Separation anxiety what do i do?

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 8/20/2009 12:52 AM (GMT -6)   
My 19 month old daughter is having separation anxiety what do i do?
My 19 month old daughter wont stop crying every time I leave. when I leave her with my mother or sister to babysit she holds on to me and cries and wont let me go. I feel awful leaving her crying because it lasts a long time.
I also have a hard time getting her to sleep at night she wakes up multiple times and she wont stop crying til i pick her up and rock her to sleep again! help me please i dont know what to do ??
Pls help me..

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 8/20/2009 1:07 AM (GMT -6)   
I don't think it is unusual for kids to go through a separation anxiety phase. My did at about 2 years old too. It passed rather quickly. Is there some sort of change in your child's routine? Does she sense something from you...fearfulness maybe? If not, maybe it is just a stage and will pass. I won't tell you how to parent but just say try to look at the situation objectively and see if you are encouraging her fussing in any way.
Peace to your little one!

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 341
   Posted 8/20/2009 3:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Here is what I did with my daughter..

Its kinda the same situation you use for dogs.. and it works.

You need to take a day when you actually don't need to leave her at grandma's. Be dressed for work as if you are going. Do everything as usual.

Now leave her at grandma's. Let her fuss/ cry whatever she does. But you are just outside the door. Wait 5 minutes and return to her. Then do it again but this time for 10 minutes. And keep going. She needs to learn that you will return.
Do the same thing at bed time. Don't give into her. Don't rock her to sleep. And if you give in. Rock her for a limited amount of time. Say 5 minutes then put her back to bed and leave the room. If she is still fussing wait 10 minutes before you go back.

Again she needs to learn that you are not "gone" just not in the same room with her. But that you will return.

This fear is a hard one for children to over come. But even harder on the parents. So stand fast on it and you should have it curbed in a week if not less.

Good luck. It was very hard for me to do this with my oldest daughter but I did.. Just so she can be at peace. Its for her benefit. Just remember that.

Take Care

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/20/2009 9:43 AM (GMT -6)   


Separation anxiety is relatively common. The root cause of such anxiety is difficult to know with absolute certainty. However, a number of different circumstances can contribute to children experiencing separation anxiety.

Your child can handle being left at daycare, or at your Mother's home.

The most significant mistake you can make would be to have a lengthy goodbye. The second biggest mistake, which is similar, is to ask lots of preparatory questions and offer a huge explanation (over and over again) before a transition occurs.

I know for myself leaving my child crying and walking out the door of daycare turned me into a puddle even though I knew he would settle down quickly and by the time I came back to pick him up, he would not be ready to leave daycare.  He was busy playing and interacting with others.

Trust in your Mothering skills.




Moderator: Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn
Anxiety/Panic, & Depression
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"When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others."
Not a mental health professional of any kind

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 8/20/2009 11:27 AM (GMT -6)   
My son is 20 months and clings/is upset when I leave him too. A quick transfer/goodbye and a distraction of some sort by Grandma or the caregiver are helpful. My mom makes a big deal with him about going to the window to wave goodbye. He likes this and it usually stops the crying. At the childminding center, one of the girls will whisk him off and get him involved with a new toy. By the time I get back, he is happily playing and often doesn't even take much interest in my return. It can be super difficult to make that quick transition when your child is so upset, but it really is the best thing to do. Seperation anxiety is a normal phase and it will pass.

The sleeping is a tough one! It can be one of the most difficult things of parenting when we can't get a good night's sleep. Sometimes when my son wakes in the night, my husband will go in a tell him it isn't wakeup time and he should go back to sleep. If I did that, no way it would work so easily but for my husband it does! Your daughter needs to learn to self sooth in the night, rather than relying on you to rock her back to sleep. I wish I had the solution of how to do that (it would make millions!). Keep trying and you will find the solution or pass through this phase. Maybe finding a good book with some suggestions to try will help?
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