Vaccines and minimally responsive babies - Mothering Forums
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I'm Not Vaccinating > Vaccines and minimally responsive babies
AprilM's Avatar AprilM 10:37 PM 03-21-2009
Ds is 8 months old and ever since he was born, we have been getting the same remark over and over about him from different folks here and there that we come in contact with. (Especially random strangers at stores and such) They comment on how 'alert' he is and how strong his eye contact and focus is.... like he is really studying their faces. At first I thought, that's odd, what are most babies, unresponsive? ds is the only baby I have really ever been around so I have nothing to compare him to. We got the comment again yesterday from a neighbor and it got me wondering if it has anything to do with the fact that he has never received any vaccines? Am I really off the wall here, or is it possible that the majority of babies out there are not so 'alert' because most of them have been vaxed over and over again? Has anyone had any experience in this area or witnessed what I am describing?

KimPM's Avatar KimPM 10:58 PM 03-21-2009
My DS was pretty alert, but he also never slept much either. He's never been vaxed.
Marnica's Avatar Marnica 11:09 PM 03-21-2009
I get the exact same comments from friends/strangers about DS. He is not vaxed either.
La Rune's Avatar La Rune 11:13 PM 03-21-2009
People say the same thing about DD, who is completely unvaxed. I count on hearing it at least once per outing. They always say the same thing ... "Oh, she's so alert!"

Her up-to-date vaxed cousin of the same age is much, much less responsive/interested in the world.
Cersha's Avatar Cersha 11:17 PM 03-21-2009
I always attributed my DS's "alertness" to being worn significantly. As opposed to car seats and strollers.
Delicateflower's Avatar Delicateflower 11:21 PM 03-21-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by AprilM View Post
Am I really off the wall here, or is it possible that the majority of babies out there are not so 'alert' because most of them have been vaxed over and over again? Has anyone had any experience in this area or witnessed what I am describing?
You're really off the wall here. I get that comment all the time about both my children and they're both vaxed up the wazoo. Must make the MMR appointment for #2, now that I think of it.
riverscout's Avatar riverscout 11:23 PM 03-21-2009
I've never noticed a correlation.
The4OfUs's Avatar The4OfUs 11:26 PM 03-21-2009
My son was constantly getting comments about how engaging he was, from infancy onward, and he was completely vaccinated on schedule. My daughter is, well, less socially engaging (she has her daddy's antisocial tendencies ), but no less alert or bright, and she was fully vaxed until 12 months when we started delaying.

I think it has to do with inborn temperament more than anything else. Second to inborn temperament is probably how a child is interacted with by parents and caregivers. If they are constantly talked to and engaged in their surroundings, they would be more likely to seek it out, KWIM?
claddaghmom's Avatar claddaghmom 11:27 PM 03-21-2009
Ugh everyone says that. I've come to hate it. In fact, the conversation inevitably goes:

"OMG look at her! She's huge! And look at how alert she is!"

"Yeah, she likes to explore."

"How old is she?"

"X months"

"No, really? Are you sure? She's so alert! She's so big!"

No, lady, man, teen whoever you are...obviously my kid is much older and I'm lying to you. Gah

I never thought about it in the context of vaccines. I bet it is really a culmination of things...personally I thought the biggest factor was breastfeeding over formula and baby cereal.
liliaceae's Avatar liliaceae 11:49 PM 03-21-2009
I think that's just one of the standard things people say about babies. It's like there's a script out there that everybody follows.
spero's Avatar spero 01:13 AM 03-22-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by The4OfUs View Post
My son was constantly getting comments about how engaging he was, from infancy onward, and he was completely vaccinated on schedule.
Mine too.

Quote:
I think it has to do with inborn temperament more than anything else. Second to inborn temperament is probably how a child is interacted with by parents and caregivers. If they are constantly talked to and engaged in their surroundings, they would be more likely to seek it out, KWIM?
:
becca_howell's Avatar becca_howell 01:28 AM 03-22-2009
My DS is only 5 weeks old, but I can tell a significant difference between him and my DD (20 months old) who was (regretably) vacciated from birth. The differences I notice are in their awake time. His is more looking around and just "chilling out". Hers was screaming. Lots of screaming. I think she screamed the first two months of her life.
turtlewomyn's Avatar turtlewomyn 08:38 AM 03-22-2009
DD (now three) was vaccinated on the regular (non-delayed) schedule and everyone always commented on how alert she was. I thought it might be because she was born big (9.5 pounds) and was able to hold her head up really well because of it.
felix23's Avatar felix23 10:26 AM 03-22-2009
My first is fully vaxed and my second is not and there really isn't any difference. Except dd2 is less outgoing and spends most of her time trying to get ahold of her thumbs to suck. She also sleeps way more, and will go to sleep most of the time if we are out and about. Once dd1 got over her preemie issues, she was a total social butterfly and wanted to interact with anybody and everybody. I think it is personality, not vaxing.
llamalluv's Avatar llamalluv 10:47 AM 03-22-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delicateflower View Post
You're really off the wall here. I get that comment all the time about both my children and they're both vaxed up the wazoo.
That sounds really uncomfortable. When I was a kid, they gave us our shots in the thigh or arm.
felix23's Avatar felix23 11:15 AM 03-22-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by llamalluv View Post
That sounds really uncomfortable. When I was a kid, they gave us our shots in the thigh or arm.

:
iamleabee's Avatar iamleabee 12:58 PM 03-22-2009
people *always* say that about ds--4.5 mos old--fully vaxed
homemademomma 03:52 PM 03-22-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by liliaceae View Post
I think that's just one of the standard things people say about babies. It's like there's a script out there that everybody follows.
yup. i say it all the time.
Deborah's Avatar Deborah 07:28 PM 03-22-2009
I think there are occasional babies who are actually hurt by vaccines and may, therefore, be less alert. But most healthy, breastfed babies will not have obvious differences between vaxed and unvaxed.

I do remember being struck by the intensity of my granddaughter's gaze when she was a baby. She was a very intense looker, especially at people. She would also sit bolt upright in her stroller. I think she had delusions of imperial descent or something. Very intimidating child.

Fortunately her younger brother is an easy-going character. Two like that in one family would have been way too much.
juliav's Avatar juliav 08:15 PM 03-22-2009
My unvaxed 4 month old has been like this since day 3. She's super chill and super "alert" as in she has always been interested in people and really makes eye contact. She has very little interest in toys but is mesmerized by anyone just standing nearby (right now she's really into hands and mouths). I think it is one of those common baby compliments though.
LionTigerBear's Avatar LionTigerBear 08:22 PM 03-22-2009
I have gotten this compliment/comment regarding my first and third child, a lot. (The second child just had a more laid-back personality I guess. ) None of my three children have been vaxxed at all. However, one of my nephews has been fully vaxxed, lives in bucket seat, swing, and bouncy seat, formula fed from the beginning, and just started rice cereal at three months old. He is extremely alert, also (and such a sweet, happy kid!) So I think it's probably mostly personality and genetics. But of course all that's completely anecdotal-- it sure would be interesting to see a real study done on it.
AprilM's Avatar AprilM 01:11 PM 03-23-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delicateflower View Post
You're really off the wall here. I get that comment all the time about both my children and they're both vaxed up the wazoo. Must make the MMR appointment for #2, now that I think of it.
After rereading my post, I don't think it was an off the wall thought at all considering how harmful vaccines can be.
Emmeline II's Avatar Emmeline II 03:19 PM 03-23-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delicateflower View Post
You're really off the wall here. I get that comment all the time about both my children and they're both vaxed up the wazoo.
Quote:
Originally Posted by llamalluv View Post
That sounds really uncomfortable. When I was a kid, they gave us our shots in the thigh or arm.
:

The only shot I got anywhere near the wazoo was to deal with poison ivy. Happily, the wazoo, along with all other body parts of my children, are now safe from vaccination.
Munchkinmaker's Avatar Munchkinmaker 03:25 PM 03-23-2009
I think that commenting on how alert a baby is can often be one of those "break the ice" conversation starters when you see a baby. All of my kids have had vaccinations and I've heard how alert they are for their age for every single one of my 4 children. We also were told how big they were for their age, or how amazing it was that they sat when they did, or walked when they did, or talked when they did, or how amazing it was that they were babbling or making eye contact. I catch myself having the same gushing conversations with people who have babies now that I'm done having babies. Someone will have a newborn in their arms and I feel compelled to tell them how darn alert that 3 day old baby is and how big he is and how healthy he looks and how big his cheeks are Frankly, I'm not disingenuine when I say it... I just love babies and they are all pretty beautiful and amazing to me

But hey, who knows, maybe the vaccines did suck the sparkles from my kids eyes and someone was just baby gushing and making small talk with me back in the day
jeliphish's Avatar jeliphish 03:34 PM 03-23-2009
I don't think there is a correlation with alertness and vax status. I think it depends more on the child's personality and how much stimulation they are getting from the parent during the day. One of my friend's daughter was vaxed fully and on schedule and she has been just as alert if not more than my child and my other friend's children.
Delicateflower's Avatar Delicateflower 06:17 PM 03-23-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by llamalluv View Post
That sounds really uncomfortable. When I was a kid, they gave us our shots in the thigh or arm.
They said it would mean neither arm or leg would hurt. Doesn't everyone do it that way?
anewmama's Avatar anewmama 08:02 PM 03-25-2009
My dd came out looking around. She was making eye contact by 3 days. She used to make eye contact with people driving slowly by on our road. One guy even stopped the car to comment on it. She was unvaxed at the time. I in no way attribute it to that but to her BRILLIANT parents!
BoringTales's Avatar BoringTales 08:45 PM 03-25-2009
I have two almost fully vax'd kids, one who has only had two shots, at 5ish months old. All have had the same level of alertness.

I think that is just one of those things that people say to and about babies. There's only so many things to say about a baby that they don't know very well. Its either...

"Oh...LOOK how CUTE!!!"
"He looks just like mommy/daddy/big brother!"
"He's so alert!"

Then its on to milestones.

"Look how well he crawls/walks/claps/!"


I wouldn't read anything into it, personally.
Crazybean's Avatar Crazybean 09:09 PM 03-25-2009
I got the same comments when DS was an infant and my DH would just gloat. DS is turning 2 and we get so many different comments through each stage. I have nothing to compare him to~ no other kids or other vaxed kids his age. DH automatically thinks it's because he is vax free. I give myself credit for his intelligence since I spend a lot of time with him teaching. I'm not sure what I think of it. I also only fed him organic foods the first 18 months and he was a fanatic over vegetables. Perhaps it's just health in general?
Marnica's Avatar Marnica 09:32 PM 03-25-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by AprilM View Post
After rereading my post, I don't think it was an off the wall thought at all considering how harmful vaccines can be.
While I think it is cooincidental. It is NOT an off the wall thought at all.
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