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AIBU to be at my wits end with my 15mo

19 replies

Jellyblue · 25/07/2015 21:52

My dd is seriously clingy, always has been. I BF to 9.5m and was like a single parent (due to DH working) until she was 10m so she was always stuck to me, but has got worse as she's got older. I can't go to the loo, cook, even pour her a drink without a tantrum because I've set her down.

I honestly don't know what to do with her anymore, she's fine when I'm not about, but is a bit clingy to CM and my mum when they are looking after her.

I work FT and am glad of the break tbh, but struggle to do anything in the house.

The worst bit is that my relationship with my older DS is suffering because of it. He's obviously picking up on the fact that he always has to be number 2 when she's about, so I really need something about it.

Does anyone know of any techniques or tips I can use to change things?

OP posts:

Quodlibet · 25/07/2015 21:55

Do you use a sling? Sounds counterintuitive but maybe having her up on your back and enabling you to have some hands-free space to get things done and interact with your older child would shift the dynamic a bit?


Quodlibet · 25/07/2015 21:57

Just thinking that the more they sense you want to put them down/want space, the more they cling and whine. So maybe enabling yourself to carry on with her being close to you and carried but not centre of attention might allow you both to relax and the dynamic to unknot a bit?


Jellyblue · 25/07/2015 22:01

I have a dodgy shoulder, so sling is out, having regular physio on it because I carry her so much I can't shift the injury at all.

I struggle to do anything while holding her, I try until a point but get so frustrated.

OP posts:

Sleepybunny · 26/07/2015 20:42

Surely a sling or carrier is still your best option? Carrying her constantly in your arms can't be any good. A good fitting sling that will distribute the weight evenly and not put pressure on your shoulders has got to be better.

What are the alternatives? I guess you could try having special cuddled time, where you do nothing but focus on her. Then have time where you get housework done and also special time with your eldest. She's still a baby though, so I'm not sure she'd understand the sudden change, and could make things worse.

I know when my dd was/is being clingy, the best thing to do was to just cuddle her constantly. It was a battle of wills, she'd usually get annoyed being stuck to me first!


CrohnicallyAspie · 26/07/2015 20:48

I second a sling, if you look at ring slings you have baby on one hip and the sling goes across and to the opposite shoulder so could avoid the sling being on your bad shoulder.


ThinkIveBeenHacked · 26/07/2015 20:51

I really think your DH needs to step in and try and help. What sort of hours does he do?

He should start small - take her reguarly somewhere she enjoys just the two of them. He needs to learn to handle her. You need a break.


Littleen · 26/07/2015 20:55

Potentially a back carrier could be a solution, when toddlers are very clingy like that, it's normally a sign they are not feeling secure enough, so she needs to feel more secure so that she can explore on her own. Not sure how what to advise you to be honest, but if your husband could take part at all, he can either do the housework or the cuddling :)


kewtogetin · 26/07/2015 20:56

No help here sorry but I feel your pain. My youngest is three and is exactly like this, it's so mentally and physically draining. My husband is a great help but he only wants me, I have to get him dressed, put him to bed and do everything in between of he will scream until he's sick. What makes it worse is that my eldest was so laid back, happy to go anywhere with anyone, he feels like 'our' child whereas the youngest feels like only mine.


Jellyblue · 26/07/2015 23:59

Thinkive he has her the second he walks in through the door and is fantastic with her, it's when he's not about that I have the problem.

Will look into slings again, but even when she was a tiny newborn the sling left my injury worse.

I gave up today and spent the day on the sofa with the two kids. It's far too stressful trying to do anything else. Thankfully she's a good napper so at least I can prep food and eat in those times or we'd all starve!!

OP posts:

Slimmerforsummer · 27/07/2015 00:26

If you would feel confident with a wrap type sling, you can tie it like a boob tube kinda look. I know a few girls with fibromyalgia who do this, so it doesn't affect their shoulders.

My dd is older but also likes to be close to me. I do just bring her with me. Can your dd walk with you to loo/kitchen etc. hold her hand so she feels reassured you aren't leaving her behind!
I'm in the process of making a learning tower so she can stand at the counter with me when I prep dinner ( and she can also do some "washing up" which keeps her busy!)


OnlyThePurpleOnes · 27/07/2015 04:06

I have one the same, and after my delightfully independant DD1, DD2 was somewhat of a shock to the system!

What works for me is to, for the most part, carry on regardless. She gets lots of cuddles, love and attention. Then I go and do job 1 (unload dishwasher for eg) This would be her cue to trail round after me stamping her feet and generally acting like she's on fire. I involve DD1 in the job, and attempt to involve the fireball (here DD2, you take this plastic straw and follow your sister, off you go!) which sometimes works, sometimes doesn't. Either way I try to ignore the screaming and carry on with said job, happy talk, involve her etc.

Then take a break and give her attention, love, tickles etc. then job 2 (prep veg for dinner for eg) rinse and repeat. (Here DD2, hold this carrot and put it in the pot. You are such a good cook! Blah blah...)

I have started using a visual cue for her too. When she starts up, I get down on her level, hold up my finger and say 'No shouting! Quiet!' Which, if she responds by quietening down, results in her being praised/hugged (she likes to be told 'good girl' and often says it herself after she does something Grin ) and swiftly distracted along into the next job.

It's not perfect, and sometimes it still all goes to shit, but we make it through mostly! Good luck!


Jellyblue · 27/07/2015 07:28

Will try that Only she usually tantrums as soon as I set her down so it's hard to make it a positive situation iykwim. But I have to do something so will give your method a go.

OP posts:

Jellyblue · 27/07/2015 07:29

I take her everywhere slimmer but as soon as I set her down or leave go of her hand she goes mental - she always need the physical link.

OP posts:

Imlookingatboats · 27/07/2015 07:48

I had a horrible shoulder injury that I'm still feeling 7 years later. If a sling prevents you from healing then don't wear one.


hiccupgirl · 27/07/2015 07:56

My DS was like this and is still pretty clingy at 5 tbh. It's just his personality rather than a lack of feeling secure - he's an only so has never needed to share my attention and he's had a very stable upbringing. He just likes to be near me as much as possible. He would sleep in my bed every night if he could. It's lovely but gets very draining.

Eventually like only I carried on as much as possible with stopping to give him a quick cuddle down at his level. But like yours, it wasn't enough for him to be near or with me, he wanted to be held and cuddled all the time. At 15 months they are still very little but they are old enough to be learning how to get what they want so it's a good time to start not always giving in to the screaming.


SweetAndFullOfGrace · 27/07/2015 08:31

DD is a bit older (18 months) and the last few months as she's left babyhood well behind and entered toddlerhood have been an interesting process(!) so I feel your pain!.

There is a development stage the starts around 16 months where they get more clingy (even the independent ones) so I found it helpful to recognise that and think of the world from her perspective, where lots of things don't make much sense and she's only just starting to test how she can influence the world. And to see it as a stage. This too shall pass Confused

We also found it helpful to try to divert the behaviour into better behaviour, rather than confronting it directly. So instead of telling her not to yell when she wants something, we're teaching her to say please ("peeeeas" in her language, it's very cute) then telling her she's done the right thing when she does. Not a perfect solution but it does seem to be reducing the yelling!


Jellyblue · 27/07/2015 19:13

Don't tell me that hiccup I've even put of TTC no3 as I couldn't cope with my sickness and her clingyness at the same time.

Everyone says she'll grow out of it but it's pretty extreme so I'm not so sure.

OP posts:

IndecisionCentral · 27/07/2015 19:31

I have a clingy DD, now 2.5, and a DS 5 who gets fed up of being second. It's now starting to turn round but at your stage I couldn't put her down at all, so I feel your pain!

Things that helped me: lots of playing peekaboo, introducing a special toy for her to love (pretended it was mine and she could look after it for me", getting one of these for the kitchen breakfast bar so I could cook and clear up, this dvd which she watched on repeat from 6m to about 20m (not all the time!) after which it was the wonderful peppa pig and sanity saving Ben&Holly for 20 min bursts. She was also better if I spent some 10 min face to face play times with her rather than always trying to do the washing, sorting etc.

Also, with regard to DS, I try to be the one to pick him up from after school club and spend time in the car with him. I make a point of saying what a fab big brother he is and how much I love him. Now that dd is old enough I also leave her for bedtime stories with dh while I do stories with DS. There was some screaming at first but she knew I would come back and it settled.

DD is still clingy and very cuddly, but also very clever, highly chatty and confident with others. It's hard work. DD is 98th centile so physically bloody hard but I couldn't and wouldn't change her. You're not alone OP, hang on in there.


Jellyblue · 27/07/2015 23:58

Have one of those seats already indecision still not good enough as she has to be physically touching me.

I had to put her to bed early tonight as I needed to cook and just couldn't do it with her about, feel guilty as I work ft and see her very little in the evenings but DS needed dinner.

OP posts:
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