11 answers

My Daughter Won't Go to Anyone Else

My baby girl immediately pouts if anyone else including family members or even occasionally her dad who sees her everyday try to look at her or hold her. If we force the issue she will cry herself into hysteria and I have to eventually hold her which immediately calms her down. This happens even if I'm not at home. Its beginning to turn into a big issue because I'm going back to work in a few weeks and really concerned about her ability to adapt to the change. She is 4 months old and I've spent the majority of the time as her primary caregiver. Is this normal? What's the best way to get past it?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

This is normal. My son did it too. Don't run to the rescue when she starts to get upset. Try to stay in sight.
Somewhere I read that you should leave her in a room, tell her you will be right back, leave for a few minutes, and then come back in the room and say, "Here I am." or something like that. This helps them understand that just because you are out of sight, you aren't gone. I said, "I will be right back." every time I left the room and he began to understand.
I would also start leaving her with family members or the person who will be keeping her when you go back to work for brief amounts of time to get her used to you not being there constantly. Make the goodbye very brief, DON'T let her see you upset or sad if she starts to get upset, and ask the caregiver to distract her after you leave. NEVER sneak out because it will make the separation anxiety worse.

It will get easier. Good luck!

More Answers

My daughter did the same thing, I didn't go to work until she started kindergarten. She went to kindergarten fine and I am the one that cried.

Hi S.,
we had exactly the same problem withour daughter. it also started when she was 4 mo old. According to what I read, babies usually start this behavior around 8 months old but some smarty pans start earlier!
She has been very shy, wouldn't go to any one else except my parents who took care of her until she went to the day care, when she was 13 months. It took her several months to get used to the daycare. We could never use any other baby sitter to watch her.
My daughter had a doll that she received at birth. She clung to this poor thing whenever she felt anxious. That helped her to cope with separation. If you decide to use this "substitute", choose one of good quality and washable, and buy a dozen (what we did!) for replacement. My daughter had this doll (and the replicates)for years!
She is now 13 years old, still shy but very smart.
Good luck!

The worst thing you can do is linger by saying your good bye. My children in my home day care only cry for a few seconds. As soon as parents are gone they are ok. We start playing with toys or doing activities and they are fine. I believe it is show for parents. But so young will probably take time. I had a baby when I was in High School that when I came to watch her she cried the whole time the parents were gone. I tried everything. If she was asleep when I arrived and she woke up to me she was fine. We played and laughed. For two or three hours if she was awake she cried. The other child was about 3 or 4 and find. She was I think under 2. So all are different and it always breaks parents hearts to leave with their little one upset but they are fine and need to get used to it. Take care G. W

This is normal. My son did it too. Don't run to the rescue when she starts to get upset. Try to stay in sight.
Somewhere I read that you should leave her in a room, tell her you will be right back, leave for a few minutes, and then come back in the room and say, "Here I am." or something like that. This helps them understand that just because you are out of sight, you aren't gone. I said, "I will be right back." every time I left the room and he began to understand.
I would also start leaving her with family members or the person who will be keeping her when you go back to work for brief amounts of time to get her used to you not being there constantly. Make the goodbye very brief, DON'T let her see you upset or sad if she starts to get upset, and ask the caregiver to distract her after you leave. NEVER sneak out because it will make the separation anxiety worse.

It will get easier. Good luck!

DON'T WORRY! A 4-month old in an infant. She has extreme separation anxiety, but if handled right, she will grow out of it. Some babies are more mother-attached than others. You see this "in the wild" all the time.

In one sense it is a healthy need. My daughter was the same way.

Maybe you are showing her YOUR anxiety, without even realizing it. If you are confident, she will become confident. Give her your nurturing now, and later she will blossom.

DON'T WORRY!!!

Been there and done that! It was a long time ago but I remember the hurt feelings of everyone else and the pressure it put on me to always be around. My husband would say "NOT THE MAMA" when my son would cry for me. It didn't matter who took him it was not the mama! I was at home all the time and that was a big part of it but it was also his temprement. He was a few weeks old in the church nursery when he started reconizing me when I walked in the door. I think you have a very smart and sensitive youngster and she knows exactly what she wants and isn't going to accept anything else! For me there wasn't any family close to practice leaving him with but if that would be an option I would sure try it. It is going to be hard on both of you.
It is normal, just not typical and thats ok. You need to understand that even though you hate to see her fret and scream and cry about it she is really going to be ok, not happy but ok. Otherwise she will manipulate you into doing her will. It does get better but not for several months. It is going to have to get better when you go to work, so practice leaving her now for longer and longer periods of time. You will survive this and so will she!

My daughter was the same way for over a YEAR! My ped. suggested I let her have me (I stayed at home), so that she felt secure, and that when she was ready - she would move on. VERY TRUE!!! She loves sleep overs, new experiences, and now goes off to sleep-away camp for almost a month each summer. The advice worked very well for us - and personally, I cherish that special time we had together.

She knows your scent. Try wrapping one of her blankets around you, next to your skin, then let the next person who holds her use that blanket to hold her in. At that point you need to stay out of sight and smell. Just a thought.
J. Wright

That's normal for that age. They get very mommy-centric at about 3-4 months old and it lasts for several months. Almost no one else will do. Think about it...in your own words, you were the primary caregiver for her entire life (short, so far, but all she knows...) and she is still very literal in her understanding. If you go down the hall and disappear, she has no concept of the idea that you'll be right back, that being out of sight is not the same as being completely gone forever. So she literalizes that when she can't see you, it's horrible! And then, all of a sudden that part of her life is over, and just as you were beginning to count on being SO important in her life, she can look right past you, as though you're not there. So, in general, I'd say, enjoy it while it lasts, but from then on, you're just that woman who feeds me sometimes, and all those "separation" actions in the teen years will come back to haunt you! LOL! No, really, the "stuck on Mommy" thing is a phase they outgrow pretty quickly. Try not to get panic-ed about it. She'll adjust when you have to go back to work. Kids are very resilient.

it is very normal. all kids go through it and maybe even several times through out their toddlerhood. one of the ways we dealt with it is my husband started to take over some regular "care for" activites. like getting ready for bed, taking a bath, ect. as often as possible your husband or other people who are there needs to do things for her! have your husband change the diaper when he is home and talk with her the whole time. then she will start to see other people as safe too. also take a good look at your actions and thoughts. do you not let other people do things for her? do you think you do them better? you have to let go of your daughter if you want her to let go of you! lol. she will probably grow out of this stage and then when she's 9months, 18 months she doesn't want anyone but you again. i know it can really hurt dad and grandma's feelings but don't get upset and don't push her to go to people.

my baby girl was the same ,now she is 8 months and trying to walk and now she goes with anybody who help her walk.

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