Who’s the Boss – Separation Anxiety

(This blog post was originally written September 2012)

Over the last couple of weeks, Klarissa has figured out how to curl her tiny toes around my waist and arch her back when I try to put her down and she’d rather that I not.  There have been times when she, as I like to call it, throws a fit.  Sometimes I choose to pick her back up, since all I really want is to give my arms a break (she weighs 20lbs now), but other times, I really need to get work done and she doesn’t let me.  As I type that I realize how silly that sounds…my baby doesn’t LET me do something?  I am the mom!  I say what goes! Right?  Ha!  Not in this house!  This little one has claimed the crown and uses the scepter to her advantage every chance she gets.

Since she has learned she can do this, I often have a hard time getting things done around here.  There are times when I can’t wash dishes, change my clothes, go to the restroom, etc.  Instead, I have to be holding on to her or playing along with her toys.  I’ve figured out that I can get away with going to the bathroom by putting her down in front of the shower where she can see her reflection, but other than that, I have a hard time getting things done some days.  I’m guessing, since she is nine months, this is about the time separation anxiety kicks in.  Could this actually be separation anxiety?

I spoke to other moms about it and got the “you’re crazy” look when I said it’s just so hard to get things done.  It made me feel like a bad mom, as if I shouldn’t be complaining that my baby cries when I put her down.  I know I can’t be crazy for thinking that, right? I know it’s normal for babies to cry but there’s got to be a way to correct the problem, isn’t there?  Being the type of person that I am, I started researching separation anxiety.  I found informative articles on what separation anxiety is and learned that there is really no treatment for it other than making your baby feel comfortable in and out of your home.  I learned that what Klarissa is experiencing is probably some mild form of separation anxiety, although my husband says she is just a smart one and has me wrapped around her little fingers.

Whether it is anxiety or me just giving in to my child’s intelligence, this experience is what being a mom is all about.  I will figure out how to get things done and ease her tension, and she will figure out that once she can walk she won’t need my arms as much.  We will figure this out together.   And when it all comes down to it, I am so blessed to have her and happy that this mild case of separation anxiety is the least of my worries.

I’m sure that one or some of you may be going through the separation anxiety stage with your little one(s) too.  Below are a few things you might like to know.

Separation Anxiety is a normal developmental stage during which the child experiences anxiety when separated from the primary caregiver.

When can it occur?  As early as 6-8 months but usually at 10-18 months.

What are some signs of separation anxiety? Distress when separated from primary caregiver; Reluctance to go to school or other places because of fear of separation; Reluctance to go to sleep without primary caregiver nearby.

How can we treat separation anxiety?  There is no real treatment, but anxiety can be eased by the child feeling safe in their home environment; trusting people other than their parents; and trusting that their parents will return.

I read many different articles online about separation anxiety.  Below is a link to one that I found quite helpful.

Click here to read it: http://www.babycenter.com/0_separation-anxiety_145.bc 



  1. oh girl! i am feeling like i could have written this post when my daughter was this age! just wanted to let you know that 1) you are an amazing mama for being concerned and researching and 2) this phase WILL pass. i thought it never would, but she is 2.5 and we are into new challenges. god bless you and keep up the great work at home and in the blog world!!!


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