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Have I done this AP stuff all wrong??? - Page 2

post #21 of 29
You've had a lot of great replies about how typical this sounds for a baby of this age. And I share the empathy that others have expressed for the mother of a high-needs baby. It is HARD to believe that your baby's high-needs-ness isn't entirely your fault, when everyone around you seems to have easygoing babies.

Something I hear in your post that stands out to me is the part about how you are "anxious" and "terrified of doing something wrong." I believe that babies, especially the intuitive ones who lean naturally more towards high-needs, pick up on this. I don't think you need to change your foundation parenting strategies (closeness, parenting to sleep, etc.); I think you need to change how you feel about them. When your baby cries when you go to the bathroom, for example, if you communicate to him (whether verbally or physically) that you are nervous about his crying or uncertain about the situation, it will only make it worse. He needs you to be the leader. He needs you to be the leader. He needs you to be solid and confident.

I know that many parents interpret this as baby "needing" them to "let" him CIO, or "needing" them to ignore him when he cries/tantrums. I would NEVER advocate those practices, just to be clear. I'm talking about keeping on doinf the compassionate, empathetic things you've been doing, but with a healthy dose of, "Hey baby, it's all right!"

In order to get to this place within yourself, I would suggest doing as much reading and posting as you find helpful. But the other thing I'd suggest is finding some sort of IRL tribe. IME, what relatively insecure babies often benefit most from is two or more adults (the more, the merrier) doing meaningful adult work while peripherally, but not primarily, caring for them. Bonus points if there are other children (mixed ages, preferably) to form a little children's tribe.

I know it's sort of counter-cultural to say so, but I believe there are some babies who suffer from *too much* attention. It winds up making them feel uncertain, like, "What's up with everyone watching me?!" IMO, some children feel very insecure when they want you to be doing your thing, showing them the way, and instead it feels to them like you're waiting for *them* to tell you what to do next!

On the days when a tribe is hard to come by, try putting ds on your back and just doing your thing. Keep busy, do housework, go for a walk, etc.

Reading I'd suggest: The Continuum Concept, Scott Noelle's Faily Groove emails (google for link, no time right now to look up!)

post #22 of 29
One of my petpeeves about AP books like Dr.Sears and big AP advocate is sometimes they seem to give the message (I'm sure it's not on purpose, just in the way the message is given) that if you babywear, co-sleep and breastfeed, then you will never have a problem with your child. Ever.

That is a very unfair misconception for parents. Parenting is hard, no matter what philosophy you adhere to.
post #23 of 29

You're where I was at 12 months. It is still SO little, and truly, babies seem to go through a super clingy stage from 12-15 months, +/- a few months on each side. It is normal. Twelve month-olds do not "play independently", no matter what our moms insist we did at that age.

My son was a HN baby and a HN toddler, and his sister arrived when he was 15 months old. She was HN in that she really only wanted to be with me 24/7, and if she could have climbed back into my uterus every afternoon, she would have. She never took a bottle from anyone (I tried!), never took a pacifier (I tried that, too!) to sit with someone else while I took a shower, and in general, pretty much didn't leave my side for 18 months.

They are 4 & 3 now, and have very gradually grown into a marvelous independence and confidence.

I promise you, it gets better. You aren't screwing them up, you aren't "doing this wrong", you aren't ruining them for life. You are parenting a 12 month old baby! ...which is so hard, and I promise you it gets better.

post #24 of 29
Originally Posted by gcgirl View Post

ETA: This is one of the ways you may be able to tell if you are headed down the road to "smothering." If you think your LO can't be without you EVER, or you're the only one who can meet his/her needs, you might be a smotherer. I realize I'll probably get called out on that, but it's the way I see it.
I don't know about that.....DH and I are with him nearly 24/7....in the early days (up until about 18 months) DS only wanted to be with me and would freak if I left....DH could be there too of course but mommy had to be there too....at 18m I went back to work pt time and he learned to have fun without mommy. I don't think I was smothering him....it's just that I was there all the time.
post #25 of 29
Originally Posted by eepster View Post
This sounds a bit like boredom. Are you two getting out and doing things? Taking walks, going to LLL meetings, etc. My DS had a very high need (still does at almost 4yo) for stimulation.

ETA: we started Music Together classes at around a year and DS loved them.

I agree. Whenever I notice that my dd is getting whiny and extra demanding it helps to go do something. Several times I have taken her to the mall just to walk around or let her play on the indoor playground there. There's also story time at the library. Even if your DS is too young to understand the story there's lots of new things to look at and new places to explore. Our library also has storytellers that use drums and music and my dd LOVES that. I've also been known to go to the local Chick-fil-A and buy a large tea and just allow dd to explore their awesome playground for a while. I don't know what the weather is like where you are, but even a walk around the neighborhood, either wearing him or with a stroller, can be a nice distraction.

Sometimes changing the environment can make a big attitude change.
post #26 of 29
Don't have time to read all the replies, sorry!

DS was exactly like that from 12-18 months, then slowly tapering off since (almost 3), but a lot better now. I starting wondering, too.

Here's what I've come up with:

1) the age, for sure

2) the temperament, high needs and what not (DS is showing signs of being gifted, I think its all related).

3) our very unique way of parenting in this culture. Through 99% of history, large families/tribes lived communally and there were always other people around. Older kids helped raise younger kids, little one's had aunts and uncles, grandparents, etc. all around them and helping raise them. This whole mommy-all-the-time that we stay at home moms are doing is very strange historically speaking, I think it leads to what we are experiencing. I am a total AP/SAHM/homeschooling mom, but I am wracking my brain to figure out ways to get DS around other people regularly in a non-school/non playdate/non-activity for the kids kind of way--just regular life. No idea how--other than moving to a commune (which I ponder). BTW-I don't think daycare is much better in this regard--but a little, and worse in others--its just that the all-mommy time of the SAH kids (esp. only kids) compounds the issue at hand (while being great in many other respects, of course!)

I'm still figuring it all out (okay, I'm about 5% there, and I don't expect to get much further!)
post #27 of 29
12-18 months was brutal.

No, it's not the AP. As people have said, you'll probably know if you're going to extremes.

If you need solutions I second the sign language and the getting out and about, but really - I think this too shall pass and you're doing fine.
post #28 of 29
Originally Posted by liliaceae View Post
The clinginess is totally normal for that age. And the reason he's difficult with you, and not with other people, is because he trusts you and knows you will accept him at his worst.

I would never expect a 12 month old to be able to play independently for any length of time. Maybe some can, but I don't think that's the norm at all.

Every child is different, and yes some people have easygoing kids that play independently and sleep through the night, but I doubt it's the result of their parenting choices.

I have many attachment parenting friends. Some of them have high needs babies and some have easy going babies. My best friend and I basically parent the same way and her son needed CONSTANT entertainment until at least 18mo (unless he was out of the house doing something fun). My baby is hardly 6mo and will sit and play by herself for 15-20min easily while I shower, etc. It's so much more about personality than parenting style. Yes, good parenting definitely makes in impact in the long run, but over all you're born with your personality.

I think there is certainly an age when you shouldn't stop EVERY activity just because your child is whining. The age is going to vary for each kid, but it's usually somewhere between 1-2. What I mean is, it's okay to take a shower, even if your kid whines at the edge of the tub for 10 minutes. One of hardest parts of parenting is determining what's age appropriate and when to change up your technique.
post #29 of 29
I was thinking it is separation anxiety too... right around the 9-12m age.

I think your doing just fine mama!

Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
Just to second what everyone else is saying:

Developmentally, this is normal. It's separation anxiety. He can let it all loose with you because he feels so comfortable. The fact that he can happily stay with others is also a testament to his strong attachment to you.
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