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Severe separation anxiety

My 19 month old son has become extremely clingy, to the point where I can't even go to the bathroom. As soon as I shut the door, he's screaming and banging on the door. His dad is home and in the room with him! If the gate is up between the living room and the kitchen and I go into the kitchen to get him a snack or fill his drink, he's crying loudly at the gate. If I don't pick him up because I'm cooking or cleaning or even doing something for him, he cries. He's never done this before. It started last weekend. Could he be clingy because he can sense I'm pregnant? How do I fix this?

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Asked by Anonymous at 6:14 PM on Feb. 21, 2011 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (6)
  • All kids go through separation anxiety and I wouldn't think it's too serious. I would definitely NOT encourage it by picking him up and bringing him into the kitchen but all my girls have followed me into the bathroom.. shoot my 4 yr old still does.. so, I guess pick and choose.

    Answer by Camilletnt at 6:16 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • Just dont give in to it... I mean dont neglect, but dont let him know he runs you either. if he starts to realize that when he cries you come running your gonna have a much bigger problem. but try seperating yourself slowly, when dads home go for a five or ten min walk...then as he gets better make it a little longer till hes more comfortable.

    Answer by Finkette at 6:17 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • I don't think it's because he senses your pregnant. I think it's just a faze he is going through. Just stand your ground and don't give in to it. Pick him up when he stops throwing the fit and the behavior should stop.


    Answer by Cindy18 at 6:18 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • This is normal, and a sign of how well bonded the two of you are. Pick him up, reassure him, talk to him.

    Answer by rkoloms at 6:49 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • Separation anxiety is a phase that kids repeat throughout their lives. The first phase hits around 6 months or so. The second phase is about 18 months or so. From there they kind of boomerang or rubber band. They'll go out, sometimes beyond your comfort zone, on the playground, in life, wherever and explore and learn. THEN, they'll come back and attach themselves to your legs and not let go.

    One thing that really helped with my kids when they were young, and now that they're 7 and 4, is to tell them what I'm doing. "Johnny, Mommy is going to the bath room, I'll be right back ok?" My kids would seem to settle down out of the super-cling a lot faster when I'd do that.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 6:55 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • It is not a matter of giving in, reassure your child that you will be back, at this age they are at odd with wanting to be independent and needing you. Try letting them walk away from you before you go into the next room.
    I am having the same problem with my 1 year old and if I wait to do dishes or run to the bathroom when she is otherwise occupied to is easier than having her cry for me from the gate. I have read that this stage doesn't last too long but ignoring to will prolong it.

    Answer by Graciesmom528 at 10:44 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

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