How to Deal with a Clingy Toddler
Trying to survive the clingy toddler phase? If so, you’re probably wondering how to get through it — or if it will ever end. Clingy toddlers are often experiencing separation anxiety, which should lessen with age. In the meantime, support them and be patient. There are ways to make the clingy toddler phase a little easier; keep reading to learn how to deal with a clingy toddler.
Tips for Toddler “Carry Me” Phase
Table of Contents
- Why is my toddler being so clingy?
- How long does the clingy stage last for a toddler?
- Signs of a clingy toddler
- How do I stop my toddler being so clingy?
- How can I get through my toddler's phase of wanting to be carried?
- Helpful tips to deal with a clingy toddler
- Set a routine for your clingy toddler
- How do I lift my clingy toddler correctly?
- How can I make holding a clingy toddler easier?
Why is my toddler so clingy?
Many parents of toddlers report that their child goes through phases of being extra clingy. This behavior can definitely be frustrating, but it’s perfectly normal.
There are a few reasons why toddlers may become more clingy than usual. They may be experiencing separation anxiety, which is common in children between the ages of 8 months and 3 years, and usually occurs when a child is away from a parent or caregiver that they are attached to. Another reason for increased clinginess may be that the toddler is going through a major developmental milestone, like learning to walk or talk.
These milestones can be daunting for a child, and they may seek comfort and reassurance from their parents during these times. Or, toddlers may just be tired or hungry, leading to, you guessed it, clinginess. If your toddler is being extra clingy, try to be patient and understanding. If the behavior persists or is causing distress, please consult your child's pediatrician.
How long does the clingy stage last for a toddler?
If you’re wondering how to deal with clingy toddler behavior, you’re not alone. The "clingy toddler phase" is a normal phase of development that most babies go through. It typically begins around 8 months of age and lasts until the baby is around 14 months old, if not longer.
During this time, babies become attached to their caregivers and may cry or cling to them when they leave the room. This can be frustrating for parents, but it's important to remember that the clingy stage is only temporary. Eventually, babies outgrow it and become more independent.
Signs of a clingy toddler/clingy 2 year old
Most toddlers aren’t quiet about much, especially clingy ones. Being a toddler can be an awkward phase for children—it’s a mix of learning independence yet still needing mom and dad for… almost everything. Signs of a clingy toddler usually start surfacing as early as 6 months. In some cases, the separation anxiety behaviors begin without warning. As a parent, you probably want to ensure nothing is wrong with your toddler, and once you confirm that, pivot to how to help them. Here are some signs you may have a clingy toddler on your hands (or wrapped around your leg).
- Lack of willingness to do things on their own
- Struggling to fall asleep and stay asleep alone
- Rebellious behavior when encouraged to be independent
- Craving physical touch from their parents
- Wanting to be carried often
As you help your toddler learn independence, it’s important to recognize that sometimes they just need their parents—and that’s okay. Finding ways to boost their confidence while letting them know you’re always there is key. While each child is different, nobody knows your child like you do.
Carrying your heavy toddler will likely be routine if you have a clingy toddler, but babywearing can support parents and caregivers while comforting toddlers. The Tushbaby is a hip seat carrier that evolves with your baby from infancy through toddlerhood while being built to support you both; that means you can buy one multifunctional carrier that delivers years of use. From doubling as a breastfeeding pillow to pairing with The Snug attachment for hands-free carrying, the Tushbaby is designed to streamline life with a baby or toddler by fusing practicality, functionality, and style.
How do I stop my toddler being so clingy?
It’s natural for toddlers to want to be close to their parents or caregivers. So while you may be eager to stop the clingy phase, try to embrace it as best as you can. Here are a few things you can do to help your toddler feel more comfortable when you're not around:
- Avoid giving in. It can be hard to hear your baby or toddler cry, but giving in can make the situation worse.
- Give them a chance to say goodbye. This can be as simple as a hug or a high-five.
- Set up a special comfort object, like a stuffed animal or blanket, for when you're away. This can help your toddler feel snug and secure.
- Try to keep your departures and arrivals low-key. Avoid making a big fuss over leaving or coming home.
- Try babywearing. Whether you’re at home or running errands, if your baby wants to be close, let them. By using the Tushbaby Hip Seat Carrier, keeping your baby close can be comfortable for you while keeping them happy.
As a parent, always remember to be patient and understanding. Your toddler is going through a difficult phase, and with your love, support, and guidance, they should outgrow it eventually.
How can I get through my toddler's phase of wanting to be carried?
“Pick me up.” “Mommy/daddy, up please.” These are probably phrases you hear often from your toddler while you’re juggling how to make them happy and get your to-do list done simultaneously. Not to mention, carrying a toddler can take a toll on your body and disrupt your everyday life.
One way to get through this phase is by babywearing — and the Tushbaby Hip Seat Carrier can make carrying and wearing a toddler a breeze. The Tushbaby Carrier is built for its support for both the wearer and the baby. The Tushbaby Carrier features a supportive seat that puts babies’ hips in the “M” position to support healthy hip growth. It also sits high and tight above your hips, protecting all those muscles, joints, and bones by supporting your back and reducing painful spine curvature. With 4 carrying positions, you can carry your toddler confidently without the aches and pains.
(Also Read: How to carry your baby without hurting your back)
Helpful tips to deal with a clingy toddler
- Understand how they feel and empathize: As your toddler experiences new feelings, it’s natural to want to help them understand those feelings and let them know it’s okay to have them. Helping them learn how to manage their big feelings will bring you closer and make communicating easier. If they need a hug or some quiet 1-on-1 time with you to work through their emotions, using the Tushbaby can help you keep your little one close without wearing out your back or arms. This allows you to hold your toddler for longer periods of time if needed.
- Allow them to express their feelings: Expression of feelings is a beautiful thing. Give your toddler a safe space and the confidence to express their feelings. They may be more likely to express their feelings when they’re being held or comforted by their trusted parent(s), and if your toddler tends to be extra clingy, they may need to be comforted and reassured more often. The Tushbaby Carrier straps on high and tight on your waist and can be worn with or without a baby, so you’re ready to comfort your toddler when those big emotions strike.
- Encourage independence: Toddlers can gain confidence as they learn how to do things, such as go to school alone or fold their clothes. However, independence doesn’t happen overnight; each day, find ways to encourage your toddler to be independent despite their clinginess. As their independence and confidence grow, the clinginess will hopefully fade.
- Make your toddler feel important: With a wandering mind and new sights to see, toddlers are prone to distractions. You can turn these distractions into a way to make your toddler feel important and encourage their independence—allowing your toddler to help with toddler-approved chores at home, making meals, taking care of siblings, or helping mommy load up the baby carrier are all ways you can involve your toddler while making them feel important.
- Offer the assurance they need: Toddlers (and adults too) can benefit from reassurance. As your toddler finds the courage to try new things or break some of their clingy behavior, recognize the efforts, no matter how small they are.
Praise them: Manners are important, so demonstrating them is a great way to help your child learn them. Praising your child for doing a good job or encouraging them to praise others can raise awareness of behaviors you want them to repeat or demonstrate. Praising clingy toddlers for doing things on their own can reinforce positive behavior.
Don’t rush: Slowing down can seem hard with a toddler, but it can help a clingy toddler. Giving them the space to recognize emotions and receive the comfort they need from their parents can make things go a bit smoother.
- Spend time with others: Clingy toddlers may want to cling to those they are most familiar with. While they may shed some tears in the process, encouraging them to spend time with others can help them learn they will be okay without you. While you may go through the same separation anxieties time after time, be patient. Change is ahead. Clingy toddlers may search for comfort from the people they trust, whether mom and dad are around or not. When you leave your toddler in those trusted hands, it helps to give them a carrier like the Tushbaby Carrier so they can comfortably hold your toddler close as they adjust to the separation. The Tushbaby features an adjustable waistband that fits up to a 43-inch waist, and can be paired with our Waistband Extender to add an extra 23 inches to the waistband.
Set a routine for your clingy toddler
Clingy toddlers can benefit from knowing what to expect. For example, perhaps every morning, you wake up, dress your toddler, eat some breakfast, and head out to daycare. The clinginess may occur during the morning or at drop-off as they know separation is ahead, so getting in some 1:1 time by wearing baby with the Tushbaby during a portion of the morning can help ease this morning transition.
Your steady routine also lets them know what lies ahead so they don’t feel tricked. After daycare pickup, set aside time to cuddle or hold your toddler for in some form of interaction or another – this can give them something to look forward to! The Tushbaby can aid in this bonding time, and your toddler can feel at ease knowing they can get picked up or put down easily while your back is supported with the Tushbaby hip seat carrier.
How do I lift my clingy toddler correctly?
It can be tough to pick up, put down, and pick up your toddler again, especially when they want it all the time. Here are a few tips on lifting your clingy toddler correctly to avoid unnecessary injuries.
First, make sure that you're in a safe position. If you're lifting them from a chair or bed, make sure that your feet are firmly planted on the ground. Secondly, use your legs, not your back, to lift them up. Squat down, put your arms around their waist, then stand up slowly, using your leg muscles to support their weight.
How can I make holding a clingy toddler easier?
Any parent of a young child knows that one of the most challenging tasks can be simply holding onto them. Whether you’re trying to cook dinner or take a shower, a clingy toddler can make it nearly impossible to get anything done. But there are ways to make it easier.
Enter the Tushbaby Carrier. As the best-selling carrier on the market, Tushbaby offers a comfortable hipseat that evenly distributes your baby’s weight. With the Tushbaby Carrier, you’ll be able to carry your baby longer and more comfortably, and it’s the ideal solution to constantly picking up and putting down your baby. In addition to its comfort and support, it offers 4 carry positions and 5 storage pockets to stash diapers, wipes, and your personal items.
During the clingy toddler phase, the Tushbaby Carrier can be a lifesaver. It's simple and non-restrictive design can keep you and your baby happier while you pass through the clingy phase together.