Upset by one year old

(8 Posts)
Underworld345 Wed 20-Jun-18 21:51:46

So my 13mo DS has had a rough month, constantly Ill from picking up germs from nursery and injections etc. He’s been so clingy...won’t let me leave his sight, cries when DH picks him up - he just wanted me. He also started crying when I picked him up from nursery (happy cry I guess) until I picked him up.

He’s still a bit ill but all of a sudden, he just doesn’t want me anymore. I dropped him off at my DM for the day and he kept running up to her for cuddles and ignored me ☹️ And now seems to be wanting DH attention more.

Is this normal? I want my clingy baby back...it was annoying at the time, but now he’s stopped, I’m wondering why?!

OP’s posts: |
PaulMorel Thu 21-Jun-18 09:09:49

They also have attitude changes. It's okay that's normal.

Willothewhip Thu 21-Jun-18 16:09:12

I’m sorry but I totally disagree with the PP. Your DS’s is showing signs of insecure attachment to you. Read ‘Why Love Matters’ by Sue Gerhardt and you’ll see how brain development at this age is affected by the stress of separation from the main care giver.

RideSallyRide76 Thu 21-Jun-18 19:50:16

Oh for goodness sake @Willothewhip a bit of an over dramatic response there I think grin
Op this sounds fairly normal to me, he clung to mummy whilst he was feeling ill, now he's starting to feel better he's ready to make friends with other people again. He knows mummy is there in the back ground and will probably always come to you when the chips are down but for now there are other interesting people to start interacting with. Toddlers go through funny little phases. My own ds had sudden inexplicable mummy/daddy switches, but he loves and is attached to both of us.

Willothewhip Thu 21-Jun-18 23:56:56

Yes, it’s a very unpopular message Sally and a very inconvenient truth. I wonder, though, have you read the neuroscience associated with attachment theory? It’s very compelling and I’m so glad I took the time to understand it. I have had none of the ‘stages’ you speak of with my DD.

RideSallyRide76 Fri 22-Jun-18 05:45:03

Whilst I think it's fine to recommend a book that you've found interesting I don't think it's a good idea to start diagnosing attachment difficulties on the basis of one short paragraph ( unless of corse you do actually know the op in real life?)
I'm interested when you say you've never experienced these toddler phases I'm assuming to a large group of toddlers that you know and not just your own one or two. Which part did you not experience? Clinging to mum whilst unwell? Or exploring new relationships and being less interested in mum? Because actually if a child NEVER clung to mum, or NEVER explored relationships with new people I'd find that in itself quite strange! Really the only remarkable thing in the op is the rapid switch that occurred between the two. But a period of feeling ill then suddenly feeling much better would explain that.

Pansiesandredrosesandmarigolds Fri 22-Jun-18 18:06:01

Oh for goodness sake whillothewhip. That books about the damage done to neglected children in romanian orphanages, not about a kid with two loving parents and at least one loving grandparent and a nice nursery.

OP it’s fine. Don’t worry.

wintertravel1980 Fri 22-Jun-18 21:50:28

I’m sorry but I totally disagree with the PP. Your DS’s is showing signs of insecure attachment to you.

And I totally disagree with @Willothewhip. I read quite a few research papers on infant attachment (I find the subject fascinating) and the actual science supports different conclusions.

It is impossible to assess the "quality" (security) of attachment based on the intensity of stranger/separation anxiety. Some children may be highly sociable and will be happy to go to anyone. Others may be super clingy to their parents. These behavioural differences do not show anything. Stranger and separation anxiety are very normal developmental stages in a lot of children (but not in all of them) and they may come and go as the child grows.

The only reliable way to assess quality of attachment is to expose a toddler to a mild stress situation and to monitor subsequent interaction between the child and their caregiver. Some level of stress is an absolute must. Psychologists normally use a so called "strange situation" test which pushes the child to turn to a primary caregiver for comfort. However, contended toddlers in the normal environment (e.g. in the circumstances described by OP) do not need comfort and might in fact temporarily abandon their primary caregiver for something or someone more interesting or just new.

Read ‘Why Love Matters’ by Sue Gerhardt and you’ll see how brain development at this age is affected by the stress of separation from the main care giver.

Actually, the point regarding "stress of separation" is also debatable. It is a proven fact that children may get attached to multiple caregivers. There is some evidence that children with a "network of caregivers" do better in IQ tests and are more independent later in life. In fact, the OP DS seems to have the optimal number of caregivers - 3:

openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/bitstream/handle/1887/1457/168_123.pdf?sequence=

Here is a good and relatively brief summary describing the "Strange Situation" test and potential outcomes:

www.psychology.sunysb.edu/attachment/video_contents/Strange_Situation_Slides_c2012_EWATERS.pdf

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