Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Separation Anxiety

It's official - Julianna is starting to have separation anxiety. I've had dogs that tore apart the house because of separation anxiety, but never thought about my own child having it.
I was reading Mumsyhood's blog and she mentioned how her daughter is having some 'seperatoin anxiety' - or at least that's what it kind of sounds like. It is very much what we are experiencing here. My daughter has been going through the same thing starting about a week ago. I read about this but did not think it would happen yet. Guess what. It is.

About a week ago, she started getting very whiny every time I left the room or left her sight for a few seconds. She does it a little bit with Daddy, but mostly with me, to the point where she would start crying. I would come back into her line of sight, and she would whine even more. So I caved in and picked her up. Wonder of all wonders - she stops crying instantly. Like a light switch being shut off. What is this crap?! Oh and did I mention the pathetic face she gives me, with the tears and red eyes & nose - looking at me with all the love in the world. It just makes me want to hug her and never let go.
I have given her a toy a few times to distract her, and sometimes it works. Other times, nothing makes her happy until Mommy comes to pick her up. *sigh*

"Mommy Don't leave me" 

I too have my own separation anxiety from Julianna sometimes. My husband and I have a ritual before we go to bed, we always sneak into her room and check on her. We watch her sleep for a few minutes and smile. I love watching her sleep. So innocent & peaceful with her precious little 'cupid bow' lips. I just wish I could hop in her crib and snuggle with her. I hate walking out and leaving her alone in her room. It's weird that I feel that way since she never slept in our room, not one night even. She went right in her crib the night she came home. 

Fridays are bad for me too. From about lunchtime on, my heart aches to see Julianna and to hold her. I think it's the fact that I know we will have all weekend with her and I can't wait to spend time together as a family. So yeah, I guess I have it a little bit too.

The good thing is, she does not cry when we drop her at daycare or pick her up. She loves Miss Cathy. I guess since she has been going there for 4 months, she is used to her and forgets all about us. Sometimes when I pick her up from daycare, I barely get a glance and a smile from Julianna until I pick her up to leave. She doesn't have the anxiety when we are outside the house, I guess it's because she is distracted with other things.

I found the following on the AAP website:
How long should you expect this separation anxiety to last?
It usually peaks between ten and eighteen months and then fades during the last half of the second year.

18 months? Seriously. This is going to be a long 10 months ahead of us! It also has suggestions to help make it easier on both of us. Guess I will be following those rules to a Tee. LOL!

Anyone else going through this or went through this?
What did you do to make it easier?


  1. Oh we are right there with you. Jackson is started to get separation anxiety too. It can be hard to get ready for work now as a result. He just wants me to hold him (although I secretly love it).

    For us, I don't think the anxiety ever really goes away. I miss my baby everyday while I work. I crave the weekends.

    What makes me feel better is knowing we all are in this together. We work so our babies can have good lives and go to college. They will appreciate it someday :)

  2. Yep we are knee deep in it!! I can't even turn my body in a direction away from Mia without her starting to whine! It does go away. Sort of. :)

  3. Jacob sometimes has seperation anxiety too. I can be just 3 feet away and he is crying for me to come back. Luckily I can put him in his saucer with my other children and sometimes that works as a great distraction.


  4. Karen - I know what you mean about the secretly love it part. It secretly makes me love her even more b/c she wants her mommy so bad! tee-hee!!

    Ashley - "Sort of" - Oh no. That's not a happy answer for me LOL.

    Jamie - I guess I need to have your kids come over and distract Julianna! haha!

    - well - Jul has always been an independent player since she could play with toys. I have always been able to leave her with a toy and she plays on her own - I am hoping that will help to lessen the time on this.

  5. We are going through it too! Sophia whines and cries the second I am out of her sight...18 months? ugh that is a looooonnnnng time!

  6. Harry gets it worst when he's tired or hungry...otherwise he's still pretty happy to play with the other kids or try to stand/walk/talk/play with them. (crossing my fingers here and hoping it lasts!) It seems like with Kaia it quickly got better as she developed better English skills. She could understand that I was coming back soon. So, I still tell Harry things like, "I'll be right back," or "I'm just going to put you here for two minutes..." Sometimes I'll talk to him while I do whatever, hoping that it will help him learn English sooner!

  7. Oh my, you too!? I have mixed emotions about it... I often think that it's really so sweet that she wants me, other times I just wanted her to give me a break. And like you, she is all whiney when I am around but she is a pretty good girl with her dad.

    I didn't know that the separation anxiety will last that long. Oh my goodness. Thank you for sharing that info.

  8. I don't know, Penny is really bad. She want's to be held all day and cuz i have two, I just can't...but she's started throwing tantrums when I don't pick her up. She'll sit up and throw her head back onto the's horrible! So I end up picking her up and then Tripp starts to whine. I think we just have to wait out this horrible phase. I'm sure when their walking, they'll be preoccupied and it won't be so bad. XOXO

  9. Oh Skye,
    Don't venture too far off course of baby wise. It is rule of thumb for every stage of development. I know it sounds cruel, but the best thing is to walk away (never EVER) look back. You can sing, talk gibberish, carry on a casual conversation (by your self - don't mention her name) and reappear as if NOTHING happened. Continue talking and when she settles then pick her up. Remember, how many days and times for habits to form (I read the book moons ago) and use that as your basic guide. Be SURE to TRAIN Brian, so she doesn't spiral out of control and create a bigger problem of just wanting daddy and will have full blown out tantrums. Obviously, be sure to start any kind of habit training when she seems at her best health and make sure she isn't truly suffering - because sometimes the screaming is hard to just ignore. Gentle music playing in the background while she has her alone play time scheduled will help ease, that everything is fine, mommy will be back, she doesn't sound worried, oh mommy is busy I can hear her - is enough to settle a velcro baby. Another tip is to sit beside her (don't pick her up) sing silly songs, talk to her, if the crying upsets you leave the room (because she can sense all of that) count to ten. Try to sit near her again, and just whimsically chat and act not worried. When she calms herself, pick her up. Sometimes babies go off the deep end (I don't know, to some abyss I think) and there is no other way then to pick her up. When that happens - only hold her, no talking, you can bounce and console by touch, but no voice. She may be over tired and fall asleep in your arms, then you just lay her down. When she gets up, don't revisit the lesson - just enjoy your new found happy baby.
    I hope this helps. How many baby wise books did you read? If you only read the first one, go onto read the next one. Sometimes, babies are different and develop faster in one area than another, so maybe the next book will help you in this new phase of parenting. If you do the technique correctly it will work like a dream as the sleeping schedule you followed and you will be cling free in just a few short weeks. Blessings, Diane.

  10. My little one had a slight case of this when she was about one or so. We have made it a point to let her stay the nite with her grandparents at least once a month, since she was a few months old. I really think that helped, because when she was going thru it, we just told her I'd be right back, and eventually, she moved on. I secretly kind of liked that she missed me.. but it sure does mkae you feel bad for leaving!

  11. Hi Skye! I found you through Ashley (plus 3) and can totally relate to this post. I have an almost 17 month old and he goes through periods like this a lot. Usually it is related to teething (or when he has a cold). The crappier he feels, the clingier he is... won't let me out of sight, whiny, etc. I'm no expert, but I'm sure it will pass. Then come back. Then pass.... haha :)

  12. Aimee - yes I am hoping that 18 month thing is very exxagurated. lol

    Carla - Yeh, I started saying to her I'll be right back - not sure if it is working yet ... but these things take time. It does seem to be worse like you said when she is tired or hungry... and some days are worse than others.

    Kitten - yeh there is something that makes a mom's heart melt when you know your baby only wants you, I know what you mean. It's weird b/c some days just are not that bad, like today. Hardly one whine at all for me. Weird huh?!

    Kari - that does have to be hard with 3. But like you said, once the twins start walking, they will have 'bigger fish to fry' for sure! :)

    Jagmom - Yeh, I've been talking to her outside her line of sight... not sure if it helps yet - but it will I'm sure. I read the 2nd book, I like the table manors and food advice and the part about the sign language. The crying or whining doesn't really upset me, it's more of an annoying thing b/c I know it's fake and not nessecary - it will pass. Like I was saying above, there are good days and not so good days. Maybe I will get lucky and it will pass sooner than later.

    Hollie - that's a great idea. We don't have anyone that we can leave her with overnight (much less for 2 hours lol) - but she does go to daycare, so that does help with learning to be away from us and around others... I hope.

    Amber - thanks for stopping by - I like your blog too! :) You are funny with how you say it will pass... then come back ... then pass ... LOL !! But I do thnk it is mood related for sure. WHen Jul is happy and content, funny how the separatoin anxiety just goes MIA ... Funny!


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