Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: Am I creating a needy child?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    75

    Default Am I creating a needy child?

    Let me preface this by saying that I am second guessing everything right now. I think because I am about to transition from having a nanny and working two of my four work days from home to working all four days at work and putting LO in daycare. This is going to happen gradually over the next two weeks and I am extrememly anxious about juggling all four kids, cooking, maintaining the house and working outside the home. Not to mention being really anxious about how LO is going to handle daycare. So here's my biggest anxiety at the moment....

    LO (6 mos. old) has always been a high need baby. We do lots of baby wearing. We co-sleep and I have nursed her on demand since hour one. She is extrememly attached to me which I love about 96% of the time. Lately, though, I am starting to wonder if it's the best thing for her. She is only really happy and relaxed when she's with me. I don't want to create a needy/whiney/dependent, etc child by catering to her every whim and whimper. But I am also not willing to let her cry much because I feel like I need to honor who she is and give her what she needs. I guess my real question is, when should I be thinking about fostering some independence to avoid having a toddler who is impossible for anyone else to be around? Is it reasonable for my 6 month old to only want mommy? Are there small ways that I can/should be gently encouraging her to spend some time playing by herself or napping alone (which she rarely does and will make daycare hard for her) or should I continue to responding to her very quickly at every small cry? I'm pretty calm at the moment but there have been times in the last few days that I think I need to wean her from the breast/cosleeping/babywearing completely so that she can blossom as her own person. Thoughts????
    mom to four energetic kids ages 6,7,8 and our newest arrival born 8/14/2012

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: Am I creating a needy child?

    I think 6 months is very early for these goals (independence etc). Of course I do not have four children, and then I was able to be a SAHM until he was three, so it is easy for me to say, and I am sure it is a very hard time now.
    But that said, I do believe that only once they are actually able to physically move away from you on their own impulse, then is the time to nurture their independence. YOu know, when they sit up and slide away on their bum or even better once she walks / toddles away.

    My son is now four and I would describe him as independent and not clingy. I carried him around, we coslept, still nurse to bed. I don't think you are stifling her form being her own person by quickly responding to her cry. On the contrary, she learns you are there for her when she needs you. I think the best way you can help her is that when you can to be there for her to give her what she needs from you. And when you cannot to trust that she will learn to have her needs met by the care giver in day care. But I am sure it is hard, my heart goes out to you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    622

    Default Re: Am I creating a needy child?

    I agree with mammi that they learn that you are there for them when you meet their every need at this point. It's not like she's really able to do much for herself at this point, right? I like this article by Dr. Sears about the difference between spoiling and attachment parenting http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/chi...pment/spoiling

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,476

    Default Re: Am I creating a needy child?

    At 6 months old, you SHOULD be responding to her every need. By doing so, you are instilling confidence in her. She knows that when she needs you, you'll respond. In the long run, you're giving her a strong foundation on which to be independent. She'll have the confidence to venture away from you because she knows that she can always return to you if she needs you.

    A child who is left to their own devices becomes more needy because they never know when or if you'll respond to them. So they're left searching and wondering.

    My 4 year old is now very independent. She's a social butterfly and is happy to try new things. If she isn't, she sticks with us until she's comfortable, gaining confidence from us until she's ready to venture out on her own. This typically only takes about 5 minutes in new situations. She's in Junior Kindergarten and she's one of the more outgoing kids in her class. As a baby, I responded to her every need. In spite of the wonderful advice of "you can put her down you know" and "she'll never be confident if you don't make her _____". Now she IS confident and those 'helpful' people have forgotten that I ignored their advice.

    My 2.5 year old is a little shy at first but warms up quickly. I responded to her as well. Once she's in her element, she's off like a shot. If she becomes unsure, she checks in with me or Daddy, finds her comfort again and takes off. Checking in with us at various times helps her to know that yup, we're still here, it's all good.

    My now 1 year old (wow, I have to get used to saying that, her birthday was just 2 days ago ), does not like to go to others right away. If they swoop in and try to pick her up she wails. I take her back, regardless of the "tut-tut" I get from others. You'd think by now they'd know that I let my girls adjust on their own. Within a few minutes, she's happy to go to others, wave, play patty cake, smile and laugh. Because I'm confident in the situation, she's confident. There is no question that if she needs me, I'll be there. Therefore, there's no reason to be concerned and she goes on her merry way. Of course that's when I get the "she's such a happy/good baby". Ignoring the fact that they were just tut-tutting me not 10 minutes before.

    Confidence and independence isn't something you directly teach (at least in my experience). It's something that they find, that they gain, through experience. A strong foundation of trust allows them to leap from you with complete confidence. I've found that children that are sometimes responded to, sometimes not - tend to be unsure, searching, tentative. They're not sure if they're being supported at that moment or not.

    Think of it on adult terms. You have a partner, friend, even a boss - who is always there when you need them. You know they have your back if you need them. It gives you the confidence to spread your wings, to try new things, to take risks. You can always go back to them to ask advice, get support. You know that they've been there, done that. It's wonderful to have a supportive mentor in those types of unsure situations. If you need them or not, you know that if you do, they're there.

    Now make those same people flakey, inconsistent. They said they'd be there, but often they're not. They assured you that they'd back you up but when you need them, they're no where to be found. Or even worse, you ask them for help and they flat out deny you, just walking away. How confident will you be to venture out into the unknown now? Can I depend on them or not? WTH?!?! Not a nice feeling is it?

    Why would you be flakey with your child? Isn't that when you need to be the most consistent? Don't expect more from a child than you would an adult.

    The BEST thing you can do for your child is to be there, be consistent and know that you've always got their back. That way when they spread their wings and fly, it won't be a question of if, it will be a question of how high.
    Last edited by @llli*amysmom; February 18th, 2013 at 09:40 AM.
    Mommy to our DD1 early bird (34 weeks, 2 days, 7lbs, 14oz)! Oct. 2nd, 2008 Emergency C-Section, Frank Breech, HEALTHY Girl!
    Weaned @ 17 months
    Our DD2 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 12oz) Aug. 10th, 2010 Our Successful VBAC, growing like a bad weed!
    Weaned @ 15 months
    Our DD3 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 6oz) Feb. 16th, 2012 Our 2nd VBAC and lightening speedy birth!

    Loving being a Mom of 3, 40 months apart!!
    and

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,131

    Default Re: Am I creating a needy child?

    Oh my goodness, 6 months is far too early to be worrying about independence! A 6 month old baby is not and should not be independent. 6 month old babies are designed by nature (or God, if you prefer) to be almost totally dependent on mom for food, comfort, warmth, transportation, safety... Responding to those needs isn't going to make her whiny, clingy, or impossible to be around. It's going to make her confident, because she will KNOW at a very basic level that whatever her need is, it's going to be taken care of.

    I hope the next few weeks go really smoothly. Hopefully you'll only be pleasantly surprised, the way I was with my DD2 when I sent her off to preschool. Of my 2 girls, DD2 is the one who has more separation anxiety. I thought I would end up having to stay at school with her, and worried that she would cry non-stop for me while I was gone. Instead, she LOVED preschool from the first minute, bonded with her teachers, and is completely accepting of me going to "do an errand" while she's at school.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    75

    Default Re: Am I creating a needy child?

    I can't tell you how much I appreciate the thoughtful responses!! Despite agreeing wholeheartedly, I second guess myself so often these days. At this moment I'm in the rocker with my sleeping baby latched on and snoozing happily. LO wouldn't sleep or be happy with her nanny, despite Nanny's earnest and appropriate attempts to soothe her. I came down to feed her and she wasn't really interested so nanny tried again with no luck then asked if she should try a bottle. I hate to do bottles when I'm home so I took her back to try nursing again and she fell asleep. Well, if I put her down she will wake up so here I am, when I need to be working, holding her so she can get some rest. I love holding her while she sleeps but I struggle b/c I get behind on work or the other kids need me or dinner needs to be made... I do t know. It just seems like she should be able to do some things (like sleep or play for awhile) without me by now. If she was my only responsibility, I would have no worries but she's not.
    Sorry, I'm getting all worked up again. It's a tough day for some reason...
    mom to four energetic kids ages 6,7,8 and our newest arrival born 8/14/2012

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,476

    Default Re: Am I creating a needy child?

    Oh heck, we all second guess ourselves. My best guess is that we'll stop worrying when we die. It seems to be a part of parenthood.

    One thing you might want to try is nursing her laying down. It can take some time to get the hang of it, but it's SOOOOO worth it! Get a mattress and place it on the floor. Get some bed rails for the sides to make it safe. Nurse her laying down, she falls asleep and you just get up. No moving her. It works like a charm.

    Keep coming back to the forums when you second guess yourself. The ladies here are very supportive. There's always someone who will have 'been there, done that' to help you set your mind at ease.
    Mommy to our DD1 early bird (34 weeks, 2 days, 7lbs, 14oz)! Oct. 2nd, 2008 Emergency C-Section, Frank Breech, HEALTHY Girl!
    Weaned @ 17 months
    Our DD2 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 12oz) Aug. 10th, 2010 Our Successful VBAC, growing like a bad weed!
    Weaned @ 15 months
    Our DD3 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 6oz) Feb. 16th, 2012 Our 2nd VBAC and lightening speedy birth!

    Loving being a Mom of 3, 40 months apart!!
    and

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,501

    Default Re: Am I creating a needy child?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*tampamama View Post
    I can't tell you how much I appreciate the thoughtful responses!! Despite agreeing wholeheartedly, I second guess myself so often these days. At this moment I'm in the rocker with my sleeping baby latched on and snoozing happily. LO wouldn't sleep or be happy with her nanny, despite Nanny's earnest and appropriate attempts to soothe her. I came down to feed her and she wasn't really interested so nanny tried again with no luck then asked if she should try a bottle. I hate to do bottles when I'm home so I took her back to try nursing again and she fell asleep. Well, if I put her down she will wake up so here I am, when I need to be working, holding her so she can get some rest. I love holding her while she sleeps but I struggle b/c I get behind on work or the other kids need me or dinner needs to be made... I do t know. It just seems like she should be able to do some things (like sleep or play for awhile) without me by now. If she was my only responsibility, I would have no worries but she's not.
    Sorry, I'm getting all worked up again. It's a tough day for some reason...
    It is definitely harder to find a good balance when you have older children to think of, too. I have three now, and DS3 has often been "left to his own devices," much moreso than either of my other two were. He's had to be left to fuss more, simply because I can only handle so much at one time, yk? And he's too big for me to be wearing around the house. He started crawling at seven months, and that was waaaay erilier than either of my other two boys crawled. I think he did it because he realized it was the only way he was going to get anywhere when I was occupied with other things. Nonetheless, he appears to be a well-adjusted, happy baby-- certainly the happiest baby I've ever had. When I can be there for him, I am. And even if he has to fuss sometimes, I hope he knows I will come as soon as I can.

    I try to do as much work as I can while the baby is awake, rather than worry about doing things while he's asleep. Because there are occasions when he doesn't want to be put down, or I succesed in putting him down to nap and he's up again in 15-20 minutes and I've just barely managed to use the bathroom and make a phone call.
    ~Sylvia~

    Wife to Nick, m. May 2005

    Mommy to Gabriel (b. January 2007, 8lbs. 15oz.), nursed 18 months.

    Isaac (b. August 2009, 9lbs. 1oz- naturally), nursed 22 months, through PPD/PPA and emergency gallbladder surgery.

    and Corban (b. March 2012, 11lbs. 6Oz.- naturally in the water), my NICU baby, still nursing strong at age 2!


    Daughter of God

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Am I creating a needy child?

    It's understandable that you want more freedom to be able to take care of your other kids and responsibilities. You could try The No-Cry Sleep Solution book.
    Her advice was helpful to me. I've tried some of her ideas, because even though we co-sleep and feed on demand and I'm currently lying in my bed with LO asleep at the breast to get his morning nap, I have 4 other children to care for. Yes, LO is my 5th and that means when he'll accept it I'll put him down sleepy instead asleep so he can try to get some rest while I tend to other responsibilities. If he won't then we'll try a different time.

    Could you also try some back carries? That can free you up to do more. That is if she naps in the carrier...

    Gotta run, LO woke up and 4kids are home for snow day...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    70

    Default Re: Am I creating a needy child?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*amysmom View Post

    My now 1 year old (wow, I have to get used to saying that, her birthday was just 2 days ago ), does not like to go to others right away. If they swoop in and try to pick her up she wails. I take her back, regardless of the "tut-tut" I get from others. You'd think by now they'd know that I let my girls adjust on their own. Within a few minutes, she's happy to go to others, wave, play patty cake, smile and laugh. Because I'm confident in the situation, she's confident. There is no question that if she needs me, I'll be there. Therefore, there's no reason to be concerned and she goes on her merry way. Of course that's when I get the "she's such a happy/good baby". Ignoring the fact that they were just tut-tutting me not 10 minutes before.
    Ah i needed to read this! My DD is 9mo old and is in a high-alert STRANGER DANGER mode right now. Even with my brother, sister-in-law, parents, and other close family members. It really makes me sad when she can't enjoy her family. But time and time again she will cry if she is held by someone besides me or my fiance, and we will quickly take her back and calm her down (all the while being lectured on how we are just reinforcing the behavior).

    Recently she has started opening up, and it is amazing, but still has her moments. I'm happy you shared your experiences, it is very helpful
    Amber

    Mommy to Baby Sage: 6lb, 19in, born on 5/20/12

    love: hotsling AP, bumgenius diapers, ergoBaby
    loving fiancée to SAHD

    visit us at: mommy & sage

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •