2:32 min| 2,033 views
Some babies never want to be put down. If that sounds familiar, watch this video to learn tips from a pediatrician for teaching your baby independence and self-soothing. Thankfully, this is just a phase – all babies eventually grow out of it. Hang in there!
our site presents
My baby always wants to be held
Don't fret if your baby always wants to be held – I promise this won't last forever. In the first few months, many babies crave the warmth, comfort, and squeeze of being held. Some like to be held for what seems like all the time. This phase doesn't usually last beyond 4 months of age.
Here are some tips that may help. Start by trying to put your baby down for brief moments while he's awake. Try putting him down onto a play mat, or into a swing or bouncy chair. You can play with him while he's down, or even use a rattle or mirror to entertain him. Give it a few minutes. If your baby's on the verge of crying, pick him up and comfort him. Try this for a few sessions a day, and gradually increase the length of these play sessions.
For napping, it's safest for your baby to sleep in a sleep-approved device like a bassinet or crib, but his preference may be your arms. Try to put him down for sleep when he's drowsy but not fully asleep. This will help him learn how to fall asleep on his own. Even if it's a short catnap, sleeping on his own is great practice. It's okay to let him groan, grunt, and fuss a bit before falling asleep, and when he awakens. In fact, I tell my families that it's helpful to let him fuss a bit before picking him up from a nap, because sometimes if you give him the chance, he may fall back asleep on his own.
Wearing your baby in an infant-safe carrier may be very helpful. This allows you to comfort your baby and at the same time go for a walk or move freely around the house. Make sure you are using the carrier according to instructions, and that your baby's head isn't covered so that he can breathe freely.
It can be exhausting holding a baby all the time. Make sure to take small breaks from your baby, and allow others to take turns holding him too. If you are alone with your baby and need a moment away – for example, if you need to shower or use the bathroom – it's okay to put him down in a safe place, like in an infant seat or on a mat on the bathroom floor. It's even okay to let him cry for a few moments. Don't worry – all babies eventually learn to self-soothe. Believe it or not, you might actually miss these cuddles when your baby is 4 months old and has grown more independent.
Video production by Paige Bierma.