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Separation anxiety in 11mo...

(3 Posts)
ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Mon 17-Aug-09 10:02:33

Hi,
my 11mo DS has started crying if he is left alone for seconds. I have been advised this is separation anxiety as he is just learning that we are not one person - but it's not specific to me, he's fine with DH but cries if he leaves the room too. He's a bit whingy with other people if neither DH or I are in the room but mainly if he is tired, which I think is normal.

This stage has coincided with me returning to work 3 days a week, DH has him at home so it's minimally disruptive.

Is this a normal age to have this stage? How long will it last? What should we do? (return immediately if he cries, or just call out to him and ignore the crying type of thing) We have always fostered his independence and he's usually happy to play on his own for short periods.

Thanks! It's doing my head in....we have put stairgate up so he can crawl to the top of the stairs, only a few feet from kitchen/bathroom but rather than crawl to follow you, he often just plumps himself down and cries!

CaresMildly Mon 17-Aug-09 11:03:48

Hi - my 13mo has always been on the clingy side but in the last couple of weeks there has been a big improvement. She still doesn't like it if she can't see me, but she doesn't go into total meltdown anymore. As your son sounds like he is already quite secure it should pass quite quickly.

Strangely what seemed to help with my daughter was getting used to being at nursery for a couple of times a week and realising I would come back. And it seems to be following through at home - eg about once a week I can walk out of the room without a screaming fit following!!

As to what to do, I just tried to keep it practical. At nursery would say that I'd be back at lunchtime to collect her, or at home that I was going into the kitchen to make a cup of tea, etc. I've got no idea if it helped because I don't think we're actually through the stage yet, but I kind of always thought that sooner or later she'd realise what I meant. So I would carry on with whatever you're doing but also reassure him. EG if you are in kitchen and he cries say that you're boiling the kettle and will come and pick him up in a couple of minutes, or whatever. So ignore the screams but comfort the upset - if that makes any sense!

If it's any help it does my head in too! Especially when you know you're only going to be 2 seconds but still they go into meltdown ... argh!

bluepanda Mon 17-Aug-09 23:13:49

I think this is quite a common age for this - my ds was awful at this age and sadly it coincided with my return to work too. It took a good few weeks to wear off and I agree a lot of it was to do with him sort of realising I would be back later. You say your husband is looking after him so it is less disruption - but from your lo's point of view his little world has changed cos mummy's no longer there all the time!
I'm sure it will pass soon - if it's any consolation i have gone from having a small audience on the loo to having a 17mo standing outside the door shouting "mama wee-wee!" - so still not exactly, er, private...

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