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Thursday, March 29, 2007


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Oh Arwen, she looks so cute up on her hands and belly like that. There's something amazing that happens to their looks when they start to be up that way and you can suddenly see they have necks!

Anyway, I don't have a baby, and so have no right to give advice. I'm sure you're doing an excellent job and God bless you as you cope with her separation anxiety. I wouldn't "ferberize" the poor baby, but I might suggest letting her wail just a little each time and hopefully she'll figure out that you're always going to come back.

Yes, is a stage and she'll grow out of it (although separation anxiety does peak around 7-9 months typically). She's not old enough to understand object permanence - the fact that you'll be back. Once you're out of her site, to her you've completely disappeared forever. I know that sounds a bit dramatic but she just doesn't quite know that you'll come back yet. Just offer a reassuring voice when you have to leave the room out of her site but still in her hearing range. Don't worry, you haven't done anything wrong. This is just another one of those baby stage things! :)

Totally a phase. When Genoa was that age, she would scream if anyone other than me so much as LOOKED at her.

The problem can be helped in one word: EXERSAUCER.

Beg, borrow and steal to get one if you have to. She's just the right age for it now.


and is she working on anything - especially a new physical skill? regressions in any area are common then.

Before she was learning to be secure. Now she's going to learn that she's going to be put down so you can wash your hands and you'll pick her back up and life will indeed go on.

And again - Normal. It will come and go for a long time.

So cut!

Cute. C-u-t-e. Not c-u-t, cut. LOL.


I treated my first child similarly. The thing is, that with first children, we do tend to respond to their every little cry too quickly. You should just know that you are doing a fantastic job, and I think you ought to have many more children, Lord willing! Beautiful offspring, my dear.
I'm on my third baby. My boys are eight and four, and my daughter is 4 months. We kept our first in our room for a few months, our second with us for two months, and we kicked our daughter out at three weeks. She's become my easiest baby. I wasn't even able to breastfeed my first two because I was full of anxiety and so certain I was doing it wrong.
You are doing soooo well with Camilla. I read your weblog often, and I have thought that you are an amazing young mother - especially this being your first! Being a parent is such a wonderful gift.
What a beautiful family you have!

Ditto - normal, though I'm too tired to recall or even google this stage. I think the part to take to heart is that as they get older month by month, they can handle a little more delay in terms of waiting for your still-quick reaction.
But oooh that cutey face! So seriously adorable!
My daughter is at the stage where she is asking for a baby sister. Or brother. Or if she can go buy a cat, lol.

Totally normal, and a sign she is continuing to develop.

Two things happening: she now realizes you are you, and not Camilla-accessories. In other words, that she is a distinct person from you and Bryan.

And the object permanence thing: she doesn't quite realize you're just around the corner. (Some dogs are like this. You go out the door in the morning for a minute, come back in, and they act the same as when you've returned from an 8-hour day of work. The dog doesn't outgrow it. Milla will.)

I have 2 children and I can assure you that this is completely and totally normal!! Just keep doing what you're doing -- love her, respond to her, etc. and this too shall pass (and then come back again, and pass again, and come back again, and pass again, and come back again.....!).

My kids' fussiness always ramped up when they were about to master a new milestone -- maybe Milla's on the verge of something big!

"Or were we just naive to assume that 'better' meant 'permanently better'?"

Naive, in desperate need of hope, whatever. You didn't cause this, you can't fix it (not that anything's broken), just do what you need to do and be patient with all parties involved. Don't wonder if you should be doing things differently; keep trusting your gut. I'm not sure that later children are more easy-going because they're used to being ignored. I think maybe parents freak out a teenytiny bit less because they are distracted by keeping the other children alive, and it makes the baby's crying seem less.

The plus side to her single-mindedness is that when you do pick her up after you selfishly use the bathroom or move clothes into the dryer, all is forgiven.

We went through the exact same stage at almost the exact same time. She will grow out of it I promise! Cute pictures!

Camilla is adorable! And yes, like everyone says, her behavior is completely developmentally appropriate. I wish that I could tell you that child development is a nice linear progression, but after 4 kids I can tell you that it's often more of a 3 steps forward, 2 steps back sorta thing. Babies and kids grow and develop physically, then often the emotional development has to catch up, resulting in behavior issues. Separation anxiety peaks at around 8 months old or so - but comes back a bit around 2 years old. In my house, tantrums peak around 3 years old, fade away, then come back for an encore around 5 years old, along with some independence and defiance, which seems to make a re-appearance around 10 years old. Fun, huh? Just a little window into the future for you! :-)

Don't worry - continue doing what you're doing - loving Camilla and making her feel secure - and all will be fine! Just try to enjoy the ride - parenting is such an awesomely fun challenge! :-)


One thing I used with my son to get some quick peace (i.e to pee or some other selfish act : ) is to place him in his crib with his mobile running. It gave me about 3 min to run to another room for something sans baby. Also try singing or talking to her as you leave the room and continuing until you return to let her know you're still there, just not visible. Some games of silly peek-a-boo through the door way before you go could make it easier too.

And as another wise woman told me... "it's all a phase and just when you figure them out, they change"

I don't have children (yet), but I study child development by profession, so I'll bite :) It's very normal and probably has to do with a new physical skill, as others have suggested. When babies start crawling around 7-9 months, separation anxiety is at its peak. You can never hold a baby too much in the first year. By being responsive to her needs, you're teaching her that she should feel safe to explore and learn when she is old because you will always be there. A great resource on socio-emotional development in young children: It sounds like you are doing everything exactly right.

It could be that she is beginning to develop object permanence. In the first few months, babies don't realize a world exists beyond what they see in front of them, so you are in some ways out of sight/ out of mind. She may be beginning to realize that you are just around the corner and testing out the fact that she can elicit a response from you (this is good!). To see where her object permanence is, you can take a favorite toy and put it in front of her until she focuses on it. Then hide the toy under a blanket right in front of her. Does she still reach for the toy? What if it's partially hidden?

Yup, it's just normal separation anxiety. hang in there with your attachment style parenting and by her first birthday she is likely to be more relaxed again.

You're doing great!

Mary, mom to 8, and hoping/prayerfully planning for two more

I went out and bought a fantastic book - it was recommended by Moxie, actually. It's called the Wonder Weeks, and it explains the way babies develop different skill sets in predictable time frames, and how they act a bit different (maybe more clingy, maybe more waking up at night, maybe feeding a bit more/less) as they approach the 11, 19, 26, 37, 46, and 55 week milestones. It gives you lists of skills to look for and see if they're developing, games you can do to help them along with it, and how to cope with the resulting "symptoms" of their learning, which really means their little brains are a bit fried from all the learning that's going on. Seriously, it's a great book. Courtesy of Moxie, via me. :)

That last picture is precious. And of course I have no idea what to do with a screechy baby, but you can always ship her off to Seattle the next time one of you needs to wash your hands. Long distance babysitting! (And I love how I can totally SEE Bryan saying that now!)

I recently met a blog friend. She had just moved into my state and drove to the middle of nowhere to be there for me at Princess' funeral. She lives near my parents, so now I have an awesome new friend who really gets the infertility and adoption talking.

can't...resist...lure...of...advice...solicitation... Um, except I don't know. My firstborn was just like that... she nursed 24/7 for the longest time, had to be near me, hated to go to sleep without me until almost a year old, the whole shebang. The next baby (a boy) wasn't nearly so clingy. I don't think I parented that differently, except of course I *had* to attend to older daughter so I couldn't respond to #2's every cry instantly. But I really think they just have two very different personalities. (and I was very lucky that my super high needs kid came first!). So my not-so-definitive answer is: Some babies are like that. And they have some days/weeks/months where they are extra clingy. Go figure. ;-)

So normal. My 10 month old is just now starting to get past this. When he was a the height of it, he couldn't stand to see anybody walk in the 'away from baby' direction. If he would see me go past a doorway, he would flip out. Once he freaked out when he saw my husband walking away from him on video. He was sitting in my husband's lap at the time!!!! My technique is just to try to grin and bear it. Sometimes she'll have to cry (hand washing for example) and sometimes you will be able to hold her. Eventually, she'll grow out of it and you'll breathe a sigh of relief.

::delurking to play devil's advocate::

::also qualifying this statement by saying that my two daughters are night and day opposites in the personality department::

Babies are creatures of habit. They like the things that they like, and they don't like it when the things they like are taken away. So, in responding *immediately* to her every cry, you've trained her to know that every time she gripes, you'll pick her up. Which is great, except for when it's not.

She's at the age now when she's better able to interact with her surroundings, and she can be left alone for a few minutes to figure out how to entertain herself - bouncing in an exersaucer, laying in the crib watching the mobile go around, shaking rattles, etc. The trick is in teaching her to understand that not being held by mommy doesn't spell impending doom. It's even good for her. Try laying (sitting, propping, etc.) her on the floor and interacting with her from a distance of just a few feet. You're there, but not *right* there. Then, gradually increase the distance. Eventually, she'll figure out that if you go into the kitchen, but she can still hear you, she can play for a minute and be fine.

Alternately, let her fuss or cry for a few minutes (talking soothingly to her all the while) until you finish your task - washing hands, making bed, etc. By letting her go for a minute, but always coming back, you're teaching her patience and building her independence. It's not going to ruin her trust in you, and it's not going to hurt her a bit.

::relurking, having offered my two cents' worth of assvice::

First of all, I am so jealous that you and Maggie got to meet each other. I want to meet my internet friends. You should come to Boston! We have to introduce the kids anyway, since they're going to get married.

Second, in reading yesterday's edition of "Purple is a Fruit," Linda said she found out at Riley's doctor visit that he's currently growing 8 molars, and that certainly explains his recent behavior. It occurred to me that Camilla might also be teething, and that might be what is making her so clingy. Just a thought.

I'm no expert on teething, though, because I've been thinking that Jack is teething for about 3 months now. No teeth yet.

Agree to the "normal stage, object permanence, etc., etc." A big YES to the teething. I know it's annoying to hear about how teething causes everything, but it's actually true. There are all kind of chemical things that go on in a little teething body that just screw everything up! Homeopathic Chamomilla (or Hylands teething tablets) might help a lot. It's totally safe, $7.00 at a health food store.

And I do think it helps to let a baby cry a little and then see that you do come back.

She's normal - perfectly normal! And you didn't do anything wrong to screw her up. It's a phase (like most things) that all 3 of my kids wenth through (5 year old twin and a 2 year old) and I can promise you it will end. It may come back later on, but it will end!

It sounds to me like you are doing just fine with Camilla. Especially the wine before noon - I know that after a long car trip sometimes I need a little pick me up too.

Yes, a phase, developmentally appropriate, and yes, she will outgrow it! My daughter was extremely high needs as a baby...she is now a very independent 6 year-old. You are doing an awesome job meeting her needs. Keep up the good work!

Yep, totally normal. Like some of the other commenters said, possibly teething or the beginning of some separation anxiety. A frustrating phase, to be sure, but a phase nonetheless...hang in there! It will get better.

I thought you might find it interesting to know that in my Integrated Social Sciences class it was explained how the mind of a child works and at her age scientists believe the mind works in such a fashion that when you leave their field of vision (we did not discuss audible)it is as if you are completely gone and consistency in returning to them is the only thing that will eventually (emphasized) make them remain calm and trust your disappearance.

The amusing thing about this class is this was only a small part of it while a class completely devoted to the family here just encouraged women to abort children. I had a class after this woman's class and so I usually sat outside and read (and sometimes listened) to her opinion on the family. A rough synopsis is:
Men are horrible raping bastards.
Childbirth is the worst experience in life (I overheard her saying to the TA after class one day that she did not want to show the students the part of the birthing video where it went well because she didn't want them thinking it could be easy).
Abortions have no long term side effects and are an efficacious means of birth control.
I think I learned more valuable lessons about the rearing of children in the class completely unrelated than the one I sat outside that was completely devoted to it.

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