2 wk old- when is it okay to let her cry? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 42 Old 12-17-2012, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm a first time mom- my daughter is 2 weeks old. Unless I have already lulled her to sleep, if i put her down she begins to cry immediately. I can calm her by letting her suck on my finger- but she absolutely refuses to take a pacifier. I figured she didn't like it so I didn't force it. 

 

I'm desperate to do small things like make a sandwich or take a shower! But I can't stand the thought of just leaving her to cry. Even if she is fed and has a fresh diaper she still just wants to be with mama 24/7. I understand but I really need to be able to do some things for myself. 

 

What can I do? I find myself wondering how long is too long for her to cry, she's only 2 weeks old and I don't want to let her sit there like that. I feel terrible. :(

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#2 of 42 Old 12-17-2012, 04:09 PM
 
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I would definitely encourage babywearing, it will sooth your LO and you will also be able to multi task having free hands.

I personally have never left my babies to cry, I have also responded immediately as there crying is asking for a primal need to be met. One is who responded to straight away is one that is also likely to settle easily as they have not worked themselves up.

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#3 of 42 Old 12-17-2012, 04:18 PM
 
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At some point, you need to go to the bathroom and make yourself a sandwich.

 

We talk all the time about letting babies cry, but we don't talk about what happens when we can't convince them to stop crying.  We offer what we can.  We do what we can.  But we have needs too.  You'll be a better parent if you're not a starving angry lady who wants to crawl out of her skin.

 

Babywearing helps sometimes, for babies who don't like to be put down.  And you do learn to do things one-handed.  But showering with a baby in your arms is just not on - I know tons of parents who swear by bouncy or vibrating seats for that. 

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#4 of 42 Old 12-17-2012, 04:49 PM
 
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Do you live alone? Can you shower when someone else can hold her? Even if she cries, it'll be easier for her if she's in someone's arms, even if she'd prefer to be in yours.

For the sandwich, I'd put her in a bouncy seat in the kitchen (on the floor) where she can see you and watch you make a sandwich. At least she'll be able to see you. I would hold my kids while I ate - you can wear them in a sling to help with that - but then it's not so long for them.

Those are my two suggestions. The ideal is that they never be left to cry alone, but babies do cry, and crying in someone's arms isn't crying it out. Then for them to be in visual distance from you while they hear you talking to them isn't so bad either. But you do have to be able to eat and shower, so don't beat yourself up over not being perfect either. Just do your best and be pleased that you're able to do that much.
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#5 of 42 Old 12-17-2012, 05:16 PM
 
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I have a very mummy-centric 4 week old so I know what you mean about wanting to do things. I wear her most of the time. I can eat and wee and do most household tasks with her in the Beco.

I have a shower when DH is holding her but, if I were on my own I'd just put her on the bathroom floor and talk to her while I had a shower (I used to do that with my, now, 2.5yo while DH was at work.

It is hard and it would be lovely if she was content to be with other people more but I try to tell myself that this stage doesn't last long... and sometimes that even works winky.gif

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#6 of 42 Old 12-17-2012, 05:19 PM
 
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I would definitely try babywearing. MY DS was a NICU baby and needed to be held all the time. I started using a MOBY wrap while still in the NICU and it made all the difference for the two of us. With the exception of the shower, which I did when DH was home, I was able to make some food, fold some laundry, generally tidy the house, etc all while DS slept soundly to the beat of my heart! Congratulations on your new bundle!


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#7 of 42 Old 12-18-2012, 06:05 AM
 
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My DD loved her infant swing. She would often fall asleep in it but it had a mobile and soft music that kept her happy awake too. I started out EPing for 10 weeks and absolutely needed a place I could put her down. I'm expecting my second and absolutely plan to baby wear so I can chase my toddler with two free hands. I'm still keeping the swing for around the house when DD really needs me one on one for a minute.
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#8 of 42 Old 12-18-2012, 06:42 AM
 
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I think Little Miss was closer to 2 months before I completely flipped out and started screaming:  "I just want to wash my hair!" and the like.  My point?  I've been there.  I can't agree enough with the women above me who have lovingly pointed out that you, at some point, need to attend to your basic needs.  And guess what?  As baby gets older, you need to start attending to some of your not-so-basic needs too.  You'll go from just showering, eating and visiting the bathroom to stepping out for a haircut and coming home to have a glass of wine on the patio. 

I still have a physically uncomfortable sensation when Little Miss cries.  It was much, much worse when she was as new as your little bundle of snuggle.  I am not suggesting you ignore that.  I am suggesting you compromise with a 2-week old.  She wants you to hold her 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Mine also wanted this.  Some days, mine still wants this.  Perhaps you can arrange for someone else to hold her for an hour a day or so?  Then you run out like your hair is on fire, shower, eat, do whatever. 

And it does get better.  smile.gif
 


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#9 of 42 Old 12-18-2012, 10:11 AM
 
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My mom came over to help me after work one day when my daughter was two weeks old and looked around and asked what she could do.  She was expecting, I think, that I request meals, dishes done, laundry, or walking the dogs.  Instead I handed her the baby and said "please just hold her while I shower".  And that's what she did a few times a week until DD was about two months old.  Just came over to hold the baby so I could shower.  I've been there and it is so hard.  Just know that it'll be ok.  If you can find someone (a fellow mom even who you can trade off baby holding with?) to hold the baby while you attend to your basic needs, it helps a ton.  I also basically wore her all day unless I was showering.  I got a Balboa Baby sling and tried to go for long walks, clean the house, etc.  Showering with her, for me at least, was a no-go.  That was something I needed someone else to help with. 

 

The other thing that helped me a lot was that DH made me easy to access meals in advance -- usually something like egg muffins with veggies or whatever -- so I could grab something quick and nourishing to eat while holding the baby before I lost my mind.  The PP have given excellent advice, so just hang in there.  It gets a lot better really quickly.


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#10 of 42 Old 12-18-2012, 04:27 PM
 
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I think that 5 minutes of misery while mom makes a sandwich or washes her hair, and then a relaxed, satisfied mom for the rest of the afternoon is much nicer than an mildly irritable, hungry mom for the entire afternoon. A shower or being able to eat changes my mood that much, and I think my DD can sense the underlying tone of how I feel. So I'm going to say it's okay to let her cry for a few minutes several times a day, if need be. Talk to her, and she knows you're still there for her.

 

That being said, I agree with everyone else's advice, too. I put DD on a towel on the floor of the bathroom and sang to her while I washed, and I'd put her in her highchair (it has a reclining seat, so even when she was tiny she could go in it) and make a sandwich on the tray, and talk to her about what I'm doing. That, she actually started to like.

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#11 of 42 Old 12-18-2012, 07:37 PM
 
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I would definitely encourage babywearing, it will sooth your LO and you will also be able to multi task having free hands.

I personally have never left my babies to cry, I have also responded immediately as there crying is asking for a primal need to be met. One is who responded to straight away is one that is also likely to settle easily as they have not worked themselves up.

http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/crying-dangerous-kids-one-expert-says-222400379.html

There is a huge difference between CIO, and letting your baby fuss/cry for 5-10 minutes so you can meet your own basic needs.

 

OP, DD is 4 weeks old and it's finally getting to the point where I can put her in her swing and she is happy for 5-10 (sometimes even 15!) minutes. Do you have a swing? It is the only place besides my arms that she will sleep for more than 5 minutes also. But if I have to do something (eat, go to the bathroom, get dressed so we can leave...), I have to do it. I try to make sure she's changed, fed, and content first, but...she's a newborn. She's often not content. She is always hungry. And even if I change her, she may be wet again in 5 minutes. So you do what you have to. If what I am doing isn't super important, my general rule is 5 minutes. I'll put her in the swing and in 5 minutes, if she is crying, I'll stop what I'm doing and take care of her. It's getting to the point lately where she usually isn't crying after 5 minutes. But 2 weeks ago? I was lucky to make it to the 1 minute mark before she was frantic.

 

Keep trying with the paci in a couple of weeks, too- DD finally started accepting one and I'll give it her for ten minutes or so every once in a while if I need to do something. 

 

It's hard, mama, but it gets better. Just know that your baby WILL be fine if you have to let them cry for a few minutes here and there!

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#12 of 42 Old 12-18-2012, 07:39 PM
 
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That being said, I agree with everyone else's advice, too. I put DD on a towel on the floor of the bathroom and sang to her while I washed, and I'd put her in her highchair (it has a reclining seat, so even when she was tiny she could go in it) and make a sandwich on the tray, and talk to her about what I'm doing. That, she actually started to like.

 

That's a good idea, DD's high chair is the kind that they can go it when they are tiny so I should start trying this.


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#13 of 42 Old 12-18-2012, 10:40 PM
 
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Maybe you can have your SO make you breakfast while he makes his (proteins, proteins, proteins!!!!!!) and hold your baby while you take a shower in the morning ? So you start the morning fresh and ready for a good day with DD! Honestly I don't know what I would have done without my husband... He was and still is of great help!

I don't know how yours is but my DS is always pretty perky in the morning so it gives me the chance to at least grab a yogurt and make me some tea if I'm by myself! Also a bouncer is great, she might not like it at first but give it a few shots and you'll probably have a baby quietly staring at you while you do the dishes/cook/eat :)

 

But yeah, for the shower, if you get nobody to hold her while you take one... I would put her in a bouncer/car seat in the bathroom... So if she cries at least you're there, you can talk to her and peak from behind the curtains... My DS is always very calm when he hears the water running, maybe she will be too!

Good luck and congrats :)


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#14 of 42 Old 12-19-2012, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the replies! To answer your question, no I don't live alone. But Daddy owns a bakery so he's gone many MANY hours a day. 12-16 hour shifts are not uncommon.

 

I don't own a bouncy chair, but I do have a sling. She seems to like it okay but I need to master how to position her, because last time her head seemed to hang out the side and I didn't feel comfortable leaving her like that. I will try the sling again. :)

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#15 of 42 Old 12-20-2012, 11:28 PM
 
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Try a wrap instead. They are much safer and hold baby upright in a position that is easier for you to move around and get things done. At this age, she'll need a stretchy wrap like a Moby wrap. Here's a video of how they look and how to use one. This was an absolutely LIFESAVER when my babies were little.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBBt2ML-woI


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#16 of 42 Old 12-20-2012, 11:39 PM
 
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Oh I have been right where you are mama. Exactly. I couldn't stand to put my babe down. Let alone let her cry.

Get a Moby Wrap or pouch carrier. They are amazing and leave you hands free. Mine still loves being rocked and she's 3! Today, actually. In the mornings I would strap DD in a Moby and make myself breakfast, do dishes, take a walk. Once she hit around 6mo I started baby einstein on a DVD player so I could eat (sort if regret it, tho) and would roll her awesome bassinet in FIRST THING in the AM so I could take a shower. Sometimes-- I'd get out soapy because she would start crying. DH being home helped but she was all about mama. Still is really. That's just how some kiddos are so don't feel bad about it. Your doing great! So glad you posted!

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#17 of 42 Old 12-21-2012, 12:28 AM
 
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Have you tried swaddling her? I used it lots in the beginning with this baby to keep him happy and we still swaddle at night to help him sleep better.


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#18 of 42 Old 12-21-2012, 10:36 AM
 
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Swaddling is a great idea - my first daughter loved it, second dd not so much. I agree with everyone else - babywearing! I would never eat, pee, or get anything done if it weren't for it. My baby is 10 weeks old now, and I've really liked the Moby wrap. I highly suggest it. She is currently snoozing away wrapped up against my chest, I was able to make lunch and eat it AND now goof around on the internet for a bit... However, for showering or things that are wayy easier done without wearing her, I use a baby swing if my husband's not around. When someone gave us the swing, I never thought we'd use it, and at first I felt weirdly guilty about putting her in it. But she loves it, falls asleep in it, and I am able to get more done while giving my back a break!

 

As everyone says, it does get better! But babies love their mamas... they want to snuggle 24/7, and we've got to figure out a way to meet their needs and ours at the same time. good luck, and congrats on being a new mom!
 

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#19 of 42 Old 12-21-2012, 01:35 PM
 
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There is controversy around swaddling. Studies of facial muscles of swaddled babies show distress. Lack of crying is not the same as happy. And the baby may tire after struggling to get free, and you may not be able to see the struggling.
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#20 of 42 Old 12-21-2012, 03:54 PM
 
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pek64  I'd be interested in some of the research you mentioned around swaddling and distress. Do you have a source/journal article link etc?  I've only heard positive things about swaddling but I am very interested in other research.

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#21 of 42 Old 12-21-2012, 07:27 PM
 
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pek64  I'd be interested in some of the research you mentioned around swaddling and distress. Do you have a source/journal article link etc?  I've only heard positive things about swaddling but I am very interested in other research.


There's an entire article on the mothering mainpage about "swaddling reconsidered", most of which discusses nonexistent research or research taken completely out of context.  The reaction from the mothering community is worth reading. 


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#22 of 42 Old 12-21-2012, 07:48 PM
 
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There is controversy around swaddling. Studies of facial muscles of swaddled babies show distress. Lack of crying is not the same as happy. And the baby may tire after struggling to get free, and you may not be able to see the struggling.

I think this is ridiculous.  Some babies love being swaddled and some don't.  I don't think we need to rely on an experts analysis of facial muscles to tell us if our babies our happy or not.

 

I had one child who did not like being swaddled and was very clear in his communication of it.  And another child who loved being swaddled until he was a toddler.  My son who loved being swaddled was very colicky, and sometimes swaddling was the only way he could calm down and be happy.


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#23 of 42 Old 12-21-2012, 08:33 PM
 
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There is controversy around swaddling. Studies of facial muscles of swaddled babies show distress. Lack of crying is not the same as happy. And the baby may tire after struggling to get free, and you may not be able to see the struggling.

 

The theory on swaddling (as I understand it) is that the firm resistance to movement helps the baby calm down.  Harvey Karp (The Happiest Baby on the Block guy) describes this as "activating the soothing reflexes", I mostly notice that infants have very poor motor control, and are likely to disturb themselves by flailing around when they have all their limbs free. 

 

In any case, when swaddling works, it works much the same way that wrapping your baby up in a wrap-style carrier works.  A Moby provides the same containment and resistance that a good swaddle does, with the added benefit of proximity to a parent (which is great, but not practical for every activity or every parent).  Some babies love being worn, and it calms them down handily.  Some hate it and flip out.  It does, however, strike me as really odd to tell a parent to wear the baby!  get a Moby!  But don't swaddle. 

 

It is not my experience with infants that they are quiet when they have complaints about the service.  A distressed infant is going to make noise.  (There's a common claim that babies who aren't rescued immediately when they cry go silent, believing that they are abandoned and have to hide from wild animals.  This is, IMO, a lousy survival strategy for an infant in that kind of desperate, primitive situation, and not consistent with my observation of my own kids, who, when I didn't respond fast enough, shifted into a mode we called "scream so the rescue copters can hear you.")

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#24 of 42 Old 12-21-2012, 08:42 PM
 
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I think this is ridiculous.  Some babies love being swaddled and some don't.  I don't think we need to rely on an experts analysis of facial muscles to tell us if our babies our happy or not.

This. Most parents aren't going to swaddle a baby and forget about them. They'll see how the baby handles it. 

 

Our daughter always worked her arms loose of the swaddle and would work at it until she did. But we used the Miracle Blanket from about 6 weeks-3 months and that pinned her arms down so she could NOT get them out, and she actually dealt with that fine and slept for longer, I think because she wasn't jerking and waking herself up. Go figure. We would only swaddle her in that after she was already asleep, so it wasn't a matter of swaddling a screaming baby and leaving her to cry herself into exhaustion... who does that?

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#25 of 42 Old 12-21-2012, 08:44 PM
 
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http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDEQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fstorelocator.swaddledesigns.com%2Fexperts.html&ei=mTXVUMCuGMePiAL91ICoDw&usg=AFQjCNH7N0eHXOl7sIadVY0T0KQjjcma0Q

Not the best link, but even childcare experts discussing swaddling recommend it be done differently than usually advocated.

And there have been times when I, an adult, have been quiet, but unhappy, so it seems reasonable that a baby might as well. Perhaps he/she cannot breathe in enough to get a cry out. I remember being in a stroller, laying down, and thinking my mother was attempting to hit every bump while I tried to keep my head up to keep it from banging. Then, after I had a child, my mother told me how she did deliberately aim for bumps when I was in the stroller, because "you liked it". I most certainly did not! But I was too busy trying to keep from being hurt to complain! Lack of crying does not automatically mean happy!
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#26 of 42 Old 12-21-2012, 08:58 PM
 
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Even when I was home on leave and didn't "have" to get up, I got up with DH.   I nursed the baby until while DH showered, got baby full and content, even if not asleep, handed him off to DH, and hopped in the shower.    
(I have an adorable picture taken after I showered, of DH, stlll in his bathrobe in an easy chair, reading in the morning sunlight with DS (about 5 weeks old) drowsing in his lap.  It looks like they're reading together...)

 

In the first weeks, DH did a lot of simple cooking of foods that I could eat one-handed.   I got pretty handy at making sandwiches with baby balanced on my shoulder, too.


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#27 of 42 Old 12-21-2012, 09:05 PM
 
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This. Most parents aren't going to swaddle a baby and forget about them. They'll see how the baby handles it. 

Our daughter always worked her arms loose of the swaddle and would work at it until she did. But we used the Miracle Blanket from about 6 weeks-3 months and that pinned her arms down so she could NOT get them out, and she actually dealt with that fine and slept for longer, I think because she wasn't jerking and waking herself up. Go figure. We would only swaddle her in that after she was already asleep, so it wasn't a matter of swaddling a screaming baby and leaving her to cry herself into exhaustion... who does that?

If she worked at it until she got her hands free, then she did *not* like it.

I wonder how you, or any adult, would react if you woke up swaddled.
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#28 of 42 Old 12-22-2012, 06:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pek64 View Post


If she worked at it until she got her hands free, then she did *not* like it.
I wonder how you, or any adult, would react if you woke up swaddled.


We swaddle our four month old daughter because otherwise she would not sleep for longer than 30 minutes without waking herself up.  She would break out of the swaddle if she could, so we got her a Woombie that she can't get out of.  She wakes up in the morning smiling, giggling, and cooing to herself until I pull her in to nurse.  Of course, it's possible that all that cooing and giggling and smiling is just masking the serious emotional and psychological damage I've done and that researchers could somehow measure that damage by looking at the subtle facial expressions that are masked by all that giggling, but I doubt it.

 

When in doubt, OP, do what feels natural to you.  If your baby doesn't like being swaddled, she'll let you know. 

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Beautiful baby girl born 8/13/2012. Little star baby lost at 10 weeks pregnant, 12/18/2013. Currently due 12/13/2014 with a rainbow.
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#29 of 42 Old 12-22-2012, 06:50 AM
 
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She didn't like it when she woke up in the Miracle Blanket, so we'd take her out of it. But when she was asleep it kept her from jerking and waking herself up. Early on we only swaddled her legs since she didn't like having her arms swaddled. This was when she was still very small, we were concerned about her getting cold, and we couldn't put her in pants since she was wearing a hip harness that wasn't compatible with pants. 

 

As for the stroller bumps, of course a lack of crying doesn't equal enjoyment. I'd venture that there are many parents in this world who can tell that their small child dislikes something even when they're not crying. For instance, in our case, I could tell my daughter was not a particular fan of our umbrella stroller because she was typically pretty quiet and not very interactive when in it, and she'd struggle to get more upright which she couldn't do, and then give up. So we rarely used it, and subsequently got rid of it in favor of a different model. 

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#30 of 42 Old 12-22-2012, 09:18 AM
 
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My baby who liked being swaddled is now nearly 11 and he's got a quilt made of jeans material that he says he likes because it feels heavy on him. I had one really big swaddling blanket that he didn't outgrow until he was nearly a year old, he was old enough that he knew what that blanket was for and he'd be calming down as I wrapped him up. I think for some babies, being swaddled feels like being held. My baby now, she likes to stretch out in her sleep, so swaddling didn't work for her. The parents figure out what's best for their own kid.


~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.

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