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Trouble attaching to other People

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  • Trouble attaching to other People

    My dd is 2 1/2 months old and use to love being passed around, & would often sleep through it. Now as she's gotten older she'll only allow to be passed around for a little bit before she starts to carry on and want only me. She won't even allow her father to hold her for more than 15 min. If we've had a busy day (and lot of people holding her) nobody can hold her without her starting to cry, for about 24 hrs. I make sure to take her regularly and encourage her to nap so she doesn't become over tired. when i say she's upset it's red faced, screaming at the top of her lungs. She'll only do that with me if she's gassy. how do i encourage her that she's safe with others?? and help her spend longer periods with her dad?

  • #2
    she's a little young yet, but she may be experiencing "stranger anxiety". it's a normal, developmental stage. respecting her fears is the best way to help her. if she wants you, then be there for her. w/dad, can you hold her together? nurse next to him while he talks to her? when she's alert and happy, both of you playing w/her and talking to eachother? she will take your cues that this is a safe person and you trust him.


    • #3
      The first thing I'd say is what a smart baby, she knows what feels best for her and will only accept the best - thats YOU. And what an understanding mom you are for recognizing her needs and respecting that.

      All 4 of my children have gone through wanting ONLY me at different stages in their life. My youngest has always been a little bit more reserved of people than her oldest siblings, and I did my best to accept that and realize if I kept meeting her need for safety, security and trust (without allowing others to push themselves upon her) she would eventually warm up on her own terms. That didn't always mean she would run up to grandma with her arms outstretched or go into grandpa's arms when he wanted a kiss, but interact from the safety of my arms (or now dadd's arms also) with them. I really believe that the baby has an intense need for mama and vice versa (as much as their need for food) in the first year of life. In other cultures mothers and babies are referred to as the mamatoto (translation mama/baby). As one.

      The other thing I hear in your post is a need for a break for yourself. Sometimes you need some down time from holding and caring for your child so you would like her to be comfortable with daddy. Some of the things we have done is involving daddy in everything we do; so if we go for a walk, we offer daddys chest (in a baby carrier) first, we read a book together with daddy's voice narrating it, we take a bath, with daddy helping out. So we involve daddy in all our activities when he is home so she can interact with him while still feeling close (physically too) to me. When she would fall asleep we would transfer her over t him in the baby carrier , they'd go for a walk, and I would get a few minutes here and there.

      This time is so intense, those first 4 months. YOu can feel confident that she will attach to other people because you are giving her the gift of trust by respecting her attachment for you!


      • #4
        I agree with Marianne... babies like the safety of whom they need most, and know best. I don't like strangers, and prefer only to be around my closest family... so why would/should we expect an infant to do any better?

        Give the child time. Give yourself time; slow down and enjoy this very short period, though it can be trying and exhausting...

        There is a very interesting piece in the back of Mothering Magazine; a father's look at mothering and his job of fathering... it might give you and your DH some perspective and ideas.


        • #5
          Babies form their primary attachment bond first - and it sounds like your baby has a strong attachment to you. This is healthy. Lots of babies don't like to be "passed around" - every baby has a different tolerance. Right now, your baby sees herself as "part of" you. She depends on you completely for food, warmth, and safety. As she grows she will begin to form secondary attachments, likely to her father first, but this can take time. Try not to push, or she will become insecure and cling more.

          My daughter was (and is) sensitive to new people. Remember, even though they are "family", they are complete strangers to her. It made those infant months challenging, but it was worth it! Hang in there.