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my baby doesn't look at me

(23 Posts)
Ipp3 Wed 10-Apr-13 10:23:26

Well, he does some times but not for very long (he is three weeks old). He's no more interested in his Dad either. He is much more interested in looking at pictures on our wall. shadows and chinks of light coming through curtains, which he will stare at for ages. All the baby books said that our faces would be the most interesting thing to our baby, and I have just got yet another email from NHS telling me that my face is the most interesting thing to our baby. But it isn't! To be honest he only looks at us if there is nothing else to look at! I asked our HV and she pulled a 'I'm fudging the answer to this one' face and said not to draw any conclusions till 6 weeks.

He also throws screaming fits and will often stop suddenly mid scream, and fall asleep. It is a bit like he has had a system overload and short circuited. I thought this was normal (he's our first) but when I mentioned it to friends who have had kids they look surprised and say their babies never did this.

Has anyone else experienced this behaviour in a new baby? Is it normal?

BertieBotts Wed 10-Apr-13 10:25:44

They can't really focus at this age and faces aren't always interesting to them. I'm sure contrasts are supposed to be interesting to them at this age.

Also their optimal focus length is about the distance from your shoulder to elbow, so if you're closer or further away you will just be a blur to him.

colditz Wed 10-Apr-13 10:26:57

Was he early at all?

I'm going to fudge too and agree with your Hv, although if I were in your shoes I might ask for a referral to a paed if he's still not focussing on your face in a couple of months.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Wed 10-Apr-13 10:28:44

I have. But in all probability there's nothing for you to fret about and I wonder if what you really need is reassurance rather than anything else?

He's 3 weeks old and probably looking all around him and interested in everything. Everything that catches his eye, light, movement, etc.

Keep watching, noticing and if you continue to have concerns, keep mentioning them and asking questions.

I would advise that you cuddle him loads, stroke him a lot, look at his face, make noises, smile a lot, really make sure you interact a lot with him, even if he seems like he isn't interested.

colditz Wed 10-Apr-13 10:32:56

I agree with Hecate. Touch him to get his attention, stroke his face, cuddle cuddle cuddle (unless he screams to be put down). You may have been told that baby talk is silly and you should talk to babies properly? No, this is untrue, talk to them naturally, with lots of high pitched inflection and gooey noises. It gets their attention. They really like it.... But also, he's really really little and sometimes, they do just pass out in the middle of what they are doing as if they have short circuited. It's funny.

Ipp3 Wed 10-Apr-13 10:38:22

Thanks all, Yes I'm too I am looking for reassurance. I told myself I wouldn't be a neurotic mum but I probably am! I do talk to him a lot and hold him at the right distance, but even when he looks at us he gets quickly distracted by something else which holds his attention for ages. He just seems to find us comparatively boring! I do hold him a lot too, in fact I will have to start sling wearing as by mid afternoon he cries whenever I put him down (though still looks around rather than at me when picked up!) He is very little and new though so I suppose I shouldn't get panicky but instead give it time.

MariefromStMoritz Wed 10-Apr-13 10:42:54

My DD was like this. I was at my wits end. It was so bad that even if myself, DH and DS were looking at her, she would look beyond us at a blank wall. I was convinced she had autism, or something like that. She just refused to look at us. Now, at nearly 7 months old, she looks at us, smiles, laughs... she is completely interactive.

Your baby is absolutely normal.

slightlysoupstained Wed 10-Apr-13 10:45:41

This does sound like my son at that age! Both the being more interested in the corner of the ceiling or the window than my face, and the "wail wail wail snore".

He did get interested in our faces and interacting with us later on. Enjoy cuddling him for now, like you say, give it time he's very new.

Ipp3 Wed 10-Apr-13 10:46:46

Thanks Marie, that is a big relief. I confess that aspergers/autism had crossed my mind, so your post is very reassuring!.

Branleuse Wed 10-Apr-13 10:53:20

I think its way too early to say, but keep trying, and mention it to the HV if it doesnt improve.

i have 2 boys with high functioning autism, and they were both interactive babies

AMumInScotland Wed 10-Apr-13 11:04:11

At that age DS would mostly look over my shoulder, as if he'd just seen something far more interesting just past my ear. I think a lot of small babies like contrasts more than faces, so they look at the edge of your face, or patterns of light and shadow, or the edges of things.

CrazyOldCatLady Wed 10-Apr-13 11:56:59

If he's crying and then conking out suddenly, chances are he's overtired. When my babies were overtired, faces were the one thing they were absolutely guaranteed not to look at because they didn't want to engage at that stage. It worried me till I worked out what was going on.

Actually the crankiness in the afternoon is consistent with him not getting enough naps, which ties in. What's his daytime sleep like?

Ipp3 Wed 10-Apr-13 13:52:34

Thanks all. He sleeps pretty well in the morning. He sleeps in two to three hour stretches at night, tho is awake for one to two hours in between. In afternoon he sleeps if held. He falls asleep at breast a lot.

HobKnob Wed 10-Apr-13 13:55:02

My DD1 was like this too. It was like she would do anything NOT to look at me.

She is now 4 and perfectly normal ok she's a diva but that's normal apparently

SoYo Wed 10-Apr-13 14:01:50

Hi Ipp,

My DD is 6 weeks and has only really started looking at me properly this week, I did notice before now that she wasn't and was wondering about that too because of what all the books/leaflets etc say.

Mine's just starting to like being in her bouncer/chair thing too having previously only been happy when attached to me.

It all changes very quickly!

wigglesrock Wed 10-Apr-13 14:11:46

I don't think any of my children looked any way near me deliberately until 6-8 weeks blush They looked at the dog first, movement caught their eye, like cot mobiles. My 2 year old still falls asleep mid scream occasionally.

Congratulations btw.

PollyEthelEileen Wed 10-Apr-13 15:37:35

Your DS sounds normal for that age.

They like to look at boundaries, eg door frames, or shafts of light.

DoIgetastickerforthat Wed 10-Apr-13 15:48:35

We call it 'playing ignorasaurus' in this house and I can have my three boys in gails of laughter by holding DD in front of me and saying "look at me, l

DoIgetastickerforthat Wed 10-Apr-13 15:53:31

Stupid phone..

Look at me! And trying to catch her eye whilst she studiously and deliberately looks everywhere else but into my eyes. All of them have done this and I think it's normal - the world is an interesting place and they don't want to spend all day staring at my face.

If he isn't smiling by about 8-10 weeks then flag it up with the HV (but he probably will be).

GingerDoodle Wed 10-Apr-13 20:42:22

Our DD was the same!

RubyrooUK Wed 10-Apr-13 20:50:30

Don't worry yet. We used to joke that DS1 was in love with our bedstead because he would look straight past us and smile at it, making cooing noises at the knobs. (DH said these were massive substitute nipples in his mind.)

He is now two and does not seen to have been affected by his early bedstead love. He also looks at our faces a lot!

DS2 is four weeks old and has only focused on our faces in the last few days. But most of the time, yup, you guessed it, he's staring at that damn bedstead again.

I think babies tend to focus on what catches their attention and it's probably a few more weeks before you should worry at all. Congratulations on your new baby though!

thepixiefrog Wed 10-Apr-13 21:02:06

Hi OP, ds1 was exactly the same and I was distraught, I thought that his traumatic birth had lead to some irreparable emotional damage! Needless to say my worries were unfounded, and he is a lovely engaging 5 year old. He started to look at me at around 5 weeks old. Enjoy your baby!

sjupes Wed 10-Apr-13 21:20:55

This has brought back memories! Ds is was an ignorant baby - totally aware of me gawking at him but staring past me like i wasn't there by the time he was 3 or 4 months he'd studiously ignore me then suddenly beam at me! Early peek a boo pkayer wink he thought he was flipping hilarious..

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