My baby is too clingy

My baby is too clingy

Are you at that phase when your baby seems to think you are running away at any instance? They follow you everywhere. You cannot even poop in peace; there is your little one sitting on your lap and gisting with you as though that’s a norm. What about when you are about to step out and they decide you are going nowhere except with them attached to your hips?

Well, that might not necessarily be a bad thing.Child psychologists say that a clingy baby is a trusting baby. Your baby choosing to be with you all the time just shows that they feel very safe when they are around you. You are your baby’s safety net. As it should be. They are growing to see that of all the places that you take them to or all the people that are around them, they are much more comfortable by your side. That’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it? This is a phase that usually begins right before their first birthday till they are probably four years old. That’s not a big deal, is it?

That’s their formative years. The time when they really need the most attention; when you can really get through to them and lay the foundation for whatever values, education and skills you want them to hold dear. So if that’s also when they decide that they prefer the comfort of your arms as parents to that of strangers, that just makes your job easier to do. Isn’t it?

I agree that those are very pivotal moments in a child’s life and they do need attention. But I also know that mothers are the glue that keeps a lot of things running at home, at work, with our businesses and every other thing. And one of the things that we emphasise a lot with this newsletter is self care. It’s probably going to be a tad difficult to care for yourself and be useful in other areas of your life if there is a baby attached to your hip at all times. So, what do you do?

Start by leaving them with a trusted family member or caregiver for a short period of time. Gradually elongate the time that they spend with people you trust so as to build their independence away from you.

When it’s just the two of you, ensure they are well fed. Then put them on a play mat with lots of toys at close eyesight from you. Let them be able to hear you and see you. That way, they can play and still see that you are there.

Do not lie to your kids. Build trust by telling them when you are stepping out. Do not do what our parents did; asking us to go inside to put on our shoes while they disappear. Let your kids know that you are going out and you will be back.

Make plans for later. When they start to cry, especially when you are stepping out away from them. Console them by assuring them of your return and plan something for you to do together when you get back. This might work well for kids from 2 years old.

Leave your kid with something familiar to play with when they are not with you. It can be a favourite toy or something that you and the baby play with together. Leave that with your kid when you are not around.

Don’t always rush to their aid whenever they cry. Wait it out. Let them cope with your absence and get used to it.

Allow them their time of independence when they choose it. When they wander away from you while you are together at home, allow it. Check to see they are safe and allow them be.

Have a routine that shows them healthy detachment. For instance, have them sleep in a different bed/room away from you. And establish a bedtime when you all say your “good night” and everyone goes to sleep.

Please keep your promises. If you say you are going to be back, please come back. Do not damage their confidence and trust by being dishonest.

Don’t forget that this is a phase. You will miss it when they grow up and become too fancy to want to hug mummy.

I hope this helps you. Hold those babies tight for as long as they will let you.