Ah babies! They always keep you on your toes. If its not teething, gas, excretion of some kind or all the other wonderful things that come along with being a mom, it’s this; separation anxiety.
My son will be 14 months in July. Shortly after his first birthday he has started to cling to me like super glue.
He used to sleep through the night incredibly well, but lately when I put him to bed at 7pm he screams and screams until I go into the room and remind him that I still exist; I haven’t left him for good.
And it doesn’t stop there. When I leave him with anyone other than myself, even to go to the next room, he freaks out; screaming and crying. It is intense. Eventually he calms down after a minute or so, but you should see the relief on his face when I come back in the room.
Separation anxiety is normal; particularly at his age. Typically the onset of separation anxiety occurs anywhere between 12 and 18 months but can occur as early as nine months.
Just because it’s normal doesn’t mean that it isn’t exhausting for both parent and child. For my part I am glad that my son is showing me that he is healthily attached to me; however, It is draining to have to constantly reassure him that I’m still here. I love him very much, but come on! Give mommy a break!
With regard to the trouble sleeping at night, I had to give him a refresher course in the Ferber method.
1. After he has his bath and I read him a bed time story, I put him down in his crib at 7pm. 2. He cries for five minutes.
3. If he is not asleep after five minutes, I go in there, LEAVE HIM IN THE CRIB, and rub his back for exactly one minute. Then I exit the room again.
4. I wait ten minutes.
5. If he is still crying after ten minutes I go in again and rub his back for maximum one minute. Then promptly leave the room.
6. Then wait 15 minutes. Usually during this interval, he falls asleep.
The point of this exercise is to reassure him that I am still here. You start with a small interval (5 minutes) and then increase accordingly. You are showing your baby that they can be alone for a period of time and you will still return eventually.
Separation anxiety is rough for both baby and mommy. I hope that my son gets over this phase quickly. I am doing everything that I can to show my little boy that I am here for him.