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no separation anxiety?

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  • no separation anxiety?

    My son is 15 months old, and has almost no separation anxiety. Everyone tells us that he is the mellowest baby they've ever met, which we assume is a result of his inherent personality and maybe some of our parenting practices as well. He has almost always been fine with anybody holding him (as long as he was being held!). When he was younger (maybe around 10-11 months?), he would take a minute to warm up to a "stranger" (or unfamiliar relative) before he would be totally happy to be handed over. Now he is usually fine, although sometimes he does have a preference for Daddy (or gets upset when Daddy leaves). I'm not sure why that is, since I'm a stay-at-home mom but Daddy does spend a lot of time with him also.

    A few months ago we started him at a "preschool" that is 3 hours in the morning, 4 days a week. He loves it, with all the interesting things to explore, other babies, etc. When he started, they asked parents to stay for the full time for the first two days so the child feels comfortable in the new setting. We did that. Then, on the third day, I left after about 15 minutes. He barely noticed that I left (even though I said goodbye and gave him a kiss), and didn't cry or show any unhappiness AT ALL for the rest of the morning. He has been like that every day since. Most of the other babies were upset when their parents left for the first time, some for weeks. Everyone says that separation anxiety is normal, so does that mean my son isn't? He also doesn't seem particularly excited when I come back at the end of the morning. I feel like I've read about that being a sign of a baby who is not strongly attached to the parent, which is horrifying for me to think! Any wisdom?

  • #2
    No real wisdom from me, but I will say that I did once read that well adjusted, well attached babies are actually very secure and independent (Dr. Sears' The Baby Book, I think). It also sounds like your son is a pretty mellow guy and doesn't get stressed easily. That "warm up" minute you described is probably his equivalent of 'stranger danger' that comes with the separation anxiety phase. Separation anxiety IS a 'normal' phase that babies go through, but each one will do it in their own way. I also think it's normal for kids to show signs of missing the parent who is with them the least (usually dads).