Does your baby cry when other kids are loud? Do you have a jumpy baby? Is she nervous? Does she tend to look worried all the time possibly because of unexpected surroundings or strangers? Have I got the cure for you!
My baby couldn’t even sit in church if there was another kid around because the mere hint of a smile or a little happy chirp from her would cause emotional havoc and I would end up out in the hall yet again. Life in Mexico in those days was simple. He would wake up to a quiet house, play quietly, sleep in a silent room, and wake up to only me after every nap, until we went to Grandma Vega’s house, church or to the mall. Those days were always hit or miss, he was always hyper-alert, nervous and never slept well (if it happened to be nap time), and if he encountered a stranger, we’d have to just forget it and go home some days, he was so agitated!
Then we moved in with my parents in the U.S. (temporary arrangement!!!) and we found that we shared a house during the day with the grandparents, my sister, her husband and their 3 year-old and baby, on top of which my mom would take care of my brother’s baby girl and another toddler to make an extra buck. To complete the scenario, after school piled on top of that my other brother’s 2 teen-agers and a 7 year-old. I lost count on how many that is, but if you add our little family of 3, I’m pretty sure that is close to a baker’s dozen in one household.
The first week for my nervous baby boo boo was a nightmare. The poor kid was a nervous crying wreck, especially when his happy little cousin would come up to him, push her nose into his and cheerily yell into his face. Or when his 3 year-old cousin would come running up from out of nowhere and scream “boo!” into his face. These are well-meaning, fun-loving cousins that don’t know their own strength and grew up with a personalized idea of fun, which apparently includes a lot of yelling.
At first I was always running up rescuing him, telling my sister to control her crazy kids and stop making my baby cry, and then day 3 hit and I turned into an evil mother, annoyed with her own baby. I decided that I wouldn’t try to intervene anymore, unless I saw that he was going to get hurt somehow. I left him to his own defenses and he ended up being much braver that I gave him credit for. He no longer flinches at the sudden noises, he no longer cries at the giggles and screams of other kids, and he can handle strangers like a boss.
Even now, we are learning that falling over isn’t the end of the world, even if falling over was caused by someone’s kid yanking his sleeve and whomping him down onto the floor. I found out he’s strong, resilient and cries only when he’s legitimately frightened or somewhat hurt. He hasn’t been seriously hurt in any of the situations that gave me heart palpitations in the beginning.
I believe that he is going to end up brave, independent and less of a cry-baby when he’s a toddler because we had the courage to give him room to grow, to overcome his fears and learn to live life to the fullest…. as full as you can live at 10 months of age!
I hope that my experience will help you make decisions in the future with your nervous bundle, and good luck!