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klow
08-30-2008, 08:20 AM
This forum has always been so great in providing me with quotes from real parents! Thank you. For this article I need quotes from parents on this topic: The Unaffectionate Baby/Toddler.


Have you noticed that your baby or toddler is (or was) unaffectionate?
Did you have concerns or did you feel this was just a normal part of their personality?
Were there things you did that helped your baby/toddler warm up to you?
Did the issue end up being indicative of a more serious disorder or did your child simply grow out of it or get through this stage in development?


Any quotes on this topic would be much appreciated! I will need to include your name, city and state. Please email me directly at keathlow@aol.com (keathlow@aol.com)

Thanks.

Tsu Dho Nimh
09-01-2008, 01:28 AM
Define "affectionate".

Some of my nieces or nephews were huggy, smoochy, snuggly toddlers. One of the boys seldom showed overt physical attention, but he would play nearby, and quietly walk over and hand you something he thought was interesting, or lean against you for a few seconds for a back rub and then wander off (like having a humanoid cat). If he were a toddler now, he'd probably have been diagnosed as pre-autistic or "on the spectrum" ... but he was just a quiet, low-key child. His affection was extra-special because it was seldom bestowed.

He's still that way: a competent young man, just not into demonstrative shows of affection.

klow
09-01-2008, 08:43 PM
You are right that “unaffectionate” may not be the best word to use. Basically, the article will explore some of the ways to sort out normal introverted personality, less interactive type of behavior in babies and toddlers verses behavior that may indicate something more serious.

I would love quotes from parents or family members like you who have little ones who exhibit some of these behaviors.

-Baby/ toddler who doesn’t really like to cuddle and be held close
-Perhaps doesn’t make a lot of eye contact
-Perhaps not very “smiley” and emotionally responsive when interacting
-May not seem very interested in interacting or physical contact

Your example is a great one where a child exhibited less interactive, less huggy, snuggly behaviors but it was simply a personality characteristic and nothing more.

wyoming_dreams
09-02-2008, 03:05 AM
My oldest, when she was an infant, would straighten out her back and sort-of slither out of the hold of people she didn't know. She's never been one to cuddle or even touch others casually. In fact, even when she's asleep, she's tense. I know this because I once gently lifted her chubby little baby arm when she was taking a nap and when I let go, instead of flopping back down, it stayed stiffly in the air for a second before she lowered it.

She was--and is--very, very smart (I know IQ scores aren't 100% accurate but when they tested hers when she was eight she scored a 162.) but her emotional maturity and ability to, I guess you could call it, "read social situations" isn't great.

Mr Flibble
09-02-2008, 03:13 AM
She was--and is--very, very smart (I know IQ scores aren't 100% accurate but when they tested hers when she was eight she scored a 162.) but her emotional maturity and ability to, I guess you could call it, "read social situations" isn't great.

My son is the same -- exactly like my brother. All smarts no common sense. And while my son liked a cuddle, not if it interfered with his making the millenuem falcon out of odd lego bits.

He has other things to think about. Deep thoughts that come out of nowhere sometimes.

WendyNYC
09-02-2008, 03:35 AM
My son is the same -- exactly like my brother. All smarts no common sense. And while my son liked a cuddle, not if it interfered with his making the millenuem falcon out of odd lego bits.

He has other things to think about. Deep thoughts that come out of nowhere sometimes.

My daughter is the same way. She was in the NICU as an infant, and many of the nurses told me to spend a lot of time talking to her and touching her through the incubator, but whenever I did, it seemed to cause her stress. (So I hung around quietly.) She was always very wiry and tense--still is, at 9--and she's sensitive to bright lights and noise (even though we live in Manhattan!). She's a great kid and affectionate in many ways. Just not snuggly.

Deb Kinnard
09-03-2008, 08:58 PM
My older girl was the non-cuddly baby/toddler. She was a stiffener when picked up, except during rare moments SHE wanted the contact. Otherwise it was like, "buzz off, Momma." She's 20 now, and grew up very social but never physically demonstrative.

In contrast, my younger girl, now 13, was a cuddler and a nestler right from Day One. As an infant she'd snuggle her head into the curve between my neck and shoulder, curl into a fetal position, and sleep contentedly for a long time. She still likes to be rocked (only in private nowadays) and is much more physically demonstrative than the older sister.

IMO it's something inherent in the way each child is wired together. Can't explain it fully, and certainly can't compare them in any meaningful fashion.

StoryG27
09-03-2008, 09:07 PM
My son is/was a huge cuddler, but my daughter was/is not. Well, she would, but only on her terms. She was very well behaved, very bright, taught herself the alphabet at 23 months old by watching Sesame Street and taught herself to read before the age of four. She did NOT want to be held to sleep, even as an infant. I'll never forget trying so hard to do everything right but she wouldn't sleep and seemed uncomfortable when she was just a few weeks old, finally after days of this (she wouldn't scream or cry, just whimper) I gave up and put her down, and that's what she wanted, and I began to realize that every time I gave up and put her down, she'd sleep, and sleep soundly for hours. Then as a toddler, she was only interactive on her terms. If she wanted your attention, she'd come to you, but mostly, she played quietly by herself. She loved to read and do puzzles and color and LOVED animals, very affectionate with them. She loved playing out side, and liked "chase games" but didn't want a lot of cuddling, tagging and chasing and the occasional tickle were welcomed though. She never really liked to be held, she did want it occasionally, but it was rare, and she had to come to you for it. She still doesn't like a lot of affection, and honestly, neither do I. Apparently, I was the same way as a child, and still am not an physically affectionate person, so I'm chalking it up to a personality quirk.

klow
09-03-2008, 09:53 PM
These are great!!! Thank you so much. I am going to try to include quotes from both parents of children for whom the less "cuddliness" is just a function of personality and from those whose less interactive behaviors ended up being more serious.

Do any of you have kids whose behaviors ended up indicating something more serious?

I really appreciate the help!