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  1. #1

    How to make my 1 year old independant?

    Hello all,

    Ok, before I post my query let me give you a brief background about us. I have been a stay at home mum since my daughter's birth and have been her primary care giver. She is 1 year old. And we are the only two of us at home during day time, when her dad goes to work.

    Now my problem: My daughter is so very dependent on me that she doesn't allow me to move farther than her hands reach, even for a few minutes. I know it is too early to expect her to be totally independent. And I also know that at this age they start having separation anxiety. But I feel she is a little overboard with her dependency. We do have a lot of time together - play time, reading books and other games. But if I am doing anything other than playing with her, she stops everything and sits holding onto my legs. She doesn't even play with her toys if I am not playing with it too. This happens even if I am sitting right next to her. She has to touch me all the time. I have tried leaving her with her toys and books and go to other rooms. But she comes behind me and is more sticky then.

    She doesn't have as much problem if there is another person at home. During weekends her dad is home. Then she doesn't want me so much. And she is not so sticky on either of us. She plays on her own for a while and explores more. Same is the case when her grandparents visit us.

    Her dependency is ok for me most of the time but doing household chores are a big problem. I have to wait for her to sleep or her dad to come home to do anything.

    Any suggestions to make her more independent are welcome. I badly need them.


    Thanks,

    Rashmi

  2. #2
    Hi Rashmi,

    This is fairly common is children of this age. We experienced something similar with my toddler recently but it lasted less than 2 months. On days when you are finding things difficult it may help to remind yourself that this stage will pass. They are only young for so short a time but when you are in the moment it can be hard to appreciate that. I liked this video that Kate (another forum member) posted which reminds me of this on the more difficult days: Gentle Parenting Video Clip.

    That's good that your daughter is more independent when another adult is around at the weekends. Can you make use of this time to go in and out of the room easily (without your daughter becoming distressed) and to get her used to being away from you.

    I can highly recommend baby wearing as a great way to get household chores completed whilst keeping your baby happy and close. When my son was 1 year we swapped to a Mei Tai sling as I found this more supportive.

    There is also a thread here about some more ways to deal with Separation Anxiety. There's also this article by Dr. Sears (the paediatrician and gentle parenting advocate) that I found useful.

    I hope this is helpful - let's see if any other mums have some more suggestions.

    Best wishes,

    LJ

  3. #3
    Hello LJ,

    Thank you for your reassurance and suggestions. I read the articles too - very informative! But my main concern is that my daughter doesn't want to play or do things on her own even if I am sitting right next to her. This happens only when we are alone at home. If there is one more person (known person, of course) in the house, she is not very clingy on me and happily plays and explores around on her own.

    I have even left her with my mother some afternoons when I have to run errands and my mum also have the same experience if they are alone. May be she needs to see more known faces around to feel safe.

    But as you mentioned, this phase too shall pass. She has been behaving this way, since she was around 6 months old. I thought she will grow out of it once she starts moving around and can reach wherever I go. Looks like it will take some more time.

    Thanks for taking time to reply to my query.

    Regards,

    Rashmi

  4. #4
    Hi Rashmi,

    Do give it some more time. Even another year isn't too much time.

    In the mean time, I found that putting my children in a backpack allowed me to do dishes, vacuuming, laundry and other things during the day. Baby was close (and often went to sleep on my back) and I was able to get things done.

    If you feel that it would be beneficial to have someone else in the house regularly, you could try finding a young girl who is willing to come to the house for maybe a couple of hours, 3 days a week.

    But I think I'd just enjoy these days of having a baby who wants to be with you and not worry about the "clinginess" right now. It's all too soon before they're much more interested in their surroundings than they are in being held. You have a beautiful relationship with your daughter and it doesn't seem to be causing any problems with your husband (she enjoys his company too) which is a very good thing.

    Warm regards,

    Kate

  5. #5
    Hello Kate,

    You are right. Soon they will grow up and not want us as much. I guess I will wait for a little longer before I worry about her dependency.

    Thanks for your reassurance and support.

    Regards,
    Rashmi R

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