My almost 7-month-old daughter just started going to a new sitter last week while I'm at work, about 4 hours a day 4 days a week. My MIL usually takes care of her either at our house or hers, but she's out of town for this whole month. The sitter is a friend of mine who has two children of her own, a 1-year-old boy and a 2 1/2 yr old girl; she babysits at her house and has a nice setup with plenty of room for the kids to play and sleep in separate areas.
The first week things seemed to go pretty well, although DD refused to take bottles of pumped BM--a first! She's been taking bottles since she was 2 months old. And yesterday my baby started SCREAMING as soon as she realized I was going to leave her there. It was awful. She cried continuously for about 2 hours for probably the first time in her little life. She's not a big crier and is generally a very happy, peaceful, and social baby. My friend wore her in a sling to try to calm her down and DD cried so hard she threw up a little in it. :(. She finally calmed down after eating some oatmeal (I've been sending her with some solids since she won't take any breastmilk) and finally fell asleep. Today she cried for a little less time and not as hard. I still feel terrible.
This is totally unprecedented with her. It's not even the first time she's been cared for by a sitter who isn't my MIL. Is this separation anxiety kicking in? Is it harmful for her to cry so much and so hard like that? I know my friend is as attentive as she can be with two other little ones and is genuinely trying to help DD settle down. This is my first baby so I have no experience with this.