My Little Girl Will Not Stop Whining

Updated on April 17, 2007
K.A. asks from Saint Paul, MN
20 answers

My little girl is now 6 1/2 months old. She is healthy. She is not a good sleeper. She is a great eater. She is only happy when being held.

At her 4 month visit, I asked her doctor if maybe something could be physically wrong, because she litterally whines all day. She will sit in her swing for maybe 10 minutes tops. We bought the exersaucer, and she liked it for the first couple of days, but like the swing, is not content for any length of time. She sits up now on her own, so I put her on the blanket with toys. That too, only works for about five minutes. I go through the rotation, and when nothing works, I hold her and try to get things done around the house. Needless to say, I don't get much done because I am holding her. I have a baby bjorn, but she's already too big for it, and really doesn't like to feel confined. She gets all squirmy, and cries till I take here out. The constant crying has pretty much drove me into depression. I can't get anything done, I can't even take a shower with out her screaming at the top of her lungs. She goes down pretty easily at night, but then is up at 11:00, 1:00 3:00, and so on. We don't let her cry it out, we both get irratable and grouchy at eachother, so I just take care of her all night while my husband sleeps. The next day I am grouchy, tired, and in tears . I snap at everything my six year old says or does. I rarely get a break from her, our inlaws all live three hours away, and my family all live out of state. Sometimes I daydream about getting in my car, and never coming back! I love my family so much, but I am lonely, stressed, and depressed. I love my daughter so much, but she is making life miserable . When she is happy and smiling and babbiling, I feel like nothing could make me happier. I just want to be a good mom that is not a jerk all the time. Will she grow out of it? Should my husband be getting up with her at night even though he works all day? I lost my job in January, so I am not a stay at home mom really by choice. I think I feel guilty because the burden of money is all now on my husband, which then adds to more depression.

What can I do to make things better????

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J.

answers from Minneapolis on

I feel for you K.. First, check with your doctor about your symptoms.
Second, work out a schedule with your husband for night wakings. My husband I would alternate every couple of hours. Then one night a week each of us would get an opportunity to sleep in the guest room downstairs for a full night of sleep.
Then, look for a moms support group. I've been in MOPS - Mother's of Preschoolers (you seperate from the kids for some mom bonding with activities and crafts) a couple times a week. Now I'm in MOMS Club. www.momsclub.org I love that we have activities nearly every day of the week to pick an choose what to attend as it fits into our schedule.
I've had a home party based business for almost a year. I love it. It get's me out of the house 4-6 times a month (nights or weekends when my husband is home to watch the kids). It's a party atmosphere so the women are happy to be there. We don't do presentations so I'm just mingling with the guests and helping them pick out jewelry they love and makes them feel good. I've become friends with many of my hostesses and guests. My husband has stepped up to help with our two boys (3 1/2, 1 1/2) and is enjoying that time for the most part - especially when I'm coming home with $250-700 for a few hours work. We just finished out taxes and there are super benefits to having a home based business.
Like the oxygen masks on the plane - you have to take care of yourself so you are strong enough to take care of your family.
Best wishes.
J.

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J.R.

answers from Minneapolis on

I'm sorry you are having a rough time. Just remember that it will get better with time. My first thought was to ask if your daughter was in daycare when you used to work? Do you think she misses the chaos and companionship of her fellow daycare kids? Is she just home with you during the day and you're not quite as entertaining :o)
At 6 months she should be sleeping through the night. Try to let her cry it out, one bottle at a time. The first few nights get rid of the first feeding and let her cry it out and then move onto the next. Be sure that you are feeding her enough baby cereal to keep her belly full too. I fed my kids at 8/12/4/8 when they were that age and it worked beautifully.
And, your husband should be helping out. It has nothing to do with who works out of the home and who doesn't. It has more to do with hours of sleep. If you aren't getting enough sleep you are going to get sick. One thing we do is on Saturday he gets up with the kids and I get to sleep in as long as I want and we switch on Sunday and then we take turns getting up with my 3 year old that's handicapped and doesn't sleep well (this morning she was up for the day at 4 am). Our other 3 kids ages 4,3 and 1 sleep from 7-7ish.
Do check with your Dr. about your depression. If you don't do it for your kids, do it for yourself. You deserve to be feeling better about things and we all need some help sometimes. You would be surprised how many Mom's are on meds for depression and are greatly helped by it.
Best Wishes,
J.

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L.K.

answers from Minneapolis on

Sorry I don't have much advice, but I can comiserate... my daughter is the same age and does the exact same thing!! My older daughter was nothing like this and it's driving me INSANE. The baby is just so NEEEEEEDY. It's like the world starts and ends with ME. I know I should be happy and appreciate how much she loves me, but it's like carrying around a sack of potatoes ALL DAY LONG. Even if i can set her down for 5 minutes, I have to hurry as fast as I can to load the dishwasher or deal with my older child... it's just nuts. I don't know what to tell you.

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L.M.

answers from Minneapolis on

1st - know that you are not alone. My son is and has been a whiner from day one. I love him to pieces but it can get irritating at times. He is now 11 months old and slowly growning out of it. Hang in there!

2nd - Please seek some help from your physician or someone else to help with your depression. Where most of your issues probably come from lack of sleep, medication can help you with anything else that is going on. Half of the battle is realizing you have a problem. There is nothing wrong with that (most moms and dads experience some of that at one point or another).

3rd - yes your husband should help in the night. Being at home with the kids is not an easy task, and like someone else said your job takes energy and patience. He may be leaving the house to bring in the money but you are home with those kids (that counts for a lot). My mom watches my boys and in the few instances that I have had to stay home with them alone I have realized how much work it takes and how easily I get tired. Not just physically but emotionally as well.

4th - Maybe you should look for a job, even part-time to get you out of the house.If not that then you need to take time for yourself once your husband gets home. Even 20 minutes soaking in the tub or something would do wonders for you.

5th - Remember you don't have to get everything done during the day, just the necessary things like feeding, diapering, etc. Other things can wait until your husband gets home or the weeknds. If you were continuing to work your housework wouldn't get done until those times.

Just keep going and remember that if you aren't happy nobody is so take care of yourself. Now that it is warming up get outside. The fresh air will be good for you and might occupy her enough for your both to relax.

Good Luck!

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T.T.

answers from La Crosse on

YOU ARE DEFINATELY NOT ALONE. I THINK MANY PARENTS GO THREW THIS. TRY THE GAS DROPS, THEY WILL NOT HURT THE BABY AND SOMETIMES YOU DONT KNOW THAT IT IS GAS UNTIL YOU HAVE TRIED THE DROPS. BABIES ACT DIFFERENT, MY DAUGHTER NOW 1 1/2 WAS WHINY AND I GOT THE GAS DROPS AND IT HELPED ALOT. IT DIDNT STOP THE WHINIG TOTALLY BUT REDUCED IT. I UNDERSTAND NOT WANTING TO LET THEM CRY IT OUT, HOWEVER SOMETIMES WITHIN 15 MIN THEY STOP, TRY WAITING 10 -15 MIN BEFORE PICKING THE BABY UP. THE CRYING ACTUALLY HELPS THERE LUNGS, LEAVING THEM CRY FOR SHORT INERVALS IS OK. I UNDERSTAND BEING DEPRESSED TO. TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT THINGS THAT WILL HELP, I ALSO KNOW HOW IT IS TO NOT HAVE FAMILY AROUND. MY FAMILY LIVES 3 HRS AWAY TO, SO I DONT HAVE THEM TO TURN TO. TALK TO YOUR HUSBAND ABOUT HIM GETTING UP WITH THE BABY WHEN ITS BEFORE 1 AM, SO THAT YOU GET A COUPLE HRS OF SLEEP, STILL LEAVING HIM A COUPLE HRS TO SLEEP BEFORE HE GOES TO WORK. AND DONT WORRY ABOUT HOUSE WORK ALTHOUGH IT MAY BOTHER YOU IT WILL GET DONE IN TIME ASK YOUR 6 YR OLD TO HELP WITH LITTLE THINGS. AND HAVE YOUR HUSBAND HELP WHEN HE GETS HOME. I UNDERSTAND THE OVERWHELMING SITUATION. BUT TALK TO YOUR DOC AND ASK FOR HELP FROM YOUR SON AND HUSBAND. EXPLAIN THAT IF THEY HELPED OUT A LITTLE IT WOULD GREATLY HELP YOU. ONE MORE THING, IF YOUR BABY TAKES A NAP TAKE ON YOURSELF, THE HOUSE WONT GO ANYWHERE, ALTHOUGH WE THINK THAT THERE IS NO TIME FOR THAT, MAKE THAT A PRIORITY BECAUSE IT WILL HELP YOU THREW THE REST OF THE DAY.
FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME ANYTIME, I AM MORE THEN HAPPY YO CHAT, I HAVE BEEN IN YOUR SHOES. MY E-MAIL IS= [email protected]____.com
I AM A STAY AT HOME MOM MYSELF, I HAVE 5 KIDS, THE OLDEST 14 AND THE YOUNGEST 1 1/2. TAKE A DEEP BREATH BECAUSE THIS TO SHALL PASS. T. T.

B.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

I think she sounds overtired. At 6 1/2 months she should be eating once in the middle of the night, and you could try letting her self soothe but honestly listening to her scream is going to grate on your nerves more than anything. Nurse her before bed, and stay by her and rub her belly or get her a lovey like a small stuffed animal or small blanket to rub. Get her on a napping schedule during the day, morning nap around 9am and afternoon nap around 1pm. a well rested baby goes to sleep much easier than a tired one.

Also as far as the daytime whining, I think it would proably cease when she is getting better rest. Sit her down on the floor to play, and get down there with her. Roll a ball back and forth, shake rattles, entertain her, and gradually move a little farther away each day, until she can entertain herself with her toys for 10 or so minutes at a time. Get a sling (www.hotslings.com are my fave) and wear her for a while, it will be much more comfy for you and her than a front carrier. Don't expect her to sit by herself for long periods of time, its not gonna happen. She is an infant and needs your attention. She won't happily sit in a swing or play by herself for long stretches.

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L.R.

answers from La Crosse on

Hi K.-

My daughter went through the same thing. She would scream if I walked out of a room or if anyone else even held her. We were afraid to get a babysitter and even go out. We only let family watch her because I was afraid someone might shake her. It was very hard, especially since I had been confined to bedrest for the four months before she was born. I was lonely and bored and needed to get out. You are not alone! My daughter grew out of it around 9 months and is now a joy! She is a wonderful little girl who loves just about everyone.

We had the same sleep issues you do. We finally ended up using a sleep book the pediatrician recommended. It's by a lady who calls herself the "Sleep Lady". If you Google her, you'll find the book. It worked pretty well, but I tweaked some things.

I hope things get easier for you and your family soon. Just hang in there!

-L.

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R.S.

answers from Milwaukee on

Hi K.,

I have two suggestions for you.

1. It sounds like you have a "high needs baby". Would highly recommend reading The Fussy Baby by Dr William Sears. He's not only a pediatrician, but also a parent of a high needs child.

2. I would recommend a different baby-carrier, like a ring sling, mei tei, pouch etc. check thebabywearer.com for more info (or email me - I make slings). These types of carriers don't put all the baby's weight on the crotch area, allow you to carry baby in a variety of positions, allowing her to be actively involved with you and what you're doing without feeling overly confined. And, you can easily wear her until she's ... well, much bigger. My son is 15 months, 23 lbs and we still use both our ring sling and mei tei daily.

Ok, and I have a third suggestion: make sure you get time for yourself! Personally, I hit a rough patch of depression at that 6 month timeframe - perhaps due to pregnancy hormones finally leaving the body, but you also seem to have a lot going on stresswise. Maybe your husband can get up with your daughter *some* of the time. Try to arrange time for you to get out of the house without her, even if its to go grocery shopping or something, that you can feel "normal" again, and not having to be satisfying someone else's every need. Have lunch with a friend. Take your daugther with you - she'll probably like the chance to get out and be social. Also, remember, you're bound to get less done with a baby than without. Forgive yourself for this, its just how it is, even when you're a SAHM. . . And on that note, maybe a part-time job so that you could feel like you're contributing to the family income?

Hope that helps. Take care.

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N.B.

answers from Milwaukee on

Our 6 1/2 month old son sounds very similar to your daugter, although you sound like you have it a little worse.

Our son Drake, has always wanted to be held ALOT. He will play on his own sometimes, but often prefers to be held. Also, his night time sleeping was bad. About a week and a half ago we started letting him cry-it-out to fall asleep and then when he woke up at night as well. Now he goes down at night without any crying and if he wakes up at night he cries less then 10mins before putting himself back to sleep. We have found that not only are we all sleeping better in our house, but Drake also seems happier and more independant during the day. We make sure to shower him with love and hugs after he wakes up in the morning on after naps, but then he will often play on his own (for up to 1/2 hr. at a time).

Also, I work full-time and my husband is a grad. student at MQT University. Although my husband is the person who is home with our son most often, we still split the night-time getting ups evenly. As the working person I understand the pressure of feeling like the MAJOR bread winner in the family, but I also understand what it means to be a care giver all day (something I learned on my 3 mo. maternity leave) and it is hard and stressful too.

I'd tell your husband you need help. Part of being a parent is putting your time it with the crabby baby and the getting up a night.

I wish you the best of luck!

--N.

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K.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

I really feel for you - my first and my third were like that, and I thought I was going to go crazy from lack of sleep. My third (my only girl) still whines a lot of the time, though now that she's self-mobile it's easier.

First of all, yes, definitely your husband should be getting up part of the time. With my first, I did it all. This was a big mistake. Although your husband's doing the bring-in-the-money work, what you're doing is work too - and work for which you need sleep and patience.

We've used two different techniques - for one, we each take 3 hour shifts throughout the night, getting the baby howevermany times it woke up during that "shift." With the other, we alternate times, no matter how close together they are. Talk to your husband before you go to bed so that the plan is clear and agreed-upon before you fall asleep.

Second, I can also feel for you with the lack of help. Our nearest relatives are also 3 hours away - our nearest "helpful" relatives are 5 hours away, and everyone else is even farther. If you aren't in an ECFE group, I would see if you can find one in your neighborhood. They were really good for helping me not feel so alone. Even if you can't attend any classes, check out the building where they meet - a lot of times there are babysitting co-ops and mother's groups advertised on their bulletin boards. Crown college has a college babysitters program where you might be able to find someone who could come over and let you sleep.

My last recommendation is to get a backpack. It's more comfortable than a bjorn and lets you have your hands completely free. It's tricky to bend down and pick stuff up, but otherwise it's a good alternative to carrying the baby around. Just make sure to follow the directions so that you get it adjusted properly. You can find them at Once Upon a Child sometimes.

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S.

answers from Minneapolis on

that sounds like a touch situation. If she's physically healthy, maybe she's a high maintence baby or colic and will grow out of it. I would make a plan with your husband to share part of the nightime duties-you are burning out and also have a job of taking care of 2 kids the next day. Also, take care of yourself-I would talk to your doctor about a psych referral so you can get some help. I had postpartum depression that hit @ 4 months after he was born. He was an easy baby so I can't imagine how it would be if I was depressed and had a tough baby. Maybe short term counseling/medication would help. It really helped me. I took ativan initially for anxiety and lexapro for depression @ 6 months and eventually ended them both and felt significantly better and thankful I got help. Talk you your husband about how stressed you are. Is there someone (relative/neighbor/friend) who could give you a little respite-even if its just an hour here or there. Good luck , it will get better, but take care of yourself first, you need that before you can handle anything else.

Shelley

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J.

answers from Minneapolis on

K.,
I am sorry to hear that you are having a difficult time. Since you said that she is not a good sleeper it makes me think that she is probably tired and irritable. The best thing I ever did for myself was let my son cry himself to sleep. It took two nights of me not getting up every two to three hours and he was sleeping for six hours at a time. I was nursing, so that was about as long as I could go. Then he would take a nap from 9 or 9:30am until 11 or so and then nap again from 1-3pm. It was a great time to be able to take a shower and do some things around the house and feel a little better.

I would definitely talk with your doctor about being depressed too. Some other things that you could do is join a mom's group there are lots of different ones out there depending on where you live. Take care of yourself. Talk with your husband about you getting out of the house for an hour every day. It will make a huge difference. Your daughter probably senses your unhappiness and that could be a part of it as well, so if you are taking care of yourself hopefully she will start to come around as well. Hang in there!!

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S.L.

answers from Minneapolis on

I feel your pain! I went through the same thing as you are. My husband and I worked out a system, he would get up at night and feed her and let me sleep because I was home with her all day, the needed sleep that I got helped me out during the day so that I was not as cranky with the both of them. My inlaws live 2 hours away and my mother lives downstairs from me in my mother in laws apartment, she did not offer much help for me because she has a short fuse and gets groutchy also. I still do not get any time to myself, I cannot use the bathroom or take a bath or shower without her entering to bother me for one thing or another, I am depressed and have made an appointment to see my doctor to go back on antidepressants and for stress. My husband and I had a long talk the other night about how I feel and I told him that I need to have at leat an hour a day to myself so that I can shower and have mommy time or I will for sure snap, he is not listeneing and trying to help me out more. Hang in there and please know that we are here for you, you are not alone in how you feel and you can see that we have been there also. (((HUGS)))

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N.B.

answers from Green Bay on

Hi-I have a 7 month old and have been going through the same thing since he was about 1 month old, I can't do anything if he's awake, my husband and I have to take turns entertaining him so the other can get something done and he just whines all day and now hes starting to babble so he yells on top of that, I about lost my mind this past weekend, 2 days straight thats all he did!!! He wont play alone, he wont even sit in a highchair if I'm in the kitchen with him. My husband and I don't let him cry it out at night either because I would rather sleep and I know if I just get up and hold him for a few min he will go back to sleep so then I can:) I don't think it has anything to do with gas I think we are just stuck with needy kids, I know I held my son alot when he was born and I've already rocked him to sleep so I partially blame myself but it's my 1st and I didn't know any better!! Best of luck to you and if you find a solution before me, please fill me in.

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N.G.

answers from Appleton on

Does she have gas? Is she teething? There is a gas medicine for babies that you can put 1 drop in her bottles if she is being formula fed that could be an issue. Otherwise is she constipated alot?? That makes babies miserable!! Teething as well, is she drooling or sticking things in her mouth all the time? There is a herbal thing for that, they are called teething tablets amd made from milk ensymes, The Wal mart pharmacies have them and so do natural foods departments in grocery stores.

If none of that works i think you need to let her cry it out at night and put her on a nap schedule during the day. Children need to be able to self soothe. I let both of my kids do that right from the start because my husand and I both saw our parents do that with our siblings ( who are 12 &14 now) and it works. You can make sure they are clean and fed, and then close the door. Just go downstairs and turn the TV up for half an hour so you can't hear the crying. You need to be a healthy and well rested mom for your kids and yourself. If you have a baby monitor that you can use, do that, so you don't have to open the door to check on her. Most of them have lights so you can see when they are making noise, so turining it down will not disable your ability to make sure they are ok.

You are not helping your daughter any by carrying her around and being cranky all day. You need to be healthy and she needs to be able to self soothe. I really hope that you can do this, for your entire family needs you to be halthy and reested, AND HAPPY!!

Good luck, and feel free to let me know how things are going.
N.

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A.P.

answers from Minneapolis on

FIND ECFE!!!

Someone mentioned it in a response but it was just kind of thrown in there. It is through your school district and although there won't be much in the summer you should definatly be a part of it by the fall. This goes for all parents out there. I have been a Nanny for about 10 years and I benefit SO much by the programe.

If you learn nothing from it you still get something out of it just by meeting with other parents of kids the same age as yours.

They have a lot of stuff during the day but there is also night classes.

You will find support in all forms!

Good luck!!
~A.
Oh also they can send a teacher out to your house as well and maybe she could have some more suggestions for you. Look into it!!! You need some adult support!

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D.

answers from Milwaukee on

maybe take her in the stroller for some fresh air since the weather is getting nicer, spend time with her now while shes little. get the slow cooker out to save time with meals. It helps me to use the slow cooker for supper so i can spend time with my son and do chores during his nap. maybe move her bedtime up and give her a bath at bedtime to help her relax. maybe relax some of your expectations for now so you can enjoy your children.

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A.P.

answers from Minneapolis on

I cant exactly say I know what you are going threw. However when my daughter was born she was up every two hours and sometimes just to be awake not to eat. I do however feel like you do when it comes to your husband working and do you wake him or not. Anyway I would have to say that I think that you definetly need to talk to your dr and get yourself fixed first. (Since the dr already said there was nothing wrong with your daughter) obviously you need to be in good health to take care of her. As far as your daughter goes I would just make sure that she is nice and warm for whatever weather she is in, is she hungry and need to be fed, does she have a wet or poopy diaper. Are her ears free of ear infection this would make her fussy, my son gets ear infections with no symptoms just being cranky. Does she have a tummy ache, try a hot water bottle on her tummy. Is she teething, she is still to young for the baby numbing gel for fear they will swallow there tongue until they are 6 mos, try a little tylenol. Does she have gas, try some gas drops or try lying her on her back and grabbing her ankles and pushing them towards her belly in the bent position. Does she like warm baths, try lavender baby bath in her tub, and baby lavender lotion this could calm her.
Has she always slept threw the night? Is she waking up to eat or just to fuss? The reason I ask is because thats how I found out my two children had acid reflux. They both got really cranky during the day and then were up fussing all night.
Anyway I hope that you find something that works. If you need to talk and are having a really bad day and just need to vent, I know i dont know you personally but my ear is always open. I am a SAHM also and know the frustrations when one is cranky and the other is just watching it all happen and you feel like a jerk. I can totally relate. Send me a message and I can give you my number. Good luck I will be thinking of you.

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I.L.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hello, although I have not had it this bad, I do think you need to get your husband up during the nights. My husband and I both work and get up every other night, but even though you don't have a "real" job, you're still working full-time and need your sleep.

My daughter is 7 1/2 months and although she's happy playing on her own sometimes we do have to switch activities a lot. She'll be on the floor for a while, then in the Excersaucer, then we'll go for a walk.

I do think it's equally important to take care of yourself, so I would get your husband to stay with the kids at night so you can get out for a while.

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N.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

I have similar situation when my son was about 6-7 mos. old. I was breastfeeding him at that time, and nothing made him comfortable but being held by me or breastfed. And he woke up several times at night, too, especially when he started teething. It lasted until he hit 1 year.

After that point, little children can better control themselves psychologically; they are more aware of the world around. However, they could stay attached to parents for quit a while. It all depends on your child's personality. If she needs comfort and security from you, so be it. Just try to think that it WILL go away. House chores can wait. When you are even a bit more relaxed and not burden, you will perceive everything and everybody with more positive attitude.

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