4 Month Old Wants to Be Held Non-stop

Updated on June 15, 2008
L.H. asks from Broomfield, CO
37 answers

HELP!! I am a single mom of four and my 4 month old won't ever let me put him down, EVER!! I am in the process of moving because I was laid off while in the hospital having him and have not been able to find work since. Being the only one packing has been extremely difficult since he will not let me put him down. Unless he is eating(which of course I am holding him too!) or sleeping he is in my arms. Also I am no spring chicken and my back is being affected severely. I have tried his swing and bouncy seat also laying anywhere near me. He is a great baby with a fantastic disposition. I never had this issue with my other 3. Or maybe I never noticed since I was not alone before! I love holding him of course, but need to get this done as we are moving in 2 weeks cross country to live near family. Anyone have any suggestions on what I can do to keep him happy?

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M.N.

answers from Denver on

I would try some mylicon in case the baby is gassy or if he maybe colicky. I would just let him/her cry it out a little bit and see if the baby calms down by themself. I know its hard to do, but the baby will learn to self soothe. I hope this helps and gl.

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M.M.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Maybe you can try a snuglie pack. You can't exactly bend over, but it may satisfy his need to be with you and leave you hands free.

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H.W.

answers from Denver on

Sling is agreat idea - For back problems, might try the ERGO carrier with infant insert. www.myfavoritebabycarrier.com.

Good luck!

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J.R.

answers from Pocatello on

Change is stressful for a baby. Maybe you could find a 10-12 year old girl to come over for a couple of hours and hold him. You could get a sling or a baby carrier and let him be in that it will at least free up your hands.

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D.T.

answers from Denver on

Did the move with a newborn too. Not fun. Personally I don't believe in letting babies scream or cry, it teaches them that no one is there. My two are honors students and the older just qualified for national merit so I must have done a few things right and I think that's one. I used a front carrier, a sling and when they were a little older a backpack. The closeness and the sound of your heart is what they need.

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A.C.

answers from Grand Junction on

Have you tried purrint your baby in a sling or front carrier like a Baby Bjorn. My daughter constantly craved the human contact and I had the same problem. I ended up getting a sling from Kangaroo Korner (kangarookorner.com) and I would put her in that so I was able to use my hands and get some housework done. She loved it. Your baby might prefer a Baby Bjorn so he or she can look out and see whats happening. Good luck.

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M.P.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Hi L.,
Sounds like your little one is so use to being held he knows nothing different. That is ok though because we know so many babies are not held at all. I would suggest you let him cry for about 10 mins. Check on him and just see what happens. I am a mother of 8 and now a grandmother of 33 and great grandma of 4; one due Jan and another grandbaby in Jan, too!!!
Try this and let me know how you are doing...Love, M.

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K.W.

answers from Boise on

If you don't want to listen to him scream and cry, then DON'T PUT HIM DOWN! You are a fourth time mother, listen to your instincts. Those who can stand the sound of a crying, screaming baby don't understand those of us who can't. I agree with the sling advice. At a tiny 4 months, I'd go with the Nojo baby sling. It takes a little practice to get you used to it, but my babies settled right in and let me get things done without the added stress of listening to them feel the pain of neglect. As for "who's the adult," YOU are and thus YOU know the right thing for your family. It's hard to move with a baby (I last did it with a 6 month old), it takes a lot of time. Invest in the sling, you'll be glad you held your baby while you could. They grow up way too fast.

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A.C.

answers from Boise on

Spend the money and buy the Moby wrap, www.mobywrap.com. It's very comfortable to wear for a long time. You'll have your hands free to do other things. Eventually you'll find he'll start to move more and won't want to be right with you!

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J.G.

answers from Denver on

Hi. I recommend getting a good baby carrier. One that also goes around your lower back. I have 4 children and a carrier was a life saver when trying to clean, cook, etc. I had one where I could easily unhook and lie my child down when they fell asleep. I have not been able to find the same carrier but there are a lot of other good ones out there. The Bjorn was really hard on my back - no lower back support. I hope this helps. Also, if you can afford it, hire a mother's helper and he or she could help with packing and or holding the baby.

Good luck!

J.

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T.L.

answers from Denver on

You are not alone! You have four beautiful children! And, I notice one of them is twelve years old. Is there any reason why your twelve-year-old can not take his or her turn holding the baby? Get him a baby carrier if you have to, but make sure your other children are contributing to the family. If there is a physical or developmental reason why your twelve-year-old can't help, see if there is another young person in your church or community who would be willing to come and help you. I know many middle school girls who love to hold babies and would take pizza as payment! Don't be afraid to ask your friends, family, church family, or even past co-workers for help. Most of all, know that you are not alone.

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A.L.

answers from Pocatello on

It sounds like you have a LOT of stress in your life. You may or may not have thought about this before, but children can sense when the people around them are stressing out. Your baby may wanting to be held may be his way of saying mommy calm down and breath.
We had to move when my son was a baby, and I was really stressed out to. I was married but my husband way away on bussiness for the entire time I was moving us. I finally had to get a baby sitter so that I could focus on what I was doing.
Good luck

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J.M.

answers from Pocatello on

He can feel your stressed. Put him down in the other room and let him scream for a little while. Get some stuff done. It is all right for babies to cry.

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M.W.

answers from Fort Collins on

yeh, put him down and let him cry.
Crying won't hurt him.

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K.J.

answers from Denver on

We moved when my daughter was just 4 months as well. Since I was home on maternity leave I was in charge of packing which is very hard to do with an infant. I bought a baby sling and took a class on how to use it and it worked GREAT! It was fairly easy once I practiced and we both got used to it fairly quickly. It was comfortable on my back and pretty easy to work with it on. There are a million choices out there -you can google Baby Slings or Carriers and get lots of information. One favorite: www.kangarookorner.com
Sells a wide variety of slings and can custom-make them as well. Owner is very friendly and will often give personalized advice. They have a page that shows and discusses sling positioning, www.kangarookorner.com/page17.html. Also discusses and shows how to carry two babies at once with a sling, so twin moms should visit this site!

Good luck!

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P.L.

answers from Salt Lake City on

That is very natural! My 2 boys always were held. The did not like to be put down ever. A baby is comforted by the scent of his mother and the sound of heartbeat, so hold your baby as much as possible. I was in my lat 30's and nursed into my 40th year so I wasn't young to hold them either. The best investment is to get a sling that you can lay your baby in next to your body all day and it allows you to do all your chores. The benefit to you is you get your muscles back faster and really gain a new strength! Try it!

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K.J.

answers from Salt Lake City on

have someone come over to either hold the baby or help you pack. and if all else fails, let the baby cry for a few minutes, like 10-15.

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M.S.

answers from Colorado Springs on

I agree with the suggestions to try a carrier. I bought an Ergo (soft body carrier) and used it until my boys were 3/4 years old - for long hikes when they got tired.

If you want to try some really good carriers- slings, moby wrap and my favorite type of carrier - the soft body carrier (Moshi or Beco), visit Baby Cotton Bottoms (www.babycottonbottoms.com)

From the site:
Store Hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9am - 3pm
or By Appointment

We recommend calling ahead of time to let us know you are coming...
in case we are busy changing diapers :o)

Our Phone: ###-###-####
Address: 1626 West Platte Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80904

OR there is a Springs Babywearer Group where you could probably borrow/buy secondhand carriers as well as meet other moms and kids.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/springs_babywearers/

Upcoming meetings:
Wednesday, May 28th 10:00am-noon - CHRC, 21 S. Wahsatch, Child Enrichment Center
Wednesday, June 11th 10:00am-noon - CHRC, 21 S. Wahsatch, Child Enrichment Center
Tuesday, June 17th 3:00pm-5:00pm - East Library
Wednesday, July 16th 10:00am-noon - CHRC, 21 S. Wahsatch, Child Enrichment Center
Tuesday, July 29th 3:00pm-5:00pm - East Library

Hope that helps!

M.

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M.B.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Definitely get a sling. I recommend a Maya Wrap. It will allow your baby to be close, but still let you get done what you need to get done without hurting your back. Hang in there. If there is anyone who can come help you with your kids while you pack, that might also be a helpful solution. Good luck!

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J.P.

answers from Colorado Springs on

You need either a hotsling (hotslings.com or target stores now carry them in most sizes) or an Ultimate Baby Wrap (amazon.com). I had the ultimate baby wrap which was awesome but wished I had known about the hotsling because it would have been less complicated to put on and they are WAY WAY cuter. Either one of these will give you your life back!! You can have arms again and your baby will be content!! Start shopping...well worth the money. The fastest way to get one is really to go to Target and pay the $40 for the hotsling (sold in the baby section, by the baby carriers, usually hanging above or at eye level). I have only seen them at 1 of the 3 targets around here so you may want to call and ask before you go. Better than a regular baby carrier because it puts your baby against your baby and he won't realize that you aren't actually holding him. Way more comfortable for you and him, too. Good luck!!!

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K.C.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Get the other kids to help! They can take baby for a little walk in the stroller, put a blanket on the lawn outside - some babies that age get bored and are ready for new sights - like outside!

Even if big brothers and sisters only take him for a little while at a time, make the most of those moments!

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J.R.

answers from Salt Lake City on

My girlfriend solved this problem with a sling...she could vacuum, clean, craft, everything. It might be a worthwhile investment...

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A.P.

answers from Denver on

"...he won't let me put him down..." LET!?!? Who's the adult here? Who's the parent? Who's the boss? Simply put him down and don't pick him up. I'm not sure which one of you is the one who doesn't want to let go. Sounds like you are in a difficult situation right now and the two of you are comforting each other. Which is fine in moderation. Be strong. Put him down. You've got some work to do. Do you have any friends that can watch the kids while you're packing? Enlist your older children's help in packing and caring for the younger ones. Good luck.

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J.D.

answers from Denver on

If there's a 2nd hand baby store around you, stop by--they often have several different kind of carriers and slings to try. The best one for your back in general is going to be an Ergo carrier or a wrap (like an Ellaroo, a moby or something else). The Ergo completely saved my back--you can find them on Ebay or new online and in stores. That will really help him (because he needs to be close to you) & you (because it will save your back and you can get more done). I can do anything around the house or do errands while my daughter is in a carrier. Good luck! Enjoy being with your family.

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K.S.

answers from Boise on

Hello,
I would suggest going to Ergobaby.com and checking out their carriers. It can be worn 3 different ways. My daughter had reflux when she was very little and I wish I would have known about this then. I own one now, and it makes carrying her (at 27lbs) much easier on my back and arms. Good luck.
K.

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S.C.

answers from Denver on

Hi L.,

My little 4 month old guy sounds like yours. He hates the swing and vibrating bouncy chair, but he recently started loving the little jumping thing that hangs over the doorway. He can't be left unattended in it but he can be happily independant in the same room as you are. Also, my baby has started liking the exersaucer. To give him a little extra support we put a blanket behind him. I have the Maya wrap as well, and I love it for taking the pressure off of my back, but I haven't been able to make him feel secure enough in it that I can opperate freely with both hands.

Good luck!

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A.P.

answers from Pocatello on

Do you have a baby sling? (like a maya wrap or over the shoulder baby holder) I've found with my babies that before a big event, and after a big event, they need to be held. Going on vacation and moving are the two biggies that come to mind. Since you want to be light on your back, maybe your 12 year old or a friend can come hold him in your presence while you work, and try to save the big things for nap time. Good luck to you and your kiddos.

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K.J.

answers from Denver on

my daughter always wanted to be held also. your baby probably senses your stress from moving, etc. and needs the extra snuggling:-) if you put him in a sling across your chest, you can get everything done, and he'll probably happy as a clam! i've seen the slings at target, really cute too!

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H.G.

answers from Denver on

L.,

Mama- you need a baby carrier! I recommend the wrap as it holds him close to your body and distributes the weight evenly across your waist, back and shoulders. I can wear my 26 pound daughter for hours with no discomfort- and I have chronic back problems. That way, he gets what he wants- to be held by Mama, and you get what you want- your hands free for packing and working.

I am up in Longmont- just a short drive away. I know you have lots of packing- if you are interested, shoot me an email- if I shipped it you could have it in 2 days. With your circumstances, I would be happy to offer you a great discount- let me know if you are interested.

Wearing your baby is great for their development and your sanity! If you would like to learn more about the wraps that I recommend, go to www.naturalchoices4baby.com (though it is in the process of being rebuilt, so please have a little grace.)

I hope you have a great, productive day!
H. Gaitten
[email protected]____.com
###-###-####

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S.B.

answers from Denver on

You may have to do some crying it out. Just do it gradually. Put him down and say: I wil be back in a second. then pop out and then back in. smile and say: see here I am. Like peek a boo. Then make the timing longer. he probably feels your stress. so make sure to make a little time through out for total, undivided, let the phone ring, time together.

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A.R.

answers from Denver on

Have you tried a sling or baby carrier? I know there are some great ones out now that are much easier on the back. As far as getting him to be on his own, I am sorry to say I don't have much advice. In a couple of months I would say it would be OK to let him fuss for a while, but he is still so young... My first was like that, but of course she was my first, so I could carry her all day without someone else needing my attention. I am sure this will pass. Before you know it he will be running around. Good luck!
A.

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D.B.

answers from Casper on

With it being summer, utilize the help of your other children! They may still be quite young and I am not sure of thier temperment but children/siblings need to be given responsibilties to help care for the other members of the family and household duties! Especially in a home with a singe parent. Your children are all probably feeling the stress of you losing a job, of moving, of a mother who is feeling over whelmed and alone (and unless you are super mom it would be impossible not to be feeling this way!) Even a 4 year old can be trusted to sit and sing a song or tell a story to your infant while you pack in the same room. Your 12 year old can hold the baby while you pack or can pack simple items like clothes, toys, linens and non breakable dishes while you supervise and hold the baby.

I have 3 sons who all were very snuggly babies. We didn't believe in allowing them to cry for more than a few minutes, as we felt that when baby cries it is for always for a reason. And unlike many pople who say let them cry or you will spoil them, I don't believe you can spoil an infant!

What I did do when I put them down and they would immediatly arch thier backs and start to cry, is tell them what I was doing, "Mommy is going to put you down now, you are just fine, I am right here" ect. I was always talking and laughing with them, allowed them to see me, waved to them and then I did everything I could think of to distract them before I picked them up, squeezed a squeaky toy, put in a loud movie, sung a song!

Remember that as difficult as this move may be right now, you are moving towards a support system. Children will be more affected by how well you handle the stress you are under than the actual trials you are facing.

I have a sign that says, "When life gets to be more than you can stand, KNEEL! I don't know how religious you are but Pray! For your children and for yourself! Good luck and this too will pass!

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R.M.

answers from Denver on

Try swaddling your baby with a day old t-shirt with your scent on it . You need to do this really really tight and it will take some getting used to . The baby will seem not to like it at all at first because the arms will be confined but if you try it at a time when he is tired and drinking bottle or breast. And then when he falls asleep he will feel the security of being held. Good luck and remember that children are resiliant.

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R.K.

answers from Salt Lake City on

L., Go out to www.mobywrap.com

and then go out to these sites:

http://www.mayawrap.com/n_sewsling.php
http://www.pookababy.com/101/myo.html

For now you just need to figure out how to just get your things done...then in the next few weeks you can work on any other method you may desire.

You'll be able to save money if you just make it yourself. In fact, you can take an sheet, tear it in half lengthwise and wrap it around you the "mobywrap" way (go out to www.mobywrap.com to see how to do the wrap) or you can sew rings on one of the ends and use it like a Mayawrap.

This is the best thing I've ever done!!

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N.P.

answers from Salt Lake City on

My baby was the exact same way! I don't have any tips.. he just grew out of it. Good luck.. I'm sure others have tips!

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K.D.

answers from Denver on

We loved the video "The Happiest Baby on the Block". I think by Dr. Harvey Karp. He teaches you how to calm the baby and get them to be a bit more independent. It was a lifesaver for us. It's kind of an expensive video, but you might be able to get it from the library, or from your ob if they offer classes. GL! Hope the move goes smoothly!

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T.K.

answers from Denver on

I have two suggestions...carry him in a sling or pack so he can be on your body but you have two hands free. Or, have a friend or family member come over to hold him while you work.

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