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Was your baby an "easy" a.k.a. "good" baby? (venting ahead)

Posted by on Dec. 21, 2011 at 1:37 PM
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I've been thinking back to when my son was a baby (12 months and under), and have to say, no.  He wasn't an easy baby.

Probably because I hadn't been around any other babies most of my adult life till then (had him at 40), I just assumed all babies were criers like he was.  After all, all the parenting books said babies cry.  But I looked around and realized he was more so than others.

It was extremely frustrating to do all the things suggested to quiet him and none worked.  We thought he had a bad reaction to the formula we were using, so we switched...four times.  We thought he had colic, but all the suggestions to calm him didn't work.  The pediatrician was no help whatsoever. 

I had "tennis elbow" from having to constantly have him in my arms.  He absolutely hated the baby slings, so I had to carry my 96th-percentile-for-weight son most of the day if I wanted some peace.  I admit to wearing earplugs some days because I just couldn't handle the volume of his fussing. (Yes, I could still hear him and since he was rarely out of sight, the earplugs kept my sanity.)

It seemed he was happiest in his baby swing in front of Baby Einstein DVD's.  For a half hour he'd be quiet.  I felt so guilty for that.  The AAP frowns on tv for kids before two years old.

I recall his baby days as ones of rushing through things to get done before he started to cry again.  I used to hate to go to the store because I had to practically run through the store and grab only the absolute essentials because he had a short fuse.  Looking at other moms leisurely shopping with their cooing babies made me feel like I was a big, fat failure.  It didn't help when I misjudged my timing and got caught in a line at the checkout counter with a screaming child and received raised eyebrows and frowns. 

I was extremely relieved when he quit crying so much.  Coincidentally, that was about the time he could sit up in the shopping cart and look at more than the ceiling, and when he was able to walk.

After reading about infants who were later identified as gifted children and how many needed to be given a change of scenery about every 20 minutes, it makes perfect sense to me (now) that my son was screeching out of boredom.

No, my son wasn't a "good" baby.  He was high maintenance and I didn't enjoy the majority of his babyhood.  There...I've said it.  I know that I will be considered a "bad" mom for thinking that, but I am still dealing with a sense of feeling somehow cheated out of the sweetness of babyhood I read about on Cafemom so many times.  Maybe it is partly my personality, maybe it is because we had him so late in life and I was used to quiet.  It certainly wasn't because we didn't want him...we tried to conceive him for five years.  He was (and is) very wanted.

Sorry to dump all this emotion on you, and I thank you for reading if you got this far.  I just needed to vent. 




by on Dec. 21, 2011 at 1:37 PM
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Replies (1-10):
utkallie
by on Dec. 21, 2011 at 2:16 PM
I could have wrote this! My experience was so similar with both of my kids but especially DD. Her first year felt like 5 years to me. She was the hardest baby and it used to really upset me because my friends could not relate ( not like they do now either). I feel like I missed her whole time as a baby :(
Ametrine
by on Dec. 21, 2011 at 9:37 PM


Quoting utkallie:

I could have wrote this! My experience was so similar with both of my kids but especially DD. Her first year felt like 5 years to me. She was the hardest baby and it used to really upset me because my friends could not relate ( not like they do now either). I feel like I missed her whole time as a baby :(

((hugs))

I'm relieved someone can relate.  Our son is just so much better now that he can communicate.  Sometimes I wonder if he was crying out of frustration.

Recently, I asked him if he remembered being a baby and how he cried a lot.  He said he did.  I asked him why he was crying so much.  You know what he said?

He told me he didn't like all the talking.  (!)

Now maybe that's just an almost five year old throwing "whatever" out there as an answer, but it struck me as really strange to say.

(We were jabbering furiously between us when we were bleary-eyed with fatigue and couldn't figure out what the h-e-l-_ was wrong!  LoL)


Abee2202
by Bronze Member on Dec. 21, 2011 at 11:36 PM
If it makes you feel better:
I know nothing, absolutely nothing about babies for starters. I got "the book" (what to expect....1st year) and absolutely nothing related to my baby in their timelines.

Emma had colic for the first seven weeks of her life and the only thing that calmed her was an elaborate combination of movements. I had to hold her facing out, one hand accross her chest and the other doing the baby crotch hold but so my palm of my hand pushed into her lower tummy. I had to lean back a little so her head was on my chest and wouldn't bobble. Then I had to stand legs apart, sway back and forth, while bouncing up and down AND jiggle her all at once. Did this once for nine hours straight, but mostly three hours was typical.

She basically lived in her swing for a year because that was the only way she would fall asleep. At night I had to try to do a swing to crib transfer without waking her...an extremely difficult task involving timing. Too soon and she would wake up...wait to long and she would wake up. If she woke up during a transfer, if we were lucky we could get her back in the swing and she would go back to sleep then we were stuck waiting to try again. If she woke up and stayed awake I'd have to nurse her, then back in the swing then wait to put her in the crib

Nursing was never easy. She hated being in the cradle hold, hated being burped too. Eventually she straddled me to nurse which was not the most comforatable for me as I'm short and she was getting tall. I nursed her until she was 16 1/2mo when SHE weaned me because she would rather watch what was going on then stare at my chest.

She had to be facing out in her Bjorn, starting at two months old until she hit the weight limit.

For the better part of her first year I couldn't walk away from her without her screaming for me

She didn't like to be snuggled or held.

I had to sit in the backseat with her for 8mo or else she would scream.

She cries at everyone and never wanted anyone else to hold her either.

Oh the list goes on...

But don't get me wrong...she really was and is a great little girl. She smiles a lot, gives hugs and kisses and says she loves us. She's polite, and overall well mannered and listens to rules very well and follows them. I have outlet covers on the outlets yet I have no doubt in my mind if I didn't that she would never mess with them. I love her to death and am so grateful my husband talked me into getting pregnant. She is just too darned cute sometimes and so smart and funny.

I just didn't get all the cuddly, snuggly normal baby stuff that everyone else got...eh...oh well.
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Manth
by on Dec. 22, 2011 at 7:25 AM

Both of my girls were hard work until about 3 or 4 - I can definitely relate to the other posters.  Unfortunately they were 15 months apart so it was a LOT of hard work to deal with 2 babies who both wanted to be carried or be with (on) me at all times during their waking hours.  Once they were able to have a bit of independence, moving when they wanted to move and able to explain what it was they wanted without simply screaming in frustration because I wasn't 'getting it' life became much more pleasant for all concerned.

Abee2202
by Bronze Member on Dec. 22, 2011 at 8:07 AM
See...you are not alone!
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Ametrine
by on Dec. 22, 2011 at 1:44 PM


Quoting Abee2202:

See...you are not alone!

I wish we all had had the "easy" baby experience.  (Without trading our kids for anyone elses!)

I knew babies were a lot of work, but when the work described in the books didn't explain what to do when____, we went in search on the internet.  I recall my hubby being up for hours one night (I was comatose) browsing around for some sort of advice we hadn't already tried.

We couldn't even get my mom to watch our three month old son without wanting to shut him up in a room because he was crying so much.  I didn't realize she was doing that until I walked in one time and saw him behind closed french doors with dried salt paths down his cheeks from crying so long.  That day I told him I was never going to allow grandma to watch him again. And I haven't.  I was gone for two hours getting my hair cut or something like that.  A lousy two hours and she shut him away.  Pissed me off; that did!  I'm grateful this was discovered after only a couple of babysitting sessions.

*sigh*



utkallie
by on Dec. 22, 2011 at 6:15 PM


Quoting Manth:

Both of my girls were hard work until about 3 or 4 - I can definitely relate to the other posters.  Unfortunately they were 15 months apart so it was a LOT of hard work to deal with 2 babies who both wanted to be carried or be with (on) me at all times during their waking hours.  Once they were able to have a bit of independence, moving when they wanted to move and able to explain what it was they wanted without simply screaming in frustration because I wasn't 'getting it' life became much more pleasant for all concerned.

I feel ya on this one. Mine are 15.5 months apart. I don't know what I was thinking! Hahaha.

Abee2202
by Bronze Member on Dec. 23, 2011 at 12:49 AM
How horrible!

Yes, we endlessly searched the net to help Emma with her colic. Something, anything different but it was all the same.

At thanksgiving we went to his nan and paps place. Everyone was there. We entered and she cried for a full twenty minutes holding me tight (I did secretly enjoy this as she never wants to be held often or holds on as tight when she's scared) then I know what they are saying behind my back. "why don't they get her out more, she's TOO shy, she should not cry around us". But these are people she sees only on holidays because they can't come over to our house because we have stairs and they can't call to see how we are because we should call first.
Anyway, we get to the dinner part and she's warmed up and stopped crying and she doesn't want to eat so she runs from me at one table to her grandpa (who she knows best) at the second table. An hour later, after I gave her some of my cake (shes only had cake like one other time) pap gives her some cake. I tell him not too much because I just gave her some. This is when he tells me he offered her ice cream earlier when she was at the other table and she refused (thank god) I'm thinking in my head WTF ask me f'ing first before you offer my kid crap. He didn't even know if she was allergic or not. This is why we don't go there often because they don't see any harm in eating snacks and this is why they are all wither fat or have health issues. We don't feed our kid very many snacks with sugar and empty calories and if we do that's on us. It's not up to them to decide. They should respect us and ask first

Omg sorry that turned into a bit of a rant!


Quoting Ametrine:



Quoting Abee2202:

See...you are not alone!

I wish we all had had the "easy" baby experience.  (Without trading our kids for anyone elses!)

I knew babies were a lot of work, but when the work described in the books didn't explain what to do when____, we went in search on the internet.  I recall my hubby being up for hours one night (I was comatose) browsing around for some sort of advice we hadn't already tried.

We couldn't even get my mom to watch our three month old son without wanting to shut him up in a room because he was crying so much.  I didn't realize she was doing that until I walked in one time and saw him behind closed french doors with dried salt paths down his cheeks from crying so long.  That day I told him I was never going to allow grandma to watch him again. And I haven't.  I was gone for two hours getting my hair cut or something like that.  A lousy two hours and she shut him away.  Pissed me off; that did!  I'm grateful this was discovered after only a couple of babysitting sessions.

*sigh*




Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Manth
by on Dec. 23, 2011 at 7:31 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting utkallie:

 

Quoting Manth:

Both of my girls were hard work until about 3 or 4 - I can definitely relate to the other posters.  Unfortunately they were 15 months apart so it was a LOT of hard work to deal with 2 babies who both wanted to be carried or be with (on) me at all times during their waking hours.  Once they were able to have a bit of independence, moving when they wanted to move and able to explain what it was they wanted without simply screaming in frustration because I wasn't 'getting it' life became much more pleasant for all concerned.

I feel ya on this one. Mine are 15.5 months apart. I don't know what I was thinking! Hahaha.

In our case, it wasn't planned.  I was actively trying NOT to fall pregnant given the complications of my first pregnancy as I was undergoing medical tests to discover whether or not it was safe for me to have another pregnancy ever.  The day after I found out I was pregnant I got the word that I should never risk another pregnancy!  It was a heavily medicated and monitored pregnancy (literally seeing doctors every single week from week 4 to delivery) but she turned out healthy and well, and also gifted.  Now I'm glad I had them so close as they are good friends and actively like to spend time together which might not have been the case if they had a larger gap.  But it was downright hard in those early days!

Ametrine
by on Dec. 23, 2011 at 12:03 PM

Don't say sorry!  I understand being frustrated with grandparents.  (Secretly, between you and me, I'm scared I'm going to drive my son and his wife nuts when it's my turn to be grandma!  LoL)

Our son just saw the dentist yesterday.  We told her he's never had soda and so she asked about juice.  We told her he gets that maybe twice a week and the rest of the time it's water or milk.  She said milk is just as bad as juice and should only be consumed with a meal.  That's how we've always served it, so no problem there.  We never allowed him to walk around with a bottle as a baby.  He always had water available, but that was it.

I have to smile at something that happened at the discovery museum last week.  Another woman, (grandma) and her four year old grandson were there and my son was having fun playing with him in the bubble room.  Suddenly, DS struck my hand hard with a bubble wand and I said, "Ouch!"  He started to cry uncontrollably.  I knew he is very sensitive to other people's pain and will often cry over it, but I told the woman it was hunger.  We parted and coincidentally met up in the parking lot as we were leaving.  She invited us to McDonald's to eat.  I told her thanks, but my son wanted Chicken Nuggets (the all natural kind with whole wheat breading) and veggies at home.  She seemed startled he asked for veggies! 

"See, he likes his veggies." she said to her grandson.  I doubt he was impressed.  After all what kid turns down McDonald's?  :)

This thread is turning into a fun conversation.  I'm glad my sour-puss start didn't turn anyone off! 

Quoting Abee2202:

How horrible!

Yes, we endlessly searched the net to help Emma with her colic. Something, anything different but it was all the same.

At thanksgiving we went to his nan and paps place. Everyone was there. We entered and she cried for a full twenty minutes holding me tight (I did secretly enjoy this as she never wants to be held often or holds on as tight when she's scared) then I know what they are saying behind my back. "why don't they get her out more, she's TOO shy, she should not cry around us". But these are people she sees only on holidays because they can't come over to our house because we have stairs and they can't call to see how we are because we should call first.
Anyway, we get to the dinner part and she's warmed up and stopped crying and she doesn't want to eat so she runs from me at one table to her grandpa (who she knows best) at the second table. An hour later, after I gave her some of my cake (shes only had cake like one other time) pap gives her some cake. I tell him not too much because I just gave her some. This is when he tells me he offered her ice cream earlier when she was at the other table and she refused (thank god) I'm thinking in my head WTF ask me f'ing first before you offer my kid crap. He didn't even know if she was allergic or not. This is why we don't go there often because they don't see any harm in eating snacks and this is why they are all wither fat or have health issues. We don't feed our kid very many snacks with sugar and empty calories and if we do that's on us. It's not up to them to decide. They should respect us and ask first

Omg sorry that turned into a bit of a rant!


Quoting Ametrine:



Quoting Abee2202:

See...you are not alone!

I wish we all had had the "easy" baby experience.  (Without trading our kids for anyone elses!)

I knew babies were a lot of work, but when the work described in the books didn't explain what to do when____, we went in search on the internet.  I recall my hubby being up for hours one night (I was comatose) browsing around for some sort of advice we hadn't already tried.

We couldn't even get my mom to watch our three month old son without wanting to shut him up in a room because he was crying so much.  I didn't realize she was doing that until I walked in one time and saw him behind closed french doors with dried salt paths down his cheeks from crying so long.  That day I told him I was never going to allow grandma to watch him again. And I haven't.  I was gone for two hours getting my hair cut or something like that.  A lousy two hours and she shut him away.  Pissed me off; that did!  I'm grateful this was discovered after only a couple of babysitting sessions.

*sigh*





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