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Baby doesn't want to be put down

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I'm not complaining about this or asking for advice on how to "break my baby" from this behavior. I love being close to him and wear him in a sling, co-sleep, etc. But even setting him down to go to the bathroom or change my clothes causes him to squirm and start to cry. He only wants me and won't even tolerate being held by DH for more than a few minutes (unless he's in a deep sleep).


Part of me loves this behavior and I would hold him every day, but realisticly I do have to do the dishes and shower once in awhile. I do wear him in a sleepy wrap when I'm up and about, but there's really only so much you can do with him in the wrap. I feel like I'm pregnant again and can't bend down. Plus he is nursing constantly and it's a chore pulling him out of the wrap and adjusting to nurse him. 


For some background, DS was born about 5 weeks early and was in the NICU for 25 days. He's two months old now (3 weeks adjusted). He came home getting ebm from a bottle and after two weeks of persistence he is now exclusively breastfed (yay!). I think that might be why he's still nursing so frequently -- because it's still hard for him to get a lot of milk at a time. Or maybe he's just eating like a 3 week old baby, even though he's actually two months old?? He's gained 3.5 lbs in a month of being home, so whatever we are doing is working.


One little trick I discovered today was to put him down wrapped in the shirt I was wearing. I think the warmth and my scent helped. But once he woke up and realized he'd been "tricked," he starting huffing and puffing and crying until I picked him up. He nursed for 5 minutes and then went to sleep in my arms. 


Anyway, the last two months have been a really hard introduction to parenting (this is our first), but we've powered through it. We've moved recently and really don't have any help and both of us are getting worn down. Any advice would be really appreciated. I don't want him to feel abandoned and we never let him cry for more than a few seconds. There has to be some gentle strategy to get him to be content for at least 30 minutes so I can cook dinner!

post #2 of 17

Hello! Sounds like you are doing an excellent job of raising your little man, especially getting him to exclusively breastfeed!! Sounds like you should be very proud! It's definitely overwhelming having a needy new baby. My first had colic, and sounds similar to your description of needs. I know what you mean about a difficult introduction to parenting, and the strain of feeling like you're still pregnant. I wore my first all.the.time, and if it wasn't me, it was DH. Wearing your baby will get easier. You'll grow stronger and more resilient.


Have you tried making dinner while wearing him? That grew easier and more comfortable (not to say I wasn't bitter about it a lot of the times, because it is hard work!)! I had my second DD in August, and I spent an entire day cooking, made three double batches of things, all while squatting from the knees the entire time. Exhausting, yes! But doable. Will DP wear your baby? That might help him tolerate being away from you. Then you could spend some time and cook and freeze some meals, then on difficult days you can just pull from the freezer and reheat. In our area there is a business called Supperworks, where you can either go and make, or order and have them make, meals for the freezer. Buying premade stuff might be in your best interest, at least for a bit. What about a swing? Does he like that, even for five minutes, so you can jump in the shower?


These days are long and difficult and demanding, but you will (in retrospect) be amazed at how quickly they pass. Also, I found these early days WAY easier to tolerate the second time around.. parenting builds thick thick skin!

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 


Thank you for your encouragement! Most people I know have no idea the determination it took to get him to exclusively breastfeed!


I'm glad to hear that wearing him will get easier! That is awesome that you were able to do so much while wearing yours.... The majority of our kitchen cabinets are below the counter so I'm now wishing I had done more pregnancy squats -- didn't realize that they were preparing me for babywearing too! I have done very little cooking at this point and with him being early I wasn't able to stock the freezer as planned. We are getting sick of prepared foods! I'm going to try to wear him this week while cooking and we'll see how it goes. DH can wear him, but he always wakes up looking to nurse and gets frustrated when he sees who's holding him....

I haven't tried a swing....we don't even have one since we are pretty minimalistic. I have been pretty particular about him getting soothed by us and not something artificial. However, this whole experience has made us pretty flexible (hospital birth, feeding through a tube, bottles, pacifiers, formula when milk wasn't in yet, etc.). So maybe I should look into getting one...


I'm so glad to hear it gets better! I want to have a lot of kids and I've been pondering how it's possible to do this with little ones running around! 




post #4 of 17

Just wanted to say hang in there!  It gets easier.  Try the swing.  Borrow one to see how it goes, or get one at a consignment shop.  As much as it is good to carry them, you are right, there are some things you just need both hands for!!!  Take care!

post #5 of 17
I could have written this post 9 months ago (other than the premie, NICU, bottle part)... now, DS is 11mo (!) and things are sooooooo much better!! the days are long but the years are short! hang in there mama! and congrats!
post #6 of 17

I second the swing. I know  it's nice to minimize plastic stuff in our home, plus wanting kiddo to be soothed by a human, but part of good parenting is taking care of yourself as well, and letting yourself get worn down  or unable to attend to anything else won't help in the long run. Lots of babies love swings.  If she finds soothing for even a few minutes a day it is worth it in order to go to the bathroom, shower, etc. We bought a little travel swing that is portable, and I could move her into the room I was working in.   You could also try white noise, especially when you are starting to try the swing. My fussy daughter LOVED the vacuum cleaner. She could be in full scream and stop right away and scrunch up into fetal position and actually seem peaceful when we turned it on.  I guess the womb is quite noisy so they often like loud white noise after birth, and using it to soothe her for a few minutes until she settled in really helped. I took many showers while she happily listened to the vacuum, or a recording of it, in her swing. She is 5 months now, and we never use the swing or the vacuum (my dirty house shows it!) She really only needed them for the first 6 or 7 weeks, then she became adjusted enough to the world.

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much ladies. We have some pretty good baby consignment shops in our area--I think I'll be on the lookout for a swing!


MN Baby Dust: DS is a little prone to diaper rash, so we use the blow dryer to make sure he's extra dry after a diaper change. For the most part, he doesn't like diaper changes but once we turn the blow dryer on he's an angel. So now we just start it up as soon as he's grumpy. Funny how that works! I should look into recording some white noise for him!

post #8 of 17

We made a recording of the vacuum, which wasn't quite as effective because it didn't have such profound whooshing sounds I guess, but worked sometimes. Usually we just went for the real thing. I also transitioned from vacuum to static on a clock radio, which she slept with on all night for about 2 months. At first the only way I could get her to nap without me was to turn on the static loud and then turn it down after she was zonked. There are also tons of recordings out there, like on i-tunes or Amazon, of white noise for babies. Whooshing with heartbeat noises, ocean sounds, etc.

post #9 of 17

We're the same here, but DD is 3 months and nothing unusual surrounding her birth. 


I get the being bitter about not being able to put her down to even prepare food for myself. I went hungry a lot during the first two months because she would shriek when I put her down, but it started getting to the point where I was dizzy holding her because I didn't have enough to eat. Not good. 


We've moved on to a mei tai, so I can put her in a back carry while cooking and doing laundry. It's touch and go, and you're right, it sucks to have to take her down to nurse (she wants to nurse every 90 minutes right now), but I can work three times as fast with her on my back than I can on my front. Also, because she isn't directly on my breasts, she tends to go longer between feedings because she doesn't have the scent of it teasing her. 


We tried a swing, but no dice. She's gotten better now that she's old enough for the bumbo- she will sit on the counter while I do a couple things quickly. 


Most of it has just been trying things little bits at a time to teach her that they are ok- when she's super happy we put her down in her chair and play with her for as long as we can until she gets fussy, and then taking her out once she fusses. We don't want her to think the chair is punishment, and we want to listen to her feelings, but we also need to have a bit of arms free time, so this has helped build her up to 15 minutes or so in the chair at a time where she will be happy and content. 


*hugs* It's not easy, especially hwen it's important to you for them not to cry, but you're trying to juggle your own health and sanity at the same time. 

post #10 of 17

I second everything that has been said... congrats on exclusive BFing! And it's wonderful that you are so in tune with your baby's needs, but PPs are right that you need to take care of yourself as well. I'll also second the mei tie back carry. It was a little tough for me to get the hang of it at first, but I spent lots of time watching youtube videos and practicing and now I love the back carry for doing chores/cooking, especially when DS is cranky.


Something that also worked for me, but you may or may not be interested in... even though DS would cry more with DH, I would still let him hold DS while I went on a walk for 15 min around the block. Of course I made sure DS was well fed first, and didn't do it during the harder times (evenings were the worst until 4 months), but it was so great for me to get away for a bit. Also, even though it was hard to hear the crying, I knew that DH had to muddle through his own parenting skills and figure out what works for him and DS. Eventually DH found ways of calming DS that didn't even work for me!  At first, I felt bad because I heard about how horrible it is to "cry it out," but I came to realize that crying in your loving father's arms while your crazy mama gets some much needed alone-time is not CIO.  But still, this is not a good fit for everyone, I realize.


Last thought... dinner doesn't need to me made in the evening, it can be made anytime in the day. This might be a no-brainer to everyone else, but it was a huge realization for me. My guy was very fussy in the evenings, so I would try to make the big meal during the day. It was still hard, but not as hard as 5-9pm!

post #11 of 17

Wow, I am so heartened reading this thread, because my daughter was the exact same. I also that it was really hard for me to get anything to eat, as most things take two hands! 

Hang in there- my daughter is 5 months, and she is still as attached as ever, but now that she plays with toys I can set her up and walk away for a few minutes. Makes bathroom/tea-making trips much easier! 



post #12 of 17

My DD was the exact same (except not a preemie--I can't even imagine!) at 2 months.  It was awful.  I loved holding her and paying attention to her, but really, Mom has needs too.  I even had my MIL here to help out and it just made it worse--she was angry that she couldn't hold the baby and gave me lots of subtle criticism about why DD was so fussy.  (Don't get me wrong, I love my MIL, but it was really hard.)  Adding to the awfulness is that I have blood sugar issues (prediabetes) discovered only during/after pregnancy, and DD is sensitive to a billion things in my breastmilk, so I have very strict eating rules and can't really eat much prepared food.  It sucked.  I eventually just stuck my head in the sand about the blood sugar for four months, because I couldn't handle it all at once.


I did the babywearing thing but didn't find it helped me much in terms of getting stuff done (still doesn't)...my DD likes to do back arches so I had to be able to get a hand on her quick, and likes her freedom (though also wanting to be held constantly) so she'd throw a fit after a few minutes in the carrier.  Though, once she got older, I could carry her on my hip in the ring sling and do some non-cooking, non-cleaning things.  A ring sling is easier than trying to shed the stupid Moby wrap every few minutes, too.  I mostly use an Ergo for walks (getting out of the house and getting some exercise was soooooo good for my mental health) and the ring sling for errands/stuff around the house.  Oh!  And DD would calm down a lot on walks, and sometimes sleep. Walks = lifesaver.


HANG IN THERE!  My DD is now 6 months old and I swear, between the ages of 3 and 4 months, life got so much better.  I could put her down on a little blanket and she'd play and wait while I did whatever...first it was only for one or two minutes (long enough to bolt some food), now I can manage maybe 10 minutes if I'm lucky.  It feels like heaven.  She is still really high-maintenance, but all that responsiveness when she was tiny paid off--she is really, really well-behaved in crunch times, because she's confident that she'll get what she needs (or something :) but that's what it seems like).  We took her on a trip to India to visit her grandparents a few weeks ago and it was amazing how much she'd tolerate...like 36 straight hours of travel to a completely new place, or fifty gabbling strangers all plucking her out of each others' arms and jabbering at her in a foreign language.  The other babies on the plane were melting down left and right, and she was just whimpering a bit every few hours, no wails at all.  It was hard to believe that my super-fussy baby was behaving so well.  She still needs a really high level of responsiveness and attention, but you get rewarded for all that effort!

post #13 of 17

My babe was like this at two months.  I got to be pretty good at doing a lot of things while carrying him, or wearing him in a Moby Wrap, but it also meant it was hard to do a lot of ordinary things like eat sitting down, cook something on the gas stove, or take a shower.  I recall it got a bit better around 3-4 months.  But yeah, for the first couple of months, it was rough. 

post #14 of 17

I second the awe and wonderment at the ladies that can get much more done while wearing their baby!  I have the Moby, and frequently a chunky 5 1/2 month old in the Moby, and I can barely fry an egg with her wrapped to me.  It doesn't feel safe!  And for the record, in terms of cleaning and getting into the low cupboards...  getting down is easy.   If all you have to do is get down there, no problem! 

My daughter was not a preemie, but at two weeks from her due date she was "two weeks old" and I was still nothing more than baby furniture.  Very stinky, hungry baby furniture.  I didn't start helping her learn some independence (translation: handing her to her Papa and RUNNING out the door) until she was closer to three months.  She still needs to be held a lot - counting our co-sleeping time of about 9 hours in bed together, she is in my arms or on my body about 2/3 of each day.  I wish someone had told me that her needing to be held all the time - literally, all the time - was normal and I should go ahead and just do it.  Trying to put her down in the first few weeks was agony, and I gave up - lucky for us, I'm a quitter!  orngbiggrin.gif

post #15 of 17
Originally Posted by MrsGregory View Post

I second the awe and wonderment at the ladies that can get much more done while wearing their baby!  I have the Moby, and frequently a chunky 5 1/2 month old in the Moby, and I can barely fry an egg with her wrapped to me.  It doesn't feel safe!  And for the record, in terms of cleaning and getting into the low cupboards...  getting down is easy.   If all you have to do is get down there, no problem! 

Oh yes-- front carries I don't get much more done. I can accomplish small tidying tasks, but can't cook, or clean properly, or take laundry up and down the stairs. That's why it was a huge help when I was able to move her to my back. I highly highly recommend investing in a carrier in which you can put baby on your back.

post #16 of 17

I second the back carry.  Very much worth figuring it out.  I didn't ever figure it out with DD1 (in hindsight I didn't have the right carrier) but I have with DD2 and it has changed my life, for real.  I got a nice woven wrap and it's great - I can put her high up on my back so she can see over my shoulder, and she is perfectly content to be up there and watch me do stuff.


Front carries are better than holding the baby in your arm but still pretty awkward for getting stuff done around the house.  I certainly would not try to cook with a baby in a front carry.

post #17 of 17

AHA!  So y'all are back-carrying when you cook...  thumbsup.gif

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