My little Apple is now 21.5 months and as cute as ever. But something’s happened in the last week to make me wonder whether she has been abducted by aliens and replaced with a different child. Before this past week, she was down to nursing just 3 times a day: right after she woke up in the morning, right after she got home from day care, and right before bedtime. The morning and late afternoon sessions were only about 10 minutes apiece, and the bedtime nursing session was a bit longer, maybe 20-30 minutes. Starting this past Sunday, though, she’s wanted to nurse every time she’s sitting on my lap, which is pretty much CONSTANTLY. And once she’s on the breast, she does NOT want to get off. Last night, when I told her, “No, honey, you’ve nursed enough” after 30 straight minutes of breast-hopping, she threw a tantrum so loud that I thought our neighbors might call the cops on us for child abuse.
Before this past week, she’d happily go to her teachers at day care when we dropped her off. She’d run up to them with open arms and a big smile on her face, then turn around and wave at me nonchalantly. Sometimes she wouldn’t even wave; she’d just run off with her little toddler friends and start playing choo choo trains or matchbox cars immediately. The last couple days, though, and especially today, she clung to me fiercely and teared up whenever I made a movement towards the door. What gives?
At first, I thought the excessive desire to nurse was due to teething pain, but that did not necessarily explain her excessive clinginess. Is this anxiety a normal part of childhood development, or am I not giving her enough attention or time at home? I do worry about that…I am a full-time working Mom and so the times I do see her during the week are limited to 6pm to 8pm in the evenings, and during part of that time, I’m frantically scrounging around in the kitchen trying to get her dinner together. Of course, I do spend every weekend with her, but is this really meeting her needs? If anyone has any ideas as to what could be causing the increased desire to nurse, the increased clinginess, and the tantrums, I am VERY open to hearing them. Please! Help.