Posted by admin on Monday, January 16, 2012 · 9 Comments
Filed under attachment parenting, breastfeeding, Mama Is... · Tagged with attachment parenting, breastfeed on demand
Yes, that is indeed the missing element . The study revealed more about about culture-driven maternal expectations than about actual infant behaviour. Contrast this with the lovely “Why African Babies Don’t Cry” article: http://www.drmomma.org/2010/09/why-african-babies-dont-cry.html
I’m guessing that was it. I hear/read Moms that have had a lot of experience with bottle-feeding babies complaining about HOW MUCH their SPOILED baby wants to nurse and how every time baby is away from arms/boob, baby is unhappy. That may be how this study turned out how it did. They are comparing a baby who eats a huge bottle and some rice cereal and is trained from an early age that crying won’t get them picked up to babies who are breastfed and whose mothers expect to be able to put them down for hours and not pick them up the way they could/can with bottle-fed babies. I did a lot carrying, but I didn’t put my daughter down sometimes and still, everyone said how she was such a happy baby. She was very alert, from the start. Did more looking around than you’d expect. But, happy! The two times she really cried, my mother was so shocked and wanted to check her all over for bug bites because she never cried like that! Really, I think she was just over-stimulated. We woke her up at 3-months to go Christmas tree shopping and there was lots and lots of noise and lights. But, seriously, it was rare. Everywhere we went, people would declare- she’s so happy! And I would feel surprised- babies aren’t supposed to be happy?
I’m with you Heather. Jayn was a totally calm baby & toddler. So easy, so sleepy . I also wonder if they asked about co-sleeping. If mom’s are getting up to nurse during the night that could affect their opinion of baby’s irritability. In our case, I was getting plenty of sleep.
Oh and I meant to add, does “challenging” = “bad”. Maybe they are just more lively and communicative.
I “guess” if someone saw my babe they would say so. But she’s noisy in a car, imho, because I can count on 1 hand how many times she’s been IN a car the last 6 months! NOT because I breastfeed. and what is wrong with pulling OVER, cuz 1/2 the time my babes were in need of a diaper change and NOT nursing! But everyone chalks it up to breastfeeding(sigh) OR the tantrums on the bus, again she wants to get off and is so USED to her needs/wants being answered that she can’t understand WHY I won’t hear of it. (cuz the bus only comes every 2 hours hun, no choice, sorry) nursing calms her down but is NOT the problem. When I actually LIVED with someone for 6 months last year they said she was a very GOOD baby. (thought I held her a little much, but still a good baby) EVEN when I was hospitalized and she went cold turkey twice, she settled down after a few hours. Daycare said the same thing when she went, whined for a few hours (I came back once to nurse) and she was ok from then on. HOW is that any different from the other babies who scream for hours a day (after colic) or WORSE scream as toddlers for basic needs (sippie cup anyone) because they are so USED to taking 2nd place that they don’t even remember why they are crying when someone finally gets off their duff? OR worse yet, doesn’t cry at all cuz asking for anything is pointless……..
I think you all hit the nail on the head. If by “more challenging” they mean awake, inquisitive, accustomed to feeling safe in their mothers’ arms, and shocked when they do get hurt or scared, then I’ll take a “more challenging” baby any day! I also think that mothers who breastfeed probably interact with their babies more and have high expectations of meeting their babies’ needs. Parents who expect to be in control and who schedule feedings or delegate that “chore” to others probably feel less challenged because they aren’t trying to meet the same standard of responsiveness to their babies’ needs. And maybe the babies have learned to quit asking.
Everything was self-reported by the moms. Maybe they labeled their babies as “challenging” because they ate so often, or because they didn’t sleep through the night, or they wanted to be held a lot — and they had been TOLD that this makes a baby “challenging.” If all the problems “caused” by breastfeeding can be solved by simply nursing the kid … that’s not challenging.
My baby was the world’s least challenging, until he learned to crawl. (Since then, forget about it. He’s into everything.) I would lay him on the floor, he’d wiggle around, and if he made a peep, I nursed him. About every other nursing, he fell asleep and that was his nap. He nursed about every hour and a half, which I later heard was “a lot” but it didn’t seem like a lot to me. Why would it make a difference to me if he was on the floor happy or in my arms happy? No matter what I did, he was happy. I felt guilty for staying home “doing nothing” because seriously, it wasn’t the least bit challenging. Then I got a part-time job, brought my baby along, and he remained totally easygoing. Didn’t care that I scooped him out of bed sleeping to take him along. All he cared about was that he stayed in a wrap the whole time.
But now I know that he was a bad, bad, challenging baby because he nursed a lot and woke up a lot. He also liked interacting with me. Terrible!
good points. maybe it is what the moms thought the babies should be like and less about how babies really are. if you are thinking you can have a break for hours at a time with a young baby you will maybe see them as challenging.
sort of sad that we feel we need all these studies to tell us this sort of stuff. it seems as if we just want babies to be silent little blobs who sleep all the time and if they are up and alert they are a problem. we have lost something along the way with all this modernization of child rearing and want babies to be more like earrings then a person.
while at the store the other day this grandma lady (in her 70′s at least) who noticed fiona in the sling, she said it was so good to see babies in slings and being nursed because when she was raising children it was all about pushing them away and formula was better then mother’s milk and how you just didn’t want to get attached to your baby. she thought babies who were carried more and nursed where much happier babies.
My mother breast fed my brother and me for a few months each (my older sister not at all). She said all her babies were happier on formula. I used to think that she was perceiving that because she had a lot less anxiety as a mother when she could see the ounces going down. Or maybe it was because she smoked and we were addicted to the nicotine. Or she quit nursing around the time that colic clears and major growth spurts slow. The younger a baby is, the more likely they are breastfeeding. And the younger a baby is, the more demanding he/she can be (excluding independently mobile children).
But as I slowly learn to stop second guessing other mothers’ ability to properly assess their own children, I’m learning to accept that maybe it’s true that some people’s children are easier on formula.
The article isn’t that bad. I always hate the titles. I like this part:
He added: “Rather than being put off breastfeeding, parents should have more realistic expectations of normal infant behaviour and should receive better understanding and support to cope with difficult infant behaviours if needed. These approaches could potentially promote successful breastfeeding, because currently many mothers attempt to breastfeed but give up after the first few weeks.”
This kind of heads up would have probably been good for my mother. It would have validated her feelings without encouraging her to give it up. As it is, most mothers see those of us who think breastfeeding rocks and love parenting with and through it, and those who say it’s too hard and just bottle feed. Maybe for someone not having a blast with breastfeeding, it might help to hear, yep the baby might be more fussy, but that’s perfectly normal and OK – your doing great.
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