You cannot even leave a room without a whimper from your toddler. Am I right? Most of the time, they even follow you OUT of the room! Suddenly, a fear hits you, ‘Why is my toddler clingy??? Will it ever end???’
There are many reasons why your Toddler has changed from the outgoing, independent child to a clingy – will not leave you alone – child. Let’s take a look at some of the common reasons now.
When you have got stuff to do, having a Toddler gripping onto your legs it NOT going to help.
No one said bringing up a toddler was going to be easy…
7 Common Reasons Why Your Toddler Is Clingy
Here are the 7 most common reasons why your toddler is clingy. It is essential to have an open discussion with your toddler to narrow down the reasons until you find why. Hopefully, it is just a phase your toddler is going through that is their way of showing you affection.
Sure, it will be tough. Communicating with a toddler is often a challenge! You do not need me to tell you that, right?
Fear of Change
Think about any big changes that are going on in your toddler’s life which may be causing them to be clingy at home.
Are you in the process of moving home? Have you recently got a new pet? Have they started daycare? Do they have a new sitter looking after them?
A toddler’s life is full of change, and as a parent, it is your job to help them through. They are growing up quickly at this age, and there are changes around every corner.
Potty training is one of the biggest changes a toddler must face. A huge change to their usual routine may cause them to become clingy, and now they have to remember to go to the potty instead of just doing it!
Openly discuss any big changes with your toddler. It will add more comfort to their lives and will teach them the benefits and comfort of change.
Pregnant Mom or New Baby
This is a HUGE reason why your toddler may be clingy!
For a start, they are now old enough to understand what is going to happen.
Your toddler will have several friends by now, and some of those might have younger siblings (crazy parents!). If mom is pregnant, your toddler will know what is about to happen. They will see it as competition for your affection.
Not only will your toddler be battling for your affection by being clingy, but they may also begin acting up. This is very common when new babies arrive, too, so best get used to it!
You can fix this by reassuring your toddler that they are still loved. Spend more time playing with them and ensure they get enough of your time doing fun things.
Sometimes, simply reassuring a toddler who is clingy to pregnant Mom is all that is needed!
Not Well – Sick
Kids become fussy when they are sick, period.
I always know when my son is coming down with an illness at least a day before other symptoms are displayed!
Every time, it begins with him being clingy. He is not interested in playing; he wants to sit down with mom or me. He is quiet and becomes a little whiny when we try to leave the room. Classic symptoms!
If you think your toddler is coming down with an illness, it is time to begin preparations! Ensure you have the following classic sickness tools at your disposal:
- Digital Ear Thermometer
- Bucket/Sick bowl
Now is the time that you should expect your toddler to break through their second molars!
Out of all teeth, these are usually the most painful! My son was very good with all his teeth coming through, except his second molars.
When toddlers are in pain because of a tooth breaking through, they become needy and clingy.
Keep an eye out for other symptoms that your toddler is breaking their second molars before you confirm this to be the cause of their clinginess.
Painkillers and affection will drive this away!
Your toddler’s imagination is at record levels right now! That is a good thing, and it is a bad thing.
It is a good thing because it is a vital part of their development. As a parent, your toddler will leave you in total amazement with some of the ideas they come up with, especially during playtime!
It can also be a bad thing too.
Now is a time when you might think about introducing your toddler to some of the dangers in life, such as stranger danger. Teaching your toddler about stranger danger such an important task. It needs to happen, but it is not something we should have to do in a perfect world!
When you introduce your toddler to dangers in life, they will begin to shift from a carefree toddler to one that now understands that there are dangers to be aware of. That shift will raise a level of anxiety in your toddler and may lead to them being a bit more clingy.
Consider a toddler who has just learned about a certain danger and then add that their imagination is extremely high. It is a perfect storm of anxiety.
Reassure your toddler that they are safe as long as they listen to your advice.
When I think about the possibility of my son being bullied, my blood begins to boil! It is not just a Dad thing; it is a parent thing.
I remember when my Son first come home from one of his first days at School. He had a form from his Teacher to explain that someone in his class had scratched him.
My first emotion was anger!
I wanted to find the kid who scratched him and hold him down while my son taught him a lesson!
Obviously, I didn’t. But it gets to us protective parents, right?
If your toddler is being bullied, it is important for you as a parent to get that information out of them. Unfortunately, as their imagination levels are high, you have to extract the facts from the fiction!
If your toddler is clingy at home or cranky after daycare, then it could be a case of bullying. Time to check with the daycare staff. Ask them to keep an extra eye on your toddler to see if anything untoward is happening.
Phase – My Theory
Separation anxiety, attachment issues, your toddler may just be going through this as a phase.
I have a theory that will explain it better:
When you are a baby, you are totally useless. You have to rely on your parents for everything, food, clothes, changing your diaper, taking you places. You do not have many decisions to make. Parents will make all decisions, and you have to live with them.
When you get to the toddler stages, you are more independent. You begin to make your own decisions.
You can pick the toys you want to play with; you can go into any room you want to. When you get to this stage, you are more independent. Your parents respond by cutting you some slack and will let you make some decisions for yourself.
How does that make a toddler feel?
When your toddler gets to this stage, they may begin to exhibit some separation anxiety symptoms (including clingy, fear of sleeping alone, etc.) because the bond between you feels like loosening. Of course, it is not loosening. You and I know that, but a toddler may not.
You can easily resolve this feeling by spending more time with them during their independence.
If your toddler has disappeared into their room to play, give them 5 minutes alone and join them. That way, your toddler will realize that their independence does not mean separation from parents.
Figuring out the reason (or reasons) why your toddler is clingy can be a huge challenge. The important thing is that you consider everything going on in their life.
As you go through the process, crossing out each reason as you go, then you will eventually get to the reason why.
When your toddler is clingy, it can cause some parents to push further away, which only makes it worse. You must spend time with your toddler. Discussing their issues (I know it will be tough) really is the biggest weapon in your arsenal.
This clinginess can get too much when you are out walking, and you get the constant requests for ‘pick up.’ Consider using a toddler hip carrier to make your life a little easier!
Together, we can sort out this toddler clinginess!