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Have you ever been so frustrated with your little one you were less than loving?

I had my niece this weekend and she just wailed and cried and screamed the entire time. I knew she was tired but she kept fighting going to sleep. I had to pick her up out of the crib every time I tried to lay her down and pick her up off the floor when I tired to let her play. She would only be held but would still not go to sleep. I said things like "You're driving me crazy, just go to SLEEP!" and put her down and she'd start crying and I'd grab her out of the crib and bounce her trying to calm her down. I just wasn't as loving as I could have been and I feel awful and terribly guilty.

Am I horrible? Especially because she is having so many problems. Why couldn't I just find the compassion to sway her gently and comfort her?

How have you parents out there taken yourselves out of the situation and found ways to calm yourselves down when you're frustrated?

43 Replies (last)

You are not horrible. Babies kinda suck. Every time I'm around one I feel like I have to jump threw hoops entertaining them to keep them from crying.

How long do you let your niece cry for before picking her up? It's okay for the baby to cry for a little while.

 

ETA: But I'm not a mom

No!!  Oh geez sweetie, no...  not at all.  It is STRESSFUL sometimes.  There have been so many times I've gotten so flustered and frazzled I've had to tag my husband in (and vice versa).   Honestly, I really don't know how single parents do it. 

Anyway, in those stressful moments...  if there's no other adult there to allow you to tap out, walk away...   make sure little one is in a nice safe place and just walk away and count to 10 and take a deep breath.  This helped me. 

Original Post by aczinder:

Have you ever been so frustrated with your little one you were less than loving?

I had my niece this weekend and she just wailed and cried and screamed the entire time. I knew she was tired but she kept fighting going to sleep. I had to pick her up out of the crib every time I tried to lay her down and pick her up off the floor when I tired to let her play. She would only be held but would still not go to sleep. I said things like "You're driving me crazy, just go to SLEEP!" and put her down and she'd start crying and I'd grab her out of the crib and bounce her trying to calm her down. I just wasn't as loving as I could have been and I feel awful and terribly guilty.

Am I horrible? Especially because she is having so many problems. Why couldn't I just find the compassion to sway her gently and comfort her?

How have you parents out there taken yourselves out of the situation and found ways to calm yourselves down when you're frustrated?

You are not horrible.  But I know the guilt is heavy with that sort of thing.  I had a similiar incident this weekend, but of course with an eight year old.  I still feel guilty.  We were about to eat Easter dinner and he kept talking during the prayer.  I kept saying, "Be quiet!"  And he kept insisting, "I need to tell you something!"  Finally, I told him to shut up.  That's a big no-no in our house and with kids...it's a rude thing to say, but I was just so frustrated that he kept on and on and on talking when I was asking him repeatedly to talk.

Just don't dwell on it.

Also...you know it's okay to let her cry right?

Original Post by mjsophia:

You are not horrible. Babies kinda suck. Every time I'm around one I feel like I have to jump threw hoops entertaining them to keep them from crying.

How long do you let your niece cry for before picking her up? It's okay for the baby to cry for a little while.

 

ETA: But I'm not a mom

It's one of those cries where she can barely take a breath for crying so hard. I don't think it would be healthy to leave her to cry it out. If it were just a little cry, I'd feel differently about it though.

No, you're not horrible.  In fact, I recall when I was in the hospital just after the birth of my first baby being given a lesson about shaken baby syndrome.  Be careful about the "bouncing" thing - if you're frustrated, the baby will sense it just in your motions, and you're not doing anybody any good in the attempt.  Leaving a baby to cry in a crib is a lot safer for both you and them.

When my oldest was about 2 months old, I distinctly remember a night when he refused to calm down.  Nothing worked.  Not hungry, not cold, not overheated, clean diaper, no fever, gave him gas drops...just couldln't figure it out, and he kept on wailing.  I wasn't so much frustrated as just hopelessly out of ideas.  So I decided to do the only thing I could and hold him.  I sat down on the couch cradling him, put on a movie with the subtitles on, and just let him cry himself to sleep in my arms while I concentrated on the movie.

My youngest is the one now that has a talent for pushing my buttons.  He's autistic, and in addition to other behaviors, also cannot stand harsh tones of voice.  On really hard or tired days, I may have to count backwards from 20, and when he's hitting the buttons really hard, I'll do it in Spanish.

How often do you babysit?  Your niece's parents should have the best advice on what to do for her and when - have they provided you with any advice?

I feel for you - Good luck with future babysitting!

Original Post by aczinder:

Original Post by mjsophia:

You are not horrible. Babies kinda suck. Every time I'm around one I feel like I have to jump threw hoops entertaining them to keep them from crying.

How long do you let your niece cry for before picking her up? It's okay for the baby to cry for a little while.

 

ETA: But I'm not a mom

It's one of those cries where she can barely take a breath for crying so hard. I don't think it would be healthy to leave her to cry it out. If it were just a little cry, I'd feel differently about it though.

Was she crying like that the whole time? maybe she had a cold? Either way, hearing a baby wail is the worst!

It'll be better in the future. Don't beat yourself up.

Original Post by santonacci:

No, you're not horrible.  In fact, I recall when I was in the hospital just after the birth of my first baby being given a lesson about shaken baby syndrome.  Be careful about the "bouncing" thing - if you're frustrated, the baby will sense it just in your motions, and you're not doing anybody any good in the attempt.  Leaving a baby to cry in a crib is a lot safer for both you and them.

When my oldest was about 2 months old, I distinctly remember a night when he refused to calm down.  Nothing worked.  Not hungry, not cold, not overheated, clean diaper, no fever, gave him gas drops...just couldln't figure it out, and he kept on wailing.  I wasn't so much frustrated as just hopelessly out of ideas.  So I decided to do the only thing I could and hold him.  I sat down on the couch cradling him, put on a movie with the subtitles on, and just let him cry himself to sleep in my arms while I concentrated on the movie.

My youngest is the one now that has a talent for pushing my buttons.  He's autistic, and in addition to other behaviors, also cannot stand harsh tones of voice.  On really hard or tired days, I may have to count backwards from 20, and when he's hitting the buttons really hard, I'll do it in Spanish.

How often do you babysit?  Your niece's parents should have the best advice on what to do for her and when - have they provided you with any advice?

I feel for you - Good luck with future babysitting!

I babysit every weekend. The parents aren't in the picture. My mom has taken the baby out of their home because they are unfit to care for her.

I have a pretty good grasp on her needs/likes/dislikes. I've watched her every weekend since she was three months old (she's 9 months old now). She's just ill right now. Surgery (to remove a growth near her lung & put tubes in her ears) is on the 11th and she is on a ton of medicine. She's having persistent ear infections so I know what the problem was, there just wasn't anything I could do. I gave her her ear drops and ibuprophen but nothing was helping and I guess that was what was so frustrating. There was nothing I could do.

Anna, you are obviously not horrible.

I don't know how people do it. Really I don't. I would crack like an egg in a situation like that. I can't imagine how freaking frustrating it is when they cry and cry and cry and scream and wail and you don't. know. why. Eegads.

Don't dwell on it. She's such a sick little baby, that maybe once she has her surgery, and weeks/months pass and she heals, she will be better :(

Original Post by roxysparkles:

Anna, you are obviously not horrible.

I don't know how people do it. Really I don't. I would crack like an egg in a situation like that. I can't imagine how freaking frustrating it is when they cry and cry and cry and scream and wail and you don't. know. why. Eegads.

 

OMG....  I think I would freak out too....  even the first few nights of the wailing puppy about drove me over the edge where I wanted to beat her. (I would never beat me animals)

Original Post by aczinder:

She's having persistent ear infections so I know what the problem was, there just wasn't anything I could do. I gave her her ear drops and ibuprophen but nothing was helping and I guess that was what was so frustrating. There was nothing I could do.

Yikes, that poor baby.  Well, just for a frame of mind thing:  Remember that no matter how frustrated you are, that baby is probably just as miserable as you are, if not more so. 

On the earache:  What worked well for my boys when drops and ibuprofen wasn't doing enough is cold compresses around the area of their ears - not too cold, though.

Exactly, you did all you could.  That little girl is so lucky to have you and your mom. 

Shake this one off.  All we can do in situations like this is try to do better next time.   Seriously, try the counting thing...  giving myself a mini time out always helped.   One of my girls had severe colic and cried every waking moment for 3 months straight.  Three months doesn't seem like a long time...   but in a situation like this, believe me..  it is. 

Original Post by santonacci:

Original Post by aczinder:

She's having persistent ear infections so I know what the problem was, there just wasn't anything I could do. I gave her her ear drops and ibuprophen but nothing was helping and I guess that was what was so frustrating. There was nothing I could do.

Yikes, that poor baby.  Well, just for a frame of mind thing:  Remember that no matter how frustrated you are, that baby is probably just as miserable as you are, if not more so. 

On the earache:  What worked well for my boys when drops and ibuprofen wasn't doing enough is cold compresses around the area of their ears - not too cold, though.

That is exactly why I feel SO guilty!

Original Post by meta15:

Exactly, you did all you could.  That little girl is so lucky to have you and your mom. 

Shake this one off.  All we can do in situations like this is try to do better next time.   Seriously, try the counting thing...  giving myself a mini time out always helped.   One of my girls had severe colic and cried every waking moment for 3 months straight.  Three months doesn't seem like a long time...   but in a situation like this, believe me..  it is. 

Thanks, I will do better next time. I'll remember to have patience, compassion and breathe. It will pass, she will stop crying I just have to comfort her.

Original Post by aczinder:

That is exactly why I feel SO guilty!

My apologies, acz - I so did not mean to make you feel guilty.

You are not a monster, you are human.  The fact that you are so concerned and asking for advice shows how lucky that little girl is to have you in her life.

Original Post by santonacci:

Original Post by aczinder:

That is exactly why I feel SO guilty!

My apologies, acz - I so did not mean to make you feel guilty.

You are not a monster, you are human.  The fact that you are so concerned and asking for advice shows how lucky that little girl is to have you in her life.

No worries, I was just pointing out that that was why I felt so bad! Because no amount of MY suffering could ever amount to what she must be feeling.

Original Post by stargazer1:

Original Post by roxysparkles:

Anna, you are obviously not horrible.

I don't know how people do it. Really I don't. I would crack like an egg in a situation like that. I can't imagine how freaking frustrating it is when they cry and cry and cry and scream and wailand you don't. know. why. Eegads.

 

OMG....  I think I would freak out too....  even the first few nights of the wailing puppy about drove me over the edge where I wanted to beat her. (I would never beat me animals)

SG & Roxy, wanna do me a favor and just shoot me your fallopian tubes in the mail?

As long as you were holding her, she didn't cry? That doesn't sound like it has to do with an ear ache. Might have something to do with the position in which she was being held, might have been soothing for her tummy, or might have taken pressure off her sore ear... Hard to tell.

Sometimes you just have to hold them. I was never one to leave a baby screaming in a crib, so I did some time in the LazyBoy rocking at 3:00 AM. It's perfectly ok to give yourself a few moments in another room, though, and nothing you did was horrible.

Also their sleep patterns change at periodic times in their development. The schedule she needed as an infant or even a month ago might not be what she needs now.

Regardless, don't beat yourself up, auntie. Practice meditation and relaxation techniques and try to employ them, if it happens again.

Original Post by kevinatthebrook:

Original Post by stargazer1:

Original Post by roxysparkles:

Anna, you are obviously not horrible.

I don't know how people do it. Really I don't. I would crack like an egg in a situation like that. I can't imagine how freaking frustrating it is when they cry and cry and cry and scream and wailand you don't. know. why. Eegads.

 

OMG....  I think I would freak out too....  even the first few nights of the wailing puppy about drove me over the edge where I wanted to beat her. (I would never beat me animals)

SG & Roxy, wanna do me a favor and just shoot me your fallopian tubes in the mail?

In all fairness, I only said it would be incredibly frustrating and that I would crack like an egg - meaning, I think I would end up breaking down and crying too out of sheer frustration.

If that would make me a bad mother, well, then maybe I'm truly not suited to reproduce.

Original Post by roxysparkles:

Original Post by kevinatthebrook:

Original Post by stargazer1:

Original Post by roxysparkles:

Anna, you are obviously not horrible.

I don't know how people do it. Really I don't. I would crack like an egg in a situation like that. I can't imagine how freaking frustrating it is when they cry and cry and cry and scream and wailand you don't. know. why. Eegads.

 

OMG....  I think I would freak out too....  even the first few nights of the wailing puppy about drove me over the edge where I wanted to beat her. (I would never beat me animals)

SG & Roxy, wanna do me a favor and just shoot me your fallopian tubes in the mail?

In all fairness, I only said it would be incredibly frustrating and that I would crack like an egg - meaning, I think I would end up breaking down and crying too out of sheer frustration.

If that would make me a bad mother, well, then maybe I'm truly not suited to reproduce.

It was suppsoed to be a joke. Sorry if I missed the mark.

Original Post by kathygator:

As long as you were holding her, she didn't cry? That doesn't sound like it has to do with an ear ache. Might have something to do with the position in which she was being held, might have been soothing for her tummy, or might have taken pressure off her sore ear... Hard to tell.

Sometimes you just have to hold them. I was never one to leave a baby screaming in a crib, so I did some time in the LazyBoy rocking at 3:00 AM. It's perfectly ok to give yourself a few moments in another room, though, and nothing you did was horrible.

Also their sleep patterns change at periodic times in their development. The schedule she needed as an infant or even a month ago might not be what she needs now.

Regardless, don't beat yourself up, auntie. Practice meditation and relaxation techniques and try to employ them, if it happens again.

She still cried, just not the screaming, can't breathe cry! I know she was tired, all the signs were there. Rubbing her eyes, sucking her thumb...she just kept fidgeting and wouldn't relax and go to sleep.

43 Replies (last)
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