I don't mind the clingy infant stage when they need you right there all the time. But at 20 months he is too heavy to hold all the time. I can wear him when we are out and about, but at home he really only wants to be held on my lap. My left arm is beginning to match that of a body builder.
He is my youngest kiddo, but the others haven't been quite so attached and clingy.
I know it's a stage and soon enough he'll be off on his own. In the meantime, I just needed a moment to know I am not alone.
It's totally normal AND it's ok for you to set limits w/him about needing breaks from holding him AND it's ok for him to express his disapproval of those limits
Maybe a couple of these articles on encouraging independent play would be helpful
I love the articles, they are very much the approach we take in general. My youngest, however, by virtue of being the youngest, probably is not as encouraged to do as much independently as the others have been. I still think of him as the 'baby' and I suppose I need to give him a bit of a push to move beyond that place. really though, he only began walking a couple months ago, so I was holding out on toddlerhood until that happened. :)
20 mon is still very young no matter how you look at it. There's always that balance thing going on for us as parents & caregivers of cherishing the sweetness of babyhood & encouraging growth & independence...
I know the older kids have done a similar stage, but this little one takes the cake in terms of cling. I think a lot of is it due to some family changes and relocation, probably at one of the most sensitive times in terms of security.
Another thought - if he only started walking recently, he could be a bit overwhelmed with his new powers of mobility and potential for exploration, and be needing to be closer to you while he adjusts. There's a lot of expansion and contraction that goes on as their independence grows; he could just be in a contraction phase. At any rate, it will pass, and it's totally okay to set limits on it in the meantime if you need to.
He's made great progress just today. Apparently learning that he is capable of managing the stairs without help means he is much happier in general. Toddlers are funny creatures. He's still cling-on man, but less anxiously so today, anyway.