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Thread: Baby that doesn't want to be put down

  1. #1
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    Default Baby that doesn't want to be put down

    My son is 8 months old. He is a handful! He definitely rules this house and has since the day he was born. So our issue is that he wants to be held all.the.time. He's recently figured out that if he makes his body stiff as a board, you can't get him into his car seat, onto the floor, into his high chair, etc. So eventually we are able to distract him in order to get him in his car seat, but there have been times where we've just given up and said screw it, not worth the fight and we've stayed home! People were actually laughing at us in a parking lot the other day as the two of us tried to wrestle him into his car seat. FWIW, once he's in the car seat he's fine.
    So anyway, people keep telling me I need to just put him down and leave him even if he's upset, but I just don't feel right doing it. I kinda feel like if he feels he needs to be held, I should just fill his need. My husband says I'm creating a monster.
    Just curious of your thoughts on the subject. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    My oldest dd did the stiff as a board thing for her car seat too! Ugh. I would suggest a baby carrier of some type if you haven't tried that already. DS is in our mei tai often but there are many other types...I see them listed on Craigslist often, too.

    ~ Cassie, mama to Madison (8), Ali (4) & Wesley (new dude!)


  3. #3

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    I don't want to come off as offensive but, you have to let him know he can't be held all the time. He is 8 months old and not a newborn I am a true believer at that age babies have the capability to be content to lay/ sit on the floor with their toys for a few minutes only while mom goes to the bathroom, puts away dishes, or takes 5 for herself if you are within a few feet of him he'll be fine. Yes, he will cry but, eventually he'll have to know mom or dad walks away for a short time then comes back. Its just my opinion that mom and dad are the boss and the baby is not. It will become harder and harder to control him if he thinks he is in charge 24/7.
    The worst thing that's going to happen is he is going to cry for a couple of minutes but, it will become easier. Start with a couple of minutes and build up to about 5 of doing a couple of things then come back. I know I might be flaming for this but, I am sharing my honest opinion.

  4. #4
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    Hold that baby. He's been on the planet for only 8 months, wouldn't you want to be held too? LOL Check out different methods of babywearing. I wore and held my kids when they wanted until they decided they didn't want to. I will still gladly hold my 4 year old if he needs me, and my 2 year old loves to be carried around. She still does the board thing with the car seat, lol, you just have to be patient with that. I would hold her there until she gave in, or offer her something she can ONLY have in the car. Some sort of favorite book, toy, or even a sippy cup.

    You're definitely not creating a monster though. If kids don't have attitudes about one thing, they'll have attitudes about something else. LOL That's just kids! Luckily holding them is pretty easy to do, especially if you can babywear. They can be with you while you do things you need to get done.

    When he's old enough (usually 18m to 2 years old) you will be able to say something like "I'm going to finish doing [task], and when I am done, I will hold you." So they learn through communication that you're there for them, but you also have things you need to do. It does get easier. I know its hard, but truly enjoy holding your baby. Before you know it they want nothing to do with you and scream when you pick them up.
    Dada (27) Mama-Jessie (26) Orion (4) Kadence (2) Osiris (Uterus)

  5. #5
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    I have one of those....and also had 2 more of those

    One word: ERGO. Get one.

    Another word: IGNORE. Use it on everyone who says you are spoiling him or creating a monster.

    He will NOT do this forever. He is very little and just likes being held and trust me you will miss it when it's gone. Which it will be before you know it. I TOTALLY understand how it can also be very tiring and difficult. My DD3 is 22M and STILL likes to be held a lot but as PP mentioned I can tell her, "I will pick you up just as soon as I cut up this pear you asked for. I can't cut the pear if I am holding you." Sometimes I get an, "ok mama" and sometimes she flings herself on the floor and cries lol. I really never know. But either way I know she gets it. Whether she accepts it is another story

    It's just their personality and he will likely be needy in most situations so it's something you will probably need to adjust to. Although like I said all mine were like that and DD1 is a very easy going, independent 7yo. DD2 has a stronger personality but is very strong-willed and independent. I truly believe my catering to their needs helped them feel secure and confident.

    DD3 is the most needy one of all and being the 3rd I just could not/can't give her the same attention the others got. She has had to wait it out and guess what? It didn't change a thing. Letting her sit on the floor and cry for a bit while I made her sisters lunch or helped them in the bathroom or did the thousand other things that needed 2 hands did not change her at all. She didn't learn to suddenly not need mama. She can be more easily distracted now that she is older but when she was sick last week I could.not.put.her.down for a minute. She is definitely more independent now and confident that if she really needs me I will be there but can understand that I need my hands to do something at the moment.

    So I get it. You are tired and frustrated. You look around the house and see all the things you can't do while holding a baby who is probably not so tiny anymore! I am telling you from the other side that it wont last forever but it may last another year or 2. You definitely won't be holding a 5-7 year old all day lol.

    As for the car seat, DD3 is the only one of mine who does that! It's SO annoying. Have you tried distracting him? I have started counting with DD...she is older than your DS but I will let her do it for a minute or so and then I will say I am counting to 3 and then we have to buckle in. She will MOST of the time loosen up after I get to 3. If not I sometimes try tickling....it's hard to stay stiff when you are being tickled. I am not a fan of tickling in general but she does not seem to mind it and it gets the job done. It doesn't take much.
    Thing 1 (7), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

  6. #6

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    I have had 2 of those; DS2 still does the stiff thing. I held and carried them forever! DS1 lived in an ergo; DS2 in a bjorn. DS1 has now moved on and getting very independent; DS2 is the same way. If I had to go back in time, I would not change a thing. They were very high needs children and both would throw up from crying but will keep on crying. I did not feel it was right to just lie them down and walk away and have done it on very few occasions when it was an absolute imperative that I tend to something else.
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  7. #7

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    I 2nd Macksmom. My DS1 was just like that. We were very attachment parenting and rocked him to sleep and/or slept with him (cosleepers, bedsharing) and I often wondered if I would actually have to go to college with him, but he's 5.5 now and goes to bed in his own bed and typically stays there all night. He will come into our bed in the mornings for cuddles, but he doesn't *need* us to sleep anymore. While there were lots of times I was worried/unhappy about the situation I'd created because in that moment I just didn't want to have to lay down with him, I am very happy (in hindsight) with how we handled things and I'm glad to have a secure son who can now sleep on his own ... having never had to listen to him CIO. ;)
    Dorcas (35) DH (36) 3/13



  8. #8
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    I'm a big fan of doing whatever makes life the smoothest from birth until...well, so far always! But especially until 18m-ish where language and communication really becomes more of a focus. At 8m-if holding him is what makes the world go 'round, do it. On the flip side, it really IS ok for him to fuss and want picked up while you're going to the bathroom, finishing up a meal, throwing away a dirty diaper, etc. I'm not big on letting all of life around me go because for me that doesn't make life easier. But for others, they really can let it all go in order to keep baby happy. You have to find where you fall in that. If the only reason you're looking for ideas on how to change the holding/picking him up is because there are people around you telling you that you need to, that wouldn't be enough reason for me. It would be hard for me to listen to my husband tell me I was making my son into a monster over a perfectly normal developmental phase

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  9. #9
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    With all my kids I held them when I could and when I had to do something else that I could not do while holding them I put them down near where I was. My first screamed unless she was walked around while facing out. She became a much happier baby when she crawled which your DS should be doing soon. Crawling might not help, though, as it really depends what need is met by being held. For her, she wanted to move and to this day she does not stop.
    Jessica (32) and Ryan (32). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
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  10. #10

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    i agree with lindsay. he is old enough to play for a few minutes alone on the floor. i would start with putting him down for a minute at a time and increase the time as he gets used to it.
    i also think that its ok to baby wear. so wear him when you can and slowly teach him to enjoy time on the floor (or highchair, exersaucer swing, bouncy etc.)


  11. #11

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    I believe in holding babies and its not going to "spoil" them, or create a monster. i do think its ok to let them fuss for a minute when you need to put him down to do something, as was mentioned above. It does make it much easier if you can use an ergo/something similar. I've always found that during times of gaining new skills are more clingy than others. If i remember correctly you are a working mom, which means your little guy spends a good portion of his day with someone else, who undoubtably does not hold him all day, so he gets plenty of time to practice self coping skills if that is what your dh is worried about. He might just need that extra time with you for assurance and to gain confidence.

    As far as the stiff thing, i've had a few who did that, probably all 6 of them at some point Going places in the car isnt really optional, and neither is riding in the car seat, so i do persevere through that. If you push directly back on their hip bones above their pelvis it usually forces them to bend. When they get older and more reasonable i'm not above bribery ;) DD is 2.5yrs and still pulls that stiff as a board trick half the time, but she will cheerfully get in her seat if offered a reward of a cracker/cookie/piece of chocolate/special toy or book.

  12. #12

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    It seems that some of the gentle parenting advice in this thread work best with your natural instinct and parenting philosophy. Since you naturally do not think putting down and leaving is the right thing for your child. Do what is best for your child and what you really think is best.

    Just remember the roll of a parent has many faces. You can show love and comfort while showing authority. It doesn't have to be one or the other.

  13. #13
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    The Ergo is my friend. Any time one of the twins is cranky I put them in it. He is still pretty little and it will go by way too soon.


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    Thank you for validating me ladies. I always try to just trust my instincts but I constantly find myself questioning my decisions.

    I truly think that DS *needs* rather than *wants* to be held. It's just his personality. I'm fully prepared for him to be attached to me like glue for a long while. My youngest brother was the same way with my mom and I see a lot of the same qualities in them both. FWIW, he is 20 and away at college right now so he turned out fine lol.

    I do have a beco carrier that DS will sit in and we go for walks with him in, but I do find it is difficult to accomplished most tasks while he is in it. For instance I was trying to wash my hands and he was in the way, I was making coffee and he was trying to grab the mug and I was buttering a bagel and he was trying to grab the knife! Perhaps a different carrier is what I need.

    My only concern with holding him all the time--will he still learn to crawl and walk at a typical age? I feel like he can't learn if I'm always holding him.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by kmrk336 View Post
    Thank you for validating me ladies. I always try to just trust my instincts but I constantly find myself questioning my decisions.

    I truly think that DS *needs* rather than *wants* to be held. It's just his personality. I'm fully prepared for him to be attached to me like glue for a long while. My youngest brother was the same way with my mom and I see a lot of the same qualities in them both. FWIW, he is 20 and away at college right now so he turned out fine lol.

    I do have a beco carrier that DS will sit in and we go for walks with him in, but I do find it is difficult to accomplished most tasks while he is in it. For instance I was trying to wash my hands and he was in the way, I was making coffee and he was trying to grab the mug and I was buttering a bagel and he was trying to grab the knife! Perhaps a different carrier is what I need.

    My only concern with holding him all the time--will he still learn to crawl and walk at a typical age? I feel like he can't learn if I'm always holding him.
    Always follow your instincts! My oldest had to be held nearly every minute for the first 10 months of his life. He would play on the floor if I was there with him, but he was not happy to be away from him mama. I do not regret holding him as much as I did. At 5 years old, cuddles are really rare with him, so I am glad I got my cuddles in at some point!

    Both of my children walked around a year and were both within a normal range for all gross motor development.

    Have you tried a back-carry yet? It makes things a lot easier to get things done with your hands and chest free!

  16. #16

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    I used a moby wrap and really liked it, but I don't think I used it that much at that grabbing stage.
    Dorcas (35) DH (36) 3/13



  17. #17

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    Definitely switch to a back carry!

    He will eventually get to the point of being curious and want to get down, mine did anyway. Also i did sit on the floor (or a sibling did, lucky me) and play with them, encouraging them to move around, play etc.

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