Saturday, June 20, 2009

My husband is a sailor. He sails for 4 months and is on shore for about three. Since he was here last my daughter grew very attached to her dad. Recently he left to join ship.
I had read that its best to say a proper good bye to babies while leaving rather than sneaking away lest they become anxious. I didn't worry too much about it since Istill haven't started working and intend to be full time with my daughter for atleast another year. When we went to drop her father at the airport, it worried us should she cry seeing him leave. Not only would it be emotionally very difficult but its very difficult to soothe her when she cries and she has one of those high pitched ones! So we were glad in a way that she slept through most of the car ride and didn't wake up until after we got home leaving her father at the airport.
For two days she seemed to look for him and then would get distracted with me or my in laws. I assumed she was alright otherwise. Then I noticed she was increasingly unruly two days after he left. She was taking shorter naps and consequently didn't get enough sleep making her tired and cranky and generally unruly. Initially, I suspected teething or some other illness. Also, when she woke up from her nap or sleep she would cry very loudly and in desperation. Otherwise she used to cry only loud enough to attract someones attention. She preferred everyone in the house near her. If one person was missing she would go in search of that person. That's when it struck me.
She was revisted by her separation anxiety!
Separation anxiety affects most babies at some time or the other particularly in the latter half of the first year. I thought my baby was through it.
Once i had diagnosed what the problem was i could deal with it. I gave her extra cuddles and spent lot of time with her particularly when ever she seemed to want me. I tried to stay within her eyesight as much as possible and also ensured others in the house were nearby. For two days I didn't indulge in any sleep training and just let her be. I breastfed her a lot especially in the night whenever she woke up. I generally kept her close to me. She was fine and back to normal in a day.
If your child is waking up often or is sleeping poorly, it may be due to separation anxiety.

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