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What can I do about my clingy 8-month-old, who always wants me to hold him?

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What can I do about my clingy 8-month-old, who always wants me to hold him?


Your son is at that stage where he is learning to be separate from you, which means he's also pulling on you at the same time. He's learned an interaction pattern with you that's based upon holding and carrying. Help him learn that you can be with him in other ways, too, and that you will be there if he needs you. Get on the floor and play with him when he makes bids for your attention. Keep him close to you as you do your chores around the house. Try a backpack; he'll like to be with you but he'll have a chance to look around and stay amused on his own. Use your voice to keep in touch with him: Narrate your activities, ask him questions (even though he can't respond in words yet), and make sure he feels connected psychologically.

You're very important to him, so he does want to be near you; babies are hardwired to stay close to their moms, a different relationship than they have with dads. If you push him away or feel angry at his bids for attention, he'll work even harder to keep you close with this annoying behavior. So figure out ways he can be assured of your presence without resorting to this whining and crying that worked when he was a baby but is getting old now.  

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