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Why is my 6 month old all of a sudden so clingy?

He always cried when I put him down as a newborn but he got over it and has been playing on his own for hours at a time with no fuss. Now all of a sudden he goes for maybe 5 minutes before he fusses but he's fine once I pick him up and carry him around. He's too big and I'm too small for a sling or baby carrier. Why all of a sudden?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 12:06 PM on Jan. 31, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

Answers (3)
  • Your child is approaching the age of separation anxiety, which is just a normal part of child development. He is now more aware and with that comes more fear. He is also figuring out how things work, basic cause and effect, and learning that if he cries he will be picked up. My suggestion to you is to talk to him when you're not holding him, to let him know you are still there for him. Also do not pick him up for every fuss or whine, but encourage him to entertain himself a bit, with a baby gym or other toys. You could also try giving him a comfort object, such as a small blanket that you have slept with or held that has your scent on it. I know some hold the philosophy that babies should be held whenever they want to be, but it is my opinion that if this was the way we were meant to parent, then we'd have pouches like kangaroos.


    Answer by GoddessLily at 12:11 PM on Jan. 31, 2009

  • Yep. Separation anxiety.
    He is now very much aware that you are a separte person from him - not just an odd extension of his own body.
    But he hasn't yet realized that things still exist even when he can't see them. So when you leave his sight, he isn't certain if you are gone forever. Learning "object permanence" is one of the mental milestones of babyhood. He'll have grasped this concept by about 9 months.

    What can you do to help?
    Play peek-a-boo games. Get a baby blanket and drape it over your head while talking to him... "where's mommy? where did mommy go?" Then pull the blanket off. Do the same thing with stuffed animals or other favorite toys. Wiggle them under the blanket and point out the "lump" they make.
    When you set out of his sight, keep talking to him, describe what you are doing and throw in a couple of "Mommy will be right backs". Your voice will help him learn that you are still there.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 12:19 PM on Jan. 31, 2009

  • It's separtion anxiety my friend! And it sucks. But you get through it. I disagree with the pp. I held my daughter and let her follow me. Think about it... you son doesn't understand that when you walk away that you are going to come back. (object permanace) He thinks you are gone forever. That must be horrifying! I set up little stations in the main rooms I used so I would have a place to put her. I also made sure I would talk to her If I walked away for a second so she knew I didn't drop off the face of the earth. He is only going to be the small once and when he is a teenager and doesn't want to be seen in public with you, you will look back on this and smile.

    Answer by GraciesMommy25 at 12:23 PM on Jan. 31, 2009

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