My life is no longer my own…
Before I could pop wee one down on floor and leave for a sec, to go to the loo, hang out the laundry, make a cuppa. NO MORE. She is on to me, literally , I move and she grabs for me, I walk behind her and her Dad and she over the shoulder, little fingers reaching.
We fall asleep at night holding hands now. When I say she is on to me , she is on me ! She wants to be held or touch me and or be reassured by me at all times. She is happy to parallel play , to do her own thing , but she as to be able to see me. We have reached (again literally) Leap 5 …. Separation anxiety , where do you think you are going without me?
Wonder weeks and leaps
Leap 5 of the wonder weeks calendar is where they are learning about things around them , that people, objects can move , come and go and unless they are crawling , they are stuck. Hence the vocalisation of my wee one, to come back , or take me with you . As a new mum it is wonderful to be needed and wanted where they cling on to you. As a nanny who has done this before I know this will get old quickly. Having to take your child to the loo with you until they are about three can be a wee bit crowded. But as I have done this before I do know a few tricks.
Get sneaky , if they don’t see you leave , that can buy some time.
Get loud, if you talk loudly and sing while you are out of the room, they can hear you and be reassured that you haven’t left them and that you are coming back.
Get organised , save the things that need to be done two handed until you have two hands, ie when they are asleep or you have help.
Get invested, you will be doing everything one handed with wee one on the hip. ( I have got a hippychick side carrier ) or have something for them to be able to come along with you. Personally I am NOT an advocate for the saucer/walkers with wheels, seen too many accidents with them but each their own. But I have a saucer that is static, it sits in the lounge , is light weight can be dragged to kitchen / bathroom/garden so you can do what you need to do. I also have a jumper that hangs from the door. There is conflicting thoughts on these, but the smile on my wee ones face as she can bounces away happily as I cook tea, which wins out over hip displacement , etc.
Reassurance is the key
But I have found the leap has most impacted our nights. Putting wee one down for sleep is also fraught with insecurities, I had to do my first parent Ninja sneak out of the room the other day.
Usually I can just walk out. Nope I had to roll off bed and land like a cat on the floor and creep out. I have known parents to mark on the floor the right exist plan to avoid squeaky floor boards and to hold handle in a way that it does creak. The things we do , hehe.
I popped my wee one down to sleep , not down asleep. She is and I encourage it a keen self settler. I have carefully got her accustomed to having certain things that signify sleep and rest time to her.
- We have music ( we have a Ewan the sheep but there are plenty of great music boxes on the market )
- She has a muslin with a dummy/binky /pacifier attached to the end ( no more loosing it and she can just feel along the muslin and pop it back in )
- Kisses all over her face, ( thats more for me than her)!
- Darkened room
Listening to your baby, with your eyes and ears
Always I observe her cues. No point putting an awake baby down to sleep if they don’t want to , cos they won’t ! Her cues are the obvious , ear rub, yawn, eye rub and a strange one , she will suck on my face , it’s her thing , who knows. But see any combination of those and she’s asleep in 15 mins after. But with the leap she’s getting insecure, I now have to stay with her for a bit, especially at night , she has incorporated holding my hand. It lasts about 5 mins and if not done properly bent over can kill the back. Bed your knees!
But be assured as one who has done this a few times over, it is a phase. If you install confidence by acknowledging they are feeling insecure then it will pass. It does come back when they are toddlers and they are again widen their world ( thats more eye contact and language skills to help them )
But as I said before I am a new mum with a nanny experience , but I am enjoying the clingy , the needing me. I constantly want to be with her so its nice that right now she wants me. Yes, when I cant have five mins to go to the loo I might want the peace but right now we are a unit and joined at the hippychick and thats how I and she likes it.