Mum 2 Mum: Surviving Life With a Velcro Baby

Isn’t it funny how easily we forget so many of the more difficult bits of parenting a baby? At the moment AJ is exhibiting some pretty classic velcro baby symptoms. She just wants her Mum…All. Of. The. Time. Although she is now all about Daddy, I am sure Immy went through similar stages as a bub. But apart from a two day stint when she was brand new, I really don’t remember those moments at all.

The incessant pulling at my legs when I am busy in the kitchen. Constantly following me wherever I go or checking to see that I am still nearby. The look of relief on her face and arms held up to me when I come into sight after a nanna nap, even though she has been perfectly happy playing with her Dad and her sister while I rested. The refusal to settle to sleep for anyone but me, at anytime of the day or night. Wanting to be held and carried and cuddled… a lot.

At ten months she has so much going on – babbling away as she learns to communicate, learning to clap, teaching herself to stand up, new teeth coming through, new foods, new routines. At an age where she I can’t really ask her to “go and play” by herself while I complete a task. Everything takes so much longer with a little one permanently attached to my leg or perched on my hip. It can be hard, and that is on a good day.

I wouldn’t change a thing. We wanted this baby with all of our hearts and we love her more than the world. Just as she is. But it can be exhausting, especially on days when I am already tired or stressed. I am committed to not wishing this time away but some days it is harder to stay positive. I have been trying to think of ways to structure our routines or activities to make our days easier. I have a few ideas but I would love the advice of Mums who have made it through this phase…

Have you been loved by a velcro baby? What are your tips for surviving (and even thriving during) these days ?

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  1. Yes, my oldest was very much like this from day 1. She was a hospital nursery reject bc she screamed bloody murder without me. My solution was just to hold her all the time. I know some questioned it as spoiling but she she is now a very secure and happy 5 year old who adores her mama but doesn’t need to be glued to me 24/7 anymore. I remember being exhausted but loving all the cuddly sweetness.

  2. Currently babysitting a little boy like this. He is 10 months old and does EXACTLY as you describe. The days are long, but I adore him. I’ve found no “solution” though. We just work our way through each day and I talk to him if I can’t be with him. He will play fine if I sit in the room; but if I get up for anything he’s a crawling shadow behind me. I must be careful of opening doors (bathroom) because he will be right on the other side waiting for me. Plus side, I know where he is and what he’s doing.

  3. Babywearing!

  4. I have a 7mth old girl and a 3 year old and let me tell you, it gets tough!! Even tougher when the older one is actually pretending to be a baby, too! But what has worked for us is fun food to chew on in her high chair while I cook, seeing more people around and slowly but surely disappearing mum:-), also wearing her can help but I don´t get much done since I am quite slim and she is not, I cannot get my arms around her to do stuff properly. Sometimes I take her to the bathroom with me, she sits in her small baby tub while I have some time for my business. But the most demanding part is when I want to eat – I haven´t had an uninterrupted meal in a long time! She wants to eat too and guess who should feed her:-) But she is growing fast and as someone here pointed out-the cuddles are worth it (most of the time:-)

  5. Love this post! My 5 month old wants to be held most of the time, esp. when sleeping, and my 2 year old is lovingly referred to as my stalker. Today I locked the bathroom door so I could get some privacy, and I heard him rattling the knob. Then he said, “The door is locked, but I don’t have the key!” Priceless.

  6. I have had phases with my ten month old like this, I agree with above for cooking. She sits in her high chair and I talk to her while I cook. Sometimes she wants a toy or food, but is often happy to just chat/burble away with me. I also try to lie down with her for her afternoon nap, even if I get up after ten minutes. This is a lovely time for me to relax, too. Easier with just one to do this, though.

  7. Babywearing! I honestly don’t know how mums survive without it. At 10m it’s easy to back carry and you can still do dangerous stuff like chop veggies safely. I also used to give my eldest bug utensils and Tupperware, and just gave up on any semblance of order for those things at that stage.

  8. I second (or third) the babywearing suggestion. I had three different carriers that I rotated during the time that my second (very-clingy) babe was still small. My two are 18 months apart, and I couldn’t expect my eldest to many things for herself while my youngest tried to hang off of me. My favourite carrier was the Beco Gemini. It just fit me the best (soft carriers are different on everyone) and I loved that she could face out while small and then be back-carried when she was bigger.

    I also gave her free reign of the Tupperware drawer, just so that I could make dinner. I was not afraid of shaking out a few Cheerios or puffs just to keep her occupied for a few moments. And I cut myself some slack… if a chore didn’t get done, then oh well. I also tried to participate in many playdates with friends and their kiddos. My eldest would be stimulated by her friends (and I’d feel less guilty about not giving her endless undivided attention) and I’d feel like I was getting some good connection time with friends, even if I was holding my babe in my lap the entire time.

  9. Yes, my 16 month old is like this. Carrying him on my hip a lot gets hard when you’re trying to cook or do chores and one handed ‘doing’ only gets you so far ;-). And I think I’m going to get lop-sided as he is 12+kg. Baby wearing is a great idea even for this age I think. I now take the Ergo out more than the pram so that he feels close on my back, and I am contemplating using it when cooking as he won’t sit in his high chair, he wants to see what’s going on!

  10. THANK YOU for posting this! It’s nice to know I’m not alone with this type of issue. I’d never thought of him that way but that is the perfect description! Velcro baby :-) He hated being in a baby carrier (and we tried 5 different ones!) It is very difficult to get anything done which is why we have a babysitter several days a week. He is 22 months old and STILL like this. When the babysitter isn’t here I don’t count on getting anything done ;-) and hubby knows this. But I also know (& pray) he won’t always be like this so I try to take lots of deep breaths when I feel frustrated by it and remind myself that he’ll be off to school before I realize where the time went. Hubby also makes sure that I get some breathing room when he gets home from work on days we haven’t had a babysitter here. My Gavin is most definitely a mama’s boy!

  11. I read an article recently about a woman who couldn’t have children and waited over 15 yrs to have a child and once she had her baby she screamed all the time and wanted to be with her all the time. She felt that she wasn’t allowed to complain because she had to only be grateful that she had the baby.(but it makes it so much easier when we can complain a bit)
    The only thing I can think when I see parents having such difficulties with this is “it may not seem like it at the moment, but boy do those years speed by”. Pretty soon you’ll probably want your baby near you as she asks for the car keys and disappears for hours.

  12. My first was so independent that by comparison my second was very clingy. She simply liked to be held a lot, which most babies do. I actually sort of enjoy it because I know how quickly they grow and soon enough she’ll be walking and toddling away from me!

  13. My 16 month old is like this! I keep thinking he will grow out of it any time now, (the first three had very short bouts of it and went on their merry way!), but nope, still stuck like glue. My oldest is practically a grown up in the 5 short years shes been hangin around so I try not to get too uptight about it. I do sometimes feel bad when his clingyness interrupts my time with the other children. But, as I work all day and the little guy goes to bed fairly early I feel like I do not get nearly enough time with him so I just soak up as much of it as I can. I feel like I’m squirreling it away for when he is five and practically a grown up :)

  14. Oh this post brought back memories. Like you, I knew when it was happening that there would come a time when I would look back and wish for the velcro baby days again. Thankfully for me the velcro days stopped when Maddie began walking – she wasn’t so frustrated and felt like she could do things on her own.
    Just recently we have (at 3 and 3months) become clingy again but I think that is a reaction to me working so much last year and being home more this year – we have to get used to a new routine and new ways of being together. Hang in there and keep remembering that those baby days are so fleeting!

  15. I agree with baby wearing. I did it African style on my back with a piece of material rather than a carrier. My Zambian mother-in-law showed me how. I would have been lost without it. The bub is warm on my back and can hear my heart beat and rhythms. They could peek over my shoulder to see what I was doing too. Miss 5 and Mister 3 also co-slept with me. Most mornings I still wake up with Miss 5 (or both) next to me, even though I have trained them to sleep in their own bedroom.
    Mister 3 even now will stick to me like glue. Especially when trying to do my outdoor exercise bootcamps. Although several of the other mums bring their kids along while they exercise, I’m the only one running with a 17kg handicap on a piggy back, or with him sitting on me while I ‘try’ to do push-ups.
    I would not trade these special bonds I have with my children though. I adore waking up to give them the longest of cuddles and the sweetest of cuddles wrapped up in my bed. Before I realise they will have grown up, so I’m finding joy in it, amongst the inconvenience…

  16. My eldest now 5 1/2 years was a Velcro baby and remains so as a child. It is exhausting in so many ways and my husband and I mostly do it alone.
    My Velcro baby wouldn’t take a bottle from anyone, and wouldn’t sleep for anyone and drop the bundle if I left the room. My huga bub saved me, I did everything with her on me. Someone once said take it as a sign you are doing a good job, but it is hard when at school she needs to be peeled from my legs.
    I am learning that I need to allow myself time for myself so I can recharge.


  1. […] in the high chair as I don’t want raspberry or blackberry smeared around my house but my usually velcro baby is happy to sit there for her beloved […]

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