Feeling a little detached - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 15 Old 09-09-2003, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am not feeling as attached as I would like with my 3-month-old.
I've never been separated from him, and we co-sleep and nurse exclusively and everything, but I really don't want to hold him much. We can't seem to get comfortable in the sling, even though I used it all the time with my first son. We can't even get truly comfortable with him just in-arms unless we are at the park or somewhere and he can look out at the action--then he's happy. I'm starting to just tune out the fussing or have big brother entertain him (fortunately he loves his big brother! He has an an incredible personality for a 3-month-old). I use the bouncy chair and the swing a lot. I feel that this is not good but I do not know what to do. Any advice?
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#2 of 15 Old 09-09-2003, 01:37 PM
 
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Are you experiencing post partum depression?
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#3 of 15 Old 09-09-2003, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mama_Kass,
I don't think so. I had PPD with #1 and cried every day; I never cry nowadays. Is is possible for PPD to look very different with 2 different babies?
One thing that is going on in my life is that my husband, who is a graduate student, has gotten into a vicious cycle of working all night and sleeping all day. I have to be on a normal schedule because I take care of another baby part-time. So I'm not getting any relief and every waking minute I'm caring for babies.
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#4 of 15 Old 09-09-2003, 03:14 PM
 
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First of all, here's a hug!

Wow, your situation sounds hard! Good job you for holding it together virutally alone with three little ones to care for. I imagine it's hard to find time for *you* ever in the midst of all that. Of course they do need so much when they are this small... but the tricky thing I think is how do we manage to maintain our own wholeness as mamas so that we can be there for them? Does that make sense? Whether or not it is "as bad" as your ppd was the first time, or whether it manifests itself in the same way, you've got a lot on your plate. And it sounds like you have a babe with a different temperament this time? And are feeling alone on top of it...

It's funny because on these boards we talk a lot about attachment and responsiveness... and while there are a lot of things that go with that kind of parenting style for many of us (cosleeping ,wearing baby, bring baby everywhere), what I'm always learning from these mamas is that the key really is the responsiveness, the emotional connection with your child, not the exact details (like "using a swing = not AP" for example).

So if you are going through all the motions but feeling something is missing, what do you think would help you to find what the cause is. I mean, would a date to chat with a girlfriend (like while you walk baby in the park) help pick up your spirits for when you're on your own again? Could you & dh find a way for you to have pampering on Sunday afternoons -- or whatever. For me when she was a newborn it was taking bubble baths. Is there another mama you could take turns giving mini-breaks to each other? I'm just making this up, so maybe for you it would be totally different stuff, but I'm just wondering whether some treats in your life now & then, or extra rest, would help you to be "more there" with the babe?

Also just to say -- it sounds like you're doing the best you can with what you have! Hang in there, mama.

mamabutterfly

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#5 of 15 Old 09-09-2003, 03:18 PM
 
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oops... one more thought, lol!

What you said about the sling reminds me of my friend whose first dd loved to lie in the sling as a newborn, but whose 2nd (also a very outgoing baby like yours), only liked to be upright, outward facing, in one of those frontpacks (like babytrekker or ergo) even when just a couple months old. This may be beside the point but just thought I'd mention it since you said your babe likes to see the world.

mb

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#6 of 15 Old 09-09-2003, 04:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dear mamabutterfly,
Thank you so much for the love and encouragement!!!
I think the front pack is a fabulous idea and I am definitely going to try it. We tried sitting cross-legged, facing outward, in the sling but he kept leaning over and I just wasn't comfortable with it. He seemed to love watching the world go by, though.
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#7 of 15 Old 09-09-2003, 04:53 PM
 
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Hi Super Pickle,

I second the idea about the upright carrier. My dd, who is very intense, was never happy in the cradle position, however she would sleep quite happily in her Maya Wrap in a straight up/down position, even facing inward.

Also, depression can manifest itself as a general "blah" feeling. Be careful to watch yourself closely and realize that not being excited/interested with life could signal the beginnings of depression.
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#8 of 15 Old 09-09-2003, 05:04 PM
 
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You know, it just might be your baby's personality. I know my baby is not a snuggler at all. She would be okay in the sling in the Kangaroo hold, facing out, but that's it. Like your son, she would lean forward. Now I use a Hip Hammock ( www.hiphammock.com ). DD is always wanting to be down and moving around. She can roll, and is really close to crawling at just 4.5 months. She pulls herself into the crawl position, and lunges forward. If you hold her, she just wiggles all around, never sits, and wants to stand and look out constantly. She really wears me out some days. Her favorite thing to do is sit in her Stationary entertainer and bounce around playing with her toys. I know alot of mamas think that this is "bad" or "not AP" of me, but it makes my baby happy She doesn't like to be held or cuddled all of the time. Even as a newborn she never wanted swaddled. She would break free from the blanket even in the hospital! She also rarely naps (maybe 2 days a week)! She is just an active child. I hope that your little one is just showing his personality Really, every child is so different, and their personalities show up so early! Don't worry about doing everything the "AP" way. Just listen to your little one, and let him explore his new world!
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#9 of 15 Old 09-10-2003, 10:50 AM
 
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My ds wasn't a cuddler either when he was real young. In fact I didn't feel really attached until he was 4 or 5 months. I did have mild PPD. The funny thing is , we were very attached and still are. I saw a lactation consultant at 7 weeks who is very AP and she commented on how attatched we were. I didn't feel that way at all.

Misty, mama to my nurslings William(11/4/02) and Parker(7/13/04).
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#10 of 15 Old 09-10-2003, 11:30 AM
 
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It took me a while to really bond with one of my babies, maybe 4 months. He didn't like to cuddle, was very high needs, didn't feel soothed by me the way that his brother did. His brother was always happy in the sling, always happy just as long as I was holding him, etc. It really tore me up to not feel the attachment I was expecting. One thing that really helped me was to take baths with my baby everyday. The skin on skin contact, and the fact that he was just so happy in the bath worked wonders. Even if at other times in the day I felt like, "where did this baby come from?!" when we were in the bath together I always felt like, "oh, he IS my baby!" By the time he was about four months old I felt really bonded to him. I don't know what changed things, I think in part it had to do with him just getting more comfortable in his body and happier to be here, and me just getting to know him better.

It's hard when you have more than one child to not compare them to each other. I think that if my baby had been my only baby I would have been able to devote myself to him more entirely and feel more bonded more quickly. As it was, I had his brother to care for as well, and his brother was just such a cuddly, affectionate guy . . . of course I was comparing them all the time.

If you can, try taking a bath with your little one, and just know that you WILL eventually feel attached to your baby, even if you don't feel as attached as you'd like to just yet.

Hugs!

Lex

Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 4, 5, 7, 8, 11 & 11) in a small house with a lot of love.
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#11 of 15 Old 09-11-2003, 12:27 AM
 
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I always liked my Baby Bjorn carrier although it was not good for a chubby baby. She loved going to the bookstore and facing out. I did find it a little uncomfortable on my large nursing chest but it depends on your build I guess.
When she was old enough to sit upright I bought a hip carrier from www.walkingrockfarm.com. It cost 70.00 but boy is it comfortable and we still use it for going to garage sales, crowded festivals, etc...even tho she weighs 30 lbs.
I used a sling a lot too but couldn't get comfortable the first few weeks. My girl was a cuddler tho and would not be put down! It's funny how different we all are.
She pretty much insists on walking everywhere now unless she's super tired. She's almost 19 mos.
You should use your instincts and give him the physical contact he (and you!) need without trying to match some preset number, you know?
Good luck!
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#12 of 15 Old 09-11-2003, 02:26 PM
 
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I just want to second what many other of the mamas are saying--ds1 hated the sling, hated cosleeping as a tiny infant, wanted to watch the world go by. I couldn't hold him except looking out--couldn't use the sling at all until he was big enough to sit crosslegged facing out--then he was fine. He liked the Baby Bjorn facing out, but not until he was a few months old (but I too had a little trouble with the BB b/c of my big boobs). He also liked, really early, lying under a mobile or dangly thing--sometimes more than being held. In terms of AP worries, my ds is the huggiest, snuggly child I know--he eventually got into cosleeping, but he's also always been totally alert, needing to see everything. Dd so far at 3 weeks loves the sling, loves cosleeping... So it could be personalities! I'd still second the idea of getting some time to yourself, regardless, though!
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#13 of 15 Old 09-12-2003, 08:44 AM
 
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Super Pickle,

Since you say your ds doesn't like to be slung or even held, could he be archy and/or somewhat hyerptonic? These babies like to keep their backs straight, do not cuddle and "melt" into the mom.

Sometimes they can even be hard to nurse.

Add in a spirited energetic personality and I could see how you would feel kind of rejected!

I wonder if this article will give you any ideas?

http://www.lalecheleague.org/llleade...gSep01p82.html
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#14 of 15 Old 09-12-2003, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone so much for your caring responses. Truthfully, I think the frustration boils down to two things: 1.) I'm not getting any help from dh and 2.) there is no one-on-one time with this baby because ds#1 doesn't nap anymore and still needs a lot of attention.
We do take baths together (all 3 of us), which everyone loves, and I do massage the baby, but again, ds#1 is "helping" so a lot of my attention is directed towards making sure oil doesn't get dumped in the baby's eyes.
He really is a darling, engaging baby with loads of personality and I couldn't love him more. The sling thing should fix itself soon when he's old enough to ride in the hip carry. I really do appreciate everyone's support.
And thanks DaryLLL for the link. I don't think my son fits the bill but I had never heard of such things before--it was very interesting!
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#15 of 15 Old 09-12-2003, 11:10 PM
 
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Super Pickle!

I think you are doing a great job knowing yourself. You sound like a terrific mama who just happens to be in "survival mode" at the moment!

May I say, having had a babe who needed his arms and legs free, that the Ulitmate Baby Wrap was a lifesaver! Far superior to the Bjorn, which I quit using b/c of neck/back pain.

I would put it as my #1 baby product, ever. Does everything a bjorn will, everything a sling will, and sooo comfortable, cuz it distributes the weight to the hips. Love it! Check it out at

www.naturalmothercompany.com

(I swear I am not on commision, though I think I should be!)
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