Is Clingy Baby a ‘Problem Baby’?

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One phrase that has become synonymous with parenting today is a ‘clingy baby’. Every second person I meet has a clingy toddler. Their families keep reiterating – ‘The baby doesn’t interact with strangers. If she sees her mother then she won’t come to anybody else’s lap.’ Some grandparents frown that “The mother has spoilt the child and she doesn’t want the baby to interact with anybody else but the mother herself.  She is just glued to her mother always.” On the other hand there are mothers who get tired of listening to such remarks and also carrying their babies for so long. They complaint of pain in arms and back. They try all means to tear away from the baby but the baby will cry, shout, scream, throw stuff and do everything possible to keep the mommy near her.

This problem is not just limited to SAHM but even working mothers. As soon as they enter the home, the baby clings to them like a Velcro and don’t leave them till they retire to bed. So as the aunties of the society keep complaining, do you believe that a clingy baby is a problem baby? He/she needs to be taken to a therapist for psychic treatments? Do you think that you should leave the kids to cry their lungs out and eventually learn a lesson of staying without the mother too?

Well, I don’t stand by this fact. I am of the firm belief that a child has very strong instincts and we should try to listen to them patiently. There is a reason behind any resistance expressed by the child. As parents we should try to find the reason behind their agony and encourage them to express more, instead of suppressing their expressing ability. Parents’ love is the best therapy for a child and it can do wonders.  Following tips might help you to deal with a clingy baby better:

  1. Cuddle them with warmth and love: If a child refuses the company of others, then he/she might not be comfortable in the same. In such situations give a warm hug to your baby. Hold him/her with all the love and care and don’t force them to go to somebody else.
  2. Don’t scream: The baby is already stressed and doesn’t want to leave you. In such a situation, don’t add to his stress by shouting on him. Keep calm and give him time to adjust to the new surroundings. Even at home, in familiar surroundings, there are times when the kids want to be near you and seek your full attention. They don’t want to share you with any other job you might be engrossed in. Respect their unconditional love towards you and revert with buckets full of love. Be proud of the fact that your baby is so attached to you.
  3. Maintaining a distance from grandparents or father doesn’t mean hatred: There are times when the baby is not ready to go to his/her grandparents or even father. All he wants is mommy- dearest but everybody begins to believe that the mother is infusing hatred against everybody in the family. However a rejection doesn’t mean hatred. It simply means that baby is more comfortable with mother as compared to others. In such a situation, others should take turns of playing and taking care of baby when he is in a happy mood. Gradually they should try and build a bond with him.
  4. Ignore the flak: Turn a deaf ear to all the criticism the society has to throw on you and your baby. They may condemn you for spoiling the kid but you know that it is just a phase. Fulfilling your baby’s emotional needs is more important than obeying the criticism and thus, hampering his emotional growth in future.
  5. Enjoy this phase as this shall pass soon: Finally, enjoy the phase when the baby clings on to you. The time, when he doesn’t want to leave you for anybody in the world. He will soon outgrow this phase and then, he might even get embarrassed to get cuddled by you in public. . So, cherish this sweet bond of love with your baby and nourish it deeply before the phase gets over. Adore your baby and make memories for a lifetime.

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