Is it Normal to Have a Clingy Baby?

By Brooke Maree

Many of us mothers bring our babies into the world and are met with an outpour of well wishes and congratulations. We usually have some hands-on support from our friends and family for the first couple of weeks, but then things slowly dwindle down, and suddenly we’re left alone to care for our infant.

To add to this, it becomes increasingly challenging to take care of our own basic needs when this new beautiful baby is incredibly dependent and clingy towards us.

It’s something many mothers are emotionally and physically unprepared for, and even with preparation, there’s no denying it’s hard and a huge responsibility.

It is biologically essential for a newborn to have body contact and skin-to-skin with their mother.

You may be wondering if it’s normal and when it will end.

Let me share with you why your baby is perfectly normal and actually very intelligent for being ‘clingy’. I know it’s not easy (man can I vouch for that!), but your freedom will soon creep back into your life, and before that happens, there are many tools to help you along the way (especially using a baby carrier!).

So why does a child love to be held and cry when put down? Are we just spoiling them? Are we creating bad habits by picking them up all the time? Simply, no!

It is biologically essential for a newborn to have body contact and skin-to-skin with their mother. It is in their DNA to recognise mum as ‘the safe place’, and to recognise ‘danger’ as being away from mum.

Compare this to baby birds. Their safe place is their nest. When their mother bird leaves the nest to get food, they stay quiet because they know they are safe in the nest and their mother can come and go.

So why does a child love to be held and cry when put down? Are we just spoiling them? Are we creating bad habits by picking them up all the time? Simply, no!

It’s not the same for human babies. When mum leaves or isn’t giving enough body contact, they believe they could be in danger and they can become quite anxious. They usually then cry for their safety, their comfort, and their security to come back.

Ever put your finger into the palm of a newborn? What do they do? They grasp it really tight and can hang on for ages! Notice their feet are turned in very slightly too? All these aspects are so they can literally ‘cling’ to their mother. As designed to.

Just when you thought the start/carrying part of your parenting journey only had three trimesters… well, there’s a secret, a less known chapter of that story and it is…*drumroll*… the 4th trimester!

See next page for more…
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