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V. clingy mindee - any advice?(43 Posts)
I've had mindee (15mths) regularly for 3 months but periodically from age 8mths and she seems very happy & content in my care eating/sleeping well etc. She's always been very cuddly & won't venture far for my side but now she's properly walking & settled with me I had expected her to start to explore the world around her a bit more but if anything she clings to me more & more.
Toddler groups/playdates are a disaster as she'll scream unless I carry her and this is beginning to get both quite restrictive trying to interact with other mindees/my own DC & tiring as she's very heavy! Any ideas how I can encourage a bit more independence without leaving her to scream all day
It can be very isolating having a very clingy child. If she's felt unable to go to groups then it may be she hadn't made many friends. This was really difficult for my bf
Lechat as a mum of a very similar dc it may be that the dm had not taken her dd to groups because of the clinginess. I have taken mine regardless, but my bf avoided groups in a similar situation.
The way to encourage her to work with you to resolve the clinginess may be to boost her confidence to go to groups. Eg suggest she starts one which is known locally to be friendly - maybe a music one as at ours the kids usually sit on your knee for that.
I've not raised it as an issue before but during conversation have gathered that mum does indeed carry her everywhere & doesn't really socialise outside the immediate family so no groups etc.
I do intend to speak to her next week but still unsure (a) how to broach it without sounding like I'm attacking her parenting or her child or (b) what I want to get out of the conversation. There's no point telling mum her DC is clingy when I'm pretty sure she's aware & likewise I'm not expecting (or wanting) to tell me to suddenly stop & let her cry, but, I do feel some steps need to be taken to try and at least start making some progress especially as I have a 7mth old starting on 2 of her days in a few months so will definitely need free arms by then
What does her mum say OP?
Creature there's nothing physically wrong with her she's a very bright, happy & chatty little girl until I try & put her down between my legs on the floor or next to me on the sofa then she screams VERY loudly (but miraculously stops the minute she's picked up ). I've looked after her when she's been poorly & she just snuggled into me all day v.subdued - I didn't mind at all as there was obviously something wrong & she needed that level of comfort until her mum could get there.
I do try the sitting & just allowing her time to settle in her surrounding & letting her gradually move away when she's ready but most weeks we attend a certain playgroup & can be there 2 hours during which time she's hasn't so much record her arms from round me let alone ventured off my lap!! I have to get one of my friends to hold her if I need the loo as I cant put her down as her screaming is so loud & persistent it terrifies all the other little ones . Bizarrely she doesn't mind being held by anyone else if I'm not around!
stargirl71, don't worry too much about this right now because your dd still has got a lot of changing to do before she gets to 13 months!
I had an insanely clingy baby who started going to a CM at 5 months. I know many babies still like to be held a lot at that age but my DD only napped on her parents or in a pram/sling, and she was very fussy and unsettled with others, so I was really worried about her starting with a CM and how it would all go.
Anyway, we lucked out with the CM. DD was her only other mindee at the time apart from her own baby, so she had plenty of time to carry her about on her hip etc. And from Day 1, the CM tried her for a nap in a Moses basket and DD went out like a light. I am still thinking about it! Anyway, the clinginess and fussiness reduced dramatically from then on, it was really noticeable and she was a lot happier in herself. Now she's 15months and it's returning It's just an age and personality thing, I guess.
So I just wanted to say that a really good CM is worth her weight in gold. I would agree with the pp who said the best way to tackle it seems to be lots of structure and routine (littlies that age get really excited about anticipating parts of their day) and just a gradual caring approach. But there's no way I would have asked or expected the CM to carry her in a sling. That's a parent's job IMO. (And I breastfed for 14 months - not sure if that counts as extended )
I bet she'll be fine and hopefully her pain will have eased quite a bit by then.
I'm seriously at the poster who suggested that extended bf, co sleepingetc made babies clingy
I have had two silent reflux babies and got a nanny because she could give attention as I would.
The mindee could be teething, overtired, unsettled... Any number of reasons. What does mum say?
Thanks everyone some really helpful advice. I do actively encourage sitting on my knee, holding hands, staying close etc but mindee literally clings to me which is lovely some of the time but what I'm trying to get away from all day. she's very big for her age so there's no way I'd want to put her in a sling - too many years carrying my own DC put paid to that!!
Thanks again & will update if I make any progress.
I don't use slings but that's only because I have back problems, even good ones are no good for me its the extra weight. I would never leave a child to cry, I would sit down and hold them and give them as much attention as they need to feel secure. I would happily take on a clingy child. All childminders have different styles just like all parents do, you just need to find one who suits your style of parenting and your child.
I have been minding for 13 yrs. Every child really is different . I have clingy child at the moment. If we go to groups he comes with me, holding my hand ... not a problem . He will soon be confident enough to explore on his own, but in the meantime he feels safe as we check on the other children, look at different activities, etc
In my early minding days I thought children like this should learn to be left, but now I know that once they are confident, they will find their own independence.
I'm with from and 53. As a cm, I strongly believe in giving clingy children the love and attention they need, ime this makes them feel secure and then confident enough to eventually explore by themselves, secure in the knowledge that you're there if they need you.
i don't think anyone on here has said they ignored a crying child at a group
there is a difference between not giving a child attention who is being overly clingy and a bit moany/miserable and actively ignoring a crying child. i don't think anyone has suggested they do/would do that...
Glad to read others feel as I do. I would love to see what Ofsted would make of ignoring a crying child at a group.
Shocking behaviour to read a magazine and pretend to ignore the child. I can't believe childminders would behave like that and would be gutted if it was happening to my child.
What kind of message does it send to the child? Constant touch and cuddles when needed are vital for development and feeling secure. 15 months is still a baby! My children weren't even walking at that age.
Yes, I would, and I do, if my 14mo is having a sad day, which she sometimes does if she's teething.
If you have a good sling / carrier, it shouldn't hurt your back at all. Especially if you've been carrying her on and off since she was little, your strength improves as she grows.
I don't leave children to cry.
Yes I would carry or wear a child of that age, and have done.
I can't understand why one wouldn't want to make an anxious child feel loved and safe.
Ofc I haven't said here that my usp is very low numbers, AP style childminding, responsive partic to non verbal children, intuiting from body language, gesture and vocalisations what they need want.
I find the idea of a wee child being ignored because they are signalling they need attention ever so upsetting.
The right sling is a godsend. I, not a cm but I'm a single mum to 3 so am more than used to dealing with clingy ds and the other 2. I pop him on my back in the ergo if I really have to get on. It makes me feel quite sad that a cm would consider ignoring a distressed child to be good practice.
you would seriously carry a 15 month old child in a sling FromGirders? Even when the child has been in your care since 8 mths old so has no reason to be so clingy.
I would do my back in if I was carrying a 15 mth old about - i just wouldn't do it. Thats crazy!!
I am a CM, been one for about 7 years now.
I have a sling, and I'm not afraid to use it.
In the situation you describe, I'd either be sitting with your child at groups, or wearing her at home, at least for some of the time. IME, if you sit and cuddle the child at toddler groups or wherever, then after a while she'll get confident enough to explore on her own. What does it hurt you to let her sit on your knee while you're at a group? You're there already, so it's not like you're trying to do anything else.
I'd not recommend any CM I saw sitting reading a magazine at a group and ignoring a crying child.
it sounds like you have a good cm there, try not to worry
i would rather a well thought of, recommended childminder with 27 yrs experience than a young, inexperienced nanny any day of the week!!
Good Luck with it - I'm sure cm knows what she's doing and if she's not worried by it, you shouldn't be either.
I've got one organised. 27 years experience. She is very highly spoken of by parents of children in the school where I work. She has 3 children my DD knows as DH & I know their parents. I have explained about the silent reflux. It is soooo much better than it was. It is likely she'll have grown out of it by then.
It's a whole new world being a parent!
the best thing to do is visit a few cms stargirl.
Don't assume that because you are paying more, you will be getting a superior service from a nanny. A lot of cms are very experienced and most have children of their own. Bear in mind that if you use a nanny share, your dd will still be sharing the nanny with other children.
I'm sure she will be fine, most children are, and although i understand she has special medical needs, most children behave different for carers than they do for parents. She might be 100% fine and remember a lot can change in 6 months!
I didn't even think about a nanny as an option. I assumed I would use a CM as I don't believe in nurseries for the under 3s. It'll be 2 days a week.
I need to talk to DH.
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