Posts Tagged ‘velcro baby’

What Makes a Velcro Baby?

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

velcro babyAhhhh. The Velcro baby. You know the one. The baby that ALWAYS seems to be attached to you. They want to be constantly nursed. Or held. Or sit in your lap. Or hold your hand. Or follow you all around the house, and if you walk away for a nanosecond, it’s a crisis. That placenta cord may have been cut long ago, but this tiny human doesn’t seem to know it. You may start to think what is going on? Why is my little one so needy? So clingy? So difficult? What am I doing wrong?!? This attachment parenting stuff is supposed to be fostering independence…but*gulp* am I actually creating an “unhealthy” attachment?

I’m going be blunt here. Parenting a Velcro baby is exhausting. It can drain you both physically and emotionally. Their need for you feels deep and overwhelming. And your body can feel worn out from constantly supporting the weight of another person. Even when you are using kicka@@ ergonomically correct carrier, your body is impacted by carrying a tiny human around all day. Plus a Velcro baby can be frustrating. It can make a simple task take 18 times as long. Basically it feels consuming. It’s like the line between your own body and theirs is so blurred you start to forget what it even feels like to be yourself.

So what causes a Velcro baby? One huge and often overlooked/underestimated factor is merely human development. When a baby is going through a big developmental leap, this seems to increase their need for comfort. Change within can feel confusing, disorganizing, and out of control. So in order to cope, they cling to what is familiar and comfortable…and in many cases that is a parent/caregiver. Considering that development is vast and rapid during the first years of life, it’s as though they are continuously on the brink of a new developmental skill. Rolling. Sitting. Crawling. Walking. And that’s only the physical changes. They are learning and growing socially, cognitively, and emotionally too. Their little bodies and brains are working crazy hard to make all this happen!

Ahhh. Whew! So it’s not something you are doing “wrong” as a parent. It’s simply a natural part of human development. Little ones grow and they need us to help them navigate through that change. How that dynamic looks for each individual parent child is truly unique. But it can be helpful to know basic developmental milestones, sometimes referred to as “wonder weeks.” Knowledge is empowering. We feel better prepared to handle these changes and perhaps more relaxed about them. Additionally we are more accepting of the challenges and demands that accompany them. Furthermore knowing ourselves is helpful. How do we replenish and renew ourselves so we can optimally nurture our little ones?

Good self-care is essential when parenting a Velcro baby. And yes, I know the hardship there. We can barely meet basic needs like going to the bathroom or eating a nourishing meal when baby is clinging to us. But call in your reinforcements. Whatever they may be. The demands of a Velcro baby are legit and can quickly burn us out if we don’t also carve out the space to meet our own needs in the process.