How do I deal with a 4 month old that wants to be held ALL the time?

Tracy - posted on 09/05/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )




My son is 4 months old and wants to be held all day if I am not holding him, he is screaming.. I feel like I am neglecting my other two children, one of which is only 20 months old because I spend all my time toting him around trying to keep him quiet. My parents tell me to let him scream but I feel terrible letting him cry that long not to mention the constant screaming is enough to make me want to do some screaming of my own... Does anybody have any advice?


Rikki - posted on 09/05/2009




You need to do what you feel is right FOR YOU... for me personally, I had a hard time letting my baby cry for too long at that age.. I didn't start the cry-it-out until about 7-8 months - with both my girls... My 1st was 18months when my 2nd was born, so I know exactly what you are feeling... hard to pay attention to the 1st when the 2nd needs you... I learned to let the house stuff go for a bit, and sat down on the floor with the baby while I played with my older daughter...or cuddled on the couch with both... again, you do what YOU feel is right....

Jane - posted on 09/05/2009




very difficult situation but if your little one is fed clean warm and comfy he is only looking for your attention. Your parents are right in what they suggest. My middle baby was the same but try playing music especially a musical toy or womb sounds there are tapes available to buy. the more you respond to his unneccessay crying the more he will do it and will also affect him as he grows and he is likely to become vey demanding at home and at school. Very hard to ignore I know believe me but instead of picking him up put him in the same area you are in and then talk to him so he can hear your voice which will be reassuring to him as well. another one is to distract him with moving light toys which shine pics on the ceiling. hope this helps tc:o)

Funda - posted on 09/05/2009




I totally sypmpathise with you. My son was the exact same way. I couldn't even put him down after he fell asleep in my arms. I spent the first 4 months holding him constantly cause I couldn't stand the idea of letting him cry it out! But it became too much for me and it was really stressful to hold the baby 24-7. I was depressed and seeked professional help. I was recommended to read the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child by Mark Weissbluth. Now I swear by this book and recommend it to anyone that's been in our situation! It does recommend that you let the baby cry it out but you have to read the book to really know how and what to do to make this difficult time ease up. I followed the books recommendation and after a weeks torture he was sleeping by himself and laying down without being held 24-7 and it was a miracle!

Hope this helps! Good luck!


Minnie - posted on 09/05/2009




Baby carrier. Wrap, sling, mei tai, moby, pouch, whatever. Strap that baby to your body and go about your day.

Before anyone gripes at me...there are PLENTY of mammas on here with older toddlers and infants who manage to tend to their infants' needs and not leave them to cry AND give their older child attention.

Carry your baby. Every fibre of his being requires him to be carried in your arms.


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Krista - posted on 09/05/2009




Lisa is right. I don't think there is any "personal preference" to be had about whether or not to hold your baby as much as he/she wants you to. We are all born with an intense desire to be held and touched, the absence of which will result in developmental delays, physical, emotional, and mental. Allowing a baby to cry unneccessarily may result in the baby ceasing crying, but be assured , it won't be because he/she has learned that crying doesn't get him/her what they want, but because they have given up on having their needs met. Seriously, listen to your maternal instinct. If you feel guilty whenyou allow your child to cry needlessly, you are neglecting him/ her. (sorry if I sound rude, I am just soooo passionate about this) We need to educate ourselves about the developmental needs of our babies and not just take the advice of some "expert" in the field of psychology who wrote a book.

Mindy - posted on 09/05/2009




I agree totally with Lisa. I hold my 5 month old ALOT of the time in a wrap. She LOVES it - she checks out the workd, she snuggles, she plays, she sleeps. She clearly gets fussy (insecure) sometimes and as soon as she sees me putting on the wrap she gets calmer.

I can type, prep for dinner, clean, shop and chase my 2 year old! My two year old likes her in the wrap too because then he knows I can pay more attn to him because my hands are totally free and she is happy!

It is super comfortable for me too. I have worn it for 6+ hours at a time. I've worn her the zoo, festivals, hiking, walks, stores and home.

We also have a sling, and I used to have a Bjorn but I had to get rid of that once I found out how great the wrap is!

Vicki - posted on 09/05/2009




Hold him. Use a baby sling or wrap. A newborn is not just "looking for attention." HE NEEDS YOU TO HOLD HIM.

Melissa - posted on 09/05/2009




i agree with your parents i did that with my kids yes at first its hard and you feel like your neglecting him but he needs to know that when he really needs you you will be there and not just when he feels like being spoiled cause thats all its doing spoiling him.. get a swing or anything that he will feel safe and just let him cry.

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Have you ruled out any medical problems? Babies with colic will cry when put down as being held close to your body not only offers emotional comfort but your warmth helps to relieve his colic as well as the rocking motion produced when you walk around with him. Ear ache can also be a problem as when baby is laying down, the pain in the ear increases and eases when you pick him up and hold him in an upright position. You could try a baby sling/harness that leaves your arms free. This is a difficult one and you must be feeling drained and exhausted. If you haven't ruled out any medical issues, maybe that should be your first step. Hope this helps, my last baby didn't want to be put down till she was about 6-7 months so I carried her African style on my back for a couple of months.

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