January 23, 2008,
M.H. asks from Middleboro, MA on January 21, 2008
Can't Even Leave the Room! Help Me Please!
My son is 13 months and he sometimes starts crying when I leave the room. I don't know what to do. It is hard for me to just go into the kitchen and start dinner. Or even just go to the bathroom. I never had to deal with this with my daughter. I really don't know what to do anymore. I don't like hearing him cry. My husband is just as clueless about this as me if not more. Please help. Sometimes if i'm not available to pick him up and comfort him he will let my husband do it. I really need a break. Sometimes this just makes me want to run away.
P.H. answers from Boston on January 23, 2008
it is a phase and can come and go. He needs some time away from you as in a day out with Daddy and then he can see he can trust Daddy too and know you will be there when they get back.
There is not too much you can do being a stay at home mom, they are with you all the time but sometime with other family members or a babysitter coud help his issues..he is worried when he cannot see you. My son is 5 and still 'misses' me all the time.
S.W. answers from Boston on January 23, 2008
My son does the same thing, and I have come to realize that the more that I pick him up the more this will keep happening. I have started to let him cry it out. At first for just a minute then I have gradually increased the time. I have noticed that these episodes are less frequent and shorter because he knows that I will not come running in right away. He usually finds a toy to play with or grabs a book to look at. At least I am getting stuff done. Hope this helps.
J.S. answers from Hartford on January 22, 2008
Listen... as a mom, it is your instinct to keep your child from crying and that's a GOOD thing. However, when you have to take care of your own basic needs such as using the toilet and showering and taking care of your older child, it really is OK to let your baby cry. As long as you know all of his needs are met, and the cry is not urgent and he's not injured, it really truly is OK for him to cry.
He's going through separation anxiety, which is normal. Yes, soothe him and if you don't mind, when you shower and use the toilet, leave the door open so he can see you. The rest of the time, let him watch you cook or clean or handle whatever else there is that needs to be done. Let him "help" you do laundry. Let him bang on some pots with wooden spoons while you cook. If he insists on being held, he does have to learn that there are times that it's just not possible.
H.B. answers from Boston on January 22, 2008
My guess is that your son is realizing that he's a separate person from you, and that freaks him out a bit. My daughter had a hard time with separation too - she never started the "separation anxiety" phase, she was born with it! I figured that if I nurtured her, cuddled her, let her be my shadow, she'd eventually grow out of it without any anxiety at all. She's 16 months now and I tell you, she's a very confident and independent kid! She still has her days, but mostly I'm trying to get her to come to me and stay in the room with me, she much rather be in the other room! He'll grow out of it, I promise. He just needs some assuring right now that its OK that he's a separate person from you and that you still love him and want him near you!
C.R. answers from Boston on January 22, 2008
Your son is learning about object perminence. Playing 'peek-a-boo' and 'hide & Seek' can help him learn that even if he can't see you, you do still exist and you will return.
K.V. answers from Boston on January 21, 2008
I know this may sound very strange and works for one a tad bit older, but tie a thread between him and you and tell him to hold it. Back away from him and tell him that you are tied together. This will give you a bit of space and him the security and it will break if pulled on. OR what I did for awhile is put them in the stroller and wheeled that around the house, bulky in the house, but it works to calm them down. You could even try letting him watch Baby Einstein DVD's. The DVD would be a diversion while you go the bathroom, maybe alone!
M.M. answers from Boston on January 22, 2008
I have run into the same problem with my son who is 14 months old. When I cook dinner I put him in his highchair in the kitchen with me and give him a pan I am not using and a spoon or spatula and tell him to help me cook dinner! Most of the time this works but some times I just have to let him cry. I know he's ok and I know from experience with my 9yo twin girls if I bend to his evey whim the terrible 2's, 3's, 4's etc. are going to be worse than "normal" (if there is such a thing as normal). He will in time gain a sense of security knowing that you will be close by even if you're out of sight. It will get better, chin up, you just have to develope your selective hearing like a teenager :-)
J.S. answers from Boston on January 21, 2008
Sounds like he may be at the stage where if you are not within sight, you have vanished (and he's anxious that you won't come back). My son is visually impaired, and when he was a baby this type of thing was even more complicated (he didn't have enough distance vision to know that I hadn't left him completely). The way that I handled it was to keep up a 'conversation' with him or to sing. By talking or singing, he knew that I hadn't vanished and was ok with me not being within his sight. So, I would try talking to him from the other room (even if it's just silly, made up conversation or describing what you are doing). Maybe if he hears you, he won't think that you've gone away and left him forever. . .
M.L. answers from Boston on January 22, 2008
I am going through the same thing. I have am almost 3 year old and a 15 month old. My oldest is very independent and has always been great with strangers (well, i mean other family and friends) My younger one is so clingy. Same thing, i can't even go to the bathroom myself. I just try to leave the room for something and he starts screaming and it breaks my heart. So, i don't really have any advice, just wanted to say that i am going through the same exact thing and i understand your frustration.