Extremely Clingy 19 Month Old, Wants to Be Held Constantly

Updated on October 02, 2010
W.T. asks from Dallas, TX
7 answers

My sweet daughter has turned into a clingy monkey over the last few weeks and I'm at my wit's end. First, she only wants my husband. She screams and clings when he tries to put her down and most of the time screams when I try and hold her. She has always loved her sitter, but lately cries and clings when we drop her off. She is around other people and kids all the time, but is suddenly so shy. I know this is separation anxiety, but it breaks my heart to hear her cry for Daddy constantly. I try not to take it personally, but it does hurt my feelings, it's exhausting for my husband, and frankly it's downright annoying. I'm almost 8 months pregnant and this phase is wearing me out. Do I just "ride it out" or is there some way to help her with this anxiety and restore some sanity to my house??

Nicole, as a matter of fact, she is getting over a slight ear infection and cold and is currently on her 7th day of antibiotics and breathing treatments. The breathing treatments do tend to make her antsy too. This behavior precluded the illness though.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

every baby goes through that, the trick is to not give in when they cling to you and you put them down, or it will get worse and not stop. how old is your daughter? mine was less than a year when i put her down and let her help me with house work (she put dirty clothes with clean, but hey she was helping) she had a "vacume" and would follow behind me when vacuming..needless to say her phase only lasted about 3-6 months



answers from Dallas on

My daughter used to do the same thing. She always wanted Daddy, and it hurt my feelings. Then, it passed. When my second daughter did it, I knew not to take it personally and actually took advantage of a little more temporary freedom while Daddy snuggled. He, too, understood that it was a passing, indeed, fleeting moment, and tried to focus on her. I know it's tiring, but try to relax as best you can and give her the attention, reassurance and comfort she seems to want. You won't spoil her; in fact, you'll probably increase her sense of independence when it's over. It'll pass before you know it.



answers from Dallas on

I think it might have something to do with the pregnancy. I am 38 weeks pregnant and my almost 3 year old has also become quite clingy to daddy. She has always been mommy this and mommy that -- but within the last month or two she constantly wants her daddy. I don't know about you -- but I am tired, huge and just not that much fun to be around. But daddy comes home and he is fun to play with, full of energy, etc. When I really thought about it I couldn't really blame her for wanting to spend more time with him instead of me. Her whole life is about to change and that has to be scary. I read some info about the birth of the second child and it mentions that you should try not to blame the baby when you don't feel like/can't do something. And try to set aside some special time for you and her where you don't talk about the baby and just focus on her. I have been doing this for the last week or so and it seems to be helping.



answers from Dallas on

Has she recently had an ear infection, strep, or vaccinations?


answers from Cleveland on

I am going through this same thing with my two year old. It's horrible when she's crying and crying and doesn't want me at all. We're trying to help the situation by having me get up with her in the morning so she sees me first and things like that. Some days it works better than others. I don't have an answer for you, since we are going thru it ourselves. Keep your chin up and good luck!



answers from Detroit on

I feel your pain. My 18 month old daughter is getting over an ear infection as well and had to miss a few days of daycare and ever since she went back she has been clingy, whiney etc you name it. It tends to get unbearable and frustrating. But our situation is opposite she tends to want me more than her daddy so I never get a break of any kind cause she will want my constant attention. I to believe and hoping that it's just a phase to maintain our sanity..LOL
Good luck!!


answers from Los Angeles on

Ah, yes, it is a phase. We went through it, too, when our daughter was your daugher's age. Although our daughter only wanted me, not my husband. His feelings were hurt, but I just kept telling him, "you wait; one day she will definitely think Dad is the cooler one out of the two of us!" I don't have any advice per se, we just rode it out and I definitely did more holding, carrying and nurturing during this clingy phase. I didn't want to reject our daughter because that would not be right and would go against our attachment parenting style. Hang in there, remember, it IS just a phase!!

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