Audio version available here: https://anchor.fm/sophie-burrowsIBCLC/episodes/Do-you-have-a-FOMO-baby–Fear-Of-Missing-Out-eb0jfv
Do you have a #FOMO baby? (fear of missing out)
Ah, the #FOMO baby! The are usually around 4 months of age. The situation goes a little bit like this:
Baby: Mummy, I’m hungr….. did you see that light over there?
Mummy: yes, little one, I chose it, you’re hungry right? Please take the breast and feed…
Baby: ah yes, defiantly hungry… but wait…. WAIT…. Did you do that thing move over there, and the colours in the room and (some one walks by) OMG mum, another human, they might smile at me… no keep your breast out, I’m hungry but look at the PEOPLE MUMMY!
Mummy: sigh, baby, you are hungry and you are becoming slightly overwhelmed now little one please snuggle in.
Baby: ok, but the light.. the light have you seen its shape?
Mummy: yes, I chose the light and wired it in… now PLEASE feed.
Baby: ok, ill try…………… Did you hear that (insert niplash as a baby who latched on turns their head quickly mid suckle to follow the sound)
Mummy: I think its time to go to a dark room and lay down to take away all of these distractions….insert a probable sigh! (checks nipple is still attached…)
So, you might well be nodding your head in appreciation of this, you might have gone through this stage, or you might be in the depths of it. Its intense, many parents find that their little ones wake more frequently at this time too. Usually just when you feel like you’ve cracked parenting and found your grove this almighty shift comes out of nowhere. It has been called a “sleep regression” at times, I dislike the use of the word regression in infants because technically they can’t regress and if they do it’s a serious matter. If we think about this in relation to what is going on with babies at around this age of development, things begin to make a bit more sense. Click here to understand what we know about brain development up to this age. From birth there are an overwhelming number of things going on with brain development and by the end of the third month things begin to finally slow down. It’s like your baby is “loading” up until this stage and finally they are able to work with the world with a full download and its SUPER exciting. Its also REALLY overwhelming. Babies don’t expect to be born into the 21st Century they are born with the resources needed to try and survive without all the wonderous tings we’ve now got in our lives. Our world is full of stimulation, colour and excitement. Us boring adults are almost used to it or at least able to ignore it to some level or we would equally become completely overwhelmed, many of us do, I often joke to my family my favourite sound is silence…parenting is loud at times.
The mummy above went to a dark room to feed her baby, some mothers find this is helpful. Some mothers offer their baby to feed more frequently to get milk into to them with the allowance of the #FOMO effect. It is definite “go with the flow” type situation where you are likely to want to cut down on the amount of commitments you undertake and possibly force yourself to go to sleep earlier to when your baby has their first long stretch of night sleep and consider (if possible) taking a nap in the day with your baby. It can feel like your baby has been swapped with a new born, luckily this one smiles at you though.
This stage does end… that flow comes back. You can end up with interruptions to sleep when there are new skills learnt by you baby, rolling over, crawling, waking etc are all times that sleep can go a bit crazy.
All of this is normal, there are times this a #FOMO baby isn’t normal. If you baby isn’t feeding AT ALL it could be a nursing strike. (Click here for help with that) It is important you also know the signs your baby is getting enough milk (Click here for help with that). And… if sleep is really not going in the direction you can work with and you are all kinds of exhausted there is support out there. Please don’t use a sleep trainer though… the keyword you want to look for is holistic sleep coaching more information here. You don’t need to train your baby to do anything, you can encourage them in certain directions but enforcing things by form of extinction training is often unhelpful to many and holistic sleep coaches understand normal infant behaviour and work with you with that.
One of the best things some mothers say they do during this time is search out groups that are experiencing of have experienced this too. One great place some families find helpful is a La Leche League meeting and you can find your local group here.
Remember you are a wonderful parent and you can get through this stage. I’m your cheerleading Boob lady and I’m sending you energy and good thoughts.