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Feel that I've not bonded...

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  • Feel that I've not bonded...

    Hello, I'm new here and would like to ask for some advice and thoughts about my situation.

    I have an eight month old son and set out with the best of intentions. I wanted to breastfeed, babywear, and so on - it just made so much sense! However, after a caesarean section and poor treatment at the hospital my son wouldn't latch on at all and developed 'breast aversion'. The poor little mite would scream when I tried to feed him, and although I did try to find help, support in this area is very poor. I felt so rejected, so devastated, and I still that to this day. I exclusively expressed until my husband went back to work, but after that we moved to formula.

    I think I felt really low, but I felt that I didn't know what this little baby wanted of me. He would cry, and we didn't know what to do! Now we know it was tiredness, but in those early days we would walk him around for hours, trying to keep him from fussing. It taught him to fight sleep, which made it all the worse! The fussing and crying has made it so hard to care for him. He seems angry all the time. He won't be comforted by being cuddled, and only wants us to hold him if he's ill. It's our fault - we've taught him that that's not really what Mummy and Daddy are for (or that's how I feel). He now expects us to be constantly entertaining him while he's awake - and by that I mean he's not happy to be in the sling as we're going about - he wants to be directly interacted with and isn't happy with anything else.

    I can't interpret his cries even now, and I feel like I don't know my baby. As a result, people's well meaning advice has really gotten to me, and I feel as though I don't know what's right or wrong any more. Over the past months I have shouted at him in frustration at it all, and now I feel as though he's not bonded with me and doesn't trust me to give him consistent love and care.

    What can I do?

  • #2
    That’s tough. It's hard being a new parent in an unsupportive environment. You seem like you feel mothering should be a certain way and your experience is not anything like the way you've been told. You might have some postpartum depression going on or feelings of grief over your birth and nursing experience. Your feelings are legitimate and worth paying attention too.
    This is the e-mail of ICAN of Lichfeild ican.uk.lichfield@googlemail.com
    ICAN is a group that is involved with reducing unnecessary c-sections and helping those who have them recover physically and emotionally.
    It seems the UK calls it postnatal depression! Here is a link – Royal College of Psychologists.
    Not everyone is naturally baby sensitive. Feeling like you failed or am failing as a mother is not a great path for your inner dialogue to take. Forgive yourself for the last 8 month, give yourself some love and approach the rest of your mothering experience from a better perspective. A perspective of “I am doing my best, I am asking for help from those I trust when I need it and I love my child and my child loves me!”

    We are here for you! UK API group-http://www.attachmentparenting.org/groups/webuk.php
    Try to find those supportive people out there!

    Your child might fit the description of a high needs baby.....Sometimes being a parent to one can be extra draining, read thease links!
    http://www.askdrsears.com/html/5/T050400.asp
    http://attachmentparentingmommy.blog...igh-needs.html
    http://www.askdrsears.com/html/5/t050100.asp
    Last edited by naomifrederickmd; 04-29-2009, 10:17 AM. Reason: Added links

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    • #3
      what you describe about your baby really resonates w/my experience w/my first. he cried ALL.THE.TIME. it took me until he was about 11 months to figure out he was a high-needs baby. i found "Parenting Your High-Need Baby and Fussy Child" by Dr. Sears to be a major breakthrough for my family. i think he may have changed the title to "The Fussy Baby Book".

      i second naomi, give yourself some love, and decide to start fresh--TODAY! it's never too late to re-examine and reconstruct our parenting. you can decide at any point to reconnect w/your child and to start down a different path.

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      • #4
        Hi Both, and thank you for your replies! I am so relieved to hear I'm not on my own with this, and that there's hope if we haven't quite gotten there. I could certainly identify with some of the traits of the high needs baby too...

        What would you suggest could be steps I could take to promote bonding? The little fella isn't too fussed on being held a lot, so I'm trying to take that slowly but surely - when he turns to me I'm there - and I'm starting to notice some small improvements.

        I find keeping him in the sling hard as I'm a little overweight and it can be quite hard, so I sit with him on my lap a lot to play with things. Straight walking is okay though (it's when I'm trying to bend, etc... I find it hardest), so I keep trying to get out with him for walks.

        How would you tackle this if it were you?

        Thanks again.

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        • #5
          Possibly try a mei tai. I am also on the bigger side and found better results with one of those. If you have sewing skills they can be easy to make (with extra long straps) or you can order all sorts of kinds.
          http://www.thebabywearer.com/gallery...=jump&catid=12
          http://www.togetherbe.com/productDes...andMeiTai.aspx

          I was never a fan of the slings myself so maybe try some new ideas if possible.
          Try to get a copy of that Fussy baby book. I am sure it will have ideas on extra bonding.

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          • #6
            I was wondering what type of sling you are using. Is it a ring sling? If so what position are you putting him in? Cradle position or tummy to tummy, hip carry? You might want to try a different position. I second the recommendation for a mei tai. I think they are the most comfortable. It is still hard to bend to pick things up, so I try to squat to pick things up and that ends up being a good workout for the legs! Have you tried a back carry? I don't know how your LO would like, but it makes it so much easier to do things around the house. Make sure your baby is up high on your back and he will be able to look around and see what's going on. Also you could try holding him on your lap or in a carrier and bounce on an exercise ball. My son loves that!

            Do you cosleep or conap?

            Good luck!

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            • #7
              Thanks for your suggestions. I've been using a ring sling as my quick on-and-off sling for in and out of the car, but do have a MT that I bought for when we go walking. I haven't been able to master the high carries, so any tips on how to easily do that would be GREATLY appreciated! The little one isn't too fussed on a lower down back carry as he's far too nosey!

              We don't co-sleep unfortunately as the hubby wasn't very fussed on the idea. I hadn't thought about bouncing on the ball though.

              Thanks!

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              • #8
                Feel that Ive not bonded

                rep is really bad just becuase people who do something stupid cant accept that they deserve bad rep, and they feel the need to bad rep everyone who bad repped them?

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