How To Deal With A Clingy Baby: 16 Tips To Reduce The Anxiety

This post is here to help all the moms who are going through separation anxiety or clinginess in their kids. You will find real easy practical tips to conquer this temporary phase of your child's life. Learn how you can cope.

Hello Mamas and Mamas -to -be. I know just what you are experiencing. I have been there and I have done that. Clingy babies are really something to deal with. However, your case may be I am going to help you Mama. You need help and you need it now right? You cannot do any house work, you cannot have any me time and you cannot even give your little star to anyone to hold!!!

That would make matters worse right? Well lets understand what is going on here. I am going to enlighten of how you can deal with a clingy baby and give you tips to reduce their anxiety. Lets get the full picture of how you can help your child:

1. Understanding why is my child so clingy?

“Clinginess” refers to a child who has a strong emotional or behavioral reaction to being separated from their parent. If you or their other caregivers leave them, even for a short period, babies and toddlers become clinging and cry.

Clingy behavior can appear in children at any age, from preschool to late primary school. Infants may cry to express their displeasure with being removed from their parents. If their parent leaves them, toddlers or older children may weep, cling, or even have a full-fledged meltdown.

You may notice that certain circumstances make your child nervous or uncomfortable. Try to pinpoint which issues make your child behave especially anxious, so you can predict when the clinginess will be at its worst.

  • Are there certain situations that stress your child out the most? Socializing with other children? Going to school? See if you can identify common themes, and talk to any teachers or other caregivers to determine whether your child manages these situations when you are not present.
  • [3]

Children develop a variety of personality traits and behaviors as they learn about the world around them. While some children appear to be self-assured and self-sufficient from an early age, others stay attached, requiring safety, security, and reassurance from their primary caregivers. Dealing with a clinging child can be taxing and unpleasant. Thankfully, there are a number of options I have here for you.

2.Let me share my personal story:

I remember when I was going into grade one for the first time; my mom introduced me to my first teacher and then left me. I thought my end had come. I cried so much because I thought my world was torn away. But the crying was not long and it eventually got easier because my mom always came back with a big smile on her face. I had four babies who all were clingy at some point but it was short lived. Thank God!

3.When and how long is the clingy stage?

Clinginess is common in children throughout certain developmental phases, such as when they are older babies and learning to crawl or walk; when they are early toddlers trying to communicate using words; and when they are going through major changes, such as starting daycare or preschool.

It normally peaks between the ages of ten and eighteen months, then diminishes in the second year’s second half. This stage of your child’s emotional development will be sensitive in some ways and painful in others. but it’s a normal phase of their development that they normally outgrow.

4.Could I be the cause for this clinginess?

Is it possible that the clingy behavior is being caused by you unknowingly? Some parents overprotect their children, striving to keep them safe from harm or negative feelings. Before your youngster feels comfortable establishing his independence, you may need to relax a little.
Tell your child how strong and brave he is, and encourage him to attempt new things to develop his independence.

Allow him to go a few steps away from you in the park or library to play with other children as long as he is safe. Allow him to explore your backyard or climb up on the jungle gym without hovering too close.
When your child is hurt, try not to overreact. If it’s a minor fall for instance, Stay calm and relax.

5.Mamas be aware of conditions that cause anxiety which leads to clinginess

Adjustment disorder

Be alert of any conditions that create clinginess. While clinginess in youngsters is common, it’s also conceivable that your child has a problem that has to be handled. Clinginess is a sign of adjustment disorder, attachment disorder, and separation anxiety. If you suspect your child has one of the illnesses listed below, talk to her pediatrician about treatment options. You may benefit from the assistance of a therapist or child behavior specialist in this situation. [4]

Attachment disorder

After a stressful or unpleasant incident, adjustment disorder develops (such as moving, divorce, starting a new school). [5] As the child adjusts to life after the tragedy, she may exhibit the following behaviors: excessively worried or depressed, difficulties sleeping, frequent weeping spells, expressing aggression and picking fights, isolating and refusing to attend school.
Attachment Disorder: During the first three years of life, the kid has trouble bonding with others, which is frequently caused by abuse, neglect, or instability.
[7] The child will lack trust, struggle to demonstrate affection, have an aversion to physical touch or tenderness, and display anger in the form of tantrums or passive-aggressive behavior.

Separation Anxiety

Separation worry affects children who come from close-knit households and experience high levels of anxiety and/or terror when separated from individuals to whom they are attached. She may experience sadness, difficulty concentrating, social withdrawal, heightened fear of perceived dangers to family members or herself (such as animals, burglars, car accidents.

Inability to sleep without the other person nearby or fear of sleeping away from home, clinginess, anger, and even violence against someone who is forcing separation. The youngster must exhibit these symptoms for at least four weeks to be diagnosed with separation anxiety. Seek medical advice if you see these in your child.

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6.How to deal with clingy behavior in the now moment?

Let me help you Mama:

7.Avoid situations that exacerbate your child’s clinginess.

 If your child is going through an especially clingy phase, it’s okay to try to avoid the situations that make your child overly clingy. Just as you might avoid a situation that causes anxiety for you. It’s ok to avoid situations that do the same thing to your child.[12]

  • Be aware, too, that hunger and tiredness can exacerbate clingy behaviors.
  • Once you have pinpointed the situations that seem to make your child anxious, you can avoid these situations entirely. For example, if crowded playgrounds or play dates with particular people make the problem worse, avoid them until your child becomes a bit more independent.
  • If you can’t avoid the situation outright, you can also compromise by adapting the situation to make it more acceptable to your child. For example, you could go to the playground when it is less crowded early in the morning, or have a playdate that requires less one-on-one time (for instance, meet up with your child’s friend and his parents at the zoo or aquarium).

8.Mama prepare your child for what’s coming

Prepare your child for circumstances that could be problematic. This is one of the best things you can do for your baby. If you can’t escape a scenario, do everything you can to prepare your child for it. Explain where you’re going, what you’ll be doing.

If your child seems especially upset when you leave her in the care of someone else, take the time to prepare for this, too.

9.Explain that you understand how your child feels and that her /his feelings are okay.

Emphasize the fun she will have, and remind your child that you will return. Never sneak away; simply explain what’s going on, and keep a positive attitude. Sneaking will only teach your child not to trust you.

Make an effort to be less protective.

10.When it’s suitable, give your child some freedom and independence.

Before your child can do the same, you may need to overcome your own worries and apprehensions.
Allow your youngster to gradually adjust to independence by allowing him or her to play alone. Allow your child to entertain himself for short amounts of time rather than planning his entire day or trying to interact with him continually. He/she might enjoy reading, coloring, building with blocks, or playing with dolls. If your child is a small toddler, he may be able to play alone for only a few minutes at a time, but by the time he is four or five years old, he should be able to play for an hour or more.

Take a step back from where you normally stand when the child is playing at a playground or other public location. Continue to take a step back each time you take your child to the playground until you are sitting on a nearby bench as long as your child is mobile and able to safely explore the playground equipment. Encourage and support each other, and keep involved by actively watching (no phone games! ), but don’t hover too near.

Assist your youngster by reassuring him or her. A clinging child is looking for a safe haven. For this behavior, do not reject, neglect, or criticize your youngster. As you encourage independence, give hugs and comfort.
Allowing a frightened toddler or youngster to see what you’re doing is one method to reassure them. Tell her whether you’re heading into the next room. “I need to put my cup in the sink,” you say, “but I’ll be right back.”

Tell her you’re leaving rather than disappearing when she’s not looking if you’re leaving him at school or childcare. Even if it’s more difficult because she’s crying, she’ll trust your word and know what to expect, and she won’t have to worry about you disappearing. This is what I saw my mom did to me . She told me she would be back for me and she did.

If your child is stressed out because you have to spend time apart, spend extra time cuddling, reading stories, or playing in the yard with him or her. On days like these, your youngster may require additional attention to feel safe.

Take your child’s feelings into consideration.

Try to understand your child’s fears and anxieties, and explain why a certain circumstance is safe without dismissing their sentiments. Even while you attempt to make your child less clinging, tell her that you understand how she feels.

Remember that small children have only been in the world for a brief time and have very limited frames of reference. Fears that adults find foolish might be overwhelming to a young child. Instead of telling her that her feelings are stupid or that she is acting like a baby, respect her by taking her worries seriously and attempting to help her understand and master them.

11.Never punish your clingy child

A clinging youngster should not be punished. Remember that clinginess is a normal and healthy stage of growth. You don’t want to hurt your child’s feelings because he is dependent on you and is going through a typical growth stage. Punishment will just confuse your youngster and will not solve the situation.
Remember that a clinging youngster is putting his trust in you to look after his needs. If you scream at him or reprimand him for his clinginess, he will have no one to lean on for support.

12.Teach your child to be more confident

Gradually cut ties with your child. Separate your attached child gradually if he or she is suffering from separation anxiety. Return after a few minutes of leaving your youngster. Gradually extend the duration until your youngster is comfortable with the idea of being separated for a short period of time.
Say, while you’re at home and you’re playing together “Oh, and I left my juice in the kitchen unattended. I’ll get back to you as soon as possible!” Don’t waste time; go collect it and return right away. She’ll notice how dependable you are and how frequently you return.
Do something that takes a little longer next time you leave the room. You might remark, “For example,” “I have a load of laundry that has to be done. I will be back for you.

Leave them with something they are comfortable with
Clingy toddlers may be soothed by a favorite toy or something that smells like you, such as a scarf or sweater.

13.Never let him see you cry

No don’t break down in front of them.
Sure, we understand that dropping your baby off at nursery for the first time makes you want to cry like a heartbroken 18-year-old. But hold on a second. Smile, wave, and then stroll around the corner to a coffee shop with a good friend where you may cry your heart out. lol!! yes mam, that’s the way you should do it. I know and understand that it is not easy but you got this Mama!

Remember this too shall pass.

 I guarantee that your infant will not be clingy indefinitely. One day, you’ll gladly wave them off at nursery as you go to work. Without thinking about it, you’ll drop them off at your friend’s house for half an hour.

Most separation anxiety fades by the time they reach the age of 24 months, so it may just be a matter of patience. If you have severe separation anxiety that lasts throughout preschool, primary school, or beyond, and it interferes with your everyday activities, talk to your doctor. It could be a symptom of a rare condition known as separation anxiety disorder.

14.Hang around for the first few times

Clinginess isn’t a drug addiction, and your child doesn’t need to quit suddenly.  As a result, assisting them in becoming accustomed to independent living is quite acceptable.

If your child is going to a new childminder or will be staying with someone unfamiliar for the first few times, stay with them. While you’re still in the room, they’ll be able to develop trust in you. You might try leaving your child for small periods of time until they become accustomed to being separated from you for extended periods of time.

15.Always comfort your baby when afraid or anxious

Your kid may also develop a fear of objects and situations that she previously ignored. Fears of the dark, thunder, and loud appliances like vacuum cleaners are prevalent at this age. You’ll be able to talk about your anxieties later, but for now, the only remedy is to eliminate the source of your fears as much as possible:

When she’s not around, put a nightlight in her room or vacuum. When you can’t protect her from something scary, try to predict her reaction and be close by so she can turn to you. Soothe her, but keep your cool so she knows you’re not scared. If you reassure her every time she hears a thunderclap or a jet engine scream, she won’t be afraid. Additionally, you may have friends and relatives who claim that you have the child spoiled. Do not listen to their remarks. Your baby needs your love and affection at this time. You are not spoiling your little star.

Bottom line

Most of us have been clingy at some point in our lives and we all did pretty well didn’t we? Well just like did, so will our little stars. Be patient. Know that God is there to help you overcome. I want you to know that God cares about you and He wants you to ask Him to help you and He will. Stay strong Mama. You’ve got this.

I hope you were able to learn and practice these techniques. You are free to like or comment if you would like. I have a question for you before we go. How did you handle your baby ‘s clinginess? Or what are your concerns about anxiety separation? Thank you for stopping by today and do visit again.

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Published by Marilyn Smith

Hello. My name is Marilyn Smith. I am a Health Specialist with specialized skills in Clinical Practical Nursing, and Midwife of thirty six years. I am also a certified Lactation and Grief Specialist. I am well qualified to assist in meeting your breastfeeding needs. Breastfeeding is indeed the best for your baby. Congratulations on making such a wonderful decision. Consider this your home as we learn about the joys and pains of pregnancy & breastfeeding

3 thoughts on “How To Deal With A Clingy Baby: 16 Tips To Reduce The Anxiety

    1. Hello. Thank you for reaching out. Your response matters. Know that you are valuable to the world. I hope you were able to get some help on the topic. How is your little star ? I hope all is well. To receive special updates, product launches, podcasts, giveaways, special bonuses! & more….Link @
      Shake off every negative thing that is trying to weigh you down! I declare the peace of God over you right now in the name of Jesus!


    2. Hello my dear. Struggling with clinginess? I hope some of the tips help you out. Stay strong in God. Ask Him for wisdom in dealing with it all. PROVERBS 3:5,6 KJV “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths”


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