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to think I do not have a "difficult"; baby?

(35 Posts)
Bonobosown Fri 10-Jun-16 13:49:13

Comment from MIL the other day because DS (12 weeks) gets quite easily overstimulated and when this happens need to be swaddled and put down for a nap. Cue "he's a really difficult baby"

He isn't! He does cry but rarely inconsolably and when he has fits of the grumps it's usually very obvious what the issue is and easily rectified.

AIBU to dislike the term "difficult" baby? Seems designed to make mums feel like crap. And "easy" baby for that matter. I'm not sure even the most angelic baby could be described as "easy" per se.

BendydickCuminsnatch Fri 10-Jun-16 13:51:27

YANBU! MIL sounds like a right misery guts. Ignore!

AlwaysDancing1234 Fri 10-Jun-16 13:53:33

Ignore ignore ignore!! I used to get comments like that from MIL - "she's high maintenance" or "demanding" in reference to DD - no, she's just a tiny baby FFS!

bobbinpop Fri 10-Jun-16 13:53:34

I don't think your baby sounds difficult either. I have twins, one of whom was (and still is..) very 'difficult.' I like the term as it expresses the difficulty faced by me in caring for her. It really was (and is) tough.

I have seen some of my friends realise that they have had 'easy' babies after having their second smile

situatedknowledge Fri 10-Jun-16 13:54:26

They do come away with some utter rubbish. YANBU! chocolate

Bonobosown Fri 10-Jun-16 14:02:08

He has been lying happily under his play gym for the past 30 minutes! Very difficult hmm

I think she was just offended he didn't want to be constantly held by her.

Paperkins Fri 10-Jun-16 14:03:14

Like bobbinpop, I have one of those 'difficult' ones. Now though, years later we recognise it and give ourselves a break as we know that it does take extra effort from us and can be v tough.

When he was a baby, I didn't know what to look for, so got annoyed with comments about him from playgroup parents, etc. but now realised that actually I didn't know any better with my first. Now though, I can spot an 'easy' baby a mile off. They're the ones with parents who look like they've actually had a decent night's sleep and the baby is often fast asleep in the middle of a busy, noisy, well lit place. I have stopped giving them dagger stares out of envy though grin grin I also know I have a 'difficult' one as family member who has never looked after mine once, continually tells me how 'easy' another child in the family is that they look after allllllll the be fair though, he does run me ragged. Bloody amazing and interesting kid though you just have to have the energy to keep up.

All babies are not the same. MIL might actually know if this is your first and she's had kids (guessing at least one!) and may have known many through her life. You might be better off agreeing and using it as a good reason to enlist her in some babysitting just in case she does have a point!

Bonobosown Fri 10-Jun-16 14:06:04

My mum's had four and reckons he's pretty content. MIL has just had the one.

He does wake every 3 hours or so but is chilled out about it - just feeds and goes back to sleep immediately.

MangosteenSoda Fri 10-Jun-16 14:08:02

It's not a criticism of you or him. Objectively, some babies are more difficult than others and it's harder to comfort/placate them. Maybe she thinks he's harder than her babies were, although it's a bit of a jump when based on little evidence which I agree is irritating. Hopefully it wasn't said maliciously.

PolaroidsFromTheBeyond Fri 10-Jun-16 14:09:42

Just ignore her.

I did have a difficult baby BTW and freely called her that (reflux, couldn't be put down, cried a lot). BUT, it really annoyed me when my MIL took it upon herself to describe her that way as I felt she was somehow criticising my my parenting and my baby. She probs wasn't at all in retrospect but I remember it giving me the rage at the time.

Bonobosown Fri 10-Jun-16 14:10:52

It was sad with cats bum face and she's since gone round telling other members of DH family he's very discontented!!

3amClub Fri 10-Jun-16 14:16:25

Your MIL seems a bit wounded that her touch can't soothe DS. Not sure why but older people seem to get a buzz about getting a baby to sleep, even so far as taking ds off me because 'they can do it quicker' even though I know he's twisty because he's hungry. I jus let them crack on & smile knowingly when they grumpily hand him back grin they probably call him difficult behind my back!

Paintedhandprints Fri 10-Jun-16 14:16:47

My first ds is what you might describe as a 'highly needy' baby. Or 'difficult'. He bf every 1-2hrs. Barely slept, even at night. Didn't like the playgym, etc. Second ds is a dream, literally, 9wks old and has dropped to 1-2 feeds in the night. I sometimes have to wake him for a feed after 4hrs! If I didnt have ds1 keeping me awake at night it would be a breeze!
Your baby sounds 'easy'. Mil is annoyed she can't play with him thats all.

Paperkins Fri 10-Jun-16 14:17:28

In which case, may she's feeling emotional about something (son's first child, wanting to be more involved, hates babies, grin) ask her some advice (you don't have to follow it) to get her on side as she sounds like good babysitting material if only grandchild.

It's also normal to feel like every comment is a criticism, as Polaroid's said. It makes it harder I think when bombarded with media telling us we're doing it all wrong, doubting ourselves and lack of sleep. Next time she says it, tell her 'yes, he is a bit, can you look after him while I have a bath as I could do with a break?' grin

glueandstick Fri 10-Jun-16 15:55:33

Apparently we have an 'easy' baby (sleeps 8 hours straight at 3 months, is generally content and good fun. Has moments of being the devil incarnate and doesn't like to go to bed before 10ish) and because of that I shouldn't have PND or be exhausted.

UmbongoUnchained Fri 10-Jun-16 15:59:23

All babies are difficult to me because I had the worlds easiest baby. It well and truly put me off having anymore.

Bonobosown Fri 10-Jun-16 16:01:34

glue flowers

That's why I don't like either term.

jusdepamplemousse Fri 10-Jun-16 16:01:49

I think it just is hard to hear other people passing comment on your baby...if they say he or she is easy, you feel like 'no she bloody isn't, you TRY it, it's hard work' and if they say he or she is difficult you feel like they are gravely insulting your child's personality. At least that's how I feel grin.

It would probably be best if people had the sense to stick to asking the parent how their baby is, rather than telling them.

Xmasbaby11 Fri 10-Jun-16 16:07:04

There are easy and demanding babies. But it totally depends on your perspective. My friend's baby seemed demanding to me as he was very sicky and fed every couple of hours, terrible napper. But he was so good natured and happy for anyone to look after him so in that way - easy.

Bonobosown Fri 10-Jun-16 16:08:42

Xmas you're right, I suppose it depends what you find hard.

I don't find the fact he wakes up every couple of hours that bad tbh. He's quite happy during the day and I prefer that to one who sleeps through but cries all day, if I have to choose!

But for some the sleep deprivation is unbearable.

WorraLiberty Fri 10-Jun-16 16:15:14

AIBU to dislike the term "difficult" baby? Seems designed to make mums feel like crap. And "easy" baby for that matter. I'm not sure even the most angelic baby could be described as "easy" per se.

I completely disagree. In fact the term 'difficult baby', seems (to me) to be designed to make the parents feel better. In other words, no matter how hard they try, they have a difficult baby to placate.

My first was an extremely difficult baby, and I actually took some comfort from midwives/my parents/inlaws recognising that. It made feel they understood that it wasnt down to anything I was doing wrong, if that makes sense?

DC 2 and 3 were in every sense "easy babies", and much easier to enjoy.

TurtleEclipseofTheHeart Fri 10-Jun-16 16:22:24

I feel a bit sensitive when people comment on DS being clingy or a mama's boy etc even though I say he is difficult myself. He is lovely and brilliant fun but he tends to cry as soon as he is held by anyone other than DP or me, and when he is back with us he laughs because he got what he wanted! Whatever the intention, it always feels like people are insinuating that you have "made" your baby difficult, clingy, or whatever they are saying, and that you should have done something differently. In my case, I think there has been judgment of me breastfeeding; some relatives think that if he was bottlefed he would be happier to be passed round for cuddles, which would also then mean they could babysit him. It makes me feel like I've mollycoddled him or something but I think it is more about other people's feelings towards DS, and breastfeeding, rather than an actual criticism of me, if that makes sense?

Cel982 Fri 10-Jun-16 18:45:21

It's rude. She shouldn't be making any comment on your baby's temperament or how contented he is. It's purely to make herself feel better, ignore to the max.

fatandold Fri 10-Jun-16 18:52:05

Maybe she comes from a generation that largely ignored babies except for strict four hourly feeds by the clock, put in pram in garden "for the fresh air", let them cry a lot "because it's good for them". hmm ??

Wizzles Fri 10-Jun-16 20:10:25

I also have a "difficult" baby who wants entertainment and interaction most of the time she is awake.

I went to baby class today and all the other babies happily lay there staring at the ceiling quietly for an hour & a half, while I was permanently having to wave toys in DD's face or stand up with her to jig her around. It's exhausting, and I feel embarrassed like I must be doing something wrong.

I feel like I have to have some reason why she's being "difficult" - she's teething, it's the heat, she had her jabs yesterday etc - but ultimately she's just a noisy baby & I'm doing my best.

My MIL's best friend's daughter had a baby a month before me who is pretty much the opposite of mine: sleeps through, rarely cries, happily left to just lie on a blanket with no entertainment for ages. Every time MIL mentions this baby I want to cry & just feel like I'm crap.

I'm sure your MIL isn't being intentionally nasty, but I understand your feelings at what she's saying. You know your DS better than anyone and if you don't like other people's opinions of him then tell them to politely bugger off.

<<trying very hard to take this advice myself>>

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