Baby Is Clingy! How Can I Cope?

Baby wants nothing to do with anyone but me. How can I get some time to myself without making him miserable?
ByPaula Kashtan
February 26, 2017
Dad comforting clingy baby.
Image: Yakobchuk Olena

Ah, stranger anxiety. This is perfectly normal and actually means baby’s getting smarter — he knows you’re the best at taking care of him, so he wants to keep you very close by. He will grow out of this phase, but in the meantime, let friends and family know he’s going through a shy phase so A. they should give him ample time to warm up and B. they shouldn’t be insulted if he doesn’t.

One way to encourage him to broaden his social horizons is to sit with him while someone else engages him with a toy, game or song. Then, once he’s into it, try leaving the room. Chances are he’ll forget about you (not forever!) and have fun with his new friend.

“You have to push through,” says parenting coach Tammy Gold. “If baby cries when grandma holds him, resist the urge to take baby back. Say, ‘It’s okay. It’s Grandma!’ Show him it’s fine to be with other people by exposing him to them.” Leave baby with other people for short intervals and then gradually increase your time away.

It may also help to give the sitter, family member or friend really specific instructions about baby’s preferences. They may never be as good as you are at singing baby’s favorite song or rocking her that way she likes, but they can get pretty close. And that can help baby warm up.

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