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To think this advice to a mum regarding seperation anxiety is sad?

(100 Posts)
MightTinge Thu 29-Nov-12 20:49:14

A mum on fb pulling her hair out because her 10 month on DC is getting major seperation anxiety, its not her first but its been the hardest child so far - she's said.

So she asks for advice via status on faceache.

I explained why they theorises babies had seperation anxiety around that age and suggested a comfy sling until it passes.

All her friends have answered "Its hard hunny but dnt giv in, she'll soo learn she dosnt get piked up if she crys."

And the age old 'rod for your back hun, ignore it.'

Its a fucking baby, suffering anxiety sad

I hope she doesnt listen to them.

chinam Thu 29-Nov-12 20:55:38

YANBU. Poor baby sad

DrCoconut Thu 29-Nov-12 21:01:53

I sometimes get this sort of thing because I don't let DS2 cry at night. He's 19 months and doesn't sleep through. I can't just ignore him and leave him to scream himself silly. DS1 is nearly 14 and doesn't still want to get in bed with me so I can't be so bad at "sleep training" can I?!

natation Thu 29-Nov-12 21:06:22

There is only one thing I could think to say in this case and that is follow your heart, if your heart says your baby needs you, then do whatever your baby needs for it to be soothed.

rainrainandmorerain Thu 29-Nov-12 21:10:03

yanbu - I hate stuff like that. Any talk about babies as if they are nasty manipulative creatures and not - well, BABIES - makes me upset. More than that, it makes my skin crawl.

wonderstuff Thu 29-Nov-12 21:16:08

YANBU. I wouldn't leave mine to cry, grumble a bit but not sob. But lots and lots of people subscribe to this 'teach them to sort themselves out' school of thought.
My babies never cried really and both have been happy to go to nursery/school/ gps without a worry. I think its because they trust that their needs will be met. But it may well be that I've lucked out with naturally confident independent children.

TisILeclerc Thu 29-Nov-12 21:20:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FutureNannyOgg Thu 29-Nov-12 21:20:50

I hate this rod for your back crap, it makes mums feel guilty for following their instincts and doing what feels right, in fear of some imaginary future consequence.

KenLeeeeeee Thu 29-Nov-12 21:22:14

YANBU. It makes me feel very sad to see people implying that babies are manipulative in any way. sad

babybythesea Thu 29-Nov-12 22:09:21

My midwife (when I was still in hospital having had dd) asked, very carefully, whether I planned on leaving her to cry it out. He didn't ask quite that bluntly but that's what he was getting at. (It was 3am, she wouldn't settle and I'd taken her to the nursery to get her out of the ward where other mother's appeared to have newborns who instantly took to the idea of sleeping through the night! I was feeling a bit crap at motherhood (after a whole 2 days of it) and he came in to see if I was ok and to have a chat and keep me company with a cuppa he'd made for me). Anyway, I said no, I had no intention of leaving her to cry and his reaction was "Good. A baby left to cry tends to learn that their needs aren't met and the world is a crap place to be. They give up crying not because they've learnt to be self-sufficient, but because they've learnt that crying doesn't get them what they need. Not a confident silence but one brought about through desperation." He reckoned the more confident children were those whose needs were met, and who were picked up when they wanted comfort, because they learnt the world was a good place to be and were therefore happy to explore it. Crucially, they learnt that she might not be visible, but if they needed her, Mum (or Dad) would always come - what better point to start finding out about the outside world than knowing that someone will be there as soon as you feel you need them?!
I always reacted to DD. We had a few tears the first time I left her at nursery (she was 18 months) but by the third session she was fine. To the point that now, at nearly 4, I had the following conversation with her after picking her up from nursery yesterday:
Me: It's nice to have you back at home this afternoon - I missed you today.
DD: I didn't miss you Mummy, I was too busy having fun.

Tell it like it is DD!

OpheliaPayneAgain Thu 29-Nov-12 22:24:40

Who diagnosed 'seperation anxiety' ? you? the mother? or a qualified professional?

bondigidum Thu 29-Nov-12 22:43:58

Oh my mother is terrible at this but I tend not to take advice from the woman who fed us weetabix at six weeks of age because we were 'big hungry babies' hmm tbh.

She always says 'you hold them too much, why don't you just put them down, you're spoiling them, making a rod for your own back, they will grow up to be attention seekers' etc. I don't listen because I am a mother and my instincts are child cries=child is picked up and cuddled. End of. I didn't have children to dump them in a cot and let them scream. My DC are always close to me really, I seem to just be a cuddle monster for them (best thing is when all three snuggle in). I wouldn't have it any other way.

I feel sorry for mum's who feel cio is the only way tbh. It is tough and especially when its your first its hard to go against the 'expert' advice of those who have done it before you- especially close family&friends but you must always follow your instincts.

Fakebook Thu 29-Nov-12 22:45:37

DS is going through this stage right now. He's 10 months too. Most of the day I'll carry him/play with him until he stops crying, but once a day I admit I do let him cry it out next to me whilst I'm washing/cooking, but that's after feeding/changing to see if makes a difference to his mood. It's such a hard stage for family and baby.

Peevish Thu 29-Nov-12 22:45:40

I don't think you need to be a qualified professional to 'diagnose' separation anxiety - it's just a developmental stage a lot of babies go through, when they grasp object permanence, that things still exist when they're not visible.

My baby is deep in its throes at the moment, having been a very chilled little creature till seven months. It can get very frustrating having to carry him literally everywhere to the point where he sits on the bathroom floor when I'm having a pee, but I agree that having his needs met is the best foundation for a strong sense of self later on.

Djembe Thu 29-Nov-12 22:48:41


I do think that when it's your first, you have no idea how quickly they grow up. You just think this baby has been crying forever, nothing I do is helping, it's heavy to carry around... but those days of no sleep and no time to yourself pass so quickly! I do really think it's negligence as a mother to do anything other than cuddle a baby for the first 6 months or so <gavel>

Djembe Thu 29-Nov-12 22:49:47

Peevish my 1yo still sits crawls around on the bathroom floor when I'm weeing! blush

carabos Thu 29-Nov-12 22:53:01

Why don't people realise that giving a child lots of attention doesn't make it "attention seeking". It is children who don't get enough of the right kind of input who act out in this way.

bedmonster Thu 29-Nov-12 23:16:39

I was left to CIO as a baby my Mum said. Has done me no harm. I have no underlying emotion/anxiety issues. My brother received the same treatment. Again, he's fine.
Separation is a phase some kids go through, everyone deals with it in different ways.
I think YABU.

CailinDana Thu 29-Nov-12 23:25:34

Thing is though bedmonster - if an adult you loved deeply was bawling their eyes out, you wouldn't just ignore them would you? You would assume they were really in need of help and go to them, cuddle them, try to make them feel better. Why not do the same for a baby? It's not an issue of whether it harms the baby or not (although there is some evidence that it does) it's more the fact that the baby is totally helpless and clearly in need of comfort that as a parent, you can provide. Why deny them that? Is washing dishes/sweeping the floors/watching tv really more important than a sobbing baby? That tough period doesn't last long at all - it's not much to ask for a parent to put their own needs to one side for a while and go through it with their baby instead of just ignoring them. I just can't understand the motivation for hearing a tiny person in distress and not comforting them. What possible reason can there be for that?

larks35 Thu 29-Nov-12 23:37:40

babybythesea - am glad your hospital midwife gave such sound advice, I don't think anyone would recommend leaving a newborn baby to cry alone. However, I don't think your story relates to the situation the OP is talking about.

At 10months a baby who has always had mum about becomes very aware of when she isn't about and it can be distressing. However, if mum needs to be somewhere else (in my case it was work) then it is something mum and baby need to get to grips with.

OP is this separation anxiety just about being put down to do other stuff during the day or is your friend building up to go back to work?

bubbles1231 Thu 29-Nov-12 23:43:41

Read this with interest. I had a baby who cried for the first 6months of his life. He cried when he was tired, and nothing would calm him apart from laying him down . He would cry for 10-15mins then sleep. He was entirely BF and would comfort suck till he was overflowing but it was never enough to get him into a proper sleep.Cuddling made him much worse. Sling was a disaster- he just became hysterical . I remember various family members all trying different tactics to help him get off to sleep without success (I still have visions of my stepmum running with the pram down the lane to see if that would work). It was totally exhausting, so please try not to judge.
As an 11yr old he is still very vocal about how he feels.It makes it easy when he has a problem as he will always tell me. He loves hugs too. A lot of their character is what they are born with.
Other son was the model baby- very content , BUT it's his character to bottle everything up and not tell us when something is wrong.

bedmonster Thu 29-Nov-12 23:45:03

But some kids are more whingey than others Cailin, and while individually an unswept floor, dirty dishes, uncooked meals etc aren't a big deal, the fact is that they DO need doing. Especially as in the case of the OPs 'friend' (doesn't actually refer to her as being her friend) she has other children to deal with.
She might have to pick up her other children from school for example. If her 10m baby is crying and just needs to be cuddled cradled and rocked, how the hell does she do that? Does she just leave her children to walk home alone?
Or do you think at some point maybe, she might just have to leave the baby to cry whilst getting on with other things?
I'm not saying I agree or disagree with CIO by the way, just that I really doubt the child in question is in any danger of long term psychological damage from being left to cry for a bit, assuming that the mother is making effort to interact with him/her.

larks35 Thu 29-Nov-12 23:51:43

CailinDana, my 3yo works hard at crying as soon as things stop going his way, especially when he is a bit over-tired and needs to go to bed. Usually, ignoring his theatrics will ensure a smoother bedtime. When he was young I always ran to his cries at night and spent hours up with him trying to sooth him to sleep. Now on the odd occasion he cries at night, I go in and try to settle him and he tells me to go away. He basically wants to have a little cry, without his stupid mum stroking and whispering in his ear!

DD is nearly 8 months - we co-slept until about a month ago and since I've moved out of her room she has slept much better. Now when she does wake in the night, I go to her but as soon as she's had whatever she needed she literally pushes me away.

Maybe my kids don't like me, but I know that isn't true. They just don't need me 24/7 and no child should need 1 parent like that. If they've had that all along then when they stop getting it they're bound to protest but it doesn't mean they'll suffer in the long-term.

BTW If my DP cried over the same issues my DS does then I would probably, no definitely LTB grin

MakesCakesWhenStressed Thu 29-Nov-12 23:59:35

And what about when the mum is at breaking point from lack of sleep, the dad's work is suffering because everyone gets disturbed at night, the parents' relationship is suffering and the baby is getting poor quality care during the day because the mum is so exhausted. Responding every time they cry is not always possible, even if you hurt to hear them upset, but you're too busy sobbing with exhaustion and despair yourself.

Oh - andPeevish - yours lets you put them down whilst you pee? I envy you. Mine either wants to sit on my lap or dangle off my gusset whilst peering into the bowl...

Joiningthegang Fri 30-Nov-12 00:12:04

Dd1 and ds1 were angelic, barely cried so I responded quickly and all was well.

Ds2 cried and cried and cried - often no matter what I did - so I thought you may as well cry while I get things done, as if I do anything you won't stop anyway.

All babies are different, all parents are different, all circumstances are different - please don't decide what is best for someone else, you aren't there when they are coping alone.

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