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Wanting to be held

 Wanting to be held

Our twins, now 7 ½ months, are doing great.  They are both crawling and pulling themselves up.  Our son is extremely happy and very laid back.  His sister is a bit more challenging (a girl thing, I am sure). J  Lately she has been getting hysterical (crying very hard, holding breath, big tears…) every time I put her down, but instantly becomes happy when we pick her up.  If she is happy on the floor and I enter the room, she will instantly start crying.   Believe me, neither child is starving for attention, but it still breaks my heart to see her so upset.  I am wondering if I should let her cry it out (which we have tried and it lasts a long time) or if she is too young to be ignored.  She will often crawl up to me crying and reach out for me which makes it even more difficult to ignore other than telling her she is OK and trying to distract her with a toy without picking her up.  She could be teething (my son has two teeth and she doesn’t have any yet), but she still can turn it on and off very quickly.

This is normal separation anxiety. Though it seems to occur a little later at our house - usually happens 12 to 15 months. We are currently spending a lot of time holding our 11 month old.

While it is not wrong to put her in a playpen and walk away, we have never been successful with that approach. It is during this phase that my wife typically slings them. By using a sling the baby should be happy and you should be able to get some chores done. Maggie's sling article.

If this behavior has started suddenly this week then something could be bothering her. You could try ibuprofen or acetaminophen for teething pain or have your pediatrician look in her ears.

Many parents worry about giving one child more attention that another. Our Gordon philosophy is to give each child what they need. By taking care of your daughter’s needs your son should have increase security that his personal needs will be met.

follow up

My daughter is doing much better and I believe you were correct in her experiencing early separation anxiety. Trying to get her to calm herself down on her own never really worked and usually just ended up with both twins crying. Our son is now going through the same thing and has become a big time mama’s boy! We usually go ahead and hold them or try and get them to play with us on the floor. I used a baby Bjorn a couple of times, but never could get it to be very comfortable. Now that they are more mobile, it is easier to distract them with a toy or an activity when it just isn’t feasible to hold them. Luckily my daughter is now enjoying exploring a bit more, I can give her brother the extra attention he is wanting. At least they are taking turns for me!

Originally written December 2010
follow up added March 2011 by
Dr. Gordon, Orlando Pediatrician







gregorygordonmd.com is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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