How to get my 7 month old to play alone if I walk out of the room for a few minutes..

Shannon - posted on 10/06/2009 ( 17 moms have responded )

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If I walk out of my 7 month old son's sight, he starts SCREAMING!!! even if its just to go to the bathroom! I can't seem to get any chores, or anything for that matter, around the house done unless he's napping which isn't long... Any advice??

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Amanda - posted on 10/06/2009

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it is good sometimes for babies to cry a little. but you cant let them cry for too long, thats not healthy. and if your son is anything like my daughter...then letting him cry isnt going to work. its just going to break your heart and he will make himself sick...my daughter was the same way she always needed to know where mommy was. and that perfectly normal. babies dont understand that mommys have more things to do than just play all day. so what i did took her with me in every room. that way she could see me and know i wasnt going anywhere. then as she got a little older and became more interested in toys i would get a whole a bunch of toys and put them on the floor with her and play for just a minute or two with her, then slowly sneak away and then she had no idea i was even gone. you just have to be patient and always remember your son doesnt understand things just yet. all he knows is your his mommy and when you're around he feels safe. when you're gone. hes terrified. you are the most important person to him. just take it one step at a time. good luck. you'll be fine.

Rebecca - posted on 10/07/2009

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I had the same problem with mine - I found going back in seemed to reinforce the behaviour so he'd continue to cry each time. I found putting on music on is a good distraction because there's sound, voices, and it has a calming affect because it feels like he has company right there. You will probably find too over the next month or two when bub starts crawling that there won't be an issue so much anymore. My youngest went from hysteria when I'd leave the room (didn't help he'd been cutting teeth too) to only wanting to know me when poopy or hungry - he's now able to get to other things of interest to amuse himself.

Cedar - posted on 10/07/2009

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Every mom needs a break. Let him scream. He will get over it. Tell him what you are going to do and why because children understand even if they cant speak and they need to know where you are going so they feel safe. Then do what you need to do and come back every few minutes. I did this with my daughter early on and she does everything by herself now and she is only 2. Not that I make her do things that way. She just love her own space and when she wants me she tells me she does and I stop whatever I am doing and love those moments with her.

Hannah - posted on 10/06/2009

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hi shannon!
I had this problem with my son until the day he learned to crawl, then he was happy by himself. problem was that then you are always having to make sure they are not sticking fingers into sockets etc.
What did help actually was if i put some nursery rhymes on the stereo, then he would play a bit by himself.

Tara - posted on 10/06/2009

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Sling him. My son is the same way sometimes. But I sometimes put him in the kitchen with me with some toys or I carry him about in the sling. The best thing is toys to distract him. Get him started, sit and play with him and walk away slowly. See how that goes.

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Pam - posted on 12/11/2014

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I've had 4 children and never, ever have I heard too much crying is unhealthy. Where'd you get that??

Jamie - posted on 10/07/2009

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I have the same problem with my daughter and she is about 9 months old. She is the only child and I am a single parent. I dont think it is separation anxity b/c she has no problem going to day care. She actually loves it and ignores me when I drop her off. When I leave the room at home no matte what it is for she screams. So what I do is if I am in the kitchen I put her in the walker and she is happy.

Danielle - posted on 10/07/2009

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My son in 8 months old and is exactly the same way. When I need to get things done around the house I dont like to do them when he's napping cause i feel like thats my time to relax, nap shower etc. My sons walker is my best friend, he can follow me around the house wherever i go. When he gets tired of that i put him in a carrier that goes on my back. This makes him so content that by the time i am almost done cleaning he is passed out on my back!!! But I have tried the play peek a boo thing from the other rooms and it does not work on him at all. Tried singing, talking everything, he is just not happy unless he is right there with me.

Melanie - posted on 10/07/2009

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My daughter did this too (she's now 3 months) and I found that if I physically couldn't get back into the room she'd actually stop crying after a minute or two anyway. Almost like she forgot what she was crying for. I also found I could slowly leave her alone for bigger and bigger increments of time. 5 minutes one day, 7 minutes the next, until we're up to now about half an hour where she can amuse herself under the playgym. As long as I pop my head in every now and then and say hi and make eye contact, she's pretty good.

I've been visiting my parents' house lately though where she gets lots of attention, and so we're back to square one where she doesn't like to be by herself. I'm going to wait until we return back home before I begin again so I can simply allow the grandparents to spoil her :o)

Jane - posted on 10/06/2009

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get a "jumpy" or put him in the exersaucer. they get bored at this age and need something to do. just be reassuring w/your voice and get our housework done.

Ashley - posted on 10/06/2009

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I would also recommend slinging him. I had to do that with my 2 youngest. I could never get a thing done until i bought a sling. Then finally I was able to do all my chores and whatever else.. with the baby right there. You could also try a play pen or excersaucer. Just put him in it and put him in the room that you are in. Also, the peek a boo thing works to. Be sure to make the pop outs longer and longer each time!

Kristie - posted on 10/06/2009

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Gee, good luck with this I have a 1 year old son who wants my attention ALL the time!!

I am wondering if it a boy thing cause I have 3 girls 11 years old and twins 6 years old and they never seemed to be as clingy as he is, I honestly don't know what to tell you just to let him CRY! I know I is Hard!!! :{

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i'm against turning kids into couch potatoes, but sometimes you just gotta turn on baby einstein

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I had a playpen on wheels that I would put my son in with several of his toys. I could move it around the house so that he could see me. Or, I put him in his jumperoo in the doorway of the bathroom. Then I could see him from the bathroom and the bedroom and get some things done there. Keep talking to him or singing to him so he knows you are still close by.

Amy - posted on 10/06/2009

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Children this age do not realize that mom is in another room. They just know that mom is gone! To babies if you can't see mom, she is gone. I agree with the peek-a-boo game. Just make the pop outs a little longer each time.

Robin - posted on 10/06/2009

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After being a stay at home Moma to 3 boys YES!! lol!! There is hope! I would move further and further away and make sure they were still in a comfort zone. I would move 1 ft 2 ft and so on. I went thru it with all 3 boys and I had the same outcome with each one and they are VERY different in personality and ages...12, 6, and 4. It is hard when you don't know what to do and you don't want to just walk away as they're crying like most suggest but, one step at a time makes them know that you are leaving but will be right back. Maybe also try making it a game like peek-a-boo from another room.

Stephanie - posted on 10/06/2009

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Well not to be mean but if you don't let the baby alone and everytime he cries and he'll know that you will come. When he gets older there's a thing call separtion axiety. If he don't learn now, he will never learn. My daughter use to cry all the time but if he can't really stay from you in a long period of time, you just have to let him cry but every mother is different and you do whats best for you.

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