Help! 4 1/2 year old seems to be unusually attached

Lizbeth - posted on 02/17/2011 ( 3 moms have responded )

1

0

0

I am a working mother of a 10 month old and 4 1/2 year old. My elder one was taken care of by my mom until she turned 2, after which she attended preschool full-time. My mom now takes care of the baby during the day.



I'm at my wit's end with my 4 1/2 year old because she is so attached to me. Only mommy can put her to bed, and she wants me to stay until she falls asleep. If I don't, she cries and throws tantrums. At the dinner table, she not only has to sit next to me, she has to be touching me... you get the picture.



She was sleep-trained at 16 months and went to bed with no problems until about 3 yrs old. Before I was pregnant with my second, I would insist on her falling asleep by herself after books, stories, and a snuggle. However, while pregnant I finally relented and would fall asleep next to her after the bedtime routine (partly because I felt guilty, partly because when pregnant I could fall asleep standing up). I partly hoped that she would be less attached if I just spent more time with her.



Well, it didn't work out that way. She is more attached than ever, and I'm wondering if this is normal. I know some kids need adjustment time after a sibling is born, but I really need to know if I am doing something wrong. I never get to put the baby to bed because my eldest demands me.



Tonight, the baby is sick so I left the room soon after stories to tend to the baby. The 4 yr old whined and cried for an hour...



Please help!!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Louise - posted on 02/18/2011

5,429

69

2322

At 4 and a half your daughter understands what you are saying so sit her down and tell her that she is a big girl now and she needs to go to bed on her own and to help her to do this you are going out to buy her a special night time bear. Get somebody to look after the baby and take your daughter to the toy shop to choose her bear. Make it quite clear that this is to cuddle to help her fall asleep as she is a big girl now.

At night time before story time tell her again that you are so pleased she is a big girl now and ready to go to bed on her own with big bear.

Put her to bed and leave the room when she starts to moan go in and tell her that big bear is here and that she does not need mummy anymore. She will take an hour or more to settle, leave it longer and longer before you go back in. I know us mums just want our child to sleep and will resort to alsorts to get them to sleep but staying in the room whilst they fall asleep is making a rod for your own back.

Within three nights she should get the idea that you are not stopping in the room and begin to fall asleep on her own. When she eventually does go to sleep without any fuss make a big thing of it in the morning with lots of praise and cuddles.

I think your daughter is feeling a little left out which is normal for a first child. Try and make time just for her maybe when the baby is asleep and do some baking or play a game with her. As for the cuddling at the table try and change seats with your husband as this is going to get annoying. In time your daughter will settle down especially when she starts school.

Try bedtime bear!

3 Comments

View replies by

Katherine - posted on 02/19/2011

65,420

232

5195

I think your daughter is feeling a little left out which is normal for a first child. Try and make time just for her maybe when the baby is asleep and do some baking or play a game with her. As for the cuddling at the table try and change seats with your husband as this is going to get annoying. In time your daughter will settle down especially when she starts school.



Exactly!!

Carolyn - posted on 02/19/2011

208

25

11

I would really try Louise Gough's method. A routine & set guidelines are very good for her. This way she knows that you still love her & the new baby. Also I think if you show her pictures of how you cared for her when she was a baby. May help her realize that, she needs your help caring for the baby & she needs to start caring for herself as well. This means doing things herself, putting herself to bed after the story & hug. Doing big girl things that help her & you along with lots of praise for doing things for herself. Best of luck, I am sure things will fall into place for you.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms