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Doing Enough?

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  • Doing Enough?

    Hi! My LO is now five weeks. She has VERY certain ideas what she likes and doesnt. She is very different to DS (23 months) when he was so little and is fitting in so well.

    I have a problem though. We have been AP since DS was born and love the person that he is turning into, we are happy with all of the choices we have made. DS loved being worn, co-sleeping etc.

    DD however is very independent and easily overstimulated. She hates being worn (we have tried slings, mei-tais and wraps all in various configurations). Its the confinement, she also doesnt like being swaddled, she screams as though she is being murdered while straining against the wrap etc. She also has to be starfished when she sleeps so its making cosleeping difficult as she does not like anything touching her.

    So, the problem is that with a toddler to also look after I feel like DD is not getting all the 'touch time' that she should be getting. Its simply impossible to do everything that needs doing while holding her in one arm. I dont let her cry or course and pick her up the moment she needs it.... but she is very happy to just stay in her hammock all day (not that she does, but you know what I mean). In the evenings when everything is done she sits in my arms while I watch TV/read and is happy - as long as she isnt being held too close. I just feel like she gets so little of me, but it seems to be what she prefers. Now of course when she is awake we talk with eachother and she is all happy and smiley.... but she cannot handle that for too long and starts crying needing somewhere quiet to unwind. She is just so different to DS who was inconsolable unless he was being held close and snug and who loved sound and light and excitement.

    If we were wanting to do conventional parenting she would be a dream... but I cannot help but feel like I am neglecting her. But she likes being hands off. What am I supposed to do when that seems to be what she wants? Isnt making her cry in arms when she would be happier out just as bad as letting her cry to be with you?

    I'm lost.

  • #2
    This is really interesting, and I am interested to see what others have to say. It sounds like it is simply the confinement that bothers her, so you could still utilize other opportunities for touch.

    I would try to work in other touch activities, such as infant massage and baths. Both of these can include your son. I currently have a 12 week-old and a 3 year old. The three of us get in the bath together and my toddler helps wash the baby. We do massage during most play sessions. I start with the feet and sing a little song while taking turns: "It's time for a toddler foot massage . . . now it's time for a baby foot massage." I don't actually know any massage techniques - I'm just caressing each of them, and they love it.

    Once she is a bit older, or perhaps even now, lap games can be a fun way to give her touch during play. I include my toddler in these, too, taking turns. My toddler loves this one:

    While rocking baby/child from side to side

    Trot trot to London
    Trot trot to Dover
    While tipping chid/baby to side
    Watch out [child's name], you might fall over!

    While rocking again

    Trot trot to Boston
    Trot trot to Lynn
    Hold child/baby securely and open your knees to gently drop her a bit
    Watch out [child's name], you might fall in!

    Good luck!



    • #3
      It is true that some babies and children are less touch oriented then others. Listening to that is a part of being sensitive to your childs needs. A majority of babies do like to be touched and held more then most mainstream parenting allows and why AP encourages indulgence in this need. You certainly don't need to push touch on your daughter. She seems like she is doing a good job communicating what she wants. She may be the kind of kid that grows out of that in a few months or is always avoiding touch. Always offer the cuddles but if she is not into them she at least knows she is cuddly to you!