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Making Baby Affectionate

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

My daughter wasn’t a snuggler. At least not post-newborn stage after the limbs stopped flailing. At 6 months when she began to crawl, I’d hug her and she’d push away. She was far more interested mauling and smothering the cat. This puzzled me. Perhaps affection isn’t ingrained in everyone. In some, maybe it’s learned.

Thus began Operation Hugs and Snugs.

“Give mama a hug and a snug,” I’d say, picking her up and putting her entire cheek in my mouth. Phil cringed. “That sounds so stupid.” But a moment later, he’d be the one asking, “why isn’t our baby more cuddly?”

So Snugs and Hugs became my mantra.

Early on in the deployment of the Operation I noticed Fi would go up to our closest mom friend and hug her. Wtf? Granted, her boy Teddy was a huge hugger, but I’m the one who breathed life into her. Instead of getting upset about her misplaced loyalty, I decided to take this as proof my strategy was working.

I stepped it up a notch. Operation Hugs and Snugs enlisted the “Barnacle Baby.” I’d lie in child’s pose, pat my back and say, “Come barnacle on mama.” She began to scream in delight and climb on me. I’d go up on all fours and she’d sit on me as if riding a horse, giggling like mad. Then she’d lie down, her little arms wrapped around my sides, her head and warm stomach against my back. I’d inhale deeply, knowing there is nothing better (until she’d fall off head first and cry).

Barnacle Baby

Barnacle Baby

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