The clingy baby – eating on my knee


Every mealtime I’ve shared with my little girl over the past few weeks, I’ve sat on my chair as normal – as she has managed to charm her way out of her highchair and right onto my knee.

At 18 months, she’s going through a ridiculously clingy stage where if she can see me, she wants to be with me. And when I say with I mean clinging on, koala-like, wherever I go.

It’s cute, and I do love it, but it’s not the easiest way to eat a meal. Especially if it’s something messy like rice, spaghetti or (here comes the fun one) beetroot! Cue pink-coloured hands, clothes and both our faces. Not only does she sit and eat on my knee, she also eats the food off my plate, or sometimes just nibbles or sucks at it before ramming it into my mouth with a cackle. Lovely.

This week I’ve tried another strategy. I’ve stopped putting her in the highchair and started using a booster seat instead, to help her feel more like us at the table. It’s worked a little bit, but I still have to be careful who I turn my back that she hasn’t pinched a tiny bit of something from my plate. I’ve also found if she says she wants to get down from her seat and I move the food away out of reach, she changes her mind and points and shouts at the food until it’s returned!

I didn’t have this issue with my son, as to be honest if he was given food he really wasn’t interested in moving from the table until he’d finished. It’s a different story now though, at nearly six the battle is to keep him at the table once he’s finished eating, rather than bolting off and coming back for dessert half an hour later. If anyone has any advice on either front, I’d love to hear it! Don’t you remember when mealtimes were peaceful?

X Julia


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  • Reply
    January 28, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    Oh Julia – I feel this too! I have had the clingiest child ever! Lottie has been attached to me since about 6 months, and hates me leaving the room or putting her down. But that she is a twin…isn’t easy! She is now a lot better, far more confident and more independent. Good luck and I hope you manage to get a meal to yourself soon!!!! Hugs xx
    mummyofboygirltwins recently posted…Having fun at bath time with Childs FarmMy Profile

    • Reply
      January 28, 2015 at 9:23 pm

      Yes if she had a twin it would be much more tricky! One on each knee, no dinner?! I’m sure it will be ok in a month or two! Xx

  • Reply
    sarah christie
    January 28, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    Ah its lovely isn’t it, but at the same time it can be a pain when little ones cling. But the hugs are so lovely xx
    sarah christie recently posted…Welcome Back Striking MumsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Everything Mummy
    January 28, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    my two older girls went though a clingy stage they soon grow out of it, it is a pain though so hard when you need to get things done! I find bribery works haha x
    Everything Mummy recently posted…Ginvera BB Cream – ReviewMy Profile

  • Reply
    Katie life on vista haydock
    January 28, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    This had me chuckling because the behaviour sounds very familiar. We have found that rhyming to get her to sit down when having her snacks is gard work too…. she has sadly mastered the art of selective hearing.
    Just keep doing what you’re doing mummy, you are doing great xxx
    Katie life on vista haydock recently posted…What’s in my bag?My Profile

  • Reply
    Tarynn Playle
    January 29, 2015 at 7:22 am

    So far I’ve been pretty lucky with my son. He is easily distracted in his high chair and his big sis takes it upon herself to entertain him. (Fine by me!) What I need to know is how I keep the three year old in her chair long enough to eat. That is my struggle. And to answer your question, no I don’t remember when mealtime was peaceful. 🙂 Good luck with your lovely clingy lady!
    Tarynn Playle recently posted…A Few Sweet Moments…My Profile

    • Reply
      January 29, 2015 at 7:34 am

      Haha yes, three is not an easy age for getting boys to sit is it! If any age is (maybe the teenage years, when we will be wishing we had our babies back!) x

  • Reply
    Katy {What Katy Said}
    January 29, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    I have a koala too!! It is cute for about 2 minutes until your back hurts haha!
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  • Reply
    Hayley (@hayleyfromhome)
    January 30, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    One of my twins is quite clingy but if I’m honest I just don’t get the time to indulge it, which sounds awful!! I’m always busying and if I pick him up I have the other one hanging off my legs! He is quite good in his highchair though which I am grateful for but he does have his brother right next to him which helps. I think it is quite nice she sits with you and tries your food too, although I’m sure there are times when it isn’t very practical! xx
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  • Reply
    Mrs H
    January 31, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    Ahhh, clingy child syndrome. Little Miss H has been quite clingy recently but she hasn’t wanted to sit on my lap during meal times. Yet! She also loves shoving food in my mouth. I hope you manage to eat a meal on your own soon. Hugs Mrs H xxxx
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  • Reply
    Life with Six Kids
    February 1, 2015 at 10:46 am

    We had a clingy stage after moving house but fortunately, it didn’t extend to food times – he seems to love his highchair. Hopefully it will be a short lived thing.
    Life with Six Kids recently posted…BlessingsMy Profile

  • Reply
    February 1, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Hi Julia, Aww I saw this piccie on Instagram and loved it straight away. Just getting to know lots of different blogs and thought I’d say hi. I don’t know if I’d cope with having my eating interrupted, I’m such a foodie! I’ve forgotten what it’s like to have your little person adore you so much they want to be attached with velcro. My son only wants a cuddle when it’s time for bed (to delay bedtime) and doesn’t even want to sit at the table for a family meal for longer than ten minutes. He sits with one bum cheek on the chair and one off, ready to jump off as soon as he can and go and play. Ahh enjoy the adoration.
    teacuptoria recently posted…Reading TogetherMy Profile

    • Reply
      February 1, 2015 at 10:16 pm

      Hi there, Thank you so much for your lovely comment

    • Reply
      February 1, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      Sent that too early! Since I wrote this things have improved, I think ditching the high chair was a wise move! And yes my son is the same, he can’t wait to get away! X

  • Reply
    February 1, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    Meal times? Peaceful? Do these words even go together at all?
    O, who is also 18 months, is also at the stage where he is spending more time screaming or trying to get out of his highchair than actually sat eating. I think we are going to have to invest in a booster seat too, but our dining table has two long benches with no back so I’m not sure if one even exists that will be safe!
    I have always found that little ones usually eat better if the food is coming from your plate rather than theirs. In the past I have actually added extra to mine (often from their own plate when their not looking!) to make allowances lol.
    As for the running away from the table? In our house everyone stays put till the last person is finished or there’s no pudding!

    Thanks for linking up to #SundayStars xxx
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  • Reply
    February 2, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    Aah bless! It is tricky isn’t it? Mine being all clingy is usually a ploy to get at my food (usually chips)
    Thanks for joining in with #SundayStars
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  • Reply
    May 21, 2021 at 1:09 am

    I have an 18 month old one too. i can relate. haha!

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