14 Month Old Is Having Major Separation Anxiety

Updated on November 21, 2008
S.O. asks from Reno, NV
5 answers

I am so fortunate to stay home full-time with my 14 month old daughter. I wouldn't change it for the world. The past few weeks, she won't let me out of her sight. Even at home with dad, she cries if I leave the room to do anything...laundry, cook, go to the bathroom!!! She is okay when I leave her with both grandmas, but it always takes awhile for her to calm down. Here is my main problem. I have been taking her to the Kids Club at our gym. It is a drop-off center and before this "stage" she is going through, she had no problem going. Now, whenever I drop her off, she either cries the whole time or won't let the girls set her down to play. My question is, should I utilize this dropoff and have strangers watch her or is this bad for her? I feel soooo guilty every time I do it, but part of me thinks it is good to get her adjusted to other surroundings and have interaction with other kids. The other part of me feels like I am being selfish for wanting a break and working out. Is this a stage she will outgrow or do I need to make some changes? Help!!!

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answers from Los Angeles on

It is one of many stages your daughter will go through. I run a daycare and usually around age 14 months there seems to be a security issue. Usually it is in the boys. Not all the time and with every child but most of my boys have gone through it. She will get through it and so will you. Be Strong and becareful. I had a parent that decided to carry her son through the stage and two things happened. It took him almost 6 months to get through it and on top of that he was used to being held when he was put down he would throw a fit. So now she is dealing with the fits when she puts him down.

Good luck



answers from San Diego on

Hi S., first of all you are not being selfish cause you need a break, or because you need because you need to work out. Stranges, are these people you trust? if so she will be fine for a couple hours or so. The only neg. thing sighreally that I see, is your 14 month old won't let you out of her sight, or let the daycare workers at the gym sit her down, she's a baby, she can not have that kind of control over anybody. My advce to you is to leave her with her daddy while you go work out, she needs to get used to you being out of sight at home, before outside of the home, now that is just my personal opinion. It is normal for some childeren to experience this type of separation anxiety when being with mom is all they know, my daycare kids that come to me at 6 to 8 weeks old do better than an older child who is just learning to be away from mom/dad. I hope this helps. J. L.



answers from Los Angeles on

Perfect age for a new kind of seperation anxiety...the if Mommy is not in sight, she must have disappeared and who will take care of me anxiety.

My son went through the same thing, so I followed my Pediatricians advice and began involving him in my OWN routine. Had him sit and help me sort laundry (not the best job but, he loved it and still does), moved his high chair so he could watch me wash dishes/cook dinner and even started letting him help me with grocery shopping. It helped tremedously, and at this age I began to explain things to him indepth. Mommy is doing this because this has to happend, and Mommy will be going to the gym and Grandma and you get to spend time playing. Now, he has his own kids cooking set from IKEA that he uses whole I am cooking and he is such a big helper.

I don't think you're being selfish at all...a few moments at the gym, getting a haircut or just taking a shower alone are so necessary sometimes!!!

But, I think remaining consistent with the timeframe and who watches our kiddos is super important. A stranger is great, but if Grandma or someone more familiar is available, then that might help ease her out of her anxiety. Don't worry it passes! And, soon she'll be rushing you out the door...my son is now two years old and some days he's all about Mom and other days he's all about Dad...and then, there's the days when Grandma is around and I am obselete!!

Best of luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

Join Stroller Strides instead. You'll get an incredible workout plus your darling daughter will be with you. I quit the gym when my first was about the same age. I'm not going to enjoy my workout if she is in the kiddie care bawling. My daughter wouldn't even walk in to the gym after beginning her meltdowns (mind you - she too, used to love it - maybe something happened that I'm not aware of). Anyway, thank God for Stroller Strides is all I can say. I did it for 3 years (with 2 kids) and it got me in the best shape of my life - Physically and mentally.




answers from Honolulu on

You are not at all selfish! Us mothers all need something that keeps us sane - so that we can be even better moms!
Maybe you can try staying with her for a few minutes at the gym until she starts to play with something and feel comfortable - and then try leave. My daughter used to cry a lot when I dropped her off at "Sunday school" and I felt terrible, but I just kept doing it anyways since they told me she always stopped after like 2 minutes of me leaving. Anyways, now she loves going! Never cries at all. I think it's probably just a phase and once they figure out you always come back for them they are ok with it. Best of luck to you!

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