March 08, 2007,
R.W. asks from North Brookfield, MA on March 03, 2007
Cranky One Year Old
My 13 month old son is very attached to me. Everytime I leave the room for a second he starts to cry for me. When he's home with my husband he just cries for me most of the time and the only way he can calm him down is by picking him up and he's getting too heavy to carry around all of the time. I watch twin 4 year old girls 4 days a week and he comes with me. Its quite difficult to take care of them when he can't be without me. How can I get him to play on his own from time to time and to be able to stay at home with my husband. My husband says he's not sure if he wants more kids because of this.
L.S. answers from Portland on March 05, 2007
I have a 16 month old daughter who was the same way when i left. I decided that we needed to stop that behavior, so i started to go to the gym for 1 hour every night. And whenever i needed to go to the store i made sure that, if possible, i left her at home with my husband. When we were at home and she wanted to be picked up for no obvious I refused. I would redirect her attention to something else and eventually is got a lot better. Now when i leave she doesn't cry or if she does it is just for a minute. It is hard at first, but will get easier as time goes on. Definetly not a quick fix but will work eventually.
J.M. answers from Portland on March 08, 2007
Well I had the same problem with my daughter. I tried to work in baby steps. I would not pick her up. I told her that "Mommy was a big girl and needed some personal space" and then I set up a little play area for her. I started by placing her blanket about 2 or 3 feet from me. Then about 3 days to a week depending on how she reacted, I moved it another foot or 2 away. I did this for about a month. I got her to the point that she would play in her room while I was in the living room. Then I went out side, on the steps or grass, whiles she sat inside with her Dad. And with in about 2 1/2 months I was able to leave with out a big deal... But I made sure that I kept on telling her that " I needed my own personal space"
K.I. answers from Lewiston on March 05, 2007
Most babies grow out of this after a while. I did daycare for 10 years. That is the age. One way to help him get used to it is to try and leave for very short periods of time. Take a trip to the corner store or go for a 15 minute walk. Make sure you give him a quick but good kiss and hug good bye and tell him you will be right back. If you keep going back to kiss him cause he is crying it makes it so much harder on you and him. It is very tough trust me I have been there. Have your husband get his favorite toy as soon as you leave and if he has to sit with him for a few minutes to reassure him you wont be gone long it is ok. He can also try and get him interested in playing with toys. Then make a big deal of him when you get home. It will get easier. One thing I don't advise is to try and sneak out. That I think makes it so much worse. I like to be honest with them. Tell him you know he is sad but it is ok to be sad. It is also ok for mom to be go for a walk cause mommy always comes back and you know he will be ok with daddy for a few minutes. Hope I didnt over ramble. It does get better. Good luck and best wishes.
C.C. answers from Boston on March 05, 2007
Hi R.. My daughter is 15 mths and was like this but it's getting a little better. Stressful, huh. And my Husbands feelings get hurt because she only wants me if I'm around. For one, it's kinda his age right now, so it will get better. 2nd, you're just going to have to be tougher when he cries, in other words, don't be so quick to pick him up. I know, it's not easy. Live it every day. But, you are puddy in his hands right now. Take back the control or it will never stop. I reasure my daughter that I'm right here, but she needs to go play. A little hug now and then can hold her over for a little while. Does your son have something like a stuffed animal, a blankie, or something that comforts him? Try that. Maybe going out and getting him something that could fulfil his needs for a litte while. Good luck, remember, YOU have the power to change this. He's going to cry and probably take tantrums but he's not hurt he's just mad because he's not getting what he wants, you holding him.
H.M. answers from Boston on March 05, 2007
i went through something like that, as well. It just takes time.
My husband started kicking me out of the house so our daughter would be alone with him for a while. Sooner or later he'll get over it. Our daughter still once in a while cries when I leave, but it's gotten a little better. She's almost 4 yrs old now. It just takes time. you have to just walk away when they start to do that, as much as it is hard. You're not going to be neglecting your child, but he needs to learn he can be without you. Trust me, it's hard going through it, but they need to learn. there isn't much else you can do. Even my doctor told me the same thing. You just have to slowly let them be without you for a while. It's the only way he'll learn.
P.C. answers from Boston on March 05, 2007
I know that it is very difficult to let your young child cry, but sometimes that is exactly what you need to do. I have two children, but they are much older...my daughter is ten, and my son is 19...and I went through the same thing with both of them.
I don't know if your son has any cousins, but maybe you can arrange play dates with them if he does. I would also suggest finding a Daddy and me play group that your husband could take your son to. This will give him the opportunity to bond with your son without you there, and a chance for your son to be around other children his age.
As difficult as it is to let them cry...it will only get more difficult as he gets older to become independent of you. This will be especially noticeable when he starts school. It is important for children even very young children to spend time away from their parents. I hope this is helpful.
S.J. answers from Bangor on March 05, 2007
The best thing in this situation is patience. You are the most important thing in his little world and after being with him constantly for 13 months, he gets scared when you leave him. I know he has a Daddy there too that loves him very much but you are mommy who feeds, hugs and loves him day and night 24/7. This actually happens very frequently and I'm lucky that I haven't been through it yet with my 16 month old. When I go out the door she cries for a moment until she becomes distracted with something shiny and she is content to play with it. What you could try is that when you leave him with someone say,"Mommy is going for a little bit, but I will be back." Smile at him, relax and don't be nervous about how his reaction is going to be. The person you are leaving him with plays a very important role as the caregiver, they need to be constant with trying to make him feel better. This can be anything from giving him his favorite snack to playing with the most interesting toy (one with lights, sounds and vibrant colors) or playing one on one until he can finally relax and know everything will be okay until you return. He needs this attention until he stops crying and whining because he needs to learn that when you are gone things can be fun and it's okay to play without mommy there. Maybe Daddy can find something special that they can both do just for the two of them while you are out. If you have two cars have your husband take him someplace fun. It is very important that he isn't let to just cry it out when you go, that only adds to his feeling of overwhelmed loneliness. When you do get home, shower him with kisses and hugs, I'm sure he'll be excited about seeing you and run to you for them anyway. After leaving him for a few hours more and more, he will become much better at knowing that he's going to be just fine and that you will come back to him. Remember to stay calm, babies and children can sense your anxiety and it makes them even more nervous than they originally were. Be patient and compassionate, but do not let his behavior rule everything you do, you are the parents, you teach him what the best behavior is and with persistence and cooperation with who you leave him with, he will learn and understand that everything is going to work out just fine. Don't worry, you can do it. Good Luck.