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Old 07-08-2012, 03:50 AM   #1
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Advice for mom of cranky 1 y/o (long)

Hoping for some advice ... maybe even some BTDT Mamas.

My little boy will be one in just a couple weeks. Currently 4-6 p.m. are the worst.hours.of.our.lives. It's like his newborn witching stage never really left but the last 4-6 weeks have been extra horrid. No matter what I say, try or do, nothing interests him and he acts very grumpy/tired.

1. Sleep - he sleeps 6:30p-5:30a. We've tried every bedtime from 5:45 to 7:15 and he wakes up by 5:30 no matter what. I've come to terms with this schedule and I'm fine with it.
2. Nap - he naps about 60-75 minutes in the morning and about 90-120 in the afternoon. I feel his naps are adequate for his age. He's definitely NOT ready to drop his morning nap. But sometimes he wakes from his afternoon nap (say he slept 12:30-2:30) and by 3:45 he's rubbing his eyes already.
3. Yes, he's perpetually teething

At first I thought the 4 p.m. cranky was for hunger, since until about a month ago he wasn't having real lunch yet. Still just late morning fruit. So we tried offering him more of a lunch combo around 11/11:30 (solid and liquid) as well as a snack around 2:30 or 3 (w/ water). Sometimes he eats it. Sometimes (this is more like lately) he couldn't be LESS interested in eating or drinking anything. It's been a struggle to get his liquids in. He's ready for dinner by 5 p.m. sharp, which is hard enough for us to do.

Stimulation: this is where I feel the problem really lies but have no answer. Whether it's during the week when he's in DCP and we return home about 4 p.m. (so from a very stimulating environment to a NON stimulating environment) or whether he's been home all day with me and DH (and therefore by 4 p.m. he's officially bored w/ his toys and all the rooms our house has to offer), it's bear city for two hours. While I feel bad I don't have a house w/ 5 other kids to run around and entertain him, I do need him to entertain himself for just a little while. During the week I have dinner to prepare, bags to unpack, a cat to take care of, etc. On the weekends, I'm wiped and out of ideas. And it's not always financially or time-wise feasible for us to bring him out all day long just to exhaust him.

Help??

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Old 07-08-2012, 07:00 AM   #2
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Re: Advice for mom of cranky 1 y/o (long)

Wear him? Even if he's cranky? At least you can move around?

Mine was like this at 1yo. He hung on my leg from 4 to 6 every night, right when I was trying to get dinner cooked. Heck, half the time he still does.

You could try (just to buy time to make dinner)
IPad apps for baby if you have an iPad
Hire a neighborhood kid around 8-10 yo to come play an hour while you cook/clean (I do this once a week and DS loves it. I pay her $3. She's happy, I'm happy, we all win)
Set up markers, finger paint, crayons on the high chair and let him make a mess
Pots and pans on the kitchen floor

We had to ultimately give DS a snack cup he could carry around and kept it full at all times. He just was a nibbler, and was hungry when we didn't know it. Every photo we have from 13 mo to about 18 mo he has that snack cup in his hand!!!
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:17 AM   #3
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Re: Advice for mom of cranky 1 y/o (long)

Can you do any outside time between 4 and 6? My 17 month old craves time outside. We have a water table set up outside and she just loves scooping and pouring water. Even just putting a blanket out and a few toys/books and sitting with him out there might do a world of good.

Are you giving him anything for the teething? We give ibuprofen when she is really bad, and it is like night and day!

Oh, and I second the cabinet comment to buy you some time to cook. I cleared out two cabinets, some drawers, and removed breakable items from bottom shelves of pantry. This would often keep her entertained just long enough.

Last edited by GreyMum; 07-08-2012 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:51 AM   #4
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When we had that stage I did 2 things;

1) Go for a walk around the block. It's amazing what a change of scenery will do.

2) Have one or 2 special toys they can only play with while you get things done.

This too shall pass mama! Before you know it it won't be a problem. I also keep Baby Einstein and SigninTime videos as a last resort.
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:54 PM   #5
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Re: Advice for mom of cranky 1 y/o (long)

I never heard of the witching hour being a newborn thing. I didn't even get it until closer to 1 and a friend of mine has mentioned it got even crankier after 1 and she's still dealing with it at 18months. Whereas I first learned about it from a friend who had much older children. I think it's not age dependent

that said, I think the other suggestions are already great. I just sorta ignored it. It has mostly gone away for us (but it'll start up again since I say that!), but we do try to go outside after naptime because outside makes everything better. Hard to cook dinner.... but we manage.

I usually clean while DH takes care of bathtime, so that reduces that pressure on my time.
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