Velcro Babies

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A strange phenomenon that happens for a lot of us is how mothers, while we’re pregnant, explain the agony of labor. It is labor, after all. But what’s not often described is the agony of the first months, the “fourth trimester,” as it’s sometimes known as. For moms who love their babies dearly, but are in desperate need of sleep or even of a short break, having an-ever needy baby can bring about a lot of mixed emotions, including extreme anxiety and exhaustion. Hearing other moms talk about how their babies are “good sleepers” can be brutal.

The needier babies are sometimes referred to as “Velcro babies,” or babies who will only sleep on you, with you, or next to you. When you try to put them down, they immediately wake. 

Velcro babies are particularly clingy and will cry or fuss if they are not being held. While many people love to hold a baby, it has its limits, and needy babies can be quite exhausting for not only mom, but both parents. I firmly believe that this type of baby is molded because there are unmet needs and or other underlying issues. If a parent tells me they cannot ever put their baby down, and I hear this a lot, it’s an immediate flag that we have work to do. Truthfully, babies, once fed and well rested, should be okay with small amounts of independent time by themselves on the floor, or in a bouncer or swing.

Everything is very dramatic with a velcro baby because the only time they are happy is when they are nuzzled in your arms. Here are a few basics to help combat the sweet, but ever-clingy, little ones:

  • Full feeds
  • Appropriate wake windows -> a 1 month old infant should not be up for 2 hours at a time. It is too long (see the wake window blog for more info).
  • Solid connected naps. We are looking for 1.5 hrs plus for 2-3 naps per day with 1 or 2 shorter 30-45 minute naps.
  • Swaddle your baby for sleep. One of our favorite swaddles here (3.0 tog for cold environments or 1.0 tog for warm environments/babies) and how properly swaddle, video here.
  • Make sure your baby has clean diapers, clean clothes, and is at the appropriate room temperature.

If all of these needs are met then it is time to Go Deeper.

Assess for pain or discomfort: Is your baby overly gassy? Do they have a lot of burps? Do you suspect reflux? If so, you’ll want to check in with us or a pediatrician to find ways to offer relief to your little one. 

All of these are fundamentals for babies to be able to be content, not overtired and have appropriate windows of independent time where they are happy. Once again, It’s essential to observe your baby’s cues, establish a soothing bedtime routine, create a comfortable sleep environment, and consult with a healthcare provider if you have medical concerns for your baby.
While everyone has an opinion, you need a solution that will work for you and takes your family’s needs into account. Our talented team at The Early Weeks is committed to help guide you through this journey. We will meet you where you are at and guide you to where you want to be. Our practice operates on a foundation of providing balance to the family and restoring or facilitating sleep for everyone, not just the baby! If you are currently struggling with your little one, please don’t lose hope. Contact us now. We’ll get to the root of your challenges and help your family get the rest and relief it desperately needs.

About The Author: 💤Katie Bishop | The Early Weeks 💤

✅ Certified Master Pediatric Sleep Consultant

✅ Board Certified Holistic Healthcare Practitioner

✅ Advanced Newborn Care Specialist

Katie has over 25 year experience working with children of all ages. As a Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Newborn Care Specialist, she has professionally supported families babies worldwide over the last 10 years. Her mission is to help the entire family unit get better sleep, utilizing a holistic approach that supports the baby or child’s natural biologic drive to sleep. She has personally served 200+ families and holds 16,000+ hours exclusively caring for infants & babies.

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The content contained in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or to replace the advice of any medical professional. It is based on our opinions and experience working with newborns and their families. Other’s opinions may vary. It does not represent the views of any affiliated organizations. The reader understands that the term “Babynurse” is often a word used to describe a newborn caregiver. However, unless otherwise disclosed, we are not licensed nurses in any state. By reading and/or utilizing any information or suggestions contained in this blog, the reader acknowledges that we are not medical professionals and agrees to and waives any claim, known or unknown, past, present or future. This blog may contain affiliate links.
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