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seperation anxiety

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  • seperation anxiety

    I would love to hear ways to deal with separation anxiety . I just went back to work about 2 months ago. I am an RN so my shifts are scattered 3 days of 13 hour shifts (which mean about 15 hours away from my son). My son just turned 8 months old. My husband and I both were home with him for the first 6 months.

    My son is having trouble the last few hours before I get home from work. He is with his stay at home Daddy and they do great all morning and afternoon. But as they get to the evening - 4-5 pm, my son just can't be soothed, doesn't fall asleep and is just miserable. Daddy has tried all kinds of things - walk, drive, bath, bottle, food, holding/cuddling, singing..ect... to no help. He crys on and off for the last 3 hours before I get home.

    We reconnect quickly when I get home, he nurses and falls asleep within 30 minutes and then nurses for most of the night, but I am looking for ways that might help him get used to my working and daddy soothing...

  • #2
    moved post here for more responses....

    it seems like you're doing the best you can. he is getting nurturing from both of his parents. it may just take time for him to adjust to the changes.


    • #3
      That seems like a hard situation! Do you think he is anticipating you being home in the evening but lacking any real sense of time he will wait and wait for you? I suppose changing the time of your shift would be impossible? I know at 8 mo babies have a lot going on with growth in different areas so it may be possible that in a few weeks he will be in a different place. My second son is very much like yours in that most of the time he will just wait it out until I get home. Hopefully he will start understanding that he can permit daddy to entertain him even while he thinks of you being home soon. I think it shows great connection to both of you that he does fine all day and remembers you at night. I think hospital shifts can be unpredictable from a young child’s point of view. My 4 year old is just getting the idea of weekends! Don’t give up, keep trying to see what might help him!


      • #4
        I'm sure that you've tried some of these ideas but i thought i might suggest them. I know for my dd when she was that age (and still now) she didn't have as good of a connection with dh as yours does but perhaps they might work. Walks were one of her favorite things (in a carrier or a stroller). It always seemed to distract her. Not that she necessarily forgot that i was hiding in the tub relaxing (in my case) but it seemed to entertain her enough. She also really loves her bath. So often times if i need to do dishes or something else that's out of her "yes zone" i plop her in the tub with dh. Sometimes a trip to the grandparent workes great to. Somebody else to play with and may give your dh a bit of a break to rechage his batteries for the last 2 hrs before you come home. I hope some of these things help!


        • #5
          Is this separation anxiety (very common at this age), or just "the witching hour"? Lots of babies get fussy at the end of the day - they're tired out from all the stimulation of the day. It's great that he calms down quickly with you - my little one (now 18 months) used to get herself so worked up that she couldn't even nurse. What worked for us consistently - and still comes in handy - is bouncing on an exercise ball. I used to do it a lot while wearing Alana in the Ergo, and she'd go to sleep. And it's true that transitions are hard and they take time. Alana has been to daycare 2 days a week since she was 10 months old (3 days a week she's with my mom, who "grandparents" in a very AP way and rocks her to sleep), and only now, 8 months later, does Alana fall asleep at naptime without crying. I wish I could have found an AP-friendly daycare, but when we were looking over a year ago, it didn't occur to me that she would still need help falling asleep - that was before we figured out that what we were doing and wanted to keep doing was AP.