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Clingy Baby

  1. #1
    stephchoy is offline Registered User
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    Question Clingy Baby

    I have read that as babies enter into their sixth month, they tend to get increasingly clingy. My baby is four and a half months and I believe I have quite a close bond with her. It am still breastfeeding her and intend to do so until after she's a year. But we are getting to a stage where she seems only happy being with me in the evenings. I understand she may have stranger anxiety when we have friends come visit. But she seems to also winge or cry with my husband, my mother and in-laws who visit with her often. I am wondering if this is normal development for a baby and whether there is anything to be done about it. I know it's natural for babies to prefer their mothers, but I wonder how I can make her feel more comfortable with other people. Any advice?

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    shri's Avatar
    shri is offline Administrator
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    Hey Steph,

    From what little research I did a few months ago, there are two types of anxieties infants go through -- stranger and seperation.

    Here are some good articles on stranger anxiety

    http://www.scholastic.com/earlylearn...trangeranx.htm

    http://my.webmd.com/content/article/60/67167.htm

    http://www.babycenter.com/expert/bab...ment/6860.html

    Here are some good articles on seperation anxiety

    http://www.babycenter.com/refcap/bab...pment/145.html

    http://www.drgreene.com/21_448.html

    http://www.parentsoup.com/experts/be...554712,00.html

    Hope this helps :)

    Shri

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    rani is offline Administrator
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    Steph,

    I know it's not easy. We're going through a slight case of separation anxiety with D. I always have to be within visibility. And now that he's crawling he just follows me everywhere.

    I'm not sure if breast-fed babies tend to have these anxieties more than bottle-fed.

    Just curious, are you pumping yet? Maybe if your husband or mother-in-law gave her a bottle on occasion she may begin to feel more comfortable with them.
    Founder of GeoBaby.Com

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    stephchoy is offline Registered User
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    I've been pumping since I went back to work about three months ago. Actually, recently, her grandparents have been having Zanna for a longer time and she seems to be doing alright. Perhaps it's just a matter of easing her into different situations while I'm there.

    I can't imagine what it will be like when Zanna start's crawling. She's not quite that mobile yet, but rolling all over her mat!

    Originally posted by rani
    Steph,

    I know it's not easy. We're going through a slight case of separation anxiety with D. I always have to be within visibility. And now that he's crawling he just follows me everywhere.

    I'm not sure if breast-fed babies tend to have these anxieties more than bottle-fed.

    Just curious, are you pumping yet? Maybe if your husband or mother-in-law gave her a bottle on occasion she may begin to feel more comfortable with them.

  5. #5
    Ringmaster is offline Registered User
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    Clingy baby

    Hi there,
    Just wondering....do you work outside the home, or are you gone for large chunks of the day? I'm wondering if this could be part of the explanation that your baby wants to be near you in the evening? I know when I am away during the day, I have 2 very happy kids on my hands when I get home, and they'll do just about anything to be my shadow! They are old enough to express that in a way that doesn't exhaust me (as I remember it did when they were babies!) I find that if I really give them ME for that period, then they do eventually get their fill, and move on to another activity. But on days where I have to do other things upon arriving home, and can't give them that "quality time" of just me, then things go downhill from there. They seem to get even more "demanding" and resist harder when I try to subsitute Daddy, or a video, or a treat/bribe, etc. When I think of the alternative...that they would just ignore me when I walk through the door, all of a sudden, I am liking the attn!
    Could it be that evening is like a "reconnect" time in the mind of your baby?

    The other thought that comes to mind is that it is impossible to push your child beyond what they are developmentally ready for. I mean, it would be great if all their teeth would come in at once, so that we didn't have to mash everything. They could just chew their solids themselves - less hassle for us, right? But, we would never think of trying to find a way for them to gain independance in this way at such an early age! We recognize that they need us to mash their food no questions asked. It is just developmentally accepted. Can that parallel be drawn over to "clinginess"? It sounds like she is just developmentally normal, and just as we can no sooner rush their teeth to emerge until they are good and ready, nor can we ask that they feel comfortable in the arms of any family member before they are ready. And don't worry - that stage does come!! My son had his first sleepover at a neighbor's a few months ago....I didn't sleep a wink! but he had a great time! Maybe on the days where you feel particulary tired of being the your baby's main bond - remind yourself of the inevitable....they do grow up.
    Not sure if this offers any practical help, but just wanted to share these thoughts.

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    barbwong_130 is offline Registered User
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    Dear Steph,

    Sorry this reply is so late – I’ve only just found Geobaby.com

    You asked, “I wonder how I can make her feel more comfortable with other people. Any advice?”

    The only answer I can give you is time. I’ve known lots of babies since I become a mother 16 years ago, some are clingy and some aren’t. It really seems to be a matter of personality.

    My eldest child was very clingy all through her early years. I remember clearly a party when she was four years old. She sat on my knee for most of it while her younger brother joined in all the games. It didn’t do any good to push her away from me because she'd cry and the next time she was even worse. In the end I just grew to expect that from her. So it seemed a miracle when she finally grew out of that stage. She is now 16 years old and full of confidence – no one believes that she used to cling to me all the time!

    I know it is hard when you really want to do something other than just hold your baby all the time. But I firmly believe that clinginess shows a need rather than a want, especially in such a young child. Only by answering the baby’s needs will she have the confidence to grow out of this stage of her life.

    Best wishes,
    Barb

  7. #7
    loupou is offline Baby Guru
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    Velcro baby

    I agree that it very much depends on temperament.

    My son was VERY clingy to me (in that he wanted to at least be able to SEE me all the time) but at the same time, he was also very outgoing and happy to play with other people as long as I was within (say) 2 feet of him.

    I think it helps to give them as much physical contact that they want (based on how much *you* can stand as well). But also take them out a lot. My kids always went to maket with my helper or me (in the baby carrier) and on the bus and MTR, so they got used to being around people and "playing" a bit, while still closely nestled.

    At 5, my son still is a bit of a Mr. Velcro. For example, if I sit down w/ him to watch TV, he is in my lap within about 5 minutes. Since he weighs about 40 lbs now, this gets tiring. But he also likes to run around and play and gives me a bit of privacy when I dress and so forth.

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