3 Month Old Has to Be Held All Day!?

Updated on April 28, 2010
D.A. asks from Panama City, FL
23 answers

My youngest child is 3 months old, and she is not happy unless someone is holding her. It gets even worse in the evenings, because she isn't happy until someone is holding her AND walking around. She hasn't been sleeping hardly any during the day, and when she does sleep, she won't fall asleep unless she is in my arms and wakes up 15 minutes after I lay her down EVERY time. I love her and I love spending time with her and holding her, but I also love spending time with my 3 year old, and there is so much around the house that needs to be done. Any advice?

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answers from Indianapolis on

Get a sling and wear her all the time. Sounds like she's just high-needs. Get Dr. Sears's "The Fussy Baby Book". It talks about high-needs infants and the best ways to deal with them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

find local babywearers! www.thebabywearer.com/forum look for the forum
Babywearers Near You

wear that baby!

and: get the book called COLIC SOLVED

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answers from Gainesville on

Edited to add-at age 3 months you do not just lay them down and leave them to cry!!! It floods their system with stress hormones. This child is 3 months old folks not 3 years old! Even advocates of the Ferber method (commonly called cry it out) for sleep say you do not even begin to attempt this until age 6 months!

3 months is a tough age. The hit that witching hour in the evenings and boy they are fun huh? Mine would want to nurse for 3 hours straight along with being held!

I would suggest swaddling her before you get ready to put her down for a nap. She should be napping at least 2 or 3 times per day. She's also learning how to sleep so you have to be patient too. Start routines now so she will eventually learn what to expect and what is expected at sleep times.

Get something like a mayawrap or a mei tei so you can wear her several different ways and it will free you up to do things with your little one and around the house. My mayawrap saved my life with my high needs preemie!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fort Myers on

No one else has mentioned that she may have acid reflux. Please have her checked for that. My older daughter had it and could not lay down because she was in pain. She spit up A LOT and cried whenever she laid down. I also wore her in carriers all the time as she was also 'high needs'.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My now 8 yr old was like this and so were my twins, almost 4 now. With the oldest, I just did it and got nothing done. With my twins, around 3 mos, I would swaddle the girl in blankets and put her in the swing for awhile just to get something done. My boy twin was too strong and could get out of my tightest swaddle, so I got a front/back carrier and did what I had to do. Otherwise, when they were very little and I needed time with my older daughter, who was only 4 then, I vacuumed. Maybe it's mean because the little 2 would scream, but in about 10 minutes of vacuuming, they would fall asleep and then I had time with my oldest. We would do laundry together or unload the dishwasher and talk or play some game while doing it. She felt like she had mommy time, I got stuff done, and I inadvertently trained a little helper, who - to this day - thinks the most quality mom time is doing stuff around the house with me while we chat or make up stories. It's hard. You want to meet their varied needs and still have some of yours met, too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

My children are 24 with a son, 21 with two daughters, 20 and moved out, 18 and boys boys boys, 14 and a scholar, 6 adopted with behavioral and mental disorders. The last 2 latecomers are 25 and 13. I talked about them in another post, difficult to say the least. We have his, mine, ours and ours adopted. HOLD THAT BABY as much as you can. You will never regret it. You will find that it makes you richer than any bubble bath could. My daughter with the 2 little girls (2 yrs old and 6 months) has found ways to be on the floor or couch holding both all the time. My 6 yr old I had to hold even while she slept because of night terrors (she has fetal alcohol syndrome). The stuff that didn't get done....got done one day. They grow too fast and then poof you find yourself grateful for the hugs they give you as they come and go. You will never spoil a child this way. It gives them confidence as they grow. They know they are loved from infancy. This is blessing that you get to stay home and hold your baby all you can. When time has passed and you don’t get to do it so much you will miss it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Honestly, jut put her down. Feed her, change her, give her hugs and kisses. Put her in a carrier or on the floor in the room you are in and do what you need to do. Give it 15 or 20 minutes, give her the attention she needs, then put her down and go back to what you were doing. It will be hard to listen to at first, but she will get the idea eventually. She needs your love, but so do YOU. I just mean, being a mom doesn't mean that you have to give up doing anything you need to get done or even just want to do sometimes. I have 4 kids. If I was always holding them, I would never do anything else.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Have you tried wearing her? It would free up your hands for other stuff.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

Get a sling, you will be able to get things done around the house and not feel horrible about letting her cry. They are only tiny once and it goes soo fast. Appreciate that she wants to be held. Also, try keeping her in a bouncy seat looking at you while you cook or clean and keep talking to her, singing whatever. My son is fine so long as he can see me (he is 3 mo also).

For nap time I would try getting her on a routine and I know there is differing opinions but I put my son to sleep on his belly, did for all my kids. He wakes up right away if I dont. You could also try swaddling her if your not comfortable with her sleeping on her tummy. Some type of white noise or soft music will prevent her from wakign up to any sudden sounds.

good luck =)



answers from Sarasota on

I agree with a lot of the posts I've read. My daughter was the same way--I'd put her down, finally, just have time to go to the bathroom and get a drink, and she would be up again!

Really, the only way to handle it is to learn to enjoy it. Babywearing is WONDERFUL! Look into wraps and ring slings especially. You want her head up and against your chest, and her knees above her little bottom. This will be a huge help for getting time with the toddler, even at the park!

Remember that sometimes when she seems really awake, she may be overstimulated. Wear her or rock her in a dark, quiet room.

Routine will start to help at this age--we were surprised, but a bathtime routine helped her go to bed at night. And moving her bedtime back earlier--like to seven oclock.

Is your three year old the type that likes to be mommy's helper? Can you recruit the older one to do peekaboo or shake a rattle while you make dinner?

It does get better! My daughter is still the more intense of my two children, but she still goes to bed early and sleeps hard all night now that she's five. We just had to teach her how!



answers from Miami on

Hi D. A,
I have a 13 yr old and a 9yr old and miss them being babies but do enjoy each new season we go thru, just a quick background.

I do remember my girl being much the same and found that it was her ears. It seems that earache is worse when lying down and obviously when being held pain does seem better. So check out the ears.

Plan B: If it is just that your baby is "spoilt" then you may have to take the tough love approach. It is heart rendering but well worth it for the whole family. You will have to put baby down and walk away and leave
her to cry. Come back every 3-5 minutes to reassure her that you are around. I once put my son in his room and checked in several times and eventually closed the door and then kept checking in. He took a while but never got to a state of absolut hysteria just crying and yes maybe a bit more than usual but with my reassuring him he got to the point where he would cry and cry and then wait till I returned and be happy.

There are so many reasons for this sort of behaviour, so just do a check: is she well fed, is her diaper changed, is she well??

Good luck and enjoy her and your 3 yr old they are so precious.



answers from Orlando on

put her down and let her cry

she'll be fine

hold her as much as you can and the rest of the time, let her cry as long as you know she is fed and not sick

I used to attach the mibile to the back of a chair turned backwards and lay my baby on a blanket on the floor so he could look up at and hear the mobile and be in the same room

read Secrets of the Baby Whisperer for a miracle and humane way to get her to sleep


answers from Los Angeles on

Go ahead and lay down next to her, that way she'll know she's not alone!!! Thats how i was with my now 4 1/2 mos old!!! Try sleeping her in her stomache as well!! It helps her sleep more than 15 min, maybe like 30 min or up to an hour!!! Good luck



answers from Charlotte on




answers from Seattle on

Um, I thought the same thing to myself. But have you ever thought of it this way?

There will always be dishes to do, work that needs to get done, clothes that need to get washed...

But your baby will be a baby only once. It will only last for some months and then they will start walking, running, playing with other children. A whole world will compete for your attention then. I thought of that about my 3 month old as well. So now I try to hold him and play with him as much as I can. I even regret it when he sleeps so much, because otherwise I could play with him longer. I let other things wait. They won't be going anywhere.

Good luck and congratulations!

By the way, I have a baby carrier too. Doesn't work when I am sitting typing on this computer. But he LOVES it when I walk him around in it.



answers from Tampa on


Something sounds very wrong. At that age they should be spending most of their time sleeping peacefully. If you think it's colic try an over the counter medicine, not withstanding I would definitely consult your physician.

If it is not a physical issue like gas or reflux then you only have a few considerations. Mainly the relationship between you and the child.

In child development there are a number of stages that need to be fulfilled. The first and most important is the physical stage, where you are given the responsibility as a parent to fulfill. This child will NEVER feel satisfied or safe unless you respond to her needs fully. You have the ability to curb her needs by the type of response you show her. Despite what some people may say allowing your child to cry for more than 10 mins or so can really cause psychological damage ( the Ferber method has been proven to cause damage). This tells her she can not depend on you and at that stage a fear of just being able to survive sets in.

You can not hold her every minute though, so make sure it is not a physical issue and then make her feel secure! Some of the other moms had great ideas with the sling, swing, sibling help, having routine and making sure she is properly stimulated at the appropriate times.

It may seem like you are running back and forth a lot, but a few things will occur over time:
1. As she learns she can depend on you she will become more secure and cry out for you less and less.
2. You will find ways to help her sooth herself and give you more of an insight to whether she is looking for attention or needing something physically.
3. Your bond will be strong and this will give you the basis she needs from you for subsequent development.

This is the only chance you have to show her you are ready and willing to do what it takes to be her mom. You have the ability to meet her developing needs and still find time for your son. I agree with the mother that said there will always be house work, but there is only one time she will be young and depend on you fully and that time is now.

Good Luck,



answers from San Francisco on

My daughter was exactly the same way. I wore her in a front pack a few times but it was still difficult to get stuff done, so I just kind of dealt with it. I know that doesn't sound like much of a solution, but my daughter is the BEST sleeper and napper now. She sleeps for 12 hours a night (straight through) and 2-3 hours during the day. So just do what you can for now and just know that it will get better :) Good luck!!!



answers from Chicago on

I never thought I'd be a "baby wearer" until my 2nd child was born and was high need. I have a few different carriers, but my favorites (and his) are the Sleepy Wrap and a Kelty Kids carrier. If I put him in it and wear him I can go about my business, taking care of most chores, cooking, bill paying, and playing with my older son. After a few months of wearing him he became a much more easy to manage baby. He is now an excellent sleeper and a very happy baby who can play independently for long stretches of time.

Do you have a swing? The other things that really helped my son were to be very tightly swaddled, with white noise, and a swing. MIRACLE naps when we used all 3 together.

Please disregard the advice of letting a 3 month old cry. I was SOOO tempted to do it at that age too, but learned from many mamas and a few books written by docs (Dr. Ferber and Dr. Marc Weissbluth) that 3 months is far too early for crying--should not be attempted before 6 mos.


answers from Provo on

I agree with Katie T. They get old way to fast. Granted mine is only 6 months old, but I look back and wonder where the time went. It was eaten up by doing dishes. My son was also a VERY difficult baby. He was the exact same way. I also did the swaddling and swing thing. Tight swaddle and put in the swing at a medium speed with his crib music going. After about a month I tried putting him in his crib and he did just fine!! After that he started to sleep through the night and even put himself to sleep. Until 5 months hit and growth spurts and teeth became a huge problem. But he is now getting back to his old routine.
During the day I had a baby bjorn and loved it!!! I wasn't able to do the chores where bending over was involved, but if you just hold onto your baby you can bend a bit to grab a dish out of the dishwasher or something like that.



answers from Charlotte on

My son was the same way. I "wore" him for a long time. I'm sure there are oodles of different infant carriers on the market now. Used to be a blanket tied around your hip was the ideal carrier!

Congrats on the new baby, and may you sleep soon. :-)


answers from Fort Walton Beach on

I think you need to decide what type of parent you want to be... an attachment parent or not. I've seen alot of posts on here for attachment parenting, so you'll have to sort through all the details on that.

I personally don't like attachment parenting, but I'm not going to bash or say negative about them. That's their style and I'm not here to change minds.

I think all babies need tummy time as this builds muscles for when they crawl and walk. If she has all her needs met (diaper, health, fed, etc) and you need to use the bathroom - putting her in the play pen or such is not going to harm her... even if she cries for a little.

I agree with the other post about acid reflux. Talk with your ped about that, even if she doesn't throw up - she can still have it. My son never spit up, but he has just been diagnoised.

I feel that you need to use your mommy-common-sense, figure what type of parenting you feel is best and stick with it. I'm not saying to just abandon her and leave her crying for hours at end, just maybe 5 - 10 minutes stents are not going to hurt her.

Good luck and enjoy :)



answers from Tampa on

You have two choices... listen to the baby cry while you do other things or buy a Baby Bjorn and strap her to the front of you so you can hold her and have your hands free to do other things. The latter is what I had to do with my oldest daughter. Hang in there... she will outgrow this stage.



answers from Dallas on

Lay her down and let her cry it out. I know you love your child, but she needs to learn to soothe herself. I used to wrap my son really tight and take my shirt off that I was wearing and putting it around him so he could smell me like I was really there. I worked for a little while. I know it is tough to hear your child crying, but if they have been fed and they have a dry diaper on and nothing physically is wrong with them, then it is okay to let them cry it out sometimes. Hope this helps you.

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