“I’m looking for information on how to handle a young toddler’s (14 months) need of having Daddy all to herself. This particular child spends all day with Mom, and when Daddy comes home, she won’t leave his side. She gets angry if Mom and Dad try to spend time together. She sleeps with Dad and does not like Mom in the bed with them. She will hit Dad if he pays attention to Mom or the older child. This is causing some problems in the family, and the mom is troubled by this behavior. Do you have any advice or know where I can find a short, parent-friendly article?”
Usually, most families have the opposite problem… the baby doesn’t want anything to do with daddy. Although I can’t see your particular family dynamic, my gut is telling me that this is a phase that will pass. At least baby is getting some quality time with both parents. Here are some suggestions to get through this:
- Spend more intimate family time together – let your baby see dad and mom being close and affectionate. Give your baby the message that “The whole family loves each other”.
- Family walks – go for frequent family outings. The distracting surroundings may help baby forget to favor one parent over the other.
- Hitting and biting are a “no-no” and should be gently corrected.
Be assured that over the next few months, baby will warm up to the idea that both parents are lovable.