Ways To Deal With A Needy Baby That Wants To Be Carried All The Time
Looking after a newborn is hard enough, with the constant, never-ending cycle of feeding, changing and cleaning. Yet the demands of parenting become even more intense when she wants to be carried all the time – not just in your arms, but you have to walk and rock while you’re carrying!
However, if baby already has the habit of you carrying to soothe her, it’s not too late to put an end to this! The first step is to admit that your baby will only stop her diva behaviour if you change the way you respond. Her apparent need to be cuddled and moved is simply a habit, that’s it! It’s not that she’s manipulative or defiant, it’s just the babies like lots of attention and they’ll usually do anything to get it.
But first! It’s important to be kind to yourself as you care for a high-needs baby. You have needs too!
1. Set realistic expectations
It’s helpful to come to terms with the fact that your baby is not the baby you thought you were going to have. Accept that ‘my baby is more intense, passionate and persistent that I expected, but these traits will serve her well when she grows up. This is who she is.’
2. Take care of the basics
You need food, rest and company. Ask for help. This can be hard if your baby is difficult for others to soothe. You have to find someone you trust who can tolerate the fallout when you leave — these babies don’t want substitute caregivers. The baby may cry while you’re gone, but if you’re sure your caregiver can manage and comfort him, then you need that break. Get hubby or your parent’s help at night so you can have a good night’s rest.
3. Get out and about!
Some parents find that when they bring baby out of the house, they tend to behave better. This could be because when you’re at home, baby isn’t stimulated enough. This is also a great way to make adult connections, particularly with parents who are in the same situation as you. Is it very reassuring to know that you are not the only one loving and caring for a high-needs baby.
4. Have a backup plan
Keep a couple of numbers by the phone so you can call in some backup if you are feeling overwhelmed by the constant care your fussy baby needs.
5. Be firm with your decision!
If you have made up your mind not to hold and move her the next time she’s upset, then stand by it! It will be difficult, especially since you know that by doing so, she’d be hysterical. But stand your ground and be determined. Remind yourself that the more you hold and move her, the more she’ll demand that to continue.
Instead, either hold her without packing around or put her in a baby swing when she sobs. Expect her to scream at you, but stick with your plan. She’ll calm down eventually, even if it may take awhile (and even a few days).
6. Don’t be so hard on yourself
If leaving baby to cry isn’t quite your style, then just recognise and accept that you and baby are one team! As tough as this time may be, try and hold the moment. Your baby will only be a baby for a short time, so go for it as much as you can – relax and snuggle, carry or baby wear if you must. This is just a phase!
Pregnancy and Baby Singapore provides you with the latest news and practical tips to help you in your parenting journey. For more tips on your pregnancy and baby in Singapore, subscribe to our mailing list and like us on Facebook, to receive new articles for mummies like you every week!