DS refusing to bond with anyone else(26 Posts)
It's really bad. For example, if he is upset and I'm in the bath or something, DS will throw himself backwards if DH dares to comfort him.
Nobody else will do, but me, his mum. I'm really not sure why. He goes to a childminder a few times a week. He seems to enjoy it, and goes off without crying. He's hurt himself quite a few times now too whilst he's been there, and childminder reports back how gobsmacked she is by him. Some older child bumped into him quite harshly recently and he ended up with a bruise (he fell over). But she said it's like he just doesn't realise it's happened and carries on
So he isn't a 'cry baby' as such. But when he is upset, he just will not be consoled by anyone else.
DS will not be comforted or cuddles by DH, SIL, DMum, etc etc.
I know DH is finding it really hard, he tries and tries and still DS will not have it. He will not be comforted by him. He screams, kicks and cries tears of murder until I arrive.
Everything is 'Mummy' or 'mama ook!' (Mama look). DH tries so hard to entertain him and is met with a blank stare a lot of the time.
DH has said 'he must hate me' before I don't blame him for saying it, it must be so hard to have a child that doesn't want to know you.
I want to say it's a phase but he's been like this since birth (understandably since that's all he would've known at that stage). But he's 14 months now.
I'm finding it really difficult too. Mostly because I feel a bit cross when DH eventually calls for me because DS needs me to comfort him. For example, having a relaxing bath and then being called upon I'm not finished yet you fuckers.
Has anyone been through similar? I feel like people close to us are getting a bit fed up now. It's like I'm the chosen one and all others just won't do. He's 14 months.
If you keep giving him what he wants, i.e. you, he'll keep asking for you.
Well he seems to have a bond with his child minder.
A lot of little boys are extremely clingy to their mums, wereas girls tend to cling to to their dads.
Having the exact same problem with DD (15 months) at the moment.
I'm at SAHM and she's developed a real preference for me over the last few weeks, culminating on Christmas Day where she was tantruming whenever DH picked her up- she was screaming like he was trying to kidnap her! He actually got quite upset as she was a real daddy's girl up until now.
It's definitely worse when she's tired as well, so bedtimes are a bundle of laughs at the moment.
It's got slightly better over the last few weeks- I'm expecting DC2 in 8 weeks so I'm getting worried about not being able to placate her when I've another DC to attend to. I've spoken to DH about it and we've planned for him to do more bedtimes etc so she gets used to being comforted when tired or hungry by him and not just me. I think it's just a phase that we'll need to grit our teeth through!
He calls and you come running. I bet your physical presence isn't the only thing you give him as soon as he demands it as well. Start saying no and make him wait for things more often and you will be amazed at how quickly this stage passes.
My ds was just like this up until the age of about 2 1/2. He only really had me as Dh is military and away a lot. Now he is 4 is a super secure happy little boy. He still prefers me but enjoys his dad's company. He has always been super happy at school and is so confident in making friends. It is a stage and will pass, you are the constant in his tiny world and no wonder he prefers it if you're there.
Go away for a day and a night. I agree...if you keep giving in, he will keep asking for you.
Go out for a visit when it's bedtime....don't come back for a few hours. Do that regularly.
SO much misinformation on this thread!!!
Firslty, op...your son doesn't hate his dad. He is still a baby and I am guessing you are/was his primary carer up to a point. You say he goes to a childminder, and separates from you quite happily! That's good.
It is not unusual that only one parent can comfort a baby at this age, they do get a bit clingy especially if their world is changing. The worst thing your dh can do is start acting like his ds hates him, because he will pick up on that!
I would not let your dh/SIL etc try to comfort him to the point that your ds is screaming/crying to that degree, because all you are doing is causing him even greater distress. That's not to say that your dh shouldn't try, just not to that degree.
There is a general opinion among these comments so far that you are spoiling him and that you are making some kind of rod for your own back. But in all honestly, your son needs you. He doesn't need to be a guinea pig in how well/quick your dh/DM/SIL can comfort a child. He isn't a social experiment. He is a baby with complex and often unknown needs. He is so tiny that he isn't actually able to tell you yet why he needs you so much, but please do not keep letting him get so distressed in order for your family members to feel that they are capable. Because it's only your son who is suffering and will continue to suffer.
I am in this situation, kinda of. My 10yr old will only let me comfort her from meltdowns because she has severe sensory issues and the touch and smell of dh sends her into overdrive. She has always been like this and rather than let her get worked up we made the decision to give her what she needs. She loved dh and they do so much together, but he cannot do this one thing for her because it causes more harm than good.
On the other end of the spectrum, my goddaughter was like your son as a baby. My friend would insist that her dh carry on trying to comfort her even when nothing worked. She could scream for hours. In the end she often just fell asleep out of exhaustion. She has clear trust issues with both her parents and is a very defiant and unhappy little girl.
You cannot spoil a baby who needs you. You need to nurture him and your family need to find other ways of showing him their love.
I agree with most of the posters, you need some tough love here. Let others step in and comfort him even if it pains you
Again agree with others. You need to actively step back and stop running to him and every little thing and actually allow him to bond with others.
Surprised the above two posters would write what they did, immediately after differentname's excellent, insightful post.
My first was that, and my second followed her lead
It was hard, I felt so touched out and frazzled, dp was quite hurt but handled it and took more of the non child load
As they are older children it is getting much more balanced, sometimes I am even second choice!
I read a lot and it made sense that following their lead should lead to more secure older children and although I don't have a comparison that is true for mine
@TheDowagerCuntess that's just her opinion and we shared ours. That's all. I do think OP should at least try to step back as that may work. Not every child is the same. It didn't work for the PP but may be the way for OP.
My daughter only wants me to comfort her when she’s upset. If I’m not here my husband can calm her, but only if she knows for sure I’m out. Now that’s she is older (three) it’s better because they have lots of other things they can do together. Neither my husband or myself see it as a problem, she’s only little and needs a hug from her mum when she’s upset or hurt. My seven year old son was once like this and very clingy towards me, but now doesn’t need comforting as much, and loves his dads company, they play sport and read and do a ton of stuff together. Sometimes I feel a little left out - but when he was little it was all about me, and I don’t mind at all.
Start dividing up the bedtime story routine. If your DS insists that you read it ask your DH to stay in the room, then next time stay in the room while DH reads it. Then just DH with your son on alternate nights.
I think most children go through stages of preference. Sometimes DD wanted her DF for months, then she would switch to me.
Agree with different name.
This is totally normal for some babies / toddlers.
One of mine was like this, we just went with the flow and now she's older she's very happy for dh to comfort her. He never got annoyed that she didn't want him, just accepted it and kept playing / interacting / showing love and eventually she wanted him as much as she did me.
If you 14 month old wants you to comfort him and you are available to do it, other people should not be getting annoyed by this.
My two year old is like this. I've had two nights away from him in two years!
I'm away for two nights in a few weeks and I'm really worried about it but it's an event I simply can't miss. I'm going to try and prep DS in advance, telling him repeatedly that I'll be away. His language is very good thankfully so we usually know what he wants and can at least have a simple conversation with him. His Dad loves him, he loves his Dad, and I know they'll be fine together but it's still a worry.
I completely sympathise. It's really hard.
My 2nd was hugely attached to me, nobody else would do if he was upset or tired etc. DH would just try and be there as much as possible and join in games. He tried to do all the fun stuff to help their bond that way. He’s now 8.5 and adore his dad but will still
Dd was the same.
I believe many children are.
She's 15 now and thankfully let's go of my ankles occasionally.
Don't worry, he'll grow out of it. Can't remember when dd did, but probably at about 2-2.5-3?
Ahhh lots of babies are like this. I would give him what he wants as long as it's convenient. He will grow a strong attachment to your husband as well as long as he continues to be present and willing. My ds has always wanted me for certain things such as being comforted but now he is almost 3 he often wants my dh for things as well. (Usually fun things!) He often plays us off against each other and will say he loves daddy now or loves mummy not daddy. I know it's hard for your dh but he really needs to not take it personally, your son is only a baby.
Agree with differentname and parrot. It’s normal for young children to have a preference whether in phases or throughout younger years. It’s not a problem that needs solving. It’s a good thing that your DC has a strong bond with one of his primary carers. He will make room for his DF when he is ready. He is still so young and changing all the time. It could be a different story in 6 months or a year. Tell your DH that it’s ok if he needs to talk to you about how it upsets him to you but that he must never say anything about it in front of DS and should keep offering the love and attention and be endlessly patient about it. That’s what his DS needs from him so that’s what he must do. He will grow and change in time. Don’t ration your love and attention for DS as others have suggested. Keep doing what your gut tells you to do.
DC1 went through a stage like that at about 1. What really changed things is when I went back to work DH looked after him for half a day while I was at work. There is no way I'd leave my child screaming while I was there, but does your DH look after your DS by himself at all regularly? How long have you been back at work, is it fairly recently as that tends to make them more clingy?
I wouldn't worry about it though, particularly the not wanting to be comforted by other family members part - it would be concerning if your child didn't have a stronger relationship with you than other people like grandparents!
He calls and you come running
No, that simply isn't true. As I said in my OP, DH tries his hardest to comfort him. And it doesn't just end in tears, it ends in screaming and throwing himself back, complete meltdown. I do step in eventually because I don't want to see a baby upset like that
Someone asked if I had been back at work long. I've been back for months. DS has been a 'mummy's boy' since birth and never really changed at all since newborn. For example, DH would try and cuddle with him and soothe him if he just wanted a cuddle as a newborn. But again, absolute fits of screams. I would have to then step in and straight away he was silent. It's the same now
I think this is quite typical of toddler boys, when he gets a bit older his dad will be the one he wants to be around. Have a look at ‘raising boys’ by Steve Biddulph
A lot of little boys are extremely clingy to their mums, wereas girls tend to cling to to their dads
tell that to my 4.5 yo DD. she is still clingy to me. I put it down to the fact I actually make an effort to listen to her and join in her pretend play whereas DH is on his phone all the time and will only play on his terms aka Disney dad style.
She will at least let him bath her but I sometimes have to leave the house so she knows I am not a available.
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