Clings to Parent
Why Does This Occur?
Some children are more sensitive to the world around them. They pick up more information. Small differences, slight changes, and new things (novelties) are more obvious.
At later ages, this sensitivity can be an advantage. But as toddlers, when the capacity to stop is still developing, some children can't easily tune out small differences, novelties and changes. . So their attention gets caught up and they get more distracted by the changing events around them.
To avoid being swept away by too much variety, they cling to familiar things: a favorite doll, an old blanket, and particularly a parent. In public, a parent's leg will do.
This message is important. It says your child is okay and the world is okay. But sometimes too many new things can feel overwhelming. Later on, this understanding supports your child's efforts to learn independent ways to manage new situations: hanging back until novelty fades a bit or taking on new situations one part at a time.
Curious (novelty-seeking) parents sometimes expect their toddler to be like them, so think something's "wrong" when their toddler clings in new situations. Nothing is wrong. Your toddler is just different from you.