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How to deal with clingy behavior

(18 Posts)
sedgiebaby Mon 01-Aug-11 14:15:30

Early on I felt dd was going to be the sociable, outgoing, confident type, I still think that, but increasingly she does not want to go to other people, even within the family or it takes her ages to 'warm' to them, this includes my mum and sometimes DH. She wants me to play with her a lot, which is fine, but I notice as much as possible she wants to be holding on to me or sitting on me.

I thought we went through separation anxiety and came through that OK a couple of months ago. I'm guessing it is just some sort of phase, but can I encourage a little more independence somehow? On one hand I like all the cuddles for mummy but in just a few weeks I will be going back to work. She is almost 10 months old.

Iggly Mon 01-Aug-11 18:41:11

I was expecting you to say your DD was a few years old grin

She's very young and has plenty more spells of separation anxiety to go through yet. Give her the reassurance she needs and that will give her the confidence to branch out.

I thought DS was going to be very confident but at nearly 2 he needs time to warm up and is suspicious of strangers or people he doesn't know that well. Even with his nanny he has off days but is fine after a few minutes. So I let him sit on my lap or whatever and he was up much faster than if I force him iyswim ?

exoticfruits Mon 01-Aug-11 19:01:58

She is a baby, she can now differentiate between people. She is fine, it is a normal development. Encourage her to get to know people without forcing or drawing alot of attention to it.

Jesusgirl Mon 01-Aug-11 23:31:38

10 months is still quite young.

I had similar problem with my dd. For some reason I think some babies are initially just insecure. They just need to feel safe and that's how they become confident.

My dd wouldn't go to anyone apart from me and sometimes she would refuse to be carried by DH. I remember feeling under pressure as people would tell me I was 'spoiling' her and that I needed to force her to go to others. But I couldn't do that and glad I didn't.

Now she's 31 months and all that clinginess is over and she's a confident, very chatty and bright little girl and extremely independent as well!

The phase would definitely pass but for now let him take it at his own pace. If he needs reassurance from you then offer it. That way he realises the world isn't so scary afterall.

Jesusgirl Mon 01-Aug-11 23:33:05

Sorry I just reread your post and realised your dc is a girl not a boy! So replace the 'he's in my reply with 'she'wink

sedgiebaby Tue 02-Aug-11 09:48:19

Thanks all, I'm such a clueless first time mum! I was a bit surprised because she seemed so 'extrovert' previously compared to other babies. She's also suddenly afraid of the paddling pool, her small bath (I'm having to bathe with her) and lifts (elevators) and for the life of me I don't know a) where this nervousness is coming from and b) what to do about it.

As you say it is not really a big deal and likely a phase I must not fret about and just sit out. I was hoping that I could help her a bit more along the way or at least not make it worse. I'll continue to reassure etc.

exoticfruits Tue 02-Aug-11 10:11:04

When they are new babies they don't even realise they are a separate person and they are not aware of much outside mum and you can hand them around like a parcel. As they get older they get more aware and they find strange faces and situations worrying. They learn to deal with them-especially if you support and encourage.
The next step is to realise they have a will of their own and they can say 'no'! You get the 'terrible twos' with all the frustrations that brings them!
I don't normally recommend reading books, but one on child development and the various stages might help-bearing in mind that they don't all follow the same pattern. However it will stop you worrying when you get things like 'I hate you,mummy'!

RitaMorgan Tue 02-Aug-11 10:13:45

The best thing to can do is indulge the clinginess imo - if she's secure in the knowledge that she can rely on you, she'll become more confident about the outside world.

exoticfruits Tue 02-Aug-11 10:16:01

If you try and force her out before she is ready she will become more insecure. I had 2 that were quite outgoing and one very clingy-no one could tell now which was the clingy one-in fact I'm sure that they would guess wrongly. They do things in their own time.

BertieBotts Tue 02-Aug-11 10:16:50

I think just keep offering reassurance and giving her chance to explore things in a space where she feels safe, letting her know you'll always be there as backup. Also you can encourage self confidence and experimentation/exploration by when she does something, if she is getting frustrated don't swoop in and do it for her. This is for tiny things like her using a shape sorter, not necessarily something big and scary like using the slide at the park when another child is on it.

smearedinfood Wed 03-Aug-11 00:30:34

mine went through the clingy phase, is now 1 and apparently said DH tonight decided to climb upon a seat in the train and cuddle a random woman.blush

it passes

If you would like a bit of reading The Wonder Weeks is good

BuckBuckMcFate Wed 03-Aug-11 00:45:08

Sedgiebaby I have an identical DS, he is nearly 9 months now, I lovingly/despairingly call him Velcro baby depending on the situation.

He just wants me all of the time <exasperated>. I agree it's lovely to be The Best Person. Ever. some of the time but I can understand your anxiety regarding going back to work.

I have noticed that when he's not attached to me and i have managed to sneak out of the room and is playing with DP he is fine until he hears my voice or sees me, then his little face crumples and he cries for me. How is your dd in situations like that?

sedgiebaby Wed 03-Aug-11 13:51:37

Thanks for all the comments, I do have the Wonder Weeks book and we are on so called 'fussy weeks' and I quite like this book especially the sections on appropriate games for a particular age, but I've not totally bought into it because she is already doing many of the things identified in the next leap, actually some of them she has been doing for a good while. Maybe she is spun out by it I don't know.

If there is another really good baby/child development book anyone can recommend I would be interested.

buckbuck - I think you are right she is OK if I am not around. Come to think of it when dh takes her out and then takes her to see other people she's ok. Sometimes a little shy but not as bad as when I have her.

worldgonecrazy Wed 03-Aug-11 14:05:49

Cuddles, cuddles and more cuddles. The best way to build an independent person is to build a secure foundation. The more secure she feels, the more independent she will become. My DD was hardly ever put down for the first few months, constantly cuddled all day by the family, until she started crawling and then walking, and she is VERY independent.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Wed 03-Aug-11 14:42:14

I also thought you were going to say she was a few years old.

Anyway, as others have said, indulge the clinginess and make her feel secure. 10mo is classic separation anxiety time. She will grow out of it. (until the next time!)

daytoday Wed 03-Aug-11 14:46:03

Its hard isn't it. Please don't worry - instead embrace her and don't force her to be stronger. Cuddles and sensitivity are great.

I had an incredibly shy baby daughter - terrible terrible separation anxiety. She was shy till she was 3, nearly 4 - then boy did she come out of her shell - like a firecracker. I now have the most confident, precocious 5 year old you've ever met. I can't shut her up. She talks to anyone.

I also have a son, a terrific social, confident baby who could be left with anyone as a baby. He has grown into a easy going, confident but slightly shy 10 year old, who hardly talks.

They dip in and out of shyness.

sedgiebaby Wed 03-Aug-11 14:50:11

daytoday that is really interesting! I will do as you say, I always think when in doubt that the the loving thing is normally the right thing ... I was worrying about indulging her clingyness and making her worse but it sounds as if I don't need to be concerned.

BertieBotts Thu 04-Aug-11 16:20:29

I think with books you have to be aware that all children develop at different rates, and while she might be ahead with some things she might be behind with others, and that's normal. So use them as a guide but take them with a pinch of salt smile

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