Please help! My baby wants to be held constantly and it's wearing me down!

Maria - posted on 09/07/2010 ( 31 moms have responded )

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I don't know weather i've done something wrong by picking him up from day one everytime he cried! He'll be 7 months on Monday and i just think now it's time for him to learn to play by himself for half an hour while i do the housework! Is this selfish of me? My house is starting to look like a bombsite and i'm getting worn out!
I've got him all the toys in the world imaginable, (the swing, the walker, the door bouncer, the play gym...etc and he'll play for 5 minutes and then scream and scream until he's picked up :( I've tried leaving him to whinge to see if he can stop himself from crying but he just gets louder and louder so i end up picking him up again. I'm getting distressed because whenever he's with anyone else he's as good as gold, and i feel like he hates me! Maybe it's because if he's with his granny they pick him up 24/7 anyway?! I'm not saying i want the whole day to myself, just enough time to do the dishes and hoovering! Anyone with any help would be great and greatly appreciated.. my health visitor is useless with advice! Thank you all :) x x

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Sarah - posted on 09/19/2010

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You will miss this! The attention that he wants to give you now wont last much longer. Once he starts crawling and walking, he will be so wrapped up with exploring that you will have a hard time with the lack of attention. I have 3 little girls, a 4 year old, a 3 year old and a 7 month old, and let me tell you, you have not seen disaster until you've seen this house after a day where mommy doens't follow them around picking up after them. But by having the first 2 children so close together, I have learned one major life lesson that my third is benefiting from. It doesn't matter if the house gets clean, it doesn't matter if you have to let the cold water out of the sink for the 3rd time in one day, and it doesn't matter if you have turned the same load of laundry on for a second time because you forgot to put it in the dryer yesterday, LOL. What matters the most right now for you LO is spending quality time with them, developing a life long bond. Your baby needs to know that you will be there for them when they are upset. This stage will pass. For now just enjoy being the centre of somebodies universe. Forget the chores, forget the housework. And if anyone that comes to visit says anything about the mess, tell them you spent the day realizing how perfect your little baby is. Take this advice from a mom who trips over lego's in the middle of the night to warm up bottles, and who puts the same cup of coffee in the microwave at least 3 times a morning to warm it back up!

Dani - posted on 09/16/2010

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i know it may sound harsh and people may not agree..but from 4/5 weeks i was putting my little girl down awake for her naps and at night time, she had a stage of testing me with crying when i put her down... i left her to cry because it was just her testing what she could get away with?! now she is fine and can sit playing with her toys or books for hours i do play with her with them but if i need to clean she is fine... its a hard thing to do let your bundle of joy cry it broke my heart but it worked for me

Yxia - posted on 09/20/2010

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Wow, great posts from all these wonderful mommies. I don't even know if you'll hjave the time to read all of these!LOL. But I too just wanted to let you know I'm going through the same w/ my 7month old baby girl. I'll say this, teething is a major culprit! Aside from that I'll tell you all the things I do to "distract" her from wanting me to hold her all the time, because yes, You ARE entitled to not only 30 mins to clean up & hoover but as a human being, as a woman, and a mommy you should be able to shower, change & pamper yourself for at least 15 mins alone! Feeling good bout yourself makes for a happier mommy who's able to be more resilient. Don't feel guilty about this. ;D
Ok, so after you've made sure he's not hungry, doesn't need diaper change, doesn't need to burp, and doesn't have his little leg caught on something, or any other thing that could make him sad & cry, here aree some things I do with my daughter that work like a charm after I practiced them for over a week.
Pack n'Play alone time; I now will let her cry for max 20 mins if I have to, but after that I speak to her hold her and kiss her and then put her back down. I sing her songs all the time. i make them all up as well.lol. If Im in the kitchen I speak to her too, just a little bit louder so she can hear me. If she's still crying I put her in the stroller and I bring her into the kitchen while I'm cooking or doing dishes and I enunciate every object and I spell it out for her so basically I use it as "teaching words, colors and food time" ;) and she loves the conversation. i've noticed that as long as I keep talking to her and even responding to her babbling, she feels comfort and I don't even have to pick her up. What else? Oh! the sippy cup! that's her new toy and she feels very accomplished (and distracted) when she sees that she can hold it by herself and actually drink water); she laughs and smiles right after. When all else fails I'll stop cleaning sit her on my lap and I'll read an entire story book to her ; usually by the time Im done she's worn out and falling asleep . When THAT doesn't work I allow her 20 mins of Sesame Street or Olivia or Discovery Kidz and I teach her about animals, or numbers and letters once again. ;D. At the end of the day, its all about teaching him little by little that mommy's there and eveything's ok even if you're not holding him. Just do intervals, allowing yourself 15 mins at a time to take care of your business and then back to baby. But yes, it's true, this time is priceless and its going to go by so quickly! Enjoy it! Please share with us what happens 2 weeks down the line from now. best of luck! You're a great mommy!

Melanie - posted on 09/09/2010

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Hi Ladies,
My son is 7 months on Sunday, and he is my fourth. If you want to get housework done, play wioth your son for an hour put him into his cot to go to sleep and then get the housework done. My son today was put down in hos cot for under 2 hours and i got loads done. Make sure he is asleep put him in his cot. I f that does not work try a soother his teeth might be hurting him and needs something to bite on, if not do not know what else to suggest. Good Luck
Melanie

Sarah - posted on 09/18/2010

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Hi Maria, im sure you have enough posts on this at this stage, but i agree with Krista. My 7 mth old is so clingy with me, and like your son, only sleeps for a short amount of time at a go, even when hes sleeping i cant get the hoover out, as this would wake him up. My gorund floor is open plan and even if im at the sink washing up, in full view, he still gets cranky and crys to be nearer to him or picked up. What i have done is sat him on the rug on a blanket with some toys while i stay around and always sing songs, even if i nip to another room for a minute or so i sing louder and call his name to let him know im still here, that just because he cant see me, im still around. Sometimes he gets very dis-stressed but i would always pick him up and cuddle and sing to him. More often than not its down to teething too and he just wants to be held. Your doing great, i went back to college on Monday and was so worried but hes doing great. This is the best time to go back to work as they need to know they cannot be dependent on you 24/7. It is good for them and YOU. You need a break and even though its work its still a break. Best of Luck and dont worry too much about it.
x

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Natalie - posted on 08/18/2013

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My 5 week old is exactly the same
. He will not sleep in his crib at all. He must be sleeping on the bed next to me. I make sure there are no extra pillows or blankets and I keep him in the middle of the bed

Randi - posted on 05/29/2013

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I had the same problem. But what helps me get things done is a strict schedule and once my baby who is now two got into a schedule I was able to use nap time and play time to get house and other stuff done. Don't get me wrong I picked her up from day one and she sleeps with me and she is still clingy and lovey but another mother told me enjoy it because she isn't gonna be like this to much longer. Also there is something called baby carrying where u wear the toddler or baby on you in a carrier made for this sort of things. U can get more things done, just a suggestion. Good luck!

Jodie - posted on 09/17/2010

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Hi my name is Jodie. My daughter just turned 7 months today and we are experiencing the samething. Whenever I am home we have to hold her constantly, although when my husband or anyone else has her she does not do this. It appears that it only happens when I am home for the most part. I have done an experiment and left the room when my husband is still in the room with her and she stops. I have been told that she does this because I am nursing and since she has started to eat other foods she is still looking for that mommy baby time.

Erica - posted on 09/16/2010

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My daughter Kahlan cries if she can't see me or if I'm too far away. She loves being held but will crawl around and play with her toys as long as I'm on the couch or the floor. She sits on the counter in her Bumbo chair and watches me do the dishes and clean her bottles ( I also have a musical toy that she can play with while sitting there) and I throw in the laundry when she goes down for her nap... then put her in the laundry basket to play on the bed while I fold the clean stuff. She absolutely haaatteess the vaccuum, so I do that when her dad is home and can hold her in another room.
Hope this helps in even a small way :)

Maria - posted on 09/16/2010

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Thank you for all your help ladies.... he's too heavy for the baby carriers, he was 10lb 7oz born and now weighs 28lbs, so that would break my back! :( I've tried all the walkers, bouncers, high chairs toys etc but he hates it all! He's getting a little better now, he's trying to start crawling so he's keep himself entertained for about 10 minutes doing that! I think i was having a bad day when i posted this, i'm going back to work in 2 weeks so really want to spend as much time as i can with him at the moment! Thanks for all your comments, unfortunately none of it works, i just must have the worlds fussiest child! :)

Jennifer - posted on 09/15/2010

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What I do is as soon as my little guy starts to cry I give him something else to do. Like when he doesn't want his jumper I put him in his bouncy car. When he doesn't want that I put him in his bumbo. When he doesn't want that I keep alternating and it is working like a charm so far. Hope this gives you a little time to yourself. Good luck.

Karen - posted on 09/15/2010

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My son is also very clingy but he does give me the 20 min breaks while he plays in his walker or activity center. The other place I put him when I am doing chores is in his pack and play. I also do the dishes while he is drinking from his bottle (I insisted he learned how to old it) He has a rotation of toys so that they are aways new to him. He gives me about 30-45 mins in there. If you can't clean while they are napping perhaps you can clean with them - as an activity. It may take you longer, but it may meet both of your needs.

Melissa - posted on 09/15/2010

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All you ladies with babies that need to be by you 24/7 are an inspiration! I can't offer advice on this as my 7month old daughter is a bit of a dream baby really lol but just wanted to leave a message saying good luck & you're all doing wonderful jobs! :-)

Chelsie - posted on 09/15/2010

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You haven't done anything wrong by picking him up all the time! Babies NEED to be attended to when they cry. I totally understand how you feel.. I have a high needs little man, but he has gotten much 'better' since learning how to sit up on his own. I still only get maybe 30-45 minutes of free time, but his independence is growing. The more mobile they get, the less they'll need to be held. Try putting him in his high chair and give him a frozen bagel or some raw carrot sticks to play with and chew on while you do dishes (this also makes our dog happy! :) We don't use a jumparoo thing and he never liked his swing.. but he likes sitting on the floor with an assortment of toys. He likes being talked to and interacted with, even if I'm sitting at my sewing table while he plays. They just need to know you're right there with them. They will continue to foster a sense of security and grow to need your constant contact less and less.
Also, consider getting a baby carrier (not one of those crotch dangler things like a baby bjorn or snuggli, but a good one). A nice carrier (consider a soft structured one like a mei tai or Ergo..) will keep him close but free up your hands so you can get stuff done. (I've been wearing my lo since he was about 3 weeks old). There are babywearing groups all over the internet. You might even have a club near you. Check facebook.. I'm sure there's one on circle of moms too. Or send me a msg and I can give you a ton of resources (we're avid babywearers).
You CANNOT spoil a baby with attention and physical contact. Leaving a baby to cio is more stressful and in the long run, they just learn to shut down. CIO causes high levels of the stress hormone cortisol to be released which can actual effect their developing brain and wire them for poor stress-coping skills later in life.
Good luck mama!

Mel - posted on 09/14/2010

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I have a backpack that my 7 month old goes in and then she is completely happy while I clean the house. My hubby even does all the yard work and cleans the cars with her in it. It is only a phase and soon enough you will be wishing your babe was wanting you near 24/7. Once they start walking, they move towards independence ...and away from you. Many mothers pay a mother's helper so they can get a little time for themselves or some house work done. Good luck - it is frustrating - thankfully it is a stage that doesn't last too long. Personally, I don't believe she is at the age to learn "you can't have it your way" She is learning trust vs mistrust and needs to feel that she can rely on you. That said, I don't believe putting her down in a playpen for 10/15 mins here and there is a biggie either. Good luck!

Corinne - posted on 09/14/2010

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maybe you can try putting him in his highchair while you do dishes and give him some puffs or a bisquit to keep him occupied. that's what i do with my daughter and she couldn't be happier making a mess all over her face!!! hang in there girl you'll get through it!!! =)

Tammy - posted on 09/13/2010

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I find my daughter gets like that sometimes.. She wants me to be there watching her and all her silly things she is doing to impress me (I love all the silly things she does, but sometimes, I just wanna do the dishes!!) I found that she loves playing peekaboo, so I will let her play on the floor with her toys while I am in the next room doing the dishes.. I keep on talking to her or singing and every couple of minutes I poke my head in and play peekaboo.. She loves it because she doesn't know when I am going to do it, but she knows that I will.. Eventually I can stretch out the minutes in between each peekaboo... It takes a bit longer to do dishes, but they do get done and she stays happy and thoroughly enjoys the game...

Lisa - posted on 09/12/2010

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Hi Maria,
I know how you feel my daughter was exactly the same way until she was about 3 months old and I started bringing her around the house with me to do the house work. I'd bombard her with the noisiest toys with flashing lights and vibrations or I would put her into her Jolly Jumper while I did the dishes and just keep talking to her and playing with her making her laugh while I rushed around and did the dishes. She still doesnt like being alone for longer then 2 mins while I go to the bathroom or something but as long as I am in the room she is ok. But try taking him around the house with you in his walker (if you havent already) or putting the jolly jumper near where you are cleaning!! Sorry not much help. Poor bubba is probably teething really bad is he? And with the sleeping thing Mia was exactly the same would only sleep in my arms or in her cot fo 15mins. Have you tried wrapping him really tight and putting him between wedges when he is defnately asleep? I had to do that with my daughter and it worked a dream. Then when she got used to sleeping alone I stopped wrapping and started tucking her in really tight in bed so she couldnt wake herself with her arms. Does he sleep with you at night too? You poor thing xxx

Karen - posted on 09/12/2010

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My son is the same way. I leave him to play by himself. When he starts crying I leave him to cry for no more than twenty minutes. If he cries longer than that then something is wrong. He usually only cries for five minutes or so.

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Have you tried wearing your baby? Commercially, there are backpacks available, but for your and his comfort I would suggest a wrap, which you can find anywhere on the internet. He's only 7 months old, he wants to hang out with you. Even my son, who plays very well on his own for 1 or 2 hours a day still wants to be held for a total of about 6-7 hours during the day. It's pretty normal.

Jessyka - posted on 09/12/2010

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at seven months, he is just starting to have object permanance and separation anxiety may be here or just around the corner.

you have done NOTHING wrong by picking him up when he cries. babies CANNOT be spoiled. they need to learn that you (mom, dad, caregivers, etc) will be there to meet his needs at all times.

regarding fussing/trying to get things done -- have you tried wearing him in a baby carrier? the moby wrap, mei tai, or ergo carriers might be good, especially if he wants to sleep while being held as well. you can wear him, and then get housework done. it will probably be soothing for him to hear the vacuum, and to hear the water run while you do dishes.

my other suggestion is to put him in his high chair or something next to where you are, and talk to him while vacuuming/dishes/laundry, etc. i use laundry as a teaching tool (he lays on the bed while i am folding/putting things away) and he sits in his bumbo while i am cooking.

i know how frustrating it can be -- but there are ways to be able to get your work done and still meet your baby's need to be held frequently! :)

Keri - posted on 09/10/2010

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All babies go through separation axiety. You need to keep your baby close to you playing on the floor and when he/she cries go to him and instead of picking he/she up get on the floor and console he/she. keep doing this, but if baby is in an outright panic pick her/him up. Read the book Baby Whisperer. Work like a charm for me.

Sheila - posted on 09/10/2010

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I said I would report the doctor, I did not say anything about her parenting. Please do not make it out to be like that. Yes, I do know that that is what is said when trying to prevent shaken baby syndrome, and yes I do agree with it. Putting him down in his crib for a couple minutes with the door closed and walking away so you can catch your breath, yes I do TOTALLY agree with that. I have two kids, been there done that. And no there is nothing wrong with getting five minutes to yourself here and there, again been there need that too. I was not at all trying to sound at all like she is worthy of being reported at all. I am very very sorry if I sounded like that. It was not my intention at all, and I really apoligize if that is the way it was taken.

What I was trying to say, and obviously didn't, has also been said by another lady on here. "Dont' feel like he hates you, he loves you & wants to be near you so that's why he acts like that more around you. I would also not recommend leaving him to fuss for 45 minutes. That's a long time".

I think why there is a problem with answering this so nobody gets offended is that no one is defining how the baby is crying (like I'm hungry, need changed, need comfort) or if the baby is fussing or whining (need a new toy, I'm bored). Because there is HUGE difference between how you need to react to them, right? I mean, if they are crying crying and you ignore them, that's not good, and EVERYONE agrees with that!! But its when they are fussing or whining, how you react to them is totally up to you as a parent and what you can handle at that moment, right? I am NOT condeming anyone for how they react to that, I was just trying to give ideas of how I react to it. By sitting down with him, playing with him, talking to him a different voice, being goofy or ignoring it. Sometimes they are trying out new sounds to see how you react to it, so maybe ignoring a whine would teach him that "Nope, that sound don't wor`k to get attention`. As his mom, you are probably the best one to figure out what kind of noise he is making and the best one to decide what will work best for him.

I would also suggest maybe trying to get stuff done while he is napping. I understand trying to get stuff done with a child who doesn't nap very long, my first was like that, he didn't sleep for nothing!! I've learned that staying up that extra half hour or more at night after he went to bed definately helped with getting things done. It was the only time that worked for me. My first was (by the sounds of it) the same way, and now he is six and very very independent ( I was the only mom on the first day of kindergarten not to get a kiss good bye because he was too busy making new friends). That is what I meant by right now you are his world, but they do grow up. And then, if your like me, you cry because you aren't their whole world anymore. They don't need you as much.

I hope that this post helps you more and I sincerely did not mean anything negative towards anyones parenting skills with my first post. Again I apologize if that was how it was taken. I was just trying to say that 45 minutes is too long for an awake baby to alone in a room by himself.

Krista - posted on 09/10/2010

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Saying you would report someone or a doctor who told you to leave this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard! They tell parents to do this all of the time when they are frustrated. It's parents that keep trying and the baby that keeps crying that can cause the shaken baby incidents. The baby is perfectly safe if you leave him to fuss for a little while. I do think 45 min is a bit excessive, but there is nothing wrong with taking a time out. Keep trying it and maybe he'll get a little bit more independent each day. You are doing the best by your baby, and that is all you can do. Don't let these people tell you that it's wrong or worthy of being reported. That's the worst thing I have ever heard someone say to another person on here!

Christina - posted on 09/10/2010

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I have a 7 month old who is pretty much the same way. Dont' feel like he hates you, he loves you & wants to be near you so that's why he acts like that more around you. I would also not recommend leaving him to fuss for 45 minutes. That's a long time. I can see a few minutes if you're trying to get something done & he's not screaming or anything. I think it's part of the "separation anxiety". Your his mommy & he just wants to be near you. Our son has a seat he sits in so at least while I'm doing dishes or cooking I'll move it into the kitchen w/ me so he's right there & he usually does a little better w/ that.

Maria - posted on 09/10/2010

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This is the problem! He wants to be held when he's sleeping... when i do manage to put him down to sleep he only has 15 minutes and then he's up again! He's got the soothers, the bicki pegs, teething powders - nothings working!

Maria - posted on 09/09/2010

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I'm not ignoring him, just trying to do the dishes! Obviously i would go to him if he was crying, but he hardly ever cries, it's just the whining when he's left to his own devices for 5 minutes. I always make time to play with him and talk to him but there comes a point when i have to tidy the house i'm afraid! I was just seeing if there was something i could do for him to overcome his bordeom that doesn't involve me all the time, I'm going back to work in 3 weeks time so i'm sure the nursery staff won't be able to hold him 24/7 so i'm trying to make him a little bit more independant, that's all.

Sheila - posted on 09/09/2010

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My son just turned 7 months on the fourth and is going through the same thing. I will tell you from experience ( I also have a six year old) that this is just a stage and they will grow up and out of it. Please don't leave him alone in a room for 45 minutes!! That is not good for him at all, at 7 months old that doesn't teach them anything but to cry and stress out more because the person who is everything to them is not there. I would report that and any doctor who tried to tell me to leave him alone for 45 minutes. At this age, you are his world. Nothing else is better or can compete with you!! I know it is exhausting!! But they do eventually grow up.

It is a good thing to pick him up when he cries, but remember there is a difference between crying and whinig or being frustrated. Could you just try sitting down with him on the floor and playing with him, maybe not picking him up right away. Responding to him in a positive way when he cries will only teach him that you love him and will always be there for him. 7 months is right at the age where they are learning to trust that someone is there for them and that when mommy leaves the room that she will come back. 45 minutes, or even 5 minutes is a lifetime to them, they have no concept of time. Teaching your son that you will always be there will only help in making him independent later on in life. Because he will know that there is a safe spot to come back to. But if you teach him that maybe mom will come or maybe she won't (leaving him alone for too long) than you will probably get a kid who will cling and cry whenever you try to leave because they can't trust you to be there.

Remember that there is a difference between crying and whining. I still wouldn't leave a child alone in a room for more than a minute or two at seven months, doesn't matter if they are qhining or crying. They cannot speak so this is their way of communicating. "whining" & crying is their way of saying that "something is wrong in my life, please fix it". Next time that he whines for you, try just talking to him, sitting down beside him, showing him a new toy, or singing to him. Please, please, please don't put him a room and ignore him!! You will not hurt him if he is shown that you love him!!! And for this age, that is how you show him, by being with him, holding him, being there when he needs you, and responding to him.

Maria - posted on 09/09/2010

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Hi Kaity, thanks very much, it's nice to know i'm not on my own! My mum took him off my hands for a few hours last night so i could take a break, and she did the same as you suggested just leaving him to it, and she said he calmed himself down eventually, and then when she went to him half an hour later he was a lot happier, i'm hoping it's just because he's teething and he feels happier being held when he's in pain, poor boy! So, I will give it a go and see if it works! I was meant to ask my health visitor yesterday about it but the car broke down on the way there so i missed her! :( I think we should just take everyday as it comes and put up with it! Hope your daughter's well, thank you for replying :D x x

Kaity - posted on 09/08/2010

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hi my name is kaity my daughter just turned 7 months old on the 6th anyways girl i know where you are coming from my daughter is doing the same things and it is stressing me out sometimes i just wanna scream and yell (but i dont) lol and its not your fault your son just is still needing the closeness from you and my daughter is the same way she is always good for everyone else but me and does get to me she has all the toys in the world but yet she just wants you what I have done with my daughter and I know this sounds mean but I talked to my doctor about it and he told me to just put her in another room and let her fuss she needs to learn you cant always have it your way let him fuss but no more than about 45 minutes after that then something really is wrong just hang in there it will get better the older he gets! I hope I helped a little bit

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