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I'm a working mom of 15 month old baby. We are lucky to have our grandmas to help us babysit our child while me and my husband are at work.
Recently we had a grandma's swap, one grandmother left for 2 months, and we have another grandmother in our house instead. My son missed his first grandma a lot, she was with him since his birth, and that's the first time when she is not around him for such a long time. He didn't even want to accept his second grandma, was pushing her away and running around the house trying to find his favorite one.
Since that time he got extremely attached to me, would want just me to hold him, didn't want me to be too far from him. he started pushing away his dad if dad was trying to help me carry our son. I understand that it's a shock for a baby to loose a person he got used to, so I was trying to comfort him as much as I can, spend more time with him, hold him and hug. We moved his crib in our room, because there were times he would scream at night.
Everything seemed to get better in 2 weeks: when I'm not around he is quiet with his second grandma, he likes to play with her, eats well, everything good, though he still is very alarmed next to her and won't fall asleep if she is near.
But what started is: he will be pretty quiet the whole day with grandma, but when I come home he will gladly meet me and then he will start whining and fussing, will get very annoyed, won't let me eat or even wash my hands. He would cry while I'm holding him, and would cry even more if I put him down. Nothing works: distractions, another people entertaining him, just putting him on the floor and leaving him. He can cry for more than 30 min nonstop and then he can't stop at all.
I'm lost in guesses what it could be, is it me spoiling him with attention when he cries? Is it just an evening meltdown and if so why it didn't happen before? What do I do to stop it and help him?

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1 Answer 1

Toddlers go through phases quickly, and it sounds like he's in the middle of a NEVER PUT ME DOWN phase. It sounds like he is just crying as a way to relieve stress -- in his mind, he had a tough day, and when you're finally home he wants to let you know just how hard it was being a toddler all day long. (I think that is perhaps why he cries even more if you put him down, because he just wants to complain and then feels abandoned again when you won't listen.) If he isn't napping well during the day, then he may be over-tired by the time you get home, and that is just going to make the emotional outburst that much more extreme and difficult to calm down.

One thing that helped us cope with extreme attachment phases was having a sling or backpack so I could be carrying the kid, but still have my hands free and not wear out my arms. They also hated if I sat down while holding them, so I just tied the kid to my back and made dinner or something. The toddler feels comforted being "held" by a parent, and I can be "paying attention" while I'm actually doing something else.

Good luck -- I know it can be hard when your child is inconsolable for no apparent reason!

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Thanks for the good answer, Erica. My baby is pretty heavy to carry him, about 26 pounds or more, but at least I know I'm not doing something wrong by holding and carrying him –  Nat Mar 27 '13 at 2:54
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