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18 month old daughter too sensitive

(21 Posts)
Harveyrabbit76 Wed 21-Feb-18 13:27:21

Hi, I have an 18 month old daughter who is extremely hard work. She has always been a nightmare to get to sleep but now we have that sorted she has a new "phase". Basically, everytime we are in a baby class or around my large family, if everyone laughs or look at her, she gets upset. Sobs for ages and won't let me go. I am worried that because I am SAHM and DD doesn't go to nursery, that I have impacted her independence and she has become too clingy. I really don't know what to do so any tips would be gratefully received. I am sick of the judgy looks I am getting from other mums and the grandmas and I feel I have been a too lenient and crappy mother!!

Neolara Wed 21-Feb-18 13:30:00

I think there is a definite stage where little kids can get freaked out by strangers giving them attention. I wouldnt worry about it. Just carry on cuddling your dd and the chances are she'll turn out just fine.

Harveyrabbit76 Wed 21-Feb-18 13:49:53

Thanks Neolara. Just a bit tired of people asking me if she is ok blush

BasilTheCat Wed 21-Feb-18 14:40:20

My 10mo is exactly the same! I really feel for you with the sympathetic stares from strangers, I have even "friends" commenting that I have somehow made him this way! I honestly just think some babies have a different personality, mine likes hanging out with mummy! I'm making the most of the love I get from him because when he's 18 he won't want a cuddle!

Harveyrabbit76 Wed 21-Feb-18 15:23:21

Thankyou Basil, yes I suppose I should just enjoy cuddling her whilst I can!

Afreshcuppateaplease Wed 21-Feb-18 15:25:08

My dd was like this

I honestly considered getting a tshirt printes along the lines of "do not speak to the toddler she will break"

Shes 4 now and completely different. Social butterfly!

JimboDoesTheLimboInHawaii Wed 21-Feb-18 15:29:10

18 months is so so young. Ignore all judginess and keep giving the girl a cuddle. I'm very much in favour of children becoming independent and learning how to take care of themselves etc, but not at 18 months. She will naturally become less clingy as she grows and develops.

AssassinatedBeauty Wed 21-Feb-18 15:35:45

Of course you haven't been too lenient! You can't make a baby confident by forcing them to do things that upset them. You're doing the right thing by cuddling her and reassuring her. This will likely be something she gets over as she realises that you're always there to reassure her, and gradually she'll feel more confident to join in.

Quartz2208 Wed 21-Feb-18 15:37:59

Yep I had one of those too, highly sensitive would not talk or look at anybody at all toddlers. She was so shy it was heartbreaking for me.

She is a completely different little girl now at 9. So much so she got the lead in the school play (and all her reception teachers who now teach her brother told me how different she was to the little girl they taught)

So its normal and its fine and she will grow out of it. Just ignore any judgement its their issue not yours

Harebellmeadow Wed 21-Feb-18 15:47:37

It is her personality and you cannot force a change - give her time and when she is older she will be comfortable speaking to a wide range of trusted people. There is no harm in an inherent sense of stranger-danger.
I don’t think it has anything to do with being at home with you - if she was at nursery she would be playing on her own in a corner anyway or clinging to the teacher. It really is personality.
DD cried every time (the entire time) she went to playgroup with me (even though I didn’t leave), or to someone’s house (I was also there), and clung to me for two hours, after which she had warmed up and would play with other children. She took a long time to accept being left at nursery. But after a long time she settled in and was happy. She is now six and much more confident, but still doesn’t like playing with bossy children who hit and screech (well, who does?). But she is extremely eloquent with high empathy levels and analytical skills. I am glad we accepted her as she is ( we did try to encourage her to play/talk/interact but it never worked).
There was no reason for this shyness, she has a lovely family and is well cared for (no no background reason for shyness). I think that some children just are this way (super shy) and need more years of reassurance than others. And I don’t think this can be changed without affecting the child negatively. So follow her lead and let her choose her freedoms and who she talks to. I have no better advice.

Bubbinsmakesthree Wed 21-Feb-18 15:48:44

Definitely you haven't been too 'lenient'! One of the most important things a baby and you g toddler can have us a secure attachment to their primary caregiver. When they are going through a clingy phase they need the cuddles and reassurance and to know you are there when you need them. She'll come through this phase - whether she turns into an extrovert character or be a little more reserved time will tell but you can't force an 18 month old.

My three year old has been through phases of being shy and anxious of strangers and phases when he'd happily wander up to anyone and strike up a conversation (particularly old ladies who might have a biscuit!). He's currently going through a phase of communicating primarily through animal noises confused grin

Harebellmeadow Wed 21-Feb-18 15:50:45

*No other advice except to maybe read “the high-needs child” by Dr Sears. Or “Kiss Me” by Dr Carlos Gonzalez, who must be the kindest doctor in the world.
PS Sears also points out that there is usually a larger age gap between high needs children and subsequent siblings but doesn’t pinpoint on why.

widgetbeana Wed 21-Feb-18 15:54:54

My dd was a bit like this for a while, but soon realised it was actually teething. She ended up on almost daily nurofen or calpol for 6 months and was much better (saw GP about meds btw).

But if she has been like this since birth she likely just growing into her personality, this does not mean she will be sensitive as she grows up, just how she is now.

Osirus Wed 21-Feb-18 15:56:37

PS Sears also points out that there is usually a larger age gap between high needs children and subsequent siblings but doesn’t pinpoint on why.

Ha, I wonder why?!! I think anyone with a high needs child can guess!

My daughter is the same age OP and very similar. It’s just another phase!

Harebellmeadow Wed 21-Feb-18 16:02:33

osirus grin

gussyfinknottle Wed 21-Feb-18 16:06:47

My dd was like this. She's now 10. Still a bit guarded around strangers but happily sauntered off to a half term club this week where she barely knew anybody.
My dd will never be a chatty garrulous smiling at everyone sort of girl. But she's grown into herself . Other kids seem much more sociable but it doesn't stop her socialising iyswim.
I'm really proud of her.

Schlimbesserung Wed 21-Feb-18 16:11:43

You're doing fine. She's going through a phase and needs loads of reassurance, which you are giving her. Those people who judge you for what you do would judge you if you did something else, they just like sneering.
Two of my four have been extremely clingy and wary of strangers, but they both grew out of it. They are now very sociable and confident.

Harveyrabbit76 Wed 21-Feb-18 16:59:38

Thanks so much everyone, thats really reassuring and helpful. I can also understand the large age gap, ha ha! grin

Harveyrabbit76 Wed 21-Feb-18 19:21:15

Its also really nice to kow that other people have gone through the same thing and that there isn't anything to worry about, thanks again!

Quartz2208 Wed 21-Feb-18 19:25:30

That is funny with age gaps - mine is not massive 3.5 years but certainly never crossed our minds we could until she was nearly 3

NameChangeDestroyer Wed 21-Feb-18 19:42:48

I'm a sahm, and my dd spends nearly all her time with me as we are quite far from family. She was very clingy with me between 18 - 24 months, especially at playgroups, less so at soft plays.

She's almost 3 now and is completely different, she just runs off at playgroups etc and basically ignores me.

Interesting about the high needs/sibling gap. I would describe dd as being 'highly strung' and it's only very recently that I've started thinking that having another child might be something I'd consider (a few months ago I'd have skipped merrily into hospital to be sterilised!)

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