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Separation anxiety in toddler: is this too extreme?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

My 20 month old plays very well by herself when Dh and I are sitting in the living room, even working on our computers, like now. One of us just has to leave the room, and she'll chase the person down. Scream, knock on the door, and so on.


I would say that it is because of her 1x/week daycare experience (she went twice till now), but she's been like this for much longer. Much much longer.


She's nursed on demand, we co-sleep, she's rocked and/or nursed to sleep. I do everything with her. Laundry too. Just not cooking when I have a sharp knife in hand or am dealing with anything on the stove. She understands that it is dangerous, but she's just not happy about it.


When she was 15 months old, her vocabulary was about 100 words. Now, she has words for pretty much anything in her world. So it's not like she doesn't understand that mommy needs to cook for her to get food off the stove. She only recognizes food off the stove for lunch and dinner. Snacks, she doesn't care.


Why won't she sit in the room that I am in and play quietly or even noisily for that matter, and let me do my thing? Nooooo, she has to watch everything. And what's this "I want both of my parents in the room at all times" about? How on earth are we supposed to clean, cook, earn money and so on? 

post #2 of 3
My DS didn't want to play alone at all for what seemed like a really, really long time. To get things done one of us had to either take him in another room and play or take him outside of the house (park, library, etc) while the other got things done. Plenty of people commented about "just let him yell, he'll get it eventually" but that wasn't an option for me and now at almost 3 he is very independent and loves to play in his room with his toys, he even tells me to go away and shut the door sometimes! hang in there. it will (probably orngtongue.gif) get better!

Also, just because she has words for everything doesn't mean she necessarily makes the connections you are expecting her to make just yet.
post #3 of 3

Our 21 month old still won't let me pee on my own without screaming.  It sucks.


He can seem to ignore me as long as I am just watching him play, but if I make a move to, say, fold laundry, he screams and cries.


If I am gone from the house, DH can get an entire meal made while our son plays or toddles around.  I don't get it.


I am hugely grateful, however, for the fact that, around 18 months, he lost his separation anxiety related to my leaving the house.  It was terrible:  I couldn't go anywhere for any period of time without his screaming at the door as I left.  I felt so guilty leaving (even for 20 minutes) and literally couldn't enjoy any time away because I felt so badly.  Now, I can finally go get groceries or have tea with a friend and not feel like a big turd for leaving.

Good luck, mama.   You've got me on this one.  My guess is that it's a very long "this, too, shall pass" phase.  Ug.

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