Dealing with a Very Needy Baby

Updated on April 14, 2011
J.G. asks from Bellevue, NE
12 answers

We have a 5 month old daughter that cries, whines, and moans continually unless you are in front of her or are holding or carrying her around. This makes it very very difficult to get anything done at all. We also have a 2 1/2 year old daughter. Any suggestioins would be greatly appreciated. We are going crazy!

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answers from Los Angeles on

My son (6 months) is somewhat similar. I have a mat that he plays on that lays on the floor with stuff on the bottom and hanging from the top. Have you tried putting her on one of these and leaving the room? I couldn't leave him for a long time, but I started in the same room putting laundry away or whatever, then after a while I just kinda walk away and he doesn't seem to mind. Try putting her in front of a mirror!

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answers from Raleigh on

My son was a high-need baby. I would like to give you some stellar advice for the constant hands-on these types of babies demand. But the only thing that fixes it is age. My son is still at times more needy now than his 7 mo old sister (who is the most laid back baby), but he can entertain himself now that he is 4 1/2 yo. The bright side is that high need babies are generally more intelligent and social then their non-high need counterparts. Brace yourself... lol
Good luck!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Ergo baby carrier is awesome. You can wear the baby on the front or back. Sometimes they just need some extra lovin and security. And it's possible to do SO much when wearing on the back. I had to pack for a move and didn't have childcare help at the time - I wore my son and he fell asleep in it while I was packing :)

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answers from Spokane on

Wear your baby!!! It's hands-free baby carrying :) Babies need attention, affection, to be held and lots of cuddles - it helps them feel secure.

It will pass, I promise :o)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My daughter was this way. I agree that the only thing that fixes it is age. :-(

I wore a 'backpack' style carrier that had her on my front, facing out. She wanted to "see" and "be involved"!!!

She was attached to me until she outgrew that carrier - around 11 months. But the bonus is - both my hands were free so I could get stuff done.

Also - I answered your other post BEFORE I saw this one. The two are related. Your older daughter ABSOLUTELY is being affected by your other daughter. No worries - perfectly normal. But all the more reason to back off the potty training and let her own the process and do it all herself when she's ready and on her terms. If you force it, she'll get resentful and it will take longer and be more frustrating for the both of you. With 2 kids under 3 your goal should be to try and get the desired result but the EASIER way for everyone involved.

Another thing to ponder. My high needs baby who wanted me constantly so I had to 'wear her' or she screamed...... well, she'll almost 11 now and wants to constantly come home and go into her room and read the Twighlight Series books and text her friends while doing her homework and pondering how great it will be when she has her own apartment and her cool bigmoney job!!!!! When she does emerge from her room she is attached to her ipod. - not really all the time.... but it seems like it!!! lol.

So know that your high needs baby and daughter who won't go in the potty will be 10 and 13 in the blink of an eye and their world will revolve around their friends and NOT YOU. I know, I know, you hear it all the time. But it's true!!!!!

Enjoy this time. It passes quickly and even though it's frustrating.... how you handle it now sets the stage for how you handle the stuff that comes at 4, and 6 and 8 and 10 and 15 and 17. Because they are all dramatically different stages that are EXACTLY THE SAME :-)

Good Luck!

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answers from New York on

Two ways to look at this... find ways to hold her so that you can still get things done (like a sling or other baby carrier) or put her down and let her get upset and go about your business before picking her up.

At some point she needs to learn to entertain herself and be left alone for periods of time. She's figured out that if she moans and whines, you'll pick her up to make it stop. Smart baby... imagine what she'll be like at 13 if you don't start setting some boundaries! At 5 months old, she should be able to lay on a blanket (with you near) and play on an infant mat or in an exersaucer long enough for you to do the dishes , change the bed... whatever for 10 minutes or so.

It's not easy and she's going to scream but just as she quickly learned how to make you come running, she'll learn that mommy isn't going to come running when I whine so I might as well entertain myself!

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answers from Minneapolis on

First off, realize that you are at the height of "busy" parenting right now. Your children are at those ages that they really need all your energy, so be sure to take care of yourself too.

For your little one, would you consider wearing her as others have suggested? In my opinion you can't spoil a baby. I guess I feel that way because with all 3 of our kids I literally would not let them cry. I picked them up as soon as they cried or expressed any discomfort. Guess what? They are not spoiled at all. By 9 mths. old they were so independent, off exploring and crawling all over the house. They were content to play alone or with me. I understand how the days can get to be long with little ones, but it really doesn't last long.

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answers from New York on

I had my 2 girls 14 months apart. #2 was like that, and my lack of sleep and dealing with 2 babies did not help. She was a little difficult till she was around 6 months old. She's 3 1/2 now and really independant and wonderful. Sorry, no good suggestions just know you're not alone. And the more impatient I got with my daughter, I feel she sensed it and it made her fussier...not that this is super helpful, but do your best to be patient....

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answers from Springfield on

My son was the same way. I have two boys that are 18 months apart and it was very difficult because my youngest was very needy. He still whines a lot and he is now 2 1/2! I remember it driving me crazy. I finally decided that it was his personality and that he was going to have to adjust to our life, so I tried very hard to not respond to his every whimper. If he was fed, well rested and dry, then I let him fuss. Trust me, it was not easy!! We also got him a walker when he was old enough and that seemed to help. Eventually things got better and when he stared moving on his own, things got a lot better. Hang in there!

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answers from Redding on

There really is no possible way to hold or carry a baby around all the time. I think you just need to let her fuss as you do what you do, talking to her all the time so she can hear your voice.
I had a friend that literally wouldn't shower because her baby cried when she put her down. I told her to feed her, change her diaper, put her in her crib and get in the shower. If the baby cried for 10 minutes, the baby cried for 10 minutes. It wouldn't be the end of the world. A grown woman has to was her body, whether the baby likes it or not.
A fussy baby is not the same as a sick, tormented or neglected baby. They can learn that they will be all right if they aren't being held or carried every minute.
That's just my opinion, but I do believe it to be true.

Best wishes.

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answers from New York on

have you tried peek a boo at increasing intervals? that way, your being gone for a moment at first, then longer and longer mgiht be less stressful.

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answers from San Francisco on

Yeah, hold the baby and play with the 2-1/2 year old. It's hard and time-consuming, I know, but read the recent post titled For Moms With Grown Children.

Also, a needy 5 month old is COMPLETELY NORMAL.

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