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Can't put baby down without her crying...

14272 Views 23 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  majikfaerie
Hi all! I'm new to the forum.. I'm a new mommy of a 5 week old little girl, Eliza Rose.
My problem thus far has been that she can't seem to be content unless she's being held. I can't put her down for more then 5 minutes before she starts screaming. This makes it really hard during the day as my boyfriend works full time and so whenever I need to get anything done- eat, take a shower, wash the dishes- she just cries and cries. I've been told to let her cry herself to sleep, but even that doesn't work as she will cry for an hour if I let her. If she does happen to go to sleep, she wakes right back up and starts crying again.
Nothing I've done seems to work- she has a bouncer with fish on it to look at, and I've tried mobiles and everything else. I'm not sure if there is another solution.. or if this is how all babies are at this age..?
I'm really having a hard time with this since it's impossible to get anything done, especially things I have to do, without her getting crying for a long time. Have I 'spoiled' her into needing to be held all the time, or is this normal and they eventually grow out of it? I'm not wanting to just put her down and leave her, but I can't stand to take a shower or trying to eat, with her crying like that..?
Any help would be appreciated.
Thank you all for your time.
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Babies can't be spoiled. Babies NEED to be held. Do you have a sling or a carrier?

It is NEVER okay to leave a baby to cry.

Welcome to MDC, I think you'll find that things are a bit different around here.

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This is very normal behavior. Do not beat yourself up over it. You won't be able to get much done, you need to prioritize and go to the bare necessities. Expect to get little accomplished very day, you have a new baby! That is a 24 hour job. She needs to be held, fed, changed, bounced, held, fed, changed, burped, walked, fed, you get the idea.

Do not let her cry herself to sleep. She may need to eat frequently at this age, even every 2 hours or so. She may want to fall asleep at the breast, totally normal. There are lots of posts and threads, do a search. Check out Dr. Jay Gordon's website,, and Dr. Sears websites. All have great information.

You are not alone, you are just postpartum and a new mom! Sleep when the baby sleeps, let the vacuuming go, don't make any commitments, eat take out, etc.

Good luck, I am sure you will get other great responses too!
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Do you have any babywaring things? Slings, Mei Tais, Wraps??

Check out for some info on them.

A lot of mamas here use them to keep baby close while still being able to get things done. I know if can be kind of frustrating in the first few weeks as you try to get things done with a baby that wants nothing but to be close to mama.

I'd seriously look into a carrier...probably a wrap or a MT since it leaves you hands free to eat, do dishes, etc. As for the shower- I sometimes brought DS's bouncy chair into the bathroom- he liked the sound of the water, and I'd peek out at him often. I even used TV to babysit while I showered for a while
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I think possibly the greatest creation of all time is the stretchy wrap--you tie it on, and then you can pop a newborn in and out of there all day, you can nurse in it in public (you can't see a thing), your babe will eat a little then fall asleep, then wake up and you can take her out and have her look around. It's unbelievably helpful. Here are a few of them--Hug-a-Bub, Moby Wrap, Cuddly Wrap.

And the other thing that really helped us was to get outside. Babies LOVE to be outside, and they often quiet down right away. I remember going on 4-5 walks a day when DD was tiny.
Oh, I forgot to ask, are you using a sling? There's a whole section here, you will find that a sling will literally change your life. Nurse baby, baby falls asleep, you can move around and get stuff done, cook, be on computer, take a walk (take a walk every single day even if just walking around mall). If you are having problems using a sling or can't seem to get it right, call your local LLL group and ask a leader to show you how to use one, sometimes they can take a bit of getting used to.

Ok, now I'm really done.
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agreeing w/what PP's said and adding...

you can also find slings for the shower. has water wraps (among other things), and has "pool pouches" (great for the shower, too).

If you can't afford a sling right now, you can get a crappy cheap front carrier for $30 at Target to get you by in the meantime, too.

At 5 weeks she has nothing to go on but her instincts. Her instincts say "if I am more than a few feet away from a responsible adult, a cheetah is going to rush through the grass and eat me...I could get too cold...I could starve to death." If we didn't come programmed like that, we'd be an endangered species.

I know personally how draining this constant need to be held can be, but it doesn't last very long. You can get through it. Just make sure that when your boyfriend is home he gives you time to relax by yourself while he tends to the baby for a while. A baby's main developmental goal at this age is to learn how to trust. Responding to her needs now will set the stage for her future health.
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ITA about getting stuff done with baby in the sling. also I like nursing baby to sleep in the side-lying position - there's no moving baby once they've fallen asleep and it's easy to extract yourself.

Of course I'm typing this with a 2y10mo nursing to sllep in my lap & holding a 3 week old, eh, still got a hand free to post hehe
oh, mama, it is so very hard isn't it ... those first tender weeks are so wonderful and so difficult, especially for a first time mama (at least I felt that way) "overwhelmed" doesn't even begin to cover what it is like to become someone's whole world

I second what others have said about a sling - it was a real sanity saver for us. It was like getting my arms back
and also allowed baby to sleep, snug, and cozy while I could eat, read the mail, log on to MDC for some support, etc.

Here's a link about slings and "wearing" your baby(w/ a super easy pattern to make your own) that someone posted on another thread I read: Mamatoto

Another thing that helped me was to use a clear shower curtain and put the baby in one of those bouncer seats on the floor in the bathroom. That way baby can see you and you can be making eye contact and singing songs or whatever while you shower (most mamas take those super quick 3 minute showers
) and hopefully she'll feel okay because she can see and hear you. It worked with my first. I haven't had to do it yet with my son ... or maybe I'm just not showering as much

I'm going to guess (and I apologize if I'm out of line) that your instincts are telling you to ignore what others have told you about letting her cry herself to sleep or else you wouldn't have posted here. Am I right? If so, TRUST yourself, mama, and don't let her cry. That is too high of an emotional cost for both of you. If your instinct is to hold her, until she sleeps, or even while she sleeps, then do it. YOU know best. Follow your heart and ignore those who tell you to do something that you feel totally against or agonized by. I really don't believe it is possible to "spoil" a baby.

I'm also going to echo the pp who said to let the rest of the stuff go ... just caring for a new baby is a 24 hour job ... let the dishes stack up. heck, if the dirty dishes bother you, buy paper plates for a while and throw them away
... horrible, I know, but you can go back to recycling and saving the earth after you have saved your sanity
Seriously, let the housework wait. It will still be there.

Your "to do" list should be something like: feed baby, feed self (and don't forget to load up on the water, too!), rest, relax, cuddle baby, be happy. Repeat. Stay in your pj's all day if it is that kind of a day. Take things one day at at time, one hour at a time, if need be.

When you get overwhelmed, need to vent, or feel like things are totally too much, come here. There are lots of mamas with good advice and sympathy. I know that I for one took a long time to get my "sea legs" as a first time mother ... you are not alone. And MDC is "open" 24/7

Be gentle with yourself mama. Please

Best Wishes!
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Okay, first off, DO NOT feel bad. My son is only 3 1/2 months old and he didn't like to be put down for the first 2 months... He used to cry, etc. It WILL get better soon.

If you have a good back then try a sling, they do help. My back is terrible so I had to find different ways. I'd put DS (dear son, you'll see lots of these acronyms here) in his little papasan chair and have my arm around him, or under his head so I wasn't totally supporting him but he was definately being "held." Slowly he got used to mama being near but not on top of him. I'd move myself gently a little bit away from him each time, but not if he was upset. Now I'm able to sit next to him and fold his laundry, eat, etc, without him screaming. He's one happy little guy, but it did take a while until he was able to self soothe, and a lot of it came with age.

Again, you can't just let him cry, it will break your heart and its not developmentally helpful to the baby.

Oh, and also, don't let anyone beat you up here. There are some militant mamas who don't believe that any way but there way is the right way. It can make you really full of mama guilt, and its not worth it. If baby is happiest when you are holding her, then hold her as much as you can. Don't sweat the small stuff, if you need to put her down to breathe then do it. I remember crying when DS was because I felt that if I put him down I was a bad mama. When I finally gave myself a 5 minute breather I felt much better and came back to baby more in love with him and refreshed....
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Do you have anyone who can come over and hold the baby for a little bit?

I had a crier like that. From birth until four months and even then he was pretty easily upset. I had a sling and plenty of baby carrying experience and he would still cry. Sometimes it was so desperate (I didn't have anyone to come over and hold him for me) I would just set him down and step outside for a deep breath or two. Don't be afraid to do that if it just gets too overwhelming. It's not the same as letting him cry it out. If you feel yourself getting upset or overwhelmed, set baby down somewhere safe and go in the other room (where you can still keep an ear out for baby) and slowly count to ten breathing deeply.

Sometimes babies just cry. Do your best to avoid having him feel overwhelmed, avoid possible colic causing foods, carry him as much as possible ect. But know that this is pretty normal.

((((((hugs to you))))))) I've so been there.

For what it is worth, my new baby (the crying one was my second born) is very very mellow.
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I second all the previous posts as well. Hang in there! My DS is 3 months old and the first 10 weeks or so are very very difficult. All you need to focus on is your baby. Forget about dishes, cleaning, etc. Take some mommy time if you need to in the evening when your partner can watch the baby. During those first couple of months, my DH would take the baby while I took a bath or something in the evening. It really helped to recharge myself. Slings are GREAT! Especially if you baby is fussy. Try putting you baby in a sling of some sort and take a walk outside. It worked almost always with our DS. It really does get easier. Now at 3 months our DS will fall asleep in a swing, stay in the boucy chair while I take a shower and be happy, and even let me do some cleaning while in the chair or in a sling on me. Babies love to be held as this young age and they need their mama! You can do it, and like the pp said, trust YOUR instincts. Do not trust the advice of anyone else unless it feels right to you.
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Hey ElizaRosesMom, welcome to the forum!
As you've heard, your baby is acting totally NORMAL! At 5 weeks, trust me, she isn't trying to 'manipulate' you into holding her all the time and you CANT "spoil" her by doing so. (though lots of people might try to tell you that you will spoil her, you've seen yourself that the method of putting her down and letting her cry isnt working)

Being held all the time is a natural NEED of every baby, just like the needs for food, warmth, cleanliness, etc.
here is an article that says pretty much why carrying your baby in a sling is the best way to have a happy, healthy baby who doesnt "cry every time I put her down", because the best thing for babies is not to put them down.
Anyway, check out the article, it explains it well

And like the other PPs said, trust in your instincts, don't just follow blindly, not even what I say.

listen with your heart and go with how you feel.
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My babe is also 5 weeks, and my sling is my best friend right now. Hang in will get better soon!
Hi there,

I can totally relate, my DS (now 6 months) still won't tolerate being put down, although it's better now than when he was 5 weeks! He screamed bloody murder for months and we were SO worn out and sleep deprived.

Everyone has given you such good advice already. I agree with wearing your baby...honestly, just give it a try. Don't worry about "spoiling" your baby, it's not possible. Hold and snuggle your baby as much as you can! For the first 4-5 months of DS's life, I held him for all his naps...either in my lap, or in a carrier. He slept so much better that way, and I just had to overlook the dirty dishes on the counter and get out a book. If I needed a nap too, he slept on my chest. At night, he sleeps in the bed with me, and he has never been left to cry on his own. Sure, he has cried a LOT before going to sleep, but always while being held, talked to, sung to, danced, etc.

A note about baby carriers: I had a hard time figuring out the ring sling I bought. I ended up making a "wrap" with a long piece of fabric (someone gave you a link above to the mamatoto website), and it's much easier for me to use. I also have an ERGO carrier, which has pretty much saved my life (although they are a little pricey).

Good luck to you!
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Just wondering how things are going today .... let us know if you get a chance, okay mama?
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*huge hug*
Thank you all for the amazingly compassionate and caring responces.

I am most definitely going to make a sling this weekend (with my mom's help, as she's the expert seamstress)... I agree with you all and understand her need for being close to me. I've felt the same way since she was born- it was a hard thing for me to even let her sleep in her bassinet as I felt that she was still too far away (even being right next to the bed.) She's now transitioned well into her crib and sleeps there nightly without a problem.
She truly is a really great baby. We have yet *knock on wood* to have any incidences where us holding her did not sooth her crying. I'm amazed at how easily she gets along and how obvious her needs are. That's why it bothered me so much when she'd sit there and cry, because I knew as soon as I would pick her up, she would quit crying. But it's hard to differentiate when so many people tell you that you will 'spoil' them. I want her to grow into an independent little person, but I do see that it takes time and I'm not about to make her feel like I've 'thrown her to the wolves' so to speak.

I believe that for the time being, I'm going to make time to let her sit on her own every day, with me in the room with her- and if she starts fussing, I'll let her know I'm there with her by playing with her or singing to her. If that calms her down, then great- if not, I'll of course pick her up and we'll go about our day. I know the dishes can wait, and usually they do- as well as waiting to shower until my boyfriend gets home, which has already started to happen- although the only times I can really see a problem will be when I have an appointment and I have to be somewhere at a certain time- if I can get her to sleep, it would be ideal, but otherwise, I'll just have to put her in the bathroom with me and hope that she doesn't cry. Getting one of the wet slings isn't feasable for us right now, but I really can't see it being a huge problem as we only have appointments about once every 2 weeks. I'm very lucky to be a SAHM, so I don't have to worry too much about going to work or anything as such.

I would like to just be completely upfront and honest- I respect everyone's opinions and will hope that you do the same for me... I don't breast feed- the little one had serious trouble latching on, and even the lacation specialist couldn't help- as well, she had jaundice and my milk production from pumping just wasn't enough to help push it through her system... We're not co-sleepers because my boyfriend is such a heavy sleeper, he's constantly afraid he's going to roll over on her, and almost did once (we co-slept for her first 2 weeks) so we felt it better to transition her into her crib. And we're not married yet, although once I am out of college (gotta love scholarships that demand you be single in order to keep them) we do plan on marrying.

I hope this doesn't change anyone's opinions about me, and I hope you all know that I respect you dearly for the choices you make, especially the ones that make life a little harder on you- though more fulfilling for your babies.

Thank you all again so very much! I'm glad to be part of such a great community.
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I have a ten week old that loves to be held... I couldn't live without a sling! In fct, she is in one right now! So I can type!
One day at a time, mama

You'll get there, together ... and it WILL get easier ... as she gets a little older and as she feels more secure, she'll probably start crying, then pause for a response, instead of just constant cry, too. My son is starting to do that (2 months old today) and it makes it a bit easier ... like he knows he's cried for me and he's giving me a chance to answer, you know?

I agree that it is very hard when you get so much advice, especially advice that conflicts with what you feel in your heart. I don't know which is harder to deal with really - the advice from strangers because it is just so irritating that they think they know you or your family ... or the advice of those who love you and love your baby and you know they just have your best interests at heart, even if you think they are totally wrong
It is a challenge, to say the least, especially if you ever feel like I did, which was often like I had no clue what I was doing

Just keep on trusting yourself, trusting your baby to give you the cues to show you and your fiance what she needs. One day at a time!

Best Wishes!
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