Author Topic: 8mo separation anxiety disrupting naps - screaming!  (Read 128 times)

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Offline mamatea

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8mo separation anxiety disrupting naps - screaming!
« on: June 19, 2017, 00:51:33 am »
Hi, all.  :) I've received invaluable help here before and I'm hoping for a little more.  I'm on my third child so you'd think I'd be old hat at this, but we all know each child is different.

My DD is 8 1/2 mo old. As of a week or so ago her naps have gone to pot! I've tried many different techniques and she's getting worse not better.  Here's my analysis:
1. I tried to make sure she wasn't OT or UT by extending wake time and then backing off again. It's not making a difference
2. She's teething but she's been teething since 4 months and it's never altered her sleep before
3. I think she's having a severe case of separation anxiety as she cries when I turn a corner now, so I think she's waking at naps when sleep is not as deep for her and when I'm not there she gets panicked.

I hope someone can give me some good tips to help with the anxiety as I don't want to just wait for the phase to pass when it could mean terrible naps for a month or two.

Here's her schedule:

7:30 wake and nurse
8:30 breakfast solids
10:15 sleep ritual to set the stage
10:30 nap - normally she'd sleep 1.5 hours here sometimes with a quick giving paci back at 45 minutes to resettle. Currently, though she won't settle after 45 minutes or will even wake after 30 minutes and scream. A couple times she's resettled after pu/pd with shhh for 15 minutes but as of today NOTHING is working and I worked with her till her next feed with no success!

11:30/12 nurse
12:30 lunch solids
2:30 nap - repeat above

3:30/4 nurse
5:30 dinner solids
7:00 start bedtime routine and nurse + bottle
7:30 bed (sometimes she needs help to resettle after the first 45 minutes but she'll sleep all night till 7:30 am unless she's sick

And btw, I just recently upped her wake from 2.5 to 3 so I don't think she can go longer. Plus her sleep cues of staring off into space and rubbing eyes are strong at 3 hours

Again, who else thinks this is a separation anxiety problem? ??? And who has tips to help me minimize this phase - any help please!! Thanks! :-*






Offline creations

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Re: 8mo separation anxiety disrupting naps - screaming!
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2017, 10:47:28 am »
Hi there and welcome back :)

Although you've already increased her A time it could still be a bit on the short side for her age and development. it could even be that during this phase of SA she needs to be super tired to be able to settle down to a proper sleep so that rather than reaching the end of a sleep cycle and thinking "oh dear where's mummy?" she can more easily transition into the next cycle (even with your help if you need to go in to resettle or use a W2S which can also help with the sleep disturbance caused by SA as she doesn't need to fully wake to cry for you, you are already there reassuring and she stays drowsy then sleeps again).  I would probably try 3hr 10 or 3hr 15 for a few days and possibly increasing to 3hr 30 in the next couple of weeks.  This wouldn't be considered too long for her age, many 6 month olds are on 3hr A time.

Phases of SA I always found the easiest thing to do was full on reassure by carrying LO around everywhere with me during the day, I found I had to put all the non-essentials to one side and just spend my time with DS.  The absolute essential things i had to get done I took him with me to another room to do them, spoke to him constantly and if I had to leave the room I said where I was going and "I'm coming back" then go as fast as I could to grab his food or whatever from the kitchen and when I returned say "I'm back". The words become like a key phrase which seems to help with reassurance during SA. I believe the phase passes more quickly or at least less stressfully if we accept that LO needs us much more and just give that additional reassurance until their confidence builds again.
There's lots of info on this SA FAQ:
https://babywhispererforums.com/index.php?topic=62612.0

hope this helps


Offline mamatea

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Re: 8mo separation anxiety disrupting naps - screaming!
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2017, 19:17:06 pm »
Thanks for the information!

I increased her A to 3:15 - sometimes she simply can't go that long though.

Overall she's doing better with putting herself back to sleep. It seemed to culminate during the night of all times! A few nights ago she woke around midnight and I did the pu/pd shh for over 3 hours! After that her day sleep gradually improved too.

Today she squeaked at 30 minutes, went back to sleep on her own, and I had to wake her after 1 1/2 hours total nap. We'll see if it continues on this good path over the next few days. I hope so. It breaks my heart when she's crying and doesn't want to sleep because she misses me and she strokes my face as I'm doing the pu/pd.  :'(

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Re: 8mo separation anxiety disrupting naps - screaming!
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2017, 22:27:58 pm »
Wow that was a marathon night.  Some nights are like that unfortunately. It's great things have improved though.

I know it's heart breaking when they cry so much! Remind yourself that you are not leaving her so she is always supported and she knows she is safe and cared for.