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18 month old separation anciety. let him cling or encourage separation?

(13 Posts)
peanutbuttersarnies Mon 23-Sep-13 17:55:29

What do people think is best tactic? I am sahm so happy to let him cling. But he can get pretty hysterical if i go for shower. Not sure if reassuring him and avoiding separation is best way to make him feel secure. Or if i should try and leace him with sitter occasionally so he gets used to it.

dyslexicdespot Mon 23-Sep-13 19:12:35

I really don't think that you can force a child/toddler/baby to learn how to be independent. They will learn with time, so I would let him cling for as long as you can.

"gentle parenting"

peanutbuttersarnies Mon 23-Sep-13 20:46:59

Thanks. Dh keeps wondering if its "all the sleeping with mummy making him clingy"
I am bf and co sleeping a fair bit. Just through laziness and to combat tiredness!

poocatcherchampion Mon 23-Sep-13 20:49:27

Cuddle him up.

CreatureRetorts Mon 23-Sep-13 20:55:07

Let him cling. My dd was very clingy and a poor sleeper which made her worse or was a sign that things weren't right (she has silent reflux and tongue tie so a poor sleeper).

As she outgrows her silent reflux she sleeps better and is more confident and bubbly by the day.

BrianTheMole Mon 23-Sep-13 20:59:06

Let him cling. My ds used to do this. Now he's so confident and marches into any new situation without a backward glance. I'm sure allowing him to go at his own pace really helped with this.

PyjamasNotBananas Mon 23-Sep-13 21:15:42

Let him cling! My DS1 was just the same. Took ages to warm up to any other people and was hysterical if I left the room. Just a sign they are securely attached to you and want you to be with them all the time because they find your presence reassuring.

DS1 is now 6 and I promise you he isn't still clinging to my leg and crying when I go for a shower! In fact most of the time he's so immersed in his toys or TV programme that he prefers me to leave him alone! grin He's happy, sociable and totally not phased by anything!

DS2 (21 months) is now just coming out of the super clingy phase. He used to go into meltdown if I just went to the toilet or went upstairs to put laundry away so I always took him with me. Now as long as I tell him where I'm going and tell him I'll be back in a minute, he's usually fine for me to step out his sight for a few minutes!

Keep doing what you're doing and just make sure you reassure him you'll be back whenever you HAVE to be away from him.

mawbroon Mon 23-Sep-13 21:18:12

Let him cling!

steppemum Mon 23-Sep-13 21:24:51

at this age, let him cling. Do new things WITH him, rather than pushing him to do it.

You can force the issue, but it will come back later, so he will struggle to separate at nursery or school.

Let him cling now and go at his own pace, and he will gain the confidence properly that will last.

On the other hand, he will be fine for 5 minutes while you are in the shower! (maybe leave the door open if that helps him

Kiwiinkits Thu 26-Sep-13 23:14:54

Will be one to buck the trend here. I say don't let him cling! There's nothing worse than a whiney toddler, hanging on to your leg. Teach him better ways of communicating than whining and clinging (yuck!). By all means bring him with you when you go to the loo or the shower, but give him something productive to do and some better means of communicating. I have a child the same age. When she starts up with whining or clinging I get down to her level, and say, DD that's whining, use your words. You can say, "up please mummy" or "show me, mummy". I never let her cling on to me, I give her something to help with instead. So, if she's clinging while I'm doing the dishes for example, I'll bring a stool over so that she can climb on that and 'help' me. Ditto, the shower, I give her a squeegy so she can squeegy the shower door.
Can't believe how many people here think clinging is okay. It's not. It's something you can teach them out of.

Boomerwang Fri 27-Sep-13 01:08:24

I've never had that problem myself. My daughter was the opposite, she barely paid any attention to me at all.

I do have a suggestion, though, if you're interested. Please, someone stop me if I'm just 'referring' behaviour instead of helping.

Become really good friends with a teddy bear. Whenever he becomes clingy (but not if he's really upset) involve teddy somehow and make out that teddy wants to give him a cuddle and how about a cuddle back? After a while, could he watch teddy for one minute while mummy pops to the loo?

What's important to you will be important to him too, and he might feel a little empowered that he's been given such a responsibility. Eventually, he'll be 'looking after' teddy all the time.

I've just made this up, so if I'm suggesting something terrible, please ignore it!

mawbroon Fri 27-Sep-13 11:00:10

When I say let him cling, I don't mean let him hang off your leg whinging and whining as Kiwiinkits talks about.

More, I mean don't ignore the need that the child has to be with you by forcing them away from you. Year later, I discovered that ds1 had some minor ailments that were troubling him which I think is what made him need comfort and reassurance much more than others. I also found that nursing him when he was like this went a long way to making him feel more secure and happy to go about doing his own thing.

I did find that it was just a phase which passed. He is now almost 8yo and sure, he likes my company, but he's certainly not shy or clingy in any way. I never once had a problem when it came to putting him to nursery at 3yo or school.

BrianTheMole Fri 27-Sep-13 21:03:28

Can't believe how many people here think clinging is okay. It's not. It's something you can teach them out of.

Its not the sort of clinging that had them hanging off your leg. Its an emotional clinginess. Which is ok. Its absolutely ok. No need to teach, they grow out of it when they're ready.

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