10 month old won't play by himself/is quite clingy

(14 Posts)
Wadsy Sun 12-Jan-14 18:37:49

Hi all

I was speaking to a child development specialist who was telling me that by 1 year old babies have usually developed the skill of 'playing by themselves'. The conversation moved on and I never really got my questions answered. I've always been quite attentive to my now 10 month old son, and it's got to the stage where I feel quite exhausted entertaining him all the time. He might look at a toy for a minute or two, but as soon as I try to do a job or leave the room he crawls after me and whines until I give him attention. I'm getting to the stage where I don't know if I'm doing the right thing giving him so much attention. Will he not develop independence to play by himself as a result? Is his behaviour normal for his age? Is this separation anxiety?

Thanks,
W

YoureBeingASillyBilly Sun 12-Jan-14 18:43:50

Sojnds normal. Also around that age babies can become extra clingy. I forget what it is called but remember reading on MN about it when mine were smaller. I think the most important thing for developing independance is nurturing that sense of security. So if he is asking for you then he needs you. He is still very young and in the baby stage so he will have lots of needs that you have to meet. Security is just one of them an the more secure he feels the more able/safe he will feel to spend longer times away from you and playinh by himself.

anothernumberone Sun 12-Jan-14 18:46:40

I wonder does the child development expert have any children. That behaviour is perfectly normal.

Crocky Sun 12-Jan-14 18:50:44

Normal. From what I remember its around ths age they first become aware that they are a separate person so being left on their own can be quite scary to them.

ChilliQueen Sun 12-Jan-14 18:51:05

Hello Wadsy... it's a while since my DS was 10 months, but 'playing by themselves' they may be able to do, but not for long (minutes?!), and you can't really leave them. Don't know if you've switched the TV on (know lots don't approve of TV) but some of the stuff on CBeebies would hold attention for a while. This was the time I actually got a cleaner in for a while as he was crawling, into everything and I struggled to get stuff done. I did buy a travel cot, which I used as a playpen (so I could shower, pop into the kitchen etc) - was very useful for short bursts of time - I think he felt safe and secure in there and could still see the TV! My DS is now 7. Yes, he can play by himself now for a while (sometimes ages, sometimes only minutes), they'll always want your company. I am sure he is absolutely fine!

Fairylea Sun 12-Jan-14 18:51:18

Completely normal.

You're far more interesting to your dc than anything else smile it will stay that way for a long time yet!

lilyaldrin Sun 12-Jan-14 18:53:13

I don't think you need to entertain a baby all the time. Set him up with some toys and try doing something near by, chat to him, but let him develop some independent play skills too.

Wanting to keep you in sight and be near you all the time is normal separation anxiety behaviour though.

FixItUpChappie Sun 12-Jan-14 18:53:23

my eldest only started playing by himself for more than a few minutes around 2years old TBH and my 11 month old sounds just like yours.

That "expert" doesn't sound very knowledgable.

CosmicDespot Sun 12-Jan-14 18:54:47

Totally normal. I agree with Crocky - at this age they are starting to become self-aware and it freaks them out!

lilyaldrin Sun 12-Jan-14 18:55:03

I don't think the expert sounds wrong at all btw - most 12 month olds are capable of playing/exploring independently while using a carer as a secure base.

Wadsy Mon 13-Jan-14 20:07:55

Thanks so much for all your reassurance and tips. Glad to know it is fairly normal and what I can be doing to encourage him to play by himself. I like the travel cot/playpen advice so I can get a shower in peace! And dare I say it, it would be nice to be able to do a poo in private once in a while
:-)

MiaowTheCat Mon 13-Jan-14 20:24:53

Mine is VERY clingy at the moment - and a right grouch bag as she wants to pull up to standing but isn't quite there yet and doesn't take frustration well at all! She'll potter along like her big (well as big as her sister can be at 21 months old) sister's shadow - but she likes to have one eye on me as well to make sure I'm not daring to move a millimetre without her approval!

Sneezecakesmum Mon 13-Jan-14 20:53:33

Yes can echo the 9-10 month super clingy and crawling after you when you leave the room phase!

We have 5 big boxes of age appropriate toys and every day change the boxes so they look 'new' to him. We just sit in the room ipadding/facebooking chatting and little DS roams from us to the toys, cruises around the room, comes back for a cuddle, roams off again and so on. All housework has to be done when he is asleep or the constant clambering round your ankles is not exactly safe for him.

Waiting for it to improve grin

minipie Mon 13-Jan-14 23:26:53

peak age for separation anxiety

it will pass!

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