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Separation Anxiety Sucks!


Ever since our holiday my daughter has become a bit of a nightmare. I hate thinking of her as a nightmare but every time I leave a room or put her down for a nap she cries and cries. Now the rational side of me knows that it is just a phase of separation anxiety. But still, my hearts breaks every time I hear or see those tears streaming down her face and I question myself why is this happening now? I naively thought that this only happened to babies in the first few months - how wrong was I. 

separation anxiety

Apparently it's normal behaviour for a toddler to experience separation anxiety and it's a good sign that they are developing as they should. I hate separation anxiety - it sucks!!! My daughter has become so clingy and loves to hang on my legs, something I never thought would happen. She gets very upset when I am out of her sight even if I try to make her feel at ease and play peek-a-boo. This anxiety is interfering with her sleep she seems to have cut out her two hour afternoon nap and I am missing a hot cup of tea :(. Before this she would sleep through the night and sleep between 8-10 hours a night, I know we are very lucky! I would always look forward to putting her down for a nap because she was such a good girl and go down without a peep - all it would take would be a cuddle or a story but now when she goes in her cot she has full blown temper tantrum. After trying to soothe her for a while and knowing I am getting no where with her I have to walk away because I know that I am probably doing her more harm than good. Last night it was the same I gave her milk, cuddles and said goodnight walked away with my fingers in my ears because her cries broke my heart. I wanted to pick her up so badly but I know that this stage wont last forever and that I need to persevere with it.

I am not one of the mums that want to spend every single waking hour with my baby. I try and let her do her own thing whether this be toddling after the dog or pulling all her toys out of the toy box. But now I have a little shadow and I cannot even go to the loo without an audience!!! My husband has his one-to-one time with her after he finishes work so I can have some time to myself and just catch my breath. We as parents have tried to do all we can to try and prevent this separation anxiety that seems to be rearing its ugly head at the moment!

I am finding this stage hard, I am struggling and I don't really know what to do for the best. We try to do what we are supposed to do to make her feel settled. We try to keep the amount of separation to a minimum, we play peek-a-boo (lots) she loves this game with mummy and daddy - to ease her anxiety and in time we hope she will soon realise that we will come back to her. Whenever we leave a room we always say goodbye and reassure her that we will be returning and the goodbye is fairly quick as I don't want to make her worse. We have also introduced a new comfort 'miss cuddly cow', along with her yellow blanket and her slumber elephant night light that plays lullabies. I know being a parent it hard work but this separation anxiety is just something else, its awful for her but so wearing on us to listen to our little girl crying uncontrollably because she wants us is just the worst!

SEPARATION ANXIETY go do one please, I want my happy baby back!!!!

baby grinning
17 comments on "Separation Anxiety Sucks!"
  1. Aww. My eldest did this between about 9 and 11 or 12 months, but she just grew out of it, and is now very independent. My youngest is 1, and has never been too bad with separation anxiety, but is really bad with social anxiety, and cries and clings to me if other people are around. She's been like it for a few months. The eldest was more bothered by separation, and only had a brief period of social anxiety, so they're opposites. Both are common though, and make sense in the context of their changing understanding of themselves and others. I think you generally just have to wait it out - I'm sure most kids will outgrow these phases in their own time. I have heard that peekaboo can help too, and the elephant night light sounds good. Hope it improves soon. #mummymonday

    1. Thank you so much for you lovely comments. I know it's just a stage and you have reassured me that it won't last too long. I couldnt understand why as it was just so out of character for my Mimi. But trying almost anything to help her feel at ease and her elephant night light is awesome it even sends me to sleep lol. Thank you again ;) x

  2. Oh lovely, I feel your pain. Our very non-clingy started doing exactly the same and quite frankly it was exhausting and seemed relentless. I discovered that it had been triggered by a bout of teething which had brought on massive sleep regression. Are you finding Amelia's sleep has changed at all? or are there any other changes to her? I found that once the teething had passed and I'd figured out the sleep regression that I got my lovely daughter back again. Really hope you have an improvement soon lovely, I know how hard it is. #mummymonday

    1. Thank you for your lovely comments. Yes my Amelia is definitely working on her top two teeth and her sleep has changed. Amelia was a sleeper until a few weeks back, its like she doesn't like the thought of me not being with her 24 hours a day. I know that she is due for a sleep regression around 18 months so perhaps it's arrived a little early. Since I have had this separation anxiety with Amelia so many parents have told me about their experiences and given me advice which is great. Now I know that it is not that uncommon and many go through this stage.

  3. Oh I feel your pain too. I thought we had got away with it but now at nearly 3 my little one is clingy when being dropped off at nursery. It's so tough! Sending hugs #twinklytuesday xx xx

    1. Aw thank you very much. We are hoping that this stage isn't going to last too much longer as it been tough on us all. Thank you for your lovely comments x

  4. Awh big hugs to you! I had forgotten how traumatic I found this phase with my first and now we are in it again with my second. I feel just as exasperated this time round and then hugely guilty that I have far too many moments begrudging her neediness. Especially when she startles awake at 2am and screams for hugs. The comforter sounds like an amazing idea. My eldest finds real security in her bunny for the big things, like nursery, when I'm not able to be with her 24/7. I know it doesn''t help when people say it's a phase. You're exhausted and at the moment there feels like there isn't a light at the end of the tunnel. But independent play will come... it might not come all at once, you might just an hour or so where you suddenly realise that she's not been so clingy. But it's on its way, I promise. I'm not a fool telling you to enjoy this phase because it passes, I'm just saying there is hope. If that doesn't comfort you, there's always a glass of wine at the end of the day with your name on it?? xx


    1. Aww thank you for this lovely...its such a touch stage on all of us. So many have given me advice on this anxiety she is experiencing and have said that its an awful stage but it wont last too long. So for now wine will help!!! Thank you again for your lovely comments x

  5. I spent at least six months with one of my children never more than 6 feet away from me and it was really hard not to push him away in a desperate grab for space. I did find though that although he protested at first, he would be fine when left with family or even at a creche. I got really fit going to the gym just so I could put him in the creche there for an hour and regain some personal space... #TwinklyTuesday

    1. Before the separation anxiety I would let her do her own thing but now I try to keep the time from her to a minimum so maybe I need to revert to how we use to be with her! Thank you for your lovely comments x

  6. This is so tough and I have been there. It is a phase but it is hard one to be in. It is a stage of development when they realise that you and they are not one but that does not help you day to day. Know you are not alone. Be really kind to yourself and work out ways to get some space and time for you. Keep experimenting. It may just be a matter of time but you might find something that helps. We used a wonderful book and dvd that helped my son. I will see if I can find the title. Kirsten

    1. The toughest. I really thought I would have experienced this when she was younger. How old was your little one? I am trying to make more time for myself my husband is just so great, he helps so much! x

  7. Kirsten back again. It is Owl Babies. It was a great story and we used the phrases 'Mummy always comes back' over and over. There was no instant fix but over time it gradually lessened although it would go up and down as all emotions do when we are tired or ill. Best of luck

    1. Oh thank you so much I think I will get this. Thank you for finding the title out for me...;) Thank you for your lovely comments xxx

  8. I feel your pain. My little boy is just coming out the other side of the separation anxiety phase. For us it started around 8-9 months and started to settle at 15-16 months. It's so amazing now I can actually leave him for a few minutes and he'll happily play with his toys! It's such a tough phase but it will pass. For now I think all you can do is keep reassuring her that you'll come back and, like you say, always saying goodbye and not sneaking off :-)

    1. Yes saying goodbye is something that both my husband and I have been doing lots of and she seems more at ease. But I think we have a way to go yet but I know this will pass...Thank you for your lovely comments x

  9. It is so horrible when they get upset simply when they want to be with you. It's horrible for them and horrible for you because you just don't know what to do. We only ever really get it now at nursery but that has calmed down (hopefully) as he went through a stage recently of leaving the room to a chorus of 'I want my mummy, I want my mummy'. Absolutely ruddy heartbreaking and I absolutely knew that I couldn't turn around and hug him like I so badly wanted to do. It hurts so much. I really hope this stage passes quickly for you and get your happy little lady back! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday


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