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Feeling sad - baby not cuddly

(33 Posts)
can6342 Fri 22-Mar-13 12:31:15

My ds is 4 months and cries/whinges a lot. He has never been cuddly and gets upset if he's not held in exactly the right position. He doesn't snuggle into me ever. He gives me lots of smiles too but I have to work for it, IYSWIM?
He's my first child but he seems so different to everyone else's chilled-out babies.
I had just accepted that's the way he is.
However whenever my dad and PIL come to see him, they make comments about his temperament and compare him to other, 'better behaved' babies and this really hurts. Like I've done something wrong.
The other day I was holding DS so he could fall asleep on my lap, and he was crying/wriggling as he always does just before falling asleep. My MIL said "DS - Are you rejecting your mother?"
I feel so silly but I can't get these words out of my head, and think of it every time he cries... Which is a lot!
I'm normally thick-skinned about stupid comments but MIL has really touched a nerve. Now when he cries, I often end up crying too.
Does anyone else have a baby like this? Am I doing something wrong? He naps/sleeps fairly well so I know he's not overtired. I feel like such a crap mum sad

purpleroses Sun 24-Mar-13 19:39:49

My DS was very like that - on an absolute mission to be moving from the day he was born and only cuddly when sick. Once he was mobile though he was a delight, really easy going and happy baby/toddler who could entertain himself for hours. Still not cuddly and never has been, but great fun to be around.

whinny and wriggling around could be colic maybe? 4 months is a common age for it.

exoticfruits Sun 24-Mar-13 19:31:39

Touchy feely people always think that it is the way to be and that you are repressed in some way if you are not. Some people-even children are just not and they are still emotionally mature people.

brettgirl2 Sun 24-Mar-13 19:29:04

Ignore the comparisons. Dd 1 was a 'lively' baby to say the least...... Dd 2 was easy, it's nothing you've done, but nature. I can't remember when she got cuddly instead of squirming.

Thankfully my mil was more tactful. I do remember her picking her up from where she was happily playing for a cuddle and her screaming grin

littlemissy1234 Sun 24-Mar-13 09:14:26

My DD was very uncuddly as a baby. Would much rather be put down to kick around than held. This meant she crawled early and walked early, and has always been very independent. But she now is a very cuddly toddler and lavishes me with kisses and love you! Your MIL was not very helpful, all babies are different.

2BoysAndNoMore Sat 23-Mar-13 20:24:27

Pleased you feel a bit better. I lost count of the number of times people making stupid comments like your MIL's seriously hurt and made me doubt myself furst time round. With DS2 I just don't take anything people say to heart. I know he won't be a baby forever. I know he will get better, however hard he seems right now. Your hard work, uncuddley baby will turn into a happy, sociable, loving child and you will get the last laugh. For what it's worth, all those people I envied with their angel babies had a hell of a tough time through the toddler years with tantrums, screaming, biting, smacking, toddlers running off etc, I could sit back and breathe a sigh of relief as he just was so so easy compared to the baby he was! I get so many compliments from strangers, teachers, friends etc now on DS1's behaviour and part of me does feel a little smug but I earned it in that first year and half!

can6342 Sat 23-Mar-13 20:00:45

Thank you all so much. Do you know, I feel so much better just having got it off my chest. I'm normally quite thick-skinned and don't take things to heart, it was a throwaway silly comment.
2BoysAndNoMore wow, you've described my boy to a tee.. He has to be held upright on my shoulder, we have to be walking round etc..And he fights every single sleep, whether in his cot, or on my lap. Fortunately he drops off ok after he's done his crying.
Its so great to hear I'm not the only one. Thank you everyone, you've made me feel so much better smile

2BoysAndNoMore Sat 23-Mar-13 17:02:51

Ohhh I just want to come give you a cuddle myself! Your baby IS NOT rejecting you and that was stupid and insensitive thing that she probably said just to make conversation or just without even thinking. Please don't panic or think you're doing anything wrong.

If it's any consolation BOTH of our boys have been exactly as you describe. My DS1 was such such hard work, he cried whenever I sat down and tried to cuddle him. He just was not cuddley. He wanted to be held in exactly the right postion on my shoulder while I walked about so he was able to see everything. He needed to be in motion constantly. I thought he hated me. I thought there was something medically wrong so we took him to the doctors to find out why he cried so much and seemed to unsettled compared to all the happy babies I saw. We tried reflux medication, dairy free diet, cranial osteopathy. I posted on here endlessly (under another name) trying to get answers but in the end there were no answers. He was just sensitive and not into people being in his space. I too at one point convinced myself he was autistic or had some kind of personality disorder because he hated people he didn't know very well talking to him so anyone who go too close or in his space made him cry. He cried pretty much constantly. He fought every nap and writhed and screamed in my arms til I wrestled him to sleep. It was so hard.

The good news is he did grow out of it. At this age I think some babies just don't like to be restricted. They don't see the need in cuddles, don't realise it shows affection so sort of have to 'learn' how to express love as they get older. He's 5 now and seriously the most lovely, loving, chatty, amazing little boy.

DS2 is 15 months and again has been such hard work. Cried truck loads (still whinged for Britain) but is only just really getting into cuddles because he understands the concept a bit more. He's never been one of those babies that an just be scooped up and sit happily on your knee. He likes to be off exploring and playing. Again he only likes to be held if I stand up and walk with him which is bloody exhausting but he's getting better all the time. He also fought naps and screamed when I held him but wouldn't go down in his cot either. You'll get through it. Babies like this are hard work but in my experience grow up to be very special children. My DS1 was just very sensitive and aware. He still is but obviously as he's got older it is now an amazing positive trait, as a baby it was just bloody draining!

Lifeisontheup Sat 23-Mar-13 14:27:15

My DD never fell asleep on my lap unless she was really poorly. Co-sleeping was her idea of hell, she wanted her own cot and her own space.
She was an independent toddler and was never a problem leaving at party's.
She's now 21 and happy and affectionate.
For what it's worth my youngest was the most cuddly of my children as a baby and he has ASD.

Pinkflipflop Sat 23-Mar-13 14:24:08

I would definitely call my MIL on it if she made a comment like that! Rude, nasty, thoughtless and absolutely not the thing you should say to a new and first time mum!

My Ds is 7 weeks and he is good most of the time but can get very grizzly (we are still working out what each cry means etc) so if someone made a comment like this I would be telling the to sod off!

exoticfruits Sat 23-Mar-13 14:22:57

*The other day I was holding DS so he could fall asleep on my lap, and he was crying/wriggling as he always does just before falling asleep. My MIL said "DS - Are you rejecting your mother?"
I feel so silly but I can't get these words out of my head, and think of it every time he cries... Which is a lot!*

This really isn't helpful!! Neither are the other comments about behaviour-he is 4 months old! He doesn't know what 'good' behaviour is-let alone that he should have it! By the time he is 4 yrs he will know what behaviour is expected-and with luck fit in with it.
I would do my standard, smile nod and ignore. If pressed just pass the opinion, in a mild, friendly way, that they are all different and change the subject.

can6342 Sat 23-Mar-13 14:15:57

Ahh, thanks everyone. Its good to know I'm not the only one.
I'm going to look into silent reflux, as he seems to have a lot of the symptoms.

exoticfruits Sat 23-Mar-13 14:07:07

All children are different. People always seem to imagine one size fits all as in 'attachment parenting'-it is fine if your baby suits it but some babies simply want to be put down and have their own space. There is nothing wrong in it-one isn't superior. It all goes to show that instead of using books people should wait until they get to know their own particular baby and respond to the one they have.
He may be cuddly later on, he may not. He is very little and he may well be completely different once he can move around. A friend had a baby that I found difficult to like because she was so miserable-I think she just didn't like being a baby-once she was a toddler she was very smiley.

girliefriend Sat 23-Mar-13 14:06:32

my dd was a bit like this, even now and she is 7yo she likes her own personal space. She will come to me for a cuddle if she is feeling sad or poorly but it is very much on her own terms.

your mil sounds like an unhelpful pita but my guess is its one of those things where you open your mouth before engaging your brain!

With my dd she always slept much better when I started putting her in her cot during the days for naps, she never liked sleeping on me and would just get more wound up!

OddBoots Sat 23-Mar-13 13:58:25

My un-cuddly baby son was a very curious toddler, a chatterbox child and is now a very cuddly teenager. They're all different. You've done nothing wrong. He is not rejecting you.

Ds has just turned one and I can force him into the occasional 30 second cuddle but that's about all. He just likes doing stuff which is ok, its just the way he is. The only time he comes to me is when he falls or bangs into something then wants a cuddle for the few seconds it takes him to realise he hasn't actually hurt himself!

MoelFammau Sat 23-Mar-13 13:34:15


DD wasn't cuddly and suffered badly with silent reflux so never was one to lie contented on her back in the cot, pram, on your lap etc.

She began seeking cuddles and enjoy snuggles when she hit 7-8mo. And she never did the separation anxiety thing which made people really warm to her once over the first 6 months! She's now 22mo and EVERYONE comments about how social and chatty and happy she is.

minipie Fri 22-Mar-13 18:21:39

non cuddly is one thing but if he is whiny/cries a lot and is only comfortable in certain positions, there might possibly be something physical going on. it's a bit woo but you could consider seeing a cranial osteopath (find one via personal recommendation if you can). my dd was a very tense wriggly baby who never seemed comfortable, seeing a CO helped a lot and she's now much much more chilled and relaxed being held.

musickeepsmesane Fri 22-Mar-13 16:56:16

flowers your MIL sounds hard work! Pass judgement! bugger that angry I agree with everyone else. Jeez the thoughtlessness of some people. bit judgementy of me flowers

Mynewmoniker Fri 22-Mar-13 16:55:49

My second was a no cuddles independant. I worried. Turned out to be a sociable, lovable, emotional, caring, independant 30 year old now who two days ago went on an African safari and is now climbing Kilimanjaro as I type. smile

I had no need to worry...a neither do you.

Nagoo Fri 22-Mar-13 16:55:17

Googirl was the same. Your mil was thoughtless, it wasn't a kind thing to say. Googirl fell asleep in my arms two times in the last 2.4 years. I was envy of huggly babies, I know how you feel thanks

You will get the cuddles. When you want him to walk anywhere he will suddenly decide he really needs a cuddle grin

comeonbishbosh Fri 22-Mar-13 16:52:29

And DD2 (8 weeks) also shaping up to be a spectacularly un-cuddly baby! Obviously my 'thing'. But though the crying is tough I remind myself that DD1 turned out alright! Mu take on it is some babies are just not especially contented, but they can turn into v happy little children. Sorry to hear your MIL so judgy pants.

SnazzyFizzle Fri 22-Mar-13 16:50:38

My dd was exactly like that at that age, she has now got cuddly again at 11 months.

Think its just a stage they go through, they are just realising whats around themso want to be constantly looking/moving around.

Try not to take offhand comments to heart, I know they are not nice to hear but just shrug them off. My dm often comes out with belters but I have learned to just ignore them.

comeonbishbosh Fri 22-Mar-13 16:46:23

DD1 v non cuddley and fractious as a baby. It was hard. But once she got to be a toddler she did start to snuggle, and it was all the more precious! She has never neen clingy and Now 3years I think she is the perfect combination of independent and affectionate!

havingamadmoment Fri 22-Mar-13 15:23:05

my children have been various degrees of "cuddly". DC5 is 13 months now and clings like a leech at her age dc1 would barely tolerate being on my lap for longer than 30 seconds. I didnt do anything differently and all of my children grew to be loving, close and "cuddly".I would say this dc1 is an adventurer, she goes off to see the world in her own way and always has done. I think sometimes the excitement of the world gets to even the youngest babies, they are not rejecting you they are just eager to see whats out there.

MumOfTheMoos Fri 22-Mar-13 14:31:42

Ignore them.

My DS has been poorly the last 24 hours and I've had more cuddles in the last 24 hours than all the time since he was a new born (now 11 months).

He likes being carried around but he doesn't lean i,n just finds it more interesting. He's very independent when playing and very rarely notices when I'm not there.

I know he loves e though - lots and even if someone were to say something to me as mean as your Mil, I wouldn't care, cos I'm his mum and I know him best.

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