Separation anxiety in an 18 month old

Carolyn - posted on 01/14/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )

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My son (almost 18 months old) has been attending a home daycare part time since he was 10 monhts old. He adjusted quite well and really enjoys going there. Over the Christmas holidays, my husband and I were home with him for about two weeks and he seemed to really enjoy this (especially spending time with Daddy whom de doesn't get to see as often). However, since returning to the sitter he absolutely refuses to nap for her. He will stay in his playpen and talk or whimper or sometimes cry. She has tried many things but he won't sleep. Prior to the break, he was sleeping 1.5-2 hours for her easily. He ends up being exhausted when he comes home to us. The thing is, that the days he's home with me he continues to nap really well. I've also noticed he's starting to get a bit upset when I leave him in the mornings with the sitter and any time either my husband or I are out of sight, he's constantly calling "Mama?" or "Dada?". In the mornings, he regularly searches the house for his dad who has already left for work.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to deal with this? My main concern is his napping at the sitter's. He's just not the same kid without enough sleep. I'm assuming part of this is just a stage he is going through that happens to coincide with having to adjust to not seeing mom and dad all day anymore.

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Lynn - posted on 01/27/2010

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My daughter is 18mths old she stays with her grandparents while my husband & i go to work we were off for 2 weeks at christmas then i had a weeks sick leave after only being back a week she has been a nightmare to settle to sleep at night squealing for mummy when i put her down this could go on for nearly an hour and previously she was just left to fall asleep this has been going on now for nearly two weeks and its hard she is okay during the day but keeps asking where mummy and daddy are; someone told my husband its a stage they go through at this age - i just hope it doesn't last too long!!! My friend had a really unsettled stage with her 2nd child between the ages 18 -24mths - i hope it doesn't last for 6mths!!! Good luck

Cailie - posted on 01/16/2010

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its the age! my son is 18 months and has never ever once had problems with me leaving him anywhere and he is now throwing fits when i drop him off at daycare and at his grandmas. we didn't really react to him doing this and he is almost over it! hang in there!

Samantha - posted on 01/16/2010

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Aww that is pitiful, but he'll get back into routine!! Hope things get back to normal for the little guy soon

Lacey - posted on 01/14/2010

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It sounds to me like your assumptions are correct. From everyone I have asked, this is just a stage they go through at about this age. My son stays with his Grandaddy almost everyday of the week while my husband and I go to work. About a month ago he started throwing fits and screaming bloody murder when i picked him up in the evening bc he has started to think he lived there :-p and then over the christmas holiday, we stayed home for about a week. and now he's back to throwing fits when i leave in the mornings. As for the sleep problems, I don't have any personal advice. I have heard of my friends children doing this but they are a bit older. It is most definitely heart breaking and confusing, but it is hopefully something that will pass with time :)

Raquel - posted on 01/14/2010

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I wish I had advice. Sorry. I have a 3 yr old and we never experienced this with him but I am having the same problem with my son who just turned 18 months. He has always been great going to bible class and it seems like the last couple of months he refuses to sit in there, he just cries for "mama". It breaks my heart to hear him do this so I usually just sit with him or leave early. :-) I feel for you, it's always a little better knowing our children aren't the only ones. lol

Kristal - posted on 01/14/2010

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I think it is an age/stage thing mostly. My daughter has recently started crying every time someone leaves our house. It's difficult at times, especially when its myself or daddy that has to leave. I dont have any advice for the napping, just wanted to tell you your not alone!

Theresa - posted on 01/14/2010

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hunny im w/ ya there completely. my daughter will be 18m in a couple days and for her nana (mil) she is starting to sleep maybe 10m at the most for me she sleeps 1hr & 45m usually. i think its just because they are going through a stage. they have alot of memories now and can understand hey thats my dad and i want to be w/ them. when my husband takes our daughter she calls for me constantly then when i have her w/ me shopping or watever she yells for her dada? so i really believe that you and i are just in a waiting stage. i know it stinks cuz my daughter come 5 is like a bear that needs a nap but then i find she sleeps very well at night. i know i havent really helped you out but i do believe this is normal. i take my little girl for her 18m check-up next week and plan on asking about this if i remember then afterwards i will try to repost what the dr says good luck

Theresa - posted on 01/14/2010

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hunny im w/ ya there completely. my daughter will be 18m in a couple days and for her nana (mil) she is starting to sleep maybe 10m at the most for me she sleeps 1hr & 45m usually. i think its just because they are going through a stage. they have alot of memories now and can understand hey thats my dad and i want to be w/ them. when my husband takes our daughter she calls for me constantly then when i have her w/ me shopping or watever she yells for her dada? so i really believe that you and i are just in a waiting stage. i know it stinks cuz my daughter come 5 is like a bear that needs a nap but then i find she sleeps very well at night. i know i havent really helped you out but i do believe this is normal. i take my little girl for her 18m check-up next week and plan on asking about this if i remember then afterwards i will try to repost what the dr says good luck

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