Post # 1
Please tell me I’m not alone in this!
Recently, I had to visit some distant family members and their baby. I’m not related to them (long story) and I was definitely the least-related person in the room from their baby. Their baby was adorable, but I felt kind of weird “forcing” myself on him and trying to make him like me. Everyone was crowding around the baby, cooing and trying to make him do cute things, and I felt like it was just a little too much. I wasn’t going to try and make him walk to me, or make him say my name or something- first off he obviously coudln’t talk and trying to make him talk would only get him frustrated, and second of all, he didn’t like me! So I really didn’t want to humiliate myself by courting a baby again and again, if he had no interest in playing with me.
Later someone at the party siad I “wasn’t putting any effort in.” The baby already had six people crowding around him and singing to him- I didn’t see why I needded to be involved, especially since the baby CRIED every time I held him! It really made me feel like I’ll be a shitty mom someday, and it made me feel like there was something instrinsically wrong with me (like…why does the baby like everyone except me??)
And the worst part- THE SINGING. I HATE singing in public- my voice isn’t that bad but it just makes me feel uncomfortable, like if I sing too “well”, I’ll look like I’m taking myself too seriously…and I kind of have to try and make my voice sound worse, in a weird way. I hate “making funny faces” at someone else’s kid. It’s not my kid, and if the faces don’t make him laugh I just feel stupid!
EVERY DAMN THING the baby did was supposed to be adorable and amazing- and as I said, he was cute, but I don’t find crying cute, and I don’t find high-pitched moaning cute. I’m sure I would have found it cute, if he was my baby, but he wasn’t, and I found it really irritating, and even more irritating that the rest of the adults thought it was adorable and encouraged it.
PLEASE tell me I’m not alone. I feel fine around my baby nephew, but around more distant babies I feel so uncomfortable being cutesy and goo-goo.
Post # 3
You aren’t alone. I’m generally uncomfortable around infants. I don’t usually feel uncomfortable around the babies of my close family because I just expect them to tell me if I’m not doing something right and I wouldn’t be embarassed or whateve. But generally yes I am really uncomfortable around infants!
I think a lot of it stems from the fact that there is SO much societal pressure on women my age to start popping out babies that everyone is watching you (real or perceived) and judging how you are behaving. I’m one of those people who really only likes kids that I am related to..(until about age 6)
Post # 4
@weddingnerd: When a kid is able to talk, I have a lot more fun, but right now I feel like (at least in that one situation) that I was expected to compete with this baby’s close family members for attention. There were people trying to get the baby to say their name…and the baby hasn’t said ANYTHING yet. It just seemed so self-involved to me, like “who can get the most attention from the baby.” I figured the baby didn’t want to spend time with me because he had his parents there…so I just hung back! I can’t believe I got shit for this. lol
Post # 5
@anon00: Not everyone has that instant connnection with every baby, and that is completely fine.
My DH won’t hold or play with his own nephews (they are both under two) lot alone other people’s babies. He just isn’t comfortable interacting with babies but is great with kids. His brother was the same way and had never held a baby until his own kids were born.
Post # 6
You’re not alone! I hate playing with other peoples’ babies, unless it’s a close friend or family member. The babies cry, or they just aren’t interested in me, I hate singing the songs or playing the silly peek-a-boo….
If it’s a baby I spend a lot of time with, then the parents need to get out of the way, cos I’ll be cooing ans singing and playing with that baby like there’s no tomorrow. If it’s the baby of someone I don’t know, then I’ll just briefly say “Hello!” and leave it at that.
If the family are getting upset about you not “putting in the effort” just point out “The baby cried every time I picked him up, so I thought he didn’t like me!”
Post # 7
@Treejewel19: Yeah, I’m fine interacting with babies who I’m closely related to, but I feel like everything sets them off a lot, and too much stimulation just doesn’t seem healthy for them. I like babies, but I feel like the way adults behave around them sometimes seems a little self-obsessed. Like, I’m not going to spend 20 minutes trying to make someone ELSE’s baby say MY name. It’s just really obnoxious in my opinion. I did play with the baby, but I didn’t try and make him do anything. To me that just seemed self-involved. Like “Oh look what I can make the baby do!” He’s not a toy! lol
Post # 8
@LadyElva: I did point that out- obviously I was the least important person in the room, so I backed out in order to give the baby’s close relatives priority. I thought it was a polite thing to do! Apparently you need to treat every child you meet like they’re Kim Kardashian or something. lol
Post # 9
You’re not alone. I’ll have the obligatory hold… but I have 0 experience in interacting with babies and kids in general and I much prefer to just hang back and let the ‘experts’ do their thing, lol. Being an ‘interesting person’ to a child just doesn’t come naturally to me.
Post # 10
@anon00: I absolutely love babies but I don’t go fight to hold them or get them to play with me either. I ‘lay claim” on my own nephew (and he’ll come to me over people he doesnt know) but when it comes to my cousin’s babies, I generally leave them to their own aunts & uncles. People sometimes take this to mean I don’t like babies… I just don’t want to fight for them. 😛
Post # 11
@MexiPino: EXACTLY! I find it really deamining to fight for a baby. As I said, babies who I am closely related to (ie: my nephew) I am more than willing to cuddle them and be cute with them. But other people’s babies…they don’t need my attention and they don’t even want it.
Post # 12
@amyinbrisbane: LOL. Kids close to me tend to really like me..but babies tend not to. Maybe they can tell I’m worried I’ll do something wrong.
Post # 13
I connect really easily with babies, but toddlers I don’t. It’s totally uncomfortable because i don’t know what to say to them, and I pretty much find most of what they are saying totally boring. LOL I didn’t used to be like this. I used to be much more hands on and nurturing with the older kids!
Post # 14
Actually I don’t feel comfortable around babies at all. I far prefer children once they reach the little monkey stage. Everyone seems to know this. I am never asked to babysit or even to hold the baby in question – which is just fine by me! I also totally refuse to talk to babies in that high-pitched baby talk. It grates on my nerves and I can only imagine how irritating it is to the baby.
That being said, I totally adored my daughter as a baby. That was different.
And I still dislike being around other people’s babies to this very day. Oh I might say the obligatory “Oh how adorable”, but that’s about it!
Cats are WAY better!
Post # 15
@MsJ2theZ: Funny, I am so the opposite. I am good at chatting with kids so i really love having conversations with them- usually toddlers flock to me (age 2-4 is the best!!) Babies though..they cry when I hold them lol
Post # 16
You’re not alone… I’m not the biggest fan of babies either… and like you said, how on earth is crying cute!?