Angry baby!

Brianne - posted on 09/11/2012 ( 25 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 8 months old, and up until this point she's been so happy! But now, daddy's going back to work (after a work accident), so I'm home alone with her. She yells and screams if I set her on the floor to play while I do house work that just has to be done. It isn't even that she minds being on the floor, it's that she wants me there with her. Even if I start out down there to get her comfortable, the second I get up she starts screaming for "mama".



I don't know what to do! She's even worse in the carseat. Any suggestions?



I can't wait until she's asleep, she won't stay asleep unless she can feel someone holding her!



Any help would be appreciated.

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Sarah - posted on 09/15/2012

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You cannot spoil a baby this young. She's adjusting to not having her daddy around all the time. Think about it from her point of view. She's probably afraid that you'll leave her too, hence her separation anxiety. She needs more reassurance and time with you not less. Put her in a sling and carry her around with you while you do your chores.

Belinda - posted on 09/13/2012

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These posts have some good insights, but have you considered that she is missing daddy and need a bit of extra reassurance? Sure encourage her to play on her own, consider starting out by folding laundry on the floor next to her. Good Luck!

Ivy - posted on 09/25/2012

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The same thing happened with my daughter. Once my husband went back to work, she was super clingy. I had to take her everywhere otherwise she would scream and scream. So she went with me everywhere. She only now just started trusting her dad as we also went away on holiday without him, so we know it linked to her thinking he will leave.



Take her with you. You could get a backpack for her if you need to be mobile. Have her in a playpen in the room you're in and remove anything dangerous from the bathroom so she can be in there if you need to be.



My daughter is quite independent now and she's 3.5. Though she still likes cuddles and she needs learn new places with me exploring with her for her to feel comfortable. However, I look at it like she won't be this little forever and it doesn't last forever.



It can be frustrating, annoying, and sometimes you may be angry, but it won't last long as long as you comfort her and explain everything you're doing. Always be sure you say, I'll be right back then show her what that means.

Samantha - posted on 10/02/2012

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I may not be the most experienced (mom of 2) but my youngest is 10mths and has been going through this stage for a while now. It was really bad at one point but seems to be getting better now. Just some things I did that seemed to give me a few minutes here and there....put the baby in the high chair. They can be up at your level, you can push them around with you through the house, give them toys and snacks too. This way he/she can be right with you but you can have your hands free. Also find snacks that he/she can hold themselves like Bananas, cut up strawberries, gerber snacks, cookie. These type of snacks always helped keep mine happy (esp the banana was just cool to him). As far as the carseat...I went through that too. Unfortunately it was difficult. He screamed from the time we left til the time we arrived. It is better now and was some better when I could sit with him and let someone else drive. Hope this helps. Good luck!

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Marta - posted on 10/19/2012

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She probably is afraid you will leave like her dad if she doesn't hang on to you. Babies that age are not fond of change. She'll get used to his new routine after a while and calm down. In the mean time why don't you put her in a front carrier and take her with you as you clean. After a while she may decide it's more fun on the floor playing!

Keri - posted on 10/16/2012

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This is normal separation anxiety. Separation anxiety can start between 8 and 10 months and last up to 18 months. Even if the child is less than a foot away she can be fearful of being separated from you. You have not spoiled her by holding her too much. You have not caused her to be like this. My second child was quite content on the floor until he was about 8 months old and then he had to be held a lot.



It doesn't help that Daddy is suddenly missing from the picture for hours a day either. This is just a phase. Every baby I have ever dealt with has gone through this. Give her a little extra time and talk to her. Say something like "Mommy needs to do the dishes in a little bit. I will cuddle you for a few more minutes and then I will put you down with some toys." Yes they do understand what you are saying so talk to her a lot. Put her on the floor at your feet, I know it is annoying, but keeping her close will help. Maybe give her some plastic containers or pots and pans to play with while you wash the dishes. If you are folding clothes give her some to play with. The more you involve her in the activity the happier she will be.



Some kids just have to be held through this phase. It can be aggravating, but she will outgrow in few months. It might help to get a backpack. I would put my second child in the back pack so I could wash the dishes or fold laundry. It is the only way I could get anything done.



I don't have any good suggestions for the car seat. My daughter screamed in the car seat until she was almost a year old. You can try a mirror that attaches tot he back window so she can see you. Please do not turn her around until she is at the very least one, preferably 2 years old.

Ashley - posted on 10/09/2012

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FOOD lol when my baby is being cranky i bribe her with snacks to get chores lol

Maggie - posted on 10/09/2012

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Why not let her "help" with the chores? If you are doing dishes put her in the high chair and give her a spoon to play with. If you are folding laundry let her "match socks". She might do better if you involve her in what you are doing.

As far as having to be held while sleeping - you could try swaddling her in a big blanket. With my kids I would lay them in the boppy pillow and pull the sides of it up over their belly so it mimics being held.

Callie - posted on 10/08/2012

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Sounds like separation anxiety which is totally normal. I don't like letting my babies cry. It makes me anxious so it can't make them feel good. Definitely get a good carrier. Since she's 10 months old you could put her on your back in an ergo or boba carrier and be able to do pretty much anything you need to. And she'll be happy she gets to tag along. I wear my 4 month old in the ergo or K'tan sometimes when I clean and almost always when I'm grocery shopping. It keeps him happy and allows me to deal with his older sister.

User - posted on 10/07/2012

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You need to let her cry a little. She will be ok. Just make sure that the room that you put her in is safe. It helps to turn on some soft music or an age appropriate program. Then put a baby gate up. She will learn that her mommy is still in the house with her. When you walk by, just talk to her for a minute and go clean for a while. It is healthy for her to cry. I know that it breaks our heart, but in the long run it will help her. Good luck!!

Amanda - posted on 10/01/2012

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Do you have a pack'n'play or any kind of safe place that you can move from room to room with her? Does she have any favorite toys she can play with while you're busy? Have you tried leaving on the radio for her? The only advice I can offer other than that is to let her fuss for a few minutes at a time. Go back to her, play with her for a few minutes, then go back to what you were doing. As far as the carseat... some kids really hate carseats, my first two children did and my third doesn't mind nearly as much as they did. She'll get used to it eventually.

Crystal - posted on 09/25/2012

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both my kids are like that. i love it, but if they both need me at the same time, it's hard. if i really have to do something, and they're crying, sometimes you have to let them cry for just a little bit to get something done. but make sure to comfort them for a long time as soon as you're done. and try to not be gone doing something for too long. do things little at a time. if you can find something that can distract them, like a mirror to look at themselves, or mum mums to eat, or a tv show, or our exersaucer does wonders! actually, my 8 month old can't resist chewing on something like a teether or eating mum mums. and she likes watching me vacuum... i hope this helps a bit. it's what i do :)

User - posted on 09/23/2012

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I don't think you can spoil kids with love and attention. Especially when they're this little, and need someone around, it's important to build trust and the idea that you're there for them. My son was intensely clingy. He wouldn't sleep unless he was on me or next to me for the first year. He didn't like being away from me at all. I didn't let him cry. Now he's a very independent 4 year old, and has no trouble exploring new environments. I promise, even if she seems clingy now, she'll grow out of it. Honestly, I miss having a high touch baby...I only get snuggles when mine is sick or tired. :)

Sarah - posted on 09/21/2012

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It may not be classic separation anxiety, but I think it can prbably be dealt with in the same way. Anxiety that mum as well as dad is suddenly not going to be there for long periods is probably very real.

Stephanie - posted on 09/20/2012

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Sarah, I realize that it helps to hold the baby and reassure her when separation anxiety is the case. If she is used to having daddy as a playmate and all of a sudden he's not there all day, is that considered separation anxiety? I have not yet dealt with the separation anxiety issue.

Sarah - posted on 09/20/2012

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Stephanie, babies generally get over separation anxiety quicker if they have the reassurance of the mother's presence. It does not instil bad habits.

Sara - posted on 09/20/2012

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Your baby is probably fussy because of teething. I have tried neat toys and they work sometimes. My other boys are very independent now that they are older. They sleep in their own rooms. All seems to be ok.

Sara - posted on 09/19/2012

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I have an 8 month old boy and he's the same way. When he naps, I put pillows beside him to make him think I'm there! I carry him most of the time while working. Sometimes he'll play in the walker. A piece of fruit might help keep your daughter occupied if she's in a walker. We recently moved and I can't believe what I got done while juggling a baby on my hip! You could try a front carrier. It won't be long before she moves out of this phase- maybe 3 more months. I have 4 boys and they were all the same. Just hang in there - this is such a special age.

Sherri - posted on 09/18/2012

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It is called separation anxiety. She doesn't like not being right there with you, it is a phase she will outgrow it.

Sally - posted on 09/18/2012

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She's used to having her daddy and now he's gone. Also, babies are biologically designed to be physically attached to mom for most of the first year. And she's at a good age for separation anxiety which daddy leaving is only going to make worse.

Do as much as possible of the chores beside her on the floor. For the rest, get a comfy carrier so she can have the mommy contact she needs and you can have your hands to get stuff done. As she gets older and realizes that you're still available, it will get better. Just letting her scream is very unlikely to work. Trying to force independence almost always has the opposite effect, And do your stress hormones really need to hear that all day?

Most babies cry in the car seat. Try to see it from their point of view. Imagine you are somewhat mobile but are still too little to have much if any control over where you are and what you do. The only way you can communicate your needs is by yelling. The person upon whom you depend for your very survival drops you into a padded plastic bucket, straps you down tightly, and walks away. As the mommy, you have enough life experience to know you're keeping her safe. She thinks she's been tied up and abandoned and is going to die. Those screams are her begging you to come rescue her. The reason it drills through you is because all the mommy hormones that kept our children alive before modern safety practices want you to go rescue her too. If possible have someone else drive so you can sit next to her and reassure her that she is still safe. If not, try to distract her with toys and talk to her constantly so she knows you're still there. Most of them get better when they're big enough to turn around and can see.

Good luck

User - posted on 09/15/2012

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Encourage side by side play which will ease her back into not being held as much. The distraction with being entertained while not being held should work. This will lead her into some independent play when you need your arms free.

Adrienne - posted on 09/12/2012

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It's so easy to get into habits that are hard to break later! It sounds like she loved the attention she got with both of you home, and it was so much more interesting with playmates! I've found sometimes just letting them fuss for a bit will encourage them to find something to occupy themselves, and reassuring them you're nearby but it's time for baby to play alone for a bit... then stick to your guns! Train her until you like her... you'll always love her, but liking can be a different story sometimes! Teaching her to fall sleep on her own in her own space is a valuable life lesson. It doesn't come without tears, but it's worthwhile.

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