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Can seperation anxiety really last for 3 months?!?!

(6 Posts)
jellybelly75 Fri 10-Jun-11 10:55:06

My 8 month old dd refuses to be held by anyone except for me and dh, and has been like this since she was 5 months old sad It started a few weeks before she got her first two teeth so we naturally assumed it was just teeting related and it would pass, but 3 months later she is still exactly the same sad She cries if anyone else picks her up (including her grandparents - who she sees every week, and friends who we see most days (on the school run with dd1 and ds)), and often cries or turns her face away if anyone even talks to her in her pushchair. I feel like I have to make excuses for her - she's tired/teething/got a cold etc so as not to hurt everyone's feelings when she cries at them!! She is ok with children, its just adults she doesnt seem to like.

I am now starting to panic as I'm going back to work in 3 months time and I have to leave her at nursery for 2 days a week and with my parents for 1 day a week. I'm guessing the nursery will be well used to clingy babies but my mum and dad are not, and I don't think they'll cope very well if she is crying most of the time that she is with them.

I've got to start addressing this now as I dont think it is just a passing phase that she'll grow out of (as everyone keeps telling me), and I want to be able to leave her (at least with my parents) knowing that she'll be happy.

Anyone got any tips/advice on how to help her overcome her fear of grown ups?!

Many thanksxxx

Hunterswish Fri 10-Jun-11 14:13:41

Hi smile
Nursery in the beginning will be difficult for you and dd, there will be tears every day for the first week or so and I am sure you will question if you are doing the right thing sad
This stage is perfectly natural though, in fact my 18 month ds closes his eyes if strangers talk to him and almost pretends that they are not there if his eyes are kept shut!
Your dd feels confident with you and DH hence why she is happier with you both. Grandparents? maybe she senses now that she has cried and it has meant that you have come along? Again with distraction tactics though experienced Grandparents can over come the initial crying smile
It's the crying you have to try and detach yourself from sad (easy said than done I know !)
Leave dd with grandparents for an hour and call and check how long she cried for just to get her and them use to looking after her. Nursery take her a few days before you return to work so she can get use to it .
I am sure a few weeks after returning to work dd will be waving you off at the door and you will miss the days she needed yousmile

I have worked with 4 of my children and have left them all at nursery, the first few weeks are hard but it's much harder on you then them :0
Good luck

AngelDog Fri 10-Jun-11 20:35:50

My DS's separation anxiety lasted about 10 months, but got gradually better throughout that time.

The No-Cry Separation Anxiety Solution by Elizabeth Pantley has a whole lot of good ideas.

AngelDog Fri 10-Jun-11 20:37:44

I think it is just a phase, though - but in some children it can be a long-lived phase. I've not done anything to encourage DS to improve. Like your DD, he would cry if any adult other than DH or me even tried to talk to him while he was in our arms. Now he's 17 months and happy to spend at least a short while out of our sight with grandparents. (He might be happy to be away for longer, but we've never had reason to try.)

AngelDog Fri 10-Jun-11 20:39:04

Sorry, posted yet again before finishing writing.

Separation anxiety is supposed to be about communication. The LO knows they can communicate with you, so they're fine & happy. They realise that they can't communicate properly with other people, so they get frightened. As they get older that improves because babies/toddlers get better at communicating with others, so they are more confident that they can have their needs met by people other than their parents.

jellybelly75 Fri 10-Jun-11 22:12:30

Thanks for your replies and advice, and for the book suggestion Angel - I have just ordered a copy smile


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