help with seperation anxiety

Olivia - posted on 02/08/2010 ( 12 moms have responded )

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Everytime I walk out of the room where my son is playing to do laundry, clean, cook or go to the bathroom he screams hysterically. How can I help him be comfortable with me not being right there 24/7? I am a stay at home mom so my son and I are together all day and night. I dont know how to soothe him, without holding him, please help!

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Beck - posted on 02/08/2010

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He is suffering some seperation anxiety which is common at this age. I would do lots of role play. This would include some activities and games such as. Playing silly peek a boo games behind walls - so you are only briefly gone and its fun. Saying 'ill be back' EVERY TIME you walk out of the room or out of view. I would start with confidently saying 'ill be back' while she is happily playing then leave the room, only for a short time - a few seconds, I would then extend the time you leave for. When you return offer comfort and say "mummys back' and continue with play. If you are in the same room but ducking down behind the kitchen cupboards or something saying 'im just getting..out of the cupboard' I am all still here. This may be only short lived but may need a few weeks of role play. It is just another stage they will grow out of though. Good luck.

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Rachel - posted on 02/14/2010

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How I handle it depends on why he's being clingy. If its just "hey, I want you", I'll talk to him from the other room if I just need to go there quickly and will be right back. If I'm going to be gone for a longer period, I'll take him with him and set him down somewhere safe where he can see me and "talk" to me. I reassure him that I'll be with him as soon as I can and as soon as I'm done, we'll have a cuddle. If he's being clingy because he's not feeling well, I'll just let the chores slide (except for things that absolutely must be done) and give him lots of extra cuddles until he feels better. They are little for such a short time :)

Nadine - posted on 02/14/2010

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My son is 10 months old and does the exact same thing, I am a stay at home mom as well, as some of the others mentioned I talk as I leave the room and that actually made it worse for him because he can hear me but not see me, I would like to know how to handle this as well.

Sarah - posted on 02/14/2010

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What about just making light of it, speaking to him with a smile on your face and continuing to do what you need to do if you can within his sight?

I think that sometimes it's good to let kids wait, especially if it's so you can do something important, like make some food or get a drink. It lets them know that your needs are important and also that they are o.k. on their own for a few minutes (with supervision of course.)

My first child we always were with and gave him whatever he wanted immediately. It was impossible to give my second child that same level of attention and she is all the better for it. Now I leave my infant on the floor with several toys while I make lunch or dinner (I can see her) and she is crawling sooner than the others, now sitting unassisted and is stronger in many ways.

Maria Montessori said that any unnecessary help given to a child is a hinderance and in my experience that is true. The screaming is a problem for you, but maybe there is a way to slowly get him accustomed to a little independence within Mommy range.

Harmony - posted on 02/12/2010

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My son is going thru the same phase right now so I totally understand where you are coming from. I remind myself of my first son( who is 2 1/2 and never acts like that now) and think how quickly this will be another crazy memory that I have and not let it get to me. Keep your head up and use that good advice from the moms who already chipped in, they are right on the money.

Rachelle - posted on 02/12/2010

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I had the EXACT same problem with my second son. It was SO bad it was almost comical. I wish I had some miracle solution for you. It eventually worked itself out. I think the best thing is NOT to react in a similar way to his hysteria. Stay calm and simply reassure by saying, mommy always comes back. I did this is sort of a reaction, but over the longhaul it turned out to be a good thing. When my youngest son started going through the same thing....the older ones would say, "mommy alwasy comes back" and it seemed to help and the phase ended much sooner. Also, don't withhold your comforting. I believe that the more secure they feel, the less worried they'll be when you're away. I completely understand about wanting some time with your fiance'...or other adult company, but personally, I feel like this is one of the necessary sacrifices of a mom. It's not forever....babies go from being completely dependent toward becoming less so...it's part of the natural process. If your fiance if also the dad....he should get to understand and accept this situation. again, it's not foever. Try to enjoy that fact that he wants to be with you so much....very soon, he'll not want to be in the same room. :)

Krysta - posted on 02/11/2010

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If I go out of room, I keep talking loud enough thatbmy son can hear me, that seems to help.

Anna - posted on 02/10/2010

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The mei tais made by this lady ( http://www.meitaibaby.com/faq.html ) can hold babies up to 35 pounds..even more depending on how strong you are. My daughter hated being worn until I learned that she likes to be able to see everything so I wear her high on my back so she can look over my shoulder. Maybe thats what he needs. Good luck!

Olivia - posted on 02/10/2010

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my son is about 25 lbs now and he doesnt enjoy the pack that i had :( do you know of one that i can use for his weight? i think the camera may be out of my budget right now but im going to look online. thank you

Anna - posted on 02/10/2010

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Have you tried wearing your baby? This may help as well. Try getting a sling or mei tai. I personally like the mei tai more but to each their own. This way he will be with you all the time and you can still get chores done. :]

April - posted on 02/10/2010

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i know it would be the expensive option and you would only do it if you were desperate, but what if he could see you on camera? (i have a video baby monitor. i can see my son and my son can see me)

Olivia - posted on 02/10/2010

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Thank you, its difficult because I try to get all the household chores done before my fiance gets home so we can just relax, but with his tantrums when i leave its heartbreaking. I will give your suggestion a try thank you!

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