J.V. asks from Encinitas, CA on September 02, 2009
New Mom Looking for Input on What's Normal
I am new to this site as well as new to being a mom. My son is less than 2 weeks old and I am absolutely in love but despite my being around babies my whole life, I feel like I am in a whole new world with lots to learn!I was hoping for some input from experienced mothers. My first question is he seems to not like his car seat, stroller, or sling. He doesn't cry the whole time he is in them but for at least part of the time. Today he did fall asleep in the sling as I vacuumed but as soon as I stopped and sat down, he woke up and cried. He will be fine and we will be talking and playing and then out of no where he will start crying. I am wondering if this is normal and if you think just by using the stroller and car seat often, he will get more accustomed to it as he develops? I love to walk and have not been anywhere in the car very much since he was born because I don't want him to cry. I feel like people think I am a bad mom when I go on walks with him and he is crying but I do need to get out of the house sometimes and we live right at the beach.
My second question is that he will only fall asleep on me or my husband. Then we can move him to his swing or he will sleep with us but he will not sleep alone in his pack and play bassinet or moses basket. I am not comfortable sleeping with him as the bed is very soft and I am afraid he will roll on his stomach and not be able to breathe. I know he is so young that it is almost impossible to get into a routine and he is too young to just let him cry but I was wondering what a good age is to start the transition to a crib and how is the gentlest and best way to do so?
I don't know if he is just a high needs baby because he does seem to be very good sometimes and have bouts of crying at others for almost no reason, he is only 11 days old so maybe I am expecting too much too soon!
Any input on either of these situations will be extremely helpful! Thanks so much,
P.S Just wanted to add we are swaddling often and that does not change the sleeping situation and I am feeding on demand sometimes every hour or more!!! Thanks so much for the input, I try to trust my instincts which I feel are pretty good but like to hear from experienced moms.
2 moms found this helpful
E.N. answers from San Diego on September 04, 2009
My first baby didn't like the car seat, stroller, or swing for the longest time. For the first couple of months, if he didn't have a pacifier in his mouth, he was crying. I said I would never use a pacifier, but after 5 days of crying, I gave in and the pacifier was the key. But he was just not a very happy baby until he got older and more mobile. I think he just didn't like being stuck in a newborn body! :) He is 4-1/2 now and is a little man on the move, extremely energetic and full of ideas. By the time he was a few months old, he was a very happy baby (maybe because the eyesight was improving?), and has been a happy boy ever since, but he has never liked having to be still. He did like the stroller once he could be propped up enough to look around, but even then he still needed the pacifier sometimes.
I say to try the pacifier if you have not already. It takes some time for them to really take to it, but I would keep trying. It was a life saver for us!
K.A. answers from San Diego on September 03, 2009
Those first few weeks are the worst! They're still getting used to a totally different world then the one they were in for 9 months. My daughter is 12 weeks old so i can relate :) Even now she'll be happily playing and suddenly without warning decide she's done and cray like mad. We never know if she'll like the sling, stroller or none of the above when we try to go out. She's not too bad in the car seat but she can see and play with her 2 older brothers sitting next to here which I really think helps.
My favorite place to refer is Dr Sears' website www.askdrsears.com and also his book "The Baby Book".
It does get easier :)
Congratulations and best of luck!
P.S. answers from San Diego on September 03, 2009
I mean this in the nicest way - your expectations are too high! You are expecting your baby to do things too soon.
He is less than 2 weeks old! I know it probably feels like he has been around longer, but the poor little chap is still adjusting to being in the outside world. It takes a good month or even more for babies to settle into life outside the womb. Up until 4 months, you cannot "spoil" a baby, so hold him and bond with him as much as possible. A baby under 4 months of age needs as much human contact as possible, so if your baby is only happy sleeping on you or your husband, then let him. Do you have an infant carrier? Go walking in that with him strapped onto you. Your baby's nervous system is very under developed at birth and that is why he cries alot. He needs to smell you and feel you (like in the womb) to feel comfort and secure. As he developes, you will find that he will do better in the carseat.
You can put him in his crib from day one. What I did with my daughter is I took a section of the bumper and ran it width wise in the crib, making a smaller more cosy area for her. Once she was rolling over (4-5mos) I then put the bumper back how it is supposed to go. The smaller area was cosier than the enormous space of the crib and made her feel secure.
I hope that helps. Take a big breath and slow down with him. It will all fall into place :)
A little about me:
I am a Mom of a 10 yr old son and a 5 yr old daughter. I have had a childcare business for 11 yrs and specialize in infants and toddlers. Please feel free to call me anytime you need some advise. I love to help. ###-###-####
2 moms found this helpful
A.M. answers from Los Angeles on September 03, 2009
Oh, reading your post reminded me of my son! He's now 2 and has been an easy going kid since about 6 months. But, the first 3 months were HARD CORE. LOL. It's the '4th trimester' where they are totally helpless and would have been better off staying in the womb. "The Happiest Baby On the Block" had some simple great tips. Here's what i remember worked best for us:
- get yourselves a giant yoga ball...when he's crying and overtired, swaddle him and hold him in your arms and bounce on the ball. It was the only thing that stopped our son from crying.
- a company called 'kiddopatamus' or something has a velcro based swaddle. LOVED THEM.
- in the stroller, if you're out, pushing it back and forthe quickly helps sooth.
- at night, what i did was to put him in a little cheap bassinette right next to my bed after he fell asleep. That way he was in his own bed, but right next to me.
- know that it will get a lot easier soon.
My son ated the car...HATED it until he was about 1.
1 mom found this helpful
M.D. answers from Los Angeles on September 03, 2009
You hit it on the head when you said you are expecting too much. Your baby is too young! He's teeny tiny and doesn't even know whether it's really day or night. Just give it some time.
For now, remember a calm mommy makes for a calm baby. Try and just relax and he will to. The stroller and car seat are fine, but remember, he's been used to be in his cozy, cramped quarters of your uterus. Now he's out and strapped into things, it doesn't feel comfy even though it's the safest way. He'll get used to it and he'll fit in those things better as he grows. Holding him until he sleeps is also fine. The time flies so quickly when you get to just have them fall asleep on your chest...enjoy it!
Last, go with your instincts...most of the time, they lead you the right way when it comes to parenting...
Good luck and congrats!
1 mom found this helpful
K.C. answers from Los Angeles on September 02, 2009
Congratulations and welcome to motherhood!! Sorry things haven't been quite as easy as you'd hoped or expected and I really hope they get better soon.
Your baby sounds very normal to me. Many kids don't like the stroller or car seat and prefer to be held most of the time instead. Some need time to adjust to the feel of it, being strapped in, etc and will cry whenever they are put in. I know that makes it hard to go anywhere, but I think the more you expose him to it, the more comfortable he'll become.
Babies LOVE to sleep on their parents and generally will prefer it to the crib or anywhere else. If you really want him in his bassinet/crib, try a tightly wrapped swaddle so he feels safe and protected. You can put him in the crib at any age - even now. You can buy a pre-cut swaddle or use a good blanket to wrap him up tightly and it will help him sleep.
Crying in the middle of playing is probably the result of overstimulation. You might notice him start to turn his head away before he starts crying to indicate that it's too much for him.
If you haven't seen the Happiest Baby on the Block video (or read the book by Harvey Karp), I highly recommend it. He has some amazing tips for getting babies to stop crying - and they really do work!
Good luck and congrats again!
1 mom found this helpful
R.J. answers from San Diego on September 02, 2009
You've gotten stellar advice already, I won't add much to it.
Just to ditto:
- Yup...everything sounds normal.
- Feeding on demand...yay!!
- Overstimulation (keep an eye out for it)
Haven't read yet:
- Mommy facing stroller? <grinning> as in does yours face you or out into the world? Even as adults most of us like to be able to see the people we're walking with, and we KNOW if they're behind us. A lot of babies will instantly calm down & enjoy the ride in a pram type stroller...where as they'll be in full panic in a forward facing stroller. (Nothing really to be done about the car seat facing backwards away from you). The other advantage, of course, is that you can tell in a pram-type if the sun is in their eyes, if they're starting to sweat, licking their lips, etc.
- Checking for lumps, bumps, and pokey/scratchy-things. Boy did I feel terrible when I realized that the reason my son "hated" his car seat was that there was a strap that was bunched up under the padding that was sticking him right in his kidneys. Oy.
- Too hot/overheating. It's almost instinctual that we want to cover them up. But for summer babies...we've got the double whammy of avoiding sunburn, while keeping them cool. Babies can't adjust their own temperature yet unless they're skin-to-skin with mum (they WILL duplicate YOUR temp if they're skin to skin with you). They've also got something called "brown fat" (vascular fat) which keeps them warm until they have the ability to shiver. Make sure in the carseat/stroller/bed-if-they're-not-asleep-on-you...that he isn't overheating. As general rule of thumb...if you're hot...they're reeeeaally hot.
- The baby that just HAS to be different ;)
* Our son was the exact opposite of most newborns; he wanted his space unless he was actively being held. He HATED slings/kangaroo belts/swaddling. LOVED Sleeping either on me OR alone in a crib...but hated bassinet type beds. Big open spaces comforted him. Being confined drove him up the wall. I guess he had had his fill of being confined. :) Silly little guy. And poor me left with tired arms and all this really cool stuff that I couldn't use.
* Our son also was a marathon burper. Read: half an hour to an hour. Turns out, it's not that uncommon, but all my friends/family/people I knew only had to pat for a few minutes. My son was a fake-out burper. One tiny burp straight away, a MONSTER burp half and hour to an hour in. Anyhow...I always like to toss that out there. We had major gas/colic-like/reflux-like symptoms for about a week until we discovered it by accident. (Read sleep deprived, and having a conversation while burping, and wasn't paying attention to the fact that 45minutes in I was still burping unitl ....WHOA! How did that much air even FIT in there???
It sounds like you're doing great. Congratulations! And good luck :)
1 mom found this helpful
B.N. answers from Los Angeles on September 02, 2009
First of all, congratulations on being a new mommy!! I too had been around children my whole life however when i had my son (he just turned 2) it was like I was mommy stupid. Taking care of a child every day, for their every need is different than anything I had ever done. Plus, its YOUR baby so it makes doing the "right" thing that much more important to you.
When it comes to the stroller/car seat/sling he will get used to them. Everything is foreign to him right now and he is adjusting to so much. I used to walk my son because he cried as it would help soothe him. If people give you dirty looks, know that it is their problem and not yours. Doing what makes you and your son happy is #1!! Everyone has their own opinion about how to raise kids so listen to what others have to say but most importantly... trust your instincts!
When my son was born he also liked to sleep either on myself, his dad or right next to us. I was afraid that I would roll over on him however that never happened. If you want him to sleep next to you in a bassinet or moses basket, put him in it every day and he'll get used to it. Again, right now he is adjusting to so much. When they are this little you can never hold them enough or give them enough "Kangaroo" love! (a term used since Kangaroo's keep them young in their pouch for quite some time. Again, trust your instincts and try to not feel silly about asking any question you have.
Also, sometimes on this site some of the moms can be kind of harsh... IGNORE THEM! Take the good advice and ignore the rest!
Sending you many happy thoughts mommy!! :)
1 mom found this helpful
N.V. answers from Las Vegas on September 03, 2009
It sounds like you're doing a great job and are a very caring mother. I'm not extremely experienced, but have two young children and am pregnant with our 3rd. I think the key to newborns is to try different things until you figure out what's making them fuss. Sometimes it's nothing other than them wanting to be held or rocked, just like they were 24/7 in the womb.
Have you heard of the Dunstan Baby Language? The website is http://www.dunstanbaby.com/
And here's an excerpt from a site, briefly explaining:
According to Oprah.com:
After testing her baby language theory on more than 1,000 infants around the world, Priscilla says there are five words that all babies 0–3 months old say—regardless of race and culture:
* Neh=”I’m hungry”
* Owh=”I’m sleepy”
* Heh=”I’m experiencing discomfort”
* Eair=”I have lower gas”
* Eh=”I need to burp”
This can be helpful to figure out exactly what is ailing your baby without having to go through the 'list' of what to check for and what could possibly be making baby upset. My sister actually did made a 'list' that they hung on the fridge, because sometimes you've done everything but one obvious thing, like burping them or checking their diaper. When it happens multiple times a day, it's easy to overlook something obvious, so that could be a good idea too.
Continue to go with your mommy instincts. Don't be in a rush to do anything you're unsure of. Just take it a day at a time (sometimes a few seconds at a time!) If it's something more than regular newborn fussiness, it'll make itself apparent with time, experience, and getting to know your individual child and what's normal for them and what's not. And don't worry about what everyone else thinks. You're right...sometimes you just need to get out of the house, crying baby and all!
J.D. answers from Los Angeles on September 03, 2009
Congratulations J.. Everything sounds normal and you have some good advice so far.
On another note, please make sure YOU have done the research on vaccinations for YOUR child. The AAP recommended schedule of shots for children is too many, too soon and you have the right to make the choice of whether or not to have them and to space them out. Here are sites and books that I always recommend for people to start their research:
Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies: The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders, by Dr. Kenneth Bock
The Vaccine Book, by Dr. Robert Sears
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Childhood Vaccinations, by Dr. Stephanie Cave
Evidence of Harm, by David Kirby