Your baby has felt safe and snug in your womb for nine months (or roughly 40 weeks). Now that she’s out in the real world, you may find that your baby wants to be held all the time. Placing her down in her crib only makes her cranky and she’ll cry uncontrollably until you pick her up again. This routine is exhausting for you, but what can you do?
Before you get too agitated, take a deep breath and realize that some babies just enjoy being cuddled and having the reassurance that their mommy loves them. Just like with adults, some babies are more independent and enjoy their alone time, while others are clingy and needy, requiring their mom or dad to hold them at all times.
Since your baby cannot talk and communicate her feelings with you, crying is her only outlet. If you have a very needy baby that wants you to hold her all the time, you may want to consider buying a baby sling.
You may have read or heard in the news the tragic stories of baby slings – but if you are an attentive parent and you read and follow the manufacturer’s instruction carefully, using a baby sling will not place your baby in any harm. In fact, “baby wearing” (a fancy word for women who use baby slings) has been a normal part of life for many mothers in non-western countries.
Fussy babies and babies who want to be held all the time enjoy being “worn.” They love the feeling of being nestled in their mother’s arms and chest. As you walk around, this walking motion reminds your little one of the rhythm that he experienced while in the womb.
Once you get used to carrying your baby around, you’ll enjoy the benefits that it offers you, including hands-free way of carrying your baby. Baby wearing also makes breastfeeding a lot easier. But the best aspect of baby slings is that you have a less fussy baby.
If you’re not interested in using baby slings and your baby wants you to hold her constantly, you can try to comfort your little one by talking to her in a gentle voice. You may also want to sing softly to her, or play gentle music and rock her to sleep. Swaddling will also help your baby feel more comfortable, and it may help her feel more secure to the point where she doesn’t require you to hold her all the time.
Just remember that no matter how many times your baby wants to be held, you will not spoil her by giving her more attention. Babies are too young to be spoiled. Cherish this time that you have with your little bundle of joy. In a couple of years, your little baby will be a toddler – independent and wanting more time away from mom.