HOME arrow SYMPTOMS arrow Infant Attachment Checklist arrow 12. Stiffens or becomes rigid when held
Saturday, 16 January 2021
12. Stiffens or becomes rigid when held Print
When our son first came home he snuggled in close to me and seemed very relaxed in my arms.  After a few weeks he became less and less relaxed and began to always sit up straight when I held him.  People said he looked curious and alert...he didn't want to miss anything.  After 8 months of therapy and attachment parenting, he is very comfortable and relaxed with me, his mother, but still sits up straight most of the time with his father. (a. 6mo, FC)
For us, this was the stiff elbow syndrome.  If I held him on one hip, he would take his opposite arm, put his hand on my chest, and lock his elbow so that he was an arm's length away. (a. 5.5mo, FC)
When we first met our daughter she melted into our arms.  She lay her head on our chests and was very relaxed.  After the first day she became totally stiff in our arms when we would hold her.  There are days even now, six months later, that she seems “stiff” compared to our other children.  (a. 10mo, OR)
This (along with eye contact) is a bell-weather for her attachment.  If we're in a good place attachment-wise, she'll mold to me or lean into me when I pick her up.  If our attachment is "fraying" she'll immediately arch her back and become stiff as a board when I pick her up.  (a. 11mo, FC)
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