What if a 10-month-old baby wants to be carried all the time? Is this normal? What can be done about it?

The mom in this Q&A needs a little help.

10-month-old wants to be carried all the timePin

Mom’s Question:

What can I do; my 10-month-old wants to be carried all the time, and I just can’t do it. If I put him down, he cries and never stops until I pick him up and walk around with him.

I have a 3-year-old, and it isn’t fair to her. Help, what can I do?


When a 10-Month-Old Wants to Be Carried All Day

Separation Anxiety

I believe your 10-month-old has a little bit of separation anxiety going on, which is completely normal at this age.

Separation anxiety often starts when a baby is around 8 months old and can continue for quite a few months until the child is around 2 years old.

Symptoms of separation anxiety are, for example, clinginess and that the baby cries if the parent is out of sight.

For the baby, the anxiety is real. They haven’t learned to trust yet that the parent is around and will be back even if you are out of sight. This is terrifying, and the baby wants to be close all the time.

Being tough and letting the baby cry will actually make the situation worse – then you reinforce the belief that you are not around and may not come back.

Mobility frustration

In addition to separation anxiety, another feeling might also affect your baby. You don’t mention if he is good at moving around on his own. Some babies can be very frustrated if they want to walk or crawl fast and can’t really do it. Then they want their parents to carry them to places instead. Smart kids! :-)

What to do

What you can try is to make sure he has plenty of toys to keep him busy for a little while. Put him on the floor or in his high chair, and then you sit closely and play with him with the toys, but do not hold him.

Make sure you are close to him though, so he can feel secure despite not being in your arms. Engage with your 3-year-old at the same time!

Maybe you can find a way for them to interact here too. For some games to play with your 10-month-old, click here.

You can also put your baby in his high chair or even the kitchen sink while you are cooking, for example, as long as you make sure that he is completely safe.

Many babies love bathing, so if you let him splash around a bit in the kitchen sink and maybe let your three-year-old stand on a chair to play with him, you are likely to be able to distract him for a while too. (Again, safety is very important, so don’t leave them alone even for a minute.)

While in the high chair, give him something to pick up and eat, for example, green peas. They are healthy, fun for practicing the pincer grasp on, and quite tasty, according to many babies. Here are some other finger foods to give him.

Don’t fight it

Finally, since this really is a development phase, it will pass. And it will pass faster if you don’t fight it.

He is whining because he feels insecure and needs to be with you to build up his sense of security again. Try to let him be close to you as much as you can without losing your mind.

A baby carrier, baby backpack, or a baby sling is of great help during this period too!

Hope this helps,

Read More About 10-Month-Old Babies

Who else has a 10-month-old that wants to be held and carried all day? Add your comment or tips below.

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  1. Mom of three

    Try a Baby Bjorn or other baby carrier. They allow the baby to stay close while your hands are free to play with your older child, do many chores etc. Drawbacks: it is a bit hard to sit in a chair with the baby attached and if you plan to cook, it is dangerous to have the baby attached to you. Otherwise, they are great.