All babies love to be held. According to experts, holding your baby stimulates pressure receptors that help them relax. However, holding them every time they cry is not realistic. Doing this will only make them develop a bad habit that you’ll struggle to keep up with. Below are some tips for when your baby wants you to hold him/her all the time.
My Baby Wants to Be Held All the Time, Why and What to Do?
High need babies usually want to be held by their parents every minute of the day. They are accustomed to the soothing motion of their parent’s body since they were in the womb. Such a baby will try to extract any physical contact from you, whether it’s in your arms, at your breast or in bed. Most high need babies also crave for motion. They not only want to be held, they also need to be moved in a slow constant motion. Such babies will always want to be held in their caregivers’ arms since they always want to be where the motion is.
High need babies come wired this way, and they must be held in order to feel fulfilled and emotionally secure. They simply cannot help themselves. Trying to make them stop would be akin to trying to get a dog to stop barking or getting the sun to rise in the west. It is highly unlikely you will succeed.
If you do find yourself in this situation with your baby, you might be tempted to try the cry-it-out method to kill the habit. However, this will only affect your baby’s self-esteem and sense of security. The only way out of this is to find out just how you can meet your baby’s needs and still remain sane. Here are some tips for when your baby wants to be held all the time.
How to Cope
One of the easiest ways to get around this issue is to get a baby carrier or sling. This way, you will be able to carry the baby as you get things done around the house.
Wean Them Off
You can break the habit by getting them something to do. This will require some level of perseverance and patience.
Get a bouncy chair or play mat where you put the baby whenever you need something done. Take breaks from the work you’re doing at intervals to play with the baby.
Start off with a few minutes and make sure to pick up the baby whenever they’re about to cry. Don’t let them get to the point where they’re crying to pick them up otherwise you’ll reinforce the “when I cry I get picked up” habit.
Start extending the intervals gradually and soon your baby will get used to sitting alone as you work. This is a long term remedy to the “baby wants to be held all the time” situation.
Learn from What Other Moms Say
“I got a swaddle for my baby. Most babies just need to feel some tightness around them in order to feel secure. Having spent so much time in the womb, it’s only natural for them to want to feel warm and safe. My baby slept much better when he was swaddled.”
“I dealt differently with all my 3 kids. They’re now 13, 11 and now a 4 month old. For the first two, I let them cry it out and they eventually got used to it. But to be honest, I think I should have held them. I’m doing it different with my 4 moth old. I hold her most of the time and we have the most wonderful time together. While my midwife keeps telling me the baby with get spoiled, my husband never complains. I have made it a point to enjoy these years since they’ll never come back.”
“My son was a high need baby. By the time he got to 3 months, I started putting him down and let him fuss a bit. With time, he learnt to entertain himself. It really doesn’t hurt if you let them cry a little as long as you give them something – a toy probably - to keep them busy.”
“Being a trained psychologist, I should have known better than to listen to my friends and husband about making a bad sleeper out of my 10 month old baby. Last night, for the first time, I put him down to cry it out. This was followed by the loudest screaming I’ve heard in a while. I should have known better. I should have acted with the knowledge I had gathered studying child development textbooks. Any psychologist can tell you that your baby begins to figure out you and them are separate beings at between 2 to 3 months. This awareness creates separation anxiety, which is made worse by the fact that they still cannot recall the past. This means they won’t remember that the last time you left, you came back. According to them, if you leave, you’ll not be coming back. This is why they cry. Despite having all this knowledge I let a few comments derail me from being a reassuring parent. I can never by a cry-it-out parent. I don’t believe in temporary emotional abandonment as a strategy to raising kids.”
“Babies will be babies. They’re helpless angels that need love and reassurance constantly. They don’t change just because you need to get something done. You should make them your number one priority instead of letting them cry. You can always carry them around as you do chores. This is actually very soothing and entertaining for your baby. Research shows that crying has negative side effects on babies so don’t let the cry themselves to sleep. There’s a good reason why baby wants to be held all the time.”