Mommy, buhat!(Mommy, carry!) Next to “No” this is perhaps my little toddler’s favorite word these days. She would be adventurous one moment and then suddenly, she’d ask to be carried everywhere : downstairs, upstairs, to the kitchen, to the living room, to the ends of the earth. She knows how to walk ( and run fast) but most of the time prefers being in the arms of Mommy or Daddy. I honestly had no issues with it because I enjoy carrying her around. However, there have been times when my knees started having these popping sounds that I needed a “break”. So I knew, I had to do something to get through this “clingy” phase.
Why is your toddler “clingy”
There are a variety of reasons while all of a sudden your headstrong independent doesn’t want to leave your side.Among them are illness, teething or developmental advance. Sometimes, your toddler’s need to be close may be a sign that he or she needs reassurance. Perhaps he or she is in an unfamiliar environment or perceives something as frightening.
What to do
If like us, you can’t carry your toddler all the time, let me share some helpful tips to get through this “ clingy” times.
Using slings or carriers has recently become a popular way of having young children in our arms. For toddlers, babywearing provides a security blanket in a big big world. For us parents, it is a lot of help so we can go about our day-to-day routine more comfortably.
Our soft structured carrier is a lifesaver. When we really need to walk for a long time, it saves us from the backache. Plus, we can also do errands with it. When we go to the mall or to parks, we always bring it with us. Always use a safety-tested carrier and make sure to check your child’s position.
Tell her I can’t carry you (but be prepared)
Tell your toddler you can’t carry him or her and do what you need to do. I read this technique somewhere and tried it. Well, she had a major tantrum. Here’s the thing, I had to stop carrying her cause my left knee was hurting and sometimes “popping” when I went down the stairs. So, I told her, “ I can’t carry you because my knees hurt”. She wallowed but over time, she accepted. I think it was a sign that we really needed to stop carrying her all the time. Now, she’s a bit more considerate and sometimes decides to just walk.
Meet her halfway
Nowadays, there’d still be moments she would suddenly ask to be held. So what I do is I carry her in my arms for about a minute or so then I’d take a seat somewhere. Sometimes, she won’t cry anymore, but other times, she wants more.
Offer an alternative to being carried
There would be times when I would tell my daughter, “I’ll just hold your hand and let’s walk together.” I usually do this when I’m carrying something like groceries. Sometimes, I’d say “Hug”. You could also make it a game and give a different way of going somewhere: jumping like a bunny or running like horse. Make it fun. Who knows, your toddler might change her mood.
Here’s the thing, my daughter loves slides and ballpits. There was one time my sister in law was with us at the mall. She volunteered to carry daughter around but quickly realized that it was tiring. She told my daughter that if she walks, we’d go to a play area. She quickly went and walked. Of course, we had to make do with our end of the bargain.
As they say, when you can’t change something, you need to change how you think about it. In short, consider it a good thing that your toddler sees you as a source of comfort instead of seeing the “clinginess” as inconvenience.
Well, one thing’s for sure, this too shall pass.
How bout you? Do you have any techniques to help cope with a “clingy toddler?”