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If you're baby wouldn't be put down, when did they grow out of it and what (if anything) did you do??

(23 Posts)
lucielooo Sun 22-May-11 22:32:56

I have a 5 week old DS who cries whenever he's put down which means he's held all day and sleeping at night is very very limited. He'll sleep either on DP's chest or in the crook of my arm but thats about it.

Now, I know that he is very little still and not long ago he was nice and comfortable in the womb and makes sense that he wants to be held a lot but I'm just wondering if based on others experiences this is something he's likely to grow out of on his own, and if so any ideas when that's likely to start happening?

Do I need to persist with trying to put him down? If I do, he wakes up and cries and then he gets overtired and we have a terrible day. At least if I just hold him he sleeps. But I feel like I should 'teach' him to go down on his own (my HV is obsessed with this..been asking if he self settles since he was 2 weeks)

I do have a Moby which is fine but I would really like to know whether this is something I should be trying to deal with and if so how I should encourage him to be put down, or if by doing that I'd just be causing us both unecessary upset and that if I just hold him for now he'll grow out of it, no harm done?

Also, we spent his first 4 days in hospital and he definitely did go down then, and I am sure he's getting worse but this makes me think I am doing the wong things.

Anyone with similar experiences I'd be very greatful for your input!!

Happygomummy Sun 22-May-11 22:40:42

Don't stress! My DS1 was like this and he gradually grew out of it though was helped considerably by giving him a dummy (sleeping time only) and using a swinging chair to get him in habit of napping during day. Things got better around 7/8 weeks.

Remember, you're not doing anything wrong. What is your alternative choice - to leave a 5 week old screaming?? Some may do that but it's not for me.

( and ps DS2 who was a "dream" baby re sleeping/ feeding is now a complete monkey and is waking twice a night (at 22 months) whilst DS1 is sleeping through no probs!

It's just the joys (and it is a joy most of the time) of being a new mum.

spiderlight Sun 22-May-11 22:45:05

Mine was a total limpet for about three months, and then suddenly he was fine being put down without me really doing anything to encourage it. It seemed to coincide with the onset of warmer weather, if that's any help! He was a bit of a freezer as a baby and always wanted to be warmer than the guidelines advised, so in retrospect I think body heat had a fair bit to do with it in his case. The constant holding didn't do him any harm though - he's certainly not clingy now.

MrsJoshHomme Sun 22-May-11 22:47:50

Lucie, it all sounds normal to me, my DD was the same, DS (my 2nd DC) was a little less, but then he had little choice!

He will grow out of it, gradually . Think you are doing all the right things.
At this age I tried two things: settling in own room in day with curtains shut etc - put down walk off, etc go back settle, etc etc and think used a mobile, and same sort of rocking before put down.

Then a bath and bed routine, bath, massage. stories, sleeping bag and cuddle. Think by 5ish months was settling no probs.

Al1son Sun 22-May-11 22:54:29

I can't imagine why your health visitor is so keen for him to separate from you at such a young age. All the evidence (and there's loads of it) shows that holding and comforting him now will help him to be more independent when he's older.

Keep holding him and snuggling with him. Keep him close and secure and don't listed to your HV. Enjoy every minute too because it will be over in such a short time.

I had two babies. The first one wanted to be glued to me 24/7 and the second was happy to self-settle from day one. DD2 was the one who couldn't maintain her own body temp for the first 4 weeks and had to be held 24/7 to stop her turning blue. If you could spoil a baby by holding them too much she would have been spoilt big time. She wasn't. when she was able to be put down to sleep she was perfectly happy to do it.

ArthurMcAffertyandhisCat Sun 22-May-11 22:55:47

By about 12 weeks ds was happy to be put down for short periods. He was, though, always keen to be picked up again - I think until he started crawling at around 7 months. I used various slings and just got on with it - he would, fortunately, nap in his cot quite happily so it was only the waking hours that were an issue.

It was really hard work, and I remember finding it very tough. I would say that now, at 3, he is a delightful little chap who is very well adjusted and comfortable in his attachments to people, despite some big emotional traumas in this past year. I'm so glad when I look back that we did things at his pace as I'm sure it made a difference. And he does still love being cuddled - it's absolutely lovely.

AC67 Sun 22-May-11 23:04:38

mine absolutely clung to me - and I held her as much as I could. She grew out of it when she was around 5-6 months. She was an amazingly confident baby and toddler. It was hard for me at the time but I am so glad now that we had that time - I should cuddle the baby if I were you.

lucielooo Sun 22-May-11 23:09:51

Well HV is a little odd, (she also told me to leave him to cry 'sometimes they cry so much they vomit but thats ok' - wtf? I don't think so) I'm ignoring the loon - especially as this was unsolicited advice before DS had revealed his limpetry!! But anyway, it's not about her.

Really glad to hear that your babies who wouldn't be put down have grown out of it sooner or later. How did you cope with sleeping? The day is hard work but doable and I can manage putting everything else second for the early weeks (it's what mat leave is for after all) but any suggestions for nights? I worry that the ways we can get him to sleep aren't very safe and DP and I are getting very little sleep.. I get virtually none at night as very uncomfortable!

Did you feel like people were quite disapproving of you always holding your baby? I know it doesn't matter, but I just get a vibe like that sometimes (like you are being ridiculous)

knittynoodle Sun 22-May-11 23:55:43

I never ever left DS to cry and was told by everyone in my family and DP's that I was spoiling him and he would never learn to comfort himself.

He stopped this stage at 3 months on the dot. I know its really hard when you are in the situation but when you look back you will think WOW! How did I ever manage!*

*And then give yourself a pat on the back and a cup of tea smile

knittynoodle Sun 22-May-11 23:57:01

Oh and I got through it with the help of BBC4 and sleeping on the sofa, upright, with one hand on DS belly!

MrsJoshHomme Mon 23-May-11 07:17:10

Yes lots of disapproving looks and making a rod for your own back!

grin Knittynoodle - thats how I got through it used to watch BBC3 - watched all the music festivals, three pints of lager etc etc grin

brandnewme Mon 23-May-11 07:23:16

A baby swing! fantastic - means you can make a cup of tea smile

Allegrogirl Mon 23-May-11 07:25:47

My DD lived in the Moby all day for first 8-10 weeks and she slept in bed with me. Hard work I know. I kept trying the pram/bouncy chair/crib next to bed until she was happy and didn't cry.

She started nursery for 2.5 days a week at 8 months without a whimper. Very able to entertain herself and chase DD1 but still loves a cuddle.

Al1son Mon 23-May-11 09:44:09

lucieloo we took the side off DD1's cot and made it into a bedside cot. That meant I could lie in my own space and still have her close, put my hand on her etc. I wouldn't recommend the DIY version but could you get a purpose made one? Even if your LO wants to be snuggled really close now you can gradually move him away to a more comfortable position in time. If you lie him on a little draw sheet you could settle him close and then move him gently away when he's in a deep sleep.

I think some people need to disapprove of certain parenting styles because not doing so would be admitting that they may not have been perfect themselves. My mother and some of my friends were critical of the length of time I BF because they didn't do it. Some of my friends didn't approve of how much I held my girls and that I didn't let them cry because their consciences were pricking them about leaving their own to cry. I've cared for many children, most of whom were not my own and you have to approach each one as an individual. If you've only had one or two you think that what worked for you will work for everyone.

The best advice anyone can give you is to follow your instincts. They are there for a very good reason and on the occasions I have ignored mine I have regretted it.

So if you feel like cuddling your baby do it. If you feel that you need a few minutes break from each other, put him in his cot and walk away for a bit. It won't do him any harm. I did that with DD2 once and that was when I realised she didn't want to be cuddled as much as DD1!

You're doing a great job with your son. You study him and his responses 24/7. Nobody knows him as well as you do so have faith in yourself and do what feels right.

Pussinflatboots Mon 23-May-11 10:18:13

Dd went from being a total limpet to being happy alone in her cot, chatting to her mobile just before 3 months (couple of weeks ago). Still naps on me in the day sometimes, and hates being put in bouncy chair, but life has got much easier.
We have cosatto bedside cot and it's great. She sleeps beside me and I can hold her hand or pat her. At the same time that limpetness subsided, she also learnt to self-settle, especially at night, which makes bedtime and nightfeeds much easier. I think she's happy to do this as she knows we'll be there as soon as she needs us due to early months spent on either dh or me.
Hang on in there for a couple more weeks.

petisa Mon 23-May-11 15:56:19

Grew out of it when she could hold her head up well without getting tired and therefore could inspect toys, so 6-7 months. I wore a v good baby carrier (manduca) and gave her to visitors to hold a lot!

petisa Mon 23-May-11 15:59:18

Ignore anyone who disapproves, just cuddle your baby loads, pick him up at the slightest complaint if you want to, let him fall asleep on your chest at night, enjoy, he'll grow out of it all too soon and you won't be making a rod for your own back. Enjoy!

victoriasmith Tue 24-May-11 22:20:14


Your post reminded me so much of myself! My DS is now 9 weeks old but I was posting alot on here in the early days as he wanted to be held constantly and needed to co sleep in order to get any sleep and I had all the same concerns that you did, plus had the rubbish HV who just kept telling me how dangerous co sleeping was and that i should stop doing it.

Do not worry, babies get there when they get there, if your baby isn;t ready to sleep on his own then he is just not ready yet he will get there. Best bit of advice i got was that even if you co sleep now its not like they will be sleeping with you when they are 10 years old!!! Every baby is different and they all need different things at different ages. DS began to seem calmer at around 6-7 weeks and now sleeps just fine in his moses basket and then comes into our bed at about 5am, but before this he was in our bed sleeping on me as otherwise he would just cry all the time.

My DS loves his sling and is in it for a large portion of each day, its the only way he will sleep during the day, but i know that when he is ready he will nap in his basket/cot.

Best bit of advice I can give is throw away the baby books (once i did this i totally relaxed) and just do what comes naturally, we have natural mothering instincts which we are discouraged from using, I found once I summoned the courage to do what seemed right for my baby everything became alot easier!

TheRealMBJ Tue 24-May-11 22:26:24

Ignore your HV. She is indeed a loon! (I wonder where they come up with this unfounded, unprove, unsolicited crap?)

My DS was like this, he slowly grew out of it and now at 17 months is a very independent* toddler. He is very loving though and enjoys giving and receiving cuddles. Just enjoy your baby. If it all gets too much, pop him in a sling, it will at least give your arms a rest, or take him for a walk. Get DH to take over in the mornings and in the evenings. I promise that this too shall pass and you will look back fondly at this time.

*Disclaimer: still co-sleeps at night though and can at time have attacks of separation anxiety.

magicmummy1 Tue 24-May-11 23:01:42

Ignore the HV. My dd was like this for the first eighteen months or so. Constantly wanting attention, never happy to be put down. As far as possible, we went along with it. Cuddled her constantly, breastfed on demand, showered her with attention, ended up co-sleeping, never left her to cry etc. To me, it just felt like the right approach - yes, it was bloody exhausting at times, but she was a baby and couldn't help having needs!

Our HV and some well-meaning friends gave the usual advice about making rods for own backs and we were repeatedly told that we'd have to leave her to cry eventually. We ignored them.

Fast forward a few years and at nearly six, dd is one of the happiest, most secure and confident children you're ever likely to meet. We never had any problems with her being clingy or tearful when starting school - she just jumped in and got on with it. She makes friends very easily and relishes new experiences. Now obviously, I have no scientific proof, but I do think her confidence and security now are the results of her having her needs met as a baby.

It's really hard when you feel like you're a complete slave to your baby's needs, but they are tiny for such a short period. If she wants a cuddle, then cuddle her! You won't regret it later on!

PipPipPip Wed 25-May-11 23:30:01

Hi LucieLoo, we're in a similar position with our 7-week-old. She can only last short periods on her own in a bouncer or on the change mat. She wants to be held most of the day and doesn't even really like her pram.

Thank GOD for our Baby Bjorn carrier! I'm developing strong 'core' muscles smile

However, I'm noticing that she's starting to look around a bit more and noticing toys/light/shadows etc. She used to only last a minute in the bouncer whereas now she can sometimes last ten minutes - so I think things are already getting easier. Hopefully it won't be TOO long until she can chill out and stare at a mobile for a while.

At night, we rock her to sleep in her arms then transfer her to a moses basket. Once she wakes for her first feed, we co-sleep for the rest of the night as it keeps her mellow and restful.

To be honest, I love co-sleeping as it is more restful for me too - I prefer being woken by a little nuzzling creature than by screaming from the next room. And we both drift off to sleep after the feed easier.

But each to their own. All the other women have rightly said follow your instincts and that's all we're doing!!

mumtomoley Tue 19-Jul-11 23:50:04

I've namechanged since starting this thread but thought I'd come back with an update. DS is 13 weeks now and is absolutely fine! Still likes a cuddle and I get lots of big fat smiles when we're snuggled up but will also happily go in his chair or lie on his mat for fairly long stretches of time. If I leave the room he won't last that long but as long as I talk to him regularly and keep changing activities some days I'm only holding him for feeds.

He'll also go in car seat and pram now though getting a pram toy really made a big difference to this. Once he could start looking around his pram toy was a big distraction. He's such a lovely happy baby that I wouldn't have him any other way now.

It's happened gradually in incremements but started improving not that long after I started this thread. It seems to that whenever you get to the end of your tether things improve!

mumtomoley Tue 19-Jul-11 23:51:17

Just to add he still naps much better being held and it's only irregularly I can get him to have a proper sleep in the day in his swing. But at night he sleep in his crib, although this is attached to the bed this is a vast improvement on him only being able to sleep lying on my chest!

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