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Thread: 3 Month old only calmed by nursing?

  1. #1
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    Jul 2012
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    Default 3 Month old only calmed by nursing?

    Since I spend the most time with my 3 month old she has naturally developped a strong attachment to me. I am finding that it is almost impossible for anyone else to settle her when she gets upset, and when she gets extremely upset, the only way I can calm her is to breast feed her. I don't mind doing this, but I do fear that I'm creating a habit that will be hard to break.

    I do feel bad that her daddy or grammy, etc feel inadequate when this happens as they can't make her happy; even with a bottle. (She takes 1 bottle each day to keep her used to one in case I have to leave her.) But since she will refuse a bottle when she gets very upset, I am too scared to leave her anyway! Anyone else going through this? Any advice?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 3 Month old only calmed by nursing?

    Normal. Why is it a bad habit? Are you and the boobs going somewhere? You think it's strange that nature gave you a way to comfort your child that no one else has? That makes her want you over other people? Infants are supposed to be with their mothers all the time. It dramatically increases their chance of survival. You are experiencing natures way of ensuring that you and your child are separated as little as possible. As it becomes safer for her to be around other people her tolerance for them for longer periods of time will increase.

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 3 Month old only calmed by nursing?

    Don't worry- this is very normal and not a problem or a bad habit! First of all, it is completely natural for babies to be strongly attached to their moms. Back in caveman times, before the invention of strollers and cribs and bottles and silicone pacifiers, mamas carried their babies all the time and nursed them nearly non-stop. Seriously non-stop: studies done on "primitive" hunter-gatherer families found that babies naturally nurse as often as every 17 minutes!

    Since the natural condition for a baby is to nurse frequently for comfort and for nutrition and to be strongly attached to mom, particularly in the early months, the real problem is our modern lives. We live in a society that expects mamas to frequently hand their babies off to dads, grandmas, daycares, and babysitters. But because a young baby's natural primary caregiver is a nursing mom, we shouldn't expect dads, grandmas, daycares, or babysitters to be able to comfort babies as quickly or as easily as we, the moms, can.

    The good news is that this is all very temporary. A 3 month old baby is pretty much completely dependent on you. As far as she knows, you're still in caveman times and if you put her down she'll get eaten by a sabretooth tiger. But as time goes on she's going to become more independent. She'll get more interested in her environment and in the people around her, and that means she'll be less reliant on you. Now, the phases of intense mommy-attachment come and go- often as babies start crawling and walking they go through phases of separation anxiety- but it's all temporary, and the trend is towards increasing independence.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 3 Month old only calmed by nursing?

    I don't think it's strange, just concerned that in the event that I have to leave her at any point, she won't settle for anyone else. We've experienced this once and it was awful. Also I wondered if this will be something that she will eventually grow out of.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 3 Month old only calmed by nursing?

    She will grow out of it, I promise!

    And think about it this way: let's say you did someday have to go somewhere and you absolutely couldn't take your baby. She might have a really miserable few hours or miserable day- but she would adjust eventually. But if you wanted to change her level of attachment to you right now, and you tried to detach from her, offering her pacifiers, letting her cry, handing her off to other people while you walked out the door, then she'd be miserable right now, and you would be, too. And it wouldn't just be for an afternoon or a day. It would be all. the. time.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 3 Month old only calmed by nursing?

    Thank you for the encouragement!!! I have no interest in making her miserable...I love nursing her whether for comfort or for nourishment. But I do feel better knowing that she will eventually grow out of it!

  7. #7
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    Lightbulb Re: 3 Month old only calmed by nursing?

    Good to know I'm not the only one!
    My DD is 3 months (but born a month early) & a few weeks ago, I tried going back to work for a few hrs, a few days a week, but she decided the 2nd day not to take a bottle anymore. So now, I'm a little more stressed about our finances and dealing with an early teething girl who only seems to love her mama. But I have tried to take this all as a sign that it's time for our family to REALLY budget as well as that the whole attachment parenting thing might actually be what babies (or my baby anyway) needs! I'd done lots of research via Dr. Sears' book, but was not prepared at all for how much work it is to carry your baby all the time, etc. I truly believe it'll be worth it in the end, but I'm glad that this fussy bit is temporary for now.
    Good luck!

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