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#1 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 01:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We have been getting this since the day Elizabeth was born. She just watches everything intently. She has been tracking people across the room since she was born and it was all the nurses could talk about. Even my midwife (who is less likely to categorize babies) has commented in awe about how aware Elle is. At first I thought maybe it was the no drugs (I did have a Cesarean, but the spinal went in less than 8 minutes before she was out), but obviously that difference would not be carrying past the first couple days.

At a festival we attended, everyone thought she was 6 or 7 months (she is average sized for her age) and when we told them she was three months they would say it must be because she is so wide-eyed. I got it again at a baby shower (but she's so alert!). In the ped's waiting room last week a mom with a baby two weeks older than mine asked how old and then said, "Well, she is really awake, isn't she?"

From nurses, doctors, grandparents, strangers at walmart, other parents, EVERYONE says this to us. Now we think she's pretty cool , and obviously very interested in the world, but is this really that strange? Do other babies just stare at the ceiling or something (my sister said her step-niece two weeks older than Elle is just glazed over all the time)? We're the first of our group to have babies so I have no one to compare to. I do know I just read the list of 3 month audio/visual "milestones" and she's been doing them ALL since she exited the womb.

Has anyone heard this before? Everyone tells us we're "in for it." (I can't wait!) Has anyone had a baby like this and how did they end up being? I would love for this to mean she is going to be a curious, inquisitive, into-everything toddler/child. That is just my cup of tea.
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#2 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 01:59 AM
 
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My son was like this (oh wait, still is). He started walking at 8.5months, and at almost 10mo now he's into EVERYTHING. It's ridiculous. It drives me CRAZY.
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#3 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 02:56 AM
 
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My first daughter was not "alert" at all. I couldn't get her to make eye contact at 3 mo. I had the sense that she was somewhere else most of the time. It looked like she was daydreaming. She is 4.5 now and absolutely normal and delightful and very social and I see no signs of her early "inner focus".

My second was alert and checking things out within minutes of being born. I heard non-stop comments about it. She is incredibly alert, focused and pays attention to details. She is 11 mo old and can imitate some pretty complex things with accuracy. She was walking at 9 mo, using words earlier and using the toilet at 8 mo (EC).

I have no idea how it will turn out with the two of them. I am as curious as you are.
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#4 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 03:00 AM
 
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Well, not to burst your bubble, and I'm sure she's an absolutely lovely baby, but I've found that this is one of those filler things people say, right up there with "Is she a good baby?" and "Is she sleeping through the night."

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#5 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 03:22 AM
 
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Awww, she sounds like a little doll!

My little girl was the same way from day one. She was up and ready to face the world (and more importantly, eat) the second she, well, fell out of me. Everyone was commenting how much she was just taking things in. Her eyes followed me constantly the first few days. Oh, and she beat her daddy at a farting contest, haha.

18 months later, Boop now a happy, curious, very social little girl who loves to go out, meet people, and have adventures. Every time I come home from work, she almost trips over herself trying to run and hug me.
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#6 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 04:14 AM
 
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Well, not to burst your bubble, and I'm sure she's an absolutely lovely baby, but I've found that this is one of those filler things people say, right up there with "Is she a good baby?" and "Is she sleeping through the night."
I hate to say it but I agree. I've heard it with all 3 babies and I have to admit I don't think my kids are any more alert or aware than any other baby out there at any given age. I have one bubbly outgoing kid, one quiet inquisitive kid, and one who is too little to know yet (but who seems very strong-willed so far). I do think it's just one of those things people say.

But I'm sure she's just precious and that you will adore her personality, however it develops as she gets bigger.

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#7 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 11:54 AM
 
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We got those comments and often they came from other parents whose babies in comparison just lay there quietly asleep. It's a blessing and a curse. I still long for a chilled out baby some days but the alertness has transformed into a curiosity that has driven DS to crawl at 5 months and walk just before he turned 9 months. It also means he gets bored easily and doesn't sleep. It's a mixed bag for sure!

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#8 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 02:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
Well, not to burst your bubble, and I'm sure she's an absolutely lovely baby, but I've found that this is one of those filler things people say, right up there with "Is she a good baby?" and "Is she sleeping through the night."
I agree. I am 100% sure your baby is wonderful and alert, but we always got the same comments. Oh he's so alert, so awake, watching us etc etc. It cracked me up because to be honest...sometimes he's just not. When he gets overwhelmed he sort of fades and won't make eye contact and just seems out of it. I just smile and say thank you.

Doesn't seem to make a difference, he's walking at 10 months, babbles up a storm, but still fades when he gets overwhelmed. For a while I made excuses for him ("oh he's tired" "time for a nap!") but I've stopped, it's just the way he is. And someone will still walk up and tell me how alert/observant he is.

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#9 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 03:06 PM
 
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There are definately some babies that seem more glazed over than others. However, your baby sounds like she's within a normal range. My 3 month old DD was also very alert from birth. She was tracking with her eyes and will intently stare at people. She started smiling at 2 weeks, giggling at 5-6 weeks, straight up laughing at 2.5m. I do think that it has something to do with a higher intelligence. Both my DH and I are above average in that catigory so it doesn't surprise me.

Good luck with you precious LO.

ETA: My baby is alert AND calm. When she's awake she'll look around at what I'm doing, play with her hands, etc. She's rarely fussy and does sleep quite a bit. I don't think that alert has to go hand-in-hand with easily bored or fussy.

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#10 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 07:23 PM
 
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We get that all the time with both of our girls as babies. Everyone thinks their alertness is so amazing as a bay, but when the same alert/aware/intense children become mobile an vocal, forget it, those same people categorize the same attributes in very negative ways.

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#11 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 07:47 PM
 
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I got the same comments with DD and I didn't get what they were saying until her cousin was born a month later, and then a friend's baby was born a week after that. There is no comparison at all. Apparently other babies do just lie there staring at the ceiling.

There's still no comparison. DD has hit every milestone months before she's "supposed" to. The two of them have been a lot closer to normal in that respect.

When the three of them are together now, at almost 18 months, people think DD is much older.

Just get used to saying "Oh yes, she's been X-ing for a while now" (rolling, crawling, walking, babbling, talking, climbing, everything). People will be surprised.

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#12 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 07:52 PM
 
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yeah, some babies are really more alert than other newborns. But, I do think it's a common thing people say - unless that's just my experience because I have had four super alert babies

oh, I know there are those who maybe haven't been around a newborn for a long time, or aren't used to seeing them wide awake b/c I had someone ask if my 4 day old DS's eyes had opened yet. You know, like a puppy.

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#13 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 10:15 PM
 
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I have gotten this a lot too (DS will be 3 months in just over a week) and it kind of makes me wonder if it has to do with howthey are parented...? I would guess most of us engage our babies quite a bit, wear them a lot, etc. so they GETto be more alert, aware,and check out their surroundings.

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#14 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 10:21 PM
 
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my dd got it a lot too, and she was VERY alert as a child. She watched everything and everyone. People always commented on it. Even right after she was born she didnt even cry, she just was looking around and watching everything.

If she is anything like my dd you are in for it! LOL! My dd is very smart and very observant, but VERY stubborn, and too "alert" for her own good sometimes. Good luck to ya mama!

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#15 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 11:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CrunchyKnitter View Post
I have gotten this a lot too (DS will be 3 months in just over a week) and it kind of makes me wonder if it has to do with howthey are parented...? I would guess most of us engage our babies quite a bit, wear them a lot, etc. so they GETto be more alert, aware,and check out their surroundings.
I really don't think so. Different babies--whether they're attachment parented or otherwise-- have different temperaments.

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#16 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 11:17 PM
 
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I really don't think so. Different babies--whether they're attachment parented or otherwise-- have different temperaments.

That is true. I didn't mean to say that AP totally makes or breaks a baby's temperament, but more so that it might affect it. I've read a lot of articles about Babywise and the like type babies that b/c of that (or CIO) tend to "zone out" so to speak and thought well if strict routines can lead to that (and I'm assuming less baby wearing, interacting, etc) then maybe the opposite can lead to the opposite. Just a thought

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#17 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 11:29 PM
 
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SIL's babies are super laid back and mellow, easy going to the core. Alert and awake were things we commented on in a different way when my nephews were babies - "Hey! I finally get to see his eye color! He's awake! LOL!"

My alert girls - there's just something "different" about these babies, I think. Mine were born with amazing neck muscles and head control, and seriously looked people right in the eye at birth. Even though supposedly their focal point/depth of field is very narrow or short or whatever at birth and their eye sight isn't supposed to be that great. My kids never just stared at the ceiling. They are engaged and engaging since birth.

Most babies have a 2-week "sleepy" period right after birth and then seem to "wake up," right? Mine never had that. They were just awake from the beginning, so I think that's what people are talking about.
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#18 of 32 Old 11-08-2009, 11:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I doubt it is a result of my awesome parenting as well, simply because she has been like this since she was born - it didn't "develop".

It is interesting to see the different perspectives. It is definitely not a making conversation thing, as people blurt it out like word vomit or cross several aisles to say it and then walk away...It is not something said occasionally, but something that 100% of people who have seen my DD have said. (Not even that many have said she is cute, which she certainly is!)

I can totally see strangers and grandparents saying it because they haven't been around babies for a while, but the people to be the most outspoken about it have been moms of children close in age to her, and medical professionals. The nurses just could not shut up about it.

It is interesting that almost everyone who has had this said to them had early walkers. My mom said I was the same way and I was walking at 8.5 months.

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I do think that it has something to do with a higher intelligence. Both my DH and I are above average in that catigory so it doesn't surprise me.

ETA: My baby is alert AND calm. When she's awake she'll look around at what I'm doing, play with her hands, etc. She's rarely fussy and does sleep quite a bit. I don't think that alert has to go hand-in-hand with easily bored or fussy.
I have wondered this as well, because DH and I both do fall fairly well on the "gifted" side. I am already interested to see how she will compare to our future babies and the babies of our friends.

She is also alert and calm (I hit the jackpot!) She is a lovely, easy, happy baby who just happens to watch everything that is happening very, very intently.

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We get that all the time with both of our girls as babies. Everyone thinks their alertness is so amazing as a bay, but when the same alert/aware/intense children become mobile an vocal, forget it, those same people categorize the same attributes in very negative ways.

Learn the phrase "We love her energy!" Cause you're going to need to remember that later on, so learn to love it now! (half joking!)
Ha!! Luckily for us, the only people who matter (all the grandparents and our BFFs) are very AP and will probably take it in stride. Everyone else can go chew a shoe.

I'm Kellie :, married to Chris , and mom to one baby girl (7/12/09).
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#19 of 32 Old 11-09-2009, 12:17 AM
 
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We got that comment a lot with DD. She really did seem so engaged almost immediately. More so than other babies I knew. People really picked up on it. Now she is a verbally precocious two year old. She is very much a "people person." She walked on the later end of normal, but has hit most other milestones ahead of time.

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#20 of 32 Old 11-09-2009, 01:09 AM
 
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DD got those same comments early on also. She then went on to sit unassisted at 3.5 months, say her first word around 6 months, take her first step at just over 8 months, and now at 10 months is a wild maniac who is absolutely adorable, climbing up and down everything imaginable, and is doing lots of pretend play.

DH and I are both gifted and did fairly similar things early on when we were the same age. For us, it was not really about AP methods since we didn't start doing a lot of things like babywearing and cosleeping until she was older (I always nursed on demand, though). Oh, and I had an epidural, which didn't work...
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#21 of 32 Old 11-09-2009, 03:40 PM
 
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I have 4 children, none of whom I think are remarkable in any ways other than being fabulous because they are my children. The first, who wasn't terribly cute as a baby (but is a lovely little girl) they all said she was very alert, awake, bright eyes, etc. The second was a more typically cute baby, and everyone said she was gorgeous, beautiful, pretty, etc. The third has special needs (developmental delays) and they always say he's "happy, sweet, a "good boy" etc). The last is very tiny and cute, but not "pretty" and everyone has gone back to "alert" "bright eyes" etc. I think it's most what people say to babies, especially those who aren't what is considered to be typically "beautiful" in a baby.

YMMV, of course.

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#22 of 32 Old 11-09-2009, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That is really interesting. I wonder if all my babies will have different overriding characteristics people will comment on as well.

The theory doesn't fit for us though unless I'm a typical delusional mama. My little one is super cute!

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#23 of 32 Old 11-09-2009, 04:05 PM
 
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We get that all the time about DD2 and we got it all the time about DD1 too. I often think it's because she's being worn. Not that being worn makes her more alert, but that her wide opened eyes are more noticable as she's up on me not lying down in a car seat or stroller at a lower level.

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#24 of 32 Old 11-09-2009, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is really interesting! I can totally see that. It might explain why people will cross the store to tell us she is alert! I am trying to think of the times we have used the stroller...we still get the comments, but not nearly as many. Anyone who bends down to look at her still says it, but everyone we pass doesn't chime in.

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#25 of 32 Old 11-09-2009, 08:58 PM
 
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I've also been hearing this about DD since the day she was born. And mostly I figured it was just either a nice thing to say or she just stood out cuz at the moment she was the only babe in the room.

But I started paying attention to WHO said it, and like a PP said, when midwives and pediatricians and people with babes the same age (or older!) than DD say it, I take a lot more notice, because they have a LOT of babes to compare it to or at least they are comparing to their own babe.

We went to a gathering this weekend that had many older babes and every single parent (and observer) was commenting at how advanced DD was and how she was already doing/saying things the older babes weren't yet.

Of course we all get major warm fuzzies when it seems like our babes are superstars, but I am guessing that at the end of the day the truth is somewhere in the middle: they may be a bit more advanced than the average babe, but probably not in a class all by themselves.

You know what's really a bummer? When other parents look a bit discouraged when they compare! We were at the playground and in the baby swing next to another momand babe. We were looking at the babes and talking and then she asked how old mine was and I could tell she almost didn't want to hear. When I said "10 months" it was like her face fell. I asked about her DD and she said "14 months" but sounded so discouraged and I just didn't get it! Her DD seemed healthy, enjoying the swing, and I wondered why she'd be so down about just one other baby on the swing, or say even a lot of babies in the playground?

Makes me wonder if many parents don't start sowing the seeds of extra pressure and also discouraging their kids even at the infant stage?
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#26 of 32 Old 11-09-2009, 09:09 PM
 
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DS is only 2.5 weeks but I've found myself commenting several times in the last week that he's so much more, well, ALERT than DD was. Though by "alert" I mean "won't sleep if anything is happening nearby". Will instead stare or root, depending on whether he's content to be awake/alert or not. DD spent a lot more time sleeping in my arms at this age, and even slept in public. DS? Will NOT apparently sleep in public. So much for "newborns are so portable, they sleep through anything!" Not this kid.

Anyhow, babies are different from each other, even at young ages.

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#27 of 32 Old 11-09-2009, 10:24 PM
 
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We get that all the time about DD2 and we got it all the time about DD1 too. I often think it's because she's being worn. Not that being worn makes her more alert, but that her wide opened eyes are more noticable as she's up on me not lying down in a car seat or stroller at a lower level.
I actually think being worn *does* make them more alert. I wear DS a lot, and even *I* think he looks oddly alert when I do it. When he's not worn I guess he's alert but also wiggling/trying to crawl/smiling/etc so he's still alert but not as 'intense' I guess. When I wear him he gets this serious stoic expression w/ big eyes and it even freaks *me* out so I don't get surprised when other people comment!

the downside of a super-alert baby is trying to get them to sleep. Took two hours tonite to get DS down. jeesh! (he's 4.5months)

and yeah, we got told this a lot. He was pretty alert the first week which did seem unusual to most of the nurses in the hospital. I took notice also when the pediatrician commented about it. They've all seen a lot of babies! He's also very mobile and hyperactive.

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#28 of 32 Old 11-10-2009, 06:51 AM
 
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We hear that all the time with DD. DH also ponders on what "other babies" are like. I have to agree, though, with other posters that a lot of times this is just conversational, because I'll hear one day from 10 different people that DD is "so alert" only to later hear from 10 others that DD is "so layed back." I've also heard her get called a "Gerber baby" a few times. I do think she is very interested in things and people, but I think lots of babies are or can be this way and get these labels.

I think the comments mostly come from the fact we don't see babies that much any more. It seems rare to see a baby being held upright (worn or in arms). It seems so many of them get strapped in the carseats and shoved into shopping carts like forgotten goods. It's very hard for a LO to really make eye contact or interact with people that way. The result is they don't get noticed very much (except when they cry) and when they do, they don't appear very alert as they can't really see you so easily. It'd be an interesting study to look into if being worn as a baby makes a difference to a young child's vision (and ability to socialize). I have a feeling it does...especially compared to children who spend most of their babyhoods in carseats.

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#29 of 32 Old 11-10-2009, 02:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sk8ermaiden View Post

Has anyone heard this before? Everyone tells us we're "in for it." (I can't wait!) Has anyone had a baby like this and how did they end up being? I would love for this to mean she is going to be a curious, inquisitive, into-everything toddler/child. That is just my cup of tea.
She sounds a lot like my DD (now 4), and if so, yes you are in for it, ha ha!

My MW commented on day 1 how alert she was. She hit all her milestones really early and she has a crazy, crazy imagination. She is always ON. She is a handful, but a pretty fun one. I have to say that I am kind of happy my DS (14 mos) is not so alert. I didn't quite reailze how "on" she was until I had him, and I was like "Ohhh, so this is a "normal" baby...how EASY!", ha ha. I'd been gearing myself up for another E.

Enjoy! You will never be bored.

fridgeart, lucky mum to E (5) and Ro (2)
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#30 of 32 Old 05-07-2014, 01:23 PM
 
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I have to admit, I get that all the time. My baby was born alert. From the moment of conception - he knew his name. My sister called him by name seconds after he was conceived and he knew his name. He turned towards the sound of her voice. Everyone in the room froze. He is only 4 months and 2 weeks and can easily pass for a 7 month on baby.  His length is in the above 95 percentile, height is between 75 and 90 percentile. He is so adorable. Surely my first love.

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