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Suddenly very clingy 1 year old

(8 Posts)
Emboo19 Tue 17-Oct-17 21:37:20

DD’s always been really easy going and not at all clingy, until recently. The last few weeks I can’t even move without her crying for me, she screams when I leave her at nursery or with my grandma, screams when her dad comes to take her for his time, screams if I go into another room while she’s playing!
We’ve had a fair few changes to our routine recently and I knows it’s probably down to all that. But I don’t know what to do about it.

She’s usually ok when I’ve actually gone. So settles down at nursery and for other people, although she’s been getting worse and taking longer to settle. But tonight her dad came to do bath/bedtime, he does this twice a week and I go out while he’s here. I came back from the gym and she was completely inconsolable, didn’t want her dad or my parents (we live with them at the moment).
It took a hour of her sobbing on me before she actually fell asleep. I’ve been in tears, her dad has and I just don’t know what to do.
Everyone keeps saying it’s a phase and she’s adjusting or maybe she’s coming down with something and they’re probably right. I just hate to think of her being so upset and I dread having to leave her with anyone.

Does anyone have any advice or tips, how do I make her feel more reassured and is this really just a usual phase for this age??

grannytomine Wed 18-Oct-17 20:20:05

One of mine did this at the same age. I have no idea why, it lasted for 2 or 3 months I think and stopped as suddenly as it started. It is really hard, I remember how upsetting it was. I hope it stop for you soon.

Emboo19 Thu 19-Oct-17 10:02:56

Thank you granny nursery and my family all keep saying it’s a phase and she’ll outgrow it and I’ve read a few things on attachment that support that.
I feel so guilty as I’m back at uni so she’s in childcare or with family through the week now. I’m trying to keep her time away from me to a minimum, so she’s been doing shorter sessions at nursery if I’ve not needed the full session, nursery said they don’t think this is a good idea though and she should do her full session regardless.
Then she has one overnight with her dad at the weekend and I’m not sure if she’s too young for that and it’s just confusing her too much.
But then I’m not sure if stopping nursery and just using family and stopping overnights with her dad, will even help and even if it does will we just be making more of a problem for later on.

Emboo19 Thu 19-Oct-17 10:05:16

To clarify, stopping overnights with her dad would only be with his agreement. It’s something we disscused as perhaps part of her upset and he’s wanting to do whatever’s best for DD.
It wouldn’t be me saying he can’t have her or anything.

BertieBotts Thu 19-Oct-17 10:13:54

It's developmental separation anxiety and entirely normal. She's just realised that you're a separate person and that there's a possibility you might one day go forever. DS went through this at about the same age and I had not long separated from his Dad - I think in our case it was caused because I made a crap decision one time early on when I was still adjusting to the split, we used to do handovers at my mum's and one day he came early, I didn't want to see him so I hid in the kitchen meaning I didn't say goodbye directly to DS. Now actually lots of people had given me advice to sneak away so DS wouldn't be upset by me leaving so it wasn't like I thought it was a huge deal but actually it seemed to really upset him so I always made it clear when I would be leaving after that.

I found that it was helpful to use a set phrase when I left which was very matter of fact and I would not make a large fuss when I left, so no cuddles/kisses goodbye, just the phrase "Back soon". I used this every time, even if I was only leaving the room for a moment. Then when I returned I said "I'm back".

He did usually settle after a couple of minutes of upset when I left, but it took me a long time to actually relax and trust that he would be okay when this happened, I always used to worry that the other person wouldn't respond like I would or that they wouldn't care in the same way - which I obviously now look back and think, um, no, they wouldn't, but so? But at the time it seemed like a really big problem!

The only other thing I can think of is if it's her dad who particularly upsets her, there's no possibility he might have hurt or frightened her is there? Is that something you're worried about at all?

I would agree to try and keep her nursery routine as predictable as possible for her rather than changing it.

BertieBotts Thu 19-Oct-17 10:16:55

Oh okay Xposted, so it sounds like you have quite a good relationship with your ex which is great and really helps things.

Yes perhaps it's worth trying different arrangements for night time for now and working up to it when she's a bit older. How is she at night with you? Is she clingy and wakeful or more relaxed and sleeps through?

grannytomine Thu 19-Oct-17 10:28:47

This stage often coincides with return to work at the end of maternity leave, in your case with returning to education, and I think that can make it more obvious and also make you feel like it is because you've returned to work/study. It is tough and I think you have to go with your own instincts with the overnights. good luck.

Emboo19 Thu 19-Oct-17 11:06:46

No definitely nothing to do with her Dad Bertie I’ve no concerns there at all. She’s really happy to see him and be with him, just at the moment she wants to be able to see me there as well.
She’s done it this morning with my dad (her grandad) she has been happily playing with him, crawling all over him. All while I’ve been sat on the sofa doing uni work, the second I went into the kitchen she cried. He brought her in and once she saw me she was fine again.

I’ve been doing the saying goodbye and I’ll be back soon thing, nursery and my mum both said that’s best to do. And initially she settled absolutely no problem and even now she loves it and doesn’t want to come home when I go get her, she just wants me to stay where she can see me.

She’s been ok at night time so far, she sleeps through. She’s still breastfeeding but usually takes a bottle when her dad’s doing bedtime, she did protest last weekend but eventually took it and slept fine, but Tuesday when he did her bedtime routine here she really wouldn’t settle for him. He’s coming tonight so I might see how that goes and talk to him about what he wants to do.
This week has been the worst so far. Chicken pox has been going round nursery and I’m actually hoping she’s getting them and that’s why she’s been so bad. Then of course I feel horrible for wishing her poorly.

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