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« Who's Raising Baby? | Main | First Q & A: Milestones and Maternal Guilt »



I haven't been through this stage yet (hehe, because my son actually still really does need me to do most everything for him), but I'm wondering...the concern isn't that they actually aren't going to retain the progress they made, right? I mean, if they learn how to go potty, but suddenly want to make sure Mommy's there for them and so want Mommy to change their diaper instead, the kid is of course not going to be 18 and still needing to get his diaper changed. I mean, it's a phase so it passes, right?

I do see the importance of making sure that a child knows that their primary caregiver is not the only person in the world that does everything for them, that the father (or whatever) and the child himself can also do these things. But I guess the last point that our job as a mother (primary caregiver) is to teach them to do these things on their own...aren't they going to regardless?

But yeah, like I said, not there yet! so I'm just talking out of my butt, really. =)

Laura S.

Hi Nina!

No, it's not so much that they won't retain the progress -- when a kid learns to walk, a kid learns to walk. It's that we want them to feel secure in their progress and keep moving towards independence.

As an example, I know a child whose mother carried him constantly for a very long time. The kid was two and was still being carried and held the majority of the time because the mother thought it important to keep him close to her to help him feel secure. Now, of course, this child did learn to walk, though when she did put him down, he always insisted on being carried. Additionally, because he was exceptionally dependent upon his mother, he appeared to be developmentally delayed emotionally. He was incapable of managing his own emotions and he had to be near his mother constantly. He could not feel secure without her present even at age 6. While this is an extreme example, it illustrates my point, which is that we want them to feel secure in themselves and their own abilities.

Not to mention, give mommy a break!

Mary P

It will pass, yes, but while it's happening, you have a child velcro'd to your leg for days or weeks on end, which can be just a wee bit tedious. Also, if you don't respond effectively, the velcro phase can drag on much longer than it need, exhausting the primary caregiver, and leaving secondary caregiver (where there is one) feeling rejected.


Interestingly, I experienced total mommy rejection when we brought our second child home. Our daughter was only 19 months old at the time, and for the first couple of weeks, it was "Daddy" for everything (he was home for those first two weeks to give me a hand). Even after he went back to work, she still wasn't thrilled with me, and it took a full month for her to want me to do things for her again - like read to her at bedtime. This hasn't happened since, and she needs her fair share of hugs and attention from me now, especially during this potty-training process. Even so, she's a very independently-minded little girl who is always looking forward to the next thing that she can achieve.

Laura S.

It's not uncommon to experience mommy rejection after a HUGE change like bringing home a new baby. I experienced the same thing with Tod-lar. It's as if they want to reject us first before we reject them! But they warm up to us again after they see that we're not going to reject them.


All I have to say is that I'm so glad you guys started this blog because seriously, new parents. we don't know. I've spent a lot of time with kids, but still. I don't know. But now I know. =) Thanks!


I'm not sure if it's that my kids are still to young (son 2, daughter 5mths)- aside from my daughter who is always needing mommy- my son loves being independent. I'm at home with them, but we do have babysitters and he responds to them the same way. I'm proud of the way he accepts others into the circle of kissing boo-boos :)


Hello All, Does anyone have any experience with mommy rejection just out of the blue? My 13 month old son really only wants Dad once Dad is home from work, even when he is upset. I of course always go to him, but he leans away from me and cries for Dad. And, if Dad even leaves the room, our little guy loses it! This has been going on for the past month (basically since I started back to work part time). I am still the primary caregiver though... And I believe my son has a secure attachment to me?

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