Where Did Mommy Go?
Ironically, just as a baby learns to crawl and can get away from you, he may also realize that he's terrified if you're out of his sight. He often brings this on himself by crawling into another room or rounding a corner. Of course, his hysteria at being separated from you (or any other trusted primary caregiver) can also be brought on when you leave, even if he's in the care of someone he knows. This phenomenon of being so attached to one person that a baby mistrusts all others is called separation anxiety. Most babies experience it in varying degrees between 7 and 9 months, even if they were chortling in the arms of any stranger just a month ago.
Don't worry, though. Separation anxiety is a sign that your baby is emotionally attached to you, and that, of course, is a very positive development.
From the Doctor
Pediatrician Sarah DuMond, MD, recommends: Take a couple of small toys from home with you to your next well-baby visit. They'll keep your little one busy while you're waiting, but they're also great tools for doctors to assess your baby's fine motor development. She's much more likely to demonstrate how well she transfers objects from one hand to another, or picks something up with a pincer grasp, if she has her own familiar rattle or toy instead of a boring reflex hammer or unfamiliar office toy.
Holly Robinson lives with her five children outside of Boston.
Originally published in American Baby magazine, December 2006.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.