Over the last few weeks, little A has been growing in leaps and bounds.
He took his first steps just last week, has TWO teeth that are giving him an absolute nightmare, is eating more food than he ever has before, and is now spending every nap in his crib.
I couldn't be prouder of him-each day is a new adventure.
But, this rapid developmental leap has also brought the clingiest. baby. ever.
It seems as if he is constantly attached to the boob, and when he's not, he's holding onto my leg trying to climb up my body. I can't even go to the bathroom alone. It's downright exhausting.
It's easy to get frustrated and burnt out, but when I took a second to remember that this isn't easy for him, it made things a little easier for me to understand. When I developed an understanding, rather than getting irritated at him, I found myself working with him. Below are my 3 tips for handling your velcro child.
1. Comfort Them
We all have something to get done. Some deadline to meet, or something else that's calling our attention. When little A is clingiest, following me from room to room, and tugging on my pant leg when he gets near me, I've realized its because he needs some assurance. Comfort them even if you did just spend an hour with them.
The world is a scary place, and young children need frequent reassurance from the ones they trust most. When it seems like I just can't get a second alone I will usually read to, play with, or nurse my little velcro kid. Often times, this is all he needs, and he's happy to play independently.
2. Don't Disappear
This may honestly be one of the worst things you could do, and will often result in a sobbing child right on your heels. Be honest and vocal about what you're doing. This, not only engages the child, but your voice also assures them that you are near.
For instance, when I need to start a load of laundry. I'll tell little A "I'm going to do some laundry" and then, from the laundry room I will talk to him "I'll be out there in just a few minutes." Often times, he will listen to me, and even babble back.
3. Create a Schedule
This is really the one that helped curb my little man's clingy behavior. When he was able to predict what was coming next (ex. bath after dinner), he was calmer and more independent. I also used this schedule to create times during the day, like after nap time, when he and I would have 20-30 minutes of one-on-one time to play, read, do crafts or puzzles, or whatever else.
It's very important to know and understand that clinginess, while it may be frustrating for you, is not bad behavior, and should not be punished. While it may not feel like it, it's actually a good sign! When your child is feeling alone or distressed and they seek comfort from you, it shows that they trust you and know that you will help. Consistently reassuring and comforting your velcro child will slowly, but surely, lead to independence.
Until next time,
Labels: babies, baby, children, clingy child, clingy toddler, how to, kids, mom tips, motherhood, parenting