You might have the happiest baby on the block. Then suddenly one day, it all changes. Your little sunshine is whining, crying and constantly demanding your attention and your arms. What on earth happened? What did I do wrong? And above all, what can I do to get my sunshine-baby back?
This post started as an answer to a mom with such a baby. After I answered, many parents have commented about dealing with the same situation. So you’ll find both tips to help your whining baby and lots of comments by other parents here!
I have an 8-month-old baby that cries whenever I put him down. As soon as I pick him up he stops. He is cutting his second tooth but does not seem to be in any pain and he did not do this when he was cutting his first tooth.
I make sure he stays fed and his diaper is changed, but he still cries when he’s not being held. What am I doing wrong? Is there something I can do to make him happy again?
Cranky Baby At 8 Months – Normal But Exhausting!
You’re not doing anything wrong; you’re just having a normal 8 months old baby!
Separation anxiety, which is what your son is going through, is a normal development phase, so actually you should be glad that it is happening. I know it can be quite exhausting, but it will pass – and studies indicate that babies that are being held and carried a lot during this period actually get through the stage faster. I guess they simply get the security they need to take the next step.
So, to help him through this phase here’s what to do:
- Carry him and do all you can to give him the closeness that he needs right now. And take turns with your spouse, mom, sister or whoever that he is safe with so that it doesn’t drive you insane! If you can put him in a carrier or back pack and just let him tag along while you do you tasks; you will have a much happier child.
- Also try to get down on the floor and play with him as much as possible to help him feel comfortable also when not in your arms. You can find suggestions on games to play with an 8-month-old here.
- Don’t ever think that you spoil him or make him a crybaby by carrying him. You can’t spoil a baby! At this age, our babies start to realize that they are separate beings from their moms, and it can make them very scared and insecure. The more we continue to be there for them and help them get back to feeling secure, the faster will they be ready for new adventures. Before you know it, your son will want to wriggle out of your arms and off to try something new. 🙂
- If some friend or relative tells you that you are spoiling your child by responding to his needs, just smile, thank them for their comment and ignore them. 😀
- Reinforce every sign of him being content when not in your arms. If, for example, you can put him in his high chair for a little while to play with picking up peas, boiled rice or some other interesting finger foods, and he is content, give him a lot of attention and smiles, so he feels really good while sitting there.
- Manage your frustration. If you get annoyed when your baby cries or wants to be in your arms, he will sense it and it will only make him even more insecure. I know it can be extremely exhausting to be the preferred or only parent to a baby with separation anxiety, but just accept it, do what you can to help your baby through the phase and find ways to laugh together. It really is a lot easier to go through tough phases if you accept them rather than fight them, if you see what I mean.
In this video clip, you can see the typical reaction caused by separation anxiety in a baby or young toddler. No toys or hugs from strangers will do, but when dad comes back the child is soothed within a second! So you see, it is all a normal process of development and bonding.
Now, I hope this gave you some ideas and new energy to deal with this (very normal and common) situation. Good luck!
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Image by Abi Porter
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