The Baby Needs a Life

I have a 10 month old daughter whom I breastfeed, and she is very attached to me. Every time I set her down she cries. Last night she held her breath for almost 60 seconds. Her lips turned purple and her face was white as a ghost, then her eyes rolled back in her head. I asked her doctor about this and even talked to a nurse at the hospital and they said this is normal and just hold her and don’t make her mad. She passed out for a couple of minutes. What am I going to do about her? I can’t hold her all day.I went through something like this when my daughter was about that age. I used to carry her around all the time, and then something went snap in my back, and I couldn’t do it because of the pain. She cried constantly for about two weeks. Then she stopped and was fine. Ten months isn’t a little baby any more. You need to have a life, and not to feel you have to always hold her. Assuming your daughter is fed and clean and not overtired, it is okay for her not to be held all the time.

Your daughter is old enough to understand some language, so when you are holding her say something like “I’m going to put you down now so I can get some work done. Don’t scream. If you scream, I won’t pick you up again till you’re quiet.” Then do what you have said you will do. You need to just put her down, regardless of how awful her tantrum seems to be, and don’t pick her up until she is quiet. Ignore all the noise and don’t respond to it at all. I know that’s hard. If you pick her up when she is still screaming, you are rewarding her for screaming, and she will do it even more.

I know this seems cruel, but she won’t die. Breathing will automatically happen after a while. She really needs to learn that you will not respond to this kind of screaming.

Grit your teeth and be determined to ignore the screaming when you put her down, and expect that it could happen over a couple of weeks before she learns to accept being put down. When she is down and quiet, talk pleasantly to her so she’s rewarded for that.

Even though you shouldn’t give in to the screaming, you need to think about what makes your daughter so keen to be held. She is probably bored with lying down, and realizes she can see a lot more, and has someone to talk to, when you are holding her. Just like you, she needs a life. A baby this age is constantly wanting to learn and experience new things. Although she needs to be able to see you to feel secure, she doesn’t have to be right on top of you. Put her in an infant seat, a jolly jumper or a walker, or on the floor to crawl. Change her position frequently so she doesn’t get too bored. Don’t ignore her but talk to her so she doesn’t feel abandoned. You’ll find in time she learns to like the variety.

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