Dealing with a Toddler that Wants Carried 24/7

October 20, 2018 | By Amanda Anderson | Category: Lifestyle, Toddler

“Up, Mommy, up!”  Do you seem to be hearing this more than normal?  Or even constantly?  When your toddler is acting like a Stage 5 Clinger, it can be hard to get anything done!  Especially when you also sort of love that they want you 24/7….but when you need some you-time, it can be frustrating.  So why do toddlers go through this phase?

Understanding why your Bitsy is acting this way is the first step to fixing the issue and finding a middle ground!  It can often begin around the age of two, and a lot of times boils down to the fact that walking is no longer new and exciting…and now they want to be babied again!  The constant battle between being held and being put down is often due to their own internal battle — the urge to be independent vs the urge to want to be attached to your hip.  Have patience, Mama, we’re here to help!

What’s Causing It?

Think about what may be going on in your lives right now — the need to be carried can sometimes come from stress, anxiety, or a sense of fear.  Are you trying to transition to a big kid bed? Are you potty-training? Is your family going through any kind of transition? Anything that might be new and different for your little one can lead to clingy behavior.  If this is the case, try to soothe their fears and concerns in other ways.

If your toddler has always been this way, it might just be time for them to learn their independence!  Some little ones just need to be taught instead of finding the independence on their own!


So What Can I Do About It?

By now, you should have some idea of the tactics your Bitsy best responds to, and there are a number of ways you can address the problem!

If It comes from new changes:  As we mentioned earlier, toddler clinginess can come from other stresses in the house.  To fix this, look for other ways to reassure your little one. Have a long chat and discuss everything that may be bothering them, try to find ways to make the transition a little easier, and so on.  Once this phase of their life passes, they should go back to their normal independence in no time!


If it comes from boredom: Some little ones will want attention and to be held if they’re feeling bored and can’t find anything else to do.  In these cases, try to distract them! Set them up with a favorite toy, puzzle, or educational game, and enjoy that much-needed you time!


If it comes from a need to just be close: Find an activity that they can do next to you!  If you need to cook, let them sit in the kitchen with you for some silly chatting!  If you need to get work done on the computer, find a seat next to you or on your lap if you can manage–sometimes they just want to feel involved in what you’re doing!


If it comes from an issue you can’t fix: Sometimes when you’re out running errands and your little one wants picked up, it can seem like there’s no solution!  Instead, offer them an alternative that lets them feel like they have a choice. Ask them to be your “little helper” and carry a bag, offer them the option to sit in the stroller or the cart, or let them walk and hold your hand, etc.  Sometimes you just have to say, “Mommy would love to hold you, but I can’t right now. Can you help me with this bag instead?” Some little ones will get a kick out of getting a chance to help you with a “grown up” task!


If it’s something you can’t fight right now:  Sometimes, you’ll just have to pick them up!  Pick your battles, Mama, but as long as you stay consistent most of the time, giving in when you need to won’t un-do all your hard work.


Enjoy this stage, Mama, they won’t always want such close company!  But when you need some time to yourself, or have tasks that need to get done, these tips should help detach your Bitsy, at least temporarily!