Your Baby Hates Me

“Your baby hates me,” you proclaim as you hand her back to me, gingerly, as if she may spontaneously combust at any moment. I giggle awkwardly as I receive my child. I never know quite how to respond to that proclamation in the moment, as many times as I’ve heard it.

My baby doesn’t hate you. Please do not feel awkward and offended that she took one look at you and immediately the corners of her lips traveled downward and her eyes started welling up. It was nothing personal. She is still learning about this big bad world and social conventions might be a little beyond her ken at this point in her life. As far as I can tell, her whole world revolves around mama, daddy, and big sisters. Everyone else is strange and scary. She is too little to know any better.

It is important to keep in mind that all babies are individuals and have distinct personalities, even at such a tender age. Some babies are very social, and smile at everyone and let anyone hold them. Some babies only feel comfortable with their family members. Some, like my eldest, didn’t want ANYBODY holding them (it made for a very long first few months until she was mobile). Some don’t like it if you get too close to their faces and speak too loudly. I remember exuberantly greeting one of my neighbor’s babies (because she is just so dang cute!) and this nine month old child frowned at me and held up her hand right in my face to stop me. I couldn’t help but chuckle and tell her mother that her babe was pretty advanced to make her message so clear at such a young age. “Don’t shout at me so close to my face. I don’t like that,” she was telling me with her simple hand motion. Babies sometimes need their personal space too.

I know, it’s a difficult thing to remember. Babies are just so adorable! With their impossibly large eyes and dimpled hands and feet, you feel the inexplicable urge to exclaim loudly and squeeze them! But some of them don’t care for that. If I take a moment to think about it, I probably wouldn’t care for it much either.

Feel free to hold my baby, tell her how cute she is, and tickle her little feet. And if she cries, take it all in stride. You’ve done nothing wrong. Trust me, she won’t hold a grudge. The beautiful thing about babies is that even though they may get upset more easily than the rest of us, they also forgive effortlessly and without hesitation.

Final note: If you are a complete stranger, do not touch my baby. Please just admire her from afar. It’s nothing personal, it’s just weird for us moms to witness that kind of thing. We don’t know whether to rudely slap your hand away or just abandon our baby to your tender mercies. I’m sure 99% of strangers are completely normal people. It’s that 1% that keeps us up at night.IMG_7691.JPG


About sylcell

Wife, mom of four girls, Catholic, insatiable sweet tooth
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9 Responses to Your Baby Hates Me

  1. My daughter was a pretty friendly baby, would smile at everyone and then from about 1 year old it all started going downhill 🙂 she now decides right off whether she likes someone or not and is not scared to make her feelings known to them – if someone is too in her face and trying to touch her etc she has a complete wobble and will scream at them. I’ve really had to come to terms with this since being in Asia because it’s so unlike me, I tolerate people in the name of being polite even if I don’t like them and they seem to be overly friendly in that way here, more so than I’ve noticed in other countries and so a shopping trip always starts off with me apologizing on her behalf and reassuring people that it’s nothing personal but if it’s a long trip all attempts at being polite go out the window and it usually ends with me giving people the dead stare after they’ve been screamed at because I’m now frustrated and tired and why the hell do you have to get in my child’s face like that??! I realize they mean no harm but it wears you down when every five minutes someone is getting too close for her comfort and I’ve often had to leave or move her away from certain people because they almost seem to find it amusing when she gets cross and think if they persist she will warm up to them!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lindalatuch says:

    I hope Wren is feeling better today. I wish there was a way we could say it’s OK I ‘m family, I just don’t get to see you a lot. But I guess GOD make them to be careful of strangers. She is just so darn cute you love her so much and you want to kiss her sweet little cheeks. But her thoughts are who do you think you are! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My (as I now call him lol) “soon to be middle child” had major meltdowns when we cheered for his success on the potty while he was learning! He didn’t like the clapping and cheering, but preferred a high five and a mini m&m 🙂 I found it funny because he’s my louder child, while my oldest has always been a bit more sensitive about his world. Great post, thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • morgan says:

      hehe, My daughter has major meltdowns every time someone is trying to sing her happy birthday. she loves that song, but not with her name in it (or if anyone hints that this one’s for her) *loool*
      her birthday is coming next month, we are very curious, what’ll happen this year.


  4. morgan says:

    yeah I remember my husbands cousin as a baby. He started crying every time he saw me, turning into a top-of-his-lungs scream within a couple of seconds. Every time he calmed down, he risked another look. It was both frustrating and hilarious…
    And I’d loved to hold him just once….


  5. lawdawg2011 says:

    Let me dust off the old Psych. degree and recall my child psychology knowledge:

    Babies are able to distinguish their mother from others in their first few days. Babies typically begin exhibiting negative reactions to others (primarily strangers who they do not interact with on a regular basis) when they are between the ages of 3 and 6 months. At this time, it is not unusual for babies to feel anxious when they are separated from their parents or approached by strangers. While this phase typically fades in a few months, it normally returns when the child is a toddler (albeit with less fearful crying and more shyness and hiding).

    Liked by 1 person

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