11 Answers

I am just wondering if this is normal – my 10 month old wont even let me leave the room without going hysterical. He will be in the walker and as soon as I leave the room for one second the screaming and crying starts. He sounds so distraught. When I’m in the same room he has so much space to play but he grabs onto my legs and wont let go. This my first baby – is this sort of behavior normal or does he have an extreme case of separation anxiety?


Posted by mom57665, 29th January 2015


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  • Separation anxiety is children’s common and normal fear of being away from their parents or carers. The behaviour you might see when children are separated from parents is sometimes called separation protest.

    Separation anxiety can start at around 8 months and reach its peak in babies aged 14-18 months. It usually goes away gradually throughout early childhood.

    Stranger anxiety is similar to separation anxiety. It’s when children get upset around people they don’t know. It can happen from 7-10 months and usually starts to go away after children’s first birthdays.

    These anxieties are a normal part of development and are nothing to be concerned about. Children are starting to move around more at this stage, so these anxieties make sense from a survival point of view. That is, if children could crawl or walk away from their carers but weren’t afraid of separation or strangers, they’d get lost more easily.
    Helping children with separation anxiety;

    If your child is suffering from separation anxiety, there are lots of things you can do to help her.

    In new places

    If you’re leaving your child in a new setting – child care centre, preschool, friend’s house, babysitter – spend time at the new place with your child before the separation. Your child will be less distressed if he’s left in a safe, familiar place with familiar people he trusts.
    Let your child take something she loves from home, like a teddy bear, pillow or blanket. These objects will help your child feel safer, and you can gradually phase them out as she feels more settled in the new place.
    Tell your child’s child care centre, preschool or school about his separation anxiety, and let them know about anything you’re doing to help your child. This way, other people in your child’s environment can give him consistent support.
    Gently encourage your child to separate from you by giving her practice. It’s important to give her positive experiences of separations and reunions. Avoiding separations from your child can make the problem worse.

    When you’re leaving your child

    Tell your child when you’re leaving and when you’ll be back. This is helpful even with babies. Sneaking out without saying goodbye can make things worse. Your child might feel confused or upset when he realises you’re not around and might be harder to settle the next time you leave him.
    Settle your child in an enjoyable activity before you leave.
    Say goodbye to your child briefly – don’t drag it out.
    Keep a relaxed and happy look on your face when you’re leaving. If you seem worried or sad, your child might think the place isn’t safe and can get upset too.

    At home

    No matter how frustrated you feel, avoid criticising or being negative about your child’s difficulty with separation. For example, avoid saying things like ‘She’s such a mummy’s girl’ or ‘Don’t be such a baby’.
    Read books or make up stories with your child about separation fears – for example, ‘Once upon a time, there was a little bunny who didn’t want to leave his mummy. He was afraid of what he might find outside his burrow …’. This might help your child feel he’s not alone in being afraid of separating from his parents.
    Make a conscious effort to foster your child’s self-esteem by giving her lots of positive attention when she’s brave about being away from you.


  • Yes my bubby has been doing this since about 9 months, now that hes walking he has literally the house to walk and so many toys that I can’t even count them. But all he wants to do is make his way to where i am and grab my legs he doesn’t let go. and as soon as i leave the room he comes searching for me it’s so cute. Don’t worry it’s only a stage.


  • Absolutely normal, and probably not the only time he’ll get clingy. Mine went through it at different stages when they were very little. My 2 1/3 year old has gotten more clingy lately, whereas not long ago she wanted rid of me so she could get up to as much mischief as possible!


  • What a clever guy. He has learnt that you still exist even from sight, and he misses his mumma.

    You need to let him know you are thinking of him too. As you walk away, play peekaboo – gradually spacing out the game, so he knows you will remember to come back. Talking from the next room helps too.

    It’s a normal phase, and by reassuring him now, you will help him move through the phase easily.


  • I mostly agree with everyone here, it’s a stage …it’s important if you’re not already, to socialise baby though so as he gets to the day care age – if you go there – the transition is easier =)


  • This is very common at this age as they are becoming so aware of everything around them. As others have said, it’s a stage that passes quickly.


  • first of all do not Worry! they can feel it!too
    some kids are more clingy than others it is true
    introduce other people and slowly get them you baby to hold
    with you in the room gradually if settled move slowly away be bold
    another thing while say putting groceries away,just keep talking to baby
    while he is a distance away, try not to be tempted to rush when or if cries
    but keep talking and you may get a nice surprise


  • Also; try not to worry too much! :)


  • This is stage it will pass, try hard just to get though this stage


  • Babies do go through phases; if concerned speak to a community nurse.


  • No that sounds normal to me. IT’s just a phase. Babies naturally want their mums and he is at the age now where he’s very aware that you have left the room and he doesn’t know enough to know you’re coming back.


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