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Separation anxiety dos amd don'ts

(18 Posts)
zuzkah Wed 06-Aug-08 12:46:58

Hi there. Im not sure what is happening with my 8 months old baby boy. He used to be a very content baby and played by himself for about 10 - 15min in the morning so I could have a shower and make myself a human being. Nowadays, he is crying and screaming if I leave the room, even if Im in sight. He can crawl, so when Im in the kitchen he crawls to me and stands by my legs screaming. I can't do much and sometimes Im overwhelmed by his emotions and am loosing the plot. What's happened? Is this separation anxiety?
Should I hold him most of the time or let him cry? What is the right approach? How did you deal with yourone? Thanks for any advice.

KnickersOnMaHead Wed 06-Aug-08 12:49:09

Message withdrawn

thelittlestbadger Wed 06-Aug-08 12:51:35

My DD wasn't as bad, but I told and still tell her where I'm going whenever I leave the room including how long I am going to be and that I will be coming back. Unless I'm in the kitchen at the other end of the flat, I also keep talking to her while I'm out of the room. I also encourage her to chase me, and when I've finished whatever I'm doing we play hide and seek or I chase her so it becomes a game.

I have tried not to let DD cry and would suggest a sling option for a bit if your DS is getting really distressed.

sdc1110 Wed 06-Aug-08 12:52:32

ds2 is nearly 10 months and very similar. When he screams I talk to him about what I am doing and when I have finished I pick him up for a cuddle. That said I find his screaming easier to tune out than I did with ds1 as I usually know what his problem is.
With ds1 it lasted until 15 months but he is a very sensitive boy even now at 4 he hates new situations.
I am sure someone will be able to offer more practical advice

zuzkah Wed 06-Aug-08 13:22:23

knickers- yes it is heartbreaking and I also find it distressing as Im not sure if he's in pain or something. But then we go to a library and he is happy so I guess no pain...
thelitltestbudger- I keep talking to him always. I will try the games though. It sounds fun, thanks. I tried the sling yesterday, he's happy in it for some time but then fusses again.
sdc - I guess I have to practise the tune out for when I need to do stuff.

So what do you think. Hold them to give them reassurance they will understand you are always there for them and wait till the phase passes OR Toughen them up by not picking them up and let them cry for some time? would that make them more insecure?

beansprout Wed 06-Aug-08 13:26:50

I go for the reassure them and wait until it passes option. They are not doing it to be difficult, they are genuinely distressed that you have gone. It does pass quite quickly, although it's hard work while it lasts!! smile

SpandexIsMyEnemy Wed 06-Aug-08 13:27:02

DS has been thru this so many times now - was especially bad around the start of the year.

main thing I find/found is to talk to them in a chirpy manor - and say little things like mummy's just doing X and then we'll have a nice cuddles. (example now I say to DS, mummy's just going to run to tescos, you play with nanna, mummy won't be long etc)

I know that might sound daft at 8 months but honestly found it helped. failng that do you have room in the kitchen for a mat? - a few of his toys on there.

I forget the amount of times I have and still do do dinner or hoover with DS on one hip the dogs climbing around my legs and me looking stressed.

jsut remember thou, it is a phase it's normal, it's tiring but it WILL pass.

KnickersOnMaHead Wed 06-Aug-08 13:36:38

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zuzkah Wed 06-Aug-08 17:34:37

Knickersonmahead - was 'here' supposed to be a link?
spandex- I do usually talk to him all the time. And in the kitchen he's interested in climbing my legs only. I tried the toy option but no success.
Im glad though Im not alone!

KnickersOnMaHead Wed 06-Aug-08 17:54:00

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SpandexIsMyEnemy Wed 06-Aug-08 18:18:05

how about - now this is prob an odd one! can he sit up?

with my DS around this age he was up my leg etc couldn't get anything done so I took everything on the floor to his level - I peeled the spuds into a pan - he had one in his pan and a wooden spoon - loved it - I was doing my jobs he was playing/helping mummy - he thought it was great! works with the washing up as well - just expect a wet floor after! er showering etc and bath room cleaning was done when XH was around - other wise i'd be quick, have to bite the bullet for 10 mins of him screaming and then get dressed in his bedroom. as I say hoovering on the hip. thinking what else, bed making now DS & I do together but at 8 months I used to wait and do those bigger jobs when XH was watching DS down stairs.

zuzkah Wed 06-Aug-08 18:46:06

spandex- they are great ideas! I ll do that. He can sit up very well and bang things good too. He will love that...I hope.

podsquash Wed 06-Aug-08 21:16:37

I bought a hipseat from Hippychick - it meant I could carry both mine more easily when they were at this stage, so I could do the hoovering with them on my hip, for instance. Also, if I have to cook or somthing, I try to get them involved in a little game like 'bringing me a cup of tea' and then I ask for more and they go out to get it, etc.

I also put them in the highchair and give them crayons or stacking cups or little books or a carrot to 'chop' or whatever they like - they can see me and they are safe and I might get 2 minutes to chop veg myself!

Going to the loo is another one. I often had a wee with one on my lap, or else I put a few toys in the sink with the water running and let them play with that.

To be honest, I only ever shower when my husband is home or they are asleep. I want to relax in the shower, not just get clean.

I also utilise CBEEBIES when I really need to get dinner on or something...let's be honest, ladies, who doesn't? It works better now with my little girl than when my son was that age though - he wasn't interested in tv at all, unfortunately...

Anyway, hope this helps. I don't think letting them scream is the option anyone wants and I personally don't find that toughening them up works at all (I tried). I always try to find some other solution that keeps them happier but obviously sometimes there isn't much choice, is there...

Habbibu Wed 06-Aug-08 21:21:07

I'm in the "reassure and wait til it passes" camp - too small to need "toughening up" for a long time, I think. But also v. much agree with "explain what you're doing and there will be a cuddle soon" if you're busy - they'll still cry, but will know they're not abandoned. Not fun during shower, so I did shower during nap times or when DH was around when dd did this. She got over it!

liath Wed 06-Aug-08 21:24:01

The hippychick hip seat was a life saver for me too.

zuzkah Thu 07-Aug-08 09:39:37

podsquash and liath - I might have a look into buying the hippychick. My shoulder and back are killing me from carrying him around.
I can't bear to let him cry either but sometimes my partner thinks I shouldn't respond straight away as he will learn that and will be a nightmare later. I don;t think so but he as a father is involved and cares too. So we discuss it and I try to persuade him letting him cry may make him even more insecure. Also he is not here with him all day long, is he. I find that as a great father he is, sometimes his ideas drive me mad. Is it because we mums think we have the right (or better) answer to everything?

liath Thu 07-Aug-08 14:26:40

I remember having the same dilemma with dd who was appallingly clingy - whether giving in to it would make her more secure in the long run or whether I should toughen her up a bit. I went with my instincts and advice from here (hence the hip seat) and she is fairly independant now at 3 but still very much wants to be with me and I think it was that aspect of her personality making an early appearance.

All the carrying put my pelvis out of alignment, though, and it's only just being sorted now with physio.....blooming kids!!!

podsquash Fri 08-Aug-08 12:09:26

Mmm...I have the same issue with my hubbie and the parenting philosophy thing. I found a few books that really really helped me that I wish I'd had when my oldest was small - see and his book for my absolutely fave. I also like Naomi Aldort but she is pretty radical. Plus you can check a few blogs and so on to see what people think.

Having said that, I do think that I sometimes get my knickers in a twist over their crying when in fact I am doing my best and have done everything I can and they do actually just have to live with being away from me for a few minutes! Kids have incredibly strong emotions and sometimes it can be a bit scary for us but they learn to deal with their strong emotions by having them, seeing that the world doesn't end and that you comfort them later.

Anyway, I could go on about this until the cows come home so I'll stop now...

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