Separation Anxiety

[deleted account] ( 8 moms have responded )

My daughter is 7 months old and has always been a mommies girl. The last little bit though it has gotten bad. She is teething (her first one just came in! YAY!) and I wonder if it has to do with the problem, but she now gets hysterical if I put her down, won't sleep unless I cuddle her and wakes up crying if I am not, she is getting bad when daddy holds her and keeps trying to get back to mommy. We did try to let her cry it out one night (we are running outta ideas), she was hysterical in a matter of minutes so I broke and as soon as I picked her up she grabbed onto my shirt and fell asleep. She was also worse for that day but has gotten better...well back to where she was before. Do any moms have some ideas for what you can do to deal with this to help baby ease? I try to put myself in her shoes...she is only 7 months old and so much is new, but I am at a loss here.



Thanks :)

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Sue - posted on 04/10/2010

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First let me mention other cultures as opposed to ours. In many other countries the parents have their babies and small children sleep with them. The children feel a lot more secure and the entire family sleeps much better at night. Our culture didn't start doing that until the 1800s. Cribs were actually brought into our country as a cultural experiment, not as an absolute necesity. I know this is a hard concept for many families to graps as we have all grown up with the concept of babies sleeping in cribs and have never really second guessed it until something happened or was said to give us a reason to do so. We can try to remember that our babies lived inside of us for nearly 10 months, so they were never apart from us during their entire existance. Once they are born they have nurses pulling them away from us (unless you have a birth plan typed out ahead of time and have several copies printed to give to every hospital staff you encounter insisting your baby is in your room with you sleeping in your bed) and keeping them in another room down the hall, then we are told we HAVE to have a crib for htem to sleep in and we CAN"T let them sleep with us because it isn't "safe". The only time it's dangerous for babies to sleep with the mothers is when the mother is sleeping on a couch or she has extreme obesity issues or has drug addictions. Otherwise we can learn a lot from mothers in other countries who have their babies close because they understand it's what they need. Our culture doesn't encourage that, but a baby's needs don't change just because they live in a different country. As long as you have a bed rail on the side where the baby is sleeping, or one on each side if they tend to roll a lot, then there is no reason why it isn't safe to let them sleep with you. If naything, not getting the sleep you need at night is damgerous because you can't function to your full potential as a parent and your baby will be a lot crankier from not getting the rest she needs and because she will feel less secure from being apart from you her behaviors will also reflect that as well.
I hope this all doesn't sound too forward as this could all be a new concept for you. I'm sharing all this from my own experience and from research I've done over the years. At least take it into consideration. I can also say I understand about your daughter wanting you to hold her and not your husband. We went through it with our two girls as well. They are afraid to be detatched from us, but at the same time they want Dad to be right in the room where they can be in sight. When Daddy leaves the room they flip out because they don't have object permanancy yet, so they think he just disappeared. They don't want to be held by him, but they at least want him near by. He can still play with her. She just doesn't want him taking her away from you. We went through that with both our girls.
To get the girls to sleep for their naps I would lie down on our bed nursing them until they fell asleep, then slowly move off the bed to take care of housework or what ever needed to be done. if I tried lying them down they would immediately wake up and I'd have to get them to sleep all over again.
I don't know if you're nursing or not, but if you are, do you belong to a Leleche League support group in your community? They would be able to give you a lot of moral support so you can undertsnad better why your baby is reacting to things the way she does. Even if she wasn't your first, every child is different. A book I would also recommend is The Fussy Baby by Dr. William Sears. My husband and I read it and it described our older daughter to a T when she was still a baby. Reading it actually helped us a lot.

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Choyce - posted on 04/10/2010

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I forgot I nursed my son, he slept with me, I let him cry, I held his hand, he started daycare at age two, I stayed home with him from the first day. It does not matter your culture its who you are as individual parent. What works for some people may not work for you. God Bless you and keep up the great job!

[deleted account]

Thanks everyone. We have actually moved her back into our room in her playpen, she likes it and I am of the mindset if we all get sleep how can it really be that bad. She is a perfect baby, just breaks my heart to hear her cry. I am not returning to work, but will be opening my own dayhome. She is really good with the kids when they are here and is clingy but not as bad as when its just the 3 of us. It would just be nice to have dad be able to do more as he likes to help out with any night time wakings and while I do other stuff during the day. I am hoping this is just a phase, and I do enjoy her being a mama's girl. Sue, you make great points, and I say the same thing all the time, that she was in me and knows me and all that all the time. I just hate hearing her cry but I also can't be with her 24 hours a day and want to ease her anxiety for any of the time I must be away, such as when I have appointments. I do take her everywhere I can, as I do love being a mommy and I want her to experience everything and enjoy being out and about, as well I just love having her with me and knowing she is happy!

[deleted account]

well it doesnt get any better, sorry, i have a son like your baby. i was told to leave dad in charge as often as possible, let daddy do a lot for her instead of u when hes home, my son is getting better and he is 2 . if u stay at home with her make sure u drop her off with friends and family so she will start to understand other people can make her happy like mom can

Barbara - posted on 04/10/2010

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I too am not a fan of letting babies cry it out. I am a mother to four girls all of which I drove myself crazy over trying to not have them spend alot of time crying. We had severe seperation anxiety with my older three and are going through it again with our 6month old. It's alot harder on you then any other person involved. I know it breaks the grandparents hearts when the baby wont let them hold them without crying by the babies do grow out of it. My suggestion if you have to be away is to have a blanket or stuffed animal or article that really smells like you for the baby to cuddle with. Take the article and sleep cuddled up with it for a few evenings then even when youre holding your baby the next few days have it with you then the baby will become familiar with it and its feel and smell. It may help ease the baby's anxiety. Remember it is a stage and they grow up so very fast.

Alyssa - posted on 04/10/2010

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the only thing you need to worry about when you break it is that it gets harder. I had a horrible time with my daughter when I first let her start sleeping in her crib at night instead of the bassinet. It was horrible.. she would scream hysterically for almost 15 minutes sometimes. I would have to just walk out of the house & make a phone call & come check on her periodically to make sure she was actually ok. The trick is when you check on them; they cant see you; otherwise it starts all over again. She's now 17 months old & looooves her crib. They eventually learn to self console to... which really helps when they're older

Bridget - posted on 04/10/2010

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All 3 of my children are mommie's babies. I think it's because I nursed. What I did was let daddy or grandma hold them and I didn't interfere when they cried. I just let the crying go on until daddy or grandma calmed them down. It worked okay but I am terrible about not wanting babies to "cry it out" so they are still big mommie's babies. My opinion is that she's teething & it hurts a lot and she just wants her Mommy because she feels the most safe and secure with you. That bond is so super important, just try to ride it out through the teething and I'm sure she'll lighten up when she feels better.

Choyce - posted on 04/10/2010

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You must remember that when she goes with other people they will not treat her that way. You must break the habit you created. Let her cry and that is sign when you picked her up she stop crying. My grandson does the same thing and we let him cry, give toys to play with he chooses not to take them in the beginnng. I just make sure he is safe. He has gotten much better now we are working on when mom is around do not pick him up let him play. Children will learn once you stop!

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