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clingy 3 year old - help!

(21 Posts)
hoxtonchick Fri 04-Feb-05 21:05:40

my ds is sooooooooo clingy at the moment & it's driving me mad. he goes to nursery 2 days a week which he used to love, has lots of friends, but recently has been upset when either dp or i leave him & fairly unsettled during the day. i thought that it was due to the 2.5 weeks christmas holiday, but he's been back over a month & isn't much better.

he's also very clingy at home. we've had a nice chilled day today, stayed at home, played with friends but he was upset at bedtime that i wouldn't stay & watch him sleep. he's told me to go & have a go on the 'puter, have a bath & then go back to him (he knows me too well ).

i'm pregnant with number 2, due in july, so i think he's aware that things are going to change. i'm just finding it all very exhausting, & get very little time off - he comes into our bed most nights, i go to bed early as i'm exhausted & just want a bit of adult time (let alone spending time with dp...).

dp & i are going away for 2 nights next week, my parents are coming down to look after ds. i am looking forward to it, just dread the fallout, i think he'll be really upset. and as a hormonal nightmare myself i'll be really upset too.

arrrrgh, advice please!

hoxtonchick Fri 04-Feb-05 21:46:02

bump (though he's asleep now)

frogs Fri 04-Feb-05 21:54:51

A phase, hc? I 've had phases of this with both my older ones, and it does pass, though it is deeply irritating at the time. In neither case was I pregnant at the time, so I think it was just one of those things.

Def. still go away, He'll get over it, especially if bribed with choc. by grandma. You don't have to feel guilty -- now he's getting bigger he's going to realise life isn't always to his liking -- it's the human condition. Also, now might not be the best time to deal with the getting-into-your-bed thing, but at some point it will have to be done, pref. before no. 2 arrives, or you'll be a wreck. Could grandma train him to stay in his own bed?

Can I just say that hc's ds is the most gorgeous three year old I've seen in a long while...

Hope you're feeling ok!

hoxtonchick Fri 04-Feb-05 22:02:18

oh frogs ! i do keep telling myself it's a phase. dp is ill at the moment & it feels like i have 2 clingers to deal with..... grandma will no doubt be liberal with the chocolate & i think he'll have a good time. but i feel bad, i'm much less patient than normal (bloody hormones) & have shouted at him occasionally. & then he apologises for upsetting me & i cry. god, i sound a mess. i'm not really!

BEKsmum Fri 04-Feb-05 22:10:58

hoxtonchick, this sounds like a nightmare for you.

I have a ds who will be 3 in March and we went through this a little while ago as everything was changing for him, what with starting pre-school plus the additional boost of testosterone they get at around this age, it got so that he didn't know if he was coming or going.

The only advice I can give you is go back to all the old routines that you used for settling him, as we found that ds wasn't sure how he was supposed to be behaving i.e. like a baby or a little boy so we went back to basics for a while, explaining what we would be doing while he was at school, that we'd only be downstairs if he needed us when he was in bed, that mummy was just in the other room having a cup of tea with his little friends mums while they played in the other room etc.

It only took a week or so and then he found his feet again and started enjoying his independence again. The only thing is now he's too confident and I feel like I have a little Kevin or Perry on my hands

Another of my friends was in the same position as you, she has a baby who is a year old now, but her little boy was beside himself when he started pre-school, he went from a very outgoing little boy to a complete nervous wreck and we eventually narrowed it down to him being incredibly unhappy at the pre-school he was at and she had to change him to the same one that my ds goes to.

You might want to check with the school that he is ok and that the new intake after christmas hasn't unsettled him as he was probably getting a lot of attention from the staff before the new kids started!

As for your weekend away I'm sure he will have a whale of a time with nanny & grandad and won't even notice you've gone ten minutes after you drive away, so don't you spend the whole weekend worrying about him 'cos ultimately our mums have done all this before & can probably do it a thousand times better than us anyway

So just go away and have a nice break with your dp and let ds run his grandparents ragged and be spoilt rotten in your absence!!! You never know you going away and promising to return loaded down with little pressies for him and then actually doing this might break the cycle for you.

hoxtonchick Fri 04-Feb-05 22:17:23

thank you beksmum. he's been at his nursery for about 18 months now, & has always been really happy there. though you're right, some children did move up into his room after xmas so that may have had an affect. we've always tried to explain to him what's going on, & he talks pretty well for a just 3 year old so i think he understands.

he was ill last week, & it was his birthday at the weekend so it could be that he's recovering from those things. i've had a bug too so certainly haven't been at my most patient.

i think i'll go to bed & concentrate on being more chilled in the morning. dp & i are going to amsterdam for the weekend, i suspect he's going to be considerably more chilled than me.....

frogs Fri 04-Feb-05 22:19:44

I just read my post back, hc, and I sound like a heartless cow.

But seriously, hormonal weepiness is not the way forward here -- consciously or not, he'll pick it up and it'll feed into his clinginess.

Don't feel bad about being grumpy -- by the end of my pregnancy with dd2 I had to make dh pick the children up from school (which required him to leave work at 2.45 pm -- unreasonable? moi?) because I was being so vile to them it scared me.

It will pass -- keep your nerve and have a great few days away. You're more than welcome to bring your ds over here to play with the macho boys' playmobil after school one day. I'll hide the swords, though.

Take care.

hoxtonchick Fri 04-Feb-05 22:21:42

frogs i didn't think you were being heartless at all. i bow down to your wisdom as a mother of 3 . and i know we have to get him out of our bed - there's no bloody room in it.....

would love to come over after school one day. we'll leave our sword at home .

hoxtonchick Fri 04-Feb-05 22:24:17

ps frogs, ds is very taken with you too, & says "shall we go & have coffee with frogs mummy". but he can't quite say your name & the Rs come out as Ws. makes me laugh anyway!

kid Fri 04-Feb-05 22:44:25

Hi HC,

Hope it is just a phase your DS is going through which passes quickly.
I think you know you need to try and get your bed back. Your new little baby might want to squeeze in too when he/she arrives then they won't be much room left for anyone else!
Say hello to M from us xxx

frogs Fri 04-Feb-05 23:23:01

I'm off for a well-earned kip now. I thought you were going to bed early, hc!

Just another thought -- I know at least one child who was at your ds's nursery who has just started in the nursery class at our school. He won't be alone -- there's probably been a mini-exodus of the age-group just above your ds, as the kids who turned three last summer will have become eligible for entry to school nurseries in January. So he's probably feeling the change of suddenly being one of the biggest ones. When we've had "I hate nursery, don't want to go" phases, that's the kind of change they've coincided with. Might be worth having a word with the staff to see if they think he's been affected by changes at the nursery, and if they can come up with ways to help him through it.

IME school and nursery staff are very ready to blame upsets in older siblings on impending new babies, without really considering other possible causes.

We'll fix up a meeting after half term. Somehow everything seems easier once the days start getting longer, don't you think?

hoxtonchick Sat 05-Feb-05 09:47:06

morning everyone,

feeling better today, i think i just go a bit mad in the evenings..... dp & i are definitely still going away (it's his christmas present, i think he'd be a bit annoyed if i cancelled at this stage!). ds didn't wake up 'til 8:30 which has to be a good thing.

expect a thread from me in a couple of weeks about getting 3 year olds to sleep in their own beds ALL NIGHT.

interesting what you say frogs, about nursery blaming it all on the baby. they tried that line with me & i was a little sceptical, it isn't even going to be born until the summer. ds has seen a couple of friends gain new siblings recently, so who knows, but i was a bit annoyed with the nursery for jumping to conclusions.

hi kid, hope to see you soon too.

DecafArabica Sat 05-Feb-05 17:11:58

Hiya H'chick. Would you believe I STILL have bronchitis? Am on 2nd lot of antibiotics now. DS is also in a bit of a clingy phase (back in our bed every night after months and months of sleeping through in his own bedroom) and much more argumentative than usual. I definitely think that he has picked up on the fact that mummy's not her usual self, although whether that is to do with my pregnancy or the bronchitis I'm not sure. It'll be interesting to see how his behaviour changes when(if) I ever recover from the bloody bronchitis and he just has pregnancy to deal with.

hoxtonchick Sun 06-Feb-05 21:22:30

poor you arabica, hope you're better soon. am quietly pleased your ds is back in your bed though, doesn't make me feel quite so wet. they must be able to smell those pregnancy hormones .

DecafArabica Mon 07-Feb-05 18:00:07

I really don't mind DS coming in our bed tbh. We bought the biggest one in the shop so there would be room for DH, me, and probably about 3 babies!

kid Mon 07-Feb-05 21:05:14

I have been really lucky with my DS (2.10)
If I am asleep (or pretending to be asleep) he will just go back to his room and play or go back to sleep. DD (6) will just climb in though and take over the whole bed with her little legs! Its easier said than done to stop them coming into our beds. You are meant to take them straight back to their own bed, but I can't be bothered at 2 or 3am TBH which is why DD still sleeps in my bed sometimes!

hoxtonchick Tue 08-Feb-05 17:00:22

i don't mind really, but we only have a standard double, & it just isn't big enough for the 3 of us & my rapidly expanding tummy! dp sometimes gets sent off to the spare bed, ds & i sleep very well then.....

DecafArabica Tue 08-Feb-05 19:29:39

We can tolerate the bed thing but DS' poo habits taken yet another backward step, and I am sure that's to do with him sensing something's up. Luckily I am still completely unable to breathe through my nose and therefore have no sense of smell--so dealing with stinky pants isn't bothering me as much as usual!

hoxtonchick Wed 02-Mar-05 08:35:05

just wanted to update this. in the past week ds seems to have come out of this phase, had a great day at nursery on monday & has been much more tolerant of not being with me occasionally (there were scream when i went out last night but they'd stopped by the time i was at the top of the stairs). he's going to bed much more happily. we haven't quite solved the sleeping-in-our-bed issues but that's next (and we're buying a bigger bed ). i'm also not quite such a hormonal monster so that might explain things slightly!

DecafArabica Wed 02-Mar-05 14:25:38

Oh good, pleased about that and your new big bed! I do think how we are feeling has a big influence. As I have (very slowly) regained my fitness DS has become much happier and more confident so hopefully the poo thing will resolve itself.
When are you going to the gym again? I have a p/t membership & am going Fri 10 am...

hoxtonchick Wed 02-Mar-05 17:52:49

oooh, is that with your ds arabica, for the swimming? if so, i could bring my ds too, am not really up for proper strenous gym stuff, being a lazy so-&-so....

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