Baby Who Refuses to Be Put Down!

Updated on January 31, 2011
G.T. asks from Canton, MA
18 answers

OK, so I have a newborn - almost 4 weeks old who loves to be held - of course! and I love holding her. I try to hold her as much as I can as I believe all babies need to be held. But my 3 year old also needs to be held and needs her mom and dad. If I put my DD#2 down - she cries and cries. My husband holds her as much as he can too when he is home from work. He is so tired (and to be expected with a newborn, we know that) he put shampoo on his toothbrush! LOL.
My 3 year old is getting upset over it, asks to be held alot herself.
I have tried 2 bouncy seats, 2 slings and the baby bjorn. NOPE. This little one wants to be held in your arms only. I do not want to spend money we do not have on another gadget either.
My back, shoulders and wrists are killing me from holding her all the time.
I have laundry a mile high, barely get in a shower, have not put a comb through my hair in a month, did not even brush my own teeth til 3pm yesterday, and eat crackers all day - I can't cook as she won't let me put her down long enough. I am enjoying holdinig her - she is so cute, I love it. But sometimes life just gets in the way! I need to be able to put her down - sometimes. Help!
No - I have no family near by to help out. :(

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answers from Chicago on

sling. get a sling. try craigslist. she will protest at first, but keep putting her in it for a few minutes every day. She will come to love it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Have you tried running the vacuum? My sons loves the sound and he stops crying. I also have a sleep sheep for when I put him to be. Good luck.

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answers from Kansas City on

unfortunately this will have to be one of the first lessons you teach her - sometimes it's okay not to be held. start small and lengthen the time. babies cry, so unfortunately she's going to do that. sooo you can either work on this situation (and there's no other way to deal with it, except to start putting her down sometimes), or keep holding her. be prepared for her to fight it, but keep in mind, YOU are the mom. and other members of the family (big sis) are just as important. you sure don't want to make your older daughter feel abandoned either. the baby will get over it a lot quicker!
**ps, some can disagree if they want - but G. is on here asking how to get her to be koay with being put down sometimes. it's causing problems for her three year old, who is trying to adjust to being a big sister. it's causing G., herself, pain, and keeping her from getting things done. obviously holding her newborn 24/7 isn't working. so i'm not sure telling her to keep holding her 24/7 is really helpful.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Babies do need to be held, but not 24/7. Put her down. She might cry, but she will get over it. The same goes for the 3 yr old. My son is almost 3 and he rarely wants to be held - in fact, the only time he really wants holding or cuddling is when he's sick or tired.

Are you swaddling by chance? My son was swaddled until he was rolling over and it definitely helped him feel warm and secure.

It might help the 3 yr old if you get a couple books about being a big sister - they explain how much time/attention new babies require.

Also, whenever possible, take some time alone with he 3 yr old - even if its just running errands. She will LOVE having time with just you! Once the baby gets older, you can have mommy date days where just you and the 3 yr old do things together and then have days that just you and the baby do things together.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Augusta on

ok Adansmama is totally off on that.
You can't spoil an infant and your child is in her 4th trimester. Google "babies 4th trimester"
Keep holding her! she needs it.
Also your youngest may be a higher needs baby than your first. I would try the sling or baby bjorn again, with her facing you. My oldest was a very high needs baby and I found that if I put her in the front carrier and just put an arm around her she had the same feeling of me holding her and I had one arm free. Also I ate a lot of microwave dinners then.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Killeen on

I agree that you're just going to have to do it. I would start by only setting her down for a minute or 2. Use a bouncer or swing so she has some toys to look at and can either have the swinging motion or the vibrating motion to comfort her. Does she use a pacifier? If not, you might try one just for some extra comfort. Some kids just need more reassurance. You could even try wearing a t-shirt around for a couple hours, spray it with whatever perfume you use, and then don't wash it! Use it as a comfort item for your baby, she will love being able to smell you even when she's not being held.
The only way I got anything done when my 2nd was born was to start setting her down for very short periods of time and then talk to her or sing to her the whole time. If I was cooking dinner, I'd set her bouncy seat on the kitchen table. If I was taking a shower, I'd bring her bouncy seat (or walker when she was older) into the bathroom with me. I also used a snugli a LOT. She didn't really like it at first, either, but she got used to it eventually, and I was able to play with my older daughter (then 2 yrs old), and get housework done hands-free!
And just remember, it might be hard to hear her cry at first when she gets used to being set down, but it'll be a lot easier now then when she's 2 and can walk and climb and throw huge tantrums when she doesn't get picked up and carried everywhere!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

Congrats on your new baby. It is nice to hold babies but not all the time. You do need to take time for yourself and your daughter. I dread the thought of the older doing something bad to the younger because she doesn't get to be with mom.

Babies cry and they also need to exercise their lungs and expand them to keep from getting sick with pneumonia. Yes it is irritating but you learn to tune it out for about 20 minutes while you shower (me time). If you don't get that time to recharge you are not going to be good to any family member.

Do try the 5 to 10 minutes in the crib and do what you can in that amount of time. Extend it as you go. Also run the vacuum cleaner so that she gets used to the noise of your home and can sleep through it.

Have you talked with your doctor about any medical issues that may be causing her to be so needy? It is just a thought about acid reflux. May be she needs a few bones readjusted. These are some thoughts.

Above all don't beat yourself up not wanting to constantly hold her. If you hurt you can't pick her up and your back will really let you know about it as it is doing. So rest and let her lay and cry for a bit. You won't ruin her or cause her trauma as she already knows who you are - momma. Some times you got do what you got to do. Mommas have been doing this for centuries.

Hopefully she will settle down in the next few weeks after the growth spurt.

The other S.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

If she stops crying when you pick her up, then you know that nothing is wrong with her. Hate to sound like a meanie here, but you might have to just put her down and let her cry sometimes. Not for long periods of course, but it's just crying. It will not harm her. If anything, she'll start learning early how to share your time and attention with her sister. At 3, her sister is probably more affected by the lack of attention, anyway. Hold the baby when you can, and put her down when you have to. Maybe she'll get used to it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Cloud on

I do not believe in letting such small babies cry..... Our 3rd child is only 4 months old right now. I held him 24/7 for the first 2 1/2 months of his life! He had a little more "personality" in him than our previous two and he NEEDED to be held. That's what comforted him! So I met his needs. Now he enjoys playing on the floor, in the exersaucer, and in a doorway jumper. And he never needed to "cry" to learn to start enjoying these things! He is a happy fun baby now. I wouldn't change a thing!

So I encourage you to keep holding your little one. (I've heard time and time again that babies who have their needs met and don't have to cry to get them are much more happy, adjusted toddlers......) Sit on the couch and snuggle your 3 year old at the same time. Read stories to both of them. Watch a movie together. Get some tape books from the library.

I know it's a REALLY hard time right now. (I struggled doing it too.) But remember, this too shall pass.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Oh, you poor dear. I wish I lived closer to you, I'd love nothing more than to hold your baby and let you get caught up! I'm sure this wonderful group of women will give you advice you can use. Hang in there, before you know it, they'll be all grown up!


answers from Boston on

i'd start by putting her down and staying there with her.... do alot of interaction with her while you're not holding her.... and talk to her constantly so she knows you're there. my daughter was in the bouncy seat and i moved her to every room i was so she could here me.... ok, we need to empty the dishwasher now.... lets put all the silverware away, lets count the forks.... time to do laundry now, what color is this shirt etc.....

my son was finicky with me and wouldn't sleep for anyone else.... we had to go out for an awards ceremony for my dad when he was 3 mos old..... i wore the same shirt for 24 hours.... then when my MIL babysat she draped that on her shoulder and then held my son. so try resting a shirt that you've worn that has yoru "scent" on it next to her head so she can smell it.



answers from Boston on

I suggest you go to a store and try different carriers and slings until you find one that works for both of you. Stay away from bjorn they are bad for you and baby.



answers from Boston on

I'm just throwing this out there - it may be totally unrelated - but I had a somewhat similar - though not exactly the same - experience with my oldest daughter. She could only nap if she was held - although I could put her down otherwise. One of the most mysterious times was that when I changed her - everytime I picked her up from the changing table she cried. I got all sorts of advise from people - all thinking these things were behaviorial issues - turned out instead that she had acid reflux and certain positions were just more comfortable than others. And of course - if she was in pain - being held and comforted by mommy also helped. When her acid reflux got under control with medications these things got better. I learned to do a lot of things one-handed (although never near a stove with the baby in hand). Good luck to you - the days are long but the years fly by !
(Oh - one other thing that worked for me - and I know you don't want to spend a lot of money on equipment - but the Baby Einstein videos - for reasons still unknown to me - calmed my baby right down when she was crying - I never would have imagined it, but I was over my sister-in-laws and she had one of them on - and my baby (about 6 weeks old at the time) just locked in and stopped crying - after that I got one myself and it worked like a charm - somehow it distracted her perfectly - maybe you could see if your library has them so you could just try one. It was the one piece of "equipment" that I would not have survived without.)



answers from Boston on

It's possible that it's the position of the slings. Both of my kids liked to be held upright. Is there a way that you can wrap her so that she's in roughly the same position as she is when you hold her? She's probably too young to sit comfortably in the bjorn, so that's why that hasn't worked.

I know you don't want to get something new, but I recommend that you see if you can get a used ergo carrier. They're more "snuggly" than other carriers, and have more flexible positioning for as your baby grows. Also, have you tried a swing? Both of my kids loved the swing - the bouncy seat, not so much. How about being on her tummy? My son hated being on his back, but was happy as a clam sleeping on his belly. We just started taking his changing pad around and letting him sleep on his belly where we could watch him. So if she'll sleep on her belly, lay the changing pad on the living room floor, turn on some TV for the toddler, and fold the laundry.

Finally, she'll probably get better in another couple of weeks, especially if you enlist the help of your three year old. Put the baby in the bouncy seat and have your three year old make silly faces at her. Once the baby can focus a bit more, that will hopefully buy you enough time to brush your teeth and wash your face.

Good luck. I know it's super annoying now, but this phase will go by in a snap.


answers from Columbus on

You poor thing. I was in your place about a month ago, so I feel your pain! Don't feel guilty about wanting some time to yourself. You need to take care of yourself to be able to take care of your family.

With my daughter, it was a combination of things. She was having gas problems, so it felt better for her to be upright. Then she started teething, so she wanted to nurse constantly (would NOT take a pacifier). When she finally did fall asleep and we put her down, she would startle and wake herself up 5 minutes later. So then she'd get over tired and it would be nearly impossible to get her to sleep!

A moby wrap can help, but it's hard to get it right the first time, so you'll probably want to practice on a stuffed animal while your husband is holding the baby. Then at least you will have your hands free while you carry her.

We bought a Graco Cradle Swing, and that also works for 15-20 minutes at a time, but they are a little pricey. She likes it because it swings side to side instead of front to back, so her head isn't falling forward every time.

If you can learn how to swaddle, that is the ONLY thing that gets my daughter to sleep. Make the baby's room dark and soothing, maybe a white noise machine. Then swaddle her as tight as you can, and rock or bounce her till she's nearly asleep. Then put her down and put your hand on her so she still feels that pressure until she is completely asleep.

Also get big sister in on it. My son likes to try to sing or dance for the baby to help her stop crying. It doesn't always work, but they feel included this way.



answers from Boston on

G., I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I think you need to start putting that baby down! She will get used to you constantly comforting her which, it seems, it what your 1st DD is used to. It's healthy to give them a little space to self-soothe and will also help you in the end. From the sounds of it, if this goes on, you'll end up having a tough time, and forget having any time to yourself. Perhaps if you start putting her down every so often now, you will begin a healthy cycle of self-soothing early on.


answers from Tampa on

Moby wrap!!! That way she gets the skin to skin and constant contact she needs and wants from Mommy while you have BOTH hands free to do whatever else you need. The Moby Wrap is also great for hands free breastfeeding!

Look online for sales (always sales out there) and or where Mommas sell self made or nicely used slings. The Bjorn tends to work better with much older babies who can hold their heads up and move arms and legs strongly.


answers from Washington DC on

i disagree with the mindset that babies need to 'learn' how to be left alone by letting them bawl. obviously some babies have a greater need for skin contact than others.
but i don't think that needs to be the family's overriding concern, putting the 3 year old and mom's sanity at risk. sometimes you just have to put a baby down, even if it makes 'em bellow.
if the slings don't work, i'm not sure what else would be a reasonable substitute. i think i'd sling her even if she didn't like it for part of the time, hold her as much as you deem reasonable, but put her down and resign yourself to the outrage when you must. as you say, you do have to brush your teeth and fix a meal from time to time. if baby is on a blanket nearby and you can see that she's okay, and she can see you, tune out the howls as best you can. babies' crying is evolved to jangle a mother's nerves so it won't be easy, but despite what some attachment parents believe, it's okay if baby is set down sometimes and protests indignantly. it's not ignoring the baby to let her cry for 15 minutes while you give some attention to the toddler, so long as baby is safe, warm and fed. you're not a bad mother for letting her cry in her crib long enough to take a shower. putting her down periodically for brief periods and then picking her up and soothing her lets her know that mommy is always near and will always come for her. give that aching back a little respite!

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