As I hurriedly buckled my (screaming) 8 month old in her car seat, shoved everything in the diaper bag, and sprinted out of the restaurant, I was reminded of why I avoid going to public places. While my husband and our friends got to enjoy their dinner, I got to drive home with an overstimulated (read: very very unhappy) baby.
Since my daughter was born prematurely and spent time in the NICU, I have done my best to keep her in quarantine–or at the very least, keep her away from high traffic environments. I’m proud to say, she hasn’t had so much as a stuffy nose since we brought her home!
Unfortunately, since she hasn’t been around a lot of people or been to many places other than our house, she gets overstimulated very easily. Typical places that families go are often too much for her to handle. She cries all day after people try to hold her at church, she gets overwhelmed in loud restaurants, and shopping is just out of the question.
I’m a homebody, so sitting at home with her all week doesn’t bother me, but every now and then I get tired of people telling me we need to venture out of the house and I cave. I always dread these days because I know how they will end–with an overstimulated baby and a cranky momma.
I’ve read the articles and I know enough about child development to know that it is important for babies to interact with people other than Mom and Dad. But right now, it’s more important for me to keep my daughter healthy and happy, even if that means staying at home.
Please don’t tell me things like “the more you take her out in public the better she will be,” or “your child is so cranky!” Words like that are not helpful. Instead, please support my decision to stay home with my daughter and keep her healthy.
One day, I will get my under-stimulated child used to the overstimulating world we live in, but today is not that day.
How did you get your kids used to overstimulating environments?