Baby's Firsts

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Don't Leave Me! (Separation Anxiety Stinks)

Posted by on Sep. 4, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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I am not joking when I say that it must be so hard to be an infant. Not traumatizing. Just hard. Think about it. You are born a clean slate. New and precious but with no knowledge of the world around you beyond the scent of your mama.  A newborn has no idea what to expect next or who will be coming along to invade his personal space smile and coo at him next. Unfamiliar scents, voices, noises and surroundings can send a new baby into a tailspin. So they attach to their people. Parents and grandparents become a loving embrace of security in a completely unpredictable world.

Then it happens. The dreaded time in every parent and child's first year. We either have to go back to work, or we just need a break. Either way, we need to leave our sweet baby with someone they do not know and separation anxiety rears its ugly ugly (did I mention ugly?), head.  Ugh. It's heartbreaking.

Separation anxiety usually shows itself between 7 and 18 months. But some babies struggle with it earlier and/or later than that. It is one of those awful milestones, ya know like teething. All babes go through it but some easier than others.  In a year filled with the sweetest of milestones, this one just bites.

I happened upon this really great tip list over at Just the Facts Baby. Of the 12 tips, these 3 listed are my favorites because of the reminders that your baby is not spoiled or manipulating you. Separation anxiety is normal and your baby's fear is very real. Proceed with gentleness.


1. Allow your baby to be a baby. It's perfectly okay for your baby to be attached to you. It's evidence that the bond you've worked so hard to create is holding. So politely ignore those who tell you otherwise.

2.  Don't worry about spoiling her with love. Since quite the opposite will happen.

3. Don't sneak away when you have to leave her. It may seem easier than dealing with a tearful goodbye, but it will just cause her constant worry that you're going to disappear without warning at any given moment. The result? Even more clinginess and diminished trust in your relationship.


For more tips, head over here for the rest of the list!



Did your baby go through separation anxiety? How did you cope?

image © iStock/ stphillips 

by on Sep. 4, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
cabrandy03
by Brandy - Admin on Sep. 4, 2013 at 12:17 AM

Dd had terrible seperation anxiety starting around 5 months and lasting until she was almost 2.  It wasn't really a big deal though.  I just took her with me pretty much everywhere, kept trips out without her short, we already bed shared so that helped too, and we bought several carriers and slings so dh and I could wear her a lot of the time.

TheJerseyGirl
by on Sep. 4, 2013 at 6:21 AM

 I stayed home with all 3 of my kids and would RARELY leave them...I think the one who had true separation anxiety was ME!lol

TigerofMu
by Sonja on Sep. 4, 2013 at 7:33 AM

 I think those are really good pieces of advice.

TigerofMu
by Sonja on Sep. 4, 2013 at 7:35 AM

Mine did go through separation anxiety, but I had to work, so we had to get through it.  Our daycare provider was a lady from church, so it was someone she knew, and I got to drive for half an hour with her every  morning on the way there, so that helped.  When I was going back to school for my Master's,  my folks watched her on Saturdays when I was in class, and that also helped her to have time to develop a strong bond with them.

michiganmom116
by on Sep. 4, 2013 at 7:40 AM

We did have a little, but we were fortunate to be able to leave babies with Grandma or other familiar relatives.  A few tears, a little distraction, and baby was fine.

johnny4ever
by on Sep. 4, 2013 at 7:41 AM

Yes we both did..

goddess99
by on Sep. 4, 2013 at 7:45 AM

Nope, my dd was so used to having other family around that when I would leave she would be fine.

jessicasmom1
by on Sep. 4, 2013 at 8:05 AM

Yes we both had it ... I lost DH when she was 14 months old and it all started I was a stay at home mom with her then all of sudden Dada was gone .  

4kidz916
by on Sep. 4, 2013 at 9:50 AM

It was the worst with my son.  When it came time for him to go to school, I just had to drop him off and walk away. 

la_bella_vita
by on Sep. 4, 2013 at 10:10 AM

 Good advice but I'm guilty of doing #3 with my first born (7 years ago)

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