View Full Version : HELP!!!! I can't put the baby down! (a small venting session with a question)

10-09-2002, 11:39 AM
You guys are all so good at answering questions about parenting topics based upon your own experience, so here goes! Joshua will be two months on Friday. He is a relatively happy baby during the day... as long as you are holding him 24/7! (he is colicky at night). If you put him down, whether it be in his swing, bouncy seat, Gymni play mat, PNP, crib, wherever, he is fine for about 5-10 minutes tops. Then all @#$% breaks loose! He screams bloody murder like you're never coming back. 5-10 minutes isn't long enough to get a shower, no matter how fast I go. The laundry is piling up (no clean undies yesterday!), I skip breakfast and then end up eating lunch around 3:00 pm (if you count scarfing down a PB&J as lunch). The bills are getting paid late, and I'm losing my patience! Do it when he sleeps you say? For some odd reason (or maybe this is normal at his age?) he stops sleeping around 9:00am (unless I hold him perfectly still and then he may sleep for 20 minutes, a couple times a day). So, I can't put him down and go about my buisness, or get a nap myself. I just went to the doctor, and started Prozac for Postpartum Depression, and this is part of the cause. It seems like he screams and cries all the time, becasue I HAVE TO put him down at some point to do somethings, and I end up having to hear him scream (beet red face, spitting up on himself, all sweaty) while I finish the task (oh for a luxurious bubble bath, uninterupted!)DH comes home between 7:00-8:00pm because he just started a new job and is overwhelmed himself, so I can't wait to do everything until he comes home.
So, the question is:
Is it normal for a baby his age to just need constant holding and he will become more independent as he gets older? Reasurre me! DH says just enjoy holding him and cherish the time that he's little while I can, and forget about everything else. But there are somethings that do HAVE to be done (and my back is breaking from wearing him in the BB and sling).
If your children were a little more independent for longer periods of time by now, how did you do it? Any tips? There are so many good sleep training books out there, there needs to be a magical method to getting them to be able to be put down (while awake) out there, and I don't mean CIO.
How many naps (and for how long) should a baby his age be taking?
Thank you for your listening ear and advice (as always).

10-09-2002, 12:44 PM
I completely understand your furstration. My baby was like this too. It did get alot better at the magic three month mark. My daughter is a completely different baby now. She rarely screams and goes to sleep easily. She still does not take really long naps though. Usually she naps between 45 min to an hour but this is enough tome to get a shower etc.

People say sleep when your baby sleeps but how can you do this when they sleep for only 20 minutes and your holding them. Here is what worked for my baby but as you know every baby is different but hopefully some of these suggestions will help.

One thing that helped my baby sleep longer was to put her in the swing when she fell asleep in my arms. This would help her sleep longer. A few times she slept 3 hours in the swing! Do not feel bad about putting your baby in the swing.

Also I got the Happiest Baby on the Block Book and many suggestions in the book help me. One is bouncing. My daughter would stop screaming if I bounced her while holding her against my shoulder. This was not just a little bit of bouncing. I had to bounce more than I thought.

Also do you have any friends or family that can help you so you can get a break. I drove two hours to my mom's house and stayed there for 4 nights when my daughter was two and a half months old. Having extra hands makes a big difference. Maybe a friend could come over and watch the baby while you took a shower and did a bit of laundry. Also be sure to take a break when your husband does come home. I found it best to actually leave the house so I didn't have to listen to the baby screaming. Ideas are to go to go to a coffee house and read or if you want to cross one more thing off your list take the bills with you and work on those while you a having a coffee. Just getting away from a screaming baby for a few hours makes a big difference.

Believe me it does get better. Do whatever it takes to make it through the next month. Getting away from your baby sometimes will help make you a better mother when you get back. No one should be expected to deal with a crying baby by themselves 24/7.

10-10-2002, 12:42 PM
Just wanted to offer some support and sympathy. You're in good company. Now, at almost five months, I am able to put my daughter down a little more, but I still find myself holding her most of the time. She seems to just bit by bit expand her tolerance for being on her own. I agree that support and help make all the difference. We just took an "emergency" vacation to my mom's for a week. It also helps to find a mom's group if you don't already have one. Just being in the company of other women who are also holding their babies feels like a big relief. Hang in there!

Mommy to Abigail Rose

10-12-2002, 10:23 PM
"Is it normal for a baby his age to just need constant holding and he will become more independent as he gets older? Reasurre me! DH says just enjoy holding him and cherish the time that he's little while I can, and forget about everything else. But there are somethings that do HAVE to be done (and my back is breaking from wearing him in the BB and sling)."
Depends on the baby! My daughter wanted to be held 24/7 until she was about 4 or 5 months, then it got so much better! We used to have to take turns eating dinner, she slept in my bed b/c if I put her down she screamed, she had to be right next to me, but- a friend told me that when you listen to what the baby needs then eventually they actually become MORE independant than otherwise! And now I can absolutely vouch for that! Except for some bouts with cutting teeth and not feeling well, or some separation anxiety at around 7 months, my daughetr is a delight now! She plays (at 10 months) by herself beautifully, and has been doing so for 2 and a 1/2 months. She also sleeps much better than she used to. She still wakes up a couple times at night but it is getting better (I cut down nursing to half bottles now) and she takes 2 hour long naps during the day (because she is more active). Anyhow- long post, sorry- but, I also wanted to tell you (besides just hang in there it does get better!!) That I found that around 12 weeks/3 months or so- everything got a million times better and many friends tell me the same. Babies calm down, you feel more competant as a mommy, and colic usualyl eases.
I agree that is you can get someone to watch the baby while you nap/sleep/eat etc once in a while it would make you feel so much more human! It is hard to be a mommy on a good night's sleep, eating healthy- so I understand what you must feel like (I took my exhaustion out on my wonderful hubby, poor man!) Good Luck!!! It will get better really soon and you are a wonderful mother for doing what your baby needs you to do! (now if only he would let you do what you need to do!)

10-13-2002, 08:46 PM
I had a good friend whose baby sounded very similar to yours and he turned out to have reflux. He is 3 months old now and doing pretty well so there's hope. He still doesn't nap well because he wakes up spitting up, but doing better. As a result of not napping so good, he is a bit crankier than her first son, but she feels he has really turned a corner. She ended up wearing him around all day in the Bjorn in the first few weeks and it was exhausting for her until he started on Zantac. I'm not saying this is what your son has at all, but I'm trying to assure you that it does get better.

Have you discussed this issue with your son's pediatrician? Since you have an upcoming visit at the doctor's office, I would bring this up. Get reassurance wherever you can. He may be "colicky" in the evenings if he's not napping well because he's getting tired. I know I had a fussy baby from about 4-8 weeks and was also suffering from post-partum depression. I thought I wasn't going to live through it and was so sleep deprived I was a basketcase. Do you have a new mom's group or support group for yourself? If you don't, I would highly recommend it. Also absolutely reach out to any friends, relatives, and try to get out of the house everyday, at least sometimes without the baby. I have all of my family in the midwest and we live on the East Coast so I felt very isolated. My husband was also working long hours and stressed at his job, too. I was reading somewhere that the highest rate of postpartum depression in the world is right here in the US. In most other cultures it is ridiculous that a brand new mom is alone all day, trying to cook, clean, pay bills, etc AND take care of a baby. She is surrounded by other women who do all of the other stuff while she trys to rest and feeds her little one. THAT'S IT.

I was trying to recall how Meg's attention span was during that time at that age and it wasn't really much longer than 10-15 min. She also didn't like being strapped into things (and still doesn't!) but did like the swing and gymni for longer periods. I was so envious of all my friends who could do things around the house while their babies sat contentedly in the their little bouncie/car seats etc. I really had to keep her moving around to different activities all day long and found music and her mobile to be a big help. She still is very active and constantly into everything. What helped me was to have her in the room with me, but over time I put her down more and more so she could see me and I could talk with her, but I wasn't always holding her. My gal just needed to be held a lot and just needed a lot of vestibular (bouncing, swinging, being held while walking, etc. around) input.

Some things that helped both me and Meg during that time when she wanted to held or constantly entertained:

1. I had my husband make my sandwich or meal the night before and put it in the frig so I could just eat it when I was hungry the next day. Any reason you are skipping breakfast? We had lots of things you could grab like muffins, juice, bananas so at least you had something in your belly. I grew to love convenient, snappy meals from the grocery store that made lots of leftovers for dinners and refused to worry about fat content until this phase was all over.

2. I showered/bathed the night before. It was a great way to wind down and all I had to do was dress the next day. Life is always better if you are clean and fed.

3. I let Meg have a pacifier. It helped lull her off to sleep and helped her through that "fussy" time at night. I was adamantly opposed to them at first, but you know, she ended up having such a sucking need way beyond that of her bottle or when I was nursing her. She only needs it at bedtimes/naptimes now.

4. Does he like wrist/feet rattles or to look at himself in the mirror? Meg could entertain herself quite well with these after about 2-3 months.

We got through it. The depression lifted (hopefully your husband can help you some with night feedings so you can get some sleep!) She's 15 months now and can play by herself for the longest time now! She became an excellent napper/night sleeper too. We recently went through a phase once she became mobile where she didn't even want to be held much. Over time you change too. You learn to accept things not getting done in the same way as before you had him. My house has really never been messier, and yes we sometimes forget a bill or two, but I wouldn't trade all the toys on the floor for anything! :) It does get better. I really mean it!!!! All babies personalities are different and some really need a lot of reassurance early. Mine has turned out to be a very bright and curious child, who just needs lots of different scenery or else she gets restless. It probably frustrated her to no end when I was walking around and she could only go someplace when I picked her up!!! She was never happier when she learned to get about on her own without me. Maybe this is Joshua too.

Sorry for the rambling. Do all that you can to keep your own mental and physical health. He and you will be the better for it.

mom to Meghan
born 7/13/01

10-14-2002, 10:24 AM
This is totally decadent and I would never thought myself the type of person to say this (pre-baby of course) but I've thought about hiring a cleaning service. My husband and I are not really in the position to afford this right now, but I know, at least in my case, that this would make all the difference in the world to me. Just knowing that somebody could come in and take care of the basics (especially the bathroom-ugh!) would make me feel a million times better. I also wouldn't feel so guilty when DH wonders what the *heck* it is I do all day long. Although I would probably feel a little embarrassed....Just think back in the day when women did it all at home! I can barely make toast. Not joking. I just burned four pieces in a row. :) Maybe the next baby we'll do this. Aah! Thinking about the next baby already!

10-14-2002, 11:32 AM
I just posted a question similar to this one! That only goes to show, read first! My DD is 6 weeks old and not colicky but does she have a voice that carries! When she cries hard, boy it's hard to calm her down! Anyways, I feel your pain and thanks to all of you who responded. It helps to know I'm not alone.

10-14-2002, 12:09 PM
I HIGHLY recommend a cleaning service if you can afford it. Even if it is only once a month. There is nothing like coming home to the smell of Pinesol and a smoothly vacuumed carpet when you didn't have to lift a finger.

If the expense is an issue, then think about how often you eat out during a month. Personally, I would GLADLY eat PB&J sandwiches instead of going out to lunch to have a cleaning service once a month. If the on-going expense is too much, you may want to just have a service for a few months until you get more into the swing of things. (Now that I think about it, this would be an EXCELLENT baby gift for someone.)

We have had a cleaning service for many years now, and frankly, I think that (and the dishwasher) has saved our marriage! No more arguing about whose turn it is to clean the bathroom, etc. I have a service twice a month. I need to do touch up cleaning here and there, but all the big things are done by the service. It really does make a HUGE difference. But my confession is that I have NEVER told my mother that I have a service! She would have rather died than have someone else clean her toilet, LOL!


10-18-2002, 03:38 PM
Thank you so much for all of your support. I knew I could count on you guys! I had Molly Maids come clean our home for the first time and now I'm spoiled! DH and I have agreed we will keep this up for at least a few more months until the 3 ring circus here calms down. Also, to the poster who inquired about reflux, yes, he does have it and is on Zantac, which has recently made a huge improvement in his colicy crying at night (along with Similac Alimentum).

Josh is also doing MUCH better with letting me put him down (I have no idea why all of a sudden--but its great!) I am writing to you fully dressed, fed, and with hair done and make-up on! Josh also took two 1 hour naps and a 3 hour nap today! I sure hope he sleeps tonight. I've been putting him in his bouncy seat in the bathroom with me when I take a shower, and he has decided that he enjoys the sound of running water. So I can get in a good 15-20 minute shower without any crying. Also, he has been content to lie on a blanket next to me on the couch while I eat breakfast and lunch on a TV tray (not as nice as at the table, but hey, at least I'm eating!)

I'm still pretty tired, as I'm the only one getting up at night. It seems like I spend the first half of each day napping when Josh naps, trying to catch up on lost sleep. So I don't feel very productive, but I suppose it won't last forever.

Once again, thank you so much for being there for me!

10-18-2002, 08:26 PM
Thank you so much for sharng! I'm going through the same thing and your progress is giving me some hope! even now i am holding my dd (it's difficult to write with only one hand!) My dd will not stay in her bouncer, pnp, crib, our bed, a blanket on the floor, car seat, or even the Baby Bjorn! We tried out a swing at BRU hoping she would like it and we could use it but she ended up crying after like a minute so we figured we wouldn't buy it and waste the money. I also ordered the maya wrap sling so hopefully she'll take to that since the bjorn's no good with her. She even cries when my dh holds her! Every time I get out of the shower, she's crying like crazy in dh's arms. As far as the car seat and my dh is concerned, should i try to get her used to them by exposing her to be wih them as much as possible or limit the exposure till she changes and gets better with the situation? Anyone have any advice for me?

Also, I will be travelling alone to the east coast soon. Do you think that I will have a difficult time or an easy time since she's used to being held all the time? Please advise. Thanks.

mother of Madison, 8/31/02.