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Is THIS an "attached" baby?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Not sure where to put this- but because it's about my 8 month old DS I guess this is a good place...

I had a lot of family visiting this weekend and so of course got a lot of comments/advice about my son. The consensus is that he is "spoiled" and that I should let him cry.
Now- in their defense both my mom and MIL stated that they just worry it's hard on ME and DS really IS the definition of clingy. He cries virtually anytime I am not holding or wearing him. He only sleeps with me or in the sling. During the short periods of time he will sit and play by himself I have to be sitting right next to him. If I leave the room or so much as stand up and walk out of arms reach- he starts bawling. He will cry if anyone holds him but DH or me, and often even if DH holds him. I know he is at the age where "seperation anxiety" and "stranger anxiety" is normal but he's always been very attached so I don't expect the phase to pass. All the comments were enough for me to question if I AM causing this.... I guess my question is... were/are all of your babies like this?? Has my attachment parenting made my baby TOO attached?
post #2 of 23
Sounds like one of those 'high needs' babies. When older can be also thought of as 'spirited child.' Some are just wired for constant contact! I had one of those! (he's almost 14 now...it'll turn out o.k.!)
post #3 of 23
Well, I'm not an old pro, but I will tell you that my son is quite opposite. I think it is all about personality.

Rowan, is happy in anyone's arms and plays by himself on the floor or in the extrasaucer while I run around the house doing laundry, cooking, etc. Just recenly like in the past month he has started to show little signs of seperation anxiety, but nothing dramatic, more just keeping an eye on me if someone else is holding him, whereas before he could care less if I was in eye sight or not.

IT sounds like you are meeting your baby's needs, and every baby needs different things is what I've observed in my 6 months of parenting!
post #4 of 23
IMO, it's totally personality. I don't think you can cause your baby to be clingy, and all that old advice about "holding your baby too much" has been proven false over and over. I would guess that with another type of parent your babe would learn to deal with the separation, but that doesn't mean he would be happier. Quite the opposite probably.

It is really hard to have a high need kid, but it does get easier.
post #5 of 23
Humans are a continuous contact species, not a nesting species. What you are describing sounds perfectly normal and healthy.

My 12month old is not "high needs" at all, but he is/was every bit as "clingy" as your ds. I'm an "older mom" with other kids, so I'm sure I don't get anywhere near as many negative comments as you do, but if passing the bean dip doesn't do the trick, you can try this old chestnut:

"Huh. My bananas got spoiled when I left them out on the counter and ignored them. I don't think I want to do the same thing to my son."
post #6 of 23
ITA with PP. I also think that the age is seriously prime time for separation anxiety, even if you're just walking away to answer the phone.

You don't mention if he's mobile-- his frustration may lessen when he can follow you around if he wants.

Both of mine have gone through multiple phases like this. They have times when they need lots of hands-on attention, and other times when they are more oriented outward. In fact, they get more needy when there is a milestone approaching, almost like they are overwhelmed with their new capabilities.

Personality plays a big role, for sure, but the end of the first year is a time when you would really expect to see this kind of behavior.
post #7 of 23
I've had three AP'd babies, and they've all been different in this respect. My first was a lot like yours until he got mobile - then he was off and running and couldn't care less where I was unless it was time to nurse or sleep. #2 would sleep anywhere, let anyone hold her, could play alone from the time she was tiny, etc - but she never wandered far from me and I could leave her someplace and expect to find her there when I got back, even after she was mobile. #3 was sort of a cross - clingy at times and independant at other times.
post #8 of 23
You know, I was wondering about this b/c I had to read that infamous story on the study that one lady did about attachment.

Haha sorry I'm nak and tired.

Anyways, she claims she found well attached babies would play and leave the mom. And unattached or poorly attached babies would scream and cry and cling to the mom.

And I thought "BS" as I was reading it....

I dunno... I need sleep lol
post #9 of 23
DD is high needs. She wanted to be held from the beginning, and while she was ok with DH, she definitely preferred me. As she got older this got worse, by 3 months not even MIL could hold her without DD crying (and we see MIL a lot). And then around 6-7 months separation anxiety set in, and she couldn't bear for me to leave her sight. However, it was worst around 8-9 months. Around 9 1/2 months she crawled a metre or so away from me when I put her down at a coffee morning the first time (until then she had just climbed back into my lap, or cried whenever I tried that). Last week she kind of forgot me when we were at a meeting at a friend's house, she played with the older children, crawling around, and just returned to me about 4-5 times in 3 hours, for quick feeds! And in the weekend she let MIL hold her for 5 minutes or so.

Have hope! I think we're getting there! She is getting more confident as she gains independence - crawling, climbing, communicating. I think she just needs to do it at her own pace.

How can anyone believe that forcing a child to stay with someone they are not comfortable with, and might be frightened of, could possibly make the child relax and "like"the person? You can't force anyone to like you.

We're just letting DD spend a lot of time with extended family, with us holding her, and without forcing anything. We just try to show DD that we are comfortable with them, and I believe that over time she will connect with them, all of her own accord!
post #10 of 23
Spider, that is a great article you linked! Only problem is, I NEVER have any bean dip.. I could always substitute a piece of candy, tho, always got plenty of that around! At our church's fall retreat, our speaker spoke of minorities in a group, when asked to educate others in the group about what it's like to be said minority, what is offensive, etc, he always told them to say NO. He said the minority should tell the questioner to do the research themselves b/c s/he was not an accurate representative of ALL of those of his/her group. After doing research, if the questioner wanted to discuss certain things, it was okay b/c they had a bigger picture look on things. That article reminded me of that, I do not need to justify AP practices to anyone
post #11 of 23
Ya know, bean dip away. Neither of my kids was especially clingy, but I WOH... however, with my first child, a huge regret I have about his early months is that I didn't hold him more, I dunno, I was afraid I'd drop him or something! LOL... so when I'm with her this baby hardly leaves my arms. Cherish these days and plug your ears. Babies don't need to cry, how sad a statement is that?
post #12 of 23
OP, IMO it is just your baby's temperament. And you are meeting his needs. How wonderful ! No, you didn't make him this way. But since he is this way, it's great that you are responsive to him ! He would have the needs either way.
post #13 of 23
I'm so thankful to read this thread! It's hard not to wonder sometimes if you're "causing" your baby to be extra clingy, especially since everyone seems to be about getting your baby to do this or that. Not that I would have done anything differently up to this point, but boy do I have a clingy baby! Then again, I'm the only constant person in her world, since it's just us two! Maybe that has something to do with it, maybe it doesn't. What I want to do is respect her for who she is, and believe that she knows what's best for herself. Sometimes that gets eclipsed by wanting to pee without a crying baby next to me.

claddaghmom, yeah, I'm waiting for this attached baby to happily play without mom! In the meantime, we get lots of time together!
post #14 of 23
If he's always been like that, it's his personality. If he just started being like that, it's the clingy phase that most babies go through as they realize that mama isn't part of them.
post #15 of 23
Originally Posted by dogretro View Post
Spider, that is a great article you linked! Only problem is, I NEVER have any bean dip..
While it's more polite to use whatever you do have on hand, and really the article's intent is not literal bean dip but rather that you make some change of subject, I think if you have a really persistently rude person to dissuade offering non-existent bean dip would drive the point home nicely that you are changing the subject.
post #16 of 23
It is temperment, or if it's a recent development a change in stages -- either way, you're meeting his needs and that's what's important! My DD1 was super-clingy, and mostly only mama would do -- until she was somewhere between 18mo and 2yo. She's Miss Independence now, still very attached, but happily does her own thing, visits other people, etc. So, the long-term benefit is worth the tons of work in the first couple of years.

And yeah, I got the "we're so worried about YOU" comments. I was exhausted, but that was because she didn't sleep, not because I was always holding/nursing her. It's not a nice, concerned comment -- it's about undermining your parenting style. If it's my family doing this, I'm very comfortable drawing the boundary and saying, "this is how we've chosen to parent, it's not up for further discussion."
post #17 of 23
Originally Posted by dogretro View Post
Spider, that is a great article you linked! Only problem is, I NEVER have any bean dip..
Oh you just gotta make some, then! http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/White-Bean-Dip/Detail.aspx

post #18 of 23
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
While it's more polite to use whatever you do have on hand, and really the article's intent is not literal bean dip but rather that you make some change of subject, I think if you have a really persistently rude person to dissuade offering non-existent bean dip would drive the point home nicely that you are changing the subject.
I know, I was being silly! :nana: Birdie, I will def have to try that recipe. I dont think Ive ever even eaten bean dip.
post #19 of 23
don't worry about the clingyness, or others' reactions to it. i think some peoples' feelings get hurt when your baby rejects them, so they convince themselves it's something you're doing.
and, moms just worry, ya know?
post #20 of 23
My first son is super independent. always was. He NEVER wants to be held and I have to force him He's never had stranger anxiety or anything like that. One "friend" of mine said that we didn't have a good bond because HER baby always wanted hugs while mine would rather explore and run around

My second baby is a super high needs baby. He has to see me at all times, be touching me constantly at night, and hates going to other people. He's always been like that. I'm sure he'll grow out of it one day but it's totally exhausting!

I think it's all personality!
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