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

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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
Replies (21-30):
by on Jan. 4, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Katie was easy but never wanted to be held. She was a power nurser and in and out in 5 minutes and then wanted to be on the floor and try to move. She actually rolled over at 10 days and almost rolled off the examine table at her two month appointment when the doctor turned to grab something. At 4, her father took her to hang gliding lessons and she loved it. She was a fairly easy baby but I am terrified of what she will be like as a teenager.

My DS was clingy and had colicky until I figured out he was intolerant to dairy, soy and milk. He still needs to be held a lot and very shy and sensitive. He didn't like loud stores or strangers. So, I had one that craved stimulation and another that hated it.

by on Jan. 4, 2012 at 1:52 PM

 Love this information!  We considered DD an "easy" baby, but after reading through this, I think it is just the way we parented her.  My parents lived with us, so she had 4 adults at her beck and call for constant entertaining.  :)  Boredom wasn't a problem.  We never signed, but she was verbal very young and clearly communicating needs by 6 months.

Like others, we have found that any meltdown is related to being either hungry or tired, both of which we consider to be our fault and not hers.  If we keep her fed and rested (not easy as she is pretty hyper) then all is well.

by on Jan. 7, 2012 at 9:57 PM

I can relate to a lot of that too.  Two of my kids had extreme colic.  The swing was a lifesaver..........yes the one did have to sleep there a lot.  Earplugs?  With triplets, yup.  One thing that DID work for the colic was white night I turned on the hairdryer after reading about this in a magazine.  Wow!  Helped A LOT.  My husband quickly made a tape of the hair dryer sound.  My daughter had to have it on every night and the funny thing is, as a teen she still prefers the whir of a fan at night.  Then when my youngest had colic, we had the hairdryer tape ready!  We wore that thing totally out.  Maybe this could help someone going thru this now....................

by on May. 8, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Yup, my son was exactly like this. He was colicky and generally fussy, but around 7 months he crawled and could sit unassisted, and he was a happy baby for a little while.  It all changed again around a year, that's when his terrible 2s began and continued until before 4.  I wouldn't say he was "bad" he just needed a lot of attention, and things bothered him more than other babies. He seemed like a perfectionist from a very early age. 

His nightime sleep was never awful, but he barely ever napped. I remember thinking, "my God, why can't he nap," but then again, I wasn't up with him half the night from about 7 months on.  Crying it out I tried at one point (when he did go through a period of lots of night waking), and found it really didn't work for him. He cried more each night instead of less.

When he was a toddler, time outs did nothing either.  I still don't know if he didn't understand them or was just rebelling.

He also has PDD-NOS, so all this may not be from being gifted, it's hard to say.

by on May. 8, 2012 at 7:23 PM
Ellie is sweet and long as everything is going her way? :P she is intense, alert, gets mad when bored, is happiest with me, likes conversation in small groups and can't stand chaos. Chaos= family get togethers of 9 children under the age of 8. When she's tired she calls "mama" until in my arms, papa won't do and, having made her wishes clear, is deeply offended if anyone else tries to entertain her.

Husband and I talked about it and just came to terms with her needs being what they are, and she's just a baby, so we do our darnedest to accommodate them. Since she only cries at startling noises she doesn't like (sneezing), and otherwise tries to communicate what's in her heart with baby sounds, it's not so bad. Though if Husband wasn't completely understanding of "sorry, had to hold baby all day, you have to pick up dinner" it would be a different scene.
by on Sep. 3, 2012 at 6:36 PM

My daughter was an angel baby!  She was so easy going and just "chill". She hardly ever cried except when she was hungry or needed changed and as soon as you fed her or changed her she was happy again.  She started sleeping through the night (6-8 hours) at about 6 weeks old and the only time she didn't was when she was going through a growth spurt and maybe a few times during teething.  Then she hit 18 months and turned into a terror!  And my mommy confidence went out the window.  She's been a difficult child since then.  Don't get me wrong, I love her to death and she can be as sweet as can be - when she wants to.  But she is highly overemotional and at 9 still throws those temper tantrums you expect of a 2 year old.  She is incredibly smart and knows it and argues/debates every thing.  She also has ADHD and is constantly on the go or interrupting.

by on Sep. 3, 2012 at 8:49 PM

 I can definitely relate.My dd had colic for the first 4 months, cried nonstop and nothing calmed her down except for the swing. She also had reflux, and projectile vomiting after many feedings. She had sensory issues, such as getting carsick and crying nonstop every time we got in the car. Sometimes she cried so much she would throw up in the car seat. She absolutely would not eat or sleep if we were out in public. I met my sister at the mall one time when she was a few weeks old, and we were there several hours, and my dd refused to nurse the entire time we were there, and she stayed awake the entire time we were there. For once she actually fell asleep in the car. I had to quit working because she would refuse to drink from a bottle while I was at work. Five hours and this baby would not take a drop of breast milk or formula. She cried nonstop, and my mom was watching her and she just couldn't take it.

After the colic ended, she was a little better, but she still was not a good sleeper. Still hated the car but she didn't cry or throw up nearly as much. Never could get her to sleep in her crib. Every time I tried she would get herself so worked up from crying that she would throw up all over herself. She would smile at strangers in the store as long as they didn't come too close. If anyone besides me or my mom tried to hold her she would start crying. She hated to be out of my sight.

Once she got old enough to eat solid food, she refused most of it. She stubbornly refused table food until she was about 16 months old. She was going to daycare at that time and she would literally throw the plate off the highchair if they tried to give her table food! She would throw a fit if a sub was in her daycare room, and would refuse to let them change her diaper. She hated loud noises, got scared easily (the dark, Disney movies, being alone in a room, not being able to see me.......), couldn't wear certain clothes because they either gave her a rash or she just couldn't stand the way they felt. She refused and still refuses to eat certain foods. She was the only baby I knew that would gag if I tried to give her mashed potatoes.

I guess I'm getting past baby age now, lol. She was a difficult baby, and in some ways, she was a difficult child, but in other ways she was a very easy child. She is sweet, well-manneres, smart, kind, and funny. She has presented me with many challenges but I wouldn't want her any other way!

by on Sep. 5, 2012 at 12:36 PM

DD was an easy baby but we tend to always be on the go (still are). Traveling, shopping, restaurants, parks, museums and the like. There are times now that she will say she just wants to stay home and play. I also went back to work when she was 6 weeks old. She got to go to grandmas house. when she was almost 2, I got laid off and was home with her for 9 months and then DH got to be a stay at home daddy after that. She is back to grandmas before and after school.

by on Sep. 5, 2012 at 12:39 PM

 My older 3 children, my 2 girls who are atleast advanced, and my son that hides any abilities from me so I dont know were fairly easy babies.  My 6 year decided to stop being easy at about 13 months and never went back.  My 5 year old didnt get difficult till last year and my 3 year old just decided to become difficult.  My 2 year old however who is following her older sisters almost exactly in development has been a difficult clingy baby her entire life. If it doesnt end soon I might give her to the zoo for a break.  That was what we told my older girls when they misbehaved when they were 2 and 3.

by on Sep. 5, 2012 at 1:08 PM

 This discribes my 2 year old even to this day, minus the swing part she now has to be in her room with it completely dark and no one around or she wont fall asleep till 1 or 2 in the morning. Oh and dont get me started on her blankets and stuffed animals she has to have.  Going places with her is not a good or easy thing to do.

Quoting Abee2202:

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 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 well.


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