Friday, April 23, 2010

Separation anxiety

As a dog trainer, I often have to help pet parents with dogs suffering from separation anxiety of varying degrees of intensity. However, when it comes to the Baby Beast, I'm at something of a loss.

I know it's normal for a baby to have no desire to be separated from it's mother. In fact, I'd worry about a baby who didn't mind Mommy leaving it behind; that's not evolutionarily sound! If babies didn't get upset about Mommy leaving, the likelihood of them dying is increased. Babies who can watch Mommy walk away without raising a fuss might be forgotten and left behind, and babies left behind are at risk of predation and death.

Of course, in our modern world, it's not terribly likely that a tiger is going to eat the Baby Beast if I leave him behind with the Husbeast or his loving Grandma while I go to work or out to a non-baby-friendly appointment somewhere. But that doesn't change his reaction.

Since I am so able to help others with dogs suffering separation anxiety, it never occurred to me that I might have to figure out how to struggle through separation anxiety in my own home. Of course, I didn't take into account the fact that I'd have a non-canine individual dependent on me.

So, I'm in uncharted waters. How to best comfort the Baby Beast without creating a needy, clinging, totally dependent child with no self-confidence? The timing of author Elizabeth Pantley's newest book just couldn't be better.

I first met Mrs. Pantley through The No-Cry Sleep Solution when I was having issues with getting - and keeping - the Baby Beast into the Land of Sleep. That problem resolved with some of the tactics presented in TNCSS, but then a new issue cropped up: nap-time wakings, after only a tiny bit of sleep.

I wandered through TNCSS several times trying to figure out how to apply these things to the naps, and around that time, stumbled across a forum posting about Pantley's The No-Cry Nap Solution.I read this, applied a few reimagined tips, and voila! He was napping like a baby (Beast).

So when I heard about Mrs. Pantley's newest book, The No-Cry Separation Anxiety Solution, I knew what would be next on my to-read list.

I love Mrs. Pantley's matter-of-fact way of approaching sleep problems, and I'm sure I'll love her separation anxiety solutions. If you're interested in Mrs. Pantley's other books (and there are scads), check out her Web site:

As with everything I recommend, I want to emphasize that you read it and find what works for you. Find something in it that resonates with you. Not everything in every book works for everyone. For example, in the sleep books, Mrs. Pantley recommends doing some modified cry-it-out techniques, something I would never do with my children... so I don't do it. I use the other gems of advice in the books to work for our family.

So, hopefully I'll be able to get my hands on the book soon, and no longer have to look at a pitifully crying, hands-reaching-towards-me-in-a-"Don't-leave-me!" gesture baby when I'm heading out the door... even if it is an evolutionarily wise choice for him to not want me to go.

No comments:

Post a Comment