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8 month old - separation anxiety

(6 Posts)
flowerflo Wed 12-Sep-12 09:32:40

DD is 8 months old and generally a very happy baby. However over the last month she has started screaming and crying whenever I leave the room. It's so bad that even if I stand up, she thinks I'm leaving and starts screaming. I have a disability so find it hard to carry her around, so I do need to leave her in her playpen so I can go to the toilet, make lunch, put the washing on etc. Does anyone have any tips on how to deal with this? How long does this stage last? I can't bear hearing her cry, but on the other hand I do need to go to the loo!

Potol Wed 12-Sep-12 09:45:02

I found saying 'Mummy will be back' and then 'look, Mummy is back', repeatedly, endlessly eventually helped. Also a mix of reassurance and 'look, I just have to pee/can't pick you up'. So loving but sensible I think. Someone told me that they don't understand 'object permanance' or some such phrase, I.e. that what is not visible is still there. So your going to the loo=Mummy has vanished forever. They do get better if you keep at it, but there will always be clingy days especially when they are tired or hungry. I also read somewhere that playing Peekaboo is a good way to teach them that things that they can't see are still there. HTH!

SummerSolstice Wed 12-Sep-12 09:48:39

Watching with interest - my six month old is starting to display signs!

flowerflo Wed 12-Sep-12 11:56:51

Thanks Potol. That's good advice. I been doing similar to what you suggested so shall stick with it and hope things improve. It's just so upsetting to hear her like that, but also frustrating that I can't seem to get anything done.

ISeeThreadPeople Wed 12-Sep-12 12:08:44

DS has had the worst separation anxiety I have ever seen. He started at 5 months and would scream in terror if I even looked like I was about to stand up. He would get to the point of sweating and shrieking with fear if I ever had to move away from him. This included going in his carseat. He was particularly bad because of a fraught hospital stay at 5 months where he was v frightened and I had to stand back and let him be treated.

DS is 12mo now and much better. It peaked at 9 or 10 months. He's still very clingy and likes me to hold him as much as possible but two things have helped: he understands object permanence fully and he can follow me. So if I get up and move away, he gets up and follows. He's quite happy tinkering for some time as long as he can sort of shadow me. I played peekaboo and hid things for him to find, moved away from him only in tiny increments, encouraged other people to play peekaboo with him etc. It is improving slowly all the time. It will pass. I remember the conflicting feelings of not wanting ds to be upset even for a second but at the same time desperately wanting 2 minutes to wee in peace.

flowerflo Tue 25-Sep-12 15:28:53

Thanks ISee. It makes me feel better to know I'm not the only one. She's had a few times recently where she's not cried immediately when I've left the room (only a few though). Cbeebies seems to distract her for a couple of seconds! Have been letting her crawl after me too so she knows where I'm going. Lets hope this phase doesn't last too long smile

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