Thursday, October 13, 2011

on separation anxiety

Photos by Puremotif
1 year Photo by Rachel Lusky 

River is having some major separation anxiety going on lately. 

When I used to drop him off at the Y or the church nursery he would wave bye to me (and basically shoo me away) even though it broke my heart I was so thankful .. possibly even prideful.. at how social he was.. and then he'd just go play. Now he kicks, screams, hyperventilates, and cries. (thats a slight exaggeration) But he wont stop crying. Im always paged and have to go pick him up.

I know this is normal for kids. And it seems to happen at different ages for some. I feel like especially with all the change he had at once and Freeland being gone (which he cant control, obviously!) it may have made it worse?

Photos by Puremotif
photo by Rachel Lusky

We've tried sitting with him and playing until he is comfortable. We've talked it up.. explained what we're doing.. encouraged him .. told him that we will be right back to get him.. we even tried turning and just walking away in hopes he would calm down. Gave him his binkie and his blanket to hold.. snacks (his love language) all the tricks have been used and none have helped so far.

It seems we'll just have to let him work it out himself and give him the time to do it???

But my question and what I would love to know is how any of you handled it. And how long did it last for? Thanks in advance! Hopefully hearing every one's response helps some of you too!!


  1. Oh man, that's not a fun phase. But it is just a phase. All of mine went through some sort of separation anxiety around 6 months and then again around 18 months. Usually it would only last for a couple months. I tried all the same things you did. The most effective though was for me to just make a quick transition. Drop them off and then high tail it outta there.
    Sorry you're going through that right now. It definitely adds stress to outings like that and hurts mama's heart to see them so upset.
    Hang in there, Brooke! You're doing such a great job.

  2. Mine went through it also around 18 months. And I was always told it's harder on the kid if you "linger". they say even though it's hard on you it's better to drop them off do a quick kiss and bye, and make a quick exit. And yes, they will freak out but normally the teachers can distract them after a few minutes and get them playing. But, I only have one, so I'm not a pro. It does get better though. And they will learn that when you say you a re coming back that you will truly come back

  3. We went through this at 18 months too. It took us 3 weeks for the crying to settle down to only 5-10 minutes. Mine would also cry whenever Daddy tried to do something like change a diaper or read a bedtime story - complete hysterics. I'm glad its starting to pass because it was exhausting to be the Mama of a screaming, fearful babe.

    My advice? Keep going to the gym. You need the Mama time and he needs to learn to work it out. Good luck!

  4. We finally started bringing Carter back to church nursery after months of keeping him home. I couldn't deal with the screaming and them having to call me back after 10 minutes of him having a hysterical fit. He's 19 months now and even though he still cries when I drop him off, he settles down before I even make it down the hallway. I kiss him goodbye, hand him over, and walk away. I never look back because it only upsets him more. I haven't tried the gym again yet, but I think it's time. Good luck momma. Just hang in there and know it doesn't last forever or else they'd still be having fits when we drop them off at high school!