My baby just turned 10 months old and is having a lot of separation anxiety - which is normal. She also has not really had a babysitter (except for short stays at the gym day care) because I am home with her, and because I have loved being home with her, and have not wanted to leave her.
I still feel that way, and am still committed to that type of relationship with her, but the time has come when occasionally (VERY! OCCASIONALLY!) I need to get away. So far, the only person she has been able to comfortably stay with is my husband. She often cries a lot when I am at the gym (even though the woman there is remarkable, and I only exercise for about 30 minutes), and the last time I left her with someone else ( my mother in law) she was hyperventilating from hysterics after I was in the shower for 20 minutes.
Okay. So most everyone I talk to thinks I'm a martian, that the baby needs to just adjust to it and I am a freak that I have not been leaving her with babysitters all along. Here is what I am worrying about:
We don't do sleep training. I don't believe in making my baby cry to toughen her up. (etc.) So, I feel that leaving her with someone (mother in law, godparents) even someone loving, if she is crying hard for an hour, is totally traumatic and just like letting her cry to sleep. My husband feels that no, it's not the same - that even if she's crying and it's hard, that she is being held by a loving person, which is totally different from letting her cry alone in her crib. But I feel so conflicted that I can't feel what is the right decision. I know it doesn't help that my relationship with my MIL is strained due to her being annoyed with me that I won't "let" her babysit. Furthermore, the baby doesn't take a bottle, which happened due to the fact that I was just committed to nursing exclusively and didn't intend to go away so when I tried to give her one at 6 mo she wouldn't take it - so I am pretty much the only way she can go to sleep.
My desire to be gone now is still very limited. Almost always my husband arranges to be there. He has even taken vacation time to do so. But a few dates are coming up where he must work, and I have a chance to do some dancing that I have waited a long time for (this opportunity), and it is the only thing I'm really doing just for myself. I think doing that makes me a better person, wife, and mom. So I'm talking about maybe 1-2 times a month for about 1-2 hours with a babysitter, that's all) that I would actually be gone.
My older daughter is almost nine - and she was a very different situation, so I feel as if I haven't even done this before. I would really appreciate ANY advice on this, or any info about what to expect over the next year or so as far as separation anxiety, sleep, etc. Sorry this post is so long!
I have a 10 month old as well, and I really hear you. Once in a while you have to get out. That being said, I have only left my baby with family members for a maximum of 2 hours before he really starts crying, and then I come home immediately.. on about 4 occasions.
I think that babies are little for such a short time, we should allow them the comfort and safety that they crave. That is the basis of attachment parenting; Let them stay attached as long as they need to, as little ones, and once they are old enough, they are confident and independent.
I don't know how long it will take for your baby to be ok with you being gone for a small amount of time. It's different for all babies. But the more you force her to accept you leaving, and making her cry, will only make that independent time farther and farther away.
Do not listen to what your husband says about making her cry is good for her, as he is not her mama, you are. And you know. <3
thank you... my husband definitely does not think it's ok to let her cry... he just thinks it's different (than crying to sleep), and that maybe she will adjust to a family member if we start doing it more. he is totally on board with attachment parenting. we have both definitely had that attitude - that this is such a short time, and the attachment is important. i just think i will get depressed if i don't do just a little something for myself - even 1/2 an hour, you know?
I know I would have a really hard time enjoying myself and feeling like I was having the opportunity to do something for myself if I was thinking of my son at home hysterically crying. They are only this needy for a short period of time, and though it feels like it will never pass, it will. I can't tell you what to do, but I will tell you I am so glad now that my son is three that I didn't leave him in situations in which he cried and cried and cried, even if it was with his grandparents. Daddy was a different story, but I didn't feel good about anyone else really. By around 13-14 months, he got much easier to leave for an hour or two, and by 2, he could have stayed with grandma and grandpa for a week and been happy as a clam (though I wouldn't have!). Good luck with whatever you decide.
I also have a 10 month old and he has super bad seperation anxiety. If I go to the kitchen or something and he can't find me, he starts crawling around the house crying ''mamamamama'.'' And leaving him, that's a joke. My mom has watched him for me a few times and she says that as soon as he realizes I am gone, he hysterically starts crying. She said she put him in our backyard swingset and swung him and that made him stop crying and fall asleep. I told her also to try taking him for a walk in his wagon too. Maybe you could have DH take her for a walk? My DD is 2.5 and was the same way as DS up until about 20 months she would cry. That's why I never leave this house!
I have a 14 month old. Luckily he is perfectly happy with dh so I do get breaks where I can get away- even for a few hours at a time. But other than that we don't leave him with anyone else yet. Except when we go to visit my parents, we can leave him for an hour or so- h is really comfortable with my parents! But they live in anotr state so we go visit them for a week at a time sometimes and by day 3 or so dh and I can get away for an hour. But ds will not stay with dh's mom! We live close to her and we tired it and he cried the whole time so we came to get him. We were just talking tonight about how we thought we would be leaving him sometimes with a babysitter and go out alone. But I just don't think he is ready. And I am in no hurry to do it if he is not ready. He is still formulating his take on the world and his sense of safety- and I see no reason to put him in a situation that makes him scared if I can avoid it. SO I just accept that this is his little baby time and we will have plenty of time apart when he is older. So my advice is that if it is optional for you, stay with your baby if you can, if leaving her with someone makes her that afraid. It is just a short period of life in the big scheme of things.
Thanks everyone. This is very helpful. I think that despite being frustrating, it's just hard being repeatedly looked at like I'm completely psycho when I've tried to explain this to people. We will wait it out... :)