Separation anxiety sucks.
All of the resources that were so helpful when Leo had other problems (diaper rash, constipation, eczema), like BabyCenter.com, are of no help on this issue. For some reason, they all seem to think separation anxiety can only occur a)when a parent leaves a kid with a baby sitter or b)when a parent leaves a kid at bedtime. What is a mom who is home alone with her son all day to do when her one-year-old screams when she goes downstairs to retrieve the laundry or goes to the bathroom?
I’ve tried letting him cry it out. He cries so loud you can hear him outside, and I’m reaching for the Excedrin. I’ve tried holding him and playing with him as much as I can, but I get nothing done. I’ve tried an in-between thing, where I knit or fold laundry while he plays with his toys, but that always leads to Leo trying repeatedly to climb into my lap after only about five minutes of playtime. It did work to put him in his high chair with some Cheerios while I shower or prepare dinner, but after yesterday’s incident I won’t be doing that anymore! About three weeks ago we packed up the exersaucer and playpen, because he’s just too good at climbing. (Also, he’ll never learn to walk if he’s always cooped up. Of course, he’ll never learn to walk if him mom is holding him all the time, either.) That leaves his crib as the only “safe zone” when I have to shower or otherwise leave the room, and I hate leaving him in there screaming. I don’t want him to associate his crib with being sad that his mommy is gone for fear of it making bedtime more difficult. (The last week and a half, it’s been harder when I’m home alone putting him to bed, but when Craig is here it’s easier.)
I’m sorry for the (somewhat cranky) digression from knitting to baby problems the last couple of days. The baby problems are getting in the way of the knitting at home, so I guess it’s natural that they get in the way of knitting on the blog, too. I should add that Leo is fine for Craig, but for anywhere from 9.5 to 12 hours every day it’s just me and Leo. My personal theory is that if Leo were away from me more he wouldn’t be as clingy, but there aren’t a ton of opportunities for that to happen.
I know this is a completely normal phase. I just hope it’s a short one! If you’re a parent that’s gone through this before, please let me know how you dealt with it.