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Advice for Moms Advice for Moms

7mo Son cries when I'm not holding him

Posted by on Apr. 25, 2013 at 3:44 PM
  • 26 Replies

My son is about 7.5 months old and I was hoping this was just a phase but he freaks out if I'm not holding him and it's even worse if I leave his sight. His Dad can be holding him and playing with him but he'll get fussy and start crying if I don't get him back soon. And if I leave his sight while his Dad's (or anyone is) holding him, holy crap - he freaks out so bad he gags while crying. I can put him down to play in his walker for about 5-10 minutes, I can even set him down on our bed to play with blocks while I pump bm. It doesn't last long though. It's pretty frustrating that I can't even pee without him getting upset. It's a normal phase right? What can we do to make it better. It's also kind of sad because whenever his Dad has him, he's freaking out or being fussy and that's got to make him feel not so great. I'm a stay at home mom, my son is with me pretty much 24-7. Should I let him just cry it out? I'm slowly letting him watch me do house work for 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there, I'll let him fuss but only until he starts gagging on his crying. And when he does this, he's not hungry, overtired or with a dirty diaper, so I don't get it.


by on Apr. 25, 2013 at 3:44 PM
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frndlyfn
by Platinum Member on Apr. 25, 2013 at 3:55 PM
2 moms liked this

Crying is their only way to communicate.  He may feel insecure and want to be held for comfort.  Can you invest in a baby carrier/sling for when you are doing housework?  My dd was also a mommy's child .  I tried to not let her get to the hysterical stage of crying though.  What toys does he play with?  Does he have a baby gym thing where he can lay and look up at toys as well? It is a phase that almost all babies go through and then as toddlers and older can go through it again.

mommieof38829
by Member on Apr. 25, 2013 at 3:57 PM
1 mom liked this
My son was like that. He is 12 months now and still have to be held a lot and follows me everywhere. Enjoy him while he is small
Joelskatysmom
by Member on Apr. 25, 2013 at 6:55 PM

My son was sorta the same way...even the gagging thing. Used to drive me nuts that he could gag so easily! I don't know what to tell you though. I'm like you, with the kids 24/7 and I think it made it even harder on us!

AimeeSquires
by on Apr. 25, 2013 at 7:29 PM

He has plenty of toys, including a gym, walker, exersaucer, blocks, books, etc. He will play fine for a little while if I'm sitting right there next to him. I hate when he cries, it physically hurts me, especially when he starts the gagging so I usually don't let him get that far. We have a baby backpack thing, goes in front and back, but he is huge, in the 90th percentiles for height and weight (and I'm not that big, 5'3 and not strong). I would love to paint or crochet but I can't because he hates when I'm not paying full attention to him. I can barely clean anything around the house and hate leaving it to my hubby who works almost all day. I can barely go shower, he freaks that much, and when i do shower, I hurry because it's no fun for my husband to  only get the fussy times. Thats the worst part, he should be enjoying his dad and playing with him.

holly2468
by Member on Apr. 25, 2013 at 7:53 PM
2 moms liked this

Sounds like baby hasnt learned to self comfort. And I am going to fuss at you just a bit because this is a necessary skill our babes need to learn even if its hard on our hearts because in reality its their first step away from us. It is also so very necessary in case we get sick (contageous) or injured and cant hold them all the time as you do now.

So what to do..Do you have a bouncy seat? if not use his car seat and put him in it, sit him near where you are working and go about your business, washing dishes, dusting or folding laundry or one of the million other things we do in a day and talk to him constantly and touch him often.  Rub his legs touch his little face, coo at him, just as you would do if you were holding him.  Then day by day let him be a little further and further away and the interaction a little less each day.

I am also assuming he is sleeping with you.  Get him into his own crib mom!  He needs to learn to sleep in his own space and you need your rest and dad needs his wife back.

Good luck Aimee.  You can do this, you are a strong woman and a good mom.

lovinmama411
by on Apr. 25, 2013 at 7:55 PM
2 moms liked this

It's a phase, both of mine did that. It ended when they learned to walk, lol. Then they wouldn't let me hold them, they would cry if I picked them up and didn't let them explore. 

Mamamanic
by Gold Member on Apr. 25, 2013 at 9:27 PM

It might be something with the first born, because my 2nd dd never did that like my oldest dd. They only have you to look at and watch where my 2nd had sister to watch run around. I had to let her begin  to cry it out. The only way I got dinner done was to have her go in her little swing. About 6 mo (way to long I think I waited looking back) I let her begin to cry-it-out at night time.

And I had to have her do tummy time to begin to crawl. Your baby needs to learn to self sooth herself for sure.  

AimeeSquires
by on May. 1, 2013 at 5:51 PM

Lol, no he hasn't learned to self comfort yet. He was sick for a while and didn't want to be put down at all, that's also when he began sleeping in our bed (he'd cough so hard he'd gag and vomit, I couldn't get any sleep from worrying and having to get up every minute, it was easier on us both for him to sleep with us). He's doing better now though, so he'll be back in his crib (which is in our room for now because of the coughing, not as bad, but still there and sometimes he vomits, doc says its congestion drainage from his teeth coming in [he has 4 so far]). He has a swing, but he hates it, he hates buckles, so he also hates his car seat...I do put him in his walker, or his exersaucer and have been letting him fuss a bit more in them while I get stuff done. So he's getting better at it, and I know I have to let him self soothe. I think it is partly because he's my first.

MentorMom1
by on May. 1, 2013 at 7:07 PM
1 mom liked this

Your little guy is so smart. He's telling you exactly what he needs! Babies require lots of touch for proper neurological development - so important at that age. If you catch him in the "pre-crying" stage, when he's just starting to fuss (which is what it seems like you're doing)  it will lesson the amount of time he cries in the future. You don't want his stress level rising all the time due to separation anxiety. It increases the output of the stress hormone cortisol, which is damaging in many ways, including to babies' developing brain architecture. What happens when you hold and carry him? His body produces oxytocin the "cuddle hormone," and other relaxing hormones. You might even try baby massage. It's very relaxing for moms and babies, and helps babies learn what it feels like to "let go" and relax in their bodies.  It also supports better sleep, digestion, and  interaction between mom and baby (which is great for promoting bonding and attachment through like eye-contact and loving touch).

Frndlyn's reply was right on. Crying is their only way to communicate. Emotional crying is when their physical needs are met, but there's something else going on. Some baby's  need to release birth trauma or some other event that left them upset.

I hope you will talk to him gently and encourage him to "tell you" his story, even if he's crying. By allowing him to have a "voice" you are respecting him as an individual. That voice may be annoying now, but by meeting his needs and accepting his behavior as a baby, you are helping him grow to be an emotionally healthy adult. 


MentorMom1
by on May. 1, 2013 at 7:15 PM
1 mom liked this

Sorry, but your advice goes against all the current research. Read on. Here's the source for the following article - I replaced the URL with one that works.

http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/1998/04.09/ChildrenNeedTou.html

Children Need Touching and Attention, Harvard Researchers Say

By Alvin Powell

Contributing Writer

America's "let them cry" attitude toward children may lead to more fears and tears among adults, according to two Harvard Medical School researchers.

Instead of letting infants cry, American parents should keep their babies close, console them when they cry, and bring them to bed with them, where they'll feel safe, according to Michael L. Commons and Patrice M. Miller, researchers at the Medical School's Department of Psychiatry.

The pair examined childrearing practices here and in other cultures and say the widespread American practice of putting babies in separate beds -- even separate rooms -- and not responding quickly to their cries may lead to incidents of post-traumatic stress and panic disorders when these children reach adulthood.

The early stress resulting from separation causes changes in infant brains that makes future adults more susceptible to stress in their lives, say Commons and Miller.

"Parents should recognize that having their babies cry unnecessarily harms the baby permanently," Commons said. "It changes the nervous system so they're overly sensitive to future trauma."

The Harvard researchers' work is unique because it takes a cross-disciplinary approach, examining brain function, emotional learning in infants, and cultural differences, according to Charles R. Figley, director of the Traumatology Institute at Florida State University and editor of The Journal of Traumatology.

"It is very unusual but extremely important to find this kind of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research report," Figley said. "It accounts for cross-cultural differences in children's emotional response and their ability to cope with stress, including traumatic stress."

Figley said Commons and Miller's work illuminates a route of further study and could have implications for everything from parents' efforts to intellectually stimulate infants to practices such as circumcision.

Commons has been a lecturer and research associate at the Medical School's Department of Psychiatry since 1987 and is a member of the Department's Program in Psychiatry and the Law.

Miller has been a research associate at the School's Program in Psychiatry and the Law since 1994 and an assistant professor of psychology at Salem State College since 1993. She received master's and doctorate degrees in human development from the Graduate School of Education.

The pair say that American childrearing practices are influenced by fears that children will grow up dependent. But they say that parents are on the wrong track: physical contact and reassurance will make children more secure and better able to form adult relationships when they finally head out on their own.

"We've stressed independence so much that it's having some very negative side effects," Miller said.

The two gained the spotlight in February when they presented their ideas at the American Association for the Advancement of Science's annual meeting in Philadelphia.

Commons and Miller, using data Miller had worked on that was compiled by Robert A. LeVine, Roy Edward Larsen Professor of Education and Human Development, contrasted American childrearing practices with those of other cultures, particularly the Gusii people of Kenya. Gusii mothers sleep with their babies and respond rapidly when the baby cries.

"Gusii mothers watching videotapes of U.S. mothers were upset by how long it took these mothers to respond to infant crying," Commons and Miller said in their paper on the subject.

The way we are brought up colors our entire society, Commons and Miller say. Americans in general don't like to be touched and pride themselves on independence to the point of isolation, even when undergoing a difficult or stressful time.

Despite the conventional wisdom that babies should learn to be alone, Miller said she believes many parents "cheat," keeping the baby in the room with them, at least initially. In addition, once the child can crawl around, she believes many find their way into their parents' room on their own.

American parents shouldn't worry about this behavior or be afraid to baby their babies, Commons and Miller said. Parents should feel free to sleep with their infant children, to keep their toddlers nearby, perhaps on a mattress in the same room, and to comfort a baby when it cries.

"There are ways to grow up and be independent without putting babies through this trauma," Commons said. "My advice is to keep the kids secure so they can grow up and take some risks."

Besides fears of dependence, the pair said other factors have helped form our childrearing practices, including fears that children would interfere with sex if they shared their parents' room and doctors' concerns that a baby would be injured by a parent rolling on it if the parent and baby shared the bed. Additionally, the nation's growing wealth has helped the trend toward separation by giving families the means to buy larger homes with separate rooms for children.

The result, Commons and Miller said, is a nation that doesn't like caring for its own children, a violent nation marked by loose, nonphysical relationships.

"I think there's a real resistance in this culture to caring for children," Commons said. But "punishment and abandonment has never been a good way to get warm, caring, independent people."






Copyright 1998 President and Fellows of Harvard College


Quoting holly2468:

Sounds like baby hasnt learned to self comfort. And I am going to fuss at you just a bit because this is a necessary skill our babes need to learn even if its hard on our hearts because in reality its their first step away from us. It is also so very necessary in case we get sick (contageous) or injured and cant hold them all the time as you do now.

So what to do..Do you have a bouncy seat? if not use his car seat and put him in it, sit him near where you are working and go about your business, washing dishes, dusting or folding laundry or one of the million other things we do in a day and talk to him constantly and touch him often.  Rub his legs touch his little face, coo at him, just as you would do if you were holding him.  Then day by day let him be a little further and further away and the interaction a little less each day.

I am also assuming he is sleeping with you.  Get him into his own crib mom!  He needs to learn to sleep in his own space and you need your rest and dad needs his wife back.

Good luck Aimee.  You can do this, you are a strong woman and a good mom.



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