Mama separation anxiety? Am I crazy? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 05-09-2014, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I am a first-time mom and my son is eight months old. He is still pretty much exclusively breastfed but won't take a bottle. I have left him with my husband for an hour or two at a time before, and everything is great. I don't have a problem with doing that! And, a few months ago I left him with my mom when we were visiting them so I could go get my hair cut.

I guess my question is this: I get extremely anxious at the thought of leaving him with a babysitter or with anyone besides my husband. Rationally, I know that everything would probably be fine. Maybe if my son wasn't so attached to me I wouldn't worry about it so much? He is at the stage now where if I even put him down to go do something he starts crying immediately! The nursery at our church takes babies starting at six months old, but I can't even imagine leaving him in the nursery! But a lot of my friends leave their babies with babysitters, family members, or in nurseries fairly often and they don't seem to be worried.

Am I just crazy?
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#2 of 7 Old 05-09-2014, 02:43 PM
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You're not crazy! 8-9 months is when they start getting separation anxiety. Before that, babies don't seem to consciously notice that you are gone. When they do, it gets harder. Plus, this is such a fun age, it is tough to leave them and miss anything. I think sometimes outsiders can put pressure on us to leave the baby with someone else saying it's for our own good because we must want to get out and have a little freedom. But for some of us, we are just fine being with baby a lot. They are only babies for a short time. I say enjoy the cuddles while you can. You're fortunate to be able to spend so much time with your son.
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#3 of 7 Old 05-09-2014, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by olimama826 View Post

Am I just crazy?


No.  You are perfectly normal.



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#4 of 7 Old 05-09-2014, 06:14 PM
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Same general situation-- DS will be 2 (years) in about 6 weeks and hasn't been away from me more than 2 hours; that was my husband's record. No way he could have done the church nursery yet though maybe if he knew some other kids he would... Our parents live in other states and have never babysat for us. we just like being together. I am still a nanny (DS gies along) & last year I met three families who had never before had a sitter: kids ages.18 mo., 16 mo, and 28 mo.... You're not crazy and not alone smile.gif
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#5 of 7 Old 05-10-2014, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, mamas! It is good to know that I'm not alone here. smile.gif I do love being with my baby, even though sometimes I feel a little stir crazy being at home all the time. Now that he is eight months old though, he can actually kind of play with other babies so we are getting out of the house a lot more. And going a lot more walks because of the warmer weather. smile.gif
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#6 of 7 Old 05-10-2014, 11:29 PM
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OH goodness, yes. I HATED the idea of leaving my baby for months and months. I didn't even like to pass her around at gatherings. I just felt better and more secure about having her with me. She's barely 9mos now and I am now one of those moms who's like YAY FREE BABYSITTING at parties :), and then I go hide in another room with wine and adult conversation. 


It's funny because when Julia was a newborn people were constantly like "we'd love to babysit" but I didn't want to leave her. I just didn't see a need or have a desire. Now that she is 9mos and I NEED babysitters for some school stuff/packing up the house... no one but the in-laws has volunteered in months... :( :( 


I would say this: if you really don't want to use outside care, don't. For all I know, there's loads of kids out there who were never left with other caregivers and then did just fine with kindergarden or babysitters when really needed. But that seems unlikely. It's my intuition that this could snowball. For you or for him! Like, you just get more and more nervous about leaving him., he gets more and more used to never being without you, and then when you desperately need a mom's day out, you don't enjoy it or worse, never take it because it's too hard on everyone.


IDK how to time things with separation anxiety, since we got a baby sitter/took MIL up on her offers before this stage and so it wasn't an issue, but I would recommend finding some space and trust (educated trust!!!) in other caregivers. For us separation anxiety was a really brief flare up at 8mos. She cried every time I even left the room for a week. I reacted by doubling down on my attention and sensitivity to her social needs. Lots of cuddling. Lots of baby wearing.  


Then it passed, and now I LOVE LOVE LOVE things like the drop in care at my gym, and so does she. Doesn't even look for me once she sees all the kids playing. I am finally getting into shape again, and if I hadn't gotten over my fear of leaving her, I'd still be trying to convince myself I'd get over my hate of jogging if only I had a fancy stroller to take. 

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#7 of 7 Old 05-13-2014, 05:53 PM
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I don't think you're crazy... Until my kids are good and verbal I don't usually leave them with anybody either. Not friends, not relatives, not anybody. There are certainly things I'd like to do without them, but I figure that stuff will be there for a while. The small ones won't be small forever. The world can wait a while.
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