Why My Baby Won’t Let Me Sit Down When Holding Him?

Last Updated on March 14, 2023

Why do babies not let you sit down? Do you have a baby who likes to be held? Do they start crying as soon as you try and sit down? You’re not alone.

This is a common phenomenon that has been baffling parents for years. Why do babies get so upset when we try and put them down? Is it because they want more attention? Or is there something else going on here?

In this blog post, we will take a look at the science behind why babies like to be held and what you can do if your child won’t let you sit down. Stay tuned!

Why My Baby Won't Let Me Sit Down When Holding Him?

why won’t my baby let me sit down when holding him?

“Every time I try to sit down, my baby starts crying or screaming. It’s simply because he feels unsafe”, said Steph Lee, MD, MPH, FAAP, a general pediatrician specializing in preventive medicine and public health and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). “Through crying, screaming, and movements, infants are trying to tell their parents how they’re feeling.”

In 2013, some researchers published a study in Current Biology where they studied the heart rates of 12 children in three different situations: when their parents were sitting with them; when they were left alone in a crib, and when their parents stood up and carried them.

When the parents stood and held their infants, the newborns’ cardiac regulations or heart rates considerably lowered, making them calmer.

So, it indicates that babies feel more secure when their parents are standing, and they become unsettled when their parents sit down.

In addition, millions of years ago, humans were not as developed or numerous as they are now. They also faced many threats from predators. As a result, sitting down was considered reckless and potentially dangerous behavior since it might reduce the chances of survival probability.

Therefore, this has become a human instinct, mostly present in human babies. When their parents stop moving and sit down, they will feel unsafe and start crying out of reflex. On the other hand, the baby stops crying when picked up.

Also read: How To Instantly Make A Baby Stop Crying: Famous Dr. Robert Hamilton Interview

What Should I Do if a Baby Won’t Let Me Sit Down?

What Should I Do if a Baby Won't Let Me Sit Down?

Being a mother, if you are questioning yourself, why does my baby not let me sit down? There are a few things you can do that can help keep the baby calm and allow you to sit down:

Offer a pacifier:

If you notice the baby starts to scream when sitting down, try offering a pacifier. The sucking reflex can help babies feel more relaxed and content,” added Lee.

Swaddle your baby:

A study published in the journal Pediatrics found that babies who were swaddled cried and fussed less than those who weren’t. Swaddling also helped babies sleep for longer periods of time.

Hold your baby close:

Research has shown that skin-to-skin contact between a parent and their infant can help reduce the baby’s stress levels. If your baby doesn’t let you sit down, try holding them close to your chest while you walk around the house or rock them in a chair.

Play white noise:

“White noise can help soothe and calm babies, which may make it easier for them to tolerate being away from their parents,” said Lee.

Use a baby swing:

If all else fails, you can try putting the baby in a swing. The rhythmic movement may help them feel more relaxed and content.

Make “Shush” Sound:

“The “shhh” sound is one of the most effective ways to soothe a crying baby, according to the dr. Harvey Karp, world-renowned Paediatrician, founder of Happiest Baby Inc. and the Snoo. Researchers found that infants stopped crying sooner and were more likely to fall asleep when they heard the “shhh” sound.”

Understand your baby’s needs:

“As your baby grows and develops, their needs will change. It’s important to understand what they’re trying to tell you and respond accordingly,” said Lee. “If your baby is crying, it might not only be because you’re sitting down—they could need something. Instead of constantly wondering why your baby is only happy when you’re standing, try to figure out what they need. If the above methods don’t work, see if there’s anything else that might help soothe them.”

Also read: Why Do Babies Cry So Much? | 8 Proven Ideas To Calm A Fussy Baby

To keep your infant content, here are a few things you can do:

  • Check your baby’s diaper. If it is soiled, be sure to change it promptly and correctly. It will make sure your baby is comfortable and dry and also reduce the chances of developing a diaper rash.
  • Every baby cries when they are hungry. If your baby is crying and you think they may be hungry, try offering them a small amount of breast milk or formula.
  • Don’t forget to pat their back lightly after feeding times to help with any burping.
  • If your baby is tired, try rocking them gently or singing a lullaby. Make sure they are well rested so they can properly digest their food and have the energy to play.
  • Sometimes diaper rash can be the reason behind a fussy baby. Be sure to clean the area well and apply a rash cream to soothe any discomfort.
  • If your baby seems uncomfortable and is crying, they may need to release built-up gas. To help them, bicycle their legs to support them as they release the gas.

As a parent, it can be difficult to decipher why your baby is crying. However, by trying different methods and being attuned to their needs, you will be able to soothe them and provide them with the care they need. Never hesitate to ask for help from your child’s pediatrician if you are ever concerned about your baby’s health or well-being.


Why Do Babies Fuss More With Mom?

Babies usually fuss more with their moms because they naturally crave their mothers’ attention. They are used to the sound of her voice and the smell of her skin. They feel comforted by being close to her. Children believe that their mothers can make things better whenever they express their feelings.

They think that whenever they see you, it’s your turn to focus solely on them- no matter what else is going on. Even if you’re already comforting them, they might still cry until you give them 100% of your attention.

When do babies realize they are separate from their moms?

Babies usually start to understand that they are separate from their mothers around 4-7 months of age. This is when they begin to develop a sense of self. Before this, they see themselves as an extension of their mother and do not yet understand that they are individuals. So, at that time, they don’t have separation anxiety.

As babies develop, they become more aware of their surroundings and learn to interact with the world around them. They start experimenting with cause and effect and realize they can influence their environment. This is when they begin to understand that they are separate from their mothers and are their own person.

How can I tell if my baby is hungry?

There are a few signs that you can look for to see if your baby is hungry:

-He will put their hands to their mouth.

-They will make sucking noises

-The baby will turn his/her head towards you when you are talking

-They will cry.

If you think your baby is hungry, try offering them a small amount of breast milk or formula. If they do not want to eat, they may just be tired. Try rocking them gently or singing a lullaby to see if they fall asleep.

Wrapping Up

Thanks for reading! We hope this article helped you understand a little bit more about why your baby won’t let you sit down. The above methods will help you soothe your fussy baby and provide them with the care they need.

If these methods don’t work and the baby starts to cry when you put her down, see if she is ill. A sick baby will want more attention from their parents, and this could be why she’s crying when you try to sit down and leave her alone.

If you are ever concerned about your baby’s health, talk to their pediatrician.

Don’t forget to share this article with other parents who might be struggling to understand their fussy baby!

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Jenny lord

Jenny Lord, MSN, RN is a certified nurse and mother of three children William (11), Phoebe (10) and Daniel (6). She has worked in the healthcare industry for over 9 years. She has done her undergraduate degree from Canterbury Christ Church University and worked as a Nurse at Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust. Jenny is also a former Midwife, so she understands that experience can be very different in the hospital environment than what you may have heard or read about childbirth. Read more

Dr. Leah Alexander

Dr. Leah Alexander is a board-certified general pediatrician and has been practicing pediatrics at Elizabeth Pediatric Group of New Jersey since 2000. Since 2005, she has been working as an independently contracted pediatrician with Medical Doctors Associates at Pediatricare Associates of New Jersey. She also enjoys cooking outside of the medical profession. Read more

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