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Baby keeps crying when I hold him

I just can't get into grips with motherhood. I don't know how to burp my baby properly, or bathe him or even get him to settle in bed. I'm so useless. The worse thing is I can't comfort him when he's crying. I could keep changing positions and even rock him but I can't calm him. However, the moment someone else holds him, like his daddy or his grandma, he'll calm down immediately. What am I doing wrong? My husband says I'm holding him right, but the only time he stops crying in my arms is when I'm nursing him.

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Asked by anoninhk at 7:26 AM on Nov. 29, 2012 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 2 (4 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • He feels your anxiety
    Easier said then done,but calm down somehow

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 7:31 AM on Nov. 29, 2012

  • Butterfly is right. It's time to remind yourself that you are the mama and that beats all. Have confidence in the fact that your scent, your arms and everything about you is what baby likes best, just relax. GL

    Answer by tessiedawg at 7:48 AM on Nov. 29, 2012

  • Sing to him while you're nursing. Doesn't matter what you sing, he will come to associate you singing with nursing (comfort) and then calm to your voice when he's not nursing. And it'll help keep your mind off your anxiety.

    Answer by missanc at 7:48 AM on Nov. 29, 2012

  • He wants to nurse when he's with you. He knows you have what no one else does. The beginning is hard, believe me it gets better. Keep nursing him. Good luck!!!

    Answer by mompam at 7:48 AM on Nov. 29, 2012

  • He gets excited when you hold him because you are so important to him, partly because of the nursing. I've seen babies lying in their crib quietly and then when mom comes into the room they get all agitated. Treat him with confidence and gentleness.

    Answer by Bmat at 8:34 AM on Nov. 29, 2012

  • I have felt that way! (can't burp, don't know how to do XYZ) It's hard.
    It does create a vicious cycle of anxious responses TO the baby that tend to increase HIS anxiety.
    Consider this. He may have some feelings that are bothering him, that he needs to get out. Babies get stressed by things they don't understand that still affect them (sudden noises, brief separations, tensions between people/arguing voices nearby, tension/anxiety in response to them, issues from birth and various medical procedures when things "happened" to them that they didn't understand & couldn't control but still had to tolerate somehow and "just cope.") These feelings are stored, and babies will try to let them out when they have an opportunity (when they're safe, and when they have support. You as mom ARE that safety & support.)
    So, it's possible that (if he's fed, dry, etc.), that he may need to cry. Hold him & care about him. Say "Yes," or "I know."

    Answer by girlwithC at 8:36 AM on Nov. 29, 2012

  • The idea would be to shift the expectation from him STOPPING crying (and you feeling like a failure if he doesn't) to simply knowing that you are BEING THERE for him. If he can settle he will, but if he needs to cry, you are letting him do that (with the support he needs in order for this crying to be healing--crying alone is too scary to be healing.) This can help shift the message he's getting--that he's doing something "wrong" and that you are upset or stressed by his crying--to one that pressures him less: "I care, I am here for you, you make sense to me, I know that was hard/scary/upsetting, what you feel makes sense."
    If his crying isn't such a message of failure to you (if you can see some purpose in it, when you know his physical needs are met), you might be more able to give him the support he may need.
    I note this since apparently he's not just inconsolable (he settles with others.)
    Check out the book The Aware Baby.

    Answer by girlwithC at 8:42 AM on Nov. 29, 2012

  • Hugs. I will try and do what the other ladies mention you are too anxious and he is picking on that just breath and try your best to calm down. Hope verything gets better soon.

    Answer by Alisim at 8:49 AM on Nov. 29, 2012

  • Do you have any favorite slow songs?

    I was in your position with my first baby. I would cry in the bathroom because it didn't matter who held him, he would always calm down. But the minute I picked him up he would flip out.

    One day (while sobbing i might add) I placed him on a pillow, long ways, on his tummy. Put the pillows my thighs, played a slow song: Brandy : Nothing without you, and I just rocked him back and forth and patted his back at the same time. Sounds wierd but he passed out lol. Was asleep in like 10 minutes.

    After that I was alot more calm and he picked up on it.

    Let someone take the baby while you go calm down, relax. Come back and try again.

    GL mama.

    Answer by 4xsthetrouble at 9:36 AM on Nov. 29, 2012

  • My babys both burped better when I pat their butts vs their backs.

    My almost 6 month old is just starting to get regular baths. Both girls got baby wipe wipe downs in the begging since their activity is low. Baths at early months were only for poop explosions and throw up. (DD2 has reflux.)

    Once he figures out a semi pattern he will settle into bed better, nothing you can do here but rock him or push him in the stroller or just lay him down and let him be there awake. :) He will figure this when out in time just like you will.

    When he is crying don't change positons, maybe once or twice to make sure you are comfy but the more you move and stress the longer and harder he will cry.

    He calms for everyone else since they are calm. What have you done for yourself since he was born? I order you to get hubby or grandma to watch him while you treat your self to a pedicure.

    Answer by DonnaPinitonya at 6:29 AM on Nov. 30, 2012

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