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separation anxiety nightmare

(4 Posts)
offmyrocker Tue 11-Jan-11 18:44:09

I'm writing this on behalf of my sister who is going through a bit of a nightmare with her DD of 14months.
It started off with her DD at about 8 months having these screaming fits, bouts of crying or immediate need to be held by my sister whenever she took a sudden and mysterious disliking to a man. This could be any random man whether at a friends' party with one of the dads there, or some poor bloke in a pub trying to have a quiet pint. More often than not she would get into such a state that my sister would just have to leave where ever they were just to stop her DD from screaming.
It hasn't really improved, although as long as my sister is at arms-length her DD can sometimes calm herself down, but my sister has to be close by all the time.
However, in the last couple of weeks it's suddenly reverted back to these sudden fits when she inexplicably sees what ever innocent man she decides not to like and starts screaming blue-bloody murder and on top of that she literally does not want my sister out of her sight. Even going to the loo, she will follow her everywhere. My sister's at her wits end. So far she tries to be patient and just try to calm her DD by holding her close whenever she needs her, but now it seems that her DD just doesn't want her mum anywhere else but near her.
What can my sister do to ease what is now becoming a very suffocating situation for her.
Any pointers, advice or even a clue as to why my niece is suffering the way she is would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you also for getting through such a long thread. blush

justalittleblackraincloud Tue 11-Jan-11 19:18:39

I think its normal to be honest. DD went through a phase around the same age of being incredibly clingy and not liking strangers.

Still now she can sometimes take a dislike to someone...currently BIL!

Personally, I would say she's just got to ride it out. Be there and available for her DD whenever she needs her. She's obviously feeling insecure for some reason, and the only thing which will improve that is if she's made to feel as safe and secure as possible.

BoysAreLikeDogs Tue 11-Jan-11 21:03:50

completely normal

my theory, non-scientific, is that back in our ancient past, when we lived in caves, a strange man meant danger and the vestiges of this remain in instinctive fear of strange men; screaming will alert the primary carer and thus bring safety to the baby

it will pass, I promise; ride it out

offmyrocker Wed 12-Jan-11 11:00:06

Thank you for your replies justaliitle and Boys' I will now tell sis that all is normal - not sure whether this will bring relief or a nervous collapse though grin

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