Wanting to be held ALL DAY! Help! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 11-27-2011, 03:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter is 14 months old and wants to be held constantly. All day. She will get down to play for a little while. but 5 minutes later comes running over to be held. Sitting in my lap isnt enough, she wants to be on my hip. I clean one handed, do laundry one handed. Hell i even pee and pull up my pants one handed!!

I am now 5 weeks pregnant with my third. I cant keep carrying her all day. But i also hate hearing her scream and cry. 

 

i want to be mindful of her needs. But when is enough enough? What about my needs? 

 

What can i do to help her learn that being down is ok...playing in the house is ok. She can be next me, I wouldnt mind that. She could sit right beside me on the couch while I knit if she wanted to. Its not so much her "being up my butt". i never feel like that..ever. I love my children near me. I love doing things together as a family.

 

But its having to constantly hold her.

she doesnt do this with her father.

And as the weeks go by, and my belly gets bigger....this isnt going to fly.

 

Ideas? Please.

thank you in advance!


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#2 of 16 Old 11-27-2011, 04:59 PM
 
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Do you have a comfy carrier? I'd keep holding her lots as long as you can physically handle it. Pretty soon the belly and then the baby will force her to be 2nd fiddle and she's still so young. Does she know you're pregnant? When you're too tired or need a break you can talk to her about how the baby is growing and using up your energy and that she can sit by you, but not on you or whatever you determine. Fits might ensue, but if you empathize w/her, voice her feelings, stay near her, etc she'll be ok, cuz like you said, you have needs too!

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#3 of 16 Old 12-02-2011, 10:10 AM
 
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Have you tried wearing her on your back in an Ergo?  My 12 month old doesn't like playing on his own for very long either.  When he is in the Ergo he is perfectly content and mellow, and naps great too.  I find it comfortable and not too straining when he's on my back.  Attachment parenting recognizes the benefits of wearing your child, especially when they express that's what they need. I am guessing that she will need to be held less and less, as she gains confidence and autonomy through this stage.  I recognize too, being pregnant won't allow you to wear her forever.  Keep in mind that this time with her, before the baby arrives, is precious and her need to be held is a need for closeness and reassurance before she has to share you with someone else : )  Also, I have noticed with my son, that he whines to be held when I am doing things without him.  If I simply get on the floor with him, he is more content to play, with me and by himself.

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#4 of 16 Old 12-04-2011, 02:16 PM
 
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The Ergo has worked wonders for us.  We do mostly back carries and it feels so much more comfortable and doable and plus you have your hands free to do chores or run errands.  You can talk to each over over your shoulder and sometimes turn sideways to show your little one what you are doing.  By the time you are too big to carry you hopefully will be through this phase and your LO will be more verbal anyway - possibly  making it easier to explain about the new brother or sister LO will be getting.  Good luck.

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#5 of 16 Old 12-06-2011, 03:09 AM
 
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That sounds like my son was!  And, at 14 months, I was just about to get pregnant.  However, he was my first, so I only had to work with him.  I did what you are doing - everything one-handed.  I was able to do much of this until he was 18-20 months, and then all of a sudden he started getting independent.  Now, at 2 years old, I pick him up lots, but also just have him help me a lot.  He will stand on a small chair in the kitchen and help me stir things and add ingredients.  I've even taken baking down to his little table or the floor to get him involved. 

 

At 14 months, things are different.  But, he will change so much by the time the baby is born!  I think you have to just go by your gut instinct and needs.  If you can't hold your child, take lots of breaks and get down at her level and hug her and be with her.  As she gets older, get her involved.  She'll get through this, and by the time your baby is born, will want to be a big helper to the new little one.

 

Good luck!

 

Oh, I found that this pregnancy I am so much healthier because I've been so physical with my son.  I do not pick him up as much as he wants me to, but I still do pick him up a lot.  Baby is going to be born any day now, so we will see how that works with a new little one.  I think I won't get much done in the kitchen for a while!

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#6 of 16 Old 12-09-2011, 07:04 AM
 
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I would wean her off it.  Starting with things like peeing.  I mean really.  It's just ridiculous to pee with a child on your hip!  Keep your breaks from it short to begin with and then longer.  Lots of reassurance, upbeat distraction.  Yes she'll cry but she'll get over it quickly I'm sure.  

 

The ergo is a good suggestion for sometimes.  I would say something like "Right now I'm doing laundry.  When I'm done you can go in the ergo and we'll go for a walk".  Then, stick to it!  Keep your breaks a reasonably short length of time to begin with so that you do NOT go back on your word.

 

That's my advice anyway...

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#7 of 16 Old 12-09-2011, 07:06 AM
 
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The thing about the Ergo though, is that the OP didn't ask for a more convenient/easier way to carry her child all the time. I think she expressed wanting a break from the constant holding, right? What I would do is slowly start cutting down on holding time with the baby. Maybe do a limit of 5 minutes at a time, with 10 minutes down during the day to start with. (I just pulled those numbers out of the air, but you get the idea.) If she cries and yells, get down on her level, give her a hug or kiss, let her know that you aren't LEAVING her....you just need to set her down for a bit. Then, if she doesn't haven any other pressing needs, go on with your business.

 

My guess is she will fuss the first few times, but it'll get easier when she sees that you're not going to pick her right back up. Putting her in a carrier of some sort will just, IMO, delay the inevitable. When you get way too pregnant to hold her, she's gonna HAVE to be put down. And I know that that's not something I would have wanted to deal with while heavily pregnant. Better now than later, in other words. My daughter went through a phase like this very recently so I can sympathize a bit.

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#8 of 16 Old 12-09-2011, 07:23 AM
 
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I think we were in the same DDC... congrats on your new pregnancy :)

 

And yeah, that's really tough.  And you're right that as you get farther along in this pregnancy it's going to be much harder to accommodate a clinger.  I don't think an Ergo or anything is the answer-- if it's getting to the point where it's really causing you enough stress and frustration that you have to make a thread about it, it's to the point where enough is enough.  You should not be peeing one-handed all the time.  

 

At this stage, I'd just get done what I need done, and THEN pick up.  Put in the load of laundry, even if that pisses her off, THEN pick her up and hold her.  Put her down long enough to pee.  That really does NOT make you a bad mom :D  Talk to her while you're doing it "I know you want to be held, baby, but mama has to just put these clothes in the washer first.  Wait for me just one minute, please."  

 

I wouldn't worry at this point about down the road as you start getting bigger and having less of an ability to pick her up.  She could be totally over the clinginess at that point.  It tends to be a phase, my daughter was like this and she turned into a completely independent toddler.  So-- I'd just think about how you can make things easier for yourself NOW.  Either way it's a rough time, hope things get better for you and congrats again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeLittleBirds View Post

My daughter is 14 months old and wants to be held constantly. All day. She will get down to play for a little while. but 5 minutes later comes running over to be held. Sitting in my lap isnt enough, she wants to be on my hip. I clean one handed, do laundry one handed. Hell i even pee and pull up my pants one handed!!

I am now 5 weeks pregnant with my third. I cant keep carrying her all day. But i also hate hearing her scream and cry. 

 

i want to be mindful of her needs. But when is enough enough? What about my needs? 

 

What can i do to help her learn that being down is ok...playing in the house is ok. She can be next me, I wouldnt mind that. She could sit right beside me on the couch while I knit if she wanted to. Its not so much her "being up my butt". i never feel like that..ever. I love my children near me. I love doing things together as a family.

 

But its having to constantly hold her.

she doesnt do this with her father.

And as the weeks go by, and my belly gets bigger....this isnt going to fly.

 

Ideas? Please.

thank you in advance!



 


Kelly (28), in love with husband Jason (38) and our awesome babies:  Emma 4/09, and Ozzy 8/10

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#9 of 16 Old 12-09-2011, 07:34 AM
 
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I find that  my LOs separation anxiety improves when we get out and socialize more. Especially at a playgroup or something where I can sit and talk to other moms and if he wants to play he has walk away from me. That way the separation is on his terms and he comes for comfort to cuddle or nurse and then goes off to play again.

Have you tried holding her on your hip but doing nothing, so that it's really boring and she'll want to get down and do something fun?

It's survival instinct phase they naturally go through when learning to crawl and walk, so that they don't get to far away from you. Even if nothing works right now, it will pass.

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#10 of 16 Old 12-09-2011, 09:36 AM
 
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That is really rough.  I recently had a new baby when my toddler was just around 16 months old, and he was already a pretty clingy guy at the time I became pregnant.  I ended up in the hospital for PTL about a month and a half before the noob was born and was put on bedrest, which necessitated us having to get him used to NOT being carried around by me all of the time pretty quickly (and me being suddenly gone for a few days did have the result of making even more clingy for a few weeks after I was discharged, so it was really tough.)

 

Here was what we did to try and get him used to me not carrying him around all. the. time. 

 

First, my husband started making a point of spending more one on one time with our toddler so that he would learn to rely on him more and more and as a result be more used to husband doing things with him and for him to turn to my husband more for comfort, help, and carrying around.  Second, I enlisted my older two twins (who had just turned 6) to spend more time playing with my toddler and helping to keep him distracted and amused, again so that he would become less used to relying on me as his sole playmate.  I also let my parents and my in-laws start spending more time with him so that he would again get more used to others being his caregivers and playmates.  Finally, I went ahead and invested in a few more toys that would actually entertain him and distract him and encourage him to play a bit more on his own.  (Oh, and I stopped being too woo about never letting him watch tv and let him catch some Sesame Street and Pocoyo, I know this is kind of controversial, but it works for us and I refuse to feel guilty about it.)

 

All of this stuff definitely seemed to work pretty well for us.  My toddler still does get understandably jealous at times of the new baby, he's still so young and I know I can't expect him to not want my time and attention, but he is way better now about not expecting to have me be his entire world 24/7.  Another positive is that he has become much more emotionally closer to my husband, his siblings and both my parents and my inlaws.  It's been great to see how much more he seems to enjoy and look forward to having special time with all of them, and that has freed up more of my time and attention so that I can attend to the new baby.

 

Good luck.
 

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#11 of 16 Old 12-09-2011, 10:30 AM
 
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Hmm, I'm wondering if she's in a "Wonder Weeks" phase? I'd have to go look it up but it sounds about right. (Meaning she's on the cusp of some big mental or physical milestone and that the clinginess will pass eventually).

 

But um yeah....holding on a baby on your lap/hip while you pee and pull your pants up...that'd be too much for me too. I like what other people have said about doing what you need to do and then picking her up. Clearly communicate to her that you know what she wants and when/if that will happen "You want up. You want mama to pick you up! Laundry then pick up." (Sorry, I'm trying to channel that "caveman language" that Happiest Baby on the Block suggests) 

 

Also when she's involved in some toy/activity say "Mommy has to go potty, I'll be back in 1 minute" (or whatever) and then go. She may cry, she may follow you (she will probably do both). Just do what you need to do then pop back in happy and upbeat and say "see! Mama's back!" and go back to playing. The more you stick to being consistent about being gone for short periods the more she'll come to understand that it's temporary. The tricky part for me was to not get distracted while I was in the bathroom and decide to go sort the laundry or wipe down the tub or whatever. I had to pee and get back to the kiddo asap. 

 

 

another option would be to bring her with you (into the laundry room, bathroom, kitchen, ect) and sit her down with something to play with. 
 
Also, I very clearly remember reading in one of the Dr. Sears parenting books that "if mama ain't happy" something needs to change. Sometimes it IS mom's outlook on a situation but in this situation I think the baby needs to understand that she cannot be carried all the time. 

 

IT DOES GET BETTER!! 

 


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#12 of 16 Old 12-09-2011, 10:37 AM
 
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I got pregnant when DD was 13 months old, and she did the exact same thing for the first three months I was pregnant. I thought I might die. She was walking and running, and I just couldnt understand WHY she wanted to be held. Maybe its not the best solution, but I just eventually told her "No, mommy is going to the bathroom. No, mommy is washing dishes. No, mommy is folding clothes" I have a pouch sling and did carry her on my hip a lot, but as your belly grows you dont WANT to carry another baby all day long. One thing that really helped was getting her socializing with other kid more often. She really seemed to need more interaction that I was able to give her, so we made more playdates and went to playgroup more often. Now, at 20 months, she really only wants to be held if she's tired. I wish she would let me hold her and cuddle, but she just wants to go, go , go all the time.

I'm in my third trimester now, and I still look back at those first 12 weeks and all I can think about is how awful and miserable it was. I was SO tired and just wanted to be left alone. hug.gif It will pass. Dont feel obligated to hold her all the time.

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#13 of 16 Old 12-09-2011, 10:40 AM
 
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I got pregnant when DD was 13 months old, and she did the exact same thing for the first three months I was pregnant. I thought I might die. She was walking and running, and I just couldnt understand WHY she wanted to be held. Maybe its not the best solution, but I just eventually told her "No, mommy is going to the bathroom. No, mommy is washing dishes. No, mommy is folding clothes" I have a pouch sling and did carry her on my hip a lot, but as your belly grows you dont WANT to carry another baby all day long. One thing that really helped was getting her socializing with other kid more often. She really seemed to need more interaction that I was able to give her, so we made more playdates and went to playgroup more often. Now, at 20 months, she really only wants to be held if she's tired. I wish she would let me hold her and cuddle, but she just wants to go, go , go all the time.

I'm in my third trimester now, and I still look back at those first 12 weeks and all I can think about is how awful and miserable it was. I was SO tired and just wanted to be left alone. hug.gif It will pass. Dont feel obligated to hold her all the time.

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Adaline love.gif (3/20/10), and Charlie brokenheart.gif (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical  rainbow1284.gif  twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)

SIDS happens. 

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#14 of 16 Old 12-10-2011, 06:28 AM
 
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My son was a lot like that when he was a baby, and it was very, very challenging when I became pregnant with dd- he was about 16 months old. In hindsight, I wish I had laid down more consistent guidelines and boundaries. I was so afraid of damaging our attachment that I basically carried and nursed him on demand until dd was born, and then it was a HUGE shock for him to have to "share" me and dh with his sister. 

 

So, having BTDT, my advice would be to try and engage her in activities while she is off your hip. Show her how fun it can be when you are not holding her. Then, be firm and clear when you need to do something and cannot hold her. She will cry, but just keep her close, reassure her and do what you need to do quickly. If you can try and involve her with what you are doing, she will eventually come around. This will not damage your attachment. It is MORE damaging to keep pushing yourself beyond your limit. This strains your patience and decreases your frustration tolerance. You and your baby will navigate this together, and your relationship will be stronger for it. 

 

I also agree that getting out and socializing with other kids is very helpful. Kids are much more fun than boring old mom, and your baby will probably realize that quickly!

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#15 of 16 Old 12-10-2011, 07:58 AM
 
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i remember a minor freakout stage with dd when she was around that age.  i assume it is a developmental leap, though for us, our dd had another freakout stage in a similar way when she was 18 mos and i got preggers, too, and my milk pretty much went away instantly.  could it be milk-related for you guys too?

if not, what helped was having dh do more.  both to distract her and to do the stuff i normally did, like clean up after supper, etc.  though, of course, that's not always possible, and sometimes it comes down to deciding which sucks more, the screaming or the wearing/picking up the kid. 

i had a few novelty tricks that i reserved for the really awful times, like markers and paper, or youtube videos.  i remember that phase (well both of them) as very sanity-challenging.  it's ok to let your kid cry, if you can stand it, it's not the same as CIO when they're tiny babies.  now's the time to ask for help, mama, just to give you a break.  a mother's helper, an inlaw or parent, a place to go and have coffee while kids run around, something/anything!

i know part of the stress with a pregnancy and a little one is feeling as though things are going to be the way they are now when the baby comes, but there is a difference, a big one, in where your kid is now and where she'll be in july.  it won't be like this then, and you need to absolutely take care of your needs-- it's a balance, you know.  ((hugs))


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#16 of 16 Old 12-10-2011, 08:59 AM
 
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An important part of attachment parenting is teaching your children how to have a HEALTHY attachment and to balance the needs of the child with the needs of the parents/rest of the family.  It does no good to teach a child you'll do everything they want and need immediately, even when they can do it themselves and even when someone else's wants or needs should come first.

 

babies and toddlers cry.  There is no way to avoid that unless you teach your kids some pretty crappy ideas about life, namely that the world revolves around them and they can have anything they want, even at the expense of others.  Giving in to every cry and want (and a 14 month old wanting to be held at all times IS a want, not a need) isn't healthy for the child in the long run.  Short of any special needs, the average 14 month old can and will be okay not being held most or even half of the day.  especially since you are now pregnant, it really is okay for your child to learn now that sometimes, her needs and wants don't get to be met first.

 

Attachment parenting means that you help your child through disappointments and frustrations, not give in to everything.  It sucks when your kid cries, but it's part of growing and learning.  Soon, she'll be crying because she wants a drink AND she doesn't want a drink at the same time.  She is old enough to learn that sometimes you can't hold her, and this will be easier to teach her NOW than when the new baby arrives.  Laying down and reading books, her helping you as well as a 14 mo can with chores, sitting at the table and coloring... she can start these activities now.  She won't like it at first, but your needs are important too and she needs to learn that.  It isn't cruel or unloving, it's the opposite.  For some, Empathy and Compassion are things they are born with... for most, it needs to be taught.

 

My kid went through a crazy clingy phase too.  It was hard to balance her desire to be on me all the time and my need to not constantly be touched and have a kid on me.... eventually though, we got through it.  She's pretty independent now.  Yours will get through it too, I promise.  It feels hard right now, but she will move past this phase with some help from you.

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