Leave Me at Your Own Risk! – Separation Anxiety in Babies

April 13, 2018 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Diary of a Baby

Leave Me at Your Own Risk! - Separation Anxiety in Babies | Baby & Beyond

This post is part of a series of posts I am writing titled Diary of a Baby chronicling the candid confessions of a baby from 0 to 2 years old.

You can read the previous post in the series here: Keys, Switches, Boxes and Other Baby Toys – Diary of a 10 Months Old Baby

You can find the entire series here: Diary of a Baby

Age: 11 months old


Dear Diary,


This morning I woke up bright and early at 5am. It was such a glorious time of day. I didn’t want the adults to miss out on it so I let out a nice loud cry. No one seemed too impressed though, they just shushed me and went back to sleep. Not one to give up easily, I let out an even louder cry. Mamma just popped one eye open and gave me with a “What now?” look. I proceeded to prop one leg over the side of the crib (a skill I have been working on slyly for quite a few days now and finally mastering). Well that got them up alright! Mamma saw the move with her one open eye, shrieked and bounded towards me.


Speaking of screaming, there’s this new game I play with Mamma these days. Whenever she is out of my sight, even for a few seconds, I let out my loudest doomsday cry and don’t stop until I can see her again. In fact I keep waking up at night too, to ensure that she’s still around.


P.S. Today’s entry is really short because out of the corner of my eye I can see Mamma heading towards the bathroom. I must follow her and make sure she’s not planning any sort of escape. I will just keep knocking on the door and calling out to her until she replies. And then 10 seconds later I will repeat. That’ll ensure she doesn’t pull a fast one on me.


See you soon!


Leave Me at Your Own Risk! - Separation Anxiety in Babies | Baby & Beyond

Leave Me at Your Own Risk! – Separation Anxiety in Babies | Baby & Beyond


Separation Anxiety in Babies:

Separation anxiety usually hits at around 8-10 months and can last well into toddlerhood. Its not unusual for babies who were thus far very social, to suddenly want to cling on to their parents. Some of the signs of separation anxiety are: baby waking up frequently through the night, baby waking up earlier than usual in the morning, getting upset when parents leave the room, or when someone other than parents tries to come close to them.


As exhausting as this phase may seem, it is actually a good sign. At this age of 8-10 months, babies start clearly recognizing people and developing feelings for certain people. The fact that your baby does not want you to leave, shows that he recognizes you, loves you and feels attached to you.


Babywearing helped me immensely through the initial phases, at least to get work done around the house. And I was working from home at the time so things were not too bad. At 13 months, Baby N started daycare and as hard as the first few days were, he soon settled in and became quite independent and social. We thought we had sailed through the separation anxiety in babies phase.


Then just after his 2nd birthday, Baby N fell sick and couldn’t go to school for 2 weeks. I was home with him throughout and of course this led him to be more attached to me than usual. Ever since, separation anxiety has returned with a vengeance. He is completely paranoid about letting me out of his sight, wakes up 4-5 times at night crying to sleep in my lap, clings to me throughout the day, stands guard outside the bathroom door and refuses to go to school.

This last one is really tough for me because now that I work outside home, I have no option but to drop him off to school even if he is crying and screaming. Every morning is a test of my emotional strength as I am racked with guilt listening to his heartbreaking cries – torn between scooping up my baby, taking him home and holding him close all day, or weathering through this phase till my independent social toddler is back.




Coping with Separation Anxiety in Babies:

The only way to get through this phase is to constantly reassure him that I will be back. It is important for the child to develop trust in us that we will indeed be back. And when I am back to pick him up, I make a big deal about it…give him a big hug, ask him how his day was, ooh and aah over all his activity sheets, tell him about all the fun we are going to have in the evening…basically make the joy of reuniting bigger than the pain of separation so that when I drop him off the next morning, hopefully he will remember that this separation only means that a fun reunion will also be happening in a few hours.



Did your baby show signs of separation anxiety too? At what age was it and how did you handle it? Do share your stories in the comments below. Thanks!

You can read the next post in this series at: Man’s Best Friend – When Baby Meets Dog

I am participating in the April A to Z blogging challenge

I am participating in the April A to Z blogging challenge

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  1. Aesha Shah said on April 14, 2018 11:12 pm:

    I guess the phase will also pass soon. Enjoy this time when he needs you, take my word you will miss this after a few years. Personal experience.

    1. Baby & Beyond said on April 15, 2018 12:00 am:

      Aww. that’s such a different perspective, I guess I didn’t think of it from that angle…thanks!