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My child won't cuddle me!

(16 Posts)
Tankgirl78 Thu 18-Dec-14 22:04:42

Advice needed from people who've had similar experiences please! I'm a single stay at home mum to a 21 month old girl. Her behaviour completely confuses me and I was wondering if anyone can shed some light or reassurance that it may change. The problem is that she has never really cuddled me and it really, really upsets me. I cry about it most days as I feel so utterly rejected. I used to think she would 'grow into it' but she's nearly two now and still nothing. Even as a small baby she seemed to just squirm in my arms as if she hated being close and just wanted to get away from me. I know for a fact she isn't autistic as she's incredibly sociable - lots of eye contact and very chatty and funny - but just pushes me off if I try to cuddle her. She doesn't cuddle anyone else either so I know it's not personal per se, but I can't begin to tell you how desperately sad it makes me that my own child will not come to me for cuddles. The other thing that confuses me further about it all is that funnily enough - she will never actually stray more than about two metres away from me. She screams blue murder if I leave the room for a second and will never play on her own, only wanting to potter about within 'reach' of me. And yet when I try to cuddle her she pushes me off like a reluctant cat. Even when she's injured or ill she still refuses cuddles. Will this ever improve? What do I need to start doing or stop doing to change things? What does it all mean? I'm utter flummoxed and badly in need of advice from someone who has been in a similar situation. Please be kind as I'm on the edge enough as it is!
Many thanks in advance.

debbriana Thu 18-Dec-14 22:13:08

Have you tried new other ways of getting a hug? I know with my daughter I had to teach her. You have to constantly do it so that they think it's something that you have to do when you live the room, go to sleep, happy and so on. It's the the same way you teach a child to hi5 or clap whenever they have done a good job. Am sorry if you have already tried these things.
All I can say is that as a parent all you can do is try your best. No child is ever the same. You may find that she shows her appreciation in different ways. We all do.

Stay strong.

Nocturne123 Thu 18-Dec-14 22:20:35

My dd is 19 months and definitely not a cuddler . I'd get one the odd time if she's very sleepy but other than that she'd push me away.

I put it down to a personality trait and don't take it personally . Some people are just far more tactile than others , like the above poster said she may show her love in other ways .

I can already tell that ds ( 14 weeks) is a lot more cuddly than dd and they were definitely treated the same .

I'm just excited to watch their personalities grow and with dd I think she's an independent wee thing who just doesn't need to cuddle all the time .

Try not to take it personally but I understand why you find it difficult .

( I've resorted to stealing hugs from dd)

MmeLindor Thu 18-Dec-14 22:25:50

Some people are cuddlers, some are not. It isn't a rejection, or a sign that she doesn't love you, she just needs more personal space.

I have 2 DC, and DS is much more of a cuddle person that DD is. It is just the way he is, I didn't do anything differently!

Back off, and let her come to you. Stop asking for cuddles, or trying to persuade her. She is her own person, and you should respect her personal boundaries.

MmeLindor Thu 18-Dec-14 22:27:53

(Sorry, that sounded a bit harsh).

I do understand you are upset, but try not to worry about it.

Purplehonesty Thu 18-Dec-14 22:32:35

My little boy was like this until he was about 3. I would sit next to him hoping he would snuggle in but he would scoot away from me.
Now he is a really cuddly aged 5 especially with dh.
My dd is a different child altogether and she loves to cuddle me to the point of lying on my head in bed so she can get her cheek on mine.
I'm not sure which is best...!

snowspot Thu 18-Dec-14 22:49:43

My DD has always been about as cuddly as a nest of tables. She doesn't push my away, but isn't particularly affectionate.
My DS on the other hand is so buggy that it's almost as if he wants to climb into your skin!

I learnt not to force hugs on DD, but rather to stroke her cheek, her hair, lay down next to her at bedtime and put my arm around her whilst reading stories. I had to respect that her body was hers and she was giving me quite clear signals that massive bear hugs were too much. I understand that, I hate having affection forced on me!

Esmum07 Thu 18-Dec-14 22:59:09

Mine didn't start enjoying cuddles until he was about three and a half. Now he'll run in and hug me and comes back twice for a hug at the school gate. He is seven.

LittlePink Sun 21-Dec-14 17:36:56

My dd always kept me at arms length. When holding her she would have her hand on my chest and arm flexed like she didn't want to be close to me and would wriggle and squirm to get out of my arms and cry. It was horrible and I honestly thought she didn't love me. She's 2.6 now and is much better. She's not cuddly all the time but is happy to come and give a cuddle if asked, albeit not for long as she's udually very busy playing etc but at bedtime she sits in my arms and we have a big lovely cuddle while I sing to her and we talk about the day and what we'll do tomorrow. She tells me she loves me all the time and says things like mummy I love you forever, don't go far from me. I need you. She wasn't a cuddly baby at all but she's grown into a very loveable and verbal toddler. You may find once your dd starts talking well things will change. Hang in there. 22 mths my dd was the same as yours.

Hurr1cane Sun 21-Dec-14 17:40:57

My DS had good eye contact and is funny and cuddly and has autism. That's not the basis for diagnosis.

But she just sounds like she isn't a cuddler, some people really aren't.

Does she show she loves you in other ways?

BuilderMammy Sun 21-Dec-14 18:13:55

DD wasn't very cuddly till she turned 3 or so. Now she's 4.5 and very happy to give and receive hugs and kisses. She seems to view DH as a sort of cuddly climbing frame, for combined athletic and affectionate purposes.

DS, at 2.10, is very cuddly but only on his terms; sometimes he's far too busy and you can see him thinking 'oh, not again!', but the rest of the time he can be very tactile. He'll come up and nestle in for a hug, or take my hands to hold while he talks to me, or absent-mindedly pat my shoulder while he watches tv. One night DH had brought him into our bed and he curled against my back and gave me a back rub : )

All kids are different, and they change as they grow. Try not to worry or take it personally - kids know when something bothers you and will use that knowledge against you from a very young age grin

ababycalledbrian Sun 21-Dec-14 19:51:53

Yup, my boy only just got the hang of cuddling recently and he's just over 2. I know he's very, very attached to me and DP (particularly me) but it took DP to explain how to put his arms round him to cuddle to actually get him to do it! I would say that it's clear she is very attached to you given that she likes / needs proximity (again, mine is like this). I'm so sorry it's upsetting you but do try not to take it personally. I'm sure she loves you very much.

badgerknowsbest Sun 21-Dec-14 20:22:17

My dd was 2 in October, before then she hated cuddles and would wriggle away but the last month or so she has actually started to come up to me for a cuddle the first time I was so shocked I nearly cried! I wouldn't worry smile

Tankgirl78 Sun 28-Dec-14 22:35:31

Thank you for all of your advice and support. It gives me hope that things may improve! She is actually improving in the last few weeks, her language is really coming on and it seems to be making her more affectionate somehow. I feel less hopeless about the situation and I know it's definitely my problem not hers. Xx

PoppySausage Sun 28-Dec-14 22:39:52

My dd didn't cuddle me until she was 2.5. Now she is 4 and I can't get her off me!

Tankgirl78 Sun 28-Dec-14 22:41:13

Ps hurr1cane she does show it in other ways. She's very kind and helpful, she actually shows empathy when I cry and looks upset. She follows me everywhere and brings me books to read with her. She tries to feed me food a lot?! Little things like that.
My health visitor said she's quite clearly extremely attached to me which is why she's so secure and doesn't need to seek out affection.
I understand all this but I still get my down moments.

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