View Full Version : When Will the Separation Anxiety End?

August Mom
06-24-2003, 05:08 PM
DS's separation anxiety is driving me crazy. I appreciate that he is attached to me because I care for him day and night and that separation anxiety is supposed to be a positive sign of strong attachment, but his screaming everytime I walk out of the room is driving me crazy. DS can be happily playing by himself. But, if I put one foot on the other side of the gate, he freaks. Even though he can still see me in the kitchen, he screams at the top of his lungs unless I go back to the family room and pick him up. It's impossible to get things done or even go to the bathroom without him screaming. Putting him in his high chair doesn't work either. And, right now I can't let him crawl around the kitchen because we've had some exterminating done and I don't want to risk him getting some of that on his hands. When does this end? (I think I've read 18 months. -- Does it really last that long?) Any tips to get through this stage?

06-24-2003, 05:17 PM
My tip (and I think it worked) is to say "I'll be back!" when you so much as turn a corner and then "I am back!" when you return. I was compulsive about this and Ds has yet to have separation anxiety (except for when he's sick/hungry/tired...stuff like that).

If that is too much for him, perhaps playing peak-a-boo behind a blanket and using the same words, as a first step.

06-24-2003, 07:28 PM
The peek-a-boo thing has helped us too. I started using it when I was leaving Colin with DH to take a shower or do something around the house. Everytime I left, I would peek back in a few times before really leaving, with longer intervals between each peek. I don't know if it really lasts untill 18 months, but I have noticed that it seems to come in waves with Colin, getting better, worse and then better again.

Good luck,

06-24-2003, 08:12 PM
Another trick I use it is to count really loudly. I tell Sarah "I'll be back before mommy counts to 10". That works for us. (Although sometimes it's 9, 9 1/4, 9 1/2, 9 3/4, 9 15/16, 10!)

Andrea S
06-25-2003, 08:40 AM
No advise here, but we are going through the same thing. It is really bad when we have gone out of town without DH and Andrew will not let me out of his site so I do not get a break.

mom to Andrew 8/14/02

06-25-2003, 01:34 PM
Hi Ladies,
I don't have this problem with William (4 months) but I was wondering at what age approx. does separation anxiety usually start, if it's going to happen?

August Mom
06-25-2003, 02:58 PM
I think DS showed some signs of it beginning at around 7 months, but it really got stronger about 9 months and has peaked (hopefully :)) at 10 months. At the beginning it was more of a preference for me or DH over all others whereas before he would be held by friends or family he didn't see that often with no problems. Then, at around 9 months, DS got upset if I walked out of the room and out of his line of vision. Now, at 10 months, he's upset if I leave the room even if he can still see me. He wants me very near to him at all times.

06-25-2003, 03:43 PM
After reading the other posts about sleeping and different sleep-training methods, I had something else to add. We always respond to our son's cries. He never cried it out (except for a couple unavoidable car rides:'() I don't know if this fits in with your parenting techniques, but I strongly believe that in addition to the suggestion that I had above, the fact that my son always knew we'd be there when he thought needed us, helped to avoid the anxiety babies have when you leave their sight.

I don't know if this is proven statistically (by parents here or otherwise), but it seems to me if you are prone to leaving your child crying (as in a CIO method to sleeping) that they are always going to be wary when you leave their site, not knowing if you will be coming back when they cry for you.

06-28-2003, 01:04 PM
We're right there with you. Julia is just a few weeks shy of 18 months, and I don't see it ending any time soon. She freaks when I leave the room, even if I talk to her the whole time I'm out of sight. I can't even take a shower without her tearing back the curtain. Sometimes if I sing to her the entire time, she'll do OK, but that's exhausting!

She freaks when I leave her home with Daddy, and it's really starting to get to him. Poor Daddy! I can't even think of leaving her with a sitter, unless we get sneaky and leave after I put her to bed - we did this last night, and it worked well, but we can't always wait to go out until after 7:30.

Ah, well. Hopefully we will get through this stage soon. Then it will be on to something else!!

Mama to Julia 1-10-02