The Wonder Weeks app on my phone stopped at 18 months, which was a few weeks ago for us. In case you are wondering what the app is all about, it helps to explain more or less when to expect a development leap, and what to expect from it. It also gives some handy tips on what you can do to assist the toddlers through the difficult patches. I digress, when the app stopped I half assumed that the crabby, clingy, crying weeks where I wonder where my sanity went – would too. Separation anxiety hit us pretty bad last week, and let me tell you it’s harder than it sounds.

separation anxiety

I mean how hard can it possibly be to have a little person need 100% of your attention 20 hours a day? Not that tough surely, you are a mom. You love this kid. He’s a part of you. Like a tail, in the bathroom, in the kitchen, under your feet. Muuuuummmmmmyyyyyy, muuuummmmmyyyyyyyyyy, I vaguely recall hoping for him to say mummy first. Ha! What a novice I was! Ha ha ha, I’m just kidding – well kind of.

This last phase cost me a lot of sleep. I’m not sure if he is having bad dreams. Or if his brain is working overtime and he’s just not able to go back to sleep. But hell, his sleeping has sucked. I’m talking every 15 minutes whether I am next to him or not. A lot of sleep, a lot of patience and some of my healthy hair colour too. Joh! Hello tantrums! Hello strange child throwing things at me? Where is my sweet boy?

The great news is it is just a phase!

It was just a phase and although we still have some clingy, sometimes over-the-top behaviour when he gets home at night, the night waking is over (touch wood!). Either that, or my body is too tired to hear him waking up next to me. The other awesome news is that this is a developmental stage and is apparently really healthy! I know, it doesn’t feel that way at all. However now that they are a little older, they realise more that you can go away from them. They know you will come back, but their understanding of time is limited.

separation anxiety

This is most of the reason, the why – but also it’s just difficult on them as well. When I think of how the world gets overwhelming for me sometimes too, realising I’m not learning to understand stuff. The thick layering that is the systems,  how things work, and and and –  it must get pretty tough! Ah shame – my heart whines, and then my mind, my mind is like.. HUH? Tell me again, tonight at 2am when I haven’t slept a wink.

Daniel has gone from just words, to two-to-three worded sentences during this phase. It has been so incredible to see! This is by no means, is the standard, some babies get to this much earlier or later. I just noticed that around this time – his development has been immense! The Wonder Weeks app and knowing that although the phase is difficult, it’s also beneficial and has, helped me look out for these milestones.

I’ve read a few things that stood out for me in terms of tips for this difficult time. The biggest being to stay in your routine as far as possible. In other words, don’t make changes to adjust to the new phase, as far as possible. We kept bath times, and the bedtime routine exactly the same for the 2-3 weeks and he slipped right back into it after it moved over. I know that many children develop bad habits during this time hence the tip to stay in your routine. Other than that, get some rescues… for yourself. Sleep when you can. Eat what you like – because you need all the strength you can get and love yourself. Lastly but definitely not least – GET COFFEE!

In the Meantime – How was your experience with separation anxiety? I’ve heard some are still experiencing it in the older years.. Let me know in the comments!

11 Comments on Separation anxiety in toddlers – It’s a thing!

  1. I think this phase comes and goes. It’s not lekker but hey it’s just a phase for the tiny people. That app sounds lovely. Also toddlers are smart, mine gets rude if I’m on my phone too much.

  2. Seperation anxiety is the mother of all heart tuggers…It sucks so hard when your child is in this anxious state, wanting to be with you. Joshua had it really bad especially and it lasted all the way to 3. I thought he was going to have a stroke going to school for the first time, being away from us…needless to say he thrived and we had an idea of putting him in 2 days a week, we quickly had to change our budget so he could go 5 days a week! He is still the kid that prefers to be around us though, his parents. Last weekend he wouldn’t go out, preferring to stay home with me.

    Adam again, major anxiety when it comes to his dad, no idea when he will outgrow it! Wakes up crying for G, walks around the house looking for him at any given time. Insane.

    Good luck! This too shall pass 🙂

    • Shame Josh is such a sensitive little fellow 🙂 I’m sure your heart sings for it though! Can you imagine how G feels with that. I think God knows why I cant have that touch wood. I would go mental!

  3. My daughter is two. She cant let go off me. Ive begun to wonder whether the seperation anxiety is from both sides now.. once my daughter hits the public she starts behaving as though her father is a stranger and as if im going to run away. When we visit Durban, she just can’t leave my side and starts howling if im out of sight!

    Congratulations on getting out of this seperation amxiety drama ..its too hectic

  4. I really loved this read. Thank you for sharing. Went through this last week with Lizzy and have to remind myself that it is just a phase.

    • Yeah it’s so difficult when you are in it – I actually took time of social media because I just wasnt coping. I was only actually able to write this after… but yes – just a phase. Thanks for stopping by T! xx

  5. My Fournado went through a horrible phase with separation when I would drop her off at school last year. It was very tough on her, and possibly even more so on me. But we made it. I often feel like motherhood really is just swapping one phase for another. You’re lucky if it’s just one child’s phase at a time, but often these different phases overlap, and that’s when the fun starts! lol

    • Ahhhh this is very true! It usually is so much tougher on us. But you are right about the kids – Emilie’s phase is completely different but makes this one shit hard lol!! Fun you say lol!

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