View Full Version : What do I do with a spoiled infant?
09-14-2010, 02:45 AM
Okay, so I've been reading all about how infants can't be spoiled or manipulative, but I beg to differ. If I am in the room, no one else can hold my 7 1/2 month old or she screams and reaches out to me. She isn't hungry, wet, or gassy. She isn't colicky. I can't even put my son to bed in peace. The minute I give her to my husband, she starts screaming - an ear piercing scream - and watches the stairs until I come downstairs. The second he hands her to me, she stops. We have tried the cry-it-out method and the no-you're-staying-with-Daddy method, but it doesn't work. I love to hold her, and I mostly enjoy it, but I am worried. For one thing, I am exhausted. I work all day, come home and have a 4-year-old who has told me that he is sad because I spend so much time with her, I feel guilty about that, and I can't do anything! I've seen the advice about using a sling, but that doesn't always work either. My parents have told me I need to nip it in the bud, I get criticism from them and my husband, and I'm emotionally spent. Everything I read says "you can't spoil an infant," "enjoy it while she wants to be close," etc. Even the few articles that say it's possible to spoil her don't ever say what to do. I love my munchkin, and I love some snuggle time each day, but my house is a mess, I'm tired, and I feel so bad for my son (who gets very little snuggle time). I sure hope someone can help me.
09-14-2010, 11:43 AM
Wow, I'm in the same boat! Even as I'm typing, my 2 month-old daughter has been fed, changed, cuddled and played with for the last hour and a half! I put her down, to go to the bathroom and she screams like something is stabbing her in the back! Please someone help!!! I know she can't be spoiled- "What does that mean anyway?" was one question I got from someone who doesn't know what its like to see your infant sobbing at the top of their lungs until the point where she's choking! My husband just lets her cry, her pediatrician recommended that I do the same, but periodically checking in and letting her see me and hear my voice, so far, that hasn't worked. Music, walks, and the vacuum cleaner has worked, but very briefly. I tried the swing, the vibrating bouncer seat and nothing works except for someones arms.... I'm exhausted and feeling guilty because my seven-year old daughter has made it clear that she wants my time as well. Please any suggestions at this point are welcomed.
09-14-2010, 02:45 PM
Hmmm, well how do you tell an infant that you got things to do or that you need me time aswell? Or that you have to give some mommy time to his/her sibling? You can't! My dd is 14 months and is the exact same way. For the first year of her life I have been her constant caregiver and she totally trust me, I can't tell her, "ok, now sweetie your not an infant so you need to start being a big girl." She dosen't understand that, just like your babies. The method you guys have describe do work, it just takes time... babies have to learn that they can trust your gonna come back and not leave them forever. I've been letting my dd cry it out for weeks now. Everyday I leave her in her play pen a little longer. I leave the room, come back...leave the room, come back...then I sit on the couch in plain view and she cries bloody murder but I don't pick her up. I talk to her and let her know I am here then just ignore her while she cries, eventually she calms down abit. I give her toys, a bottle, juice in a cup, snacks anything that will keep her busy and I think she IS getting it, but it's a work in progess. So, I have to keep at it, some days I do get frustrated and wanna smack her butt, but I know by doing that I'm not helping her but hurting her so I just continue with my mission to break this from her, eventually I KNOW that day will come.
It is frustrating and time consuming but it's something that is learned for them to be more independant. But remember they are babies they will outgrow it eventually nothing can take the place of a mommas loving arms, not a swing, bouncy seat, or anything else. Babies know what they want and they want momma. Your hubbies and older kids need to understand that the babies needs are real too, they get bored, cranky or just wanna be in "mix" with the family. It's no ones fault and your babies are not spoiled they are doing what babies do, that is want love and attention.
When my two older kids where much younger what I use to do was wait till baby falls asleep then I would tend to my older child. When baby woke up then of course I had to include him. My older child would get upset but I had to explain that her the baby was much younger and he needed me more because he couldn't do things like she could because she was a "big kid" (she was 4 years old) and her brother was a "lil baby boo" or "a bottle baby", (thats what I called infants and toddlers in diapers and on the bottle... lol) she didn't like it too much but she understood that when brother cried momma had to stop and get the baby but I always came back to her and what we where doing together whether playing, eating or just spending momma and me time. Eventually, she got over it and my son was welcomed in whatever we had going on.
09-14-2010, 02:55 PM
ok ladies it is alot easier said than done, my daughter went thru a few tough phases like this too, so until you are able to let go for 30 mins the baby will not change this habit. if the hubbies are ok with the baby crying then kiss them, tell them you love them and you will be back shortly and walk away. go in the other room and out laundry away, out of their sight. go into another room and shut the door and spend 30 mins or quality time with the older siblings, again out of sight and out of ear shot....as much as possible. then after 30 mins go back say hi mommys back spend 10 mins with him/ her and then repeat the other steps. Kiss, be back soon, go into other room. they are going thru separation anxiety possibly, or just a phase where they prefer one person over anyone else. this will be just 1 phase of many where this will happen. as long as you return every so often so they see you will always come back they will be fine, but the hard part is getting hubby, or person who will be with the baby for those 30 min alotments on board with a screming child every 30 mins or so. this will need to be repeated a few times, possibly over a few days or weeks, but it should really help. now and also in the future when the next phase of i have to have this person at all times rears its adorable but exhausting head again. good luck ladies, and remember they will be fine with whoever your choosing to help you with this. oh and BTW .....tell all the people who have criticism but nothing to offer in regards to helping to keep their comments to themselves. nothing worse than others making you feel like a bad mom when your doing your best.....which is all any of us can do.
09-14-2010, 02:57 PM
....... btw no method is perfect you just have to use what works best for your families.... and as for the comments or remarks you get from various family member... ignore them...
09-14-2010, 09:52 PM
Here is a thought for the 7 mo old parent (original poster). If this is a fairly new thing it might be the onset of stranger anxiety. Here are my thoughts, I hope they help. When your husband and son are home with you, have them do most of the interacting with your baby (you can hold her, but interact minimally). As she gets more and more comfortable with dad and brother she can move further and further from you. Might take a while - and may mean you have to drop doing some of the stuff around the house, but in the meantime, you will hopefully enjoy the family time.
To the 2 mo old parent. Don't know. Could it be colic? She's too young for stranger anxiety. Hopefully by meeting her needs the best you can and letting her cry as little as possible will have her growing out of it sooner than later.
To the 14 mo old parent (and all parents really) here is a website I stumbled upon around my son's first birthday. I really like the philosophy - although I don't fully use it, just keep it in the back of my mind and do what works for us. But the idea is that your baby/child can have a long attention span for independent play. Which would free you up to just watch or get some work done. Magda Gerber is the founder of the philosophy, here is the site http://www.rie.org/
I hope this helps some - good luck to everyone
09-15-2010, 05:26 AM
I'm not sure what to advise - I think babies just need their moms sometimes - but then I think I spoil my baby as well!
09-15-2010, 06:54 AM
Maybe your baby is just passing through this stage just let him be for awhile it will pass.. try to talk to him that mommy does not like him screaming that way..
09-15-2010, 02:17 PM
You can't spoil an infant before he or she is 6 months old.
09-22-2010, 03:05 PM
My friend is a registered day care provider and over the years has had several infants that want held all the time. Heres her technique and it almost always works. Lay the baby in a beanbag on the floor. The beanbag conforms around them and makes them feel secure. Then sit on the floor right beside them talking to them and rubbing their hand or leg. You're there with them but not actually holding them. Once they start enjoying this, stop touching them but continue to talk to them. After their parents have seen how well this works, many of them have went out and bought a beanbag to have at their home. In the cases here, i would suggest to have dad and/or brother sit with you. Maybe have them talk to the infant while you rub their leg and see how this works. Hopefully this will work for someone.
Just remember that we are all wonderful mothers doing the best we can. I believe that 90% of being a mother is common sense/gut instinct. Go with your instinct, do what you think is best for your baby and everything will work out.
11-21-2010, 09:30 PM
Please do not think they are spoiled... they are babies and need their mommies. Spoiled implies years of negative parenting and it sounds like you are all mommies trying your best and overwhelmed. I am a sling mommy and used a sling all the time that would allow me to snuggle my baby and help my older one. Babies do go through times when they really just need/want mommy and I was not a mom who could let her kids cry for no reason.
If you need to snuggle with baby just enjoy the time and have dad do the dishes or just dont worry about them. Let the older one snuggle with you two and explain how important it is for you all to have together time when they are young. If you are really at your wits end give baby to dad and have him give baby a bath or something unique while you leave completely so that baby doesn't hear you and you don't hear baby. Try to really relax then. You said you work all day so the baby is probably really missing you and wants mommy time when you are home. I coslept which I think really helped us through the stranger anxiety and high needs periods. These are just my ideas. Remember we all went through something similar and they do eventually grow up. My daughter would not let my mother near her for 9 months without banshee screaming. Its funny now but my mother was really upset about it and was hard on me because mom was my help with the babies.
12-01-2010, 10:27 AM
Take your four-year old out of the house with you for a date. Leave your husband with the baby. It may be hell for him to have a screaming baby but if you make this a weekly habit and leave maybe during nap time or something your lil one will adjust. She's still little but old enough that you can just let her cry for a while like someone else said try and distract as much as possible, hang a mobile or a mirror. We have this little floor mat that has a hanging mobile with toys my daughter loved it.
Tough it out! I know it sucks but you can do it! The easiest way to spend time with you oldest though is to leave with him, you won't have to worry about getting distracted by your baby.
12-31-2010, 11:24 AM
I don't know if babies can be "spoiled" persay, but they can get used to something very quickly and expect it all the time. Every Sunday at church, I swaddle and rock my 7 1/2 month old to sleep since there's no where to lay him down and every week it takes several days for him to fall asleep in his crib without screaming for a while first because he got used to me rocking him that fast.
I wish I knew what to tell you to stop your daughter's behavior, but every child is so different, it's hard to tell what will work with one and I'm not in your shoes. I've heard of some people setting their child on the floor to play and slowly moving further away from them while still talking to and reassuring them until they're in a separate room. You could try that, but it will take a while for it to start working.
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