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Baby cries when put down to sleep? Needs to be held ALL the time?
“I can’t put my baby down without her crying, and I’m exhausted!”
I hear you, mama.
Swing, bouncer, swaddle: You’ve tried it all, and nothing works. Your arms are dying for a break, but your baby isn’t happy anywhere or with anyone but you.
I’ve been there with both of my daughters. In fact, my “baby” is now 17 months old, and still needs to be held a LOT.
You might feel alone right now. I remember the hopelessness of being glued to the couch with a newborn attached to me, especially during the first few months. It feels like you will be stuck there forever.
But, guess what? It won’t last forever, I promise.
I know it’s not what you want to hear right now, but I’m telling you anyway because there IS a light at the end of the tunnel.
Babies need to be held a lot after they are born; not only is it a survival instinct, but babies whose needs are met are happier overall.
Babies need to be held a lot after they are born; not only is it a survival instinct, but babies whose needs are met are happier overall.Click To Tweet
As your child gets older, she will gradually begin to tolerate spending time out of your arms more and more. And one day, you will find yourself with an independent toddler (who still loves snuggling with mama every once in a while).
But for now, here are a few tips for when you can’t put your baby down without her crying.
Follow your baby’s cues.
Crying is a baby’s way of communicating with you.
Sometimes, it just means they need the comfort and security of mama’s arms.
When I can’t put my baby down without her crying, and nothing is necessarily “wrong”, I simply pick her back up and hold her.
Of course, this isn’t always possible — you do have to use the bathroom and make dinner, after all. Sometimes, your baby will cry for a minute or two while you finish what you were doing. When I am able to safely pick my daughter back up, I do.
When my daughters were infants, I usually took them into the bathroom and put them in a bouncy seat. That way, I could still talk to them and my hands were free.
Whenever possible, though, I simply held them when they needed to be held. If they wanted to nurse, then I would nurse them. Follow their cues, and they will feel a sense of security knowing you are there for them.
Just sit down and hold your baby, even though the dishes really need to be washed….
Wear your baby in a wrap.
Okay, I get it. You can’t sit down on the couch all day long, especially if you have older kids who need your attention.
That’s where babywearing comes in.
Can’t put your infant down for a nap without her crying? Wear her in a Boba wrap or baby carrier, and your hands will be free to get your toddler a snack (or work on the computer, like I have often done).
There are a lot of reasons why babywearing is good for baby (and mom!).
- a happier, calmer baby
- enhanced communication
- improved physiological/emotional development
- boost in milk production
- regulation of body temperature
Did you know that you can even breastfeed while babywearing? Yep! You can discreetly nurse your baby on the go, without the use of a nursing cover.
Wondering if it’s safe to wear a newborn in a wrap? Find out here.
Lie down with your baby on a “floor bed”.
Can’t put baby down to sleep without her crying? My solution was to create a (safe) bed on the floor. I would lie down with my baby, nurse her to sleep, then roll away once she was out.
To help keep her warm and snug (without the danger of wrapping her in a blanket), I bought a sleep sack for naps and bedtime. (This sleep sack is even lightly weighted, to create the feeling of a palm on their chest.)
I’m not sure if it helped her sleep better or not, but personally, I don’t like being cold when I’m sleeping. I have to assume babies don’t, either!
Accept help whenever possible.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of moms who don’t have anyone to help them out with their newborns.
When my first daughter was born, we lived in South Dakota, and when our second was born, we lived in Iowa. Most of our family was in Minnesota.
This meant we had very little help during the newborn stages. The times that we did have people around were amazing, though.
“But I have a hard time accepting help.”
So do I. I don’t feel comfortable asking for help, and when someone offers it, I have a hard time accepting.
If you feel comfortable letting them hold your baby, enjoy the little break. And if your baby only wants you, there are other ways they can help out.
Even if they simply bring you dinner or sweep the floor, it will take a little bit of the weight off of your shoulders.
Follow your instincts.
Does your baby seem to cry excessively, even when you’re holding her?
When it comes to your child, pay attention to your instincts. You know her better than anyone else does.
There could be a number of reasons why your baby is crying, from needing a diaper change to being hungry, or even having an upset tummy.
If you think there is something wrong, and you can’t figure out why your baby is distressed, it might be time to visit with her health care provider.
Concluding thoughts: I can’t put my baby down without her crying!
You’re not alone, mama.
There are many new parents around the world who are going through the same thing as you are right now.
I know that doesn’t make it any easier, but I hope you find some comfort in knowing that it will pass. Before you know it, you’ll be out of the “can’t put my baby down” stage and in the “can’t keep up with my busy toddler” phase.
Before you know it, you'll be out of the 'can't put my baby down' stage and in the 'can't keep up with my busy toddler' phase.Click To Tweet