Over and Under Stimulation

One of the things we have been struggling with as new parents is how to meet Bubbles' every need. Physical needs aside (that's another story), we are confused by just how much mental stimulation she needs (or not).

At less than one month of age, she is already very alert and seems to want to 'play' in between her feeds. She constantly moves and looks around. So we try to amuse her by singing to her, carrying her around, and showing her a black, white and red book that we have been given.

Most of the time however, she gets interested only for a short while before starting to complain with some whines, that if left unattended, lead on to wails. So we keep having to change what we do with her.

The trouble comes however, when she actually gets tired and doesn't want to play anymore. We haven't been able to differentiate her tired vs want to play cries, and that has led to much frustration, we believe, both on her part as well as ours. When she gets over-stimulated or over-tired, she takes forever to fall asleep and keeps crying. I have carried and cuddled her to calm her so much so that my lower back sometimes feels like it is going to break.

This is a phase I believe we have to ride out. But in the meantime, it is really tough going.


kiki said...

Hang in there. I am facing the same things as you are right now. No matter what we do, it does not seems to pacify her.

Cindy said...

Hey I know exactly what you mean! I remember crying so many times in the first few months cos I didn't know what she wanted and how to help her to fall asleep! (And remember I still struggle with her naps now?:P)

BTW, as a rule of thumb, babies who are 4 to 5 weeks old do not stay awake for more than an hour 15 mins (from the time she opens her eyes to the time she shuts them to fall asleep). So if you can, maybe start some wind-down nap rituals at about an hr?

Babies at this stage are usually overstimulated. Even being under a play gym for too long can get the OS!

Cindy said...

Check this out:

Take care and let me know if you need someone to rant/talk/complain/whatever!! :P

Jacinta said...

Jia you!! It's going to be worth it. :)))

wendy said...

at times like this, with all the crying, frustrations, endless carrying, weariness etc, i always wondered why did i have a baby. then when no 2 came along i was like, what on earth was i thinking? haha... the only consolation i tell myself is, everything the parents experience is universal. and there is no secret formula to make things work. every baby and every parent will eventually work things out themselves. and will surely survive! :) and i keep chanting to myself, all this will pass, all this will pass... all this will pass... :)take care!!!

Jamie said...

hey, dun worry too much abt it, it is a phase tat i believe most babies go through.. i had to carry my baby very often and walk all over the house until she was about 3 months b4 we "trained" her to self-soothe.. i too felt that my arms and back were going to break...
and we realised that our little one was very easily stimualated too, not wanting to sleep whenever we were out, and becoming over-tired when we reached home..
so in the end, we tried not to bring her out too much (jus so that both parents and baby will be happier)..
hang in there!

Corsage@A Dollop Of Me said...

Thanks all for sharing your experiences. Am heartened that most people say things do get easier!