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How To Survive With A Baby That Needs To Be Held Constantly

Updated on June 9, 2014

Baby Being Held

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How to Survive

So you've just had a new baby, and you've caught on by now that this new baby of yours hates to be put in their crib to sleep or being put in their car seat or to be placed in a playpen. You've been carrying them seemingly non stop and you only get a couple minutes rest. You're getting accustomed to hearing screaming whenever your baby is set down but wish you could hear other sounds from your baby like cooing. Your question right now constantly on your mind is: How will I survive this?

Parents Holding Baby

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What You Should Do

  • If your baby only falls asleep in your arms...

Although it may seem impossible you will need to set your baby down in their crib whenever they are asleep. Soothingly tell them you have to rest and that you love them and gently place them in their crib. Make sure they are wrapped in a blanket or sleep sack to allow them to feel safer.

You can put something of yours in their crib such as a t-shirt you've worn. Don't bunch it up around their face just lay it underneath them. They will feel soothed by the smell as it smells like you.

Another thing you can do is pop a blanket in the drier for a couple minutes. Make sure it's warm, not hot. Set it in their crib or wrap them in the warm blanket before you lay them down. They will think the heat is your body heat.

Keep a noise machine by them that has ocean sounds or rain sounds. My own baby prefers rain sounds for her noise machine. You can find them relatively inexpensive or you can get a nature sound cd and play it in a cd player or laptop while they're first set down.

Giving your baby a bath right before it's bedtime will also help them fall asleep more comfortably and for you to be able to place them in their crib.

  • If your baby is refusing to be set down during the day and your arms are killing you or you need to get some chores done...

Get a baby carrier instead and strap them to you while you rest your arms and do some chores. This may or may not work. When my baby was still pretty small she didn't like her baby carrier. Once she was older though she liked it and sometimes falls asleep in it.

Have someone else hold your baby for a while. Ask your partner or your mom or another relative if they can help carry your baby around for a little while so your arms can rest.

It's okay to set your baby down if they're at least three months old for a little while in a safe playpen or their crib while you do some chores even if they are crying. Stick to ten-fifteen minutes and if they're still crying pick them back up and console them. If you do this be in the same room as them while doing some chores so they can at least hear you and see you.

Additional Advice

  • Stay Hydrated!

Carrying around a small little being is basically a work out, so drink plenty of fluids especially if you're breastfeeding as well. Keeping a full water bottle at all times with you is a good idea.

  • If you feel really burned out from carrying your baby don't push yourself!

Get help from someone for at least a half hour if you feel really burned out. You don't want to faint while carrying your baby! And if you do feel like you will faint and you're carrying your baby sit down immediately where you stand even if your baby fusses and wait until you feel better before standing. Also getting a glass or orange juice will help if you feel faint. It worked for me to sit down one time after feeling faint and carrying my baby around as I had a really bad fever of a hundred degrees that particular day. I sat down on the floor and talked to my baby until I felt a little better and got up and got some orange juice and took a vitamin.

  • Make up games while you carry around your baby!

This will make the time go by faster while you carry your baby around. Bring your baby to items around you and tell them what it is and describe it to them. Or dance with them gently. My baby loves dancing with me to songs, I just rock her back and forth and occasionally slowly spin in a circle while holding her.

  • If your baby lets you, sit whenever you can!

Some babies don't like if their moms sit down while holding them. But if your baby lets you sit whenever you can while you're holding them and relax. It's not as restorative as sleeping but it is as close to resting as your body may currently be permitted.

  • Going to the bathroom... Yikes what to do?!

Either bring your baby's car seat in the bathroom with you and buckle them in it while you take care of your business or try to get someone else to hold them while you're in the bathroom. At times you may just have to sit them in your lap while you go to the bathroom. As disgusting as that may sound, know that it's okay. Other moms do it and sometimes if you really have to go that's just how it will work out.

  • Look at all the positives!

Sure your back and arms hurt, but consider all the positives of this time frame of your baby being very needy of you. Your getting an awesome arm workout! Your biceps will be mega-toned! And you'll be sad once your kid doesn't want to be held anymore like they do at present so believe it or not but you will cherish these hours of carrying your little baby!

  • Get a massage!

Just go for it! Go into a spa and get a nice hour long back massage to soothe your aching arm and back muscles. If it's a little out of your price range, you can find plenty of deals on Groupon for massages at local spas in your area.

Mom Holding Baby

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The Reasons Your Baby May Be Clingy

Even though it may be slightly difficult and confusing why your baby doesn't want to be set down ever understand that it's a natural instinct of theirs to do this sometimes. The reasons why babies will want to be held constantly is because they feel threatened. They feel vulnerable in this new world that they find themselves in. For nine months they've been inside of you, growing and feeling the safety of the walls of your womb around them. Once they're out they don't feel that comfort anymore, at least not in the same way. They now get that comfort from you. They feel safe when they're held by their mother because natural instinct tells them she is the one that is their provider. Mothers give them food, protection, safety, and familiarity. My own baby also would get more clingy when she was teething, sick, or gassy. Don't get too annoyed that they want to be held a lot or constantly as they're looking to you for reassurance and comfort. Also don't let other parents get you down if they say they can leave their baby in their crib to sleep easily and can get their chores done easily as their baby loves their playpen. Ignore them, every baby is different and their baby likely has something else going on with them, so don't feel bad.

Mrs. Jumbo's Song in Dumbo

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