Need advice please - separation anxiety — The Bump
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Need advice please - separation anxiety

DD has, up until recently, been very friendly with no anxiety about being away from me or DH. What we think is separation anxiety started when I took her to CA with me for two weeks right after her birthday. While there, she would not go to anyone but me or SIL at times and didn't sleep well unless she was in the bed with us. Once we got her home, the sleep issues ended and she was back to sleeping 12 hours at night in her crib.

What has gotten worse is the screaming when I leave. She is fine with ILs, at their house or ours and was fine with a friend who watched her at her house for a few hours, but at MDO, church nursery and kid's club at the gym, she screams bloody murder when I leave her. I've been called back at the gym twice now after 20 minutes of her crying and the last two days at MDO she has been crying most of the day. Sunday she screamed when we dropped her off at the church nursery (which she has never done) but when we picked her up they said she was fine until other parents started coming to pick up their kids.

She is also teething hard core. She's gotten four new teeth over the last month and her molars are coming in too. So I don't know if it is a combination of teething and anxiety or what.

So, any advice on how to make this a little easier on her (and her caregivers at MDO, church nursery and kid's club)? I know some say to minimize separation during this phase and others say to stay the course and they'll outgrow it. I feel guilty though. I feel like I'm sending her off to be miserable so I can work out or run errands.

And if your kid experienced this, how long before they outgrew it? We're so not used to this as she as always been so easy going and friendly. Any advice, tips, suggestions?

Re: Need advice please - separation anxiety

  • When Evan has tough days a daycare (especially when teething) we make sure he has his lovey, paci, and favorite blanket. His comfort items. When we leave him we kiss him goodbye, tell him to have a good time, and tell him when we will be back. I know he doesn't completely understand that, but he also understands more than we think he does. We also try to make the goodbye quick, but never sneak out.

    I hate to see him cry when we leave, but it is usually only for a few minutes, then his teachers distract him with other stuff or other kids come up to play. We had no choice but to stick with it since we both work, but the phase ended pretty quickly. Now he only seems to have stranger issues when he is around someone he hasn't seen for a while.

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  • DD did the exact same thing, although a little younger. She wasn't in MDO yet, but we did do the church nursery every Sunday, and just powered through it. It was so sad to walk away with her crying, but we knew she always stopped after less than a minute. I think continuing with your normal routine despite separation anxiety will help her learn more quickly that you will always come back for her, and it may pass sooner than if you minimize time apart.

    HTH! I remember how tough it is!

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  • image TexasSmith:

    DD did the exact same thing, although a little younger. She wasn't in MDO yet, but we did do the church nursery every Sunday, and just powered through it. It was so sad to walk away with her crying, but we knew she always stopped after less than a minute. I think continuing with your normal routine despite separation anxiety will help her learn more quickly that you will always come back for her, and it may pass sooner than if you minimize time apart.

    HTH! I remember how tough it is!

    At church she stops crying after just a few minutes. At MDO yesterday, however, she cried almost the entire time. She refused to eat anything until 3 pm just before I picked her up. They tried three times and finally after a 45 minute nap, she ate. I hated to hear that. This is going on a week two of crazy crying at MDO, etc. Two weeks ago, I saw her on the bye-bye-buggy at church while I was volunteering that that's where they put the babies who won't stop crying so they walk them around church in a buggy. She was in it two weeks in a row. I just don't know how long to tough it through. I feel terrible about her crying so much. I hate it.

  • Cooper went through the separation anxiety phase very early.  We changed schools when he was 10 months old and he went from part-time school/part-time with my mom and dad to full-time at the new school.  He cried at drop-off every. single. day. for nearly six weeks.  It was awful but he never cried for long and was generally happy and played and ate like normal once the initial separation anxiety episode was over. 

    We just toughed it out because we didn't have much choice.  I can say drop-offs got easier once I learned how to get him "settled" at school.  I changed his schedule so he got breakfast as soon as he got to school instead of at home.  I'd take him into his room and hold him while I signed him in and put away his stuff.  This gave him time to look around and get used to being there.  Then I'd put him in his high chair and give him his milk and cheerios and get the spoon and yogurt out.  THEN his teacher would take over and I could say goodbye and leave without dramatic water works because he was already settled in and ready to eat.  Also him being in the high chair meant he couldn't latch onto my leg.  ;)  

    Now, my kid is a chowhound, so food was a good motivator.  It might not work for every kid but I'd consider trying a special treat that she gets to eat as soon as she gets to her classroom.  

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  • ugh.....my little lady is going through this, has been for months now.  I can't tell you how many times I've been called to get her from the nursery in the gym.  And how many times I've walked through the gym on my way to get her holding back tears, because it's been so frustrating.  I seriously start wondering if there's something wrong with her or me and why she just can't be happy there like the other babies.  I've not been to the gym in a while because it's been so stressful (and embarrassing too).  Heck I can barely leave her with Dh.  Just leaving the room or going upstairs/downstairs without her cause her to get upset,.  Even today at small group as I was signing her in, the lips start to quiver and she makes the face.  Then once I hand her over the screaming begins.  The blood curdling scream. 

    I have no advise but only responded to commiserate.  

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  • image JamicanBride:

    ugh.....my little lady is going through this, has been for months now.  I can't tell you how many times I've been called to get her from the nursery in the gym.  And how many times I've walked through the gym on my way to get her holding back tears, because it's been so frustrating.  I seriously start wondering if there's something wrong with her or me and why she just can't be happy there like the other babies.  I've not been to the gym in a while because it's been so stressful (and embarrassing too).  Heck I can barely leave her with Dh.  Just leaving the room or going upstairs/downstairs without her cause her to get upset,.  Even today at small group as I was signing her in, the lips start to quiver and she makes the face.  Then once I hand her over the screaming begins.  The blood curdling scream. 

    I have no advise but only responded to commiserate.  

    i, too, have no advice, just sympathy... it's so hard to hear them cry for you.

    jamican pretty much descirbed what my dd2 is going through also!

  • You need to worry less. Everything thing will be fine. Hugs :)
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