15 answers

Clingy 9 Month Old

Hi again, you guys give the best advice. I have another one for you. My 91/2 month old is being very clingy. She will not sit on the floor by herself, let anyone, besides me, hold her (including her dad)or let me leave the room. I am alittle worried because she is not crawling(except backwards and in circles). I have tried playing peek a boo around the walls and talking to her when I am in another room. She only cries louder. Is the developmentally normal or could it be because I am off for the summer and she is not use to me being home all day? Thanks in advance for your help.

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So What Happened?™

Thank you so much for the advice! You guys rock! I should have waited a week to voice my concerns. She is crawling and much less clingy.

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Yes, this is normal attached behavior for a baby that age. Not all babies are crawling at 9 months. Some babies skip crawling altogether and just start walking.

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It is a form of seperation anxiety that is completely normal at this age. In fact, most children will experience it, regardless of if you were working or not.
They don't quite understand that when you leave, even to go into the other room, that you will come back.
Regardless of if you are talking to her or not, she's not comprehending where you went. It's as if you performed a magic trick & vaished into thin air.
She will outgrow it. If I were you, I'd cherish the clingy stage before she's 10 and telling you that she hates you while slamming her bedroom door to be alone. ;o) heeheehee
Oh, and yes, all children crawl/walk at different stages & in different ways. Some skip crawling if they figure out a way to get someplace without help. I think she's fine, just be patient. I know some that didn't walk until 16 mo!!
Here's a great site for all moms. I plan to share this link more often. I have several of his books. You can look up most questions at this site.

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Hi M.!
My baby is 9 months old and we have been going through this from the day she turned 6 months old! I work part time so she was used to other people, but it didn't matter. She would scream the minute I put her down just anticipating my leaving. She started crawling about 2 weeks ago and WOW what a difference! Now she just follows me around the house. :) The best advice I would give is just love on her as much as possible, but don't be afraid to leave her for a few minutes to get things done either. It broke my heart to let her cry, but I couldn't go to the restroom with her either... I received advice from both directions. Some said to let her cry it out and others said to put her on my back and take her everywhere. I had to find a happy medium. She did a little crying here and there, but I also made it a priority to get as much done while she was napping, etc. I know it is a hard time, but just remember that it will not last forever! They grow sooooo fast! Good luck!

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The best thing you can do is listen to her cues. Sometimes babies go through emotional and/or physical stress that makes them more clingy. By responding to her in this time of need you are telling her that you are here and that even though you don't quite understand what is bothering her, you will always be there. Be weary of people who tell you to ignore her because she will become "spoiled". That is simply NOT true. Studies show, time and time again, that infants who are responded to quickly cry less and become more independent, self-sufficient children. She is not behaving that way to be manipulative, they don't have that thinking until much later. Don't worry about her development. She will do things in her own time. Just continue to be encouraging and supportive. Cheers, J.

1 mom found this helpful

Yes, this is normal attached behavior for a baby that age. Not all babies are crawling at 9 months. Some babies skip crawling altogether and just start walking.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.,
It sounds like you are right on track in your thinking. It is developmentally appropriate for her to behaving this way and it is probably because you are home all the time right now. She is adjusting to the new schedule and may have a real fear of you leaving her again since you are the one she first became attached to at birth. It is going to take some time and it is normal. Talking to her from the other room probably is more frustrating for her since she knows you are close but she can't see you or get to you so this will make her cry louder. You might also play peek-a-boo with her when you are together in the room this helps her learn that even though she can't see you, you are still there. As far as her not crawling some babies skip this step but I know from raising six kids that sometimes we were too willing to give them their toys or whatever they needed while they were on the floor so they didn't have to go get it themselves. You might try not putting everything within her reach and see if she tries to go for it on her own. You may have to listen to her fuss if she can't do it at first but don't help her unless she really gets upset about it. Crawling backwards is also normal before going forwards. It is all part of the growing proess and getting the muscles ready for forward locomotion. If you are still concerned talk to your pediatrician and I am sure they can help you out.
Sounds like your daughter has a mother who is quite in tune with her and her needs. Trust yourself in what you see from her and what you think she is telling you. It can be very tiring but it is worth it in the long run. Hang in there and God bless.

I wouldn't be worried just yet about the crawling part.

BUT - Short answer: Yes. Now that you're home all day, yes, she wants to be with you.

I was at home with my 4 1/2 year old for the first 3 months, and she did the same thing - wouldn't let anybody hold her but me, would just bawl if Daddy tried to hold her and even louder if I left the room. I actually would leave the house for about an hour just to get a little bit of a break. She'd usually cry most of the time.

My husband decided he wanted more time with her....more activities, so she wouldn't be so hesitant to be away from me. He started doing the evening routines - giving her a bath, getting her ready for bed, giving her a night-time bottle, etc. I had to make sure I wasn't around (out of her "line of sight") otherwise she'd start crying again.

I went back to work shortly after he started helping with the evening routines, and she was fine having either of us hold her after that.

We did have her in a daycare center for about a year, and everytime we'd bring her home, she would just cling to us too. Wouldn't let us put her down at all. We were very fortunate in that we discovered our neighbor was looking for a job she could do from home, and she was already babysitting for us, so we asked if she'd be interested in watching our daughter full-time - she's been doing that now for the last 3 years. Once our daughter was getting more 1-on-1 attention, she got less clingy.

I've noticed that any change of routine gets her out of sorts, and still does (she's now 4 1/2). Our 18 month old "rolls with the flow" a lot better.

But with our first, we did notice that once we established routines, and she knew what to expect, things went MUCH more smoothly.

My 9 month old Grandson is doing the same thing so don't worry. They all go through that at about that age. His Dad can be holding him and if Mom leaves the room he screams. He also does not crawl but he gets where he wants to go by scooting and rolling.

I think a lot of it has to do with the change in her routine. They go through several stages and one of them is the clingy stage, too.
Good Luck!! I know how frustrating this paticular stage can be.

Hi M.! She's just experiencing a little separation anxiety that is completely normal for her age! No need to worry about a thing!

Yes it is normal.

About the crawling, our baby never crawled and just went straight to walking at 10 1/2 months, so no need to worry.

It's definitely normal. They go through a separation anxiety, even when you're still audible from another room. However, there is nothing wrong with letting a child cry. Who knows, maybe she'll get motivated to work her way into the room you're in and take off crawling. My son was very very clingy at that age, and only wanted mommy. But, no matter what, there are always things that have to be done around the house, so I just let him cry, while saying "well, come here, Brayden" and he'd army crawl his way to me. Then I would say "HI!" really happy and he'd always smile up at me.

From my own experience and what books I read (even though my kids are teens now), 9 mo is definitely a stage of separation anxiety - irregardless if we are working moms or not (I was a SAHM). Also, my 1st started crawling at 5/6 mo, my 2nd at 1 yr (I was starting to think she was skipping the crawling stage) and my 3rd at 9 mo. I would try the peek a boo when you are right in front of her :-D
Enjoy your times of mothering!!!

So normal! :) My 10 month (just turned 10 months today) old son is still going through this phase. He just started crawling a week ago and that has seemed to help a little because now he wants to crawl after me when I walk away. It can be difficult...but I kept reminding myself one day he will want me to leave the room and I'll be the one crying! :( So I try to have a happy medium of tending to his seperation anxiety and also letting him cry if I have to do something (like go to the bathroom alone!).

I also have a nine month old, he has decided to forgo crawling and rolls where he likes. Everything you described sounds pretty normal to me. It sounds a lot like what my son does. If she has had a change in her rontine then I would expect a change in her too. Iv learned babies are very dependent on routine and I know if I change anything a little bit from one day to the next my son gets very cranky. Im sure your doing a great job...She'll come out of it right has you go back to work:)
Good luck

OK, I am saying all of this is normal. Most importantly, the clinginess is probably just a phase. Crawling is NOT a necessary developmental skill. Some kids NEVER crawl, just go straight to standing and walking. The pediatrician will tell you they don't have to crawl so don't worry. I do think you will have to stop catering to your daughter only being held by you and things of that nature. She will learn you will be back. When you go back to work/school she will be worse off if you don't.

L. Etta, Mom to a 6 and 7 year old.

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