Help, Mamas! My son has recently begun behaving as though if I don't hold him ALL DAY, EVERY MINUTE, it's the end of the world. I've given it a couple of days, thinking maybe he's not feeling well, or teething, but it's not improving. And it's only with Mama, not Dada. I work 2 days a week, my DH watches him, and the minute I got home yesterday, it started again. DH said it was the first time he whined/cried all day, so I don't think it's that he doesn't feel well. I just read Happiest Toddler on the Block and am trying to implement some of those techniques (Toddler-ese, etc.) but when I get to his eye-level to start connecting, he just puts his arms around my neck and starts lifting his legs like "up, up!" When I say no, he just starts the whining, crying process all over again. I literally can't even send a quick email or make lunch without constant tugging and whimpering. I spend lots of "time-in" time with him, playing with his toys, going outside, etc. What's a mama to do? Kind ignoring? I tell him "ouch! it hurts Mama's ears!" but who knows what he understands yet? I'm going a little crazy with the constant need for my attention. Independent play has completely gone out the window, and I tried switching out most of his toys with new ones from his birthday haul. Any suggestions?
This is so totally normal. I have a 2 year old sitting in my lap right now typing on a disconnected keyboard
These things help me when dealing with a "hold me mama" baby.
1) I try to get out of the house without her - she spends time with her very loving papa and they bond. I get recharged so I don't feel smothered.
2) I try to get out of the house with her. Nothing like nature to soothe a grumpy baby.
3) I carry her on my back in a sling. I call it "benign neglect" - she gets to watch what I am doing, is cuddly, and I can pay attention to something else for a minute. They have those great buckle carriers like the Ergo which are super easy to use.
4) I get down on the floor and do my business down there. I always have extras of what I am doing so she can do it too. We prep lunch and dinner on the floor, on a big kitchen towel, and she sticks her hands in stuff, I sit down and pay our bills and she writes on the envelopes, she has a rag and wipes. I don't expect much except that she will want to hold everything I touch. But then she goes and surprises me.
5) For me, lighting a candle transforms the most mundane activities into magical ones. This helps me calm down. I use this trick at night when I have a chore I am brooding over, no reinforcements, and a baby that wont sleep. If it's serious, I just put her on my back and go about my business with a little candle. Then at least I can stop brooding about the chore, and she often gets so bored/sleepy she asks,"Sleep in the bed, mama" lol
And - it will pass. Everyone I know with kids older than mine reminds me of this. Things get easier, then harder, then easier. And such.
Google "The Wonder Weeks". I think 13month is a huge mental leap! Sorry so short...my LO is waking up...
I'm going through the same thing, but with a 16-month old. I also have a 5-yr-old who's out of school for the summer and needs help finding things to do.....which I often can't help her with because of my whiny, clingy, velcro-toddler. For us it's a matter of not just developmental stuff, but tiredness. She has already dropped her second nap of the day, and the first nap has become very fragile - under the precise right conditions she will sleep for 2.5 hours, but if anything is even slightly off about our schedule, which it often is, she can end up going into the dinner hour with 30 minutes of nap under her belt for the day. It's awful. We eat a lot of quick meals and frozen veggies. I love Cyclamen's ideas. My apologies that I don't have any solutions for you - just lots of empathy! :)
Jen, mom of two amazing girls, b. 2/16/06 and 1/29/10