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I was wondering if someone can please help me as I'm starting to feel overwhelmed.
I have a 10 month old little girl who I have basically been following attachment parenting for her whole life (co-sleeping, still breastfeeding/feeding on demand, etc) and I'm having the following problems with her now which seem to be getting worse:
- She seems to have problems sleeping for long periods, both day and night. Firstly, she needs to breastfeed in order to fall asleep and seems to use me as a comfort/pacifier to help her fall asleep - she doesn't seem to be able to fall asleep without it & fights sleep even though it's clear she becomes overtired.
- If I try to then put her down in a cot or separate from me, she wakes up immediately and starts crying/screaming until I pick her up and will not sleep by herself at all
- Throughout the night, she will wake up and start crying until I start breastfeeding. Again, she doesn't even necessarily feed but uses me as a comfort to fall back asleep but as soon as she becomes detached, she will soon wake up again and start crying. This happens almost every hour throughout the night even though we are co-sleeping.
I've tried to use a dummy/pacifier but she won't have it at all - she shouts and cries with it and gets angry.
Also, if I put her down or have someone else hold her even for a short while, she will start shouting and crying quite quickly until I pick her up again (and then she will settle down).
She doesn't play by herself for long either - maybe after 10 minutes or so; she constantly needs my attention and will start crying and shouting if I'm not holding her and giving her my full focus.
Please can somebody help? Is this normal behaviour for a 10 month old? If so, how long does this last until? And if not, what can I do to help overcome this without causing her emotional damage?
Sounds like normal 10 month old behavior to me. My advice.. Enjoy it now. They grow up so fast and soon enough she won't want to nurse or cuddle with you. If she sleeps by nursing/comfort sucking to sleep, let her. She isn't going to do it forever.
Your baby is a smart kiddo. She learned that you are there for her and *right now* she wants as much of you as possible. It is very normal at this age. She is starting to develop a little independence and that's scary for kids. It won't last forever. But how long is pretty dependent on the individual child.
You can take small steps to try and teach her that you are still around, while also working toward giving you a break. Things like including another person (grandma, daddy, family friend) in playtime and letting them start to increase the time of interaction while you fade back a bit. This will help her learn that other people can be "safe" for her too. You can also teach her that she is capable of independent play, such as singing a song while finishing folding laundry to let her know you are aware of her and will be there soon, but you also need to get that particular thing done. Her sleep will cycle into a better stage. It's the most important thing I have learned during my parenting travels. I worried a lot about my oldest sons sleep at the age you are at now (he was much the same). I tried lots of not-so-AP ways of getting him to sleep. My second went thru it too, but I waited it out and he was doing much better by 13 months (and sleeping 10 hours at night at 15 months, with no intervention).
It sounds like you are doing great and your little one is right on track with her development. If you hang in a little longer, I think you'll see some changes as she starts to explore her world.
Yes, there is often a phase of separation anxiety at that age. I agree you should find opportunities to foster connections with other caregivers, dad, grandma, etc so you can get a break. If you have a sling or Ergo you can try just strapping her on while you do chores if she is acting clingy. Often I have found babies get extra annoying (clingy, nonstop BFing, poor sleep) when they are having a big developmental growth spurt. You may find that suddenly she starts walking and things change a lot. Etc. Good luck, I know it seems really hard right now, but soon these problems will be behind you (and you'll have new problems instead )
I agree with what the other ladies said! It's totally normal at this age! You can play games with her that are good for helping with social anxiety, like peek a boo, or talking to her from another room when she cant see you. As for sleeping on her own, in the pas we did tht around 1 year where we put a mattress on the floor and go to sleep with them in their bed then move away slowly. My daughter te process took the longest with because she would wake up when I left and is have to go back to start over. But she was going through a HUGE cognitive leap at the time. Babies are always harder during those leaps!
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