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Advice/help with a toddler and clingyness

(10 Posts)
amyboo Mon 22-Aug-11 09:01:50

My DS is 17 months old. He's generally a very happy little chap. He's prone to the odd toddler tantrum when he doesn't get his way or when we tell him off, which I guess it completely normal.

However, for the last 4-6 weeks he's become incredibly clingy and attached to me whenever I'm around. He's in creche 4 days a week (has been since he was 5 months old), so is used to being apart from me. But, whenever I'm around he seems to want to cling to me, etc. I've started devoting more time in the mornings to him, which has seemed to help a lot, and we play lots in the evening after creche/work. But, at the weekends he constantly tries to grab my leg if I leave the room (even just to go to the loo!), isn't interested in cuddles/attention from DH.

Now he's started doing the same if we go for a walk. We took him to the woods on Saturday, thinking that it would be a nice open space where he wouldn't need to worry about the road, etc (we live in the middle of Brussels, so it's quite built up). After about 100m of walking he stopped, cried and tried to grab my legs. When I refused to pick him up he started having a mega crying fit and either sat down or just stood stock still. We tried to coax him on, but when he wouldn't stop we gave up and went back to the car.

DH thinks that DS is a bit afraid of new/open places. It certainly seems a bit that way. if we go to a new house or something, he usually stands in the middle of the room until we get down on the floor with him and encourage him to move, etc. Does anyone else have this with their DC? Any ideas how to tackle it? We live in a flat, so really want/need to be able to take DS out to play in the park, woods etc. I just don't really know how to handle it.

beetlebat Mon 22-Aug-11 13:34:17

I can only really offer my experience on the going for a walk aspect. My DD is 16mths and although she is walking really well I still wouldn't expect her to walk any distance with a purpose. If we want to go for a walk we take a buggy or a back carrier and she will still spend most time in this and a small amount of time pottering around on foot- but not necessarily walking in the desired direction! I don't see this as anything to do with fear- she just doesn't know that walking is anthing other than a game, yet.

amyboo Tue 23-Aug-11 08:09:01

Hmm, I hadn't really thought about it from that point of view. The thing is, he pretty much hates going in the buggy once he's on his feet. So unless we leave the flat with him already in the buggy, we can be guaranteed a crying fit if we try and put him in it mid-walk (he just wants to be carried!). We were thinking of trying one of those trikes with a handle to use on waks, but maybe we'll go for a back carrier. I guess I jsut figured that because he could walk well he should be able to go on a walk... Silly me! Thanks for sharing your experience - it's really put my mind at rest!

TheRealMBJ Tue 23-Aug-11 08:33:47

Just wanted to reiterate what beetlebat has said. DS is 20 months old and still doesn't 'go on a walk' if I need to take him anywhere or we go walking we take the pushchair or back pack. As long as there is no purpose and he is in familiar space (PIL's garden) he will happily run around exploring but he certainly will not yet walk where he needs to go.

amyboo Tue 23-Aug-11 09:50:11

Great - thanks for the reassurance! My Mum can't remember what we were like, PIL just keep saying helpful things like "Grandson1 and Grandson2 always love a walk" angry, and as DS is my first (and I'm the first among my friends to have a child) I have no idea what to expect! I'll look into the backpack option I think.

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Tue 23-Aug-11 11:40:51

absolutly agree that walking at this age is for fun, not a form of transport! Ds is better at going in one direction if there is a clear path to follow...but there is still way to much to stop and look at.Generally re clingyness, 18m ish is a classic time for this. Imo if you indulge it the lo will feel secure and move on when they are ready. But i would so love to have a wee on my own.

dolster Tue 23-Aug-11 15:51:10

Mine sounds just like yours OP, DD is 16mo and has become seriously dlingy in the last few weeks. She has also been in a nursery 4 days a week since she was 5mo but we have about 3-4 hours together during the day (mornings and evenings). She goes crazy if I leave a room and doesn't let anyone else anywhere near her when I'm around - not even DH, who spends loads of time with her. If he tries to pick her up or cuddle her when I'm in the room, she yelps and cries and it's as if she's crying because she's scared he's going to take her away from me. It's all quite distressing and makes me feel awful, and DH who feels very rejected! As for the walks - DD has boundless energy and always has and for a time we would go on long walks with her - she could quite easily manage a good long walk (with lots of veering of course!), but in the last week, she's started walking for about ten yards then clinging to my leg and wanting to be carried and crying/sitting on the floor when I try and get her to carry on walking. In addition to all of this, she can be quite difficult and tantrumy with me but is always good as gold with DH, grandparents, at nursery etc. So it all sounds very similar and hopefully, fingers crossed, is just a passing phase! I seem to remember her going through a very clingy stage at around 10 months or so which settled down a bit after a couple of months.

cottonreels Tue 23-Aug-11 20:46:24

My 22 months old dd often goes through clingy phases. Someone told me to teach her what the phrase 'back soon' means (keep popping out after saying it, then popping back in again). It has helped.
Illness, teething, fatigue brings clingyness straight back though.

amyboo Wed 24-Aug-11 08:26:17

Wow dolster your DD sounds exactly like my DS - I could have written that post! DS also went through a clingy stage around Christmas when he was 9 months old and that passed, so I'm hoping this one does too... Even if I tell him where I'm going he still gets upset if I'm gone too long sad He's never been good at going for walks though, although he only started walking in May, so I think I'm just expecting too much. Hoping that the clingy phase ends soon - I've not been to the loo on my own in ages!

dolster Wed 24-Aug-11 13:02:26

you're not alone! It's so traumatic having to hear her so upset even when I leave the room to go to the loo or when someone else tried to cuddle her when I'm around. All very distressing and of course, I feel guilty that it's made worse by the fact that I work four days a week. But, hopefully they'll both improve soon - it's made worse by the fact that she can actually say 'mama' - makes it all the more heart-breaking when she's begging me not to leave etc.... On the upside, whenever I do leave apparently she is find within minutes so that makes me feel much better. Good luck!

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