Sensitivity

Evan seems to be a very sensitive baby. If he hears another baby crying, he’ll get upset and start crying too. He also flinches a lot, like when a toy makes a lot of noise or moves a lot (spinning toys especially).

The worst thing, for me at least, is that he tends to get overwhelmed when we’re out of the house. It doesn’t seem to matter where we go – somewhere loud like a mall or restaurant, or somewhere quiet like someone’s house – he gets upset after an hour or two. I don’t know if he just likes the comfort of home, or if he just gets overwhelmed when surrounded by new things.

At first I thought this was just because he was, you know, a baby. But, I’m starting to think that it’s just part of the way he is. People said he would cry/scream less after that magical 3 month mark, but it hasn’t gotten any better. It makes it hard to get out of the house for any length of time. It also makes him look like a very fussy baby, but he’s mostly happy when we’re at home (though he’s in that extra fun phase right now where he screams his head off trying to fight off sleep — at least I hope it’s a phase).

I don’t know if this is related, but he seems to be a lot gentler than other babies too. When he plays with toys, he just reaches out and calmly brings them toward himself. He examines them, chews and them, and touches them, but he doesn’t hit or swat at things very hard.

Anyone have any experience with similar traits? How do/did you deal with going out of the house? I’m particularly worried about our upcoming trip which will involve airports, planes, driving long distances, staying at a hotel and at my parent’s house, and being around new people and things. Especially since DH won’t be with us!

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Comments on: "Sensitivity" (11)

  1. Teddy sounds like he is sort of the opposite but I will say that for us this “magical time” didn't hit until about 4 1/2months where he cried much less.

    If you use a stroller do you have one with a big canopy? With ours I can pull the shade down so Teddy can basically see nothing and that can be great for when they get overwhelmed or just need a break.

    I don't have any personal experience but I hope you get some good advice from those who do!

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  2. Monkey fusses a LOT when we're out of the house longer than a couple of hours. He has a hard time going to sleep when he's overstimulated (and anything *new* can overstimulate, not just noise). Part of the fighting sleep off thing I think.

    He generally falls asleep at home and daycare after a couple of hours awake, which I think is fairly normal until 4-5 months of age. Even on Saturdays, when he hasn't seen us at much during the week, he'll fight naps at home; by Sunday he calms down. Goes along with the new and interesting, I guess.

    If we're out and about, we try to get him into his car seat and on the road for a short bit when he gets to that falling apart stage (and I do mean falling apart – church this last weekend was an experience). Then he'll nap for the rest of our outing, sometimes three or four hours in the afternoon.

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  3. Ash – I've found the canopy, or using a blanket to cover him, doesn't work. I think he likes to be able to see me? What does work (usually) is taking him for a walk in the stroller. But, that's not always easy (like at a restaurant).

    MDO – yeah, Evan calms right down in the car too. I think he just likes to move when he's fussing.

    It's just tough going out with other mothers and always being the one to have to bail early because Evan is fussing. Sometimes it makes me feel like a bad mom because all the other babies I see are so calm and happy!

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  4. you're not a bad mom because you're baby is fuzzy. Evan is sensitive and will take time to get used to things. you're doing the right thing by exposing him to different environments, but “bailing early” when it gets too much. Evan is who he is, which is not a reflection upon you're mothering.

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  5. Anonymous said:

    baby is fuzzy

    LOL – a super cute typo!

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  6. SM – thanks. I know that in my head, but sometimes I guess I get embarrassed (which is awful to say!).

    Anon – LOL!

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  7. It may just be a stage in his development that he'll work through, but if he remains a “sensitive” little guy, one look when he's being naughty will be all it takes for him to repent — discipline will be a breeze!

    Oh, and try putting a blanket over YOUR head with both of you under it. He'll see your face but not the rest of the stimuli — may settle him so he can eat/fall asleep when you are out.

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  8. Wool Free – I hope you're right that it's just a phase. He does seem to be getting a bit better, but maybe he's just having a good week.

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  9. Oh yeah, the blanket over Monkey has worked really well a few time that I've done it. Puts him to sleep pretty quickly – on my shoulder, but better than the screaming! 🙂

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  10. Jenn, PhD said:

    Have you tried a baby carrier with him facing inward, toward you? Might keep him calmer to block out some of the world whenever he wants by burying his face in your chest (and is SUPER convenient for traveling in airports)…

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  11. Jenn – we've tried our carrier a couple of times with no success (he just cries!), but maybe it's time to try it again!

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