Seperation anxiety

Lauren - posted on 10/26/2010 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I have a 14 month old son. And he is suffering from BAD seperation anxiety. He will be sound asleep and i will put him in his bed and not 10 min later he is up screaming at the top on his lungs. I had to leave him with a friend for a few hours the other day and she said he kept looking around the house. And now its like he doesnt want to leave my side. He will NOT stay asleep in his bed. And my husband and I are not getting any sleep. I just dont know what to do.

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Elissa - posted on 10/26/2010

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I went back to work recently and had the same problem at night (although touch wood he is fine during the day). Firstly, it is a completely normal development for this age anyway, it may just be a wee bit worse if there has been a big change or he is more sensitive. He will grow out of it.

In saying that, don't be tempted to ignore it. Some people will say just to let him scream. He is learning that he is a person, independent from you, and this is SCAREY! He needs lots of cuddles and reassurance. The more secure he feels, the quicker he stop being anxious when you are not there. Children who are left to 'toughen up' often become insecurely attached and more clingy or very withdrawn and are far more likely to have behavioural problems when older. Children who are reassured and feel safe become independent more quickly and are more resilient in general.

The bedtime one is hard, but we moved Struan back into our room for the time being and it has settled him a lot, because he can wake up and see we are there. Once he is feeling better (probably after Xmas at the earliest) he will go back through to his own room. For about a week he didn't sleep and wanted in with me all night (to make up for not seeing me during the day) but he soon realised that wasn't necessary.

So, I've gone a long way to say - lots of cuddles, love, and patience! Good luck!

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Angela - posted on 10/27/2010

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I have had the same problem. My son goes to his nana's house while I am at work. I have noticed if I drop him off and try to sneak away, or he simply doesnt know I left because he was playing, he literally clenches onto my shirt and will not let go of me when I get home from work and he will wake up crying the second I put him in his crib, so now when I leave him I make sure he knows I am leaving. I say goodbye and go. It is really hard because he cries and cries but then when I come back he is fine and goes to sleep fine. It seems that if they do not know you have left it scares them into thinking they aren't going to see you again. So, when you left him with your friend I don't know if you tried to sneak away or maybe he just didnt know you left, but if so, that may be part of the problem.

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