Sunday, 15 February 2015

Understanding a 'clingy' baby

There is plenty advice on how to 'prevent' your child being 'needy' of you, and likewise advice on how to stop them from being 'clingy' when they already do not wish to leave your side -
You should be strong, stick to your guns, you need to be consistent and resilient.

Let them'cry it out,' and eventually they will 'self soothe.'

Let me take you somewhere....

Imagine you have just disembarked from a plane, You are the other side of the world (wherever that may be for you.) On arrival into this country, you realise the language is unknown to you. 
The culture and customs are unknown to you. The food, traditions, smells and temperatures are all different, strange; unlike anything you have experienced before.

At the Airport you find that you know one person. You know and trust this person, They have a full understanding of this place. They understand how to interact and converse with the locals, how to order food, find the toilet, and organise a place to sleep. You have no money, no phone, and no language book.

After making you feel a little more secure about being in the unknown, and completely inferior, the person you know disappears; with no way for you to contact them.

You do not know how long the have gone for, or if they are even coming back. This person is the only constant you can 'cling' to. It would be understandable at this point that you would feel anxiety. (some people would use this as an opportunity; to explore and find there feet, merely go with the flow.Whereas others would pine, worry, stress and even cry at being alone; in the unknown.)

Your baby is in a new world, he/she doesn't know language, or routine, he/she does not realise that we have things to do, or that when you are away you are not the other side of the world.

His/her one initial form of communication is to cry, if he/she is anxious and upset. You are his/her food source, his/her comfort, warmth and longest memory. You carried this baby into this world, you are the protector, provider and stability.

Being a parent should not be a battle of wills, but that of trust and understanding.

Trust is learned and developed, and by leaving our babies to scream and cry to 'prevent' them being 'clingy,' we are abusing our 'power' and their trust. It is inconvenient to have a 'clingy' baby, yet if we could change our perception, on what 'clingy' is, then maybe it would be easier to deal with. Instead of thinking"my baby screams whenever I put them down" we need to realise the counterpart, which would be that "my baby is much more contented and secure when in my arms."

Having a baby that is more content in your arms, than anywhere else, surely cannot be negative?

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