To feel no connection to my baby?
Lilycakes · 07/04/2021 16:59
Having a very up and down time with my 10month old DD.
She recently binned off breastfeeding on her own, which I am completely gutted about, but all she does is bite me so I can't bring myself to try and run the gauntlet of her 10 teeth.
Problem is, she isn't a cuddly baby. When ever I pick her up she pushes away to get down, and breastfeeding I felt was the only time I got to bond and cuddle.
Now I know its perfectly fine for a baby not to be clingy, but now since breastfeeding has stopped, I feel no connection to her at all.
I feel like all it is is tantrums and nappies and teething and nothing is easy, and I'm starting to have a pretty hard time with being with her.
I have no idea how I'm supposed to build a connection and feel love.
My mum thinks its the most horrible thing in the world to think this way, and I have no idea what to do. I just want to leave.
PicaK · 07/04/2021 17:22
OK so what you're feeling isn't "normal" but it doesn't make you a bad mum or a bad human.
It could be lots of things... Tiredness, maybe a bit of depression or what they call "blocked care" when you give everything practically but you don't feel it.
Talk to your GP - I'd say health visitor but frankly I never found they were much help with nuanced problems. Or ring your councils early help dept.
There's also autism to explore. I don't want to freak you out but mum's pick up signals way before others do with a sort of gut instinct.
Whatever it is it will get better I promise. That connection comes flooding back. So hang in there. Don't leave but do invite others in. And if they're shit and not helpful ditch them and try others for help.
Anyone dismissing you is firmly in the camp of not helpful.
Sunhoop · 07/04/2021 17:32
I felt like this with my first. It's more common then you'd think - I know as I went trawling through forums at the time to see if there was something wrong with me! Stay away from some of the more over zealous American
mommy websites though as some told me I should have my child put up for adoption 🤦🏼♀️
My eldest was just not a cuddly baby and preferred to be put down, she still isn't overly affectionate at 5, it's just her personality. She's also fiercely independent, clever and funny. I love her personality now but when they're babies you dont have much to go on!
It was the complete opposite with my second and I admit I bonded easier with her as affectionate DC make it easy.
Hang in there OP, this is the hardest part, when she gets a little older and her personality starts to shine through the feelings of connection will grow.
Your mum is being very unsupportive and she is also very wrong
BobBobBobbin · 07/04/2021 17:36
Also bear in mind that if you’re feeling low right now, you often get a hormone crash after ending breastfeeding. It doesn’t sound like the way you are feeling has only arisen since you stopped feeding, but it may be compounding how you are feeling at the moment.
tiredybear · 07/04/2021 17:41
Well done for reaching out, that must have been hard.
A few things, firstly your mum is SO unhelpful. Dismissing your feelings and making you feel guilty is not going to help anyone.
Any feeling is valid and a signal to try and tell you something needs attention, either with you or the baby. It may well be 'just' exhaustion and teething or it could be something more. Either way, speaking to your GP soon is important.
When stopping breastfeeding, you get a whole load of random hormones for quite a while that can make you feel really not yourself. It is also possible to suffer from PPD still at this stage.
So, as well as speaking to your GP, you mentioned you have no idea how to build a loving connection, so a few simple things to try...
skin to skin time, for example having a bath together or having cuddles straight after bathing.
Sing songs, (old Mcdonald/ incy wincy spider/ row the boat/five little ducks etc) and try to maintain eye contact as much as possible.
I'm sure you do all this already...maybe just to remind you of all the good things that you are doing.
I also remember that this was a tough age for my LO, lots of whinging. How are they physically? Crawling? Cruising? They could be frustrated with their inability to get about as they want to.
Grimbelina · 07/04/2021 17:41
I had one like this: they gave up breastfeeding at 11 months (I tried for another month but they weren't having any of it), wouldn't be cuddled as they were just obsessed with looking everywhere else... However, now they are the most affectionate of my DC and at 10 kisses and hugs me, and tells me they love me multiple times a day....
Claire4567 · 07/04/2021 17:44
Just came on the say the same as the poster above. My eldest was not a cuddly baby one iota. I bottlefed and I was just food to her. Once she was up and moving she was off and busy. She never cuddled, ever, until a couple of years ago. Now I have a very affectionate huggy 10 year old. I won't lie, I felt very rejected at times. Hoping this helps you in some way.
Grimbelina · 07/04/2021 17:57
Your mum is totally wrong by the way and that is really unhelpful. Lots of us struggle at various points and I have had so many conversations and see so many posts here about worries about bonding etc. I think our expectations of how are babies are supposed to make us feel aren't realistic. They are tiny new people with lots going on inside and outside of them and a new world to explore. I think we need to remember to get our needs met by other adults. It sounds like your baby feels very secure (which is great) and tiredybear has some excellent suggestions.
Claire4567 that's very interesting, it was only about a year ago that it changed here.
Lilycakes · 07/04/2021 21:33
Thank you so much to you all for messages of support. The hormone drop makes sense. It all makes me feel like there is no point to me.
She has a nanny who she is an absolute gem for and hardly ever kicks off with her. With me its the most epic tantrums ever. I am so lost.
I just wish I could feed her. I miss it loads because it was such lovely eye contact and bonding time. I miss the days where she would fall asleep feeding 😭
Sameoldconstellations · 07/04/2021 21:49
Often children will tantrum with the person they feel safest with. It's maybe not the form of flattery we'd most like to receive, but there it is!
It took me months to bond with my baby, before her personality started to show through I just felt like there wasn't really anything to go on, if that makes sense. I completely understand the depth of feeling you're having about breastfeeding ending before you were ready for it to, it must be a very sad time for you. I would speak with your GP or HV, I'm sure your situation isn't that unusual and there will be help and support available for you.
ThreeLocusts · 07/04/2021 22:17
Sorry you feel this way.
I got something pretty close to depression from weaning. The hormonal change made me feel alienated and zombified for several months, and I had to trawl through internet forums to work out that this does happen to some women. So that could be part of your story.
Sorry also that your mum is being so unsympathetic. Don't let her indignation get to you. I found it painful when my daughter stopped being cuddly b/o becoming a pre-teen, but we found other ways to connect. Somehow you will reconstruct the relationship.
FireflyRainbow · 07/04/2021 22:57
I felt like this with my first until he was a toddler. Would never admit it in real life though. I think I had undiagnosed PND and it was as if I was just babysitting someone elses child. Then suddenly one day he did something and laughed and looked up at me with his cute little face and this rush of love just came over me. No idea why it took so long.
Wondergirl100 · 07/04/2021 23:01
I have two kids and with both it was very very much the months 7 to about 11 that were the absolute low point of parenting - you have now had shit sleep for several months in a row, people have stopped 'helping' (if they ever did) - and the baby is a big bouncing thing that can't be left unattended for long - so you are always carrying it about -
So - I think it's also normal to get a real dip at this stage- if you have just stopped BF you will have experienced a massive loss of hormones as well.
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