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My wife picks up my daughter from daycare at the end of the day and goes home to get dinner ready and do some chores as she waits for me to get home. My daughter is 7 months old. When she gets home she changes my daughter and feeds her a bottle. When my daughter is picked up she is happy as a clam. When my wife puts my daughter down in the same room or in a different room she just starts screaming. It has gotten so bad that my wife has gotten overly frustrated and I have had to give her some time to herself to de-stress as I arrive home an hour later and she stops. She only does this at the end of the day. My wife can't hold her everyday after work, nothing she needs to do or wants to do would get done. Is the screaming a phase? We do leave her to play on her own periodically depending on what is going on in a different room or in the same room and she is fine. It seems that this week things have gotten a lot LOUDER with her. Anything I can do to curb this behavior or save my wife some sanity till I get home?

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"Is the screaming a phase?" Well, sort of. In terms of infant crying, yes - but for the reasons you stated, it just presents in different ways as they get older. At 7 months, your daughter is just about to enter the separation anxiety beginnings. It's not a need to panic, but it is a need to come to have realistic expectations about what this means. Your daughter, who probably to this point has been relatively easy going (crying out of hunger, being tired or having a wet diaper) is now going to start having emotions that are directly related to the amount of separation she has from her mother.

It's really important, critical even, that both you and your wife realize there is nothing you can do to "curb" her anxiety. As her parents, it's your job to help her through it as best as all of you can. You also have to understand it's going to get worse before it gets better.

The severity of separation anxiety an infant/young tod presents with is dramatically different from one child to another. Most psychologists agree on one thing though: you should only be nervous if your child shows NO signs of separation anxiety. In fact, most also agree that an attached child will naturally have a bit more separation anxiety than one who hasn't formed a strong bond with a primary caregiver, however that doesn't mean the reverse is true - in other words, a child who doesn't exhibit extreme separation anxiety isn't necessarily because of not being attached, it could very likely just be their temperament.

Some things to help you and your wife:

  1. Baby wearing!! It is an absolute lifesaver at that age. I wore my son daily until he was about 11 months, because there was no way to get things done otherwise. As a single mom, with only two hands, I was able to cook, clean and exercise with baby strapped on my back.

  2. Come up with a routine and stick to it. Being a parent is hard work, and honestly even though some things get easier, other things get harder as they grow up. So come up with a routine that helps you each get a good break each day, and make it flexible enough that if it isn't working, you try something else.

  3. Your wife is probably battling a bit of an inner personal struggle with balancing work during the day parenting in the evenings. As a working mom myself, it's hard to switch modes. It's hard to not get a break in the roles. Except for when I'm in my car, I'm either an employee at my job or I'm a mom. There's very little time to be responsible/accountable to no one but myself. Depending on your wife's personality, that can be very defeating - knowing you basically at this point live for other people.

So again it's really important that you work together as a team and go the extra mile for each other. Boost each other up, give each other high fives, put on a smile even when you're beyond exhausted, but most importantly remember that a) it IS a phase (just one of them though, sorry) and b) your daughter needs her connection with both of her parents affirmed - she comes first - dishes CAN wait if it means not leaving your daughter to cry.

  • Thank you for your answer. This was a huge help in reaffirming us. – JukEboX Oct 8 '16 at 2:18
  • Good answer, and +1 for "baby wearing". We also used that, and found it both good for our child and quite practical. – sleske Oct 12 '16 at 11:20

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