21 answers

9 Month Old Won't Let Me Put Him Down!

Super Moms...
My 9+month old suddenly in the last week or so won't let me put him down, or leave the room. He crys so...that it moves to a total melt down screaming pretty quickly and I would like to know what to do about it. Some feedback I have gotten is that if I continue to pick him up all the time I will spoil him. Other feedback has said that because he is less then a year old I should coddle him as much as he desires. Is there a balance there?? Help! My back is really hurting since he is 24lbs and I am having a hard time getting anything done.

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So What Happened?™

Super Mommies...
Thanks so much for all of your input! It was comforting to know that no matter how I handle it he will be just fine. I do hate to hear him cry though, so I use the backpacking backpack (which he loves), distract him with toys, carry him, and sometimes let him fuss. I am doing as much as possible as close to him as possible. I am now on the market for a carrier that can be worn on the back, and will accomodate him for awhile(he is already 23 lbs.) He even gets fussy in the stroller now! But as several of you have said...I love my snugglebunny and love being close to him and that he also enjoys being close to me...I feel so blessed! I know that this phase will pass all too quickly. Thanks again!

More Answers

I am a mom to a 9 year old boy and an 11 month old girl. I can't stress how quickly time flies with little ones. Yes, when they are needy, time feels like it moves slowly, but then you blink and they are embarrased to kiss you goobye at school.

Being there for them fosters a bond that can only be broken by not being there for them no matter how old they are.

Your baby could be fighting a bug, teething, or making great developemental leaps. All can cause clingy behavior. Your baby will grow up faster than you can imagine. Get the cuddling while the cuddling is good.

Try using a sling or baby bjorn to help the stress on your back and arms...and don't blink! This too shall pass.

3 moms found this helpful

It's normal. They have separation anxiety. But, it will crop up at other ages too, as they go through different manifestations of it. So head's up.

Also, they at this age are learning about "object permanence." That things they can't see, will come back or reappear. Thus, peek-a-boo games.

NO you will not spoil him if you pick him up. He's just a baby. They STILL need to 'bond' with Mommy. My son is now 2.5 years old, and even though he is real independent... he is now a bit more "clingy" with me, and everything is "Mommy" and he loves to be carried. NO biggie. It's just his age... and another manifestation of "separation anxiety" and his bonding with me, changing. It's all developmental based. They need to feel secure. It's all par for the course.

If you need to go do something, it won't hurt to put him down for a bit. Yes, you will hear him cry for you, but you will be close by, and we all have to use the bathroom or cook dinner, right? It's okay. Just place him near you where he can see you... put some toys there... talk to him and soothe him verbally....and build up a trust about it, for him. It takes time, and before you know it, it will be onto other "phases." Believe me.

Yes, it's hard. My back hurt too. My son is 2.5 years old, and he likes to be carried! But it's okay for me. I teach him that I can 'carry' him while sitting down. There are ways around it.

All the best,

2 moms found this helpful

I don't believe that picking up your child when they are this young will spoil them. At this age they start to recognize that they are a separate person from you and start to get clingy. They will grow out of it. At 7 months like clock work both of mine did it. This is what worked for me I would pick them up and then get them interested in a play item. If I had to do somthing (have four kids always had to do something) I would give them to someone else for a little while even if they cried most of the time they would get over it. Usually distracting them with toys would work.

In the end do whats best for your relationship with your baby if that means picking them up to comfort them then do it if it means letting them cry and learn to comfort themsleves do that. Just be patient these adjustments for the babies may take awhile and you will get to a time where you have time to get things done. Mine are about 3 and 2 and at one they started being a lot more independant. Your doing great you'll get through it.

2 moms found this helpful

Just let me say, this is TOTALLY NORMAL!! It's usually called Seperation Anxiety and it usually begins with the age/stage of being more mobile and aware of the world around us. My son experienced this and the explaination I got was, as his awareness grows, so do his fears and those fears are coming from the fact that he hasn't learned that if something (like Mommy) is not in his line of sight, it has disappeared forever...AND WHO WILL TAKE CARE OF ME!?!?

There are things you can do now, to help your son learn (not train) that Mommy is ALWAYS there no matter what, without breaking your back. This is not manipulation. I don't know why people think a baby knows how to manipulate an adult.

What I did was make him a part of the day...if I was cooking, I'd sit him in his high chair, boncy seat or his bumbo on a blanket nearby and let him watch what I was doing. I got him some pots and pans from Ikea and let him cook too. I would explain what I was doing. Washing the veggies, cooking the eggs...this will also help with language development. Same thing for washing the dishes...gave him a rag and plastic container that was wet and had him help me and he loved it.

Laundry meant we'd sit on a blanket on the floor and I show him how to sort socks by color and so on...he's still a very good sock sorter at 2.5. As our kids get older, being Mommy's helper is such a HUGE deal!! My son now calls himself Mommy's 'super helper' and it makes him so proud.

Another thing I started doing when my son was 9 months old was playing peek a boo. While it seems really simple, it is great for easing Seperation Anxiety. I would sit him on the floor and use a blanket, on the counter while in his bouncy chair or in his high chair. Make it a game and explain that Mommy WILL always come back, no matter what. Start explaining and talking with you little one NOW and you will have layed the ground work for good communication as he becomes a toddler. At this age, I don't think people talk enough to their babies and it helps SO much. Use a calm soothing voice and explain that everything is fine and no matter where Mommy goes Mommy will be back. Start slowly with putting him in the high chair and leaving the room for a second and popping back in with a smile and a laugh saying 'Mommy's here!'. Then, increase the time and eventually he'll get the drift and know that nothing will keep Mommy from him.

It's funny because we say 'out of sight, out of mind' but, for babies with this kind of anxiety it's 'out of sight, out of existence and who is going to take care of ME'. Remember while he learns that there are things that exist out of his line of sight, he's going to need some guidance and patience but, you don't have to break your back with carrying him around ALL day.

Oh, one more thing!! My Mom (former teacher) used to place familiar things out of sight and place a type of hide and seek game for them. Like stuffed animals or toys and then, she'd say things like 'where'd the dinosaur go, I don't see him' and then, she'd take him looking for the dino and when they found him 'she's say there's the dinosaur, he's in the den'. I think this little game helped a lot in his older phase of Seperation Anxiety...yes, it can happen at various ages/stages and my son has repeated it almost with every BIG milestone change.

Just remember be calm, be patient and don't forget to lauch!

2 moms found this helpful

my little 10 month old boy is currently in the same phase. It can be nerving (especially when I need to clean up or tend to my 3 year old). Sometimes I have to put my foot down and let him cry...

Part of it is separation anxiety, which is completely normal. Babies do outgrow this...eventually. Soon enough he will be running off to play with his friends. Enjoy his neediness for now.

1 mom found this helpful

My son went thru a stage like this when he was about 12 months. As long as nothing has dramatically changed in his life, I'm sure he is going thru seperation anxiety. My son is now 19 months old and still has some days where he just wants to be held. My opinion: if it lasts longer than a week or so, start to let him "cry it out" so that he knows that crying won't always get him his way. I know how hard it is to hear him cry but he needs to learn to sooth himself. I have a friend who gave into her daughter and is still holding her all the time and she's almost 2. Good luck and remember you're a great mom even if your baby is crying! :)

1 mom found this helpful

Get an ergo or a mei tai carrier - will be much easier on your back. Your son just wants to know that you are there and he can trust you. It's okay to hold and cuddle your little ones!

1 mom found this helpful

i was never an attatched parent... the attatchment parenting method didnt work for me at all. i hated when family would pick up my daughter and carry her around when she was content on the floor playing. if she cried i would calm her and place her back on the floor where she was. i wanted a very independant child and i have one (shes 2 now). i did hold my daughter and cuddle her when she wanted it but it wasnt excessive and constant. try to have him play in the room your in while your working. if in the kitchen give him a pan and spoon (and get earplugs lol). if he starts to fuss consoul him then put him down. after a week or 2 he will start to learn that he cant be help all day long. take it slow. good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I carried mine for a while, but when it started to be a problem, I tried putting them where they could see me, and that worked most of the time. But if that didn't work then I would just put them in the crib and let them cry it out. They usually didn't cry very long and eventually settled down. I would actually tell my kids that I couldn't carry them all the time and set them on the floor with some toys or give them a cracker or something. It didn't take too long before they realized that I wasn't going to hold them all the time and stopped crying so much. When I talked to my dad he told me to test them. He said first make sure that they have a clean/dry diaper and that they are not hurt or hungery. Then set them down. If they cry but instantly stop when you put them down, then they just want to be held. This isn't a bad thing but you just can't hold them all the time. I've tried this test also when I had the opposite problem of the kids wanting to play or run around during church and it worked there as well. Showing me that they didn't need anything they just wanted to play instead of sit. I hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi Chrisi, First let me tell you, that try and never use the terms my child won't let me, children/baby's are not meant to have that kind of control. At 9 months he is still a baby, but baby's at an early age no how to manipulate with crying. If you pick up your son every time he cries, you are creating a habit that will be very hard to break. Nurturing and spoiling is two different things. If he is crying cause he's hurt or sick, then all means pick him up, but if he is crying just to cry, he doesn't need to be picked up. I have been a mom for 25 years, I don't know everything, but I have had enough experience to give you the advice am giving. J. L.

1 mom found this helpful

It could be either one, but there is also another reason he may do that. For 18 months, my daughter clung to me, fussed whenever she didn't see me, didn't want to be put down.

I would suggest that you find a pediatric opthamalogist and have his eyes checked. Mine was so nearsighted she couldn't see a thing. She only went by sound. She would stand 2 inches from the tv to see it.

All he may need is glasses. Gave my daughter a whole new world to see. She stopped whining and started to become independent.


1 mom found this helpful

HI. My son is nearly 11 mos. old and is going through the same thing. I simply give in about 1/2 the time. I go ahead and let him throw his "tantrum" when I _have_ to do something without him (like use the restroom, unload the dishwasher). Giving him toys to occupy himself is a good idea. However, I think that giving him a toilet brush is NOT a good idea.. uck.. 10 mos. old with a toilet brush? He'd turn it into a toothbrush in seconds! heheh The moms who said is was a phase are correct. My daughters went through the same thing at about the same age. It lasts a couple months and then the baby will get the attachment for daddy. So he'll get his turn, too... heheheh Just have patience and know that this will pass and just do what feels right for you and your son. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

g'head, give him love. You'll be surprised how fast these days pass. He might be in this stage for a long time, but he will outgrow it, then you will miss it. Yes, your back hurts, so try to figure out some way to not physically carry him, but keep him from missing you. He will let you know if you are out of sight, so try to keep the visual connection. It will probably get better as he gets more mobile and he is better able to control his location. Enjoy your little snuggle bunny!

1 mom found this helpful

I was told you can never spoil a baby by a CHOC doctor. I agree with the other feedback you should coddle him as much as he needs. Like Lisa Z says time flies by so fast. Try and cherish this time with your him. I would hold him on the sofa and rest with him there. I was so tired. It gets easier just so you know. I was told also that meeting his needs now will make him more secure later. This seems true for me.
You have years to clean your house and I put dinner in the crock pot and that saves lots of time too.

1 mom found this helpful

Well, I carried my two kids around all the time and they are very independent and far from "spoiled". So I guess it just depends on who you talk to. If I were you, I'd get an Ergo carrier www.ergobabycarrier.com I used this with both of my kids until they were 2+ years old. They can ride in the front while young, you can put them on your back or on your hip. My favorite position is the back and my kids LOVED it! They sat back there at the store, on hikes, anywhere/anytime that I needed to carry them, they slept back there, let's just say, that is the one baby gear item I couldn't live without - worth every penny and very comfy for Mom/Dad too!

Best wishes,

1 mom found this helpful

You can't spoil a baby or child by holding them to much. Babies go thru clingy stages. Teach him to help you. give him a dust cloth and tell him to wipe here while you wipe their. show him how to use the toilet brush, while you wipe down the sink. teach him that if he helps you then you'll be done faster so you can go back to playing with him. As for laundry play peek-a-boo with him or rap him in worm clothes. have him find all the socks. I found that when I included them in the chores they didn't cry so much. Also it doesn't take them long before they realize this is work and playing by themselfs is better then helping mommy. Or let him cry while sitting in front of you, in a couple days he'll realize that this is the way it's going to be and get over it. They can't always win that's just life. This too will pass. Good Luck J.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter did this at this age. I would put her in a snuggli or baby bjorn and go about my business. She felt comforted and my hands were free to do what I needed to do.

And NO I do not think you can spoil a child at this age.

1 mom found this helpful

My 7 1/2 month old has started to do the same thing... I have found that if I put her in her highchair and wheel her around with me she is content. I am going through the same struggle...I want to comfort her and want her to know she is safe and loved but at the same time I can't carry her around ALL DAY. I think they are very good manipulators at this age and I know for a fact my daughter already understands some things, such as the word no. When she picks up something she can't have and I say "Nooooo," she gets a little attitude and throws the thing down and cries. No joke. This is my third baby and definitely the sassiest LOL. I think that if we carry them around 24-7 until they are 1 then we will have an even harder time in a few months. I mean, what magically changes on their first birthday? I am curious to see the feedback on this one... I don't have any real great advice but know that we are in the same boat! :)

1 mom found this helpful

Separation anxiety is a possibility but check to make sure that he doesn't have an ear infection. When you hold a child in your arms, their head is usual angled above their body so there is no pressure on their ears. But, if you lay them flat, in their crib, if they do have an ear infection, it will hurt.

If no ear infection is detected, what I would suggest you do is get a copy of the Super Nanny book (based upon the ABC T.V. show). It has a great protocol on getting your child to learn to go to sleep on his own. My recommendation is, teach your child to fall asleep on his own ASAP, otherwise you will have years of forfeiting your valuable evening time getting your child to fall asleep when you should be doing your own thing and getting ready for bed yourself.

Wishin you much peace and quite in the very near future.

1 mom found this helpful

Have you thought about using a carrier? I have a wonderful one called a Chunei ( you can find them at www.ihosausa.com) and it comes from Korea. You can do a front or back carry, and have your hands free. They are on the more expensive side,but VERY comfortable and well made. I'm in no way affiliated with them, just a happy customer! I also have a bad back and neck and this causes me no pain when I carry my 21 month old, 22 lb. daughter.
Good luck!

Also know that at this age, it's VERY normal for him to have separation and stranger anxiety and he's learning about object permanence.

1 mom found this helpful

hi C.,
congrats on your beautiful family! i am also blessed with a demanding 9-month old cherub and am an avid baby wearer. check out the local groups in your area (koalala and ocbabywearers on yahoo group) and www.thebabywearer.com to find out thorough info about this traditional way to bound handsfree with your child. if you are looking for used --sometimes never worn, check out craigslist. i recommend a pouch or ring sling to begin, then building up to a beco or full on wraps as you develop a passion!
good luck :-)
baby wearingly,

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