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to be worried my DS will end up clingy?

(21 Posts)
Jembop Thu 09-May-13 16:20:23

(inspired by the "baby is happy to be held by anyone" thread)I'm currently on maternity leave so spend pretty much all day every day with my DS (now 4.5 months). DH gets home late so occasionally does a rushed bathtime but I think I'm going to have to start doing it as DS is getting overtired. So DH will only see him at the weekends (or in the middle of the night, muahaha).

We have no relatives nearby so he only sees his grandparents, aunts, uncles etc once every 6 weeks max.

The friends I see regularly all have their own babies so don't really have time to hold him or play with him.

He seems happy enough to sit on strangers' laps about half the time. The other half, he looks at them then bursts into tears.

I really don't want DS to be clingy, but I can't see a way to make him less reliant on/used to other people. Am I worrying about nothing? Does this have any bearing on how clingy he'll actually be?

ClodiaF Thu 09-May-13 16:27:42

No and don't worry. It is completely natural and right that your DS at such a young age looks to you above all others for comfort and security and prefers Mummy to everyone else. Research has shown that babies who get this constant reassurance from Mum actually cry less and grow up to be more secure and confident little people. You just have to go with the flow. My DS (a bit older) is just the same, btw!

HumphreyCobbler Thu 09-May-13 16:28:30

I think it has no bearing on how clingy he will be. I pretty much carried DD for about a year, she is the most independent child.

whathellcall Thu 09-May-13 16:31:20

Try not to worry, if your child is well looked after, happy and secure, he'll be fine. I hardly ever left my first ds until i had to return to work when he was one, but he settled into nursery really well. He cried the first couple of times, but has really settled very well ever since and isn't clingy at all.

stargirl1701 Thu 09-May-13 16:34:12

I think it's way too early to worry about clinginess. Tbh, I would be far more worried if he didn't cry as undifferentiated attachment would be a bigger concern to me.

valiumredhead Thu 09-May-13 16:38:32

The most independent little girl I have ever know was carried around in a sling by her mum for 2 years just peeping out of the top at the world going by. Then suddenly she emerged like a butterfly this gorgeous confident child who was running all over the place and chatting to everyone smile

Squitten Thu 09-May-13 16:40:58

My youngest son was like this and I was worried too.

My eldest was very independent, totally happy to be passed about but my youngest was a total clingy nightmare from about 6mths to nearly 2yrs! He would cry if anyone looked into his buggy to see him, cried when pretty much anyone came to visit, wouldn't let anyone hold him. All my relatives (very old-school parents) said he was too clingy because I BF him, etc. We were getting worried about it.

All of a sudden, around 2yrs old, he just stopped. Now he can be left with anyone - never cries, never gets upset when we leave him, talks and plays with everyone. While they were out earlier on today, DH had to take the eldest to the toilet (I hadn't arrived yet) and so asked the cafe waitress to keep an eye on the youngest and he didn't make a sound - just told her about his shoes!

Funnily enough, our eldest is now 4.5 and after a lifetime thus far of total non-clingyness, he's started playing up every time we leave him with a babysitter!!

So don't worry. It's very natural and he will get over it eventually!

nancerama Thu 09-May-13 16:51:32

You are right to be worried - worrying is what mums do best, but you have nothing to worry about. I am SAHM to an almost 2 year old DS who only really sees DH at the weekends because he gets home so late during the week. DH and DS have an amazing relationship and I don't get a look in when they're tearing around together.

shockers Thu 09-May-13 17:18:41

DS2 was the clingiest baby/toddler ever. He's now 13 and a confident, independent and charming boy. I think giving him what he needed as a young child has helped him.

Mumsyblouse Thu 09-May-13 17:21:33

Does no-one ever talk about separation anxiety any more? It used to be pretty well-known that a tiny baby might be held by anyone, but as babies get older, and recognize people, they often prefer the ones they know, especially their mums/dads (or key worke/nanny, whoever they spend a lot of time with and recognize)! Both mine had separation anxiety and used to cry when i left, well into toddlerhood, both are normal happy independent children now.

dufflefluffle Thu 09-May-13 17:28:36

Is this something you can control? I have two (one especially so) extremely clingy children - dh has always always worked 6 or 7 days a week every week (self-employed) and yet DD is clingy to me and DS is clingy to the father he so seldom sees. I have always maintained the fantasy that if I had gone to work (and not been a sahm) they'd have been less attached to us but given DS's adoration of his father I think that I may be wrong!

YoniRanger Thu 09-May-13 17:33:39

DD refused to let anyone but me near her for 6 months.

Now she is fiercely independent and tolerates hugs grin

usualsuspect Thu 09-May-13 17:35:39

They all seem to go through a clingy stage, not much you can do about it.

They all grow out of it.

CreatureRetorts Thu 09-May-13 18:39:22

4/5 months is that age where they don't like many other people? Dd, who saw people all the time was and is the most suspicious baby ever! She doesn't smile for strangers (she does for us) and doesn't like people she hardly knows picking her up. Has been like this since tiny, she's 17 months. I just go with what she wants.

Contrast that with her big brother who was a jolly friendly baby (I carried him in a sling most days), no problem with strangers. He's now a shy 3 year old.
I suspect dd will bloom when older.

anonpost Thu 09-May-13 18:47:28

My 6.5 month old is the same. She's such a mummy's girl, but then I'm the one with her the whole time. She settles lovely with my sister and mum, but not my oh or anybody else.

elmerelephant Thu 09-May-13 20:30:21

My son hated being put down until he was at least 2, I used to do the housework with him in a sling. He would sit on my knee at every possible moment until about 10, and now hes 17 he wants to move out for college.

Give him all the hugs he wants for as long as he wants, as from this end it doesnt last long.

cory Thu 09-May-13 20:32:15

So many things change between babyhood and school age and you will have to change the way you handle your ds so many times that really ti won't make much difference in the end: whatever you do when he is 5 is bound to be totally different anyway.

OxfordBags Thu 09-May-13 21:12:40

The more attachment a child under the age of 2 (at least) has with its primary caregiver (usually mum), the more independent that child will grow up to be. I wince when I hear people boasting that, for example, their 1 yr old is independent, because it's actually a bad sign that the bond isn't as strong as it should be. It'd be worrying for a baby as young as yours to be happy to spend much time away from you. So you might get clinginess for the first couple of years, then you reap the rewards with having confident, independent offspring forever (unless other factors affect this happening, of course). It's a good trade-off.

IfNotNowThenWhen Thu 09-May-13 21:16:58

Enjoy it while it lasts! (Seriously)

GirlWiththeLionHeart Thu 09-May-13 21:24:33

100% agree with OxfordBags children are meant to be clingy when so little, it's a good sign! They're survivalists! Keep it up

ivanapoo Thu 09-May-13 21:36:12

OK well that's a relief, thanks everyone for the reassurance!

Turns out it's good to have a clingy child wink

I think if I'm honest there's a little bit of resentment there too that my DS doesn't have anyone else to pick him up, if you see what I mean.

But at least he's got me god help him !

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