Baby Only Wants to Be Held ALL the TIME!

Updated on April 03, 2007
S.H. asks from Redlands, CA
15 answers

HI, I have a two month old who is ONLY happy when he is being held!!! I can't put him anywhere for even a second or he starts screaming as if he is being killed!!! Then I pick him up and he is all sunshine and smiles! He also wont take a nap unless you are holding him! He falls asleep but as soon as you put him down he starts screaming... even from a dead sleep! He is hardly napping unless I just lie in bed or on the couch with him I CAN'T DO ANYTHING! I can't even go to the bathroom in peace! It's crazy and it's driving me there too! I feel so guilty just letting him cry but I can't even prepare a bottle for him unless I put him down! Anyone else have this problem? Know how long it lasts? My older son was so easy! I just put him in the swing and he would sit there happy for about 30 minutes to an hour before wanting to do something else.

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So What Happened?

Well now that he is 5 months old he is starting to be able to be on his own for a little while but it really dosen't last long... we call him the 10 minute baby because thats how long he can stand to do one thing, we seem to be circulateing him through all the baby toys all day now LOL but at least he is napping so I can actually get things done now. Thanks for all your help... I guess it just took time.

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answers from Portland on

It varies wildly with kids how long it lasts. I held my son, or had him in a body carrier all the time until he was mobile. He didn't like slings though, but he loved the baby bjorn being able to see what was going on. I really don't think you can spoil them at this age, at least not until they're a year old.

I think the more you can hold them and soothe them when they're this young the more confident they'll be later. You have to do what's right for him and you though.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from San Diego on

Never fails--one easy kid, one tough one. I like to call these type the "high needs" baby.

My first born was EXACTLY EXACTLY EXACTLY EXACTLY like this (and according to my mom, so was I--so she's just getting her revenge). Even in the hospital. I could finally lay him down to sleep after about 4 months old--but only for short stretches.

A baby carrier.
Maya wrap, baby bjorn, snugli--whatever you prefer.
Just wear the kid.
It's the only way I got anything done.

Eventually you will also find the magic toy that will soothe them on their own. Firstborn hated the swing, LOVED the vibrating bouncer--spent half his first 6 months sleeping in it, playing, etc. A two month old may also start liking one of those play gyms as well--also a life saver for me.

My second is like your first. Happily entertains himself. Can lay him down sleepy and he'll just drift off. What an angel.

Sure.... I love them both.... but for DIFFERENT reasons!

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answers from Reno on

Hi S.. I'm not sure how old your older son is, but if he's in school and the baby wants you to nap with him, do it. When he goes to bed you'll still have enough energy to clean up. If not, do it later.
My son had to be held all the time. He is now 3 and still asks to be held. At 2 months they cry for a reason. As he gets older let him cry it out a little longer. By the time my son was crawling and standing (while holding on to something) I kept him close while I was busy(kitchen mostly)but had a gate between us. He cried but he was right next to me. 10 minutes cleaning then I'd hold him for 10, then back to dishes until it was done.
White noise, fan, vaccuum, whatever helped. Also, if you can stand it for even 15-20 minutes, a sling or front pack saved my life. I swear. That way they're moving around and close to you but your hands are free. It takes a while to get used to it but it helps.
Also, I think you wrote in about not having many friends since family life. We're 26 and 27 and for a year and a half we were the only ones with kids. All the men have been raised together and they weren't too interested in hanging out for a while. Now, most of them have kids. It changes everything. We still don't get invited by the people without kids usually, but mostly because we usually don't go. If you make it a point to go once in a while they remember you a little more.
My friendships have changed for sure. I spend more time with other moms and miss the "fun" life but they get it. Plan a once a month girls night, once a month couples night, once a month adult night. 3 nights out of the month is doable. Plan game nights at home or movie and drinking nights for after kids are in bed. Get a monitor and go in the garage. Throw a couch out there and it's like the good 'ol days.
I also go to parks, join any swim, sports, mommy and me classes I can and mingle. Most of them are going thru it too. I don't know where you are but if we're close we could get together. I really hope it all works out for you. Parenting is just not as easy as the pros make it seem!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

It's actually painful for an infant to be away from human touch. Humans are not born fully neurologically developed, this only happens from human touch. I suggest getting a carrier. I found that the ultimate baby wrap was the best. It's a little hard to get on, but it distributes the baby's weight very evenly and you can easily wear it all day. If you have the time you should read the book, The Continuum Concept. It explains why children need to be held ALL THE TIME until 4-6 months and then most of the time from 6-12 months. I did this with my son (now 3) and he's amazing independent, has more common sense than any kid I know and comfortable with himself. Since you seem to be involved with alternative things (herbal remedies) you might take this info to heart. This time will be over soon, enjoy it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Been there, done that! My son is now 16 months old and is so independent. From the time he was born til about 4 months, I could not put him down. Just as you stated he would wake up from a deep sleep just to cry... (but he was a very gassy baby, and to this day has issues with his stomach) Everybody told me how unhealthy it was for me to give in to him and spoil him. I listened, but didnt really take their advice. (can you really spoil a baby who for the previous 9 months was dependent on your every being.... ?) Anyway, I continued to comfort and soothe him. It made me feel good to know I was the one who could make his problems go away, but at the same time, like you, I could not accomplish anything! Gradually I would introduce him to new things ie. his swing, or a vibrating bouncy seat. Yes, it would only last for a few minutes at a time, but it was a start. When he hit 4 months, we started spending a lot more time with my friends and family. This gave him the opportunity to interact with others and ability to be introduced to new things... which kept him occupied. As far as advice, introduce one thing to him at a time. And for now, it may only last 2 minutes, but do it multiple times throughout the day. Eventually he will learn new ways to soothe himself and clinginess may go away. Good luck!!! :)

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answers from Los Angeles on

Teila is correct.

I also have a 2 month old son who crys all the time. He too is also very gassy, so that is part of it.

My 1st son was a piece of cake compared to this one.

You need your rest and breaks too. If you have fed the baby, changed his diaper, held him for awhile, sang to him, basically tried evrything and he still won't stop crying, put him down somewhere safe (I choose the swing) and let him belt it out. It is okay for them to cry for at least 5-10 minutes. They need to learn how to self soothe. Don't get me wrong you do need to hold and go to your baby when he cries, just not if you know there is nothing wrong and if you are needing a break. It is just hard for us moms to sit there and listen to a screaming crying baby.

I was at my wits end and got advice from some other moms and even my mother in law said that if you know the baby is not in pain and you've tried everything and you need a break, put him in his crib, close the door, and sit outside of it with your ipod on for 5 minutes and don't feel guilty about it!

I know a lot of other moms who see this will probably shun my advice, but if you don't like it you can can just thank me politely and let it go in one ear and out the other because what works for some of us might not work for others.

P.S. I have tried the baby snugli and the sling and they are not comfy, and it seems difficult to do anything in them.



answers from Portland on

Hey S.,
You are not alone sister! My now 18 month old has been that way since birth....but it has gotten better. Really... that only that has worked for me is to watch him sleep as I hold him.....smiling knowing that they grow up way to fast and I don't care what anyone thinks....I'm not spoiling him...I'm enjoying him. He is my baby and I wish I would have spent more time watching them sleep. Just keep trying to lay him down if you have things you need to do...let him cry for a few minutes, but don't let him get too freaked out to where he is breathing wrong. I kept it up and kept it up and now for the most part my little guy will walk into his room and stad at his crib when it's time for bed......although he still goes through phases where he likes to cuddle...but I don't mind :) Really try to find peace in it and enjoy it while you can :) hope that helps <3



answers from Anchorage on

Sometimes tough love needs to be used. If the child only wants to be held, he needs to learn that it is okay to have some down time. He will learn that he is independant and he can do things on his own. Let him cry! If he cries for an hour just reassure him as he is crying that he is just fine. Tell him how much you love him, and give him words of praise. He will cry and he will cry alot. But he is just fine. Remember that. I know how hard it is to listen to your child cry, but know that you are doing right by letting him learn to be independant. As for sleeping, sit next to him, and pat him on his back, caress his head, and talk to him softly. Even if he is crying, just keep doing it. He will probably cry himself to sleep the first few times, but after you make a routine of this, he will start sleeping without all the over dramatic displays. Good Luck!



answers from San Francisco on

Im sure a lot of moms go through this. I did as well. Since your two month old is still fairly small Im sure couldnt you buy one of those wrap around baby carriers? It keeps your hands free to do other things while the baby is still close to you.
My two year old was the same way when he was small and I didnt know about those carriers until he was too big. My teenager and I went crazy having to hold him constantly so he wouldnt scream.
Of course talk to your peditrician to find out if perhaps he or she is a bit of a collicy baby. Sounds to me though that your little one is just very dramatic and sufferes from seperation anxiety already! Im sure your little one will grow out of this.
The only other thing I can recommend which is what I personally used...ear plugs. When he would scream but there was something that I had to do like go to the bathroom or such the ear plugs kept me from pulling my hair out. You can still hear him crying but the high pitch scream is not so high pitch! Good luck to. =)



answers from Medford on

My son was the same - couldn't put him down for even a second to do anything and only slept well when held. Just put him down when you have to with something to entertain or soothe, he should get more used to it and stop protesting as much. It also helped me to put him down - in a swing or on the floor - and stay with him to play and keep company when I didn't have something pressing to do.



answers from Los Angeles on

Eeek! That's so hard. I've had that experience before with my daughter. I'm sure you tried the swing, the vibrating chair, the boppy, angled positions, maybe even supervised tummy time. Maybe a baby sling would help free up your arms.

Try this: Cuddle him close as if he's being held while he's laying. Maybe even start with your arms wrapped around him as if you are holding him up. Tiny baby steps inching further and further. Don't rush it. Let him feel safe with each new position. It's back breaking leaning over but it, for me, beat being heart broken by the shrills.

Don't rock him when you hold him. He may be so used to you soothing him that he won't know how to self sooth when he's laying still.

I hope this helps, I really do. It's exhausting and I feel for you.



answers from Fresno on

My daughter is six months old, and shes always been an attached to mommy's hip kinda baby. and truthfully not to scare you it only gets worse as they get older. on some days, i cant even put her down to play, shes six months old and we are barely getting her to sleep on her own at night. i know how hard it is to just want a few minutes to yourself, but at the same time feeling the overwhelming guilt of hearing you child cry. just hang in there and enjoy watching your son grow.



answers from Portland on

You have a very special baby! High needs, yes, but if you treat him right, he will amaze you. Mine was like that and since he was my first, I was able to go with it. I held him a lot for 5-6 months. He mostly just wanted mama and nursed a lot too. I had nursing areas where I just sat and read, watched TV, talked on the phone, or slept with him.

He did crawl by 5 mos and walk by 9, but he didn't sleep through the night until he was almost 2, even sleeping right next to me. My husband tried letting him cry when I was out once, and he cried his heart out for 2 hours!!! Some kids just need human touch more than others. I see how he is very in tune with other people's emotions too, asking how they're feeling and sharing his toys when another kid wants to play.

It does drive you crazy when you think you are supposed to be doing something else! Ask for help! Family, friends, get your husband more involved. I had to let go of a lot of things like housework, but I'll tell you it was worth it. My son knew I loved him instead of wondering if or when anyone will come find him crying alone in a crib.

Dr. Sears is a pediatrician who writes really good books for parents – start reading The Baby Book. It will help you to trust your inner mothering instincts and provide what each child needs from you.

Just hold him please. Invest in a carrier that works for you. You might be able to find a store nearby where you can try several styles on and see what you like best. I had a sling, baby bjorn, maya wrap, body wrap, and Ergo carrier for different stages and carried my son until he was about 18 mos, and like I said he could walk at 9 mos! He'd run away from me at times, but I knew when he needed to be held too. I've even carried him a couple of times after 2!

They grow up so fast, isnt' it nice to know you can influence your child's dimeanor for life by simply holding him a lot when he is young?! You can affect it also by not holding him and teaching him early on that he is not important, but I'd rather have a happy well-adjusted child than one who lashes out (you'll think it's at nothing) or seems angry too much.

I've heard from people who raised multiple children differently and wish so much they could go back and change what they did with their first after seeing how things like holding an infant and meeting their needs truely effected the other children they did it with as they got older!



answers from Los Angeles on

Babies are ment to be held. Nine months in, nine months out. The best advise is to get a wrap. I found that Moby Wrap was the best, offering many carring positions. Babies don't cry to manipulate, they cry because they need/want something. At this young age their needs are their wants. Holding your child when they cry lets them learn that they can trust you to respond. A child who grows with trust will grow to be independent. Independence can't be rushed, though. I found the Attachment Parenting Book by Dr. Williams Sears to be a great help. My daughter loves to be held. I don't really know if she would really protest if I refused to carry her. I never let her get to that point. Every child is born different. Get a wrap and both of you will get some peace



answers from Bakersfield on

Hi S.. I hate when people say this but here have to let him cry. My grandma always said it doesn't hurt the baby and it helps them get their You just need to let him cry for a minute or two. When he realizes that your not going to run to him instantly, he'll get the point. You just have to be firm or you are going to go crazy! I had to ask the mothers here about this same thing and one of the mothers gave me some really good advice. get him intrested in something else...I know he's young but there are all sorts of things that can get a 2 months old attention. Let him know early that he is not the parent. you are! good luck on this, and i hope this helps you. Best Wishes, T.

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