Breaking a 3 weeks old of having to be held all the time

Brandi - posted on 09/26/2009 ( 23 moms have responded )

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My 3 week old daughter is completely spoiled. She has to be held all the time or she screams forevere until you pick her up. She will not sleep longer than an hour or two in her bassinet before she wakes up and has to be held. What can I do to get her over this without letting her cry it out?

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Pamela - posted on 10/05/2009

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Put her in a baby carrier or a sling and walk around her. It is completely normal for her to want to be held at such a young age especially since only a few weeks ago you were carrying her on the inside. Babies like to hear their mothers heartbeat it is very soothing and they also feel safe when they can smell you. If you don't want to hold her all the time i would suggest laying her on a blanket or sheet that smells like you. Also babies cry for a reason its usually because they are hungry, tired, uncomfortable or need changing. Have you tried wrapping her to sleep??

Jessica - posted on 09/17/2012

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Hi I agree 100 percent I have 2 children and with my first she would cry and cry and i would of course being a mother rush to all her needs but it got to the point where it was so bad at 6 months she wouldnt try to branch out and start crawling she didnt want to do anything independently even with me right by her egging her on and sadly as a mother wanting to tend to her every need i let this go on i spoiled her to the point she would want attention she wouldnt sleep threw the night and this is at 6 months of age she would scream bloody murder inless i came in there with her everynight and i keep doing it. When she was one she still refused to crawl let alone walk and her Dr pulled me asaid kindly and said she understood that i love my daughter and want to do everything for her but that i was spoiling her and that i wasnt helping her by doing this. At first i thought she should shove it and that was hard to come to terms with but i noticed she was right it was actually starting to get in the way of her developing and i keept ignoring it thinking i was doing her best but really looking back i realize i wasnt at all i wasnt helping her cope with the reality of life which is to be a little one year old to explore crawl around even sleep one night threw the night and lets face it, i made it really hard on myself as well and it didnt have to be. With my 2nd child which came 2 years later i did everything different I obviously cared to my childs needs but realized that i cant come to every cry esp the ones that were just for attention you spend all day feeding a baby so dont ever think like i did that you arnt spending time with your baby if your ignore one cry. A baby needs to learn how to self soothe and sleep on its own and to feel comfortable not on ur hip a baby need to learn how to branch out and crawl and be independent lets face it as much as us moms want to always be there in life there is going to be plently of times we arnt going to be there. Something might happen at school or with a family member and you wont be there a baby needs to be used to a little space and his or her self because if a baby can calm him or herself down the baby will be a lot happyer in the end. My 2nd child was so much easyer she sleept threw the night at 3 months i wouldnt pick her up at night inless i had to i would place her in her crib let her cry for 5 min check on her see if she was fine than another 5 minn same thing she eventually would stop crying and fall asleep and after a few days of that wala she didnt need me anymore she fell right asleep. I also would let her stay on the floor and when she wanted to be picked up i didnt pick her up. Of course it wasnt easy at first she got upset but after a while she got used to it and there was no longer any problems unlike my first by the time i realized what i had done it was a lot harder to break the habbits than it would of been if i started to break them earlyer.

Nicole - posted on 10/01/2009

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I don't want to sound rude but by holding a 3 week old all the time is not spoiling her! Young infants can have separation anxiety and miss being curled up in the womb, that is why dr.s reccommend swaddling. By quickly responding to her cries and holding her you are teaching her to trust you. Maybe try a sling/carrier if you need a free hand.

Dianne - posted on 10/05/2009

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just a add on to alanas comment that swaddling can sometimes help and if they squirm and get loose you can get special swaddle blankets or 'woombies' that give the baby a sense of security or being held, although i wouldnt worry too much about spoiling her, just that you are both comfortable and happy with the situation

Chelseaszidik - posted on 09/27/2009

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I second brenda her information is spot on. Keep holding and loving that baby if you want to raise a healthy happy child.

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Jennifer - posted on 10/05/2009

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You can't spoil a 3 week old! I can just tell you that a few months from now your little one will be crawling around and not want you to hold them that much and you will be wishing you could have those days where you sit and hold them all day! Sarah was held 24/7 for the first 3 months and now she is 8 months and is totally about playing alone and not being held all the time. Keep holding her!!

Cynthia - posted on 10/04/2009

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I think that just like they dont understand right from wrong they probably dont understand crying = holding. Do you feel a little stressed? She may be feeling that stress and getting a little anxious. Also talk to her dr. it may be a gas or colic problem that could be formula, or allergies. I hope something works for you goodluck! Dont stress to much it does get easier.

JACQUIE - posted on 10/04/2009

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You cant spoil a 3 week old...they need held alot. It is a safety and comfort issue. This is the time to hold them all of the time so that they feel safe. It is completely normal and she isnt going to sleep very long yet because she is so little. It may take a while but love her and hold her as much as you can. They grow up fast.

Tara - posted on 09/30/2009

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First off you can never spoil a child with love. Second off this is your baby and all this baby wants is to be held and loved. big deal, deal with it. Get a swing, that may help.

Brandy - posted on 09/29/2009

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In the hospitals and doctors offices they always hand out pamphlets saying you can't spoil a newborn and I think it is so true. She is crying because she needs you and loves your touch and being held by you. Every baby is different and so are their needs. So this one must just need a little more loving than some of the others. She may be having trouble coping with being out of your womb so just try to be patient and give her what she needs from you and eventually she will become more confident and it'll pass. Good luck!

Jamie - posted on 09/29/2009

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Um, she 3 weeks, she should be helod all the time. You cant spoil a 3 week old.

Jenny - posted on 09/28/2009

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i would try getting a baby sling. it keeps the baby close, yet allows you to do other things. my husband and i have been reading this book called "The Happiest Baby on the Block", and it talks about how you have to treat the first three months outside the womb as another trimester. they're in shock, in this new environment, eating differently, sleeping differently, everything is crazy in their minds. their whole little world has been turned upside down! my counselor always reminds me: you cannot spoil a newborn. three weeks is still so very tiny. patience is needed to no end! your baby is used to being INSIDE you! when you think about it, of course she needs to be close to you!
another thought is, if she's always screaming when not held, maybe there's a problem? check with your pediatrician.

Julie - posted on 09/27/2009

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I had that problem with my son. He is now 9 months old. There was nothing I could do with him but to hold him. If I tried to let him cry it out, he would not stop. I think my son had some feeling of insecurity. He also ended up being colicky and had acid reflux. Then the teething started. I would talk to your pediatrician. She is only three weeks old, I honestly dont think she can be spoiled already at that young of an age! Good luck!

Sarah - posted on 09/27/2009

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Your LO just wants to be close to you - enjoy these times. I know it's hard to get things done, but that's what your spouse is there for =] She's growing & it's hard for her to stay full for long periods of time. Usually when they reach 4 months, sleeping longer periods of time will come. My daughter started sleeping through the night around 4.5 months. Enjoy all of the cuddling time now because someday they won't want to cuddle! My LO is 16 months & she's way too busy to be cuddled by mommy & daddy.

Natasha - posted on 09/27/2009

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I know how tiring and frustrating it can be to have to hold your baby all the time! I had this too and was at my wits ends! But i tried to put myself in my babies shoes and think how scary it would be for him to come out of such a warm cosy environment and into our cold noisy world. In the end i would just hold him and get my naps on the chair or if i really had to get things done i put him in a baby carrier and he slept while i cleaned the house. Was nice to have free hands. Just remember that it will get better! My son is 5 months old now and i hardly get to have those cuddles anymore and i really miss them! Make the most of it while you can! =) all the best

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I would agree with all the previous responses. You really can't spoil the baby at this point - she doesn't know any better and doesn't understand. I know that it is really a difficult stage right now and that you are probably exhausted. If you need to take a few minutes for yourself and you don't have the help, put her in a safe place, like her bassinet, and go take a breather close by, but not attached to her. She won't be able to "cry it out" for a little while longer yet. My first little girl was like this and I was so overwhelmed, especially since I was a new mom and so exhausted. Keep reminding yourself that this phase will pass and faster than you can even know. Relish this time that your wee little baby needs to be held by you because in a blink of an eye she will be running around like crazy and won't want those hours of cuddling. Take care and good luck.

Shelley - posted on 09/26/2009

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Just a thought.... my baby used to do the same but wouldnt sleep much at all during day it turned out he had silent reflux and when i lay him down to sleep his stomach contents would come up and burn his throat hence the need to be held upright all the time. its called "silent" because sometimes the vomit or spills after feeds dont make it to the mouth so is hard to diagnose. my boy is 8 weeks now and is much better after getting him on medication to stop that burning. try looking at website "crying over spilt milk" it gives you signs of reflux to help if you think your baby might have it. otherwise i suggest a sling or a front pack so you can get things done. hope this helps :-)

Brenda - posted on 09/26/2009

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Quoting Alana:

I wondered if it was growing pains! I remember even being 8 and 9 and it hurt really bad. I can;t imagine how the little guy feels! It makes me so sad when I have to put my son down when he's crying, but there are some times I can barely keep my eyes open and I'm afraid of dropping him or squishing him if I fall asleep.



Well, most moms won't squish their infants in their sleep, lol.  I think I feared that too, but it is really the only way I got any sleep with my four month old.   Of course, one should be safe about it, I love to use the guidelines on attachmentparenting.org.  :)

Heather - posted on 09/26/2009

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At this age she wont sleep longer than 2-3 hours whether you hold her or not. But they also need the closeness to you. Everything is so new to her and shes obviously comforted by you holding her. I would cherish it. Because before you know it they are never wanting to be held and try to get away from you when you do.

Alana - posted on 09/26/2009

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I wondered if it was growing pains! I remember even being 8 and 9 and it hurt really bad. I can;t imagine how the little guy feels! It makes me so sad when I have to put my son down when he's crying, but there are some times I can barely keep my eyes open and I'm afraid of dropping him or squishing him if I fall asleep.

Brenda - posted on 09/26/2009

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I hate to tell you this, but there's a reason. They've just spent the last nine months in your womb, it is normal and healthy for them to need to be held. The first six months is a very important bonding period. If you need more sleep, cosleep, and she will likely sleep longer. You CANNOT spoil a baby under 9-12 months. It is developmentally impossible. Spoiling says that they are able to understand that they can manipulate them, it is IMPOSSIBLE from a cognitive perspective. Infants especially under nine months need lots of touch to forge a trusting relationship with their caregiver. They have needs, not wants. And for an infant this small, it is a need to be held and comforted. They are also going through tons of pain because growth causes them a lot of pain, even though we as adults don't think about it. If you need to get more done, invest in a sling or carrier (though not baby bjorn, those hurt their spines).

Alana - posted on 09/26/2009

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I have a 3 week old son and he also loves to be held. I bought a sleepsack swaddler combo from Babies R Us and that has helped him sleep at night! I could never get a blanket tight enough because he would always kick and squirm his way loose. this way he stays nice and tight and warm and feels like he is being held!

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