What To Do When You Just Can’t Set Your Crying Baby Down

If you’re the parent of a baby that hates being set down, you’re probably used to hearing advice like “let them cry, it will toughen them up” or, the opposite, “just enjoy the cuddles, they won’t last forever!” While those who pass on this kind of advice are usually trying to be helpful, it doesn't do much to actually help you figure out how to live your life with a crying baby who would always rather be in your arms than in their bouncer. Instead of letting your baby wail as you frantically try to accomplish the two-handed tasks you can’t do with them in your arms or putting your life totally on pause to meet their need to be held, consider trying one of the options below.

crying
Image via Unsplash/ Brytny.com

Give babywearing a try

Babies have a real biological need to be held but they’re often not picky about just how you secure them to the warmth and comfort they’re looking for when they're fussing. Instead of carrying your baby in your arms and struggling to complete basic tasks, consider giving babywearing a try. While it might seem intimidating at first, chances are you’ll be tying a sling and moving with ease with just a little bit of practice.

Grab a friend

While older babies are often prone to separation anxiety and don’t always love being held by anyone other than a parent, younger babies usually don’t mind being passed from one loving set of arms to another. If you’ve got a baby whose desire for closeness is making it impossible to get things done around the house (or even go pee on your own) don’t be shy about inviting friends or relatives over to hold the baby while you grab a shower, take care of the house, or show a little love to your older children. Most people love cuddling a newborn and, chances are, your baby will happily snuggle into whomever is showing them some love

Investigate the issue

While it’s common, natural, and healthy for a baby to want to be held, some babies may have additional challenges that make them wail when they’re set down. If you notice that your baby struggles when they’re laying flat or squirms and turns their head from side to side, you may want to check in with their doctor to see if there’s a deeper issue, like acid reflux, that causes them to prefer being upright. If your baby does have a medical issue, often a little medicine or a change in your or their diet can ease the issue and help you both get the rest you need.

Set them down

While it’s never fun to let a crying baby cry and it’s important to do your best to meet your child’s needs, you also have to meet your own needs. If you need to use the bathroom, take a fast shower, or complete another basic but necessary task, you need to set your baby down and let go of the guilt their tears may cause. Do you best to hurry and scoop them up again as soon as you can but don’t worry that a little crying time is going to permanently damage them.

{ MORE: How Much Time Can Baby Be in the Sun? }

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Good luck mama, you got this!

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What To Do When You Just Can’t Set Your Crying Baby Down

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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