Do you have a clingy toddler?

accreditation
Not all toddlers are free-spirits. Some toddlers want mommy and only mommy. This mom has just that problem and has asked our expert for some advice.

Desperate Mommy

Hi there

I have a 14 month old son, who has been attending a crèche for the past 5 months. Over the last 2 weeks, when I drop him off in the mornings he is extremely clingy and screams and cries terribly. I don't see anything physically wrong with him as he eats and sleeps well.

I don't know if this could maybe be the reason, but he is extremely fond of his dad and they have a good relationship, but my husband only comes home once a week, could this maybe be the reason or is he too young?

Mirielle

Expert advice

This is very distressing for you. I would imagine that this is a typical case of separation anxiety – so common at this stage.

I would need to know whether he settles well after you have left. If he does, then it really is more a case of making the “goodbyes” as quick and non- emotional as possible. Try to be as calmly matter-of-fact as possible. Then give a lot of close attention and physical closeness as possible when you fetch him. Let other chores etc be neglected and focus on him.

At this age they need a lot of one-on-one from primary carers – and so you will need to help him his needy little emotional cup in the time you do have with him. But there is no doubt that, no matter what you do, he will still probably be clingy and tearful for a while. This is developmentally normal.
I doubt that it is about your husband being away – but of course this could play a part – mainly because if he were here more of the time, you would have helpful support in meeting your baby’s needs. As it is, you will have to be the main emotional parent for now.

I do hope that this helps you.

Dr Anne Cawood


If you have a problem, we probably have an expert that can help. Find our list of experts here.
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Gauteng DA leader Solly Msimanga says the party's voters want it to explore conditional coalition talks with the ANC. 
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
It's a step in the right direction. An ANC-DA coalition would be the most stable option for SA
33% - 2859 votes
The DA should focus on working with all opposition parties, including the EFF, to unseat the ANC
15% - 1268 votes
The DA should rather remain in opposition than form a coalition with the ANC or the EFF
52% - 4536 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.09
-0.4%
Rand - Pound
20.66
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
17.80
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.54
-0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.0%
Gold
1,754.60
0.0%
Silver
21.61
0.0%
Palladium
1,856.61
0.0%
Platinum
984.00
0.0%
Brent Crude
83.63
-2.0%
Top 40
66,754
-0.0%
All Share
73,151
+0.0%
Resource 10
71,441
-0.1%
Industrial 25
87,347
-0.2%
Financial 15
16,370
+0.4%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE