I'm scared I don't like infants! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 30 Old 06-13-2005, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A little background: we have a 20 mo. old DD and no plans to TTC #2 until next summer. I have always thought three kids was a great number. I generally like children, I have a degree in human development (!), and I enjoy being a mom.

This weekend we were at a baby shower. Baby was present, maybe about 6 weeks old. It seemed to me that he cried most of the night, and he seemed to be spitting up a lot. Now, DD had reflux so I was kind of wondering if that might be what was going on with him, until I remembered that all babies spit up, or at least I think they do. And, he was at a party, so maybe he was just cranky or maybe mom didn't feel like she could nurse him as often or whatever.

Anyway, I asked to hold him and man, he was not pleased. I shifted him around but couldn't ever get him to settle. All at once it was like the feelings of inadequacy and stress came rushing back at me... I just felt like a complete idiot for not being able to get him to calm down. You know, my kid's walking around the party hanging out with all these adults she's known her whole life and I'm guessing they're thinking, "How did she raise this one so far when she can't get the baby to stop crying?" Someone even said something about "Have you forgotten already?" Whew. I felt like I had a huge flashing neon sign that read "NOT GOOD WITH BABIES" over my head.

I kind of think newborns scare me. I know they did before I became a mama, but I thought that having one of my own would take care of it. Apparently, it didn't. Give me a toddler any day. But this makes me nervous about my plans to have more... and it makes me feel like some kind of freak mama - I mean, who doesn't like newborns? What is wrong with me? :LOL

Katherine, mama to Emma Kate (7) and Griffin (3)

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#2 of 30 Old 06-13-2005, 04:43 PM
 
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No advice, but newborns creep me out too. I too thought that having been through it would make it less stressful to hold another baby. I have tried several times but I am just as bad at it as I was before having dd. My dd is 22 months and I am loving the stage we are at now....better than ever before. I think some people are just more suited to different age people.
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#3 of 30 Old 06-13-2005, 04:52 PM
 
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I was never comfortable around infants until I had my own. Even then, whenever I imagined myself as a mom pre-kids it was always the later stages that I imagined, like age 3 and up. Both of mine were difficult babies. One from personality, one from reflux.

There's nothing worse than not being able to comfort your own baby who is suffering. It's the worst feeling in the world. But somehow when it's *your* baby and not someone else's, it's easier to cope and love them and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe that baby knew you were not mommy and was not able to be comforted as well. My reflux baby needed very specific positions (her favorite as a nb was lying on my left arm sideways and being belly to belly with me)

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#4 of 30 Old 06-13-2005, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USAmma
My reflux baby needed very specific positions (her favorite as a nb was lying on my left arm sideways and being belly to belly with me)
My DH did point out that the baby didn't calm down until he was finally laying across his mom's lap (on his belly) and she was patting his back.

Hmmm...

Katherine, mama to Emma Kate (7) and Griffin (3)

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#5 of 30 Old 06-13-2005, 05:50 PM
 
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I'm actually best with babies up to around 4-5 months (I held my now-8yo cousin her ENTIRE first Christmas when she was 2 months, because I was the only one who could help her sleep that day), and by adopting I'm skipping that period entirely, so I'm a little scared too! Some people are just better with different ages, my sister is awesome with kids 2-4.

I have to think it will all work out, though.
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#6 of 30 Old 06-13-2005, 06:48 PM
 
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You aren't alone! I've never been into babies at all. Now I have my own and I LOVE her but somehow just can't get into other people's kids. I always feel very awkward. I don't think it has any affect on how good a mom I am to mine.

*formerly apecaut*, Mom to A, Calliope (stillborn 40 weeks 6/22/07), A and O
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#7 of 30 Old 06-13-2005, 07:11 PM
 
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Sounds normal. Everyone has ages and stages that they aren't so good at, newborns are that age for you. I wouldn't worry about your parenting ability based on whether you could calm an infant with reflux who didn't know you at all and wasn't calming for everyone else, either.
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#8 of 30 Old 06-13-2005, 09:08 PM
 
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You are so not alone!

I LOVE my DD. I loved watching her grow this past year but no, the newborn phase is definately not my favorite. I have friends that are lamenting every little infant loss and here I am rooting for my DD to walk and TELL me what she needs and oh, wiping her own butt. I love CDing but toilet training won't break my heart either.

It is much easier to deal with your own infant too.

Jen

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#9 of 30 Old 06-13-2005, 09:50 PM
 
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I'm not much of an infant person either. They terrify the crap out of me. They are so tiny and helpless and can't tell you what's wrong. I'm a home daycare provider, and for this reason I will NOT take care of little ones. I only take care of school-age kids.
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#10 of 30 Old 06-13-2005, 11:36 PM
 
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I totally forgot how to take care of a baby (and i grew up with little brothers 9, 10 and 11 years younger than I!) almost right away! It's strange how you change your parenting smoothly as your child grows, and before you know it you just don't suppor the head anymore and you don't cradle them anymore, instead you do a hip carry and bounce them on their feet, etc. It's wierd, even now with ds 8 months old i almost let another baby fall yesterday cuz i forgot she couldn't sit up like ds. : Oh, and all babies don't spit up, my older ds ruined every shirt I owned, now the younger spits up maybe once a week or less, and even then it's tiny.

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#11 of 30 Old 06-13-2005, 11:50 PM
 
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I luuuuv toddlers. Until this third baby, I felt afraid about the infant part too. Both of my first two were very challenging babies. The third was way easier, and poof, I have baby lust for the first time ever, and bad.

Don't feel bad, OP - it takes a very cool mama to be good at and enjoy the toddler years.
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#12 of 30 Old 06-14-2005, 02:15 AM
 
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[QUOTE=Jennifer3141]I LOVE my DD. I loved watching her grow this past year but no, the newborn phase is definately not my favorite. I have friends that are lamenting every little infant loss and here I am rooting for my DD to walk and TELL me what she needs and oh, wiping her own butt./QUOTE]

: :LOL

Don't feel bad, OP mama! First, it's always harder to comfort a baby that's not your own. Second, newborns are tough! I am with Jen - I am sooooo not missing the newborn stage.

I've been feeling bad lately because more and more, I feel like I don't want another for just this reason. The infant stage was really hard on me, and on DH and me as a couple, and we're just now coming out of the fog. I've always thought I wanted two, and I think DD would love a sibling (she's very social), but I don't think I can do it again! I can't bear the thought of starting all over. It sounds so selfish, but I think I need to recognize my limitations. :
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#13 of 30 Old 06-14-2005, 03:01 AM
 
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I liked the little ones until I experienced super-colic-girl. Now, newborns and young babies make me want to run. It isn't rational, but I can't help it. The first 3 1/2 months of dd's life were so unbelievably hard. *shudder*
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#14 of 30 Old 06-14-2005, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, I'm glad I'm not alone! I don't know if this makes any sense, but I have always been hesitant to label DD's infancy as difficult because while yes, I thought it was hard, maybe I'm just a wimp and it really wasn't all that bad. I can think of ways it could have been worse.

Anyway, I do think I can forge ahead and have another, partly because now that I've traveled that road once, I can see where it leads. I'll know when to expect certain things in the baby's development, and I'll have a firmer sense that the newborn/infant stage doesn't last forever. I do think I learned some things the last time around.

But no, I could never empathize with those moms who mourn every new development as a loss of the newborn they started out with. I welcome each new thing as a step towards DD being more like a person : instead of this little blob that I desperately want to help but most of the time it's a shot in the dark... Plus I just think development in and of itself is really fun and cool.

Katherine, mama to Emma Kate (7) and Griffin (3)

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#15 of 30 Old 06-14-2005, 02:54 PM
 
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I don't like other people's babies, but I LOVE my own! I have no interest in holding someone elses infant. I beleive all babies are precious and beautiful, but I just don't have the type of personality that goes "ga-ga" for others children. I do however understand why THEY love their children!
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#16 of 30 Old 06-14-2005, 05:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer3141
You are so not alone!

I LOVE my DD. I loved watching her grow this past year but no, the newborn phase is definately not my favorite. I have friends that are lamenting every little infant loss and here I am rooting for my DD to walk and TELL me what she needs and oh, wiping her own butt.
:
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#17 of 30 Old 06-15-2005, 03:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggie05
I don't like other people's babies, but I LOVE my own! I have no interest in holding someone elses infant. I beleive all babies are precious and beautiful, but I just don't have the type of personality that goes "ga-ga" for others children. I do however understand why THEY love their children!
Me to, me to. Not a baby person. I am sooooooooo glad my youngest has passed through his first 6 months and is now a happy and engaging babe (he had really gad colic and reflux).
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#18 of 30 Old 06-15-2005, 03:24 AM
 
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Newborns scare the crap out me, even my own. I mean, there is a part of me that loves the newborn stage like nothing else. But with both of mine, I breathed a lot easier once they were a couple of months old. They are just so darn helpless and seem so fragile - I'm always afraid they are just going to break right in front of me!

And I've never really been into other people's kids. I like kids, they don't bug me or anything, but I don't feel all maternal and loving towards them like I do my own. I don't think I'd even attempt to try to comfort another person's crying newborn (unless I was the only one there). They'd be sure to pick up on my fear and cry even harder!
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#19 of 30 Old 06-15-2005, 03:24 AM
 
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*MY mama* has always said that "babies are boring even my own were" We have joked and discussed over the years how much she adores age 2 and up and up and up but how much she really dislikes babies. She had 2 so I guess she should know. She was a great mama and was really good at it too. I'm glad that she has excelled at and enjoyed 26 of the 28 years she's been a mama.

Just thought I'd share to offer encouragement!

Jenne

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#20 of 30 Old 06-15-2005, 03:52 PM
 
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My name is Foo and I HATE the infant stage.

I love looking at little infants, but I HATE HATE HATE the infant stage. Now that my Moo is up an walking and saying "Ga!" as she points to everything, life is good.
Screaming wormy thing? Nope, had lots of issues...
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#21 of 30 Old 06-15-2005, 04:25 PM
 
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I am SO glad to have found this thread...I always thought I was just awful for not liking babies. Give me a 2 year old ANY day. My youngest is just getting to the "fun" age for me.
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#22 of 30 Old 06-15-2005, 05:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eksmom
I mean, who doesn't like newborns?


Quote:
Give me a toddler any day.


My dd had reflux and major nursing difficulties and I had PPD. Whenever I see a baby these days (especially up close!), all I feel is intense relief that I will NEVER have to do that again. My dh had to instruct me to hold his niece at the last family function because people were wondering why this was the third time I had seen her and still hadn't held her.

Do I actively dislike babies? No, but I certainly don't go all weak in the knees anymore like I did pre-kids. I have told my husband (who wants more bio kids) on numerous occasions that if they came out as toddlers we could have 10 kids! As crass as it sounds (and it's NOT the reason we are adopting her) I feel like adopting our 10-yearold HIV+ daughter will save me from having to have more babies, b/c dh says he thinks that having her will be enough of a challenge.

Namaste!
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#23 of 30 Old 06-15-2005, 07:06 PM
 
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Chalk one more up to not lovin' the baby stage. I feel like a freak among women.
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#24 of 30 Old 06-16-2005, 11:17 PM
 
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Me too, me too!

Quote:
But no, I could never empathize with those moms who mourn every new development as a loss of the newborn they started out with. I welcome each new thing as a step towards DD being more like a person instead of this little blob that I desperately want to help but most of the time it's a shot in the dark... Plus I just think development in and of itself is really fun and cool.
I could have written this. I have been saying recently that if babies were born at one year old, I'd have another one in a heartbeat. (As it is, I'm still iffy on a second, for now.) I am totally gaga nuts about my toddler! She is so freaking fun and interesting, even when she's being...a toddler. But the newborn phase? Man was I bored, and uncomfortable in my skin, and afraid to admit that I wasn't loving every second. It was a huge thing for me to finally be able to look back and say "Yeah, I'm not really a little-infant person."

I have been pleasantly surprised by how many of my mama friends have quietly told me they feel the same. Our culture tells you to be afraid of toddlers and revere newborns...funny.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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#25 of 30 Old 06-16-2005, 11:24 PM
 
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Well, like I said earlier, don't lose hope. I felt precisely like the previous posters, and definitely thought it was a permanent condition for me, and then 10 years later, I had another baby and I WAS totally gaga about that stage, and mourn its loss now (although I still DIG my toddler!)

I am not sure if it was my getting older or the baby being so much more laid back, but it's possible to love it!
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#26 of 30 Old 06-17-2005, 12:08 AM
 
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OT: Amy, I'm about 15 miles from you!

Namaste!
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#27 of 30 Old 06-17-2005, 12:13 AM
 
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there is some truth to the saying that it is easier to love your own children as opposed to someone else's. I don't always enjoy other people's children like I enjoy my own. i love my kids and could hang out with them 24/7, but sometimes when I'm around other people's kids I'm counting the minutes till I can leave. I know that sounds awful, maybe it's just b/c I'm so burnt out these days.

Also you might have been sensing that the baby needed his mama, and that made you feel the "get him away from me" vibe, because you were sensing what he needed, which wasn't you!
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#28 of 30 Old 06-17-2005, 12:39 AM
 
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i don't know if i'd put myself in the "icky! a baby!" category :LOL, but i don't usually like to hold other people's babes. i don't think i've ever asked to actually and it really didn't occur to me to offer to other people who weren't relatives. what i really wanted to chime in about, though, was the idea that the little bitty in the OP probably was pretty high needs and just wanted mama. there wasn't much calming down my dd1 by grandmothers or any other friendly forces. she just wanted dh and me, mainly. dd2 is a different kettle of fish and much more outgoing, though. i think even as babies we let our personalities and quirks show a little bit, so all you mamas thinking of having a second may have a totally different infant experience from the first go 'round!

hth

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#29 of 30 Old 06-17-2005, 10:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meowee
there is some truth to the saying that it is easier to love your own children as opposed to someone else's. I don't always enjoy other people's children like I enjoy my own. i love my kids and could hang out with them 24/7, but sometimes when I'm around other people's kids I'm counting the minutes till I can leave.
Me too. I have endless patience with DS, but with other people's kids, I don't have that much and I get antsy . I've never been a "kid person" until I had my DS .
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#30 of 30 Old 06-18-2005, 11:07 AM
 
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eksmom - : yeah, like everyone says, I think this is a normal reaction. Not everyone is the same, obviously - some people just "adore" babies - all babies. I know a mother of 3 children and she said that even after 3 of her own, she doesn't like holding other people's babies. I know I have held other people's newborn babies and to be honest I felt nothing but uncomfortable and a little sick. That sounds horrible I guess but I didn't like the sensation. This was before 24 month old DS was born. DS was colicky and had reflux and I was so exhausted. Even when I look at some of his early pictures, I get a few chills just thinking about those days! I know I'm much more comfortable around babies now but I can't say I have any strong desire to hold other people's babies. I think your feelings are fine!
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