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Baby Crying When Left

by Paula Collins
(Bedfordshire, England )

Hi
My baby boy is four months old, and whenever he is left alone he cries. When he is picked up he is fine. We have started giving him solids and he also is breast fed.

We give him lots of attention and fresh air, and we really want him to be happy. He has also started waking every hour for a feed in the night or I think maybe just a cuddle.

Comments for Baby Crying When Left

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Four Month Old Babies Need Heaps of Mummy time.
by: Annie Desantis

Hi Pauline,
Your little boy is just doing exactly what is normal. Sure some babies are quite happy being left alone for long periods, but most are not.

Just think about it, he was tucked up inside you hearing all the noises of your body, and you and your partner talking, and any other noise in the room. Lovely warm and cosy, then the shock of being outside in the big wide world, often away from the familiar Mummy noises can leave many babies a bit fearful.

My daughter wanted to be carried round all the time, she didn't want to be left out of anything but was perfectly happy when being held and keeping her eye on everything that was going on. It wasn't until she got mobile (she walked very
early) that she was happy on her own. Neither of my two babies slept through the night until about two years! But they do start going longer and longer (until they start teething!)

Many babies are happy in a carry pack. It means your hands are free to get onto other things and he is snuggled up with Mum or Dad, the best people in the whole world. Most indigenous cultures have their babies in constant skin contact, and they rarely cry or are upset. It is only western cultures that decided babies had to be put in cots by themselves and had to learn from a very young age to be all on their own. No wonder many babies are unhappy or kick up a fuss
when you leave the room.

There are lots of different options for carry packs, from front packs or slings when they are small, through to back packs when they get older. He will probably be happier in a front pack or sling, and you can easily slide him sideways to feed.

At this age, he does not realize he is a separate little being, and when you go away he feels a part of him is missing. You are probably right, he maybe waking in the night partly for a cuddle, but also he may have his body clock synced to need calories at night. That will eventually settle down as he is able to go longer and longer in between feeds, and gets used to night time being more sleepy time.

You can help to get him used to night time being the sleeping time, by trying not to have lights on, or just a very soft light, and feed and change him, but don't engage him much or stimulate him by talking. If you have a little song you sing at bed time you can hum that quietly if he is used to it, but really the aim is to get him back to sleep as soon as possible - and you too!

However, don't stress about him not sleeping through the night, while they are small, they change from one week to the next. Babies sometimes go through a hungry phase where they seem to eat and eat, then they may go a week with seeming to be happy with very little. It all balances out in the end!

Part Two Follows . . .

Four Month Old Babies Need Heaps of Mummy time - Part Two
by: Annie Desantis

He is fairly young for solids, his little digestion is still very immature, and that can even make him uncomfortable if he is having trouble with it. Unless your health professional has suggested he needs extra food, then generally, babies get plenty of calories out of your milk. And as they get older, you simply
produce more milk to meet his needs. Amazing really!

Any solids you give him should just be little tastes to get him used to new textures, he doesn't need it as food. Around 6 months is usually a good time to start with solids.

Just trust your instincts as to what he needs. If a baby cries, they need something. That is how nature designed it. You can't spoil a baby, and if you have well meaning friends or family giving you advice about leaving him to cry it out, or saying you are spoiling him, totally ignore them and trust that you do know what is best for your baby. You can let him have a little grumble,
sometimes babies will do a bit of a grizzle and then settle back again, but really at 4 months he is telling you he is lonely, hungry, or uncomfortable.

Most of all, just enjoy this time with your little boy, though it can be tiring, it goes incredibly fast, so make the most of every moment. Try to have a nap in the day when he does, and take turns in the weekends to catch up on sleep. Before you know it he will be a teenager and will want to sleep in all the time!

all the best,
Annie Desantis :)

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