We adopted our son when he was 10 days old. I was 32.
The hospital sent home four 'courtesy' bottles of brand name infant formula with him. I was to get a 'formula' recipe from my doctor.
The little guy had been on two different feeding schedules in his first 10 days, and I suppose I was introducing a third.
No one told me that I could lactate, with training.
I tried very hard to do everything 'right'.
...I put him to sleep in his own room,
...I believed that the books were right, he should not be picked up at every little cry. (This was hogwash, of course.)
He had a 'bump' on his head which I now feel was from using a suction cup while he was being born.
He was also a little lopsided. His two pupils were different sizes, though I don't know if that is common. However, he would end up in one corner of the bassinette, when sleeping on his back, and, as he began to develop, he used one side of his body 30 to 50 percent more than the other. (This evened out, over years.)
Before long he began to cry, even scream sometimes. Trying to keep to 'schedules' was dynamite. Eventually I gave that up and fed more on demand, though I did try to keep to an afternoon nap, with the door closed, as instructed. That was awful.
With the clarity of hindsight, I now think I know what was 'wrong'. He was in pain.
The 'formulas' did not agree with him. And he had no one to turn to for comfort when he was laid down to sleep. Probably the pain was worse when we laid him on his back.
And I did not know enough to give him much water.
Years later we heard that, with these 'formulas', the challenge is for the babe to survive their first year of life on the vitamins and minerals they were born with. I don't know how true that is, but I do know I'd breast feed, given the chance to do it again.
He was given Antibiotics
several times, by a well-meaning doctor. But it was not long after they had withdrawn Antibiotics
due to suspicion of side-effects. The doctor had not yet heard.
My boy was seven when we learned that he had hearing damage, equal to five years in a planer mill. (I now believe that he is nearly deaf...and faking that he hears.)
By the time my son was two, he was very hard to live with, yet he was a beautiful and intelligent child.
I went through a laundry list of 'management' procedures. I was not a happy camper.
I would stand in the dark in my kitchen, with two thoughts while I listened to him scream. The first thought was that I was the wrong mother for him. The second was that I was bigger than him.
The people I was depending on for support were more interested in telling me what I was doing 'wrong'. Also, they had never dealt with babies on 'formulas' and Antibiotics
. I don't blame them, they just didn't know.
Personally, I'd guess that your little one is NOT emotional, or out of control. I would guess that he is dealing with a very real physical imbalance in the best way he knows how...get a big person on the job.
In fact, I'd guess that I would be very happy that he is turning TO me, rather than away from me.
Now I'm going to toss you a few things I've heard that may help. Please feel free to ignore me wherever you wish. I am no 'expert' with your son...you are.
...1. Get the family off all commercially processed food. Things like table salt
, prepared cereals, glutinous grains, processed White Sugar
, and even milk, and pasta, could be stressing him far beyond his capability to manage.
You will likely need the assistance of a naturopathic doctor. Search for one who is even more painstaking than you are...and question him/her to the nth degree. It will be the best investment you ever made.
Such a naturopath can also tell you what to eat, where to buy it, and how to prepare it.
Also read, read, read here at CureZone. Find out how people changed their diets, and question until you are blue in the face, and satisfied that you understand. The real answers are always far more simple than you ever dreamed.
Buy, beg, borrow, or steal a book called 'Water and Salt', and study it.
...2. Hold your son. And hold a large soft toy at the same time...constantly. When you absolutely MUST leave your son, such as when going to the bathroom, leave the toy with him for reassurance.
It is my guess that he needs you desperately, until he feels better. And it's my guess that he will wean himself of that need of you when he does.
Meanwhile, use your eyes to indicate your attitude and the routine you expect to develop.
This may take a while, so be prepared to give up your other tasks. Get a friend in to help if you can.
Keep at least one part of your body touching him at all times...perhaps a hand, or a leg, and every time he speaks to you, or looks to you, turn your face toward him, make eye contact, and smile warmly...no matter what he is asking for, or how he is asking, or whether or not you'll give it to him.
This is a beautiful little person, needing your attention and reassurance right now. Show him that he has that.
Speak little more than necessary, and very softly...and react more in quiet movements rather than verbally...unless it is story time. Even then tell it softly, touching him, or demonstrating with your hands, to replace action words.
Sing, softly. Perhaps make up a little song of his name, and even nonsense words. As you repeat it, he will come to associate the tune with your smile on him, and your touch, and the soft toy which is always in your company.
With any luck you'll soon be able to sing, settle him in, say, his own little chair, with the soft toy, and slip in for a bathroom break, singing softly all the while.
However he reacts while you are in there, greet him with your warm smile, full eye contact, and your continued song...as though you hadn't been away. If you make no change in your relationship, soon he will come to rely on that...until he is busy doing something else and forgets to notice.
You see, this is just an interlude...not a life sentence. You are physically showing him how to be, while giving him the warmth of your touch that he sorely needs right now.
Anticipate his daily/hourly needs without fuss. At, or just before snack-time, bring out a carrot and a glass of clean water, perhaps warm. Maybe wash and fine grate the carrot with him beside you. Give him a vantage point he hasn't seen before...from a high chair pulled up to the sink, for example.
Let him touch the grater, touching it on the sharp side yourself, first, then popping your finger into your mouth, to show him it is sharp, and should be handled with care. Your every move will teach him something new, and how to cope.
You want to quietly engage his interest, teaching him about normal everyday things that will give him the security to move slowly away from you, as he is ready.
Gently work in small changes, to keep his interest...like a walk around the backyard, or up and down the porch, holding hands...singing softly, or doing a 'ring-around-the-rosie'.
If he screams, calmly look elsewhere, and slowly return your eyes and smile to him, as if you didn't hear and are your own sweet self no matter what. On the other hand, if he behaves well, reward him with an extra smile, and perhaps a hug and, "I love you."
Evenness, gentleness, quiet confidence, that's what you are teaching.
Keep gently to the same schedule all day. Suggest 'bathroom?' if you are 'training' him...and don't mind if he says 'No'. In his own sweet time he will take you up on the offer, or dad.
When it is bedtime, move to the bedroom, perhaps five minutes earlier, once in a while. Quietly do your usual routine. If he balks, bring out a new story book to hold his attention while you continue the undressing procedure. Or, make a play of the soft toy getting into bed...giving it your attention and loving hugs.
Do your story, or whatever, quietly, winding down into rest. And stay beside him as he drifts off, touching his hand, singing softly, whatever he needs.
Arrange to be at his side, as though you had never left, if he is in the habit of awakening in the night. Remind him of your closeness with the soft toy, and the touch of your hand, while staying beside him until he is asleep once more.
I just made all of this up, BLRusch...except the soft toy, and the eye contact...those I read somewhere.
My biggest mistake with my own boy was in instantly assuming the worst with every little incident...I thought I had to be perfect, and to 'correct'. I was wrong, and didn't think out a better way until years later. I was wrong because I had never seen what was preferable.
The other day my mom said that, if she had it to do over again, she would raise her kids quite differently. A few days after that, I reminded her, and gave her my reply..."Let's say you did."
There was a moment of pregnant silence as she took in my meaning. Then I could hear a little smile in her voice as she said, "Okay."
Mom is 87, I am 69. There just isn't any point to carrying guilt or blame or worry or any other possible negative feelings.
Immediately after her saying, "Okay," mom began to speculate on what she would have done, instead. I already know what she 'could' have done...I have speculated on that many times. But, Mom, herself, is now free to imagine the past, with my blessing.
She couldn't have given us those things then...she had never seen it done. But she can have a fine time now, re-building her memories, as though those events were happening today. Maybe there is always a 'second chance'...if you make one.
If you try any of the above with your beautiful little boy, be aware that you only need to do it for a while...until he finds new things to explore, and takes off to do just that. Then your task will be to catch up, and be ahead of him...a whole 'nother problem for you to figure out.
And, take it from me, he will take off, in directions you have never dreamed! But, deep in his heart he will never forget the security you gave him. You'll see your methods and intentions return in the way he raises his own children...even in the way he treats his wife, and others...in his standards.
However you solve today's questions, and you will, you will become immortal, leaving an indelible mark on humankind.
Be of stout heart, my friend. The best is yet to come. Visualize it.