How do YOU deal with it?

After a real tough first 5-6 months with my son (reflux/wind, general unsettledness from moving abroad) I have found it really difficult to cope sometimes - he is now approaching 8 months. The screaming just grates me after having so much of it particularly the first 4 months. I know that when it gets to a point you just need to walk away for a few mins because it becomes too much - Ive tried this and it descends into an even bigger disaster where he will end up throwing up and it takes even longer to calm him. Im on my own a lot with him as have no family around me to pop in and help out, and i dont have a large network of friends since moving. So it can get very lonely. And when there are bad days I find it hard to cope.

So thats the background. But my question is, how do YOU cope with it when your lo losing it so bad. And I mean REALLY loses it, and cant be consoled. Last night for example, he decided he would wake up at 1230am and not go back to sleep til 2am. After 40 mins he really lost it and screamed the house down. Then I lost it. This went on for another hour and a half. Im so tired and exhausted. Normally I could call on hubby to step in but he isnt with us at the moment as we are away with family, and I can only do that at night anyway as he works. During the day I have no one to call on and suffer in silence.

I know that getting upset/stressed/frustrated myself doesnt help matters but Im so exhausted (Im also 13wks pregnant) and I just dont know how to handle these episodes and to prevent them from getting out of hand to the point where he gets so upset that he throws up. It can happen in the car when Im driving too. The other day I spent 20mins on the side of the road trying to console him. He lost, it, i lost it. Its tearing me up and when I have nights like last night, with even worse days that follow like all day today, I feel so low and incompetent and question my ability to be his mum.

I use Rescue Remedy which I find helps but I need some more tools. Please help.
Thanks x :cry:


  • Hey hun,

    Sorry that this is happening to you image. I can only imagine what you are going through from the brief episodes that my DS has had. But to be honest i have been extremely lucky in that he has not really had any major screaming episodes. But when he has i have found it difficult.

    I don't really have much advice but i find that putting the hairdyer, vac on helps calm him down ?? maybe try this even at night? if he won't settle. Also maybe a light show at night to distract him?? Hope it gets better soon and you start to cope with it better x
  • Im sorry I don't have any tips for you because I am lucky that (so far) we havn't had too many bad spells with lily - except when she got her jabs.

    All i can say is that maybe you should try going to mother and baby groups? or talking to your Health visitor about his frequent screaming fits? Maybe she will have some tips for you. When you say you 'lost it' what exactly did you mean - do you scream? get upset?

    obviously you being tense will affect your baby so try to keep up with being calm - maybe start yoga or aromatherapy to help you relax?

    have you tried distracting him before he gets too worked up? ie give him a toy to hold or a piece of rusk or feeding him? When lily gets upset we try to distract her by giving her something new to play with (albeit a wooden spoon or a cardboard box?)

    good luck hope you feel better soon
  • hi there, not much advise honey as I too can't recall too many screaming fits with my ds (he's nearing 3 now) but I can recall 8months ish being an awkward age as they get very frustrated at that age, they want to communicate and move about but they aren't old enough yet so it normally results in bit of a tantrum and due to the lack of communication its hard to reason with them at that age.

    saying that tho, he's not far off being able to communicate better and its certainly not to late to start some baby signing. I'd also suggest eye to eye level contact with him and start talking to him when he gets like this with a firm no and try to reason with him, it might start to work, it might not, he will understand more than you think.

    also some mother and toddler groups would be beneficial for both of you to get out and make some friends.

    it will certainly get better honey, the older he gets and don't suffer in silence honey, we're your friends on here so come have a rant, thats what we're here for

    Claire xx
  • Hey hon,

    I'm g/c but, first of all (((((((hugs)))))))), sounds like your little man is a real character image. My DS is now 5 and used to have screaming fits though admittedly not as severe as your lo's sound. Must be so hard being on your own and being pg too. My OH works away a lot though I do have some family close by. I used lots of distraction techniques as soon as I spotted the first signs of a screaming fit starting. An old, working mobile phone was his distraction of choice, anything that he wasn't allowed also worked (car keys, my purse, the tv remote-we had 'his' versions of everything!) I made sure we went to plenty of toddler groups, activities and play areas. As his communication skills improved and he could tell me what the matter was, his screaming fits lessened. As for how I coped with it, I'm not sure~just kind of did. If I felt myself 'boiling up' (and I'm sure you know that feeling) I'd step outside for 5 mins, obv making sure he was safe, nothing wrong with 5 minutes of kiddies tv! It gave me the chance to physically and mentally cool down. Try and get some 'you' time when OH is around. Important as it is to have family time, you do need that time out even if it is just coffee, cake and a trashy magazine for half an hour or getting your hair done.
    Do speak to your HV and/or GP, they are there to help and won't judge.
    Take care.
  • Oh, I could have written your post myself! I know exactly how you're feeling.

    We moved to a new area a week before LO was born and have no family close by. I'm on my own all day with LO and she really suffered with reflux when she was younger - she's 6 months now.

    We're going through a good patch at the moment but I remember times when I would shut myself in the downstairs loo and scream like a banshee just to release some of my frustration and anger. I wasn't angry with my LO but with myself as I felt like a complete failure. I have no one to call on during the day either and with PTSD following a very traumatic birth at times I felt like I couldn't cope.

    Ideally, you need to take a break and relax occasionally if you can - even just going for a walk on your own will help. But when the going gets tough I found the following things helpful...
    1. Aromatherapy - clary sage, lavender and ylang ylang - a couple of drops of each on hanky near the cot but obviously out of reach.
    2. Breathing - I take LO into the spare room (for a change of scenery), lie down on the bed with her close and parallelI to me and I really concentrate on my breathing. I kind of breathe onto her forehead so she can feel it. Oh, you did hypnobirthing didn't you? I start with the in for 4 and out for 8 and gradually work my way to in for 20 and out for 20. Sometimes we do skin to skin with this too.
    Sometimes it can take about half an hour to settle her but it keeps me calm as I feel like I'm actually doing something positive for her rather than just holding her while she cries. Plus I know that at some point she will stop and drop off to sleep. It really works for us and while I'm concentrating on my breathing I can somehow zone out from the crying.
    3. Baby massage - they run a class at my local children's centre - maybe you could look into this.
    4. Mum and baby classes - I do three a week; Gymboree, Musical Minis and Water Babies. A break from the house and a bit of socialisation really, really helps. Even just talking to other Mum's and realising that how you're feeling is not abnormal and actually quite common is really reassuring. I also like talking to Mums having a worse time than me - there always is one and it makes me feel better!

    I wonder what's making him wake up and cry? Is he too young for night terrors? Not that there's a remedy for it but it might help to know why he's doing it.

    Remember that these difficult times will pass and when you think back it'll just feel like a little blip.
    Stay positive, we're here when you need us.

    B xx
  • Hi Sim,

    I'm afraid I don't have any constructive advice, but wanted to say that Grace was like this not so long ago, to the point where she would scream so much she was sick at least once or twice every day.

    However...... she is ten months old today, and for the last months she has not done this at all! So I am hoping that there is light at the end of the tunnel for you.

    Take care,

    Emma x
  • QUOTE Breathing - I take LO into the spare room (for a change of scenery), lie down on the bed with her close and parallelI to me and I really concentrate on my breathing. I kind of breathe onto her forehead so she can feel it. Oh, you did hypnobirthing didn't you? I start with the in for 4 and out for 8 and gradually work my way to in for 20 and out for 20. Sometimes we do skin to skin with this too.
    Sometimes it can take about half an hour to settle her but it keeps me calm as I feel like I'm actually doing something positive for her rather than just holding her while she cries. Plus I know that at some point she will stop and drop off to sleep. It really works for us and while I'm concentrating on my breathing I can somehow zone out from the crying.

    ...............thought this is lovely!!!!!!!!! good for you, this is such a positive response I think.

    [Modified by: dollywotsit on July 14, 2010 07:27 PM]

  • Hi Sim

    I know how you feel, thankfully Tyler only has these when he is beyond tired. But when he does he even holds his breath during crying to the point where i'm shouting at him to breath (i blame his dad for his temper) when he's like this and I feel as though I cant cope, I put him in his cot, put his mobile on and go and lie on my bed for a minute to calm down, sometimes even downstairs where i cant hear him crying (thats sounds bad) I find myself telling myself to calm down aswell, especially when he's awake from 2.45 until 4.30am and i have work the next day. My hubs cant help as Tyler thinks he's just another toy so wont settle for him (something we have to work on). At night he doesn't cry, just talk, scream to himself very loudly so its impossible to sleep through (although hubs manages it).
    I've never had much patience and its been thoroughly tested through these last 8 months, i've never talked to myself so much in my life !!
    Anyway, not much help but thats how i cope.

  • Hi Sim

    I don't have any advice but I wanted to send you some big ((((((((hugs)))))))).

    I really hope you can find something to help soon.

    Love NN xxxx
  • This sounds wierd I know, but...I read some where when babie is having fits, screaming that you should blow in there face as its a distraction. I can;t remember when my son (now 10) was like at that age.

    Sorry I cant offer much more help, but fingers crossed its just a stage and he gets out of it fast.xx
  • Thanks for your replies girls.
    I do have a mothers group I started going to but it became a real problem as the time they have it (1230-230) is bang on during his sleep time. I either get there for the last 20mins or when Ive tried to go earlier which disrupts his routine it follows in an epidsode like Ive described above. The whole afternoon turns to cr*p and so does that night too with many night wakes cos he is too overtired and out of whack. Im away at the mo but intend on looking to find alternatives when Im back home. Ive also signed up to Gymbaroo to start next week and we go swimming as well.
    So the activities will be there but it's the actual episodes that still occur. He does have a temper and the tantrums are horrendous - been going on for 2 months now. He has no patience either. I know I shouldnt compare but I look at other babies and even the slightly fractious appear so calm to me. Sarah I know you know what I mean!!
    Its the night times that are the hardest. I dont think Ive slept much the past 2 months, especially this last month being on my own with him every night. It's taking it's toll. I get angry and upset and shout at him to go to sleep. I cant just put him down and walk away cos he loses it even more. But after ongoing lack of sleep i cant keep rocking him for 2 hours at night either. :cry: I work so hard to get his sleep back on track and then he teethes or gets a cold or something. Then i have to start over. I should be back home again next week and hubby can take over the nights again. My gran is ill at the moment which is why Ive had an extended stay away.
    Mrs Busby thanks for your tips especially. And for reminding me to breathe!! My hypno was so effective and I plan to use it all again with this pregnancy and you're right I should be using it now too. I feel so guilty that Im so anxious and tense all the time with this pregnancy because of my exhaustion with my son (I was so superchilled the whole way through with him, and guess I hoped he would come out wrong was I!!). So I will go back to what I know and use the breathing. It has to be better for both of us than me getting stressed back at him and shouting and Im sure it will be quicker to calm him down as well.

    Another episode is errupting... must go.
  • Aww you poor thing. Have you tried cranial osteopathy? Benjamin wasn't as bad as your LO but he did cry a lot and hardly slept. A couple of sessions later and he sleeps through, naps, and only cries when really tired. It may help.
    Really hope some of the ideas on here help xx
  • We started the cranial when he was 3 days old. It did help. But now he is more just playing me than anything else. I can accept when he is teething and in pain and will gladly sit up all night comforting him next to his cot which I have had to do but when there is nothing wrong with him thats when it becomes real tough.

    I tried the breathing earlier when he went into meltdown and it was a success. So I will persevere.

    Oh and they arent night terrors. He is supposed to be too young for those although I suspected he did have one a few weeks back but nothing like it since as that was real terror I could see in his face and cries.
  • Oh Sim i do feel for you!

    My little girl is 1 now but between the age of 3-9 months she was a nightmare. She could scream for 5 hours a day without stopping for food/milk nothing.

    My only saving grace was that she slept for 12 hours a night so i had time to calm down but during the days i was a total wreck.

    I would cry most of the day and awful as it sounds i just used to shout at her to stop but as you all know this doesn't work at all and ends up leaving you feeling worse than you did before.

    Nothing shut her up, my doctor told me to shut her in a room and turn the music on so i couldn't hear her!!! How awful! I'm afraid it was just a case of waiting it out. Even now she can throw at least 5 tantrums a day on a bad day but i've learnt to leave her to it now. If i bother her it makes her so much worse.

    I really have no words of advise other than to hang in there. I TOTALLY know how you feel.

    Take care xxxxxx
  • Sim I completley understand what you mean by saying he plays with you. My ds is a little chancer with everyone else except me funnily enough and has been known to scream himself to sleep. I did have one crying episode which lead to being sick, but only one..and he was teething at the time.

    Is it over tiredness that's making him so grumpy? Maybe you should try him on a sleep routine and see if that helps?

    This might sound condecending but I dint think getting out more is going to help... Like you said it disrupts him and his whole day so I wouldn't be planning anything else till you get that sorted. I used to take ds to swimming but because he was in the water when he should have been napping, the aftermath was unbeleivable. I was so frustrated and embarrassed as he would literally high pitched squeal and stop breathing and I was trying to get him dry and me out a wet cossie...needless to say I never went back at that time again. Now, his naps are sorted and it doesn't bother him to be out and about so I'd take him back.

    I live 3hrs away from any family and it's bloody taxing! Even though oh is here, he just doesn't understand how draining it can be 7daya a week 24hrs a day. I don't consider a break being him taking lo for the night because I can still hear the crying and at one point he'll no doubt start asking where things are so what's the point!

    It will get easier but the trick is to accept the situation. You getting worked up isn't going to stop the crying, infact he'll realise you're anxious and feed off it. I used to find singing to him or turning on music used to calm him down loads too. I also put playhouse Disney on and get a cuppa whilst he watches it...and Ill put him in his cot with all his toys and go lie down for five mins.

    Please don't let it get you down. it is so lonely when family aren't around and you do end up resenting your situation at times but don't think you're stuck in the house all day, try and get out even for ten mins and not a full two hours like some of the baby groups. if you set that as your expectation you're going to be dissappointed. the breathing is also a great bit of advice but most of all just set yourself little goals like a cuppa, a magazine article, a five min powernap or a ten min walk to the shops. It will gradually get better...I promise! X
  • Thanks Vicky, your words make me realise that there really is a light at the end of this long tunnel and hopefully Im almost there. Im feeling a lot more on top of things today now Im in oz so Im 10hrs ahead of you guys). I think it was cos I just needed to vent how I was feeling and to feel some much needed comfort from you guys. I was out and about with him today and he only had 1 mini-meltdown (after this morning's episode) but that was cos we were in the car and he only had a 45min nap earlier (woke himself up with a poo!) instead of 1-2hrs.

    Princess87, youre right, I need to adjust my expectations again and also stop thinking this will last forever (Im always guilty of that when it gets tough!!) The one thing I am strict on though is his routine and ensuring he has the opportunity to have his naps. I avoid being out when its coming up to nap time cos like you say it ends up such a disaster (this happened when i tried to fit into the time slots of the mothers group for example). I dont let him nap in the buggy or the car unless it's an "extra" nap as he would never sleep the full 1-2hrs if I did and i just dont think this is fair on him. As Im away where all my and hubbys family are Ive pi**ed many of them off by not budging on his routine to suit them. He suffers if I do, then so do I and its a nightmare. So it's not tiredness, he can just get cranky sometimes and I guess he just doesnt know how to deal with it. In saying that, when he is having a good day he is such a delight to be with and he does laugh and smile a lot. It's just when is gets upset he really goes to town with it!!!
    Hopefully tonight we both get a better sleep, if not I will remember to breathe!! image
  • I'm so glad things are better today. Babies don't come with a manual and they should! Ha ha

    I never dreamt motherhood would be so hard. I suppose some people don't feel that it is but i cartainly do. Having said that, i wouldn't change my girl for the world. She has so much spirit and constantly makes me laugh but she is very hard work. She almost put me off baby number 2 but i'm coming round to the idea of another one now. image

    Best of luck with your pregnancy and i hope you manage to get plenty of rest!!!

  • I always say my manual got flushed down the plughole after I gave birth!! :lol:
    Oh and one of the reasons I wanted to go straight away for No. 2 was I feared if we left it much longer I too would be too scared to go back!!
  • Hi Sim,

    I can't really offer any advice in terms of the crying and upset but I sympathise with you having no family around to help. I moved away to be with my partner and his family live really close by (almost across the road) and offer no support and I know just how difficult it is.

    I also have the same problems with sleep - Dylan is a terrible sleeper (still, at almost 9 months) and cannot last much beyond 6pm. We went away last week and tried to keep him up until 7.30 so we could go out for tea and all hell broke loose, he was up until 11.30 screaming as he was so tired he didn't know what to do with himself. This has caused problems as we are suppose to be going to a party on saturday afternoon and evening and I will be leaving at 6pm if they like it or not as it really isn't fair on him, or me who has to deal with the aftermath. No doubt OH's family will fall out with me.

    If the baby group you tried to go to was at a bad time, could you try and arrange to meet some of the mums from there at a different, more conveinant time? Maybe a playdate at your house one week and someone elses the next?

    I know how difficult it is to get out when you know that they need to nap well in the day to make the nights better but if you can make some mummy friends it make make things easier.

    Hope you are feeling well with bump number two and today is a better day.

    Jo x
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