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Clingy Toddler - how long does this last?

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  • Clingy Toddler - how long does this last?

    My DD has started getting very clingy with me. I can deal with it, but wanted an idea of how long this is going to last and is there anything I can do to help her?

    When we're at home she's fine, she'll play on her own and doesn't need to be next to me all the time. But if her Dad is home she'll only come to me for cuddles, if we're out she prefers being carried by me and not him. I have to lay down with her to sleep, Dad just isn't good enough. Or rather, she'll lay down with Dad but not sleep with him, she just plays.

    She started back to daycare 3 days a week and the first 2 weeks were fine but since then she has been getting increasingly unhappy about me leaving. It started with her just crying when I said goodbye but today she started being unhappy when I got her out of the car and she saw where we were. I have to physically pry her off me and hand her to the carer, and then listen to her crying as I walk out. The staff have reassured me that she only cries a minute or two, that she plays happily all day and there haven't been any problems with staff or other children that they think could have caused it. And since she's the same with me at home with her dad I know it's a bigger issue than just daycare.

    When we moved to Melbourne in October until about a month ago she was with me pretty much every single day, all day long. So I can understand that she has gotten used to that and wants me around. But surely there's something I can do to help her let me go?

  • #2
    IMO, in this situation if you try to "push" her to let you go, it will just make her more clingy. I know you don't want to "push" her, but you know what I mean. I can't give you any advice about the whole daddy thing, we never experienced that.
    She's probably just feeling a bit anxious about everything, moving house and then starting daycare. That's normal too, btw, to have the first couple of weeks where they're fine and then suddenly they don't want to go.
    Vallerie and I did this thing, when she was 2 and going to day care, where we say YAY DAYCARE!! when we pull into the carpark. I do this whole bit of getting so excited coz we're nearly there, saying "oh LOOK! we're nearly there, i wonder what toys will be there today, i wonder if they'll have the tunnel out!" etc etc, focussing on how much fun she'll have there. And then when we pull up, it's YAY DAYCARE!! really loud sometimes LOL and she plays along. Now she's 4 1/2 and when we pull up at kindy, we have to say YAY KINDY!!! LOL. This worked for us, but might not work with you - as you know, all kids are different. And it didn't work straight away, it took a few weeks before she settled in properly and then was happy to shout YAY DAYCARE!!!

    Good luck, I know it's heartbreaking to have to almost run out the daycare door. I spent quite a few mornings where I'd run back out to the car and sit and cry for a few minutes before I could go to work. (((hugs))) to you and Chloe, this can be a really hard time for you both.


    • #3
      We're going through the "daddy rejection" phase at the moment. Eloise was fine up until Christmas, she'd have her nightly bottle with daddy and then he'd put her to bed. After Xmas she just stopped wanting to do it. It's only in the last week or so that she's letting him take her to bed again, still refuses to take the bottle from him and has a little hissy with crying and flailing arms if he even tries. Even just getting her to give a "cuggle" to daddy is a bit of a trial atm. I've been persevering but it's very hard and quite disheartening for DP. I've put it down to all the disruption with Christmas and packing and the big move....

      I feel for you Martha (and your DH) - hopefully it IS just a phase and little Chloe will get back to normal soon.