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Clingy baby

(6 Posts)
Juliettesmum Mon 20-Dec-04 22:36:50

My seven month old baby girl is so clingy at the moment. Perhaps its a phase, but its got to the stage that I can't put her down to tidy up or make dinner, or even eat! She will sit in her high chair if she's getting breakfast or dinner, but as soon as she is finished, she wants to get out, so i can't eat properly because she's under my arm! Toys don't help. She just wants me to carry her all the time. Should I leave her cry? I feel cruel if I do, but I don't want to spoil her. She is getting much too heavy for me to lug her around everywhere. I don't know what I can do. Please help. Very frustrating for both parties!

xmashampermunker Mon 20-Dec-04 22:54:15

Hi JM - it sounds like the beginning of separation anxiety to me. You could try lots of peek-a-boo games where you go out of sight for a second and then back again with a big smiley face.

Also if you do ever leave her for any length of time, tell her where you're going and that you'll be back in a minute (if going to the loo) - even though she's so little, I'm sure it helps. And if you have to leave her for longer (going to work maybe?) make sure you don't just disappear - say goodbye, even if she's upset. That way she'll know that you won't just vanish without saying goodbye, iyswim.

I'm in the same phase with DS at the moment (8.5 months), so know how you feel. We play boo a lot

TwasTheNightBeforeCatbert Mon 20-Dec-04 23:01:51

Somewhere between 7 and 10 months, all babies start to realise they are individual and make strong attachments to the special people in their lives! Therefore they are suddenly very aware when you leave them, or even put them down! I think the "professionals" call it separation anxiety. It's tough - but it is a passing phase. Usually when they get on the move, and can follow you around, and therefore are happier knowing they can get to you when they want.

It can also make bedtime a sudden difficulty even if you had an easy bedtime for ages! Then you have to just help them learn to settle themselves again without you. They just need a bit of reassurance you are there.

You won't spoil her. Even if you spend the next 6 months carrying her around. Although I know it's hard work. But if you leave her to cry for a few mins because you have to do something important, then that won't harm her either.

And also toys and finger foods in the highchair will become more interesting to her as time goes on. Cheerios to chase around the tray, small cubes of cheese, bread and butter, yoghurt pots, lidded pots with nuts inside for rattling, egg boxes, toilet rolls and other oddments are also good for distraction.

As you can see - I have become creative for the want of a few extra minutes before picking up mine!

kinderbobsleigh Mon 20-Dec-04 23:28:12

You can't spoil her by being close if that is what she needs. Tell yourself that regularly and don't think ahead to a problem you don't yet have (ie "what if she is still like this at 2, 4, 10 years and therefore has no friends").

Play the "all gone" or "bye bye" game. Play it all the time and gradually increase the amount of time you are gone. The first few days you may not even get out of the room, just turn around at the first whimper and make a big smiley face and say "hello, mummy's back". When you do get out of the room say "all gone" so she will realise that you are still "there" even though she can't see you. Make it fun and never let her see you are disappointed if you didn't get very far.

Also think about your own mindset and your body language. Force yourself to not slump your shoulders and look defeated before you even start. Look and think positive - this is going to work, but you have to work at it too and it could take a while before she get's it. Don't say stuff like "oh, you are so heavy, mummy won't be able to carry you soon." Say something positive like "oh, what a lovely cuddle for mummy, your hair smells so nice". Make the times you do carry her pleasant for both of you.

Also buy a hip seat and save your back. I use a shopping trolley throughout the shopping mall even in clothes shops so that ds is nice and high and feels part of it.

I carried ds everywhere, and he is now very independant and fearless, but also very aware of me (so he doesn't run off madly as he likes to keep me close by). His mates who were happy to be left on their own when younger seem much clingier to me. I have adapted the bye bye game now, and he says "bye bye park" "bye bye ducks" "bye bye TV" quite happily.

Good luck.

Juliettesmum Tue 21-Dec-04 21:38:35

I play peek a boo with her and she finds it fun. Her smiles make me smile. Its just hard to be playing at every moment. I have help on hand but sometimes I feel like I'm passing her on. I know I am a good mother but I feel like I might be failing sometimes. I feel like a bit of a moan bag! Being a young first time mum, I know I am still getting used to it. I know it will be ok when shes moving around. I am trying so hard to get it right.
We had great fun earlier. I was taking photos of her in her cute terry nappy. She loves the camera! She gets exited easily. Then bedtime came(7.30) and I've been in and out of the room trying to settle her since then. I have the monitor on and she's only just dropped off to sleep! I went in to her a few mins ago and she was lying there, feet sticking out of the side of the cot, blowing raspberries!! Shes so cute. But at this time of the night, it gets a little frustrating. Am I alone? I very much doubt I am. I don't have a screamer. Thats a huge plus. I know a lady who has a 14month old who screams a lot. Sometimes for upto two hours at bedtime. She's an early riser and now sleep time seems to be getting later.
Was hoping to have another within a year or so, but it looks like she'll be an only child for a good while longer!!
Thanks for the advice. I will be playing bye byes starting tomorrow.

TwasTheNightBeforeCatbert Tue 21-Dec-04 22:20:56

Aw don't stress the small things Juliettesmum. It's the mantra I have to keep reminding myself of. Now I have a second I can use my "wisdom" with her, but having a second still means I think I'm failing her sometimes, but my good friend who had 3 under four once upon a time, has always said to me - as long as you love them, and keep loving them - don't worry about the holding, or the milestones, or the spoiling, or anything - the bigger picture will work itself out. Some days you get it all wrong, but it doesn't mean your child will suffer.

The fact you care so much, and enough to ask advice means you are already a great mum, who will raise a great family.

Merry "first" Christmas to you and your little one!

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