Re: separation anxiety- how not to be the problem?
posted at 4/13/2011 11:47 PM EDT
Such typical development at 9-10 months of age -- both stranger anxiety and separation anxiety. Warning: if your baby hasn't seen your parents in a month or so and then does see them at this age, he may have stranger anxiety and cry like he's never seen them before - so be prepared to explain to the grandparents who may be upset if they don't remember this phase from when they were parents.
Many, many, many babies and children have very different reactions to different parents dropping them off at childcare. Wow, that sentence didn't make any sense! But what I mean is, children react differently with different parents. Some children are fine when one parent drops off, and totally sad when they say goodbye to the other parent.
Yes, do NOT sneak away, help him get involved with something fun, say goodbye, I love you, have fun, see you later and leave. Hard, but the long drawn out isn't good, because you're still going to leave, and it's still going to be hard for him because it's a phase he's going through.
Don't rate your son's reaction on how others in the room are doing, even if they were born on the exact same day. Children are different, and perhaps that other child will start this 1 month from now as your son is coming out the other side. Or that baby won't ever do it but will do something else. They'll crawl, walk, talk, eat, and interact all differently, resist the impulse to compare and contrast, as hard as that is!
I would encourage you to peek in the infant room (if you can) and not go into the room if your child is having a diaper change - stand outside out of sight until he is done, hands washed and back on the floor. It is TOTALLY TYPICAL that children get upset when they are on the diaper table and can't get off when their parent gets there.
Also, you should wash your hands when you enter the room, but right after that, do pick up your son and give him a hug and a kiss. THEN you can collect the bottles, day sheets, sippy cups, talk with the teachers, etc. Many parents try to get the stuff done before picking up baby and it only gets them more upset.
By the way, if your baby is having sep. anxiety then you'll also notice that you can't hide things from him as much - he'll search for them! Before, when you took something you didn't want him to have and put it behind your back, once he couldn't see it, it completely disappeared from his mind. Gone, poof! NOW he is capable of remembering, holding the image in his mind, and he's gonna crawl around behind you and search that down! Part of growing up, but now you can't just hide your car keys or remote behind your back or on a shelf anymore!
That also means he is capable of holding an image in his mind of you, and your husband, and he can remember you - you don't just disappear when out of sight from him, therefore he can be upset that you gone.