20 answers

Newborn Being Too Attached to Mom

Hello, I have a daughter who is almost 2 1/2 months old. I am currently a single mom and she doesnt really see her dad that often maybe 3 times since shes been born. My problem is that I cant even really set her down to go use the restroom without her crying like she has something wrong with her. She never wants anyone else to hold her either she does fine for a few minutes than she has a total melt down. I need advice on how to help her learn that self soothing is really a great thing for her to learn and how do I teach her that I dont have to be holding her all the time. Also, how do I get her to go to other people because I need to go back to work eventually and she will have to go to a babysitter.
Thank you, J.

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J.~

It has been a long time sensr my kids were babys, but I have a good friend that went to this web site and she says that it help her out.
www.dunstanbaby.com

J.

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She's not too attached to you, she is normal. You are her world. My son was the same way at that age - I could hardly put him down to do anything, but you learn to adjust and manage. And sometimes you just have to let her cry, but assure her you'll be right back. Or put her in a baby seat and take her into the various rooms with you. As for getting her used to other people - try to hand her over more often and don't take her back as soon as she starts to cry (unless that person is unwilling to hold her anymore). To get her used to being without you - lay on the floor with her, play a little and when she's occupied a bit (she'll do that more as she gets older), move away a little. Try moving away a little farther so that she gets used to being on her own for a bit. As for a babysitter, is there someone you can leave her with now while you run a few errands (grandparent, friend, etc) so that she can get used to you leaving her with someone else? When it gets closer to babysitter time you should go over there with her and stay a little bit to help her get used to that person before you actually have to go back to work. Leave her with the sitter for shorter periods before you go for the whole day.

hey J.,
i am a single mom also, and my son is just a month older. he was the same exact way up until a few weeks ago as well, and when you are a single parent there isn't always someone else around to give a bottle or entertain while you try to get anything done. the front pack carrier if you dont already have one has been really helpful, but as far as putting him down, i got him one of those floor play gyms at about 2 1/2 months and it actually kept him entertained for a while and is really great! i agree with the mom that said you shouldnt have too much longer to go not being able to set your child down. i'm not a big fan of letting babies cry it out, and i found that once my son was able to see a little better and interact with his toys, he was much easier to set down for a few minutes here and there and stayed pretty content. anyhow..... the front pack and the play gym helped me alot. good luck!

Hi J.. I really don't want to make you feel bad at all, but some of the posts below that advise you to let her cry it out are just upsetting to me. I have 6 children and I love being a Mom. It is hard to hear those that are in such a hurry to have the babies grow up. Why did everyone have these babies? Accidents? I know that some became single Mom's "after the fact" and I am not talking to those, but to those that had a choice, I so wish that they could just allow their babies to do the age appropriate behavior and to nestle them and cuddle them until they are ready to let go a little.

I know this is not always possible, but I felt like I had to say something. I was a single Mom with my first born and I probably made some of the same mistakes, but after seeing how she turned out compared to the rest of my children, I am a total believer that what happens in the first two years of their lives is what builds their insecurities and character. I have many regrets for that. I would just hate to see any of these mothers have the same regrets.

Please just love your baby. Don't stress. If you have to put your baby down to go potty, do. Just don't make it too long. She will get to know that you are coming right back. Even if you put her in a stroller and just touch her while you are doing what you need to do will tell her that you are there for her.

Good luck!

Sweetheart, this is so normal. I have 3 children and all were the same way. DON'T let her cry it out!!! This is psychologically telling her that you won't be there for her when she thinks she needs you!!! That's what this is all about. My little ones are now 7 and 4.5 and they are so beautiful, well adjusted, and certainly less than clingy because they know I'll always be there if they say they need me! I am also a single mom.

One thing you can do is to buy a sling. The front packs I have seen hold baby's legs apart when the natural way for them to be is together. The sling allows baby to be RIGHT AGAINST YOU and keep the legs closed like they naturally want to be. It also allows you to be completely hands free! You can put baby to sleep just walking around the house!!!

Again, at this young age, baby really thinks she needs you. What she thinks is HER REALITY and it would be best for her if you are there for her until she is able to "let go" for a bit.

God Bless,
C.

Hi J.-
There could be a few things going here. One- I have found if my baby is inconsolable and can't be put down, especially with in the first year it is because they do not feel good. Either a cold or ear infection etc. Or they have just had their vacinations and that always makes feel bad.
Secondly when babies are this young they need to be held and swaddled. Remember she just came out of a 9 mnth tight warm home. They crave to feel this way for some time. Since it sounds like you are her sole provider it is natural for her to want to go to you.
As she gets older you will figure out her tempermant. At this very tender age I am guessing its either one above or both.
I have found that a loving, nuturing daycare provider will help ease the baby, and she will get use to other people.

It will all work out.

Try letting her cry without picking her up right away it wont hurt her to cry a little. Also u can try giving her a doll or a blankey for her to get attched too. With the wanting to go back to work situation u should start leaving her with someone u trust while u go to the store for like a half an hour & each time u go make it a longer time away & eventually she will be ok with it

well i had this same problem with my son. the best thing i found to work is find someone to come over every day. have her watch you leave. then 10mins later come back and let her see you walk in the door. do this every day. and every day increase the time you are gone by 5 or 10 mins. let her get used to the fact that when you walk out that door you will always return to her. if possible change up the person you have watching her so she also gets used to the fact that no matter who shes left with you will always come back. its really hard to walk out and know shes crying but its the best thing to do otherwise she wont ever let you leave her sight. it will take some time but its worth it. good luck!

Hi there! I also have a daughter that is 10 weeks old. She was the same way 2 weeks ago. She wouldn't even want to be held by her dad! She just always wanted me! Although it is a nice feeling it is very hard on you! What I did that seemed to help the problem: I am currently breastfeeding so I have started pumping a lot. I would let my husband bottle feed her with the breastmilk. She was so concerned with eating that she didn't even think of who was holding her. (We still breastfeed at nighttime and during the day when my husband is at work to get that bonding in.) I have continued to do this the passed couple weeks and she is great now! We had a houseful for a week during the holidays and I just pumped and let anyone who wanted to hold her feed her at the same time. She would get done eating and just let them hold her for half hour or so. She still needs me when she gets fussy but it is such a relief that I can actually get the dishes in the dishwasher now - ha ha!! Good Luck!!

Hi J. I have an 11 month old girl and she was the same way. Even with my husband in the picture she wanted momma always. She still wants only me when she is upset. One way that really helped was i took her around other people often and the same people so she felt comfortable with them and i would let them hold her as much as they wanted. And when she cries when you put her down, as much as it breaks your heart you have to let her cry she will soon realize that you will come back i hope this helps. good luck.

E.

I can only say that I was told by a Doctor that crying is healthy and the only form of exercise a baby of that age really gets so dont worry if she crys when you use the restroom or do other small tasks. She is getting the required recommmended excercise that most doctors say is neccesary for an infant. I have a 3 year old and a 8 month old and my baby is the one who was the same way. My mother-in-law is a childcare provider and she tells me these things all the time. I have the same Doctor for my kids as my husband had growing up and he says the same thing. You can tell the differance when she is crying cause she is hungry or hurt or just upset so use your best judgment. The only way to teach her self soothing techniques is to allow her to cry a bit while giving her stuff such as toys and other soothing helpers and allow her to learn how to use them. Sometimes there is crying before they are forced so to speak to move to the next step which is self soothing. All in due time. Good luck

When do you plan on going back to work? If I were you I would just enjoy this attachment for as long as I could, and then a couple weeks before starting a job I would really start to try to give her to other family members and such for short periods of time while you leave the area. Even if she cries at first, she will probably settle down and have fun with the new people after a while. It is hard to walk away while your baby is crying, but it will be much better for her to get used to it before she is just dropped off with total strangers for a whole day.

Start out with 30 minutes, then go to an hour, then two. It'll get better, I promise.

ok so the thing to remember is at this age your child doesnt have the concept of permamnence so when you disappear you are gone and that is all they know. She wont grasp that you can leave and come back for a few months more.

So the best thing you can try and do is find her something that comforts her. My son loved his swing at that age we got the ocean wonders cradle swing. It swings side to side and front to back and it was one of the only things that calmed him when he was little. Since that worked so well we got a portable swing for when he needed to be watched by someone else.

I know it can be tiring when you feel alone with an infant that only wants you and screams when you leave. There are alot of great toys for this age that can start making this easier. Interaction with play gyms and bouncy seats and the like are great at her age and she may find enough intrest in them for you to ctually take a shower without her screaming the whole time.

If none of this works just have some patience hopefully you have friends and family who can come sit with her when you are worn out wether she cries or not if you need a break ask for one. Remember she will grow very fast and this wont last forever.

Good luck.

At 2 1/2 months old, she is still so very small! like another person said, you are her whole world. I'm sorry that the Dad isn't around much to give you a break at times, it really helps to have a supportive partner. It's really okay to let her cry while you go to the bathroom, I don't think that's a big deal. But crying it out at this age is not what I would suggest. babies cry because that's their way of communicating. Some babies never learn to self sooth. and Sometimes it's hard to find what works to calm her down. I heard another person mention swaddling, which worked wonders with my son when he was smaller. we had a "swaddle me" swaddle blanket and that thing was awesome. He sounds very similar in temperament to your daughter. Most nights I would swaddle him up tight, give him a paci, and rock him to calm him down. He's almost 11 months old and I still rock him to calm him down at times. You just do what works for your baby. You'll figure out what she likes through trial and error. I really enjoy rocking my son. I realize that he won't let me hold him forever like that so I really treasure it! anyway, every baby has a different temperament and personality. She may be tuning in to your feelings as well. Babies and children are very perceptive. Just enjoy this time as much as you can with her. they are so very precious!

have you tried a sling or a front carrier?

Hi J..
So this is a totally normal thing to be happening. Many people (pediatricians and child development experts) encourage this attachment, as it is healthy for a baby to have one person (typically the mother) that they know they can depend on. I know it's really hard for awhile; I was this person for my son. I used a sling A LOT; there are also front pack carriers, like the Baby Bjorn (and way cheaper models! I had a Playtex one that I found at Baby Depot for $15). Honestly though, you probably don't have that much more time before your daughter starts not minding being set down in a swing, or one of those vibrating seats. I think my son was probably 3-4 months when he started liking his.
I know it's difficult at the time, but enjoy this bonding time with your daughter! You'll never again have this opportunity to become so important to a human being; I already miss my time with my son--he's 14-months old now and sometimes wants nothing to do with cuddling and being held!
And as for a babysitter--break your daughter in slowly and make sure she's comfortable. It will be hard at first, but it'll work out. Good luck!

Babies, by nature, are supposed to be held non-stop. It's physically painful for a lot of babies to be away from human touch. You should pick up the book The Continuum Concept, it explains what I'm talking about.

Perhaps you should look for a way to work from home until your daughter is a little older. I am a single, work-from-home-mom of a 3 year old boy. My son's father has never been involved, I have done it all on my own. You can collect welfare until your child is 1.

If you carry her non-stop until she's about 1 she'll be very independent, I promise! My son is self assured, full of common sense, confident, and calm. I attribute all of this to attachment parenting. Get a sling (The ultimate baby-wrap or Mei Tai Chinese carrier are the best). It's so worth it!

Hi...I totally understand a child being totally attached to mom. My daughter is like that. But since i think she was doing a number on my back and neck by always carrying her. I had to explain to her that mommy need to put you down and when she would cry and have her melt down I would not pick her up...yes it was hard...or I wouldn't pick her up until she would stop crying. It's hard to do...but I would do it at home first.
Then when you got that under control, you can have her spend some time with your friends with you there and then you can leave for a half an hour or so.....she will be fine....I know it is hard...but us moms need time for ourselves. It doesn't make us a bad mom if anything it makes us better. I hope this helps ;-)

J.~

It has been a long time sensr my kids were babys, but I have a good friend that went to this web site and she says that it help her out.
www.dunstanbaby.com

J.

I would start with park visits where there are lots of people around (the thing that she doesn't want to go to) and lots of kids and playground toys (things that are not intimidating)

Let her walk to a toy and talk one step away. Let her realize it. Next opportunity...two steps. Three steps. She will slowly gain her confidence enough that she will trust herself to be a few steps from you. I would even recommend an encouraging word as you a few steps away even if it causes her to retreat. Let the positive reinforcement be when she is not in your arms.

Right now, she clings and gets a reward (hugs, warmth, love, comfort) Give her a reward as she is making steps away from her.

Good luck.

My two year old was the same way. sometimes you just need to let her cry, she'll realize shes ok and nothing bad is going to happen if moms not around. I couldn't even make a sandwich or use the bathroom without her screaming. It hurts to hear her cry but you can't hold her all the time.

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