When are babies OK with not being held 24/7? - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-02-2010, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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In addition to all the other issues I'm having (some of which seem to be getting better! woo-hoo!) one issue I'm encountering is that my baby just wants to be held ALL THE TIME. Even when he is in the sling he wants his butt patted or something.

I love holding him but I am seriously starting to develop a painful tennis elbow! Plus my husband goes back to work on Monday and I'm just wondering how I'm ever going to get in the shower or have a poo by myself. I'd love to be able to just put him in his swing while I fold the laundry, etc. - but most often he doesn't last more than 10 minutes in it w/o crying and wanting to be picked up.

Also his obsession w/ being held and touched makes putting him to sleep - either in his swing or his snugglenest - a challenge at night.

He's 3 weeks old and I'm guessing this constant holding need is temporary and the result of him just being such a little man. Am just wondering at what age babies feel a little more secure and don't need to be held as much?
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Old 01-02-2010, 01:27 PM
 
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Old 01-02-2010, 01:34 PM
 
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crashing from new posts...

for my 2 the "magic" age was 9 mos. thats when both of them starting walking. things got better at the 6 mo mark when crawling/cruising started, but the switched wasnt truly flipped til 9 mos

Bring back the old MDC
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Old 01-02-2010, 01:36 PM
 
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I think it depends on the baby.
This baby, my fifth, needs to be worn or held by me. Dad won't do 50% of the time. I had my twins by myself with a 2 and 5 y/o at home and no help. I don't remember them needing to be held this much (although one of them didn't like anyone but me to hold him). If they had needed this much I wouldn't have made it mentally.
As of next week I am by myself for a month. How will I workout? My oldest daughter can't stand hearing her baby sister cry. She'll probably have a breakdown!

Snarky Army wife, mom to 2 girls : 6, : 9, twin boys, 4 : and born 12/10.
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Old 01-02-2010, 01:38 PM
 
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Crashing!

It totally, completely depends on the baby - there's no way to really tell. My son was totally OK being put down form about 10 weeks on. My DD wanted to be held all the time from day one (but thankfully was also OK with being nursed down to sleep and giving me time then). I would work ASAP when he gets just a bit bigger on side lying nursing and then do the "tuck and roll" to sneak away while he sleeps - that was a savior for me in the first 6 months. I do think that at about 3 months DD would sit in the bouncy seat long enough for me to take a 5-min shower before she started screaming, but she never liked any baby "contraption" or floor time for more than about 10 min maximum. She just always wanted to be with me when she was awake. And I didn't do anything different with her than I did with her brother, who from infancy was happy to be on his playmat or bouncy seat for 45 min at a time.

Whatever the result, whether he winds up being OK with being put down in the next couple months, or whether he wants to be close to you for his entire first year (like my DD was), know that it's nothing you're doing or not doing...it's just who he is. I've had kids on opposite ends of the attachment spectrum, and while it's sometimes challenging and draining to meet the intense needs, it pays off in the end as I have 2 very happy, confident, securely attached kids! I'd probably focus on getting him to be able to sleep for a little while without you so you can recharge while he sleeps, especially at night. I know they say you should sleep when the baby sleeps, but if you have a baby that wants to always be with you when they're awake, you need to carve out some time when you don't have them on you.

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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Old 01-02-2010, 01:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by The4OfUs View Post

I've had kids on opposite ends of the attachment spectrum, and while it's sometimes challenging and draining to meet the intense needs, it pays off in the end as I have 2 very happy, confident, securely attached kids!


My hardest babies, the two that cried whenever they were with someone else and were somewhat disliked by sitters and relatives for it, are today my easiest kids. You'd never guess they were high-needs babies.

Snarky Army wife, mom to 2 girls : 6, : 9, twin boys, 4 : and born 12/10.
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Old 01-02-2010, 02:25 PM
 
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Totally depends on the baby! As hard as my DS1's problems with reflux were, he was my good sleeper. Once he was asleep I could put him down anywhere and he'd stay asleep for hours. My DD couldn't sleep at all and never wanted to be put down despite learning to run by 9 months. I had to wear her until after her first birthday. I didn't give up trying to put her down though. Just as I keep trying with Everett. He seems to be similar to DD in needing to be touched all the time. I'm just hoping he outgrows it sooner than DD. I just try to look at it from a different perspective. Babies who always want or need to be close to mama have a strong survival instinct. That's not such a bad thing. In the wild, they would be the babies who make it. Although it can be exhausting while you're in the moment, infancy really is fleeting. Years from now you'll look back on these times and wonder where they went. My oldest just turned 7, and seems like just yesterday he was Everett's age.

Di Linh, mama to DS1 (7), DD(4), DS2 (b 12/01/09)
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Old 01-02-2010, 09:24 PM
 
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the best way to get my guys to sleep for a bit without me holding them is to nurse in the side-lying position, and then when baby is finished and asleep, sneak away.

When baby begins to sit up and crawl, and be more alert and play you will get some breaks, but really, not a lot.

getting fresh air, being outside always helped my little ones sleep... so going to a good walk and then returning would buy me a little time...

good luck! It does go by fast...

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Old 01-02-2010, 09:31 PM
 
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Um. Can I refuse to answer the original question, on the grounds that you're going to dislike the answer intensely, and tell you that for my two intensely clingy kids, one of them- the one who wasn't out of my lap for ten minutes together until she was 17 months old- is now a ferociously independent and feisty 4yo? The other is Isaac, who is a law unto himself but is also fairly mellow.

It's worth trying swaddling. It will get better when he discovers his hands, and much better when he can do stuff on the floor (roll, eat things) but it's probably not going to get actually GOOD for a year or more. Get breaks for yourself, and time to recharge your batteries.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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Old 01-02-2010, 11:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The4OfUs View Post
Whatever the result, whether he winds up being OK with being put down in the next couple months, or whether he wants to be close to you for his entire first year (like my DD was), know that it's nothing you're doing or not doing...it's just who he is.

I've had kids on opposite ends of the attachment spectrum, and while it's sometimes challenging and draining to meet the intense needs, it pays off in the end as I have 2 very happy, confident, securely attached kids!
Great advice! This baby I can put down to "play" at one week old. The first one, I never could!

Diana, homebirthing, homeschooling, homemaking wife and mother of two (plus one more coming this Spring)!
Wrap Your Baby Comfy, versatile baby carriers and lots of wrap instruction.
Preparing to move our family of five into a motorhome and live on the road fulltime at Free Range Dreams.
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Old 01-03-2010, 02:03 PM
 
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I found a solution to this problem, for my baby at least.

I swaddle her after nursing in a waffle receiving blanket (stretchy) and put her in the vibrating bouncy seat. I leave enough space between her legs to buckle her in and I recline her in the porta crib. When she fusses the bouncing rocks her back to sleep. I had forgotten this trick (one I used with the other kids) and it works like a charm! When she wakes up she looks around instead of screaming. Yay!

Snarky Army wife, mom to 2 girls : 6, : 9, twin boys, 4 : and born 12/10.
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