Posted by: Milan' s mommy | 2008/12/20


Stressed out 5 month old baby

Our 5 month old son has always been sensitive to noise and changes in his routine. Thanks to us maintaining his routine in a quiet, calm, home environment he had, till now, been content and playful when awake, happily put himself to sleep, and seldom ever cried.
However, since we employed a nanny on 1 Dec he has been fussy and cries often, babbles and smiles less, refuses to sleep, jumps at the slightest sound (unfastening his nappy, kettle boiling, running the tap), will only calm down if we jog on the spot with him and seems to have a " tick"  when under stress. We consulted an OT who said that he will need therapy next year for sensory integration difficulties. In the mean time, although he smiles at the nanny, he is withdrawn when she carries him, refuses to drink his milk when she feeds him, and is constantly edgy. We tried to ease the transition by having her use my soaps, wear my deodorant, initially just playing with him and progressing to changing nappies and feeding over a few days, yet 3 weeks later he has still not adjusted and instead his demeanour deteriorates the longer he is with her. She tries extremely hard to keep him happy. Please help! How much longer should we force the issue? We are so desperate that I am considering leaving work.

Expert's Reply



Your baby is obviously very sensitive to sound. This is not uncommon and is known by the medical term 'hyperacusis'. These days children with this sound sensitivity are often labelled as being 'sensory defensive' An OT would be the best expert to consult to assist with helping your baby in this regard.Later it may be necessary for him to be seen by a child psychologist, but this depends on his progress.
As regards your new nanny, obviously he has not bonded with her yet. He is missing you a great deal and can almost be regarded as showing signs of separation anxiety, despite being so young.He should improve slowly with a great deal of patience on your part and on your nanny's part.

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