January 21, 2007,
J.D. asks from Portland, OR on December 29, 2006
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.
J.S. answers from Spokane on December 29, 2006
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D.N. answers from Medford on December 30, 2006
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.
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M.M. answers from Portland on December 30, 2006
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!
K.O. answers from Portland on December 30, 2006
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.
C.A. answers from Sacramento on December 30, 2006
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.
T. answers from Portland on December 30, 2006
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.
J.O. answers from Las Vegas on December 30, 2006
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
K.F. answers from Seattle on December 30, 2006
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!
J.A. answers from Eugene on December 30, 2006
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!!