I feel like my baby doesn't like me...

Emily - posted on 05/22/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I'm 16 and I have an almost 4 month old, though he was born exactly 3 months early to his due date. I take care of him for the most part on my own. My mom helps me with paying for stuff but shes never here. I try my hardest to get a lot of sleep and do everything i need to in a day. I try to play with him and talk to him but i dont know how to do a lot of things and i feel like im doing everything wrong. Whenever grandma is around my little guy is always smileing and whenever its just me and him i feel like he doesnt smile as much as he does when my mom is around. It makes me feel so horrible i want to cry and leave but i cant because i love my baby so much. His dad doesnt come out and help much hes seen him mabey 3 times since hes been out of the NICU, though he "says" hes going to try to move out here. I dont know if thats a good thing. Sure we have always been good friends but he does stress me out because whenever we do get in a fight i hold my tounge to the things i want to say to him and try to get things back to neutral zone. i hate to fight, and i hate having people mad at me, and the thought of my baby not liking me...that was my worst fear when i was still pregnant and i dont know what to do. Does anyone have any form of advice? I just want to get out of this slump im in. I want my baby to smile at me like he does at grandma...

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Gen - posted on 05/23/2012

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Don't worry! Your baby loves you! It's unfortunate that mothers often don't realize how unrewarding newborns can be. I think we moms are led to believe that we will be giving birth to nine month old squealing, laughing and joyful babies, not needy, crying little beings that keep us up all night. Your baby was born loving you, but his communication is very subtle. It is important not to read to much into his behavior at this point or to become discouraged, but to concentrate your role as his mother. To instill in him a sense of security and unconditional love is your greatest gift.

When I had my first, my mother was able to get him to smile all of the time, but she was an experienced mom with five children of her own. She had that special touch that comes from years of practice. If your mother does a good job with your son, watch her and learn from her. Some of mothering is instinctual, but most of it is learned. What is important is that your child is smiling and showing good emotional development. You are at the beginning of you journey with this child and as he grows and becomes more engaged in the world around him, he will show you in more obvious ways how much you mean to him (which is everything), My 20 month old was not a very smiley newborn, but as he has entered his toddler years, he has started telling me that he loves me and showering me with kisses. And he reserves his biggest smiles for the times that we are reunited after any time apart.

It sounds like you have a lot of stress in your life right now and a real lack of support and guidance. It may be a good idea to get involved with a mom's group through your community center or perhaps your son's hospital or pediatrician may have some referrals of mom's groups or organizations that provide support for young moms. Best of luck to you and congratulations on bringing your son home from the NICU!

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Ruby - posted on 05/26/2012

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Your baby does love you! It sounds like your doing a brilliant job! Try and stop putting yourself down about it. You care for your baby and love your baby and thats all he needs. Its proven that babies and children often settle easier with other people as they love and feel more comforatable with their parents, they know they can act differently/play up as their parents will still be there for them afterwards. It might be helpfull if the babies dad does move closer to you so then he could help looking after your baby for a bit and maybe you could have some time to yourself to clear your head. Your not doing anything wrong and you need to remember that! x

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