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What am I missing?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

OK- this is basically a mommy rant, so bear with me. I want to know what I am doing wrong! I wear my baby (13 months) and always have. She breastfeeds on demand, we co-sleep, we do organic foods, I try to be patient, loving, receptive, etc.... and yet my baby cries. A LOT. In the car. In her highchair. On the floor when I have to put her down for just long enough for me to have 1 little bathroom break that doesn't include her. When I hand her to her dad/ grandmother/ friend/ anybody who isn't me. She even cries sometimes when I'm wearing her. And don't even get me started on diaper changes. It can be so harrowing day in and day out. And of course I feel like everybody else has a better handle on everything than I do, and that there must surely be some secret that nobody is letting me in on. People seem unable to comprehend that I have the one and only baby who doesn't fall asleep in the car! Actually, I have a 4 year old who also cried in the car, so, I have the only 2 babies who cry in the car. I must be a complete failure. I would never ever let my baby "cry it out", but, she sure as shit does anyway, so what am I to do?????

post #2 of 37

PLEASE google "high needs" and dr. sears....that should give you some relief about yourself. my #3 was the same way! i also had 2 car-screamers...my youngest is almost 1 and to this day cries hysterically in the car...i mean to the point of gagging...tried different seats, she has 3 big sisters to play with her, toys, i don't get out much!!

you really need to read about high-needs babies. i know it sucks but it did help me realize it wasn't my fault.

post #3 of 37

oh, and i'll never understand wth people need to act so shocked with huge eyes that babies exist who won't sleep in the car!

post #4 of 37
My son didn't (and doesn't ) sleep in the car unless ill. And he cried for everyone not me (except for one woman I knew casually). You may feel alone, but all the other mothers with high need babies that don't sleep in the car are as busy as you, and you're not likely to meet them until the high need babies are older. In the good news side, high need babies seem to be easier in the teen years (based on those I know). So you're dealing with stress now, and they'll deal with stress later. Even if it's not accurate, it might make you feel better.
post #5 of 37
One of mine was like that. There's always the possibility of some physical discomfort, like teething or something, but some babies just cry a lot. At some point I changed my perspective on it, and decided that even if I couldn't keep my baby from crying, at least I could hold her and comfort her while she cried.

Mine who cried all the time is moody and a bit temperamental, but she is overall a joyful and lovely 10-year-old now. She is also very very chatty. I wonder if she just didn't have a more effective way to communicate back then? She doesn't seem at all affected by her difficult first couple of years anyway.
post #6 of 37

I always thought it was something I did, oh heck, back in dd1's first week or whatever , that made her as needy as she was (and still can be at 7.5).  It was bad enough having her cry so much, then have 2 kids that cried so much, but then I got comments from people (family!) saying it was because I wasn't sharing her enough, because I didn't teach her to accept a babysitter, because I set the precedent for not putting her down, because I refused to let her cry it out because because because.....

 

It is not what you are doing or not doing.  It is the way she is.  *It is not your job to stop her from crying*.  I think was a piece of advice from Dr. Sears.  It is your job to make her feel safe, to have her needs met, while she is crying.  But man is it ever stressful to listen to it without a break.  

 

I would love to say "it gets better" (it does, a bit), but what I don't want is to encourage you to yearn for that day.  Know it is out there but focus on the now.  If I spend mental energy living, waiting for the that day it increases my stress and causes me to lose focus, like waiting for the school bell at the end of the day.  Once I accept that this is how it is, I'm a bit calmer.  And I do have to remind myself often.  

 

I am still dealing with neediness and so much of the same stuff as after those first 2 weeks.  But she has stretches of such maturity, and this is increasing.

 

BTW, in my dd's case some of the *volatility* of her emotions ended up being allergy related.  Her neediness and moodiness can still put a strain on my day(s), but she is no longer a ticking, teary-eyed time-bomb any more.  

post #7 of 37

I have 2 very high need kids who cried and screamed to the point of vomiting as babies.  We called the car seat "the infant torture device."  My older child turned out to be crying due to autism.  Attachment parenting was important for him, because it meant that he never had the opportunity to withdraw completely into himself - he learned how to communicate with me to have his needs met.  He has an anxious, affectionate personality.  My younger child was crying because of allergies, reflux and extreme sensitivity - he was noticing everything, and it was too much for him.  He is a gifted learner and he has an intense, intellectual personality.

 

My point is that there is a reason for the crying, and it will become apparent with time.  Attachment is your best bet to mitigate the crying.  But you should also have a plan for respite.

post #8 of 37

I forgot to mention that dd1 was comfortable with her grandma and 2 aunts by 1yo.  She warmed up slowly to all other family events--sometimes 2 hours of more of whining right before becoming the life of the party--from about 1.5 onward.  At 4 she dove right into family gatherings, finally, but was still growly and unsociable at parks.  At 5.5 she was approaching kids, asking to play.  

 

She and her sister both have bubbly public personalities, talking over each other excitedly about their recents discoveries.  She is still moody and needy at home, though not all the time.  She had 2 tantrums in the last 2 days, and she has extreme difficulties letting go of something that frustrated her.  I had to remind her not to "bring the boys home from the park in her head" when she had a grumpy day and refused to have fun at a park because the boys were "spoiling" it.

post #9 of 37

Regarding the carseat, that always surprised people for us also. But what baby would prefer to be alone, harnessed into a plastic seat instead of nuzzled up to mother's warm body? or what baby simply wants to be alone in an innanimate object instead of loving arms? It would mean a baby's demise from an evolutionary stand point.

 

OP, it seems your baby is beautifully bonded to you, and she doesn't feel right when she is not with you. It seems totally healthy to me. You are the one who fulfills her needs, a mother's body is the infant's world and that tie is strong, as it should be. She feels vulnerable when not with you, again, instinctive and natural.

 

We live in a culture that actually encourages separation of mother and child. It's unnatural, completely uninstinctive, and our child rearing practices are not exactly prized among cultures. It starts at birth when baby is whisked away from mother in a plastic tank (isolette) then it just gets worse, women being told to ignore their child's cries of abandonment, encouraged to quit breastfeeding, told to hold their babies less instead of more.....how could a culture have become so backwards, it wasn't always this way.

 

My son didn't go to most people early on, they would stretch their arms out and I would guage my son's response. If he wasn't interested I quickly learned that I didn't let him out of my arms. What baffled me was the sheer lack of consideration for an infant's feelings, it seemed the adult doing the grabbing was often more worried about his or her own fragile ego from the rejection than the child's own feelings. Again we live in a culture that does not encourage accomodating a child's needs, especially security.

post #10 of 37
I feel your pain! All of my kids have been the same as your dd in varying degrees. The 3rd has been the worst. Not a single one has liked the car as a baby. You think I'd learn my lesson and stop having them.

Fwiw, they have thus far, turned into incredibly bright articulate (though somewhat bossy and self-centred) children. The eldest being more so than the middle child, which corresponds to their baby ways too. At this rate my third is going to be an evil genius, you know, like Stewie.
post #11 of 37

I have parented both of my children very similarly. Ds was the easiest baby ever. He'd happily play on the floor for hours, or happily be in the sling, or someone else's arms, or, well, anywhere. Just a happy baby. Dd has spent SO much time crying. I hold her & carry her way more than I did ds simply because I've needed to & yet she still cries waaaaaaay more than he ever did.

 

It is NOT something you've done wrong. Some babies are just harder than others. It's not a lot of fun though.

post #12 of 37

Sometimes babies who don't cry are like that because they've given up on getting their needs met.   It's learned helplessness.   So I know it's hard to hear this when you're in the thick of it, but be glad your baby is still willing to express her needs through crying.  

post #13 of 37

What lifeguard said. Babies are wildly different in their nature, from BIRTH. I did all that hippy stuff too and raised all four of my kids the same. And they are all different from birth, except for the identical twins, who are raised exactly the same as their fraternal triplet sister, and the ids act exactly the same and the fraternal acts completely different. I had a tough first baby. The fraternal triplet loves to play on her own, loves to snuggle, loves her OWN bed, when I put her down to sleep, she smiles at me, closes her eyes, and falls asleep within ONE MINUTE. If she had been my first baby, I would have been totally patting myself on the back and saying "see? We're doing everything right!!!" Now, with four kids, I know that kids are who they are and we can only do our best to make them feel loved and secure. You're doing an amazing job, Changingwoman, and just know that a high-needs baby doesn't mean she's going to continue to be a high-needs kid. She'll just turn a leaf someday, and all your hard work will pay off. I've seen the grumpiest babies turn out to be the shiniest, happiest little kids...

post #14 of 37

birth trauma?  was the bırth traumatıc.  I thınk the causes a lot of hıgh needs babıes.  ı have one rıght now (21 months)  Id love to say ıts gotten better... maybe ıt has... but ım stıll mıserable :/  my daughter was an ANGEL!  but her bırth was much calmer (even though ıt was an unnecessary sectıon).  And even though she wasnt BFd (dıdnt know any better).  But my son I swear I dıd EVERYTHING rıght.  homebırth EBF BLW co-sleepıng wearıng we fınally took hım to cranıal sacral therapy for a whıle and ıt helped hım be able to rıde ınt he car (for a lıttle whıle) but ı stıll have to pull over and nurse hım about every 15-20 mınutes of he wıll SCREAM LIKE CRAZY.  ıf he had been fırst he would have been last.  but ı know there are less hıgh need kıds out there so were wılılng to try for #3.  

Dıd I mentıon he stıll nurses every hour? yeah... hıgh needs.  I was depressed for a year wıth hım.  at 12 months ıt got a lot better for me emotıonally... but hes stıll ON ME all day long and only leaves for brıef perıods to play wıth hıs sıster... then back for nursıng.  sooo annoyıng.

 

Lots of hugs to you.  Totally been there.  thıs ıs a classıc case of ıts really not you, ıts them!  you could do everythıng rıght and LO would stıll probably be lıke saran wrap on you.

post #15 of 37
I don't know. My high needs baby who cried all the time had an easy perfect natural birth. My baby with the traumatic birth was easy from day 1 to now. I think it can be something physical, but it can also be personality. My high needs crying baby turned into a moody and temperamental, but also very creative and intelligent, talkative and loud 10-year-old. Knowing her now, I would have been surprised if she'd been a quiet baby. My quiet baby is now a perpetually happy preschooler. She's always pretty content. They're just different people.
post #16 of 37
Please- get yourself a couple of pairs of ear protection from lowe's or home depot or something. Wear then when you are comforting her. Give them to daddy, grandma, whoever is willing, and they can comfort her while you shower, take a walk, etc. These can be a sanity-saver!!

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_9?url=search-alias%3Dtools&field-keywords=ear%20protection
post #17 of 37
I am in the same boat as you OP with a 5 month old high-needs baby. I wish we lived near by so we could commiserate! wink1.gif I, too, wondered constantly what I was doing wrong, especially since since everyone around me (mostly family) acts like its my fault that my DD won't go to other people, hates the car, hates leaving the house period, hates being put down even for a second, and can't sleep unless she's in my or dh's arms, ect. I just wanted to tell you you're not alone, like all the other posters have been saying. (Btw reading what you and everyone else wrote has given me a lot of encouragement! Thank you!)

The best thing that has helped dh and me was reading this link from Dr. Sears. It has completely changed our perspective on DD and definitely gave me a lot of peace that I'm not to blame or doing things wrong... which is honestly the hardest part for me and sounds like it is for you too. With DD crying in my arms sometimes for 2 hours nonstop, I start crying bc obviously all we want to do is help our babies and help them be content and satisfied and when we can't "find the solution" so to speak, we feel like we've failed. Well for high-needs baby sometimes there just isn't a solution. Also, its so difficult for me bc while she is crying, the mommy response and stress levels are so high and are staying maintained at that intense level for extended periods of time that I start to go a little crazy. But reading this link, I've realized that sometimes (when all her needs are met) and I've exhausted every calming technique and device I know and she's still crying, I can just be with her through it. You know, like how a good friend lets you cry on her shoulder. I just keep whispering that I love her as I hold her in my arms and let her express herself. Anyway, hugs to you from a mama on the west coast and know that all the love you're investing in your little one is going to bear great fruit for our world. Dh and I always say to each other, this is progressing world peace! smile.gif

Link:
http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/fussy-baby/high-need-baby/12-features-high-need-baby
post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

One of mine was like that. There's always the possibility of some physical discomfort, like teething or something, but some babies just cry a lot. At some point I changed my perspective on it, and decided that even if I couldn't keep my baby from crying, at least I could hold her and comfort her while she cried.
Mine who cried all the time is moody and a bit temperamental, but she is overall a joyful and lovely 10-year-old now. She is also very very chatty. I wonder if she just didn't have a more effective way to communicate back then? She doesn't seem at all affected by her difficult first couple of years anyway.


This is like my son. I swear all of his frustration is from not being able to communicate with me. He will even sigh like he is getting annoyed trying to get me to do what he wants.

post #19 of 37

Just chiming in to say that your experience sounds almost exactly like mine. From day 1, my DS (now 2) needed to be nursed or held BY ME to be content. I couldn't pass him off to his dad or my my mom for longer than a few minutes or else he'd lose it. He hated the car.....to the point of screaming so hard he turned blue. Errands were hell. I learned to pull my pants down and button them with one hand because otherwise pee breaks involved lots of screaming. When visiting my inlaws, my father in law even suggested we call a priest for a "cleansing" because he thought demons could really be the only explanation for his grandson's temper. 

 

But it slowly got better! 18 months was probably the roughest for me. DS was right on the verge of talking and out of his mind with frustration (I didn't realize this at the time---I just thought he was trying to push me over the edge :)  At 2.5, DS is now talkative, super active and energetic, funny, bright.....and very strong willed! 

 

It will get easier mama! Hang in there, check out Dr. Sears like others have suggested, and remember that you are doing an awesome job mothering your high needs babe. Some just come into the world needing more than others. 

post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

My son didn't (and doesn't ) sleep in the car unless ill. And he cried for everyone not me (except for one woman I knew casually). You may feel alone, but all the other mothers with high need babies that don't sleep in the car are as busy as you, and you're not likely to meet them until the high need babies are older. In the good news side, high need babies seem to be easier in the teen years (based on those I know). So you're dealing with stress now, and they'll deal with stress later. Even if it's not accurate, it might make you feel better.

 

This - yes, please do look up high needs babies.  Will make you feel so much better!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emaya View Post

 If she had been my first baby, I would have been totally patting myself on the back and saying "see? We're doing everything right!!!" Now, with four kids, I know that kids are who they are and we can only do our best to make them feel loved and secure. You're doing an amazing job, Changingwoman, and just know that a high-needs baby doesn't mean she's going to continue to be a high-needs kid. She'll just turn a leaf someday, and all your hard work will pay off. I've seen the grumpiest babies turn out to be the shiniest, happiest little kids...

 

And this, too.  My firstborn was easy peasy..I mean, he cried a little when he was very tiny, but once he hit about 3 months, until 18 months it was like easy street.  And I thought I was THE SHIZNIT.  Then my daughter was born when he was 2-1/2 and it was like shock and awe, exactly as you describe in your original post.  Where my firstborn was happy on a blanket for an hour with some toys from very early on, I couldn't put her down for more than about 30 seconds without an air-raid siren wail.  Where the firstborn was content on car trips, she screamed every time in the car until she was a year old.  My husband couldn't even hold her for more than a few minutes without her starting to wail until she was over 6 months old.  I wore her almost constantly until she was a year old (and then for at least a few hours a day until she was about 18 months) - she napped on me, she was on me when we were out and about, and she was on me for a good 4-6 hours a day otherwise, too (I'll never forget the day when she was about 17, 18 months old and finally got tired of the carrier and was walking on the sidewalk with me and older kiddo, and our neighbors saw us and said, "OMG so THAT'S what she looks like!  We've only ever seen her head  and feet peeking out from behind your back! ROTFLMAO.gif - they were awesome people and meant it in a nice/fun way).  My ONLY salvation was that once she was asleep for the night I could put her in a crib and get 3-4 hours to recharge before she woke up the first time and we'd cosleep the rest of the night.  Had she been my first, I would have thought the human race was INSANE for reproducing, and that I was the worst mother in the world.   

 

As a toddler, she was grouchy. She would scowl and holler at strangers just trying to be nice and smile at the cute little girl; she would throw enormous fits when things didn't go her way.  Through it all I mostly maintained the same firm, but gentle discipline (though I will admit to losing it sometimes; I am human after all).  

 

And now?  She is a delightful, feisty 6-year-old.  Oh, she still has a temper, but for the most part she is a funny, friendly, upbeat little girl who has NO problem separating from me.  At parent teacher conferences, I always enjoy telling stories about the kind of baby/toddler/even into early preschooler  she was, because the teachers cannot believe it.   She really gave us the business when she was little.  lol.

 

When I was in the thick of it, I thought it would be a nightmare forever (that she'd never separate from me, or that the lessons I was trying to teach her weren't sinking in) ....but in the end, after a lot of persistence, and forgiveness for myself when I would falter, AP has TOTALLY panned out and "worked" for her.  She's not clingy, she's not spoiled.  She's the one that teachers say lights up the class.  And it makes it all worth the extremely difficult work (and still work, don't get me wrong, parenting a child like this requires work through all their stages). 

 

Hang in there, mama!!!!

 

 

PS - for me, 18 months was when things started getting incrementally better as far as leaving her with husband for a couple hours, being in a different room than her briefly, her napping on her own (though I rocked her to sleep still).  Things REALLY got better around 3.  And have been getting better every year since.  Well, 4 was a challenge.  and part of 5.  But I like 6!   She's *not* easygoing, or calm, by any means and still has a fiery temper.  But it's SO much easier relating to her and talking with her now than even a year ago.

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