Thursday, July 02, 2009

Separation Anxiety

There had been hints of it last week, but the signs of separation anxiety were unmistakable last night as I handed Caleb over to the church nursery worker. Well-rested and recently fed, my son crumpled into tears as he realized he was in the arms of another woman. I worried about him all through prayer meeting, and jumped from my seat at the last "Amen." Sure enough, when I got to the door of Caleb's room, he was in the swing crying. Tears, snot, drool...he'd been crying for awhile. I asked how he did, and received the reply, "Oh...well...he's been okay. It's been off and on...." That's the nice way to say my kiddo cried the whole hour.

And today he's been happily playing. I leave the room to grab a drink or get my phone from the other room and he starts to cry again. Not the unhappy, "Mom, why aren't you playing with me," cry, but the "Mom? Mom?? MOM!! Where's my MOMMY???!!" kind of cry. I'm sure you've all heard a child with that cry, and now that child is mine.

Anyone have tips or suggestions for this stage? I knew it was coming--well, I hoped in my naive mind that Mr. Laid-Back himself would bypass it--but I really don't know what to do now that it's here!


  1. Grit your teeth, it will pass! It's perfectly normal. When you're around he's safe, when you're not, he's not; it's that simple. You can haul him with you everywhere, but then he won't learn to cope on his own. You know he's rested, fed, cared for, unharmed, etc., so relax. When you act like separation is normal, he will, too.

  2. I wish I had advice here, but we've rarely had separation anxiety issues with Ian. I have the opposite problem... he practically leaps outta my arms to the nursery worker and waves me out the door. I am the one experiencing the separation anxiety. :-)

    The only thing I've heard is that you make your "goodbyes" short and sweet, assure him you're coming back (do this at home, too, or even keep talking to him from the next room to let him knonw you're still there) and keep it up. It is a phase, and he'll eventually get more used to you leaving.

  3. My parents ignore Marissa when she does this-especially at nap time. She'd eventually calm down and get over it. It's tough but if you don't help them, it can be harder later...hang in there!


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