of sleep. I have to be up at 6 am every moring to get my 6 year old daughter ready for school. So I have the chance to take 2 hour nap with the baby in the morning. But after he wakes up it is time for lunch, and after that he is screaming until I hold him. But then I cannot clean or do anything until he takes his next nap which is around 2:00 or 3:00 p.m.
I am starting to become very stressed over this situation. I am losing "me" time, cleaning time, cooking time, and most importantly, time with my 6 year old daughter. Any advice?
So What Happened?™
I took some advice and went backwards a little bit. I held him a little more. I have been putting him in his crib and letting him fall asleep on his own. He cries for about 15 seconds and then he puts himself to sleep. Now, he throws a ball over the gate and into the kitchen so I throw it back to him while I clean. So it is killing 2 birds with one stone. It is becoming easier. Thank you all for your advice.
J.W. answers from Boston on September 28, 2007
I know you might think this is a crazy idea-give in to your child. Try to hold him and all that. The transition to a new home, and then your daughter going to school is probably frightning. Hold him, and support him atleast for the next month where you can wean off the crying and feel safe/secure in your new home. Hopefully this will help. I know it seems like one step backwards. In the end I think it will get you ahead. Maybe it is a hunger thing, or a teething thing. I just think with all the changes he is going through he just needs his mom. And it's tough when they are clingy and things don't get done. Your child comes first. Show him this by giving in, and slowly taking back your control by not giving in as much. Maybe their is something he likes to do like paint, or color. Reward his good behavior by doing fun activities together. I hope all works out well for you and your family. Try to give him some time. It will work out.
L.S. answers from Boston on October 01, 2007
Hi C.! I am also a mom of 2 boys, 5 years and 11 months. My baby is tuning 1 on Oct 14th... Now, I know what you mean about trying to catch up with housework but I work full time, 40 hours a week, sometimes more. My house is never "picked up". I struggle through every day and I just don't seem to be ever "done". My first instinct when I read your request is that I think leaving your baby on his own to cry it out for a long period of time at this age is really not age appropriate. I don't think they can relate that it's ok to stay on their own and that everything is ok at this point. The fact that he is crying all the time should be brought to the attention of his pediatrician. Maybe he is teathing really bad or he is just really cranky. No matter what the reason is, as long as it's not a medical problem, unfortunately I think you should be there for him until he grows out of it. Because if there is nothing wrong with him, he probably will! It's ok to just reassure him that it's ok to be by himself on the floor for a few minutes until you finish what you are doing, but just leaving him there for long periods of time might add to his separation anxiety and make it worse. He will think you abondoned him and actually get worse. I really don't thing that they get the cause and effect idea at this age! He is still a baby and might need you more than other babies his age...
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K.B. answers from Boston on September 27, 2007
I am just throwing this out there, so if I sound like a ridiculous know-it-all, please disregard. Any chance he's hungry ? I only say that because 12 months is usually when you take them off of formula and bottles, so sometimes it is an adjustment for them. At this age it is tough because they are learning and doing so much, but they are still babies, so its hard to find the right balance. Some kids are just tough, my first almost drove me over the edge. I know this is probably no help to hear this, but its true. Some kids are not happy unless they are held by mama. I've been there! My "difficult" baby is now 5, and although she has her moments, she is completely cool and independent most of the time. I'm sorry if this wasn't so helpful, but hang in there-its not easy to stay home with a needy baby!
K.M. answers from Boston on September 30, 2007
My guess is that he's a little unsettled in the new house. North Andover is a lot quieter than East Boston. New sights, sounds, smells, etc. My suggestion is that you might buy an ergo baby carrier (you can wear it like a front or backpack), and just carry him around in that while you do some housework. I'd be willing to bet that once he gets used to the routine and knows where you are in the new house that he'll settle down again. It might take a little while, but it might help him with the transition.
Another thought is that he might want to snack. We've found that our 11-month old is interested in eating almost constantly. We keep a stash of cheerios in a plastic container in the living room to feed her when she starts getting fussy, and it seems to quiet her instantly.