Life With a Baby
> Please help!! baby hates leaving the house and mama is growing increasingly more depressed
Please help. I am a first-time 27yr old mama to my beloved 10 week old DD. The problem is she hates going anywhere. She hates traveling in the car (which I've discovered is common) but even when we get to our destination she is noticeably more fussy and unhappy. That's an understatement: she gets hysterical and cries so hard that she turns red and has tears, and she never cries like that at home! She cries for hours on end! It breaks my heart!!! I am an AP... I bring along her Moby, I try bfing, everything I can think of but she just gets so worked up that nothing seems to work! It doesn't matter the environment: restaurant, church, grandparents' house, ect any place that's not home drives her into a tizzy.
My DH and I are guessing that she just has a sensitive spirit?!? We can see that she's stressed so accordingly we have decided not to go ANYWHERE until she outgrows(?) it. Its just too horrible and I never want to put her through that, so we've canceled every fun summer event we had planned and I'm living like a hermit to sacrifice for her well-being. Now the problem is that I'm getting super depressed staying locked indoors and getting cabin fever. In the last 6 weeks I've only left the house a total of 3 times... all of them disasters. To add to the problem, we live out in the country, over an hour away from even the nearest grocery store or even civilization. We have no neighbors for miles away so I can't even take a walk to interact with ppl. Its summer in California my favorite season and I haven't seen the beach. I am incredibly extroverted and social so this situation is killing me! But primarily I am concerned for her. Are we doing the right thing? Are we making the situation worse by not taking her out? Is there something I'm missing which could help her or me?! Please help! Any suggestions, advice, mamas who've been there ect. Will all be greatly appreciated!
I wish I had some great advice for you. I am not sure I do. However, I would say it is bad for both Mom and baby if mom is depressed. I would try walks first, because it will be good for your mental state (gets those chemicals flowing). Then maybe grandparent's house. You may just have to work through the screaming. They change so fast, it could just be a phase.
I'm so sorry. That must be very difficult! My son liked to go p,aces, even as a newborn and I still had cabin fever, so I imagine this must be awful for you. I think I would keep trying. Maybe plan an outing once/week? MIT would get you out of the house and give your daughter a chance to get used to traveling a bit. I used to try to get out once/day (even if it was just for a walk) but I think in your case perhaps once/week would be fair to your daughter but enough to keep you from totally losing your mind. And then what about inviting company over? Do you have a friend or family member that could come by for a visit once in a while?
Does she have a discernable nap and eating time-preference yet? My best advice would be to try to notice when she tends to wake up from a nap, and when she wants to eat, and get both of things done and taken care of. Then, as quickly as possible, get her into comfortable clothing, nothing cute but uncomfortable, and get out of there ASAP. Maybe she'll still hate it, but you have to try to get her as happy as possible to rule out her just being hungry, or tired, or unhappy with her adorable hat. Good luck, keep us posted!
My son was the exact same at that age and now at 5 months he's mostly grown out of it and seems to love going places with mama. But a few months ago we had the exact same problems. I got screamed at out in public frequently and car rides were a nightmare. I decided to stick with it and now he's pretty much good and content all the time when we go out and I think it's because I kept encouraging and persisting with going out and taking a chance on being screamed at.
hang in there and keep trying, I think it will get better. For me it really helped doing playdates with moms with similar aged babies to build our confidence together. That way if my baby had a meltdown, I would be around moms instead of the general public and would feel more comfortable.
Make yourself go out on daily walks with him in the MOby it will get you some vitamins D and fresh air which can help depression and get him used to other environments. Also, try having some friends over. Maybe a play date with yummy snacks or a dinner party even. You do have to leave the house sometimes I would try again every week or two until he can handle it. Once he is able to play and explore it will be a lot easier.
Wow that is all great advice! I feel so much better just being shown the compassion by you all.
Grandparents house is out BC my mom is not AP friendly at all and it made it so much worse!! I have been trying a walk every so often but I'm gonna increase. I really like the idea of being with other moms... if I can find some. I'm in a peculiarly rotten situation where I live. Moved here (the middle of nowhere) a few months ago to California backcountry in a town where only 300 live and everyone sticks to themselves... mountain folks. But I'm going to brainstorm how to meet up with other moms cause I can definitely see how that would be less stressful. I just hate hearing my baby cry and when she gets that hysterical, it makes me cry!
my poor dh is trying to console both of us. So I guess from all that you wrote, I'm really grateful to gain a perspective that it's okay to push through and that I'm not harming my DD. I've felt really selfish and guilty for putting her through it, ya know?
I know you posted this 2 weeks ago but I went through something really similar with my babe. I just remember it was really hard because people would get mad at ME for not going far from home and not wanting to cause my daughter undue stress. They would say things like, "Oh, just put her in the car and go!" She has outgrown a lot of this at 8 months but I don't think I ever encountered someone who really understood that I just could not do these things. It's hard! People just don't understand that some babies are not as "portable" as others and not every baby loves the car.
Good luck and hopefully you can find some other moms among the "mountain folk"!
Ugh. I could have written this. There are no easy answers, but I can relate and this is a HARD thing to go through. Welcome to the world of the High Needs Baby. :)
Forums like this one, the Ask Moxie blog and Berkeley Parents Network were helpful to me. I also joined a new mom group that met once a week with babies so I was forced to leave my house. I tried to promise myself to get out at least once a day, even if it was just down the street and back! Friends with mellower babies were always saying "just throw him in the sling and ...." They SO didn't get it. The other thing I heard was "relax and he'll relax" and "he'll outgrow it by 3 or 4 months." None of that helped. No one understood that (1) this is just his personality - he's not sick/cold/hungry, and (2) it wasn't fun for me to go anywhere when he was like that.
Now he's 11 months and things are waaaaaay easier (he got easier starting around month 5), but he's still an intense little guy and we try to only go out during his really good hours - in between naps. I have "scream-friendly zones" that I can go to, people who are used to him being loud, and I try to line up as many social visits in my house as I can.
Check out The Fussy Baby Site - it has tons of articles that you will probably relate to. If you request it, they will even set you up with a "fussy baby pen pal" - another mom with a fussy baby who you can e-mail to vent and compare notes. I can't recommend that enough.
You might also check out Meetup.com to see if there are any mom groups in your area, and then send out an SOS - "High needs baby! Please come visit me!" Some people won't get it, but there are always the ones that will.
Finally, the website http://postpartumprogress.com/ has a lot of great depression/anxiety resources and that helped me a lot too.
:) Hang in there!!
Thank you heather so much! That really is almost just as bad as the problem: having everyone say "just throw her car and come!" They think that I am an overconcerned mom or just completely incapable of parenting her. My family especially thinks that I'm just too sensitive and should let her CIO in the car! :| I really struggle with caring about what ppl think of me so at a time when I just greatly need compassion and sympathy, I feel super judged as im called "ridiculous" and compared to all the other moms(friends and relatives) who, "look, CAN handle taking their kids places!" I could scream for all the times I'm told repeatedly that "crying is good for her"!
So update: i am making it a point to walk everyday but 100+ temps dont make it easy. My dh and I are getting out now about once a week with DD and taking really small trips. It helps that's she's getting interested with toys!
I just found a mom meetup group about 20 mins that I'm going to start attending twice a month and am really excited for that, so hopefully it goes well. Overall she just really seems to hate being anywhere but home, no matter where we go or what time of day. She can have all her needs met (food, sleep, diaper changed) but just freaks. So I'm holding on to the hope that it will be get better with time. Thanks everyone for your kind words!!
DS was like this, and it did get easier over time. I'm glad you've found some middle ground that works for you! We were lucky, being in the city and able to walk. Some lil babes are more sensitive than others - it's just who your lil girl is, it is NO reflection on your parenting! Please do not give up on AP - in fact, high needs kids need it even more. Have you read The Fussy Baby Book or The Baby Book by Dr. Sears? I found those very helpful raising a high needs kiddo - as well as Raising Your Spirited Child (more geared toward kids a lil older - toddler and up). Good luck, mama! As your lil one grows and you get used to being a mama, you will gain even more confidence to stand up to everyone else and do what's best for your lil one.