Does my daughter have Separation Anxiety??

Alicia - posted on 07/08/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 10 months old now and I am a stay at home mother (although our friends and their 3 little ones are staying with us because they hit a rough spot financially. Their our Godchildren and all like family). My issue is that my daughter freaks out and screams and cries anytime I have to leave her sight for even a minute. It feels so much like she has separation anxiety to me but I am not sure if that is what it is and if so, what can I do to help her get over this? It makes it tough for me to get all of the housework done. Any advice would be great. Thanks!

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Give her plenty of love. this is a totally age appropriate issue for her. some children get over it sooner, for some children it lasts longer.

Just to put it in perspective, you are your daughters entire world. you are her best friend, her caretaker, the MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN THE WORLD. when you leave her alone, she understandably, worries that you won't come back! How miserable and difficult her life would be without you!

do not wave this off as a silly or unreasonable fear of your daughter, doing so minimizes her feelings. instead, try to reassure her. she won't understand you the first time or maybe the tenth or twenties, but eventually she will understand.

When you do have to leave her with day care or someone else, do not make a big long drawn out procession of it. Explain when you will be back in terms she can understand (she has no concept of time) so something like, "I will be back after your nap" works well. a simple hug and kiss and then walk out! the longer you take the more you will feed her anxiety.

She will cry. you will cry.

my son is three and still has bouts of this. we have found prepping him as to what is going to happen helps A LOT! "I am going to leave you at day care and no crying. and I will be back after nap time. I love you. remember mommy always comes back."

good luck!

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Kasie - posted on 07/09/2011

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Yes that's what it sounds like. Honestly, I say let her cry it out a few times. If you need to get work done, just let her cry and do your thing, it won't hurt her. It'll pass though, it's common about this age I think, my son is about a year and when he had separation anxiety for a bit even though I have him around all sorts of people and don't hold him a lot. I let him play by himself but also, when my sister and her husband moved in with me, he was being held a lot more so that helped bring on his wanting more attention and wanting to be held more, and gave him more separation anxiety. After a while though of not being held so much he got better, though he still likes to be where ever I am most of the time but he doesn't cry as much. he just crawls to where I am and plays near me.

Amanda - posted on 07/08/2011

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My daughter is much younger (almost 4 months) and she also does this. The only thing I do is let her cry for awhile and I would recommend letting her stay with other people once in awhile. I found out that when I went out with my hubby last weekend, I left her with my mom and she did just fine! I was surprised! Also, when I am doing housework, I will position her so that she can see me... in her seat or whatever. If she can see that I am doing something, she tends to stay quiet... so maybe that will work. Hope you find something that works!

Tara - posted on 07/08/2011

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It very well could be. Both of ours went through it, but they had to just outgrow it. They eventually learn that you ARE coming back and that they are okay without you there. As for housework, just take her to whatever room you are in and let her play while you get things done, if it is really making it too difficult. Obviously that is easier to do in some rooms than others, but at least it would help you get things done a bit easier.

I know it's hard right now, but something you could do is have someone watch her while you go get groceries or even just for a little walk, to start to get her to understand that even though you leave, you will be back. A lot of the time, the child will scream as you leave, but only for a very short time once you are gone (sometimes that isn't the case, but a lot of the time it is). And if you give in and go back because you are afraid of her getting too upset by it, you will drive yourself crazy and will never be able to do anything or go anywhere alone. And it also tells her that crying will always bring mommy right back, but that won't always be the case.

You're a stay at home mommy and you need some alone time too!

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