View Full Version : Help! Seperation anxiety

14-03-2013, 08:42 PM
Hello everyone,

I have just taken on a 1yr old and she is suffering from severe seperation anxiety. She arrives at 9.30am three days a week and leaves at 4.30pm. She cries from the minute mum says goodbye until she sleeps at 10am. She sleeps until 11.30am where she takes up crying again. There is no consoling her at times and when I do walk around with her, try to distract her from crying she just screams louder. She also screams if anyone leaves the room, even when my cat left the room she screamed! According to mum and big sister she has started doing this at home also about 2wks before she started coming to me.
But when I get big sister from school it is like she is a different child, she plays, laughs and has a merry time! I am lost for words as it is like having two different children. I really do not know what to do with her when big sister is at school, Mum said that big sister was the same and took weeks to settle with her old childminder!

Please does anyone have any advice and tips???

14-03-2013, 10:49 PM
Have one the same you hve my sympathies! She is improving though, I found popping her in the buggy helped and if I rocked her she didn't cry, I pop her in front of tv as mum says she loves olive the ostrich and she does!

I think she feels more secure in buggy and it gives my arms a break.. She wasnt any better if I picked her up! Have now weaned her off this and she is better .. Poor mite was crying at the window... She also started the anxiety just before she started .. Typical!!

14-03-2013, 11:04 PM
My new 13 month old Mindee was the same for the first week and has gradually got better. He still cries every morning when he arrives, but I'm managing to distract him.

We have moved on from crying all day long (no food or sleep just screaming) to a day 'punctuated' by crying. Holding him and walking about or cuddling don't work - I am a strange new person and we need to build trust - I worked out quite quickly that it made him worse. So instead I'm placating and distracting him, by being fun and upbeat generally.

In his case the following distract him:
Going out in buggy
Sitting in buggy in front of CBEEBIES

Now: I don't like the last two, but he was previously cared for by granny three days a week, who strapped him in buggy, dummy in and TV on :-(
So, I have done this just at first, in order to calm him down and I am gradually weaning him off it.

As soon as he arrives, we do the above. I always stay in the room with him. When he's calmed down (about 5-10 mins) I bring him into the kitchen for a snack.

Then I put a CD on and casually put things in reach of the highchair (plastic spoons, cups & bowls) and he plays with them (eventually dropping them all on the floor). If I were to put a toy in front of him and suggest he plays with it he would cry. But spoons etc work - he thinks it was his idea ;-)

The other thing he likes is if I create a huge 'cloud' of bubbles in the sink by putting too much washing up liquid in and running taps really fast. Then I scoop up some foam and let him play with it.

Also, filling a zip lock plastic bag with blobs of paint for him to squidge is good. But again, I prepare in advance and just put it next to him quietly, for him to 'discover'.

If I put him on the floor in the living room to play with toys or cruise, he just sits and cries. Anything obviously initiated or led by me is a major no no at the moment. So we aren't doing much if that just yet.

I've been going out for walks two or three times a day with him, as he doesn't cry when we are out and about. Also it's the only way to get him off to sleep. I have worked out a walking route close to my house in a circle, which takes 45 mins to do, but only 7/8 mins to get home once he's asleep.

But it's a work in progress. Today was the first day he had no dummy - it 'disappeared' 10 mins after he arrived. Mum was very pleased :-)

Oh and I have photos of him and his family on my board and they have a photo of me and my kids at his home too.

Good luck.
Will post other ideas if I think of them.

14-03-2013, 11:09 PM
murph - Yes the being strapped into a buggy or high chair thing is funny. I feel weird about him sitting all day, but he seems to prefer it. We started by sitting cuddled up on the sofa, but he screamed the house down :-(

14-03-2013, 11:33 PM
murph - Yes the being strapped into a buggy or high chair thing is funny. I feel weird about him sitting all day, but he seems to prefer it. We started by sitting cuddled up on the sofa, but he screamed the house down :-(

I know it's not something we would normally do but if it works just while they are getting used to this strange new world for them and then we can wean them off it won't do any harm! As pp said we are strangers so really why would it help them for us to cuddle them?! Some kids it does but others it doesn't

My littlie loves her food and in my opinion is over fed as well as getting sugar in her bottle!! (To take the taste off! I gave her plain water other day and she took it no problem! ) but if it calms her i will give her a yoghurt or bit of liga or a bottle of water as it soothes her

Ask mum for ideas on what she likes. What songs to sing / TV programmes etc . I also got mum to give me a t shirt she had slept in but didnt use it in end . Dh says give them choccy buttons as they think u are great then!!

15-03-2013, 07:52 AM
Choccy buttons worked for my niece I gave her some at 9months old and at almost 4years she still says I am her best friend.

But with mindies I have done the pushchair and highchair thing. I think at first it is good to let them stay if they feel safe there. It helps them build trust in you that you won't try and make them do anything and let's them get used to you in there own time.

15-03-2013, 09:19 AM
I had a little one that screamed and cried from 08.00-18.00 the only time she didn't was if she was being held by me, I tried everything even slings, but after 7 months I had to end the contract but she's at a nursery now and loves it! I have a little boy who is with me that he is starting to settle and its been highchair and buggy, he is just starting to get used to things now and settling! I do have a good few other children that have settled straight away :)

16-03-2013, 12:15 PM
Thank you ladies I will give the high chair and pushchair a go, also love the paint in zip bags ideavsowill defo try that! Will let you know how we get on this week :)