I'm Desperate for Help with My Clingy Toddler.

Updated on January 05, 2012
M.Q. asks from Perris, CA
6 answers

Hello friends , I'm having a really hard time with DD4 who is 16 mo old. She has stopped sleeping through the night, she's waking up a good 3-4 times now and just wants me to sit next to her crib till she falls asleep again. She is extremly demanding and screams at & for everything (she doesnt talk much yet), she smacks @ her sisters all the time, reason or no reason, then tells them "nice" and softly rubs their arms where she hit them, she yells and screams at them too. When im cooking, or trying to, she is crying hysterically clinging on to my leg or hitting my leg so i will pay attention to her, i usually tell her "you're ok" over and over and try not to pick her up (i saw this on supper nanny) but it doesn't work, i try distracting her with toys and still no luck. DD1 was very clingy but b/c she was my first and i held her all the time b/c i didnt know better, so it was my fault 100%, so with dd2 & dd3 i made it a point that i did not want them held alot and they were THE easiest most independent babies ever.Ive done all the same things with DD$ that i did with my other easy babies. This is really starting to take a toll on me b/c i work full time, plus i handle all the mommy /home duties on my own b/c dh works till about 9pm and by then they are all asleep plus throw in there doc apptms, dentist apptms, errands ect ect ECT I am really starting to crumble, physically and for the last 2 days emotionally. Hiring help is not an option and i don't have anyone who can come help me out either,I have to figure out how to fix the problem on my own and that is why i am here asking you wonderful friends for any advice you may have. She does go to daycare and her teachers tell me she's fine there, so this is only happening at home. when my hb is home and im not, she's the same way with him,Ive been doing alot of research today on dealing with clingyness and i plan on trying a few things today like when she's crying for me, hugging her until she wiggles to get away and distracts herself, also im going to try giving her a pot with toys so she can sit on the floor when im cooking, Ive never felt that I can't handle any of my kids but this baby is just so difficult, i dont know what to do I'm desperate,overwhelmed and crying.....

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your great advice!!! Since writting this last week things have gotten better. I think she was bored more than anything so i brought out all the toys from the BOTTOM of the toy pile and she's much busier now and has let me cook most days without crying. I've also tried the hugging trick and it definitly works! She has slept 4 nights without waking up haaaaaaaaaaallelluyah!!!!! nothing has really changed with my night time routine, b/c i felt we had a pretty good one they have dinner(6pm), then play a while and then bath and bedtime is 730. She definitely was not going to bed hungy, my little butterball weighs 28lbs and she is an EATER!!!! she eats more than her 2 & 5 y/o sisters so hunger was not an issue, but i don't know maybe the fact that she's happier during the day has helped her sleep better. I'm not saying things are perfect but they are 80% better!!! :) thanks again!

More Answers


answers from San Diego on

She has you figured out. You feel sorry for her or you can't stand the crying. Maybe it's a mix of both or maybe you feel guilty for letting her cry. But it's time to change some things.

When you are cooking, she goes in a high chair nearbye with toys. If she throws the toys on the floor, she sits with nothing. If she cries, she cries. Get a good pair of headphones and some books on tape. It will help you to ignore, ignore, ignore. At night, you check her pants and leave the room. I don't believe in leaving kids in wet pants. But she's old enough to not need either a bottle or food or for you to sit next to her.

As far as the hitting the other kids and then rubbing them and saying nice, she's just trying to figure it out. Do what you feel comfortable with. It's not wrong to tap her back or time her out, or just keep doing what you are doing. Whatever you do, just keep it up and be consistant. If she keeps doing it, put her in a play pen with toys and tell her it's because she's not playing nice. It's not a time out. It's just giving your other kids a break.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Okay you have a lot going on & a lot of diff issues so here goes:
-have her in a high chair w/you while you cook
-make sure she eats more during the day to ensure she sleeps at night
-when dh gets home, have him do what he can to help: he can help you
prepare for the next day while to get you ready. Whatever that is, food,
bottles, clothes, making sure you have enough diapers out & ready to
-try to make all appts time slots for times that are best for YOU
-rest when you can...even if it's just sitting taking a load off your feet
-can you lump appts together? (2 kids at dentist @ same time etc?)
-when DH gets home at night, go to sleep as early as you can. If that's 9pm, then that's what it is.
-the spot on the floor playing w/tupperware, pots/pans is a good idea
-fig out a time in your day that is good for getting things done & a time for
resting. (only you will know these times)
-resting, letting housework go by the wayside is better in the long run b/c
for now......your sanity & peace of mind are not only at stake but are items that must be given high priority and taken care of.
-group errands together
-do online what you can: safeway shopping online & delivered (just don't
do perishables & it can be left at your doorstep while you are at work
-since you work full time, use your lunch to rest in your car & read or at a
park. Or use that time to p/u some little items you may need: diapers, meds etc
Hope this helps. Hang in there. This too shall pass.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Awe, I'm so sorry! Go put her down for a nap and take a shower and a nap yourself :)

Dr. Sears is a child expert and has some wonderful advice on discipline and behavior shaping that may really help you out. I know it helped me with my kids who are also very willful and active:


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

She is just more spirited than the others. It's not what you did it's their personality. She feels/needs more than the others from you. I have 1 this was that way too. Try an Ergo baby carrier and stick her on your back when you cook.

There is a book called "Raising your spirited child" get it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I agree with Live Bold.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Janesville-Beloit on

My 15 month old is going through a little bit of this stuff too. I'm finding that when I make a conscious effort to give her more attention/comfort/contact when she's not fussy (as opposed to just when she fusses for me), it's helping overall with the fussiness/clinginess. I have a baby carrier (Beco) that works for bigger babies and so I broke that out again and we've been using it and she loves being toted around and I can still get my stuff done.

1 mom found this helpful
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