How to Deal With Baby’s Separation Anxiety. Need Advice!

Today’s post is from Jill Cordes, a new mom and host of My First Baby. Please share your tips and advice with her in the comments below.

When one of my sitters, Wendy, walks into our apartment, Fia instantly lights up, reaches out her arms and dives into Wendy. I say goodbye and exit. No problem.

Another sitter, Jen, does the same thing. No fuss, just smiles and giggles. Both have been with Fia a few hours a week since almost the beginning. But now they have full time jobs, so I began a nanny share with my neighbor’s woman, who I’ll call G.

I’ve known G for 4 years. I’ve seen her with my neighbor’s son. There is no one better. She is a lovely woman with a lively spirit, full of warmth, and a huge love of babies. So what’s the problem?

Every time she walks into our apartment—or I drop her off at the neighbor’s, Fia instantly begins to cry. Then wails.  And this has happened several times a week for over a month now. I feel awful for all of us. I don’t want G to think Fia doesn’t like her. I don’t want Fia to be sad. And I don’t want to do away with a sitter entirely. Then I’d never write this blog again.  Or be sane. Or grocery shop. Or clean my house. (Remember, I have a no-nap baby unless she’s in the car seat. And I don’t have a car!). Sigh.

I’m writing to you moms and experts asking for help.

Here’s my theory—G began sitting for Fia just as she was getting separation anxiety. So I think she now associates G with mommy leaving. I have tried playing with both of them, then exiting. I have tried having G come over in the middle of Fi’s nap, so she’s there when she wakes up and not me (so that there is no “passing of torch,” err baby). So far, nothing has worked.

G insists it doesn’t bother her, and promises that as soon as I Ieave, Fi is fine. But the leaving is gut wrenching. And it leaves me full of self-doubt and worry (dear lord, wait until she’s a teenager. Can you imagine the wreck I’ll be??).

Moms who have been through this before – do you have any tricks up your sleeve? I’m looking for any advice on how to break the association between G and me leaving. Please help!

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