Getting Depressed Wondering If I'll Be Able to Handle My Child...

Updated on April 30, 2010
A.K. asks from Mountain View, CA
67 answers

I am so worn out, and I don't know if it's because my 13 week old daughter is completely "normal" in her behavior, or if she already has a "challenging" personality. I always heard from friends that the first 3 or 4 months of life were the hardest, but my mom and MIL both make comments such as "she really knows what she wants" and "she's going to be hard to discipline once she gets to that age" which really worries me.
Some of the reasons our parents have been a little negative are that our baby
- suddenly started refusing bottles when she was 7 weeks old. We have tried every nipple on the market, different feeders, with pumped milk, with formula (my MIL recommended this), me out of the house, me during nursing...but nothing has worked, so I have decided not to go back to work until she stops nursing and I know that could be 1 or 2 years, which will be hard on us financially.
- cannot be put down awake to sleep. At night she is nursed to sleep while lying in our bed (we never intended to co-sleep, it just happened) and during the day she has to be held and rocked.
- during the daytime naps we have to hold her through some of her naps, and she screams if we put her down.
- smiles a lot at her dad, occasionally at me, but not really anyone else.
- On the positive side, she does play by herself when she is well-fed, rested, and diaper is clean, and she seems to be meeting all the developmental milestones.
I know parenting is not easy, but can you really tell that much about how a child is going to be when they are 3 months old? Or have our parents forgotten how hard it was to raise children? It hasn't helped that our pediatrician and nurses made jokes early on about how she was an "actress" or "cried the loudest in the hospital". Is there any chance that we could still manage to help her become a happy, well-behaved, and confident child, or are all these people right about certain infants being "high-maintenance"? Until now I believed nurture was as important as nature, but I'm so discouraged...

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone for your comments. A lot of you helped me to realize that my child is "normal" and that she could grow up to be a wonderful child and adult!

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L.C.

answers from San Francisco on

First off, most of what you are describing are completely normal and LOTS of babies do the EXACT same things. I remember the first three months as being the hardest time and it getting better and better as time goes on. Always remeber there will come a time when you are not going to be as popular to her as you are now. Eventually you will both get in sync, it just takes a little while in the beginning.
And don't listen to all of naysayers, most successful people are also headstrong, so be thankful you have a daughter headed in that direction!
Enjoy some sunshine too - it's free!

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S.B.

answers from Kansas City on

I recommend the book The Baby Whisperer. She goes into detail about different baby personalities and how you can handle them all. It was great for me, even though my mom kept telling me that she was just doing her thing. Armed with knowledge, I at least knew why she was doing the things she was doing. :-)

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D.P.

answers from Greenville on

You are blessed with a high-need baby. Yes, that's right- blessed!! These babies demand that their needs be met immediately and to a high degree of satisfaction. My son had colic for about 4 1/2 months. If that wasn't bad enough, he was a high-need child- wanted constant holding, bottle had to be a certain temp, needed constant motion, etc. If his needs were not met immediately, we heard all about it. The hospital staff also said he had a set of lungs and could really put up a fuss! The cradle swing was my best friend. He was only happy in my arms or in that cradle swing going 100 miles a minute with the TV on white noise. How I walked on eggshells around this baby!
Fast forward almost 4 years. This high need baby is now a bright, extremely intelligent, social, courteous, confident, funny, and happy child ... all those wonderful things. He is still determined with strong likes and dislikes, but all the high-needs behaviors stopped being such a struggle when he started talking and could voice his demands/concerns. Did I mention that he was a very early talker, too? :)
I know it's hard now, but you are on course for your child to be all of the things you mentioned. Study after study has shown that high-need babies that are held a lot grow up to be more social, successful, and intelligent people than easy babies. Just hang in there and don't worry about what the future holds. You might just have a future US president on your hands one day. :)

4 moms found this helpful

T.B.

answers from Chicago on

I have to agree with Dawn P. completely. My 2.5 year old son was quite a challenge for the first few months. He definitely had a set of lungs on him, and was not afraid to use them! We did everything we could to help him. He still has trouble sleeping through most nights (though now we just stop in, get him back under the covers and he's fine). He is a VERY bright little boy- very loving, sweet and sensitive. He was a very early talker, and although he still has some toddler tantrums, he's done very well at expressing his needs. Hang in there with your baby. Things will get better (my mantra since he was born has been "This too shall pass"), and get ready to have a ton of fun with your little one in the years to come. :) Don't let other people "guess" at how your child will be. She will have her own unique personality, gifts and struggles. Just like every other child. :) Try not to label her (or let others label her) and just enjoy her for who she is.

Also, I highly recommend wearing her in a sling or wrap. They REALLY help for high-needs babies. Dr. Sears also has a great book out there for high-needs/ fussy babies that you should check out. :)

Good luck, lots of hugs to you,
T.
www.ReadandGrow.com

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E.B.

answers from San Francisco on

My daughter was a "high-needs" baby. And despite lots of cuddling and love, she had a lot of anxiety as a young toddler - nervous about stragers, about new places, etc. She has completely grown out of it and she's not even 3. She is still a person who knows what she wants and she wants lots of stimulation and interaction.

I agree with the respondent who said something about how people like to know things, so they say things with certainty. It makes them feel good, or in control, or something. People love to make claims about what will be or what this behavior means. When I stop to think about it, it just makes me laugh. It is so absurd to make claims about grown-up personality based on 3 month old behavior!

My daughter has evolved into an amazing little communicator. She is aware of and talks about her feeling as well as those of other people. I credit (partially) the fact that since the beginning, her feeling mattered. We made it clear that we cared what she was experiencing, even if we didn't know exactly what that was. Just a few minutes ago, she told me as I left for work, "I'm sad that you're going to work. But I love you. Have a nice day!" Obviously, I wouldn't change her if I could.

We got lots of those same jokes: "Wow, she's got a temper." (At 6 months!) and "She'll be a great actress." Just know that those comments tell you more about the person speaking them than about your daughter.

I hope you can enjoy this time with your daughter as much as possible, even with all of the challenges. To sound so cliche, it goes so quickly.

Best,

Evie

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J.K.

answers from Redding on

Your baby sounds exactly like MOST babies I know. Our parents generation was different. Bottles cribs prams no slings. We are different mothers -- and it works. My 18 month is just starting to sleep in his own bed. It hasn't been without it's challenges, but I tryto remind myself how precious those cuddles are. Please read dr sears. The baby book or anything he has. Please be inspired to nurture your child who is normal. Understand that at this challenging transition for yourself -- to motherhood -- you must act with patience and surround yourself with support. I stopped talking to my mom about the bed. I stopped listening to everyone about what my kid SHOULD be doing. And now people comment on how sweet and caring and engaging my 4 yo is. Talk with people who will support your decisions. And put on a happy face for the grandmas and assure them you are loving the opportunity to cuddle and wear and get to know your child.

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R.S.

answers from Redding on

YES-- they forgot how hard it was or they didn't tend to babies as much as we expect ourselves to do today. Those are the only two possible reasons why grandparents seem surprised at how hard it is for us when our babies are young. Your baby sounds perfectly normal to me. Maybe not that mythical angel child your neighbor swears she had, but certainly like many many babies I've met including my own. Parenting the first year is HARD, but every month is easier than the last (except the last month when you are breastfeeding exclusively-- because the baby is big and you are tired and the baby is getting all her nutrition from you -- usually around the 8th month). But even the 8th month is easier than those first three. Call her a high-maintenance baby only if it helps you give yourself a break on expectations- or if it earns sympathy points from others that you want to score. Otherwise, feel comfortable that your child is fine. Mine never took a bottle, screamed up to 7 hours every day for the first few months, only fell asleep on the boob until he was a year old (I also had to postpone going back to work), hated to be put down for the first six months, and today is he a happy, healthy, EASY toddler. Good luck!

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E.C.

answers from San Francisco on

agreeing with all the other folks who have said to ignore the naysayers and just keep loving your DD and trusting your instincts. 3 months is WAY too early to be making a personality diagnosis IMO.

As far as the nature/nurture thing - as a mom of twins I can say that different babies of similar genetic background will respond differently to the same nurture :-). One of my girls, B, was very much the way you describe yours - the loudest cryer we'd ever heard, and set off by just about everything, while her twin was a very laid back baby who rarely cried (my dad, as adoring as he is of his only granddaughters, even said "one's the good baby and the other's the cry-baby"). What we finally realized when they were around 5 or 6 months was that B needed a lot more sleep than A (and was noticeably happier when she got that sleep - Dr. Marc Weissbluth's "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" was the book that helped us get her the sleep she needed) and was also much more observant than her sister and thus more easily overstimulated. Even now at age 8 she periodically has what we call her "cognitive growth spurts" where it seems that her ability to notice and perceive things in her surroundings has grown faster than her ability to process the input, and we have a rather bumpy time - maybe a few days or a few weeks - of elevated emotions until her processing skills catch up.

And as your daughter gets older, you'll realize you really can trust your instincts more than the comments of others who don't know your child as well as you do. Meanwhile keep trying to ignore the parenting guilt that is so easily caught by all loving new parents (you know, the unspoken message in books, magazines, and product sales pitches that more or less says that if we don't follow this advice or buy that product, our child won't achieve the SAT scores and college admissions that will make the difference between a satisfying career and a lifetime of burger-flipping ;-)) - this article from PBS Kids was helpful to me: http://www.pbs.org/parents/special/article-expectations-g...

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J.F.

answers from Denver on

I have not read all other 61 responses, but I will say you are not alone!
My first baby was the SAME way! I thought I was going to die!
I felt like everyone was judging me and my parenting and that I had created a monster - I got comments ALL the time from family and friends. She was SO needy, didn't sleep, had feeding issues, had to be held or in her swing to sleep and on and on.....
BUT it DOES get better! Around 4 months old she started to sleep through the night and life changed! She even started to nap during the day and NOT in her swing. I worked on it hard and it took a few weeks, but routine is what did it AND white noise! Also baby wearing worked wonders when I just had to get something done!
I will say she is still emotional. Doesn't smile tons because she is painfully shy and has a mind of her own. BUT she is so kind and so gentle. She loves mommy and daddy so much and makes us laugh and smile daily. She is a true joy to me despite how hard it was in the beginning. I love her soul and what an amazing person she has become!
I ended up getting pregnant when she was 8 months old and my new little lady is nothing like her - so it isn't you. It is just who she is.
Hang in there and just realize it takes time! You will make it through even when you feel like you can't! I SO remember how that felt!

By the way you don't have to breastfeed for 2 years unless you want to, so don't feel like you will have to. Once they start to eat real food they don't want it as much-my 7 month old is choosing to end breast feeding right now on her own. But you do have to be the parent and make choices for you and the little one. Just keep at the nipples. When they get hungry enough they will take it! At some point she will need to learn to use cups ect, so you can't let her make the rules :)

Take a deep breath... one day she will be all grown up and miss theses days believe it or not :)
As for all the others saying things - ignore them the best you can :)

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M.R.

answers from San Antonio on

Babies are a blessing! God does not give you what you cannot handle, enjoy your 13 week old and know that your baby is NORMAL, you cannot spoil a infant, they need nurturing and this will not determine how they are going to be as they grow. People are way too critical, you raise your child on what is best for you & your family. Just because she refuses any bottle does not make her stubborn, she just doesn't like it. I breastfed my first and she refused a bottle, yes it was stressfull but I was blessed that I was able to stay at home and even now with my last. All babies are different, I co slept with my first and I was told so many negative things but I had to do what was fit for me, I needed sleep and it meant my baby sleeping with us. I have to admit my 2nd child I was so over sleeping with me and was more stronger and let her cry and my 3rd, piece of cake. Hang in there and go with your instinct, people will always have a opinion but you don't have to agree with what they say. Many blessings and hope this helps!

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K.W.

answers from Burlington on

You have gotten some GREAT responses. Relax, Breath take it one day at a time. Your hormones are still changing and hers are as well. The problem with people closest to us making those types of comments is you feel you trust them and can lean on them and belive what they say. However this isnt always true. Everyone has an opinion, through all stages of your daughters life they will continue to make comments. Unless you step up and tell them to stop you will just have to learn to brush it off. Be more confident in the choices you make for your daughter. You are the one that is in charge.
She sounds perfectly normal. You may want to talk with your pediatrician about allergies, or any foods that you may be eating that is turning her away. For instance if you eat allot of garlic she may smell it through your milk and just not like the taste or smell.. Breast feeding is tough but after a few months you both really get the hang of it.
Follow your heart, and your instincts. Hang in there, i promise it gets better, easier just lean on your husband and follow up with your pediatrician even if you feel its a stupid question, its not!!
As far as the sleeping. Both my kids co-slept with us until they were 1. Mainly because i nursed them until they were 1. My husband had a really hard time with them being in our bed but i LOVED every moment. You will never get this time back so enjoy the snuggles with baby. Just make sure she is safe and cant get sufficated. When my kids turned 1 i finally had to just put them in their beds and let them cry it out going in every 5 7 10 minutes rubbing their backs.. Its called the ferber method. Its not the best of times but it only took 2 nights to "break" them.. They both now 4 1/2 and 2 sleep great in their own beds, however they have nights every now and then where they like to try to pull one over on mom... You just get through it..
Best of luck..
Best of Luck

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C.D.

answers from San Antonio on

Try to see if you can leave her with a friend or family member. sometimes it just takes you getting a break to help her. If you and your husband are stressed out about this she can feel it. Just let someone else keep her a couple of hours just so you can get rest. It helps to get her out of the house just to walk down the street or go to the park. Fresh air and sunshine does wonders for a baby. I have four of my own. My youngest will be 12 in June. Good Luck and always remember trust your gut feeling. God Bless

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T.W.

answers from Spartanburg on

Sweetie, you are worn out because you have a new baby. Breathe. Hold her. Rock her. Nurse her. Sleep with her. Use a sling and take walks with her. Get sunshine and fresh air every day.
She is who she is, and that's the beauty of parenting... watching her unfold as she grows and learning who she is. Maybe she is "high maintenance", maybe not, but she is your sweet baby! Smile and brush it off, change the subject, whatever, when your mom and MIL say things, let it slide off you (I know this is easier said than done), and just enjoy this learning to be a mother time. There is every chance in the world that you can still manage to help her become a happy, well-behaved, and confident child, by loving her and caring for her and believing the best for this little one every day of her life. You have just barely gotten started.
I know people have given you lots of suggestions of what to read, but try www.askdrsears.com. There are lots of links to click about baby care, lots of wonderful soothing ideas for fussy babies.
And, for some inspiration for motherhood, look at www.enjoyingthesmallthings.blogspot.com.

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K.G.

answers from Fort Wayne on

you are fine and she is normal. my dd had to be held all the time she was diagnosed with GERD at two weeks which was a real treat and she slept with us until she was 4 months and was nursed to sleep or bottle fed. and she had lungs like i have never heard. she is now 9 months and just the sweetest little one for me and her father. we now put her down awake she may fuss for a few then its lights out. she is out for most of the night. just hang tight it will all come around and you will look back and wonder what all the fuss was about. gl

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E.M.

answers from Denver on

Oh sheesh! She sounds like a sweet wonderful baby! We too ended up co-sleeping without intending to. But both my daughters transitioned to cribs just fine once they were around 6 mos. And for Pete's Sake, she is only 13 weeks! Just because she doesn't take a bottle now doesn't mean she never will. If it is important to you, keep offering her one. One of mine refused the bottle until she was 10 mos (nursed til 16 mos.) and the other took a bottle all along but is still nursing at 2. You CANNOT tell how your child is going to be at 13 weeks. It sounds like your parents forgot about how challenging perfectly normal babies can be. And just tell them you are feeling a little sensitive about the comments. They probably have no idea that it bothers you. Enjoy her! She will be too busy to sit on your lap before you know it. :)

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E.H.

answers from San Francisco on

Hello!
Rest assured. You are just a new mom and it's very stressful. With my first, I really stressed out about every little comment the nurses or grandmas made and they really are just making conversation. They don't realize that you're replaying these comments over and over in your head worrying if your baby is somehow different or a problem already.
All of those behaviors that you are describing your baby doing are completely normal baby things to do. If it makes you feel better, the nurses told me they had "never heard a baby as loud" as my second son cried, but he is a very happy little guy at one year old - he just has a loud cry! We had to fly on an airplane when he was a newborn and the flight attendant told me she was going to page a doctor because he was crying so loud. It really stressed me out! Your daughter (and you) will be absolutely fine! She sounds perfect! Congratulations and welcome to all the stress that is motherhood - it's only just begun!

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K.W.

answers from Chicago on

Oh my God. I decided not to read the 60 other answers and just answer you from my heart and my experience. Your daughter sounds similar (not "just like" mine). Please do not be discouraged. My daughter (now 12) was a "high maintenance" infant. Could not be put down, in fact she slept on my chest until she was four months old. I am not kidding. I now joke that for the first six months of her life she didn't care much for the napping. As a mom and daughter at this age we have many strained moments. My daughter sometimes needs to be in the spotlight more than others (and sometimes this can be a challenge to us and my 9yo son). But she has a warm heart and a strong sense of her self. This is evident to almost everyone who meets her (parents, teachers, other kids); and it was apparent at a fairly young age. She had a light on early on (in fact younger than we even knew). Bright light has many positives attributes, but not all the time. And at the wrong times a bright light can even be annoying.

Some infants are "high maintenance" but this is not predictive of being "high maintenance" kids, teens or adults. Often when an infant's needs are met, they are able to chill and become confident, whereas denying their needs could lead to negative outcomes. But there are no hard and fast predictors here. Your present is challenging enough without worry about what it says about your future. Nurture and nature combine to make all different kinds of kids.
As a baby my daughter eventually could sleep on her own, nap, take a bottle. She even became a good sleeper at a certain point. (I can not even tell you how many people told me she'd likely "never" be a good sleeper.) Although she was a "hard" baby, from her toddlerhood on she seems no harder to discipline than your average kid. Sometimes she was and is "stubborn" or, seen another way, known her own mind. While these are irritating traits for a mother to deal with in a child, these are important qualities to have as a person living in the contemporary world. My daughter can be disciplined and reasoned with in a developmentally appropriate, realistic way. In some ways she is even more sensible and empathic than many other kids.
I am 51 years old and work part time as a therapist. I also have a 9 year old son, who is very different in some ways, and surprisingly similar in others. He was a very different baby. Have your mom and MIL read my note and if that's not enough (I am not kidding) I will talk to them or have my daughter talk to them. I know you are exhausted. It sounds like you are doing great job with your now challenging daughter. I recommend that you take the viewpoint that you are making a sizable investment in nurturing your daughter now to ensure she has a stable future. That's certainly how I would see it. I really really get it. Be well.

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H.C.

answers from Sacramento on

Have you tried swaddling? Order the "Miracle Blanket" online. It really was a miracle for us. Also get a crib toy that plays music and shuts off by itself. It gives them something to focus on for awhile when you put them down and then they can drift off to sleep. As far as the bottle goes, have you tried latex nipples (the brown ones)? My son would not take a silicone (clear) nipple but did just fine with the latex ones. They are harder to find and I only found them in the Playtex brand but you may be able to find others online. Good luck. Your daughter is normal and you will be fine even if she has a more challenging personality. It takes all kinds to keep the world going.

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S.K.

answers from Sacramento on

Except for the bottle thing that sounds just like my daughter when she was an infant! My mom was constantly telling me how she should be sleeping better and such. My daughter is now four. She is a great little girl, however she still has sleep issues (so my mom was probably right) and I'm working on getting her checked out for that (my husband sleeps horribly, my MIL sleep walks, so sleep issues run in the family). But I wouldn't worry too much about her "personality" being flawed or some nonsense! Don't get me wrong, my daughter has a ton of personality and she is quite the little actress (she has an incredible imagination), but she is perfectly normal. But here's what helped get her to sleep when she was younger:

1. I would rock and nurse her till she fell asleep.
2. I play a bedtime CD every night (I still play this for her when she goes to bed).
3. I used a heating pad in her craddle and crib to warm her bed up so that when I laid her down the temp difference of my body to her bed wasn't so drastic. (I didn't leave it in there when I laid her down)
4. She took a lot of naps on me on the couch while I caught up on some reading :).

Here's what I think, I think our parents forget how hard it was at this stage. They have erased that from their memories! It will get better, just hang in there!

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H.F.

answers from San Francisco on

My clingy, bottle refusing, accidental co-sleeping, never fell asleep on his own baby has turned into my easiest of my 5 children. At 8 years old he is sensitive and compasionate. He cares deeply for other people and is eager ans willing to help when I ask. He still cries easily and his feelings are hurt a little easier than other boys his age but he also was willing to sit for hours with his sick baby sister and hold her while she screamed. He patiently teaches his younger siblings how to do things and his second grade teacher constantly comments on how compasionate he is. Is he perfect? No. But he is not the high needs child I feared he would be when he was a baby.
A few things to try. If you want to get up after nursing her to sleep, either swaddle her or but a firmly rolled up blanket between you while you nurse her, that way when you leave she won't lose the security and pressure of the "body" next to her. For daytime try wrapping her in a blanket or putting her in a sleep sack before putting her to sleep and have a blanket or towell from the dryer handy to lay on her in a bouncy chair or swing. Get a good sling or wrap style baby carrier, whatever fits your body and baby best to make holding her as easy on you as possible. As far as the bottles go try a sippy cup in a month or two. If she refuses try a few more times and then give it up for another month. My bottle refusers took sippy cups much better. Our youngest does really well with the Born Free Cups but I think we have been thorugh every brand. One child did best with the plastic cups that aren't spill proof. Maybe she'll be "spirited," I like that so much better than "high-maintenance" but it will give you plenty of smiles to go along with the sighs of frustration. I have a very "spirited" two year old and for every time she makes we want to pull my hair out there is one where she makes me laugh out loud.

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B.R.

answers from Sacramento on

I doubt that your parents or the doctors have made their comments in a negative manner... they are just commenting on what they see in your daughter's personality. However, they aren't realizing how sensitive you are about such comments. I am impressed with all the answers you've gotten so far. My daughter had an obvious strong personality from the day she was born. As an adult she still has that strong personality. The first years of raising her were tough and there were times when I thought I didn't even like her, but I kept on realizing that if I kept raising her with good values, that strong personality was going to be a great asset to her in her future. She is now a leader... Children's Minister... in our church and well liked and respected. People still recognize her strong personality, but it is in a positive rather than a negative way. Hang in there and don't let the comments of others unduly influence you. Smile and go on doing what your instinct and needs tell you to do.
As far as your concerns about going back to work are concerned, I have a question. Have you sat down and done the math on how much extra money your job actually brings in to the family... after deducting the cost of your working? You need to count in childcare, clothing, extra expense for food (because you'll eat out more and/or use more pre-prepped foods) transportation expense.... and? I used to think I needed to go to work to help out when the finances were tough, but my husband had me do the math and in our case I realized my working would only gain us aroud $50 a month. It wasn't worth it to me to be away from my children for that small a gain, so we just found ways to stretch what my husband earned a little bit more. It's different for each family, so you'd have to do your own math to find out what works best for you. But if you do find your situation is similar to ours, at least you won't stress as much over staying home with your child. You can also look into options for doing something at home that will earn you a little extra income.

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C.C.

answers from San Francisco on

Everything will be okay. I went through a lot of the same things that you are describing here and it all eventually got better. At first, I had to nurse to get my son to sleep, then once we layed him down, if he was not fast asleep he would wake up and cry. We also used to have to rock him in the glider through his entire nap. We actually picked up the "Happiest Baby on the Block" DVD and followed some of the tactics he describes and it helped a lot! We started swaddling our son "tightly" and he began to sleep for longer and longer periods of time. I would swaddle him before I started nursing to calm him down.
I think as far as the bottle. Don't get discouraged. Just wait a few weeks and try again. Sometimes it just takes a little time. I know ever since my son was born, if he feels like you are "pushing" something on him or pressuring him, he completly shuts down and will absolutely refuse. During his first 6 months, if you rushed him at all he would throw up every where. Babies know what is going on and if they don't like something they will find a way to tell you. Be patient, I know it is very hard, but I am sure it will get better.

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M.B.

answers from Sacramento on

I don't think you should worry. I believe your child is too young to tell such things as she will be high maintenance or an actress. She's a tiny baby and she's only telling you what she needs/what pains her in the only way she knows how: crying. Don't be discouraged. At this age, I don't think you'll know if she will be hard to discipline. Take what anyone says with a grain of salt. You can listen but don't take it to heart. I'm sure your baby WILL be happy, well adjusted, well behaved and confident. Do what you know is best for your child and do all you can now to help her deal with whatever is bothering her: her fussiness in eating right now. I'm sure other moms on this will be able to give you some insight or some advice you have not heard of yet. Stay positive and try different things . This too shall pass. Maybe you won't have to stay home for 1-2 years but you will find that out soon. Take it one day at a time. If you do stay home, I'm sure it will be hard. We've had to re-structure our entire lifestyle for now but were doing it. As for her naps, there must be a reason she won't go down and stay asleep (my son did that for awhile and I tried everything swing, driving in the car) eventually I figured out what would work best (putting him down after 10 mins of falling asleep in my arms to ensure he was asleep but no more than 10 mins, making sure he had a clean diaper and full belly before naps. I still do that part. Don't let yourself get depressed over these issues. Parenting is very hard and there will be other issues once this one passes. Be sure to take a little time out for yourself each day (even 15 mins if that's all you can get right now) to ensure you can stay positive and not get depressed. Laugh when you can (even comedy channel or a sitcome), get rest when you can (rest when your baby sleeps) and try to think positive. Hang in there.

J.J.

answers from Fort Walton Beach on

Oh my, your parents really did forget about all the challenging aspects of their babies! No, you cannot tell how they are going to be as a toddler at 3mos. She sounds like a normal baby to me, my son was pretty much the same way. I breastfed and went back to work after 6 weeks (had to, I'm in the military). We practiced w/ a bottle at about 4 weeks just to ensure he could manage at daycare, he was horrible at it by the way. But the providers were being very patient w/ him, and he got the hang of it after a few days. I however was able to use my lunch break to nurse everyday for the first 6mos, so that calmed my nerves about him getting enough milk too. I used Breast Flow bottles that I ordered from Amazon.com and he liked them after a little practice. As for having to be held or nursed to sleep, that was totally normal for my baby too. I can remember being just as frustrated as you, but hang in there. I would nurse him to sleep every night and every so slowly lower him to his crib (too big for bassinet already). Try making his bed as inviting as possible. Use flannel sheets so the coolness of the cotton wont disturb her. If my son waked as I lowered him, I would cuddle for a minute and try again. I had to be persistent in order to get some sleep. Sometimes I would lean way down into his crib and keep my arms around him until he fell back asleep. I was the same way in the nurture aspect, I did not let him cry to sleep or anything and now at 1, he practically puts himself to sleep for bed and his nap. Another thing, you can try a soothing sounds machine, they can even mimic the sound in the womb. Sometimes for naps I would wear him in my wrap around the house until he fell asleep and depending on how I felt I would keep him in or try to sneak him out into bed. Also, don't get me wrong, I would let him in bed especially if I reeeeally needed some sleep, and he would just lay and nurse while we fell asleep too. And, if you are able to be a SAHM, she may just go straight to a sippy cup around 5-7mos, that is what my friend did when she needed to return to work. Just keep at it girl, you are doing the right thing!!

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T.M.

answers from Kansas City on

My daughter was determined to be supermom and do everything by herself, she had never really cared for any baby before although she had been around several. When she had to go back to work when he was 3 months and I started keeping him, the both of us finally figured that the formula was bothering him. His doctor finally suggested Neutramagin and gave her the nipples like the ones in the hospitals, the formula comes out really fast. He was unable to breastfeed, it was like he really couldn't suck properly, he would also fight the bottle, the doctor explained that it was because the formula bothered him (gas, stomach ache, etc.) The thing is he took the bottle good at first, it just got harder and harder sometimes.
As for the nap problems, some of my babies had to be swaddled to sleep for any length of time and if there was a lot of noise in the house a sound machine was a life saver, they wouldn't hear the sudden noises that usually would wake them.
Remember all babies are different, even an experienced caregiver has to learn each child, they each have different ways they can be comforted. One thing I have learned is that even though someone has been a parent, it doesn't mean that they know how to parent, they just got through it. Each of the people talking about how your child acts is only voicing an opinion about an unformed personality, don't let them label her or influence how you feel about her. Good luck and let the comments slide they are only one persons opinion.

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T.D.

answers from Philadelphia on

all I can say is that I raised twins that were not easy babies.
The book "Healthy sleep habits Happy child" saved me. It has worked for all of my friends too who asked me how my kids started sleeping in their cribs alone, etc. please try it. it is my sleep bible. My kids are 3 1/2 and I still refer back to it for the different stages.
good luck.

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A.F.

answers from San Francisco on

You've gotten great advice so far. I agree, ignore the comments. You are doing a great job -- keep nurturing!!! -- and no one knows your baby better than you, even your mom & MIL. I agree with others who said that you can't project a child's future by her actions at 3 months. Your parents HAVE forgotten -- we tend to remember the rosy stuff. Every baby is different and goes through different phases at different times. My daughter sounds a lot like yours. I tried to always remind myself that she'd just rather be back in the womb, so I cuddled her for sleep a lot. That did get to be too much for us, though, so our pediatrician recommended a GREAT sleep book (I'd read 4 other popular ones that didn't really help us) called "Sleeping Through the Night" by Jodi Mindell. It's really a great resource and I wish I'd read it before all those other sleep books. It's on Amazon.

On the bottle topic, my daughter would NEVER take one. EVER. I have a little cousin who wouldn't either. But I tried to look at it as a positive thing -- my baby just wants to be with me, and I'm lucky that I get to spend this time with her. As some great parents of high school seniors told me, don't worry she won't still be breastfeeding when she leaves for college! While it might seem long at the time, this period of her breastfeeding is really a special, fleeting time. Even if it lasts 3 years, it will be over before you know it and you'll be on to the next parenting hurdle. Those experienced parents remind me constantly that my child will be grown up and out of the house before I can blink an eye, and that helps to keep everything in perspective for me.

On the "high-maintenance" topic, like I said, I think it's too early to tell what your daughter's personality will be like forever, but if you later find she's easily startled, a picky eater, and/or seems "picky" about things in general (as my daughter is), I'd recommend another AWESOME book that has helped me feel a lot better just by reading Chapter 1. It's called "The Highly Sensitive Child" and talks about how 15-20% of the population is "highly sensitive" by nature (it's a personality trait, not a disorder) and the book helps you as a parent make that a good thing for your child rather than a bad thing. Whether your daughter turns out to be highly sensitive or not, she won't necessarily be hard to discipline and she will become a happy, well-behaved, confident child -- because she'll have you to guide her along her path, and you care enough to ask this question. So hang in there! You are in the hardest part, so just try to go with your baby's flow and do what you need to do to get through it. Best wishes and best of luck!!!

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A.R.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi there,

I just want to assure you that your baby is normal and fine! Your mom and MIL most likely don't remember exactly what it was like. It is NOT possible to know what your baby will be like when she is a toddler or older. Let her be a baby! :)

- a LOT of babies go through a bottle strike at some point. Mine did at 3 mos old, and then got over it after a month or so. It took some persistent trying and also other people giving it to him.

- sleeping and naps have got to be the top newborn issue parents deal with! My baby was in the swing a lot (bad habit, I know, but only way he would sleep). I did let him cry a little at 4 months, starting with naps. Then when I was ready to let him cry at night, it wasn't so hard because he was used to his crib by then. And then once nighttime sleep was good, naps went out the window again. It's a process, but now he sleeps really well for naps and nighttime.

- it is sweet and perfectly normal for her to smile at dad and you. My baby totally lights up for daddy and daddy got him to laugh first. It's not an indication of who she loves more. She is probably with you all day and is learning a lot just by being with you. She is 3 mos old and JUST starting to bud socially. :)

- The positives are awesome!

The first two months were the hardest for me, and I started taking zoloft for PPD at 6 weeks. In my case, I was so desperate for my baby to reach that 3 mos marker, but it didn't get significantly different until more like 4 mos. Just hang in there - the hardest period is over and it will get easier and a lot more fun from here!

Again, please don't take people's comments too seriously. They are projecting their own views and interpretations on your baby. Just take care of yourself and your family. Nurturing is definitely important.

Btw, my baby didn't smile a lot until after 3 mos, and I was stressed about whether or not he was a happy baby and he is SO happy (now 9 mos old). We put ourselves through a lot of worry and stress, but what baby needs now is a lot of love, security, and basic needs.

Lastly, Sequoia Hospital in RWC has an AWESOME new parents support group. They meet every Wednesday at 9:30-11:30, and it's for new parents with babies under 6 mos old. The moms and babies are wonderful to hang out with, and the lactation nurse who facilitates is amazing. I think you would get a lot of encouragement from this group. We share questions, issues, and milestones.

(Btw, I'm not saying you have to let your baby cry for sleep training. It really boils down to what you're comfortable with and what you can handle. I have friends who run the gamut from sleep training very early to doing the family bed until their babies are 1 yrs old.)

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T.C.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Please put aside the negative remarks you are hearing. I would also tell whoever is speaking these negative things to you about your baby to stop immediately. This is setting you up for a bad relationship with your precious babe. Your baby needs to be held and loved and nurtured. Taking care of a new baby is HARD work! Some days seem impossible. But, the rewards are great. Keep doing what you are doing. Your daughter is communicating to you what she wants and needs the only way she knows how. This is a good thing! By responding to her, you are building up trust in her. She is learning that you are reliable and trustworthy. You will reap huge benefits from this. Love her, nurture her as she has needs. Hang in there. It gets easier. Don't speak lies into her life about how difficult she is/will be. Our kids have a way of living up to our expectations. Expect wonderful things from her based on the positive things you communicate about her. I have 6 children. I would not have a negative person influencing me and my parenting for anything.

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M.E.

answers from San Francisco on

I think one of the most stressful parts of being a new parent is thinking that YOU cause how your baby behaves. While you have some control by establishing routines, babies, children and adults are the way they are by nature. You notice this more when you have your second child and that child is completely unlike the first. Good-luck.

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C.E.

answers from San Francisco on

You could be describing my daughter, she would not sleep in a crib, was not interested in anyone but mama and dada sometimes, etc. We never intended to co-sleep but ended up doing it, and enjoyed it. They are only little once. Try not to over think or let others opinions affect you, remember also not only is your baby normal, you only gave birth 13 weeks ago. Give yourself a break!!
Hang in there girl.. If you need to talk please feel free to message me!! hugs my dear!

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S.H.

answers from San Francisco on

My kids (3 kids - ages 3, 5 and 9) are very strong headed and they've all had their own issues. Just to point out a couple things, my 5 year old boy at one point did not want to go to the dentist, but he HAD to get an emergency procedure done. Following he did not eat or drink for 3 days and he would not close his mouth (he developed a rash around his lips and was very lethargic from not eating). The experience was heart breaking and I came very close to taking him to ER (took him to his doctor twice over the 3 days). He finally came around when it wasn't getting him anywhere. My daughter would take about an hour to go to sleep at night and this went on for about 6 months (it was always something). She'd always want to sleep in my bed, although I never gave in and she came out of it. Bottom line, kids are much tougher than they seem and they will do what they can to get what they want. If you don't give in to everything, they will come around and they will be better off (in my opinion). A friend of mine has a 5 year old (rarely any discipline and never a set schedule with her child). My friend gives in to her child everytime - now she's dealing with a child who won't sleep in her own bed, won't go to be before 10pm at night, still has temper tantrums in the middle of public or anywhere, is absolutely difficult to deal with. Now there is concern the child will not be able to start Kindergarten because she runs her own show and cannot even get out of bed in the morning. There are many difficult and head strong kids, but they become more difficult if you give in to them all the time, versus setting a barrier and ensuring they follow the rules. Both of my boys (when I first put them in daycare) would not take the bottle for 8 hours (at 4 months old) and I had to leave work really early my first day back for fear that they were starving, but both came around - they got hungry and realized that this is all they had and from then on there were no more problems with the bottle.

With such an active, head strong child, you may want to go back to work sooner versus later - you might need that break before you send yourself over the edge. I always found work was my break, my chance to be around adults and to get away from the chaos for a few hours.

By the way, it DOES get easier (especially if you have set routines and discipline). Good luck.

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M.F.

answers from Modesto on

Babies are high maintenance! Do not listen to negative people telling you how other babies act. From your description your baby seems fine to me! I have three boys and all of them did the same thing. The nurses in the NICU told me that my twins were a "handful" and that they screamed the loudest of all the babies. Give your baby tons of love and comfort which is what she really needs.

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K.F.

answers from Salinas on

My 1st born screamed almost non stop the first 2 months then became possibly the easiest baby I know. My second girl slept through her first couple months of life almost completely (to the point I was worried) she then spent nearly a year screaming her head off. Now at 7 & 11 they are both sweet, great students, super active and awesome girls. You get the picture. Your daughter sounds perfectly normal to me. I think you may be over thinking it and I know you are taking advice and comments too seriously. Just do what feels right, listen to your heart and let other people's opinions roll off your back. I think it's great you are so committed to breastfeeding and there is nothing better you can do to gain more confidence in raising your daughter. You need to find some other Moms your age who share your parenting values and spend some time together. You will be surprised at how many of them will relate to your feelings. There is not a Mom around who has not had to listen to relatives tell her how to parent or voice some opinion about the temperment of her child. Just smile say Uh-huh and keep doing what you're doing. Finally do not give the baby formula if you want to keep breastfeeding, there's at least one piece of really bad advice! Enjoy your baby and relax!

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M.C.

answers from San Francisco on

You are doing great! You should commend yourself for listening to your instincts, on of the most important things we can do as mothers. There is definately a tendency in our society to think that we have to "train" babies from early on, or that we will spoil them if we give in too much to their needs. Your daughter has been out in this world only 3 months, and needs you in an intense way. The trust you are establishing with her now, holding her, nursing her, sleeping with her, will actually pay off discipline-wise because she is learning that you are there for her and will meet her needs. As far as your pediatrician or nurse making jokes about being loud and being an actress, it could just as easily be said that she was really excited and enthusiastic to come into this world and meet you.

And no need for formula at all if you are successfully breastfeeding. Good for you. The health benefits to you and your daughter are profound. If you can give one more botlle for pumped milk a go, the bottle we loved was the Adiri Natural Nurser. It has a great, safe, non-toxic construction and a soft top that your daughter may go for.

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R.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Don't panic.
Take some time for yourself, if you can get a break periodically.
Kids can change a lot.
One of mine used to be a major Drama King, but not any more.

As for the bottle, keep trying, at least once a month. Just because she won't do it now, doesn't mean she never will.

I wonder if she is just very Sensitive. Some people (of all ages) are more sensitive to sensory input.

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A.E.

answers from Sacramento on

Before you make any plans for the future try a few more things. Every baby is different. Some babies are harder than others but all of them still need to be "trained". Even if your baby screams when you put her down to sleep (day or night), walk away. A lot of times, a baby screams before they pass out, they just need to expend that last bit of energy before they can fall asleep. Don't just give it 5 minutes, give it 20 minutes or so. It will get easier and easier every time and they will start crying for shorter lengths before they fall asleep. I would recommend: "The Happies Baby on the Block" or "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer" or "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child". They are all awesome books that talk about sleep training with different methods.
Keep trying the bottle over and over again.Don't give up. Babies also reject something one day but maybe not the next. (just like beginning food). You do not need to put financial burden on your family.
I know you are exhausted and it is hard to get enough energy to push through but it will get easier. In a few months you will be getting more sleep and start feeling stronger and more like a normal person.

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C.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

You definitely should not be worrying! This is crazy! I had a friend who had the world's most colicky baby, but at 4 months turned into the sweetest baby and stayed that way! Fussiness now is no indication of personality later! Also, when your baby cries, it's cries because it cannot communicate any other way! The cries are its way of telling you it's hungry, tired, dirty, etc. The baby's not crying out of unhappiness. The baby isn't not poorly behaved! Just love you little one because it won't be little for long. And trust me, you'll find plenty to worry about later on! Right now, enjoy!

C.
www.littlebitquirky.blogspot.com

R.M.

answers from Sacramento on

I don't have a lot of advice to give you. You don't need to worry about what others think or say. Do the best that you can.
My daughter also refused the bottle and the one thing that would get her to take a bottle from my husband or sister in law (who was watching her while I was at work) was the vaccuum. Try it. For us, as soon as the vaccuum was turned on, she would instantly start suckling the bottle. it made life so much easier- and it was a major accomplishment!

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M.P.

answers from San Francisco on

I have two, and have now think that there's a lot of nature out there! But you can do some reading about temperments and ease your worries. You have to figure out how to not listen to what everyone around you says, and really turn the negative characterizations into positives. Because they are! There's nothing wrong with your child - she has a personality. Think of the alternative - dull, quiet, lifeless. Your kid has a spark - value it or else she won't value it. If everyone views her as negative she's going to see herself that way. Reading books can help to give you ideas. And understanding how to re-label things into a ositive is invaluable. For instance, when a child is 'stubborn' you can see it as 'persistent'. When a child is loud and thrashing around, see her as full of life and determined to get things done. The fact that she knows what she wants id REALLY GOOD. Both of my kids are this way, and yes, it means that you will have times when they want something and you have to enforce something else, but I find that when I treat mey daughter (3 1/2) with respect and set the boundary and give her time to come around to it we don't battle too too much. So there are techniques which lessen the battles. If you use the techniques from the last generation, then your parents might be right in saying that you're going to have problems which discipline - since they mostly ruled by decree and expected obedience or else. But if you do some reading and thinking then you can do it a bit differently and smooth it out somewhat.

Here's the big point - don't listen to people who are ranking on a baby! Think about how weird that actually is. You be the protector and value all her characteristics for what they are, not how they look. Most importantly - get more sleep so that you can think straight. Let someone else do the overnight feedings so that you get at least 6 hours solid each night. Sleep when the baby is asleep, and forget everyone's advice unless you've asked for it. And yes, they HAVE forgotten a lot about what it's like to have a baby in the house! You and your husband are in charge.

GOOD LUCK!! Email me anytime you want a pep talk. [email protected]____.com

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B.V.

answers from Sacramento on

Your daughter will be fine! Don't listen to all of the naysayers. Babies have a tough time until the are roughly 4 months old. This is very common! Things you can do to make your life easier: 1) Go away for the day and let her Dad (sounds like she loves him lots) fight it out with the bottle. Pick one kind (we like Born Free) and have him keep offering it (the bottle and nothing else) until she gives in. Don't worry, she will! She's not going to let herself starve to death. My son was the ultimate stubborn infant and argued about it for 4 hours with his Dad but finally gave in and we NEVER had another problem. He also had been on the bottle just fine until 2 weeks before I had to go back to work. You will be able to go back to work if you choose to. 2) Try hard to get her to fall asleep in her crib or bassinet, not nursing at bedtime and for naps. I know this is VERY hard because it is very comforting to let them fall asleep at the breast and I struggled with both of my sons, but it is worth it. Once she is not nursing herself to sleep, and able to fall asleep on her own, you will not need to put her down asleep because you will be able to put her down awake! I highly recommend the books "Happiest baby on the block" and "Sleep through the night" to help with the sleep issues. There will be some crying involved (we all hate it - my second son screamed like there was an ax murderer in his room the first night and then only cried for 3 minutes the second night, 2 minutes the third night, back to 10 minutes the fourth night and then was okay) but it is really truly worth it. My 5 1/2 month old still needs to be swaddled to fall asleep on his own - this might help as well even if you have stopped swaddling her. There is NO WAY you can spoil a baby that young. she is not manipulating you, just doing what you and she have established as the routine. You have the power to change the routine - she will adapt. Babies are great at that. Don't give up and stop listening to the comments. All of our parents have forgotten how hard the first 4 months are otherwise they wouldn't have had more than 1 child! Don't worry. She'll be fine...

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A.T.

answers from Stockton on

I think you should just ignore the comments or ask them to stop because it's upsetting you. My daughter took a bottle at first because I had a terrible allergic rash and couldn't nurse so we had a "war" to get her to take my breasts and then another war to get her to take a bottle once in a while.
Some babies just need everything to be consistent and don't like change at all.
I've noticed a big difference with the comments people make between my son and his baby sister. Everyone said " Oh, what a sweet boy!" and now tell me "Girls are so HARD to raise - just wait until she's 12 - she'll be TERRIBLE!" Thanks, Uncle Fester!
On the other hand - my high-strung totally type A personality husband who yells and screams and gets mad at everything was a CALM baby according to MIL. go figure.
We just hit the 5 month mark today and the difference is amazing. Your baby will get easier to read, you'll develop a schedule for naps etc. and when she starts laughing and reaching for your face, you'll forget how hard the first 4 months were.
Try swaddling her - my son needed to be swaddled until 4 months. Get her out of your bed unless you want her there forever.
Read "The Happiest Baby on the Block" for more pointers - it was a lifesaver for my son!

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K.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Don't be discouraged. No one can tell the future. My first was challenging for the first 5 years (each year got better) now at 8 she's easy. My second was a dream child - so easy - the first year and now, well, we take things one day at a time (now 5). Try to follow what's in your heart. Don't let others choose your child's future. Yes, kids have their own personalities, but only they can show you who they are which is shown to you over a lifetime, not a moment in time. 3 months seems like a long time to you at the moment, but when you look back it will seem so very short. I don't know if there are any right or wrong answers when it comes to decisions about co-sleeping, being a SAHM, etc. as long as these decisions are made from a loving heart. My first child would not take a bottle until about 9 mos and then it actually was a sippy cup. I am a full time working mom - I was lucky to run to my mom's during my lunch hour to feed her. She was hungry, my mom tried the bottle, but she refused. She did just fine with me just feeding every 4 1/2 hours. Is this a possibility for your situation? Hang in there. You are not the first or last to go through this. You are not alone.

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M.J.

answers from Redding on

Honestly, everything you've mentioned is completely normal. There is no sign at all of anything amiss. Babies that age are completely dependant and helpless - they love to be held. Regarding your baby's refusal of the bottle - many babies do this. What I would suggest is to go ahead and continue to work, and let the caretaker offer the bottle. When the baby is hungry enough, she will eat, but she may put up a bit of a fight. This is normal too. The baby will eventually start using the bottle. Smiling at her dad and you and not at others is normal. Needing to be held and rocked a lot is normal, and is a good sign.

Your mom and MIL are out of line on this. The way they are acting sounds emotionally unhealthy to me.

I wouldn't listen them, and just try to let your anxiety go. You can do it! Don't be afraid to ask for help from friends, therapist, your physician... if you are still feeling down or anxious.

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E.H.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi your daughter sounds a lot like mine . She is now a wonderful ,smart, funny and caring 14 year old who is a yes to her life. My parents used to say I would spoil her by holding her to sleep ( that is what she needed) and I responded that " yeah , boy to much love and security for a child, that's the way to ruin them' they stopped saying that.
It is hard to be a parent. My daughter refused the bottle, was a sleep warrior and she did not play by herself very well. I think that nurture has a lot to do with it. About the comments from the world- sometimes people are not sure what to say and they feel the need to say something. Ignore it.
You are the one with her 24 7 not them.
Also I think that girls are stereotyped into being quiet or "good" , I know that if mine was a boy the comments would not have been the same.

I usually deflected with humor like- yes isn't it great that she can let me know what works for her, I don't have to guess what she is feeling. Or
I like strong girls.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to plan time where you can get breaks. You need a little time for yourself so you can get perspective, especially if you are staying at home. It is easy to isolate , join a supportive mommy group, shop around to find one that is your best fit.
It really helps when you can talk with other moms with similar parenting ideas. It can be hard to adjust to being a parent and it gets easier.
Cheers E.

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L.L.

answers from Hartford on

You are doing a great job, everything is ok. I don't believe she is a difficult child. I remember when my son was just a couple month old, I got so mad at my best friend who had a two year old. I remember telling her, in all sincerity, I can't believe you never told me that babies cried all the time! She said of course they cry, they are babies. I thought they only cried when they needed something, like they were hungry or wet or didn't feel good. But now I know, they just cry for the hell of it, nothing may wrong thats just what they do, lol. I spent so much energy because I never wanted him to cry and now I know better. My bit of advice for 1st time moms is always, babies cry a lot and you don't always know why.

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K.S.

answers from Dallas on

Yes Virginia, some kids are just high maintenance and no attention you give her will ever be enough. She will likely outgrow a lot of it as language develops, as long as you don't give in to her every demand.. ( There's a book on parenting high-need children, but I can't remember the name.) On the other hand remember you are the mom, and therefore the Supreme Being!
On the nipple issue - my #2 daughter decided to refuse the breast at 4months. I had other ideas, so I put her to bed without dinner. The message was not lost on her - she only did that once and nursed till she was 9months old. I think I got pregnant with her brother the next day, but that's another issue! LOL.

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J.S.

answers from Sacramento on

My son is now 2 1/2, and the first several months of his life were definitely a challenge for us. At about 8 weeks, I was ready to accept that my child had colic, but the doctor told us it wasn't colic, it was just his temperment. At 2 1/2, he does still have a difficult temperment, he still wants what he wants when he wants it, much like he did at 8 weeks. Despite all that, he is a wonderful little boy. He loves people, loves to learn new things, he's loving and compasionate towards others (especially babies!). So, even though we still see some of those challenging parts of his personality, he has so many other wonderful qualities, too. Your little girl sounds like a typical newborn, and I'm sure will be just fine. :)

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R.M.

answers from Nashville on

I can't believe your support system is being so unsupportive. Even the doctors! My son was a high maintenance baby in the same way yours is, it sounds like. Always wanted to be held, sleep was a total battle (he napped in his swing for months, and at about 4 mos wouldn't sleep at night without my hand ON him) and I had to carry him around constantly, or sit by him on the floor while he was playing when he got older. If I paid constant attention to him, he was a very sweet happy baby and never cried or fussed, but that is so draining.

Now, my son is the sweetest tempered child I know. He is 2 1/2 and polite and easy going and loving. He still wants mommy's attention but has started to be outgoing with other kids and is a typical toddler in all ways, except a sweet one usually. He gets compliments from other people all the time. I would have never thought he would leave my hip as an infant.

To get stuff done around the house and save my sanity, I started wearing him in a sling or moby wrap. That was a great help. I didn't get on the ball about the sleep thing until about a year old, and 3 mos is a little young to do anything about it yet, but a great book in my opinion is The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. You can start it now and just learn a lot about baby's sleep in general. I have also heard good things about Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child. As for the bottle, I would just keep gently trying to introduce it. It will save your sanity to not have to be the only source of food, whether you go back to work or not. It might take a while, but if you don't approach it as a battle and just "check and see" every so often if she'll take it, she might start taking it. Don't get discouraged, I think she is perfectly normal sounding and there is no reason to think she is going to run you ragged forever. Follow your own instincts and dont let the moms or doctors get you down.

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T.H.

answers from Sacramento on

Sounds like you have a strong willed child like mine. I suggest reading up on the strong-willed child and behaviour modification now while it is still early. Don't be too hard on yourself. Strong willed children can be well behaved just like other children, it just takes more work, self-control and above all, consistency. However you decide to do your discipline, you will have to stick to your guns NO MATTER WHAT!! You can do this. It won't be easy but it will be very rewarding.

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L.A.

answers from Minneapolis on

I haven't read through all your many responses, but I want to say that I have one of those kids. He was born knowing what he wanted and he never wavers from it either. I just love him!

All personalities have good and bad to them. For example, stubborness will get you to pull your hair out when she's two and not cooperating, but as a teen there is NO WAY her friends (or boyfriend) will talk her into something she doesn't want to do.

As my strong willed son has gotten older, it has gotten better. Infancy was the hardest. Toddlerhood was grueling. (sorry, but it was for us) Preschool wasn't bad and so on. I think parents of these spirited kids really do have a harder time -- at least at first.

Even though my son can be quite a challenge, he is also just amazing. He is more insightful than kids his age and way more charismatic. If you have one of these kids, they take more effort, but they also have more rewards. (IMHO)

I've found that as he grows and realizes more about his world and about others and about time (as opposed to immediately now) he has fallen back into more of the mainstream ways that kids act and react. I've also learned that I get farther working WITH him than against him. I try to make things inviting, or funny, or change things a bit to avoid his objections. Understand that it's not giving in, but working alongside. And it doesn't take more time -- less actually. But I had to look at things completely backwards from what I was used to.

You very well could be noticing her strong spirit. Or it could be just a phase. If she is spirited, do look up Mary Sheedy Kurcinka's books. They're great. Also feel free to email for more tips and information if that would be helpful to you.

Best of luck. It's quite a ride!

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D.S.

answers from San Francisco on

My Dear PB&J, I will offer you this advice from my heart as a mother of 5 and having raised many foster children and the proud Nana of several sweethearts that run my life with just a phone call. If I could have known at 13 weeks what they were going to be as adults-- I would have been thrilled to know that they made it out alive through the teens, dateing, marriage, death of a parent, and all the emotional upheavels in between! You will have no idea until many years later what your child will or won't do with the choices they make.
To address your child being "High Maintenace" or "in control of you-- welcome to parenthood, this is what children do and they do it well! I have several that they used as models for the Curious George series. They were just as likely to get on a bike and ride 20 miles just to see what was going on in the canyon as they were to read to a disabled sibling. They learned from ME, from MY HUSBAND and Grandparents what buttons to push, how far they could go and when to wear the smile of an Angel usually just after they tie dyed their sisters favorite blouse and yes they were active, busy babies but they were also fussy,& wanted things their way -don't we all? Your child is so tiny and young and everything is new and a thrilling adventure for her. You must set the boundries and the foundation for her life not her. She needs you and your guidance. As my daughter recently said at a family gathering" Mom is like rock with THE LOOK, you know where she stands and what she stands for and she is our friend now but sure wasn't and didn't try to be when we were growing up-- she was MOM". I felt so honored. Give yourself 18 more years before you judge yourself and how your child is going to be, you might be pleasently surprised as I am. Nana Glenda

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S.M.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi there,
It looks like you've gotten some great advice but I'll chime in to say that it sounds like your daughter is just fine. :) A friend's baby will not take anything but the breast as well and that's just how some baby's are. It's ok. Also, some babies just want to be held and snuggled and loved. This isn't going to be this way for forever so try to relax and just enjoy your little one and snuggle her right back. My little guy loved to snuggle and just be close to me or my husband and we had so many people just encourage us to enjoy those moments. Everything else can wait for a bit. I don't think you can see every aspect of her personality at this age. I'm sure there will be a lot that she does now that you will see as she continues to grow but this isn't something for you to worry about right now. Remember, when she's older, she will be able to talk to you and you will learn how to parent her every single day. Some days you will do a great job and others won't be as great. That's just part of being a parent. I do think that our parents have mostly forgotten just how hard it is in the beginning. That and every grandparent has advice that they are sure you need to take. :) I would listen politely and then just do what works for you, your husband and your little girl and that is what is right for your family. You can do this and you will be great! Hang in there.

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P.C.

answers from San Francisco on

NO you can't tell now how she'll be....just give her what you can at each stage of the way. My son has had some difficult periods, and if I had thought or given up to the thought that he would always be difficult, I would have been really discouraged. At the moment he is a dream of a 12 year old, and everyone around us is having trouble with theirs!
P

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P.W.

answers from San Francisco on

NO! Your child is perfectly normal. I think it might be your MIL who is going to turn out to be "challenging." Man I hate when people say things like that about a little infant (your MIL, not you).

She's acting like a normal baby. Ignore your MIL, I have a feeling that won't be the last negative comment you hear from her, unfortunately...

And in case your child does turn out to be high-spirited -- remember, that kind of person usually does better in life than meek, passive people.

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M.E.

answers from Modesto on

May I just encourage you to believe in your self. Your mom and MIL has first babies too. I think they may have forgotten the uncertainty new moms face. What they need to be reminding you of is how well their 'fussy' children turned.
You can tell how a teenager will be by how you discipline the toddler. You can tell how the woman (man) will be by how much unselfish love the child gets.
ALL babies are born very selfish. They want what the want when they want it and the only way they have of getting their point across is to CRY!
You will be able to teach her patience and that she is NOT the center of the universe (just the center of yours for a time).
Babies are TOO inexperience to be "fakers," but if we're not careful they learn early.
Don't be afraid to let her cry or wait. Love her enough to endure the noise! She will grow and soon learn that Mommy does know best.
Your concern tells me that you are going to have a daughter that will be your pride and joy all her life.
Nurture her with your love. Don't worry about "high maintenance." Is she able to care for herself? No. Enjoy her. Sleep when you can. Forget about the dishes and hold her through her naps. Soon enough she will be running off to grandmas house to play, then it will be off to college.
You are going to be a great mom!
M. from Soulsbyville CA

K.G.

answers from Boca Raton on

She is going to change 10 more times with her personality by the time she even hits 1.
My son was SO colicy when he was a baby (ugh, it was horrible and I DON'T miss those days at all)... I would have to stand over a vacuum at 3am to calm him down... He cried ALL the time, and what everyone would tell me was "he's SO alert" lol.... He didn't sleep through the night until he was 7 months old but now he's a great sleeper..
As he started getting older (before 1 though) he didn't even want me, he only wanted my husband.. It upset me SO muchhhh and I thought he hated me!!!!! Well boy did that change- now he's a mommy's boy....
It's NOT EASY!!!!!!! Each phase is a new hurdle but there's no manual... Good luck!!!!

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J.K.

answers from Mansfield on

Your baby is a normal baby. Trust your own instincts about these things. Some things are more difficult then others and some babies are more difficult but that doesn't mean they will not be a happy, well behaved, well adjusted child or adult.
You will learn soon enough what personality traits will stay with her but only you and (maybe) your husband will be able to really label them as her. However if it is something you want to try and change you have that opportunity as she grows as well. The more you think and lable her a difficult baby/child.... the more she will become one.
Babies make their own schedules and we have to work hard to make them adjust to what schedule we want them to have. Also my middle daughter until about 2 had to have every blanket she saw (we started hiding them) on top of her to be rocked to sleep and then take them all to bed with her. When it was 90 degrees in the summer and you were sweating to death just sitting in the chair let alone with a toddler and a 5 blanket pile on top of you........ you really thought about how miserable this child was going to make your life. She kicked them off as soon as she was asleep but had to have them for comfort or something. She would run through the house gathering every blanket she could before story time. uggggggg I thought I was going to die of heat stroke. There was/is nothing wrong with her and she completely grew out of that, so I am sure your daughter will let you lay her down to sleep eventually. Also a baby will not starve itself. If you really want her to start taking a bottle stop nursing. She will start taking the bottle once she gets hungry enough, she may complain about it for awhile (normal) but she will soon except that this is where her food is coming from so she will soon enough like it.
Hope this helps :)

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N.J.

answers from San Francisco on

Congratulations for understanding and responding so well to your baby who communicates her wants and needs so clearly!! As her needs are met she will give up on some of them and have new ones. Lucky for you if you continue to understand and respond so well to each other!!

Do not worry about comments people make. It sounds as though your daughter is well on her way to being happy, confident and competent. As to being well behaved, that takes a lot of time. And letting her know what behavior is preferable or necessary is a long and sometimes difficult parental job. You are well on your way to letting her know those things by comforting her and meeting her needs and she is responding by relaxing and appreciating the closeness she needs at this stage of her life.

Enjoy having a cuddly baby. Some are not so cuddly. When you are an old great grandma like me you will have happy memories of times you sat and rocked and cuddled and were all that little girl needed!!

When our needs of the moment are met in all our developmental stages, we do outgrow certain needs (such as being held and rocked to sleep), but they sometimes are a conflict issue if they are ignored or dismissed. Certain children will demand things long after they might have outgrown those needs if they are not met. So feel good about yourself for meeting the needs as you understand them and your baby clearly communicates them

Blessings on your family!

Great grandma N.

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K.H.

answers from Boston on

I honestly wouldn't worry about it. When my youngest daughter was born the doctor said "she has red hair and a personality to match" because she cried so loud. To this day, people still say "oh she is a red head". I would say she has always known what she wants, but she is honestly a sweet and lovable little girl (almost 2 now). Your daughter actually sounds pretty normal to me and not "high maintenance" at all. I don't think your daughter is abnormal in her desire to be with you when she falls asleep. I don't think my first child fell asleep on her own at all in the first three months of life. If you are really concerned about this habit, you can try sleep training when she is a bit older. At this point, I would just love your daughter for who she is today and love her tomorrow for who she has become. Both you and your daughter will grow/change every day and you will find that you can handle each new stage. Good luck and enjoy your little one!

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C.S.

answers from Sacramento on

I firmly believe some babies are just more high maintenance than others. My son is one of the high-maintenance ones! But he's two now, and I wouldn't change him for the world. He, too, has always known what he wanted and never hesitated to let you know. He screamed his head off for the first four months of life (colic and food sensitivities--ugh!) and then spent probably a year after that being really iffy in any given situation--we never knew whether he'd be fine or would start screaming uncontrollably. (For the record, I'm told I was the same way as a child.) It was really hurtful (and sometimes still is!) when people would get out of patience with him because he wasn't a "typical" cuddly baby. Now people say, "Oh, he's so much BETTER now!" and it makes me want to scream...because he was never "bad" in the first place--he just had a rather unique temperament. I went with my instincts from Day 1, and my husband and I got a fair amount of criticism for it. ("You should do this, or he'll do this" kind of thing--as if WE were the cause for his inborn personality and temperament.) My instincts were to love him for who he is, rather than trying to change him, and that's what we did--accepted him with love and always, always showed him love, no matter how utterly exhausted we were by the end of the day. Now he's two, and he is so incredible. Still a fiery temperament--he is more strong-willed than any child I've ever seen. But I remind myself that these traits are going to serve him well someday. And the sweet side of his personality has FINALLY emerged. He now gives kisses and hugs and has the biggest heart--he shares with everyone and everything. So try not to get worn down by people telling you what's "wrong" with your daughter--just love her and embrace that strong personality of hers. You won't be disappointed!

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C.C.

answers from San Francisco on

honey.. i work with dev. disabled children, and have two of my own, and she sounds just like every other 13month old child i've ever seen before.lol she's doing just fine. :) don't worry.. just find what works, and re assure your family everything is and will be just fine. :)

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V.R.

answers from Redding on

My son was just like this. He is fine now and he is 10 years old. He was high maintenance in every sense of the word but trust me--this kind of child needs your love and nurturing and guidance more than any other thing you can give them. My son needs to be 'guided' more and when given a choice between a and b he will invariably make up his own non-option choice C.
As soon as she is old enough, find her currency. For my son, we would take away a certain toy that he really liked.
Stay strong and stay in charge and firm when she gets older but for now, just hold her, love her, accept help when it is offered and ignore everyone else. Don't pay attention. Most people have not raised a high maintence child and all of their advice and observations do not come with true experience in raising your child. Trust yourself. We co-slept and nursed for 2 years because it was the only way to stay sane. When they are 5-6 months they can eat solids and you can go back to work.
Take heart. All of the love and nurturing give them a very good sense of self. and confidence to feel loved and to love others.

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C.M.

answers from San Francisco on

i'm glad you're receiving many responses. don't get down on yourself. just a few suggestions. if she is hungry, she will eventually take the bottle. she won't starve herself. and, if you aren't nursing at all, she will take the bottle. also, you could work part time, to get some adult time and i guarantee she will eventually take the bottle. for the sleeping issues, try some sleep training techniques. there are many out there but whatever you choose, be consistent. start a routine that you do for each nap and a longer routine for night time. she will cry at first but eventually it will get better. i know how hard it is and nothing is fixed overnight. my first was "challenging" and while you're in the middle of it, it feels like things will never change. but they do. and they grow up so fast. you will miss it because there will be a new set of challenges. in another 3 months she will be a different baby and you will look back and realize it was just a phase. good luck. you're doing great. just make sure you're getting enough sleep and dad is on your side.

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P.G.

answers from Dallas on

Listen to the other moms who've answered so far. You're fine and she's fine. Your mom and MIL haven't been parents of infants in a LONG time and they've forgotten everything. They may have also not breastfed, as that was not the thing back then, so they don't have a clue in that area either. Breathe, relax and take everything they say with a pinch of salt :)

I also used an Ergo Baby Carrier so I could wear him on the front or back and it was great. I really enjoyed it, so did he. He's super social and confident. I think the cuddling and closeness increases this rather than hampering it.

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E.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Of course you can raise her to be a happy, confident child! She does sound like she is a "high needs" baby, as my first son was as well. He wanted to nurse constantly and very rarely napped without being held. He is now almost 3 years old and is one of the happiest, smartest kids I know (yes, I know I'm biased, but he really is a great kid). My second is now 3 weeks old and is a much mellower baby, and it's amazing to see how different they were from the beginning.

Some survival tips:
Just go with the co-sleeping and don't feel badly about it. Whatever helps you all get the most sleep is the right solution for your family.

Get a comfortable sling and let her nap in that so you have your hands free to get stuff done while she sleeps. I use a Moby Wrap and it's great!

Try swaddling her really snugly and see if it helps her sleep better. I swaddled my first until he was 6 months old, otherwise he woke himself up.

See the light at the end of the tunnel! My son didn't eat well from a bottle, but when we started solids at 5 months he loved them so we could leave him with a sitter and he would eat his food while we were gone. It really will get easier soon! I'm sure your daughter will have tons of personality and be a lot of fun when she gets a little older. In the meantime, try to relax your expectations of how a baby "should" behave. Your baby is unique. It sounds like you are doing all the right things to let her know you love her and are there for her, and that will help her become confident and independent.

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S.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

You got So many Responses, its obvious We all Care about you! Your not alone! and This too shall Pass!
Sometimes when you think you cant take another Minute of crying and fussiness’ Moments later she will be sound asleep. You are strong, Her breaking point will come before yours. :)
Blessings from some one who's been there and Survived. :)

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