Monday, January 25, 2010

The Babycenter weekly update ...

from: Babycenter - your 7 month old's development - I have to share this and include my own commentary(in italics) ...

"If you have yet to hire a babysitter or spend much time away from your baby, you're not alone. That said, there are good reasons to get away from your baby every once in a while — if not for your sake, then for his. Short separations help him adjust to other people and become more socialized — and may even help "inoculate" him against full-blown separation anxiety before it hits." 
-- LOL "inoculate him" Boy, do we wish that was the case.  Our little man has been experiencing extreme (literally, this is our doctor's word) separation anxiety since I returned to work in October.  His separation anxiety began and continues despite the fact we have exposed him to lots of people (we don't live in a 3 person bubble) since his birth and we did practice short separations prior to my return to work.  His separation anxiety has caused innumerable problems and has been the source of considerable stress for us because it's 100% of the time when Urban Cowbaby is not with me or Urban Cowboy.  It's been such a difficult struggle to know what the "right" thing to do is regarding his care, our family life, and our professional careers.

also from: Babycenter - your 7 month old's development - again with my commentary (in italics):

The beginnings of separation anxiety

If your baby is like most at this age, he's showing signs of separation anxiety. Far from being a cause for concern, stranger anxiety is a sign of your baby's growing understanding of the world around him. 
-- Our doctor has used the phrase "cognitively advanced" to describe Urban Cowbaby's early awareness of strangers and his separation anxiety.  Apparently, he's "too aware" or, in the words of the article, maybe he's too understanding of his world (which is Urban Cowboy and myself, essentially).  It's nice, I guess, that the doctor is "impressed" (also his words) with our son's cognitive development but it's also frustrating because of the complications his extreme separation anxiety continues to cause.

 Earlier, when you left the room, your baby was hardly phased. Now he knows that you're gone — and he's able to picture you and miss you — and may begin to cry as soon as you're out of his sight.
-- Urban Cowbaby has been "phased" when we leave the room for what seems like his entire life (only 7 months, but still...).  Urban Cowboy and I have been practicing leaving the room and returning games with him for some time now. When it's just us at home, and when Urban Cowbaby is not tired, all goes well and he (mostly) happily continues his play.  When another person, even someone he's been exposed to regularly since birth, is added to the mix he becomes extremely anxious and upset when we leave the room; however, if Urban Cowboy remains in the room with Urban Cowbaby he generally does not get anxious or upset.

Your baby's reluctance to be separated from you may delight you or just plain frustrate you at times. If you head out to do an errand and your baby's staying home, shower him with loads of hugs and kisses before you head out the door and tell him you'll be back shortly. He won't understand that you'll be returning in an hour, but the love and affection might comfort him and tide him over until he sees you again.
-- I try not to be too frustrated by Urban Cowbaby's separation anxiety because I'm fully aware that when he is 15 years old I am going to be the last person he wants to hang out with.  I try to appreciate the fact that right now I am one of his favorite things in life and without me he is sad and lonely (LOL).  Yet, considering his unwillingness to even hang out with his grandparents sans parents, it's sometimes exceedingly difficult to not be frustrated.  Combine that with my continued desire to maintain a professional presence and the result is one very complex and stressful situation.  If is he "cognitively advanced" as our doctor suggests, why does he not understand that we will not leave him with someone else forever (he's stuck with us for life, you know) and that we will not leave him with someone we don't feel is unqualified to properly care for him?

Also, try to have a ritual of leaving that he can rely on each time you go and leave him with someone he's familiar with. That way, if he can't have Mom or Dad, at least he'll feel happy with his temporary caretaker.
--So, in conclusion, the latest Babycenter update on our son's development is extremely timely considering today was the first day with the new(est) childcare provider. All I ask is that people continue to pray and have faith that this is a) the right person - the person Urban Cowbaby feels safe with and can form an attachment to and b) the best solution for our little family's sanity and well-being (mentally/emotionally/physically).

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