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Old 03-18-2012, 05:35 PM   #1
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BTDT Parents of Clingy Infants/Children

Did you ever reach a point where you knew you had provided all the comfort and security you could and had to 'push' them into a social situation with you in order for them to understand it was OK? Or did you 'hold their hand' for an extended period of time and just hoped one day they'd become more independent?

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Old 03-18-2012, 07:47 PM   #2
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Re: BTDT Parents of Clingy Infants/Children

Are you talking about your own baby that's only 8 months old? For a baby, no I would never force them into a situation if they were being clingy. They are way too young for that. If my child was 4 or 5, and it was time to go to preschool, I may give a little nudge. IMO babies need what they are asking. If your LO is clingy, it means they need to be close to you. It's important to provide that for them. Don't worry, they will be independent before you know it.
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:58 PM   #3
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Re: BTDT Parents of Clingy Infants/Children

My DD was super clingy as a baby! She was timid and had stranger anxiety for a long time... even toward people she knew a bit, like my parents. She always wanted to be held and wanted me to come with her when she would explore her surroundings. I just followed her and supported her as best I could, within reason of course. I tried to take her out in social situations with other kids where they were also one on one with a parent. Between 18 and 24 months she began to get more independent and would walk away and play with other kids even if I wasn't right by her. Now at 25 months, she is a sweet, social butterfly. She loves to meet new kids (she goes right up and talks and hugs them) and I feel like her speech and social skills really benefited from sticking so close to me as a baby. They will be independent for the rest of their lives, but right now they are babies... cherish it!
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:14 PM   #4
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My super clingy 17month old gets more independent everyday, but she still won't be in the church nursery without mom for very long.

I figure I'll 'worry' more about it at age 2. I take her to group things constantly and sometimes she runs off and sometimes she clings to my legs.

If you're talking about an 8month old, then no, I wouldn't push it. When my DD was that age, she had a SAHM and a deployed dad... she didn't want anyone new and I didn't try to push her - I just let her choose.
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:38 PM   #5
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Re: BTDT Parents of Clingy Infants/Children

my little one is sensitive and clingy and very attached. Clingy sounds bad, but it's not. They become more independent as they get old and when they are ready. I really don't believe they need to be pushed. It's a natural progression. All children go through the same developmental phases of increased clingyiness but some go through it to a much more extreme level. Some children are much more attached than others anyway. My dd has gotten SO much more independent over the last couple months. She is 18 months yesterday. They need to know they can depend on you and rely on you to become independent. It's a natural progression.
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:00 PM   #6
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Re: BTDT Parents of Clingy Infants/Children

I really think it's kind of a personality thing, at least for us. My clingy baby is a showboating, attention-hogging toddler. He's charismatic and charming and will do all sorts of stupid things to remain the center of attention. It's got its benefits, and its drawbacks, but I truly believe that the only difference would have been that a hands-off aproach would have made his hamming more desperate, and less "sly-wink".
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:04 AM   #7
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My daughter was a very clingy baby. She wouldn't sleep at all without being on my body, she still doesn't sleep through the night at age 2, she didn't like being held by anyone but me (even dad), and I couldn't leave her at all until she was over 1.

Now that she is 2 no one would call her clingy, she is super outgoing and friendly. She talks to anyone as long as I am around and she knows them (our friends, extended family, etc) she loves other kids and loves babies. I have no idea if it is just her personality or not but I do think all the early attention she got helped her to become secure and independent.
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:32 AM   #8
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Re: BTDT Parents of Clingy Infants/Children

how old is the child? I don't think an 8 month old can be "too clingy" and no I would never "push" them into doing something they weren't comfortable with. My 3.5 year old still looks to me for reassurance when it comes to social events and being around other people should doesn't really know, even sometimes with people she does know. We are the parents. They trust us the most and yes, I hold my daughter's hand when she needs to feel more comfortable. That's my job. It seems like this is your first child? and I know it's hard to know what is normal and what to expect but your child is completely normal and it's to be expected. They naturally become more independent as they grow older and I wouldn't expect a child of 8 months even being close to being independent. And if you are taking to her large group things like playdates, don't expect her to want to play with everyone right away. Have you ever been in setting with a bunch of people you don't know? I know for me I feel like I'm going to throw up. Some children are the same way
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:54 AM   #9
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Re: BTDT Parents of Clingy Infants/Children

I agree with pp - it's normal and natural for your baby to want to be close to you. What a baby wants and what a baby needs are the same thing - if she wants you that's what she needs right now. I think it seems counterintuitive to a lot of people (ie "you'll spoil that baby by holding her so much") but in fact encouraging attachment actually fosters healthy independence far better than forcing anything on her.

My sons were both very attached. Ds1 would only sleep if he was in physical contact with me, he wouldn't tolerate anyone holding him but me until he was 9 months old, and he cried if I left him until he was 2. Ds2 was a little more flexible - he let dh hold him - but not much. Now at 6 and almost 4 they are very outgoing and socially adept.
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:58 AM   #10
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Re: BTDT Parents of Clingy Infants/Children

I agree with others. I was going to answer "yes" but we only started pushing the girls to do certain things over the last two years....and they are 5.5. A baby is allowed to be clingy, IMO and shouldn't be pushed. It meant that we didn't leave them in the church nursery, never did any classes if I would have to leave, never had a non-relative babysitter. It was kind of hard, but now they are doing so well and have really become a lot more social. It was worth it to me to not have to rush them into something they weren't ready for.
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