Separation anxiety

Tania - posted on 07/20/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My daughter is nine months old and all of a sudden will not sleep in her cot a night time. She screams for me and when my husband gets up to her. In the end I have to have her in bed with us in order to get some sleep. Is anyone else having the same problem and does anyone have any suggestions to help? Thanks in advance :)

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I'd strongly advise that you definately don't let her sleep in your bed. She will become aware that if she cries she will be able to sleep with yous. You could try a comforter. My son has a Cuski which is a comforter which mam or dad sleeps with for a night so the comforting scents transfer onto it. Logan loves his and sleeps really well. He's had it since birth and is now nearly 8 months old and it never fails to settle him to sleep =]

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Lisa - posted on 07/21/2010

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It's normal. My baby girl started at around 8 mths old. IF your happy for her to sleep in your bed than go for it.

Renae - posted on 07/20/2010

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9 months old is late for separation anxiety to peak in a girl (usually around 6 months) - I'm not saying its not that as we all know all babies are different, I just think you should keep an open mind that it could be something else.

Have you ruled out any physical issues (teeth, ear pain, tummy pain etc). Some babies when they are in pain are comforted by sleeping close to mum.

My other thought is how does she go to sleep at night? Are you with her when she falls asleep?

If it is separation anxiety, you do need to show her that you are still there and that you will come when she needs you; otherwise the phase will take longer to pass. Separation anxiety is associated with object permanence (understanding that something is still there even though you cant see it - like a toy hidden behind your back) and it is also associated with being able to move. Separation anxiety often starts to go away once baby can crawl and they are able to go to you when they want you. Is she moving yet? The only thing to do with separation anxiety is understand it, and wait for it to pass. During the day you can encourage independant play but I dont think this will help your night situation.

The other possibility is that this is plain old sleep regression and not separation anxiety at all. The only solution to this is to teach her to go to sleep by herself without the presence of a parent. To do this you use a sleep training method either a crying method or no-cry method. There are several options either way. I wont go into it all because this post will become too long but I'm happy to provide more information if you think this is what you need.

Of course, regardless of what it is, you can just let her sleep with you and she will eventually grow out of it. Kids grow out of everything eventually because they eventually grow out of being kids. :)

Emily - posted on 07/20/2010

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I don't think there's anything wrong with what you're doing. Separation anxiety is real and it's a very stressful phase for babies. Comforting them and letting them know you are not leaving them allows them to get through this phase and then move on and gain independence again at their own pace. But they do need that soft place to land so they know they can count on you. It is just a phase and it will not last forever. Most babies will go through another separation anxiety phase later, before age 2.

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