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Separation anxiety - how to cope?!

(6 Posts)
StepfauxWife Thu 03-Apr-14 10:11:53

DD (almost 9 months) has been showing all the signs of separation anxiety for a couple of weeks - in particular, she cries when I leave the room and crawls over to me when left alone to play. I'm learning how to do everything one handed with her in my arms but would really rather she played independently at times!

I've been trying to go to lots of play groups to encourage her to play without me, which is slowly working. However, it's now affecting her at night which I am less tolerant of! She is waking a couple of times at night and needing some reassurance to get back to sleep. At times, I've resorted to feeding her to sleep because I know it's a quick way of getting her back down but would obviously rather that she went back to settling herself.

Any tips on how to get through this phase (which I know will pass!)?

Chocolatestain Thu 03-Apr-14 12:39:32

I'm sure there will be lots of different points of view on this and others will tell me I'm totally wrong, but my feeling is that when they're this young it's best not to push them towards independence. By giving her the reassurance and security she needs, she will feel safe to develop independence in her own time. Has anything changed that may be unsettling her? If not, it's probably just a phase and will pass.

If she has been self-settling at night I would try and avoid feeding to sleep as it will become a habit. I know that's easier said than done in the wee small hours when you're knackered, but a lot of babies go through seemingly random sleep regressions.

Goldmandra Thu 03-Apr-14 12:51:38

I agree with Chocolate.

Don't push her away at all. The more available you are to her, the more secure she will feel and the sooner she will be ready to explore the world on her own.

It might help to remember that needing to be close to you is a natural instinct which keeps babies safe when they are beginning to become mobile.

Let her lead this and she'll do it sooner.

FarToGo Thu 03-Apr-14 23:02:34

I'm going through this too with my almost 9 month old daughter.
Frankly it's exhausting! I can't go to the toilet or even make a cup of tea at the moment - she was inconsolable yesterday when I went into the kitchen..... I wouldn't mind but we have an open plan lounge/kitchen so effectively I was still in the room!

Sleeping has gone to shit too, she used to self settle lovely, go to bed lovely and sleep right through (still BF).

It took 2 hours tonight to settle.
I was up at least 10 times last night.

Repeat this for the last 3 weeks and I'm truly at the end of my rope.

Apparently it passes.....

StepfauxWife Fri 04-Apr-14 15:11:25

Thanks for your responses.

My instinct was to give plenty of cuddles but a child psychologist said to gently encourage her to play independently - not that I went to see one, she is a mum on the local baby circuit.

FarToGo, it's hard work isn't it? It has helped me to see things from DD's viewpoint and keep repeating "this too shall pass"...

Chickz Fri 04-Apr-14 16:55:37

I've read a bit about this. A few things that might help.
Playing hide and seek games- both with her toys and with you and her
Introducing a comforter or magic bracelet
Singing to her when your in another room
Good luck!

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