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AIBU?

Anyone else have a really clingy baby?

17 replies

sillylily23 · 27/09/2022 21:03

Dd is five and a half months old and super clingy to me. If I pass her to a friend, my mum or even her dad she will look around for a minute then gradually become distressed when she realises it's not me holding her. When she was younger I hated hearing her cry so much so I'd just take her back immediately. Now she's getting older (and nursery is potentially on the horizon for when I go back to work) I feel like I need to toughen up a bit. Especially when it comes to dh having her.

My question is how? Even when I go out I feel so anxious that she's screaming at home for me. She isn't bf and hasn't been since about 3 weeks old (didn't work well for us so moved to formula quite quickly) so it's not that that's making her clingy to me. I guess it's just because I am the primary carer.

Do I just need to suck it up and leave her with dh or my mum knowing that she'll cry for a bit? Hopefully it will be the best thing for her in the long run. It's so hard. I blame myself for not 'passing her around' much when she was little but I just didn't want to.

OP posts:
sillylily23 · 27/09/2022 22:18

Bump

OP posts:
RGinaPhalange · 27/09/2022 23:47

My DD was like this up until she was about 11 months. I couldn’t be out her sight for a second. She was ok if I left her with DH but would cry bloody murder if I left her with anyone else. I was terrified about going back to work or leaving her.

A lot of people said that it was because I held her too much and didn’t leave her with relatives enough etc but I didn’t think it makes that much of a difference. You’re her mum and being with you is the best thing in the world to her.

My DD is almost 2 and a half now and is so sociable and independent (if anything too independent!!)

I think it’s because when she needed me I was there to hug her and reassure her. She’s learned through all that clinginess that I am her mum and every single time she felt unsure or anxious or needed me I was there.

It just a clingy phase and will pass, her confidence will grow eventually.

PlantDoctor · 27/09/2022 23:50

I agree that it's just a phase. My DD was the same as a baby but we found she gained confidence if I held her while the other person entertained her, and would then (sometimes) allow them to hold her too.

She's an outgoing and confident almost-three-year-old now. She started nursery at 2

Teddyhasgonetobed · 28/09/2022 01:23

Please just cuddle and enjoy your baby. She doesn't need to toughen up she is just looking for comfort from her mum which you are giving her in spades. This will give her all the reassurance she needs for her to take on the challenge of nursery and beyond.

She may cry for a little bit in a new setting or she might be like mine who both at three decided to run into nursery on the first day and sat down with the other children and started playing without so much as a bye mum. I was by far the more emotional one.

I hope it all goes smoothly and if you are finding others are making you doubt your cuddles with your daughter know that it probably comes from a place of longing to be in that lucky position you have.

miltonj · 28/09/2022 01:45

Nothing to do with passing her round. That's just nonsense spouted by people who want you to pass them round! It might just be her personality is particularly 'clingy'. She'll learn! All will be fine, don't stress it and cuddle her as much as you can.

Whoareyoumyfriend · 28/09/2022 01:52

Mine was clingy. I indulged and enjoyed it as he was my youngest and last. He's now the most confident and secure 4 year old

Mumtobabyhavoc · 28/09/2022 04:40

Your LO feels safe, secure snd loved with you. How lovely to be so adored. ❤️

sillylily23 · 28/09/2022 05:52

Very pleased to hear that it's hopefully just a phase. I don't mind the clinginess, she is lovely. I just worry for us both when I inevitably have to leave her later down the line. Also I think dh finds it a little upsetting.

OP posts:
MrsPatrickDempsey · 28/09/2022 06:17

It's totally normal attachment! You are her world. She feels safe and secure with you because you are the one who is there and meets her needs.
I agree with a pp that this term 'clingy' with its awful negative connotation is made by those who just want baby cuddles. It shows secure attachment and is normal.

Feetupteashot · 28/09/2022 06:39

Go with it, all the cuddles. Mine was like this and made the move to nursery 10mth just fine.
Secure attachment to you makes them feel good and more likely to be healthy and well in the future.
Doubtless she'll go through a phase of preferring Dad at some point too! Which will be hard for you but nice for dad, perhaps

Feetupteashot · 28/09/2022 06:40

I mean don't worry and cuddle her lots! Ignore clingy comments, it's not like she's 10yo!!!

SierraSapphire · 28/09/2022 06:47

My DD is now 19, but we still have a joke about her being "clingy and needy" as her dad, my XP, told her that this is what she was as a baby. It's pretty much in a babies job description to be clingy and needy! She did have quite a traumatic start though, and she is quite sensitive generally, so I think those two factored in.

The main thing you need to do is to reassure them that they are safe and secure so they learn that the world is a safe and secure place. A PP's idea of getting them used to being with other people whilst you are close by may help, but mainly you are trying to help her to learn to regulate her own nervous system and the best way you can do that is by providing a solid base for her.

Ellyfinsmum · 28/09/2022 06:55

My 5 month old dd is like this. I’d say definitely don’t feel guilty because some babies are just like this, it’s nothing you’ve done or not done. Dd is my third baby and my other 2 weren’t clingy and they’ve all been treated broadly the same.

halfpasteleven · 28/09/2022 06:57

Teddyhasgonetobed · 28/09/2022 01:23

Please just cuddle and enjoy your baby. She doesn't need to toughen up she is just looking for comfort from her mum which you are giving her in spades. This will give her all the reassurance she needs for her to take on the challenge of nursery and beyond.

She may cry for a little bit in a new setting or she might be like mine who both at three decided to run into nursery on the first day and sat down with the other children and started playing without so much as a bye mum. I was by far the more emotional one.

I hope it all goes smoothly and if you are finding others are making you doubt your cuddles with your daughter know that it probably comes from a place of longing to be in that lucky position you have.

This. Enjoy your baby and enjoy how much she loves you.

QuiltedHippo · 28/09/2022 07:02

So normal, my clingy baby is constantly described as "so confident" at nursery. I thought it would be a nightmare but she never had more than a wobbly bottom lip when she started at 13 months. I'm so glad I didn't push her. It's bloody hard being their whole world and not getting a break but it doesn't last forever. I had my first night away recently and had such fun with her dad, the idea of that even 6 months ago would have been impossible to imagine.

Lunabun · 28/09/2022 07:37

Mother of a very clingy baby here!! He's now 10 months, and he's been extremely clingy since day one.

He's getting better in some ways. But he goes through phases where he's back to square one again.

I also get the annoying comments that I'm spoiling him, need to toughen him up, whatever. I just ignore them.

My philosophy is that he's a little baby, he's supposed to want to be with his mum! It's what would have kept him safe when we were cavemen Grin He's just a little more nervy than most, that's all. I think if he knows that whenever he needs me then I'm always there, he will start to build his confidence as he feels secure. I can already see it working a little - when we first started going to playgroups and classes about a month or so ago, he would not engage whatsoever and was literally clambering and climbing on top of me the whole time. Now, he's happy to have a little explore and get involved, with lots of checking where I am and the periodical dash back to me when it all gets too much. If he ever looks around and can't figure out where I am, there's hell to pay 🤣 but it's so lovely to watch him gain confidence slowly.

I admit that I'm lucky that I can stay at home with him so won't need to deal with him getting used to childcare.

Sceptre86 · 28/09/2022 07:49

I have one. only one of my 3 to be like this. She hasn't spent as much time with her grandparents as the others, partly due to them having vovid on and off so we stayed away. It's tough sometimes as I don't get much done in her waking hours but I'm just going with it. She is little I'm her mum. We go to baby groups and her dad takes her to one too. She is 1 now and getting better with it as I'm back to work. She doesn't cry when others try to pick her up and didn't from about 9 months. She smiles at people but prefers to just wonder about herself.

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