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Old 10-03-2007, 07:54 PM   #1
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Do you ever feel like you've totally screwed up your baby?

Sigh
I need some support.
I'm pretty darn AP. This is just what came naturally. Sarah co-sleeps, breastfeeds, and is worn a lot of the time.
And when she's not being held she's grumpy. She whines and cries and screams and is just miserable. DH keeps telling me "Just let her cry it's fine" "She'll learn to sleep eventually if you just ignore her." etc.
It breaks my heart that she's unhappy, moreso to think that it's my fault. Have I ruined her by being overly attentive?

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Old 10-03-2007, 08:09 PM   #2
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Re: Do you ever feel like you've totally screwed up your baby?


You've not ruined anything, mama!!
I held Evan for about 7 months, steady...my back was SO messed up I was at the chiropractor 2 times a week for a couple of months.

But, you just follow your instincts - take care of your baby, hold her, love her, cuddle her, do all those things that make her happy - and one day you'll wake up and realize that she's gotten pretty darn independent. But she'll KNOW...with no doubts at all...that her mama is there for her when she does happen to need you again.

Evan was definitely an 'in arms' baby...for a very long time.
And now, at 20 months - he's so independent that I have to almost FORCE him to be held in my arms...I miss it.

So don't worry...
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Old 10-03-2007, 08:17 PM   #3
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Re: Do you ever feel like you've totally screwed up your baby?

Thank you!
Most of the other moms I know are pretty "hands off" so I really had no idea if this is at all normal. And yeah, DH not so supportive.
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Old 10-03-2007, 08:17 PM   #4
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Re: Do you ever feel like you've totally screwed up your baby?

You can't change a childs personality, and it sounds like your child may be "high needs". My dd was the same way, and now, she is a bubbly, self sufficient, INDEPENDANT (sometimes, to her detriment ) 4 year old little girl. She was ONLY held, NEVER went in strollers, slept with us until she wanted to move into her own bed (which, was just a few months ago...she still wanders in at night sometimes..which I don't mind the least bit.) She was colicky in the beginning, and she seemed miserable too. Let me ask, is your dd crawling and walking yet? I know that once my dd learned to walk, it was a whole new story...she seemed liberated, happier, more at ease with life. You are doing a great job mama, AP cannot ruin a child, just strengthen the bond between the two of you...if that is ruining, then, my kids are trashed LOL!
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Old 10-03-2007, 08:20 PM   #5
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Re: Do you ever feel like you've totally screwed up your baby?

Neither was mine for the first while.
His famous words: "I just don't understand why he can't put himself to sleep if he's tired".
But, he's gotten so much better over time. I just kept inundating his email inbox with links to articles about cosleeping, and babywearing, and the dangers of CIO, etc etc - - and I'd even quiz him if I thought he didn't read them.

NOW? He can give stats and studies and he knows his stuff...lol And he defends our choices to the death!

But, I think that we all have moments where we say to ourselves "Man I have NO CLUE what I'm doing or if this is the right way to handle things"...I think at least once a day, that I've totally messed Evan up for life! I think it's natural to have doubts, there's no solid answer for anything in parenting.

I just follow my instincts and trust my son that he knows what he needs, and I try to help him get those needs met. And I just hope for the best!
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Old 10-03-2007, 09:04 PM   #6
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Re: Do you ever feel like you've totally screwed up your baby?

Well, personally, I find that for my son it had to be a happy medium. I held him 24/7 until about 6 months. Then he still wouldn't let him put him down without being super upset. So I started playing with him beside him, instead of holding him in my lap, etc. sometimes. He'd be mad, but I'd talk to him and try to distract him, etc. After about a week of doing that a few times a day (for 10 minutes or so each time) he got used to it and was happy to play with me without having to be ON me. Then we did it more, I'd sit a little farther away, then a little more, and so on. Eventually he was okay playing by himself for 15 minutes or so while I did the dishes or folded laundry beside him, etc. I wanted him to learn that I would absolutely be there when he needed me, but it was okay to not be attached to me 24/7 as well. And it was done with very little fussing. We just eased into it. I never made him cry and scream and get fussy.

Same thing with Mother's Day Out at my church. We started going and I knew the people who ran it and was finally comfortable leaving him at about 12 months. He wasn't though. So we went once a week (the only day they had it) and I stayed the entire time. We played, he got used to the area, etc. When he was doing better, I played for about 15 minutes then left to go a couple doors down and scrapbook while he played, but then I'd go in if he got upset. Then it got to the point where he was fine, he never needed me anymore, he was comfortable with the people there and was okay to be there alone. So I got to leave and go run errands. Now, at 18 months, we pull up and he's super excited to be there. Runs in, runs right to the door and I have to fight him for a hug goodbye. When I get there he's happy to see me, but rarely ready to leave, so we play a few more minutes and then he's ready to go home.

He knows that when he NEEDS me, I'll be there. So he's not afraid to go try things. They need help learning that they can space out from you though. Some kids are more nervous about it than others. I just helped my son, very little by little.

I think your daughter seems to need some help understanding that she can be happy without being attached to you 24/7. How old is she? I think it's all normal! I don't think your daughter is any different than any other child, and I don't think letting her scream and cry is a good thing either, that will teach her that her needs won't be met and she'll get even more clingy and unhappy. So tell DH he's wrong, but then work on little things to help her learn to self soothe and entertain for just moments at a time.
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Old 10-03-2007, 09:32 PM   #7
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Re: Do you ever feel like you've totally screwed up your baby?

I certainly don't think you are messing her up. I was a diehard BabyWhisperer with my first and he was pretty easy going. BabyWhisperer is anti-AP but does not recommend CIO or any other methods that tell you to ignore you baby. But either way my first born is now 5 and I feel as though I really missed alot by trying to schedule everything and make a routine. It really just isn't in my genes! And I wish cuddled him more, let him fall asleep in my arms, or 'wear' him. My first was definetly my guinea pig, and sometimes I do regret those things but now that he is in a twin sized bed I lay with him and talk and we have special bonding time that I feel I missed out on.
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Old 10-03-2007, 09:35 PM   #8
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Re: Do you ever feel like you've totally screwed up your baby?

Each kid is different . . like op said. Just remember . .. . . babies learn comfort & trust at their mother's breast (a bible verse, but can't find it at the moment!). You are teaching your lo that her needs will be met. Eventually she will need you less & less. Even though you get touched out (I know I did and still do!!) it will be worth it to have a self-confident child. Obviously her love language is TOUCH. I know I wasn't held as a baby & have lotsa issues from those needs not being met. hang in there! Your job as a mother is to care for little ones. Daddy's are better at raising the older kids. So DH's don't always understand the 'mothering instinct'. That's why the kids lean closer to mum as a toddler & then break away as they get older. So enjoy this time while you still have it!! you're doing great mama!!
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Old 10-04-2007, 06:59 AM   #9
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Re: Do you ever feel like you've totally screwed up your baby?

Mama.. children have different personalities. Like a pp said, some kids are high needs and some kids are not, more or less REGARDLESS of the parenting practices implemented.

How old is she? Just keep on cuddling her. I co-slept w. Jed and held him constantly until he learned how to crawl and realized there was way more interesting stuff around than mommy, lol. At 13 months old, he is definitely still a mama's boy -- but very independent, too. (...so he'll crawl into the next room, just to cry for me to come get him, LOL)

Don't worry about it. You are doing right by your baby. That's why they call them BABIES--they're allowed to be needy!
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Old 10-04-2007, 05:47 PM   #10
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Re: Do you ever feel like you've totally screwed up your baby?

Thanks for all the kind words.
Sarah's almost 10 months. I say it's too early to worry about her being "dependent". DH told me I was "coddling" her to which I just blinked and said, um yeah, she's an infant!
I'll keep doing my crunchy mama thing, gotta learn to let this stuff roll off my back. We're going to go see ILs next weekend, can't wait to hear about all the harm I'm doing by "STILL breastfeeding."
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