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Exhausted by my "spoiled" little guy, advice please

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
For the record, I don't believe that AP spoils babies. But I'm exhausted and frustrated and it sure feels like he's "spoiled". I would greatly appreciate any advice, insight, etc.

So baby #3 is 13 months old and we have been EBF, BW and co-sleeping since birth with him. Partly by our choice and partly by his temperent. He wouldn't sleep alone so we co-slept. Anyway, now I have a toddler who whines for me all the time. He follows me around whining to be picked up. If I carry him around, he's happy, as long as I'm moving around. If I stop or sit down, he gets mad.

When I am desperate for a sitting break I will sit and nurse him. He'll nurse for a few minutes, then be happy for a few minutes, then he'll start whining again and we'll repeat the process. I cannot get him to take a nap. He will sometimes fall asleep in the carseat during the school run but its never longer than half an hour, and usually disrupted by the in and out of the carseat/school trips. I am sure he is over-tired.

Bedtime is DH and I taking turns laying with him on our bed until he finally settles down. Nursing does not seem to help him settle. He wakes very frequently through the night and nursing is the only thing that will get him back to sleep.

Generally, he is not this way with others. If I am not in the room he is much less fussy. The moment he sees me, it is whine, cry, pick me up, nurse me, etc. It is wearing on me physically and mentally. I need a BREAK from him during the day. If I wear him on my back he will nap but I am desperate for a physical break from him, you know? It is not restful for me to have a heavy baby sleeping on my back.

Complicating factor to consider is that I am also dealing with PPD for the last 7 months or so. And, as much as I love my mom, and she has always been very supportive, she is making comments now that drive me nuts. " Well you taught him to be like this". Or "He's been spoiled by you carrying him around all the time and sleeping with him so of course he expects it. ". It feels like she is right. I don't know how to respond to those comments.

Advice? Thanks in advance. Please forgive any autocorrect typos!
post #2 of 13

I'm right there with ya...  my toddler needs me all of the time as well.  Very normal for attachment parented toddlers because their attachment is so strong!  Is it possible for you to get him to sleep in your backpack and then put him down for a nap? That's what I do.   Dr. Sears says that sometime around 18 months, toddlers will start becoming more independent, so you don't have that much longer to wait.  (I tell this myself every day!).  I'm lucky, I have a teenager-- I get to see the end result of all of that "spoiling" EVERY DAY.  AP moms will be shocked and pleasantly surprised one day when they get to compare their teens with teens who weren't attachment parented.  Believe me, it's worth our efforts!!!!

post #3 of 13

Have you read anything about high needs babies?  I wonder if your guy would fit into that category.  Here is a description:




If so, I highly recommend The Fussy Baby Book (Sears), and also Raising Your Spirited Child.  Here is a support thread for high needs toddlers:



post #4 of 13
12 to 15 months was tough! I didn't wear DD (she wanted to be on the move constantly) but she was a Velcro kid until almost 18 months (but 12 to 15 was the most intense). For naps we needed blackout drapes and white noise or there was no nap at all. I gotta run but wanted to say that it's a tough age with walking and talking to figure out and wanting lots of attention and closeness. Best I could do was snatch little bits of time here or there while DD was hangin' out with DH or gramma. She is a completely different kiddo now at 21 months and much less stuck on me unless she's sick. Hang in there!
post #5 of 13

I wore my daughter almost constantly for her first year, and then at least 6-8 hours a day on my back from 12-17-ish months (and she was no lightweight, she was 19 pounds at 6 months and 26 pounds at a year).  She was my velcro, high needs baby.  It sucked, but the alternative was worse....screaming, wailing, and me with no nerves whatsoever.  A slightly sore back on occasion (though the BECO carrier I had kicked ASS and I didn't have chronic problems - and I'm only 5 feet tall, and was wearing a 30-pound kid a large portion of the day) and being a little touched out was better for me than shot nerves.  I think, I want to say, that beign willing to be "on" all day, allowed me a couple 3-4 hour chunks at night while she slept in our bed, otherwise I would have gone over the edge.  


So, I'm saying, 

- hang in there, it will get better around 18 months-ish



- If you can stand it, try wearing him on your back as much as you can, so that maybe for naps and bedtime he'll give you a break because he'll have that closeness cup filled up more.


But mostly, hang in there!  High needs babies are TOUGH!  My former high needs baby/toddler is now a confident, independent 6-1/2-year old spitfire!!


FWIW, my HN baby was my second born - our first born was easy peasy as a baby;toddler, happy to be on the floor on his own from a very young age, etc. 

post #6 of 13
I also hav a teen who was high need. He is calm, confident, and caring. So, remember you are teaching him to be generous and caring with others. Now, how to keep your sanity. If you suspect he is tired, give up a day to helping him rest more. That's easier in warm weather. Then, go outside in the early morning, around 7 or 8, and get some sunlight. Strange as it may seem, it will help him be ready to sleep earlier at night, especially if he gets the light on his face. In the cold weather, he may need a lazy day or nursing on and off a couple hours at naptime.
post #7 of 13

This was DS2 at that age. It's rough and can wear on you emotionally. I will echo OPs and say that around 18 months, it does get better! But in the meantime I'd suggest taking time for yourself whenever you can away from him to get a mental refresher. For me it was going to the gym every day when DH got home from work. And maybe for the time being, let DH completely take over bedtime, since nursing doesn't seem to settle him anyway?

post #8 of 13

Another voice for "yes that's normal".  It's a phase.  I remember months 12-18 involving a whole lot of whining, wanting to be held, wanting to be carried everywhere--and not being able to sit down and relax ever.  It sure made it hard to get anything done.  Right around 18 months it seems to get better.


So hang in there, this too shall pass.

post #9 of 13

I would go to a doctor just in case. At this age a child, AP or not, will have some self soothing tools at his disposal and will take some interested in playing apart from his mother.


There could be some sensory and behavioral issues that are easier to correct with early intervention now rather than later.



Everyone kept tell my friend her son was normal so she delayed getting help by many months and that is her biggest regret in life.

post #10 of 13
Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

Everyone kept tell my friend her son was normal so she delayed getting help by many months and that is her biggest regret in life.


This is a good point - probably the most important part of this is YOUR instincts as mama.  In our case, everything else was developmentally on track for our velcro baby, so we were pretty sure she was just.....well, kind of a pain in the ass at this stage.  duck.gif  So - if after thinking about the rest of your days, your kiddo's development in other areas, overall health, etc.   If everything else seems to be going fine, then chalk it up to personality - if there are other concerns, go with your gut and see someone.  

post #11 of 13
There will always be those, both friends and relatives, who will tell you that a child has a problem if not playing independently. I recall being told my son would *never* learn how to spend time alone if I didn't *make* him learn it at age __(fill in the blank). He was *very* attached, and all the more so after being traumatized, for a number of years. I'm not implying you have years to go. Your child has not been traumatized. What I am saying is -- no matter how attached your child is, someone else had or has a child who is more attached. You know your child best! If you believe this is natural for your child, honor that instinct. Wait it out. And, while loving your child, try to let the seeds of doubt others toss your way remain on the side of the road.
post #12 of 13

Totally normal. Whenever they get more mobile they naturally want to feel you're close, it's a safety instinct. I had a lot of luck easing my son's separation anxiety by taking him to playdates and playgroups. That way I could sit and talk to other moms and he could come to me whenever he wanted, but he couldn't resist all the new toys and kids to play with. Also, sometimes I have just had to leave for extended amounts of time (I am on-call for work) and he and DH just had figure bedtime out on their own. And you know what after a few long nights of rocking and singing, they did, and my son actually stays asleep longer when he doesn't nurse to sleep.

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm sorry I haven't gotten back to this thread until now! Thank you so much to everyone fr your input. It is a relief to see that so many of you had similar issues at this age so I will do y best to hang tight for the next few months. I am happy to report that he has not been too clingy as of late. And, I can see or feel at least 5 teeth ready to break through anytime now. Gah!! Poor dude. So I believe that has a lot to do with his fussiness. Overall I have no concerns about his development so I honestly don't think it's anything more worrisome. Anyway, thanks again everyone. smile.gif
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