No, I Don’t Have to Put the Baby Down

Cassie is a baby who loves to be held. It took her more than one month before she would sleep in her crib at night. It’s only been in the past few weeks that she’ll happily lie or sit down while she’s awake. And she’s still not consistently sleeping in her crib during the day.

I’ve had several people, including Cassie’s birthmother, tell me that I have to put the baby down and let her cry for awhile.

No, actually, I don’t.

Now, I don’t have a problem with cry-it-out. I could write more about that, but it really is another post. However, Cassie is too young for a cry-it-out approach. Says who? Well, in addition to me, Dr. Marc Weissbluth, author of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, the best sleep book available (at least in 2006). I’ve been rereading the book. He says that you could let a baby this young cry for up to 20 minutes if you want to. However, it may not make sense for a baby this young, so you should do what works for you and the baby.

That, of course, is the key – what works for us. Just because Cassie’s a baby doesn’t mean her feelings aren’t valid. She needs some more time to feel secure? OK. She doesn’t like lying down during the day yet? OK. Sure, it’s a pain, but as one mom at Jackson’s school (and one of my new friends) said, “This time is so short.”

Yesterday, Cassie took one 45-minute nap in her crib and another 1-hour nap in her crib. Baby steps. I’m sure it will all work out.

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8 thoughts on “No, I Don’t Have to Put the Baby Down

  1. I say hold her as much and as long as possible…babies grow so fast….its only about a year until they are walking….enjoy it! Sometimes I would love to have a baby to hold and cuddle again.

  2. My first baby was like that. I held him in a wrap almost constantly. He is 15 months now and is very secure and independent. People always told me I should let him cry and put him down so he would “get used to it”. I am not sure why I would want him to get used to me ignoring his needs, but I did not take that advice and it worked out great. We just adopted our second baby and she likes being held, but not to the extent our first did. And I actually feel guilty that I don’t hold her all the time because I can’t since now I have two that are 14 months apart. But she is happy and secure and doesn’t cry so I try to focus on the fact that the important thing is I meet both their needs even though their needs are different. I actually kind of miss being able to hold my first because he is a toddler now and when he is awake, he is climbing and walking, and exploring and doesn’t really want to cuddle for more than about 10 seconds at a time. The time you have now is tiring, but also short and precious. I think you are making a good decision. And even though he did not sleep in his crib for many months, he was a great sleeper (and probably will be again. We just moved him to a toddler bed because he learned to climb out of the crib so we are in flux now) and we never even had to do cry it out because he just slept on his own in his crib. When he was ready.

    • Meghan, It’s really interesting to see how different babies can be. Jackson was a schedule baby – he had to be on a schedule or he would flip! So far, Cassie doesn’t seem to care one way or the other, as long as she’s being held exactly the way she wants to be held. We’ll see when she’s a little older.

  3. Oh my goodness. I just saw the link to your blog on Production, Not Reproduction. I used to read your blog when Jackson was just a baby. Little did I know at the time, my son was born and living in an orphanage in Tanzania. Fast forward to today, I’ve been living in Tanzania for over 2 years going through the adoption process. Just a few nights ago, I was trying to remember your last name in order to google. Finding your blog again, seeing how grown up Jackson is, and seeing he has a sister has completely made my day. Congratulations!

  4. Haha, and here I am on the other end thinking Cassie must be the easiest baby compared to my own little guy 😛 Ambrose was a very, VERY high needs infant. He could not sleep, at all, without someone touching him, so we ended up co-sleeping so that any of us could get sleep. We still slept in shifts though since he was highly refluxy and would wake every hour or two, sometimes as often as every 15 minutes throughout the night. He screamed in terror in his carseat until he was 4 months, he shrieked while being bathed or having his diaper changed, he wanted to eat non-stop but always, always had tummy issues and gas no matter what meds/diet we tried. He sort of fell into a nap schedule around 5 months or so but needed perfect quiet and someone holding him to sleep, and his crib or stroller was a complete no-no. We were told we were spoiling him by meeting his many needs, told we were creating a monster, starting bad habits, doing wrong by him, etc. At 11 months it all pretty much stopped and he swung back the other way, wanting his own crib and his own room, sleeping through the night, eating everything in sight with no issue, no more baby carriers just the stroller, sitting happily on the floor playing by himself, etc. Sometimes you just have to meet their needs while working on things slowly until it finally gets where you want it to be 🙂

  5. I totally agree Robyn. This time is so short… if she wants to be held, hold her. When we were planning for Olivia, I told everyone that I wouldn’t let her cry any longer than it took me to reach her. Some people thought I was being silly, or crazy, but I did respond to her immediately as an infant. She’s now 3, and firmly attached, but not clingy. She has turned out perfectly, as far as I am concerned! And really, she was not particularly needy, so I wasn’t constantly at her beck and call. But when she DID want me, I was there. I plan on doing the same thing with our new little one once he gets here.

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