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I am in DESPERATE need of some Attachment Parenting help/advice... My daughter is 8.5months old and when we are home without visitors she is the HAPPIEST little girl! She never cries. But as soon as someone comes over and holds her she starts crying. She also hates the carseat, if we go anywhere I sit in the back with her, feed her a bottle and play with her which works for about 20mins max. Then she screams to get out, she works herself up to a sweat if we don't pull over right away.
My husbands side of the family are becoming a nightmare... They are so against co-sleeping they sent us links and articles and caused such a fight between my hubby and his dad that they didn't speak for a few days. The last straw for me was at our last visit to their house, my daughter started screaming when her grandfather was holding her, my hubby took her to try and calm her down. When I tried following them to help my hubby, his dad stopped me and said I need to detach from her or else she will have separation anxiety issues. I was so upset at that I cried. 2mins of screaming later my hubby brought her to me and she settled right away. She is going though "I just want my mommy" stage and cries when anyone else holds her until she is back with me (and unfortunately that sometimes include her daddy which breaks his heart). Is this normal?? Is it ok she still just wants me at this age?? Have I made her too attached?? Is it possible for ME to be too attached?? I now dread going anywhere because she dislikes the carseat and people... And this pressure to "detach" from my baby is so frustrating I just want to avoid everyone who is unsupportive. When she starts crying with others and I try to take her back they'll say "it's ok, crying doesn't bother me". Well it bothers ME and clearly my baby!! I feel like a momma bear sometimes: come between me and my baby and I will destroy you. Just kidding. Not really
I keep telling my hubby this is just a phase, but the constant "advice" from his Fam to let her cry it out and stop tending to her every cry is weighing us down...
Oh man! I can 100000% relate to how you feel!! My little girl was the EXACT same way. She didn't like being held by anybody but me, and it made me very uncomfortable to see her crying. I would ALWAYS take her back and they ALWAYS made me feel like an over-protective mama bear.
I took a lot of flack for it and was told multiple times that I needed to "let her be held by other people when she is happy". The thing is, she was NEVER happy to be held by strangers.... and quite frankly, I don't blame her!
Hang in there, I promise that you are doing the right thing. You are responding to her needs. When she cries she is telling you that she needs you/she doesn't like something. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you responding to her. In fact I think it is in your best interests to respond.
Don't let your family get you down. Every child is different. Sure, maybe their other grandchild was different and let them hold him/her all the time, but this baby is NOT THAT CHILD. Every child is different it doesn't matter how you behaved with her. It is her nature.
Now at 18 months old my daughter is in LOVE with her Grandpa, and really likes her Grandma. She spends the day at their house no problems and the second she sees her Grandpa she runs to him to be picked up. It is not something we pushed or rushed (of course against their reccomendations, I was told multiple times I needed to juse "drop her off and leave, go for a walk around the block" (ummm no!) it just happened naturally. She doesn't really like strangers though, and honestly I am glad. I wouldn't want a child that just loves strangers, I think that is dangerous.
So anyways, what I am saying is follow your instincts and do what feels right. Sounds like you are doing a great job!
Now... when it comes to the carseat... sorry I have no advice there. My little one loves her carseat, thankfully, because we live 30 miles from pretty much anything. I think just keep doing what you are doing, pull over when needed, and hopefully this is something she outgrows. Does she have reflux? Maybe the incline is what she doesn't like. Perhaps switching her to a rear facing convertable seat rather than a bucket would help.
Proud mama to:
Avery Elizabeth (08/27/2011) & Dawsyn Brielle (10/29/2013)
my browser decided that I shouldnt post. Not in the mood for writing everything again but:
You are doing nothing wrong, you're right in supporting your daughter
The clingiest baby I ever knew grew up to be the bravest. Her mom AP her and gave her time and space to grow and gain confidence on her own. Follow your gut!
Hvor er toalettet? Skal vi danse? Gratulerer med fødselsdagen Luftputefartøyet mitt er fullt av ål Ett språk er aldri nok
You're doing great, this is just a stage that she'll eventually outgrow. By responding to her needs and holding her when she needs you you're teaching her that she can trust you. By knowing that she always has loving arms to come back to she'll soon feel ready to venture out, safe and secure in the fact that she knows you're there for her.
Coming from my own personal experience I would highly recommend no longer talking to your relatives about your parenting until you think that they're ready to respect you and your husbands decisions. Don't bring it up yourself, and if they bring it up, respond confidentially and change the subject ("We are very happy with our decision to ____. How is Uncle George doing?")
Good luck, this is a trying stage, but you'll get through it.
That's totally normal and nothing to worry about. In time, she will be more comfortable with other people.
Some things you can try is...
Have her sit in your lap while other people play with her. That might be a better way for them to bond with her anyway, and eventually she won't mind them holding her.
The carseat thing is a pain right now, but she will eventually outgrow it. One thing some mama's do is start bringing the carseat in the house and having her sit in it at other times, while you play with her, or even while you cook so you can entertain her from a short distance away. At that age, they think if they can't see something it's not there, so you being in the front while she faces the back can be scary! so nothing wrong with sitting in the back with her and I would also recommend playing tons of peek a boo games with her at home, as well as hiding an item under a blanket and saying "Where did it go?" and talking to her from out of sight and then coming around the corner so she can see you. In time, she will realize you can be close by even if she doesn't see you. It's a completely normal developmental milestone an kids reach it at different times.
When family sends you articles, feel free to send articles back. When they confront you, say, "I understand how strongly you feel about this and I respect your opinion on this. At the same time, we will always do what WE believe is best for our daughter, just as you always did what you believed was best for your children."
Forcing separation is what causes separation anxiety issues, not the other way around. she is being COMPLETELY NORMAL for her age. forcing her to separate will not get her over separation anxiety any sooner, it may even prolong it by distressing her. You are doing the right thing. And fYI, she always has separation anxiety. It's a stage of development ALL KIDS *all of them!* go through, and it's totally normal and healthy and a sign of intelligence. I'd be more concerned about the child that never goes through that phase, to be honest (though I'm not saying that is necessarily bad either, but paired with other things can be a sign for concern). HAVING S.A. is a healthy sign though, and she will out grow it.
Don't let these people bully you or make you doubt yourself or feel bad. If they try to keep you away from your daughter, you can just say, "I'm her mother. Not you. You raised your kids as you saw fit and I will raise mine as I see fit. End of story." Don't be afraid to be firm! If they don't like it, TOO BAD. What are they going to do, physically restrain you from taking her? If need be, don't bring her there anymore, and say you don't think it's healthy to bring her around people who undermine her parenting, and until they can agree to back off you won't be bringing her for visits.
Anyway, again, YES it's normal. Yes it's OK. NO she's not too attached; in fact, this has nothing to do with attachment! Even non-AP babies act this way. It's A STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT and you are right for not trying to rush it. Forcing it actually delays the maturation process.
*hugs* So sorry you have to deal with judgmental when you are being such a fantastic mother. Please ignore them and continue to trust your baby and your heart. You may be judged now, but in the end, they will see the benefits of your parenting (even if they never admit it). And what is more important is that you do what is right for your daughter, anyway, even if no one ever realizes or appreciates it other than her.
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