Help! My baby can't handle being without me

posted 3 years ago in Babies
Post # 2
Member
564 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

MrsMath:  

Are you breastfeeding? Breastfed babies need to feed every 2-3 hours at this stage. 5.5 weeks is still considered to be in the newborn period (it’s up to 8 weeks). 4-7pm is a pretty long stretch for a baby that little. Newborns nurse all the time to build up your supply, and you’re not quite out of the woods yet.

On the bright side, she will eventually go longer between feedings as her tummy gets larger.

Post # 3
Member
1472 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I had a similar first few weeks with DS. It will pass. I know that’s not helpful now, but you’re his comfort–that’s what he needs.

Some things to try, though: Have them take her on a walk, have them wear clothing you’ve worn so they have your smell, have them wear her?

Post # 6
Member
7262 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

It sounds like you may have a high needs baby on your hands! (Look up the description by Dr. Sears). I have a high needs baby myself, and the only thing I can tell you is that it gets better over time! She’s a smart cookie, she knows who takes care of her and feeds her 🙂

When things get difficult, I just repeat motivational phrases to myself. “This is difficult, but I can do this!” or “She’s only going to be little and want me/need me like this for so long”.

Post # 8
Member
3677 posts
Sugar bee

Have you tried babywearing? If you pop her in a sling/Moby/etc., she will feel secure next to you but you will have your hands free and be able to get more done. Much of the time she will probably just snuggle up and go to sleep.

Post # 9
Member
7262 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

MrsMath:  My baby fits all 12! I was glad to find that article because it made me feel less alone in my stress! Haha

Post # 10
Member
7262 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

I’m sure you already read this, but this really helped me make sense of DD’s behavior:

It helps to see separation from the baby’s viewpoint. To most adults, especially those of the “babies must learn to be independent” mindset, baby and mother should be separate persons, able to function on their own. Babies don’t see it that way. In their minds, mother is a part of themselves, and they are part of mother. Mother and baby are one, a complete package. These babies feel right when they feel at one with mother; they feel anxious and frightened when not with mother. Adults dub this completely normal behavior as “separation anxiety.” In reality, these emotions are normal feelings inside a little person who knows that he needs the presence of his mother to thrive and to feel complete. Labels such as “stranger anxiety” or “separation anxiety” are adult jargon, reflecting our expectations of how we want babies to act for our own convenience, not how babies really are, or what they really need.

We have observed that mothers who spend the early months practicing this style of attachment parenting (wearing their baby many hours a day in a sling, breastfeeding on cue, taking their babies with them wherever they go, and often sleeping with baby) themselves experience separation anxiety when not with their baby. If this “anxiety” appears in normal mothers, shouldn’t it also be normal in babies? Fortunately, high need babies have powerful personalities to tell us when things are not right.

Your baby’s quality of being very selective about who cares for her shows that she has great discernment. High need babies know which situations and which persons they can trust to meet their needs, and they protest if these expectations are not met. Loud separation protests also reveal that these babies have a capacity for forming deep attachments — if they didn’t care deeply, they wouldn’t fuss so loudly when separated. This capacity is the forerunner of intimacy in adult relationships.”

I will say that DD has become much better in this area. She lets DH hold her for much longer periods than she used to. She’s 6.5 months old now.

Post # 11
Member
863 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

 My baby was like that, so I got into babywearing, and wore her all the time for the first long time and brought her with me everywhere. She is still pretty high needs, but is a lot better now. She never took a paci or drank from the bottle though, still to this day! 

Post # 12
Member
1103 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Just some off the cuff ideas I wonder if they’d work- I’d try having my DH wear a shirt I had worn, and everytime she was sleeping on my lap, I’d have him sit with us and try to both hold her.  So she’d be on my lap, but with his arms holding her, or vice versa.  She’s getting the comort of being with you, but learning that the same comfort comes from him, you know what I mean?  I would then gradually have him hold her more and more, maybe holding her with my one arm and his one arm, then him holding her as I am sitting next to them etc.  Like a very gradual pass over, little by little. 

Obviously, I’m not a Mom yet, but I have 8 nieces and nephews, so I’e got good Aunt instincts, lol.  My one niece is 9 months, and when she’s sick, she just wants her mom.  She came to me once though during one of these times, as my sister held her til she fell asleep, and then we both held her for 30 mins, then my sister gradually stepped away.  Prior to that, my sis couldn’t even put her down to brush her teeth that day.  

Post # 13
Member
1103 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

One of the reasons I can’t wait to have kids is issues like this one!  I hope its easy to bond with my baby, especially as I breastfeed (mom=food and comfort and happiness) and I look forward to finding ways to help my partner get the same bond.  He can’t breastfeed, so the next best thing I think is being close to me while I am, so the baby gets as used to his smell and feel as mine during those happiness times.  Going to him should hopefully end up just as comforting. Since we plan on him being a stay at home dad, that’s going to be key! 

Post # 14
Member
419 posts
Helper bee

Also not a mom yet- But I was going to suggest basically stephee’s idea. Both of you guys sort of hold her for as long as you can so at least she can expand her comfort to DH. Maybe worth a try with the other ideas. Good luck. You sound like you are doing a great job. 

Post # 15
Member
1176 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

Unfortunately for your situation, this is all perfectly normal for a newborn! You are your baby’s favourite place, person and food (pretty much favourite everything!) in the entire world and it’s only natural that she feels quite lost without you! My only advice would be to just roll with it and maybe invest in some sort of carrier 🙂

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