Why does my baby cry when left alone, even for a second i.e when I go and get his nappies or food etc. He is six months and also does not go back to sleep when he wakes in the middle of the night unless I pat him and he knows I’m there.
I am exhausted. When will it stop??? Help!!
Baby Help Line:
Separation Anxiety In 6-Month-Old Baby
Don’t worry it will stop! But at present he is anxious that you are going to disappear from his world and has no way of understanding you will come back. Your son is a good example of a baby that really would benefit from being carried in a sling for as much of the day as possible. You would find he would then start to settle better at other times as he will get “filled up” with Mama.
Some babies are more anxious and less settled, and that may just be his temperament, it may be the effect of his birth, or it may be he is very sensitive and needs heaps of contact and reassurance.
Some people give terrible advice, like leave them to cry so they get used doing without you, but at this age that is just cruel. As he develops more he will start to learn that you are coming back. You can start playing peepo games where you disappear for a second then pop up with a big smile on your face. That starts to teach him that you come back. (You’ll find more tips on games and info about 6 month old babies here.)
Eventually you can go out of the room, but still with voice contact, then pop back in, again, lots of smiles. Just give it time and make a game out of disappearing, rather than being annoyed – he will also be picking up on your annoyance and that will make him even more anxious!
I can totally understand your frustration, my daughter was exactly the same. If I carried her around she was happy as anything, but the minute I put her down she cried. By the time she got to about 8mths she was much more relaxed when I left the room, although still would not go to very many other people. You will be glad to know she is now one of the most independent people I know, so it doesn’t last forever!
Just be patient and remember, your baby cries because he needs you not because he is manipulating you.
Just ENJOY him!
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