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Thread: Extremely clingy 14 mo old and touched out momma

  1. #1
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    Jan 2010
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    Default Extremely clingy 14 mo old and touched out momma

    We just had a major snowfall here in GA and dd and I have been TRAPPED in the house since Sunday so that has set the scene. She just started walking and is practicing her new skill. So I know that they have a little dependence/independence issue with walking and at 14mos, and I'm prepared to be followed into other rooms or to the bathroom. But she insists on having my attention at all times unless she's nursing cause then she's trapped me there anyway. She screamed while I answered a call from my boss. She screamed when I made lunch. I get down and play and give her a little one on one attention and she WALKS away. But I get up to do anything and she's hollering. She also wants to nurse all the time and for the last few days has nursed all the way through her naps- when usually I can get up and do something then. So DH gets home from work and I go into the bedroom for an hour to get a break and she screams! Its not like I've left her with a stranger! I'm going crazy! I have a baby carrier but I can't carry her around all the time- I don't know how you mommas do it. She's also very destructive when she doesn't have my full attention. I feel like I'm raising a brat! Theres probably not a solution though I'm considering duct tape! Thanks for letting me vent!

  2. #2
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    Oct 2010
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    Default Re: Extremely clingy 14 mo old and touched out momma

    I have been here with my son (15 months) for the past two days due to snow, so I feel you. I tend to look at it as a constant weighing: is what I want to do worth the screaming, or not? If I am half way through a task before he starts, I tend to want to finish and just listen to it. A lot of the time I just sit down with him on the couch. If it is really important to you to be able to put her down during a nap, then you have to do that. You have to put her down and pick her back up when she cries, over and over. I think that is the only way they learn. Usually I will try that for half an hour, and then if he is still not down, I will try again in an hour or when he starts showing sleep signs. Some people are fine with holding their LOs through a nap, and that is OK, too, you have to decide what YOU want to do. As for being destructive, the only thing I know to do is baby proof everything. I have locks on the fireplace, computer armoire, and entertainment center. My son loves to push a kitchen chair up to the counter and see what is up there. I either stand right there with him or I try to redirect him to his toys, which inevitably results in screaming. Yesterday I let him pull all of the bread out of the bread box and squish it up somewhat because it made him happy while I was trying to fix dinner. I have removed everything breakable from the table top because he repeatedly, repeatedly, climbs up there. My point is, you have to decide how much mess you are willing to tolerate and how much you want to closely supervise while they explore and test their physical limits. I am fine with rolling toilet paper back up 1,000 times but I drew the line at putting it all into the toilet, so now he is not allowed in the bathroom. You do what you can and set your limits. I hope this ramble makes sense!
    Working mom to

    Gabbie 3/8/02 BF 15 months

    Rose 6/5/04 BF 18 months

    Will 10/6/09 BF 22 months and counting

  3. #3
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    Jan 2010
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    Default Re: Extremely clingy 14 mo old and touched out momma

    I guess the problem is that I am okay with giving her that 100% of attention most of the time, but then I really need an hour or two of chill out time during her nap to get some things done that I want to do. When I don't get that then the afternoon just gets longer and longer and I get very frustrated. So then I end up trying to do something anyway and she gets mad at me. We cosleep and don't own a crib so I can't just plop her in there and walk away.

    We have a very small house, and a lot of junk so childproofing is a huge challenge. Like right now our furnace is broken so we have 3 space heaters that I'm constantly chasing her away from. We're trying to figure out how to arrange the computer so she can't play her favorite game of turning it on and off. Like right now shes hitting me with a book because I dare type and ignore her.

    Thanks for the been there done that!
    Last edited by @llli*riverleaf; January 13th, 2011 at 02:06 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Extremely clingy 14 mo old and touched out momma

    This is a really challenging phase. Around the time Joe started walking, I thought I was going to lose my flippin' mind. Our house is also very hard to childproof - it's not big, we have a lot of stuff, and it's an open floor plan so it's hard to gate stuff off. And Joe was an EXTREMELY ACTIVE little boy with basically ZERO common sense about climbing, heights, hot stuff, anything. I felt like I was chasing him and saying "no" all day long.

    At times, it was like, "I swear to G-D, if you get in that dog's water bowl ONE MORE TIME, something in my brain will break lose and pop apart, and you will be an ORPHAN. So you better not!"

    Basically, this period of fresh mobility with no understanding of the basic laws of physics kicked my behind. So all I can say is, you're not alone.

    Some thoughts: Do you have a playpen? That was a lifesaver for us in this time, when we just had to put Joe down and do something important (like chase the dogs, or clean up something he broke ... ). He didn't like it, but we needed it. We also got rid of a LOT of our stuff. We realized, it wasn't worth the energy of trying to keep Joe out of it. I am a bit of a collector, and DH is a packrat, but you know what, if we couldn't keep Joe from destroying something, we obviously didn't value it that much. I sold my whole CD and DVD collection and a ton of books, and I pared our computer desk down to just the essentials. Slowly but surely, we really reduced the amount of stuff that Joe could get into and it was a major improvement in our quality of life.

    It does get better. They do become more cautious, more respectful of "no," and less ... how do I put this? ... stupid about gravity. Joe is so much easier now. At 20 months, I can leave him alone for a minute and not worry that he is going to seriously injure himself, at least. Yeah, he may get into trouble, but it's not the same.

    My life is so much easier now.

    Hang in there!

    ETA: Also, it's really normal for babies to go through an intensive nursing phase around this time. Textbook. That also gets better. Just hang in there a bit, this too shall pass.
    Last edited by @llli*joe.s.mom; January 13th, 2011 at 04:51 PM.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2010
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    Default Re: Extremely clingy 14 mo old and touched out momma

    Good for you for co sleeping! I can't manage it anymore. And, no, of course you would never just park her in a crib. My son is nursing more lately, too, which according to joes mom is normal, so I'm glad to hear that. I am almost in uncharted waters here as far as nursing goes. I haven't nursed much past this age. Please, please be careful with the space heaters! They are so dangerous! When we had one in the house we lived in before my Dad built us a wooden baby gate to put around it. Do you have anyone handy to do anything like that? And I second the decluttering. Having a toddler surely makes you rethink what is precious to you. Do you ever nurse her at the keyboard? I do that a lot. It keeps him from screaming and pulling at my legs as I sit at the computer.
    Working mom to

    Gabbie 3/8/02 BF 15 months

    Rose 6/5/04 BF 18 months

    Will 10/6/09 BF 22 months and counting

  6. #6
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Extremely clingy 14 mo old and touched out momma

    My pediatrician said 14 months was (yet another ) peak time for separation anxiety to hit. This could definitely explain why your LO wants you and not daddy. I had a clingy baby, have a clingy toddler, and we are still dealing with the problem of DD preferring me to my husband--there are a few weeks of relief here and there, though, so hang in there!

    I totally understand how you feel about needing a break and not being able to get one. Unfortunately, when they're this little, the only thing you can do is accept the situation. Maybe not the advice you'd like to hear. But when my daughter was going through the worst bits of separation anxiety, I eventually DID strap her to my back in the baby carrier and just carted her around all day long (way less frustrating than picking up and putting down the baby a million times a day, and having to hear that awful screaming at the drop of a hat). Only problem is if you have an active child--mine wasn't--that won't tolerate staying in the carrier.

    It can feel like you're in danger of creating a brat, but this is truly a phase and the best thing you can do for your LO is soothe her fears. She's learning that she's not a part of you and that is terrifying. She needs to know that even though she's a separate entity, she's not going to lose you, you're there for her.

    There are a few ways you can help save a portion of your sanity : things like the space heater and computer; you need to put some barrier between them and your LO so she never can get to them. It will probably be ugly as heck--most child-proofing is--and I know you said you don't have a lot of space. But seriously, running after your kid and yelling "no" a million times a day can quickly eat up all your much-needed patience.

    All the best. Before you know it, she'll be past this phase...and onto something else!
    Last edited by @llli*sobamom; January 14th, 2011 at 12:09 AM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Extremely clingy 14 mo old and touched out momma

    Thank you ladies. It helps to hear someone else "was going to loose my flippin' mind!" I am so there!

    We unfortunately don't have a playpen and my dd is very active. Our kitchen counters are pretty high and we don't have a kitchen table and chairs, just an island and barstools. So luckily so far the things she breaks haven't been too messy and we put the cats water and food up so that helped. She breaks things like the remote which no longer has volume and such.

    I'm working on the decluttering, when she and Dh let me. We are hoping to move in the next year or so, and this is a necessary step.

    So in the meantime I'll keep repeating: its a phase!

  8. #8
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    Dec 2009
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    Default Re: Extremely clingy 14 mo old and touched out momma

    Thank you so much for this thread!! We are going through this with our 17-month-old, except it's with my husband not me. Which, great right? Except I feel TERRIBLE that my baby doesn't "want" me. Good to know it's not forever.
    Little SW, Aug '09
    Miss MW, Jan '11
    Sir RW, Oct '12
    3 kids in 38 mos

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