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Needy Toddler - Opinions Sought

(6 Posts)
CallMeClive Wed 10-Aug-11 12:18:24


I'm a little concerned about the behaviour of DD (25 months), and thought I'd ask whether what she is doing is normal for a toddler, and also if anyone had any ideas as to whether there is anything we can do other than ride it out.

By way of background, we also have a DS (9 months). DW is at home with them both full time, and DD goes to nursery four mornings a week (same ones every week).

For a long time she has been reluctant to go to nursery, and screams and resists when leaving the house and being dropped off - but she settles by the time we have reached the end of the street and after a couple of minutes at nursery where she seems to have a nice time and is always happy when we arrive to pick her up. The tantrums have been getting worse recently though.

More recently, DD has become more and more attached to DW and, even though she is used to me taking care of her, demands DW's presence all of the time (she gets upset even if DW leaves the room to make a cup of tea and she can't go too), and insists that DW do things for her rather than me, even if I was doing it before (eg reading a story while she eats breakfast).

Part of me things this is probably just normal toddler behaviour as she tries to make sense of the world together with a bit of jealousy from her little brother getting looked after, but it can be quite stressful.

Would be v grateful for the thoughts and advice of Mumsnetters, even if its just to tell me I'm being silly and DD'll get over it!



carolinemoon Wed 10-Aug-11 15:58:58

My DD (23 months) does this quite a lot at the moment, although who she wants to do a particular activity varies throughout the day. For example, she often gets upset if DH tries to take her sleeping bag off in the morning if she can see me in the other bedroom - crying and clinging to the bag's zip saying "mummy do it". At other times, she only wants daddy (often to read bedtime stories). We generally try to ignore it so as not to encourage it, and she calms down quite quickly after, say, the sleeping bag is off or DH has gone downstairs so I can do stories.

Sometimes she want me to hold her but I need to do something else, and she gets upset if I try to pass her to someone. We try to distract her with a favourite toy or book and that usually works and she forgets that she was getting upset.

Not sure what the right answer is (ignore it so as not to encourage it? pander to it and hope it passes?) but it seems to me to be fairly normal behaviour and we've chosen to try to ignore it where possible.

ConstantCraving Wed 10-Aug-11 20:03:29

DD, 21 months, is like this with me. Despite DH looking after her 3 days a week while I'm at work she is becoming increasingly clingy when i'm around to the point of saying 'no daddy' sad and not letting him carry her upstairs to bed (which he has always done). She also won't let me make a cup of tea and gets frantic if she can't be with me. Is fine when i'm actually out of the house though and is her usual happy self with DH - until I come home! We're trying to ignore it and I'm giving her all the attention I can & making sure DH is included in what we're doing - I've been on leave and I think upsets to the usual routine affect them. Guess it's the same with your DD having a little brother around. Hopefully they'll grow out of it - can sympathise though, it's frustrating for me and upsetting for DH.

lollystix Wed 10-Aug-11 20:19:22

Ds1 went through a total daddy hate phase at 21 months. Lasted almost 3 months and DH was devastated. Just wanted me all the time and went mental when I left the room. He was also at nursery 4 days a week which he would cry at drop offs for. Anyway it just passed and Dh made sure he was constantly about like normal. Ds1 now just 5 and has been obsessed with his dad for the last 2 years. We've had 2 more since and ds3 currently going through an only wanting mummy phase and we're cool with it now as we know they come out the other side. Just endure it and make sure you don't withdraw.

Mamma101 Fri 12-Aug-11 20:12:00

Hi Clive, I used to look after my friends little girl a couple of days a week from about 8 months old to 2 yrs. She used cry her heart out when she was left, but got over it after 5 minutes or so, then she'd be happy as anything. But then she would scream her head off for another good 5 minutes if my husband or stepdaughter entered the room.
She was always over the moon when her mum came back but for a sometimes she would get upset and want to stay if her dad was picking her up.
When she was 2 she started at nursery cos I was having no2. Apparently she got even worse and would cry most of the time she was there. Eventually her parents took her out and found her a good child minder where she was happy.
She's 5 now, same as my no1, enjoying school and all that is ancient history.
I'm sure most kids go through a clingy phase, some worse than others.

Octaviapink Fri 12-Aug-11 21:08:45

We have similar requests to carolinemoon - sometimes it's 'daddy do it' and sometimes it's 'mummy do it'. I've never seen the harm in going along with it - toddlers are generally soothed by feeling like they have some control over their world.

From your description though, it sounds as though she may feel like she's being packed off to nursery so mummy can spend time with your DS. At 9 months he's probably eating and moving around quite well and being generally amazingly charming (these are the best babyhood months!). I would go along with the clingy/neediness to give her the reassurance that she is still loved and important!

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