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4 week old suddenly wont let me put him down

(18 Posts)
ParsleyCake Fri 10-Jul-15 13:51:29

Yesterday I noticed that my month old baby was more clingy than usual, only sleeping properly if he was on me . He would wake up and cry A few minutes after I put him down, and then settle down as I picked him back up and fall back asleep quickly. Today, I wanted to take a shower but he just wouldn't settle down, and I decided to bring him into the bathroom with me to sit on his bouncy chair while I showered, talking to him the whole time. He began to cry about halfway through, just his usual crying noises and I kept talking to him, but he continued to cry until I was finished. Afterwards, I was determined to get some underwear on at least as well as some deodorant and brush my hair so I let him continue crying, as it was not really that bad. I continue to keep talking to him as well as picking him up between each activity for a cuddle but by the end his cries were getting quite shrill and loud. This was at about 9 AM this morning, and now by about 2 PM he has been waking up very suddenly once he notices that I am no longer holding him with a very loud, shrill cry which I have never noticed him using before unless he has been already crying for a while.

It is almost as if he has separation anxiety, but I have read that this does not start until a few months older. Did I upset him by leaving him to cry rather immediately feeding him or settling down with him to cuddle for a longer time? Usually I only go to do things for myself when he is settled down to sleep, so he hardly ever notices that I have left him.

Now that he refuses to sleep unless I'm holding him, and wakes soon afterwards, I'm not really able to use his nap times to go and make myself food or to wash myself, but I can't have him screaming blue murder for the whole time I'm doing things.

What should I do? I am not a single mum, but my partner works very long hours so he is not really able to help me with meals very much or watch the baby everytime I go for a shower.

QuiteLikely5 Fri 10-Jul-15 14:06:53

I would say he needs more cuddles he is telling you that much.

I know it's frustrating when you have got things to do but he won't be like this forever.

Sometimes you have no choice to let them have a little cry like shower time but I say keep on cuddling!

Sorry I'm not much use really smile

princessvikki Fri 10-Jul-15 14:10:31

They learn very early if they cry they get a cuddle. I'm afraid the only way to stop it is to let him cry. It's hard but it has to be done unless your prepared to carry him around all the time. It's just not practical to respond imidiatly to every cry , the sooner he learns that the better for both of you. If you need to do something, make sure he's comfy and safe and has something to look at or hold and get on with what you have to do, if he cries he cries . That sounds really harsh but it will pay off he'll soon learn you come back when you leave him. It's just really hard to let your new baby cry, it's defiantly worse for you than him

ParsleyCake Fri 10-Jul-15 14:46:46

I'm really not a fan of leaving babies to cry. It's such a short time that they are young and if they need to be cuddled, they need to be cuddled. They are just going with the natural instinct, it's not something they need to be "trained" out of. I have read that when babies resort to self soothing it is because they have lost hope that no one cares enough to come and take care of them and are doing what they can to soothe themselves. Babies this young cannot be "spoiled" though I know that some older generations of mothers were taught differently. Babies do not understand that when they're screaming and crying that the mother is only in the next room, they only know that they are alone. At this point they still think that their mother is a part of them and do not know that they are their own person.

I think that QuiteLikely5 could be right in saying that I have not been cuddling my baby enough though I would never have thought of this myself. as I do seem to be holding him and feeding him all the time. That is not the same as interacting with the baby though, and I do have a habit of putting him down as soon as he will let me so I can get to do house chores rather than spending quality time actually connecting with him. However, I don't need to be busy all the time though it is hard for me to realise this after having work and university and being run off my feet so much. I think I need to learn to calm down and just enjoy the time with my baby.

He will only need me this much for a few short months, and he will grow out of the stage soon I have read, so what does it really hurt to spend more time cuddling my baby.

Saying that, I do know that there will be times when he will have to just cry, but I don't think it is something that should be done needlessly.

I was just wondering though isn't he a bit young to be having these kind of separation anxiety problems? I'm glad I asked though, as QuiteLikely5 has made me realise that I have not been spending as much time playing and hugging my baby as I thought.

CheeseEMouse Fri 10-Jul-15 14:53:16

Look up the 4th trimester - really helps explain why a baby wants to be close to you in the early weeks. I agree you can't spoil a baby, and especially in the early weeks they cry because a need they have is not being met - which sometimes is just to be held. Also perhaps invest in a sling so at least you can eat and have some hands free to do so! Chores can wait smile

monkey2014 Fri 10-Jul-15 15:48:45

My boy is 13 weeks and doing this this week too. We've had a few times on and off where he'll want to sleep on me and is upset if I put him down. Some days I can happily have a shower get loads done take him out and he'll happily sleep in his basket or rocker, and other days now I don't do anything at all other than cuddle! Feel a bit bad for second babies that don't get this smile

princessvikki Fri 10-Jul-15 15:55:06

I'm not an older mother I'm 25 and I'm a qualified nursery nurse and have worked with babies from 6 weeks and up, but it's personal preference. In my experience they absolutely understand if they cry they get picked up. And they don't grow out of it if you give in all the time it gets worse. Don't get me wrong I'm not saying you shouldn't cuddle your baby my dd is hugged constantly and is my little shadow, but you pick them up when they are sat quietly not when the are being demanding. And they learn to be contented and in time to play independently. Of course sometimes they just need a cuddle and to know that their safe but I don't agree with carrying a baby in a sling constantly to avoid crying, it seems a bit ridiculous to me that you can't even eat a meal. I think there has to be a balance between being a mum and being a person.

Highlove Sat 11-Jul-15 13:11:59

Parsleycake, it sky sa like you know what you're doing so is say go with your instinct. They're only tiny for such a short period, just try and let go of the chores and focus on your lovely new baby for now. It's far, far, far too soon to be worrying about self-settling - and even the most gung-ho controlled crying fans don't recommend leaving to cry before fix months. That's not to say you don't need to shower - course you do - and sometimes baby will have to wait a minute or two. But as a PP said, they cry because a need isn't being met and at that age, a reassuring cuddle from mummy is a need.

Like I said, go with your instinct. And enjoy your lovely baby!

Highlove Sat 11-Jul-15 13:12:47

Sorry, loads of typos, on phone. Hope it makes sense!

Cynara Sat 11-Jul-15 13:20:34

My son did this, I think it started at about 6 weeks and was getting easier by about 12 weeks (in that I could put him down to sleep/so I could shower/cook a meal etc. I had a sling, and although it was a bit of a pain to have him permanently attached to me, I agree that they're only tiny for a short time, and if it helps it's worth a bit of inconvenience. I'd thoroughly recommend a sling, I found that having my hands free helped a lot, and he was perfectly happy snuggled against my chest where he could hear my gheartbeat.

PotteringAlong Sat 11-Jul-15 13:24:04

Have you got a sling?

KikiShack Mon 13-Jul-15 22:13:57

I think 1mo is FAR too young to be withholding cuddles to train the baby bit to be needy. I have no links or evidence handy but to me it is very very very clear that until 2ish they should basically get whatever cuddles they need. This is natural and right.
princessvikki I don't mean to get at you personally but I would remove my DD from any nursery where the staff deliberately made it a policy to not cuddle such a young baby, IMO that's not far off child abuse.
Littles need the cuddles, they need the attachment. Give it now when they ask and they'll be much stronger more independent children when they're older. Withholding it is IMO a sure fire way to give the child serious attachment issues.

KikiShack Mon 13-Jul-15 22:16:00

And Y to a sling - strap the little one on and get on with your day, giving a kiss and some kind words every few minutes. Surely this is what humans and other primates and actually all mammals have been doing (equivalent of a sling obv) since the beginning of time?

ParsleyCake Wed 15-Jul-15 16:43:50

Thanks for the advice. Well it's a few days later, and still experiencing similar problems. Some days hel go to sleep happily and I can put him down to sleep and get on with some chores, or more importantly make myself food or take a shower. Other days he will not settle unless he is getting close body contact and will wake up the second I put him down or move away. I do have a sling, and I use it when I can, but on his especially needy days, he is irritable in general and does not take well to being put into the sling although most of the time I can calm down his crying until he gets used to it and fall asleep.

caravanista13 Wed 15-Jul-15 16:47:55

Princess what appalling advice. Babies need what they need - it's plain ignorant to suggest anything else at this age.

Flisspaps Wed 15-Jul-15 17:12:59

I'm with Kiki - at 4 weeks a baby has no idea that they're a separate being, it's relentless but leaving a baby and trying to teach them that they effectively need to wait is cruel. Shocking advice there IMO Princessvikki, it goes against everything I've ever learned about babies (former childminder).

Don't beat yourself up OP, one day you'll get dressed at a reasonable hour, in one go, without your lovely baby shouting at you grin

CamelliaA Wed 15-Jul-15 22:28:33

but you pick them up when they are sat quietly not when the are being demanding. And they learn to be contented and in time to play independently

Excellent advice. The same applies to older children. Don't make them feel that you've always got something else to do, that is more important than they are. It pays dividends.

KatnissEvermean Wed 15-Jul-15 22:45:26

This sounds normal for a baby of this age. I found it best to shower when DH was around, and get him to make me a packed lunch before he left for work so at least I had something to eat and drink if it was a hard day. Naps were mostly on me, so I let the chores slide and watched some box sets while he slept. I also bought a Sleepyhead in desperation and it was a miracle, I could transfer him when sleeping out of my arms and put him down and he'd stay asleep - going from a lovely cuddle to an open lonely space must be a shock for them. You could use rolled up cellular blankets for the same effect.

Just remember with babies, it's always a phase, and try and make the most of your snuggly baby.

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