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Separation anxiety, food, and sleep in 9 month old baby; all advice appreciated

(4 Posts)
MotherofPearl Sat 04-Feb-17 18:58:35

Wasn't quite sure whether to post this here or on the sleep board, or perhaps even weaning, so please go easy on me.

DD2 is 9 months old, and has been transitioning to nursery the last few weeks (spending a few hours there about 3 times a week). As a result I have had to give up all daytime bf, although she's still bf at night and first thing (and often during the night because she co-sleeps with us). She seems to have really struggled with the nursery visits, and gets very anxious when separated from me. She also refuses to accept food from nursery staff, although occasionally they've coaxed her to have a bit. I should say the nursery staff have been great, and it's the nursery my other DC went to, so well known to me.

In the last week or so, she's more or less stopped eating all solids, even at home. Spoon feeding is refused, and while she'll accept finger foods, all the bits that she nibbles off are spat out! This is now combined with her basically bf all night (presumably to make up all those missing calories). Up until a couple of weeks ago, I'd bf her and put her to bed at around 6:30/7, and we wouldn't hear a peep until 10:30/11pm, when we'd usually go up to bed ourselves. Now she will not settle in the evenings at all! The moment I try to leave the room she screams! It's like she's scared to go to sleep in case I disappear. In my mind, the separation anxiety, the refusal to eat, the all-night bf, and the failure to settle in the evenings are all linked, and I just don't know how best to tackle this without upsetting her more. I'm afraid I'm not prepared to do cc or any kind of 'crying it out'.

I'm really at my wits end though. I'd rather not give up bf, but am wondering whether that would help? Any advice gratefully appreciated. I feel faintly ridiculous considering this is my third DC.

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 06-Feb-17 07:55:29

I don't think it's ridiculous at all don't worry. I think what you are experiencing is the 9 month sleep regression mixed in with separation anxiety.

Are you going to work full time? Just asking as at that age I worked 2 days and they had very little solidsand vows milk on the 2 days I was at work then I bf on the days I was home. Is that an option?

Just wondering too if you've swapped the daytime feeds for formula as I couldn't see you mention it.

If she's spitting out food, have you checked for new teeth? Have you tried a teething gel before offering the solids?

MotherofPearl Mon 06-Feb-17 13:22:49

Thanks so much for your reply Jilted, and for the link. It sounds like the changes in my DD's life (starting nursery) have coincided with a big developmental stage, so that helps to explain why she's so unsettled.

I'm going back to work full-time, sadly, so won't be able to bf during the day. You asked about formula: she won't take a bottle but she will take formula in a cup during the day, especially when she's not eating much.

I can't feel signs of teeth (although she chews her fingers a lot). I've bought some teething gel and am going to try that before meals. Thanks for reminding me about if!

My main thing is wanting her to stay asleep between 7pm and 10pm so I can have an evening. Last night we tried a new system: after she's had her bf and is asleep for 7pm, every time she woke up, DP went up to settle her instead of me. It takes him a lot longer, but I'm hoping that she'll soon realise it's not worth waking up in that time! Worth a try at least.

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 06-Feb-17 15:04:33

It's good that's she's taking formula from a cup, hopefully she'll get used to the new regime soon.

Glad that DH is settling her down too.

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