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Thread: Help- Is this separation anxiety?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    60

    Default Help- Is this separation anxiety?

    I work 4 long days a week. My 6 month old dd is in daycare 2 days and with my husband 2 days. She is fine during the day, but our evenings are becoming very stressful. As soon as I walk in the door, I say "hello" and give her a kiss. I tell her "mom has to go potty and then I will nurse you". As soon as I even start to walk in another direction, she starts to cry, which escalates to screaming. Now, my husband and I don't agree on what we should do about this. He wants her to see that everything is okay and doesn't want me to pick her up when she is crying because then she will become spoiled, or something like that. Last night was very stressful because of this. The crying didn't stop until I picked her up. After I hold her, talk to her, and nurse her, she is fine, even if I leave the room.

    So, has anyone experienced this before? Is this too early for it to show up? Any suggestions are how to handle it?

    Any help is appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    8,018

    Default Re: Help- Is this separation anxiety?

    The exact same thing happens to me almost daily. It makes sense to me from her standpoint. Of course she wants to nurse when she sees me after not nursing all day, KWIM? I don't think it's really "separation anxiety" but rather more along the lines of, "Okay, I've been patient all day, I want to nurse mommy!"
    In my opinion, there is no need to force young children or infants into independence they are not ready for. I don't think there is any reason not to pick up a crying baby. In fact, I believe having cries responded to promptly teaches LOs that they can trust us as parents and allows them to become more independent on more gradual, natural terms rather than insecure and attention-seeking when they get older.
    IME DH's are infamous for wanting to push this kind of "independence." It's kind of a cultural phenomenon too, but babies are dependent on us for everything and can't talk, how do we expect them to communicate their needs? They cry, of course.

    Molly

    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    522

    Default Re: Help- Is this separation anxiety?

    Hi,

    My DS and I are separated for 11 hours 5 days a week, and he does the same thing. I remember it starting sometime over the summer, so maybe when he was 8 or 9 months old. Most of that first year is a blur, so it could have been earlier!!

    I have to get home from work within about 1/2 hour from when the boys (DS and DH) get home or DS gets unhappy. Then he has to be in my arms and I can't put him down to change out of my work clothes. Once I nurse him I can change my clothes.

    My DS is almost 14 months old now, and it has gotten worse as separation anxiety has kicked in more. He wants to spend most of the evening (which is really just 2 hours or so before he starts getting sleepy) in my arms or on my lap. If I leave the room he gets upset.

    I figure I'll take all of the snuggles I can get and that it is nice he wants to be close to me. I am sure later on he'll be very independent. Some experts say that a secure attachment now fosters independence later. I am sorry you and your husband disagree about this.

    Good luck! I hope this helps a little.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    329

    Default Re: Help- Is this separation anxiety?

    This sounds exactly like my DD. DD is 16 months. I plan my schedule so i am home 30 minutes before her and daddy. This enables me to start dinner and get things ready for the next day. As soon as DD is home she only wants her mommy. If I take one step away from her she SCREAMS!!! Weekends are so difficult because she will not leave my side; she sits at my feet and grabs my pants legs. I can't even leave the room to go to the bathroom!!!

    Silly me, I thought we bypassed the separation anxiety thing. This came on gradually, starting at about 14 months. I keep reminding myself, this too shall pass.


    Take heart, I read somewhere that separation anxiety peaks at 18 months and gradually disappears during the second half on the second year. We hope! Unfortunately, the temper tantrums have started to kick in...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: Help- Is this separation anxiety?

    We are trying to work with it. I am finding that if I nurse her and play with her for first, she is then fine with playing on the floor or in her excersaucer while I make dinner. DH is always home before I am, and, as part of my regular day, I can't leave work any earlier. Yesterday, I did have to leave early and arrived home before DH and DD- it was so nice. I was able to make dinner and change, but it is not the normal routine.

    So, we are just coping with it and trying to realize that she is growing and learning that I am not always there.

    Thanks for your help!

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