Stiff babies.... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 13 Old 06-14-2005, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a friend who's twin babies have really stiff/strong backs at a really young age. Any idea why? She does talk about how much they eat all the time. Could that bother them?
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#2 of 13 Old 06-14-2005, 06:10 PM
 
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I have held a baby that I would describe as stiff and reluctant to cuddle. Originaly I thought it was because I was a strange but now I have known this little boy for two years, and he is definately a victim of poor emotional parenting
He never cood or smiled or laughed even when I tried really hard to engage him and he avoids eye contact. He has no language skills (now at three) his parents think it is fine, I know someone called cps, they aren't neglectful just not very loving or stimulating kwim?

I don't know if that is what it is with these twins, but I think being a mama of two babies at once would be extremely draining, do the boys smile and make eye contact and laugh? I was a lot more worried about that then the "stiffness"
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#3 of 13 Old 06-14-2005, 06:22 PM
 
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My nephew is the same way

I think it is a parenting thing that causes them to not "know" how to cuddle.

My nephew was delivered with forceps and had his nose damaged. Because of that he was in the special nursery for days. Then he was circ'd My brother's GF bf'd him for a couple weeks then he was fed formula.

They are young and I think as long as they don't leave him alone they think they are being good parents. They have all kinds of holding devices that he sits in a lot.

I know they love him, but they just seem like clueless parents.

He doesn't make a lot of eye contact and at 6 months he has maybe 2-3 different expressions he makes.

I think it would be great if there were some research on stiff babies. It might help bring awareness to the importance of cuddling your babies!
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#4 of 13 Old 06-14-2005, 06:30 PM
 
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It sounds like they're not used to being held. In my experience babies stiffen whenever confronted with an unfamiliar sensation... for instance DD turns stiff as a board everytime we try to get her in her new carseat. :LOL I would also worry more about eye contact/laughing/smiling than how they feel in your arms... it could be partly b/c you are an unknown to them - in other words, it could be you and DH - not the holding itself - that caused the stiffening.

I think that caring for twins is overwhelming in and of itself. Tools like bouncy seats are probably more of a necessity than you think. I don't believe advice, however gentle, would be particularly well-received. I think you could best lead by example by holding/cuddling/slinging your son in front of her as much as possible.
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#5 of 13 Old 06-14-2005, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know when ds was born, dd began to act like a newborn in so many ways again. She nursed more than he did, I think! I couldn't imagine how draining 2 infants at the same time would be. She is blessed that our church is great at sending help to her. She gets volunteer sitters a few times a week, plus her grandmother. Having ds 4 weeks after her boys were born has prevented me from helping much.
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#6 of 13 Old 06-14-2005, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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double post
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#7 of 13 Old 06-14-2005, 09:03 PM
 
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My first was kind of a 'stiff' baby. He was also a back-archer when he cried--no matter how hard he was crying.

All this despite CONSTANT human contact in the form of bf'ing on demand, slinging, co-sleeping.

He has never been and still isn't what I would call a cuddly child. It doesn't mean there is something wrong with him or my parenting of him. Even infants have preferences to how much and in what fashion they are held and touched.

Try to put the issue out of your head. Since there is no conclusive way to determine why the babies seem stiff (if in fact they really are 'stiff'), bringing it up would most certainly cause major hurt feelings for your friend.

If anyone had ever had the nerve to hint or insinuate that my baby seemed 'stiff' or 'not as happy as someone else's' they'd have gotten an earful.

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#8 of 13 Old 06-14-2005, 09:11 PM
 
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My baby is stiff and believe me I love to cuddle with her. She was a preemie so that may have something to do with it, I don't know. But when I take her in my arms when she's fussy, she stiffens like a board and often I have to lie her down or put her in a chair for her to settle. She prefers it that way. Sometimes she will relax if I give her a massage but not all the time. She does have moments where she will cuddle with me and I treasure it as much as I can. I agree w/previous poster that if someone said something to me about that I would flip out on them.
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#9 of 13 Old 06-14-2005, 09:21 PM
 
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[He never cood or smiled or laughed even when I tried really hard to engage him and he avoids eye contact. He has no language skills (now at three) his parents think it is fine, I know someone called cps, they aren't neglectful just not very loving or stimulating kwim?

Has this little boy ever been evaluated for autism or any other kind of developmental disability? I work with kids w/special needs, and this description of this child, the first thing that popped into my head is 'sounds like he might be autistic.'

Kids with autism, some don't like close contact, or only like it if THEY initiate it. In general, they avoid eye contact and social interaction. Many autistic children don't speak, and if/when they do, it's often imitation, not on their own. It's not a result of unloving parenting, though a child with autism who is worked with will, of course, learn more interaction skills than a child with autism who is not.

This child should be evaluated by the school district where he lives--they have people who specialize in identifying developmental delays and helping the kids--there's free preschool and therapy for kids who need it. The younger they get help, the better off they are later. I would fully believe he can be taught to talk, etc. he just needs the right help.

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#10 of 13 Old 06-14-2005, 09:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your different perspectives!
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#11 of 13 Old 06-14-2005, 10:23 PM
 
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IIRC, stiffness is one end of the CP spectrum, isn't it? One of my twins was very stiff, and most people who held her didn't have any problems commenting on it. I remember being a little concerned about the CP thing at the time, especially since they were early, and twins.

I'd mention the stiffness to her, and see what she says. Maybe the boys do relax after a few minutes with her.
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#12 of 13 Old 06-14-2005, 10:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faythe
IIRC, stiffness is one end of the CP spectrum, isn't it? One of my twins was very stiff, and most people who held her didn't have any problems commenting on it. I remember being a little concerned about the CP thing at the time, especially since they were early, and twins.

I'd mention the stiffness to her, and see what she says. Maybe the boys do relax after a few minutes with her.
yes i was just going to post the same thing. it could be CP.

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#13 of 13 Old 06-14-2005, 11:38 PM
 
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my daughter was pretty stiff for the first 3 months, i thought she might be what Dr. Sears calls an "uncuddly baby." she also avoided eye contact, and even though she seemed content and didn't cry, she never truly seemed happy. i wasn't able to breastfeed, but she was worn and held all day, except for a few minutes here and there when she'd arch and scream until we put her on the floor or bed to play. it turns out it was her GERD (reflux) pain ... once we hit the exact right combo of meds and home methods (positioning, massage, etc.) she blossomed!! suddenly was very cuddly and loose, gazing into eyes, all that good stuff anyway, before that, i was constantly worried i was a bad mama, more than just not being able to breastfeed. there were times when i thought all my cuddling her wasn't making any difference at all, she was so indifferent to it. i'm glad i stuck with it very persistently and didn't just sit her in a bouncy!!

what you described with the twins, i think it could most likely be the result of the detached parenting. but, it could also be a mild pain problem such as reflux ... constant pain for an adult becomes background static, but for a baby it is in the forefront. they don't cry out in surprise since it's constant, but they are unable to relax or truly become engaged in their environment.

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