Feel like my baby hasn't bonded with me(23 Posts)
Hi DS1 is ten months old, he has never reached out for me, wanted cuddles and squirms to get down from my lap to play. I feel so upset that my only child doesn't respond to me how I thought, he has never been clingy, doesn't rest his head on me. He will crawl to me and smile then shoot off again to play. I am so emotional that I am constantly watching other mums with their babies when I'm out, all of whom seem to have little ones who are content to sit/snuggle with mum. I feel like I'm missing out on the baby months because it all seems a constant battle. Anyone else out there feel the same and have what seems like a hyper, independent baby? Or at just turned 10 months is their still hope that he will want his mummy?x
Maybe you could try to make a list of signs that he is attached to you - as you write in your post he is independent, and very active - I'm a child minder and have met many many babies and toddlers, and I know what 'type' you are talking about. He is probably very curious, enjoys exploring, climbing, touching everything, and doesn't seem to care much or be bothered about physical attention. It's probably part of his personality and is not a reflexion on how much he is attached to you. One good way of interacting better with this 'type' of children is to sit down on the floor and 'narrate' what they are doing. Let him lead the game/play and comment on what he does. He will probably bring toys to you and you can play and interact with him in that way. You can be part of his 'world' of games. It does feel silly at the beginning but it does work.
Many adults don't need much physical contact, some are very touchy feely. it's the same for children.
Obviously when I wrote that he is 'attracted to you' I meant it in a mother/child way - wanting to be with you!
Following this with interest, my DS is only 5.5 months but he doesn't seem particularly fussed by me, I could be anyone as far as I can tell. He is a very contented and smiley baby but is quite indiscriminate and doesn't respond to me any differently than anyone he meets. I worry that this is because I couldn't breastfeed him (he was a breast refuser so had my milk but out of a bottle). Everyone thinks I am crazy for thinking this way though!
If this helps at all my DC1 was that cuddly baby you describe. She still is, and she values tacticality but DC2 wasn't. I remember saying when he was a baby I felt like we hadn't bonded and frankly I could have been anyone and not his mother. I looked at other mums and wondered if it was me, or him, or something wrong between us. Daft really! I probably felt this way until he as about 15 months ish.
Well fast forward a few years DC2 is now 5 and we have a great, close relationship and I'm not just anyone, I'm Mum! but he's not a cuddly child at all, just as he wasn't a cuddly baby. Rather he'll sit next to me, and on those few occasions when he spontaneously holds my hand or comes to cuddle me, I cherish it because I know he means it from the bottom of his little heart.
I guess what I'm trying to say is try not to over think it or call into question your bond as I did, as I think you'll over upset yourself. Sounds like he has bonded with you but he's more of an intrepid, independent adventurer type than sit and smile on your knee. Hope this helps!
My DS is the same, and he's incredibly sociable too. It doesn't bother me, I just see it as his personality. He loves to adventure and explore and connect with people. He's curious and charming and fun. He does the same thing, will crawl up and smile and then be off again. I see that as a good sign, its like touching base, you're here, I'm safe to do this. I view that as a sign of secure attachment. He is just independent and all these qualities will serve him well throughout his life. Your DS sounds similar, and its a good thing, honest!
He is secure enough in his connection to you to get out and explore! You have instilled confidence. If he wasn't bonded to you he would be generally insecure and not curious.
I agree that if you're a loving caring mum and your baby is this way it's their personality. "The 5 love languages" if you Google might be an interesting read. Out of our 3 children our middle child has always been super snuggly and cuddly. At 12 she still loves physical affection as her favorite way to receive love. My other two also like to cuddle sometimes but not as much, they prefer you join them in an activity (as suggested by iwantakitchen) or recognition (their points of view, their achievements). It's amazing how distinct our personalities are from birth.
Ds1 was like that. At almost 13 he loves to sit and have a cuddle there is hope. He would never let you cuddle him to sleep or be carried or sit on your knee. I can't think when he changed but certainly not until school age.
Our DS is also ten months and a couple of weeks ago I was also wondering if he would get cuddly - he was always too busy playing and fought to get away if I tried to hold onto him. In the last two weeks he has suddenly become more physically affectionate....so don't worry it may still happen, or as other posters have said, he may prefer other displays of affection. But he obviously feels very secure, or else he wouldn't be off adventuring, so it sounds like you are doing a great job
My son was similar. Now he's very cuddly and showers me with kisses, declaring he loves me. He's 4 soon. They change so much over the years, soon mine will be like my eldest and too cool for any of it. tut
DD was exactly like that until 15 months, at which point she started to 'get' cuddles. Now she's constantly demanding them from me and DH. I can't tell if it's because she spends more time apart from us now I'm back at work or whether it's just an extension of her getting really into language/interaction. It's good for them not to be clingy and distressed anyway. Your cuddles will come!
I have beey you OP.
I swear by this: if you can't co sleep at night, at least try co napping.
Every day, lay down together in bed around nap time and snuggle. Make sure it's when he's ready to nap and if you can, pop a warm bottle of milk in his mouth- or nurse- and stroke his little palm, his nose, just soothe him as he drifts off to sleep. Hold him close during nap time. I truly believe this can make a 'busy' baby more tactile.
Some babies are too busy to cuddle.
DC2 was our terminator. We used to say in the Arnie voice, "No time to love."
She is the most adorable, hugable, affectionate little 5 1/2 year old. And believe me, she just didn't cuddle at all as a baby and a tiny tot. I think co sleeping really makes kids more affectionate.
I tried laying down with ds1. No way was it possible. He'd laugh and jiggle and poke you in the eye and put fingers in my mouth.
OP you have a child that is confident in your love for him and his bond with you. He come back to check you are there and then goes off again.
Dd1 was like this. Ds however is a limpet. I was that mum with ds snuggled in to me, just wishing he'd get down and go play, just for 5 minutes so I could drink a cup of tea.
Thank you for your comments, it's reassuring to hear others have similar babies. It just breaks my heart a bit at times as he's my only child, I can't have more, and he pushes me away. It's helpful to hear that it's not just my son who is like this and there is hope that he may become a cuddler! X
Pam - I don't believe he's pushing you away. Quite the opposite! I think you've been the mother he needs - you've given him the confidence and belief he can explore the world on his own terms but everytime he needs his mum for reassurance, he's checked and your there. Waiting and watching to scoop him up if needed.
He will crawl to me and smile then shoot off again to play.
What you describe here is a classic sign of a secure, happy baby. You are his safe base and that why he checks in with you to make sure he knows where you are and that all is well, before feeling happy to shoot off to explore the big wide world. (I always felt with my dcs that their sole aim in life was to develop independence away from me.)
I could have written your post op 4 years ago. My ds is now 5 I wouldn't describe him even now as a cuddly child EXCEPT with me, he is a total mummy's boy we always have cuddles and kisses in bed in the morning. Mostly he is just far too interested in everything else to have time for cuddles but the few there are to go around are all mine. Hang in there op our boys are worth it.
I too know exactly how you feel. At about 9 months I started to notice my daughter wasn't cuddling me - especially compared to the other cuddly babies in my nct group. It tore me apart and I ended up having counselling for it as I took at as total rejection and that she didn't love me at all. It was horrendous and I have total sympathy for you so please know you aren't alone. She's nearly three now and still isn't very cuddly and it still hurts. However she's so so secure and happy and I know she'll never be a needy clingy girl who gets messed around by a man as she's so in control and knows who she is and what she wants! I'm taking that as a positive out of this as otherwise I'd go mad.
Some kids just aren't cuddly but it doesn't mean they don't love you xx
DS1 & DS3 were both very cuddly babies. DS2 wasn't, he was too busy playing and exploring to want cuddles. I can report that as a teenager and now aged 20 he's the most affectionate of the three of them, and funnily enough the most independent as well.
Op please talk to your health visitor about this. She should be able to reassure you.
Your little boy sounds lovely
As someone else has already said, the grass isn't always greener. DS (5) was a super clingy baby who wanted to be held a lot (but only by me/dh - wouldn't even be held by grandparents) & sobbed through playgroups, refusing to leave my side. At the time I longed to have a baby that was confident, happy and wanted to go off & explore/play, instead of having a limpet stuck to my knee!
My dd (1) on the other hand is generally quite happy to go off & play & I love that she feels confident enough to do so. Its so much nicer to sit back with a cuppa & watch her playing happily than having to constantly try & encourage
coax/peelher off. Like others have said, its a sign of a good attachment, so you should be proud of yourself!
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