I feel like my baby doesn't like me
Every baby is different. Regardless of what AP books say, not all babies are high need and thrive with 24/7 maternal presence and touch.
There many babies who do not like to be worn and who do not like co-sleeping. There babies who truly need time to play quietly alone.
There is nothing wrong with them.
My Son was like that . I went to pedi worried he had autism. He is perfectly normal and always has been a super independent kid. He hates baby carriers and loved his strollers. He loved the crib. He played independent form very early age. I do not know if it is coincidence or not, but he is very gifted.
It is not about you. It is about what baby needs. You job as mother to provide for your baby needs. IF your baby does not need the sling or co-sleeping, rocking or constant touch, your job is to provide what your baby needs
Please, do not cry and do not assign emotions to your baby that are not there. As far as nursing, perhaps the baby is noticing your stress. Also, as baby grow they become very efficient in nursing and can drain a breast in 3-5 minutes.
Some babies cuddly and some are not.
Love the child you have, not the one your want.
Are you nervous or stressed? Did you worry about this happening before things got bad? My 4yo (TO. THIS. DAY) literally feeds on the slightest bit of stress in me. What's worse is that when I truly need a minute or two to regain myself, she needs to be near me all the more (which has been a real challenge). She's just INSANELY attuned to my emotions--almost like she feels the vibe magnified. It's really weird.
Can you try meditation? There's another Chopra 21-day challenge coming up (free of charge--done maybe 3x/year) and generally they're really good to help people who are new to it. It could help you relax a bit which may help the baby feel more calm when with you...?
I don't know. I keep telling myself to just say what I'm thinking and allow myself to cry over it and that I will feel better but I haven't. It hasn't worked. Maybe when we get back home next week I'll be calmer and so will she.
Only two months after giving birth, it is completely understandable that you would wonder what you're doing wrong, or that you would feel rejected and cry, with what you describe. Whether or not you're depressed, you're still recovering from a massive hormonal event, you're emotional, and even though you want - of course - to discern and meet your baby's needs, you have needs too and one of them is to be physically close to this little life you were carrying around inside yourself just weeks ago. That's natural and right, as is worrying when something doesn't seem right with your baby. God gave you instincts. They matter. Furthermore, crying is a natural and appropriate chemical/biological/hormonal way to relieve stress and (arguably) release endorphins.
It sounds like you're doing what's right.
Your baby could have an inherently independent personality. If that's the case, it will be consistent and seem more clear to you, over time. Trust that you will adjust and will still bond with her - in the ways she needs, which you will learn. Also trust that it's OK for you to mourn a bit, right now, over the somewhat different mothering experience you expected to have.
Your baby could find your husband more comforting, right now. If that's the case, it will probably be temporary and shifting. From birth (and to this day) my 5-year-old has been very crabby in the late afternoon/early evening. As an infant, he only wanted my husband to hold him, during that time. (My son lay on his stomach on my husband's forearm, almost as though he were a football and my husband was running with him, for a touchdown. You might try that, because I've noticed a lot of fussy babies like that position, probably because it puts gentle pressure on their abdomens.) However, it wasn't the same if *I* held him that way. That was easy to deal with, since it was only that one period of the day. I would have felt upset, if it seemed like my son usually was not comforted by me. The point is, it didn't last forever.
Your daughter could have a mild allergy to something you're consuming, that comes out in your milk. It wouldn't hurt to temporarily eliminate things from your diet, to see if it helps. You could research online what things to try first. You might also try combinations of things. If her system doesn't agree with nuts and eggs, but you only cut out one, you won't see an improvement.
Babies, of course, will also react to your stress. Boy, is that a catch-22! Let's say you had a particularly bad day, where she was fussy, you got frustrated, that made her fussier...then the next day, you were anxious about having the same problems and she sensed your anxiety and felt anxious, herself, that you were going to be frustrated. The two of you could get into a bad pattern. That could easily make you cry a lot...and she may be more anxious, because you're so tearful. You might feel like this is a hopeless, downward spiral...which only makes it all worse. If you think this might be the problem, just have some faith. It's all normal. It's not permanent. You have a husband who will help you through it. Focus on what makes you feel calm, comforted, reassured and self-confident and treat yourself, by doing those things. Approach your daughter with as much genuine calm and patience as you can muster. If she doesn't want to be held, lay down on the floor near her and let her hear your voice or breathing. Read the newspaper or your favorite magazine to her, something you like. Relax with her - with or without holding her close. When you feel frustrated or tearful, tell yourself it's OK to hand her off to your husband. You have a whole lifetime ahead, with this little person. Your relationship with her will not hinge on what happens when she's only 2 months old. You're learning each other. Give yourself time and trust that it will be OK.
It's also possible that she'll turn out to be on the autism spectrum. Some autistic infants seem less comforted than usual, by touch. Some infants who find touch less comforting aren't autistic, at all. I have autistic twins. As newborns, one loved being touched, whereas it seemed to bother the other one. By the time they were several months old, both were very cuddly. If autism is the issue, you will not know for sure until she's older, so there's no point letting yourself obsessively worry about it. Autism is only a word. As your daughter grows, you will get to know her better. Whether or not there turns out to be a special word to describe her personality quirks, you will come to recognize and understand them. You will bond with her, as she is. And she will love you and express it in her way. You are her mother. You are as important to her, as she is to you. You're doing the right things, including caring enough to ask what more you can do. Have faith. Everything will be alright.
that sounds tough, mama. being a first time mom can be really overwhelming and scary and it's hard to know when it's your baby or you or what! it sounds to me like you're doing everything right and you're learning about little one. the thing about babies is that they are ALL different. they come straight out with all kinds of preferences, ideas, ect. sometimes it clashes with what mom thinks baby needs (I sure have experienced that!) and that's totally okay. part of the journey is just getting to know your child and attuning yourself to his or her needs. it can be sad and frustrating, that's for sure. also, babies go through cycles and spurts. sometimes they prefer one caregiver over another, sometimes they want something and then reject it two weeks later, sometimes they develop a taste for a food that they disliked three days earlier, ect. nothing is ever permanent with babies, imo.
it sounds like you may have a pretty independent child on your hands which, while frustrating, can also be a blessing. part of being a mom (and this is really hard sometimes!) is giving baby/kiddo what they need and not what we want. it's really tough sometimes and I deal with it quite often with my kids and I down right hate it at times. if your lo is going through a daddy phase (and it very well may be because she picks up on your stress and dad is a little less tense - as they usually are, lol), as painful as it may be, let dad have that time with her and you do something to take care of yourself. take a bath or read a book or go for a walk...something to clear your mind and ease your stress a bit. we mamas can put a LOT of stress on ourselves to be EVERYTHING to our babies and kids, but the truth is that it takes a village and we can learn to use that village to our advantage. you don't have to be the end all, be all for baby. having a two month old is HARD but just try to remember that this is only one tiny fraction out of her WHOLE life and your WHOLE relationship with her. don't worry so much about being *the best, most soothing, most nurturing mom in the world* right now. just try to stay present with your baby and take it one day at a time. you ARE enough for her. she is YOUR baby for a reason. she is supposed to be your baby, you are supposed to be your mama. all will work out in the end. you are doing great.
My kids hated the sling. Even the Ergo wasn't great. The Bjorn worked ok for us in the babywearing department. AP says wear your baby, but heck, if she doesn't like it, don't do it. AP is really about listening to your child and being responsive to their needs, not about following dogma.
Also--YOUR BABY LOVES YOU. However, 2 months is a notoriously fussy/colicky time. Don't take it personally. The best thing anyone ever said to me was "Sometimes babies just cry." Yes, we need to figure out what they are communicating, but sometimes it's impossible and you need to just trust that your baby will be ok. I remember feeling so helpless when I couldn't soothe them.
Then I would feel like something was wrong with me for not being able to fix it. It was an awful feeling. Try not to think of it as something you are doing wrong. Assuming you have fed/changed/cuddled etc, it's ok to just hold baby while she cries, or put her down and sing to her, or even just put her down and pat her tummy..some kids really need as little stimulation as possible to relax and sleep. Also, it's fine to nurse to sleep instead of rock to sleep if that's what she wants. It might help to detach just a little...instead of thinking "oh no, she won't be soothed no matter what I do" think "Ok, I have done what I can do, now I'm going to just sit with her and sing softly" and then focus on doing that instead of on the stress and guilt that comes from hearing her cry. And if your husband can soothe her, by all means hand her over! She'll be fine.
Re. the breast, you might check with your doc about reflux or talk to a lactation consultant--maybe you are having a slow letdown and baby is impatient, or maybe...? Could be a few things. Talk to an LC. But your baby loves you and please believe that you are a good mother, and spend some time taking care of yourself. I second whoever said to think about ppd. There is a fine line between sleep deprivation and ppd; and it is of course normal for people to cry when they are sad; but spending all day crying because you feel inadequate (which you are NOT) is a sign that something needs to change.
Come back and let us know how you are doing.
((((First off...hugs to you mama))))
You've gotten some really good advice here... I hope you're feeling better just knowing you're not alone. Fwiw, I remember 2 months as being a challenging time as well. You are putting out so much emotionally and physically and your baby isn't really giving back through expressive smiles and laughing yet. I also remember wondering if my baby liked me. I found that around 3 months things changed...she starting being more expressive and just having her smile back at me changed the dynamic drastically. It helped that another mom gave me a heads up that the first three months are hard in that particular way...and so I felt better knowing that I wasn't a bad mom for feeling that way.
Just to address the babywearing...I'm not sure how often and/or what you've tried, but like anything new, some babies need time to get used to it. My DD cried and squirmed the first few times I put her in a sling but after those first few tries she grew to love it. And it really helped facilitate bonding with us. So much so, that I felt called to help other families and now teach babywearing. Of course it's possible your baby doesn't particularly like being carried but it's worth a shot to try a few different carriers before giving up on it altogether. It's totally possible she just wasn't into the position of the carry. Have you put her in a carrier and taken a walk outside? Many babies love being worn outdoors. Feel free to PM me for more info on different carries, babywearing info, etc.
Of course as other stated there are so many ways to facilitate that connection with your LO, and you will find your own unique and special way.
Rest assured, your baby loves you more than anything. :)
Doesn't sound like you're doing anything wrong at all. Sometimes babies like to/need to soothe themselves, that could explain why she quiets down in her crib. Only one of my babies was like that, she just needed some alone time. :) Traveling probably has a lot to do with it. Are you still taking good prenatals? Eating well? Drinking enough water? Getting outside for sunshine and exercise? Those can all help with any inklings of ppd popping up. Hugs, Mama!
I don't think you're doing anything *wrong*, but if the baby doesn't seem soothed by rocking, why rock her? Try the putting her down in her crib thing and see how it works for you. Some babies really do find rocking and snuggling to be overstimulating when they're trying to settle down.
One of my babies was a snugglepuss, and the other... not. When I wanted to be close to her when she was little, my best bet was to put her down near me on our bed, and sit beside her, not touching, reading or surfing or watching tv. When she got to the squirmy stage at the beginning of independent mobility, she developed preferences about cuddling up to pillows or my legs. Now, at three, she's still not a terribly cuddly kid, and I'm glad we've allowed her to engage in physical affection on her own terms.
I have been very stressed lately and I'm sure that the week long road trip didn't help any. Funny thing is it was my idea! I'm signing both myself and my husband for the Chopra challenge as we could both use some meditation.
Thank you all for the advice and kind words. I just get so nervous that I'm doing something wrong and am going to cause some irreparable damage. I keep wanting to just do right by her but I'm not sure how to.
You've already gotten great advice here, and I just wanted to add in some commiseration. I spent a lot of time learning about AP and natural parenting for my DD and it seemed like everything I tried to do failed. I labored over a natural birth plan, then had an emergency C-section instead; I was an avid proponent of breastfeeding - two weeks in I decided I'd rather bottle-feed than dread being handed my baby for feeding because of the pain and struggle we were having; I wanted to wear her, but she didn't take to it no matter what carrier I tried; we co-slept, but she still slept like crap, and eventually ended up doing better in her own space. It was all a huge hit to my self-confidence, and it made it hard for me to trust in my motherly intuition at all because it seemed like I was always wrong! But one thing is for sure - this kid is attached to me like crazy. I never gave up on her, and she never gave up on me, even though I didn't always get it right. Just remember that babies change quickly, so this stuck, not-sure-what's-wrong phase will likely pass as your LO becomes better able to communicate her needs to you. My DD is almost three now, and trust me, she is not shy about telling me exactly what she needs every. single. moment. :) Good luck to you and your baby.