I recently read The Aware Baby and was blown away by it, but I'm having a hard time dealing with an issue that I think is related to separation anxiety. DD has just turned 1 and has always been a very attached baby, especially to me. She accepts and rejects DH in waves, which thankfully he accepts as normal and just part of her process. Her rejection of DH is especially bad right now and I'm having a really difficult time dealing with it.
Every night, DH plays with DD while I take a quick shower; after the shower she and I take a bath together and then go to bed. It is the only time of the day when I'm not primarily caring for DD. We've been doing this for 7 months or so with no problems. Now suddenly she is FREAKING out when I get in the shower. She stands at the tub, holding the shower curtain open and getting sprayed, crying her little heart out the whole time I'm showering. It's awful.
She won't let DH come near her, she only wants me.
I don't know how to deal with this situation. When she cries, I like to sit with her and support her in her feelings; she cries until she's done and is happy and relaxed and all is well. But I can't sit with her while I'm in the shower, and she rejects all of DH's attempts to connect with her. I'm feeling a little frustrated because I would really like to bathe and I don't like to do it after she goes to bed because I usually work (I work from home) during that time. She wakes so frequently in the early evening that it's hard to time a shower so that I can attend to her during wakeups (she won't have any of DH at nighttime) AND fit in time for work at the same time.
Thanks if you've made it this far. I just don't know what to do, watching her stand there and cry and cry is just breaking my heart. AND I want to be able to attend to my needs too . . . . Any advice is really appreciated.
Seperation anxiety actually PEAKS around 15 months for most babies...1 year to 18 months is the worst, on average......by 18 months it *should* be less.......so, your child is TOALLY NORMAL!!!
I just let dd play in the tub while i shower....she happily runs through my legs, plays woith some toys, etc, while i shower....would your dd do that? Or is it just that you don't want her in there with you?
Another suggestion is to just find another time to shower. Early morning, after she sleeps...whatever else you might have to juggle, do it, if it is worth it to you to not have to hear her cry...
Or, just comfort yourself with the knowledge that it is a normal thing and will pass...(i know very few 12 year olds who stand outside their mothers shower crying..*LOL*)
I don't know if this helps, but I put a baby bath tub full of warm water in the back of our tub/shower and stick ds in it. Then I shower and he plays with bath toys that he only gets when he's in that tub. It helps to turn the tub a little sideways. I get almost as much space as I would have in a stall shower and he's happy. And he's so occupied with his toys (and the water and various body parts) that it's almost like having time to myself.
Another vote for take her in the shower with you. Thats what I do (I'm a single mom so I wouldn't get a shower at all if I didn't bring her in with me!). I actually don't give dd baths at all -- we always do it together. I let the tub fill up as I'm showering (and periodically let it drain because, yeah, the water gets dirty). DD has lots of fun playing with her toys, and I get my shower. I would usually PREFER to shower alone, since its quicker... but I don't have a choice and this works really well for us.
Thank you so much for all of your suggestions. I've been trying to bring her into the shower with me and it seems to freak her out more, I think she doesn't like the splashing. BUT DH and she went outside last night and that rocked. I think it will be part of our evening routine from now on, it worked so well. Thanks thanks thanks!