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Tell me about your clingy babies who became independent children...

(20 Posts)
snickersnack Wed 23-Jul-08 17:55:00

...because I'm starting to worry. ds was a velcro baby when tiny but that was fine, would just pop him in the sling and tell myself he'd grow out of it. He's 13 months now and worse than ever - if I so much as put him down he screams and starts clawing at my leg. He's fine when I'm at work, or when dh is in charge, just when I'm the one in charge. Means I can't get anything done, the house is a tip because most things require two hands or freedom of movement which I don't have with an 11kg baby attached to me.

Objectively I'm sure it will pass, but I have flash forwards to me toting him around on my left hip when he's 15.

hockeypuck Wed 23-Jul-08 18:04:20

DD was like this. If your DS is fine when you are not there then you need to be really assertive with him. Only carry him sometimes and let him adjust to it at other times (almost impossible I know). Try and keep sane - they do adjust.

Now DD is nearly 6 and a completely independent lovely girl. She has tons of friends, loves school, dancing etc. She still loves her cuddles but on her terms not mine They do grow out of it.

My tips would b
1. Don't give his clinginess too much attention - just pick him up as if you don't notice him, rather than getting riled.
2. Decide when to put him down and ignore the screams for a few minutes at a time, building up gradually
3. Let DH and family members do as much childcare as possible so he doesn't start to think you are wrapped around his finger.
4. Wine, lots of wine!

Good Luck

ReallyTired Wed 23-Jul-08 18:09:29

???? Being assertive with a 13 month old baby. shock

"Let DH and family members do as much childcare as possible so he doesn't start to think you are wrapped around his finger."

He is a baby, not some evil malipulative being. for Gawds sake

hockeypuck, I don't know what planet you are on

I think you have to adjust your expectations. Your baby is designed to be clingy. A 13 month old baby is completely helpless and being clingy is a survival skills.

I don't think that pushing a child to be independent makes them more indepedent. They do grow up and often children were allowed to be babies are more confident.

snickersnack Wed 23-Jul-08 18:19:17

Reallytired, are you me? I am, in fact, really tired grin.

I don't think he's manipulative (I know you didn't say he was) or that there's anything I can do to change him now. I just need some reassurance that this will pass. dd was the absolute opposite - born independent, hated being carried around, wriggled out of cuddles. It's getting very wearing. Have spent most of today trying to pack for a holiday, only to abandon it repeatedly because the small and squawky one wanted to be picked up. How does anyone with babies like this get anything done? Or don't they?

wannaBe Wed 23-Jul-08 18:34:30

I don't think that at 13 months he is too young to learn that he can't be picked up all the time. But at 13 months it is normal for him to constantly want to be with you, so I would use some strategies to ensure that he can still be with you, but still giving you the chance to do things you have to do.

Firstly, the key is distraction. If he has something else to occupy him then he will concentrate on that rather than the need to be attached to you. So I would get some toys that you can use as distraction tools.

so for example, if you are in the kitchen cooking, sit him in his highchair and give him an old cake tin and a wooden spoon to bash on it. Or a tin filled with rice to shake,. The noise will be deafening but he will love it and you will get the cooking done.

If he follows you get him something to push. A little push along/ride along truck, trolley with blocks, vtec do a walky thing with lights and sounds. again he can then be focused on pushing his toy after you. he will still be with you but won't be attached.


ReallyTired Wed 23-Jul-08 20:44:38

Have you got a sling. I don't mean those that you carry the baby on the front. Or maybe you could have a baby bouncer that he can jump about in and still be able to see you while you do something else.

snickersnack Wed 23-Jul-08 21:49:55

I've got an ergo - which is great but I've never really mastered getting him on and off on my own. Hip carry is handy when I can do it. Have got a ring sling which I stick him in sometimes - great, but not that comfy any more. Should persist with the ergo, I think.

I'd have thought he'd be a bit big for a door bouncer, wouldn't he? He's nearly walking - and 11 kg. He'd pull the door frame down.

hockeypuck Thu 24-Jul-08 08:17:36

ReallyTired - what planet am I on?

Well it is clearly a more polite planet than you are on.

hockeypuck Thu 24-Jul-08 08:17:38

ReallyTired - what planet am I on?

Well it is clearly a more polite planet than you are on.

kiskidee Thu 24-Jul-08 08:43:27

sell the Ergo and get one of these. the great thing about this carrier and style of czrry is that they can see ahead or over your shoulder as I bet he is a nosy bugger inquisitive baby.

tie the lower tie below your breasts to accommodate your larger child.

It may not be clinginess but wanting to be involved in whatever you are doing. A sign of having a high IQ, I say, but then I would seeing it sounds like my dd1 at the same age.

this way you can get on with simple tasks around the house which he ought to find entertaining to watch.

I can carry 30 lb dd for miles at a stretch in this. In fact on Monday I carried her (for a short time) in Durham city and I am currently 30 wks pg.

kiskidee Thu 24-Jul-08 08:46:53

sorry, wrong link.

I should have previewed before I posted.

this is the one I meant to post

TattooedGrrrl Thu 24-Jul-08 08:54:49

That looks fab...i fear DS2 would just puke all over my back though!

snickersnack- my DS2 is quite clingy (he's coming upto 9mths) I give him lots of love and cuddles, and he's still being breastfed (because he won't give it up!) but i also try and let DH have him for an hour or two without me. Sometimes i just carry him everywhere- as he would like me to, but other times i really can't. I let him follow me round, give him plastic things to play with at my feet in the kitchen etc. He's slowly learning that he can play with me near by, or be without me for periods of time.

And i'm going back to work Monday part time sad Can't wait for work, but dreading knowing that he's probably going to be distressed on and off for a week or two.

Slowly slowly is the way i think.

And when he's 15 he'll be slamming doors and refusing to kiss you, so i wouldn't worry!

Morloth Thu 24-Jul-08 10:57:05

Yeah if you can get the Ergo to do the back carry its heaps easier than the side carry, you do kind of have to "hop" the kid around though.

The boy used to just like to be with me, so in the high chair in the kitchen (ice on the tray was a fab distraction) and I would chat to him whilst doing stuff there. In the spare laundry basket when in the laundry etc. I think even if you can't actually pick him up he would probably just get used to hanging out with you?

Now I have to crash tackle my DS for a cuddle as he has far more important things to be doing, so enjoy it while it lasts grin

wasabipeanut Thu 24-Jul-08 11:02:59

Given that my ds is no quite 11mo I can't do much to help here but I have noticed a sharp increase in clinginess in the last month or so. Its odd - he never used to mind if we flitted in and out of the room he was in but now he can get quite upset if you move out of vision.

I guess its related to realising that they are "separate" from you but not quite being able to deal with it yet. I deal with it just by keeping him occupied and taking him everywhere with me! Not entirely practical but I can't do much else really.

I have sympathy with you Snickersnack - velcro babies are a lot easier to carry as newborns. 13 months on its a very different matter.

TheCrackFox Thu 24-Jul-08 11:04:53

My DS1 was a very clingy baby. He is now 7 years old and is very independent and confident.

It may sound like a cliche but try and enjoy the fact he is clingy because they really do grow up very fast.

Niecie Thu 24-Jul-08 11:24:07

My brother was the clingiest child ever. Cried at being left for years and years. He is off to Austrialia for a month on holiday in October by himself. As he doesn't have a partner he does most thing by himself now and isn't phased at all but it took until the age of 8 or 9 to grow out of it!

Both my boys have been clingy at different stages in their lives. DS1 as a baby and DS2 as a toddler and even now at 4.10 he can be a bit clingy - or at least jealous of anybody else having my attention. DS1 is just 8 and is pretty independent now.

Distraction worked sometimes. For example if you are in the kitchen, left them demolish a cupboard whilst you do something else. Don't leave their line of vision and keep talking too. It all helps them not to feel abandoned.

I wouldn't be surprised if he gets better when he is walking properly as he will want to go off a bit and do things by himself.

It will get better! Enjoy the cuddles whilst you can.

mrsgboring Thu 24-Jul-08 11:28:05

My DS is 2.9 and now tells me to go away (because he's putting valuable paperwork, ornaments, toiletries and clothes in a suitcase and doens't watn to be stopped but hey)

I carried my DS on my front in a wrap, slept next to him and was generally in physical contact 24 hours a day till he was about 16 months or so. It can be done. Now I resent the fact I have time for housework, and therefore have to do some.

It hasn't harmed him and he has never needed teaching not to be "manipulative." Many people comment on his sweet and gentle nature. He's a super talker (which I partly attribute to all the eye contact and chatting he got while glued to me).

Tiring? Yes. Bad thing to be clingy? Absolutely not IMO.

LadySanders Thu 24-Jul-08 11:28:56

agree with thecrackfox, ds1 was massively clingy, now 7 and at the 'finding mum embarrassing and walking 3 paces behind her' stage

My DD was like that (2.5), up until about 20mths. Now she is a quietly confident happy little girl who has formed good attachments to other people. I dealt with it by <shock horror> just giving her what she needed, after all if your child was not clingy you wouldn't (hopefully) force yourself on them and give them more affection/attention/whatever than they were comfortable with? I'd like to think that this approach worked because I was following her personality and needs. Now she is a bit older and I know she can wait and be distracted then I can be more 'assertive' - for lack of a better term!

Agree with MrsGBoring, my DD is also a great communicator and is polite and chatty possibly partly to do with the amount of time I spent talking with her as she was very clingy.

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