So we have a beautiful one-year-old daughter and she has always been a daddy‘s girl up until about a week ago. She started freaking out anytime her dad will go to hold her, change her, or even trying to feed her. She’s fine if I’m around or if someone else is around but say if we are in our bedroom watching TV and I step out of the room and leave her with him she starts screaming bloody murder and freaking out until I get back and he can’t calm her down.

She does seem to start getting more attached to me the older she gets but she’s always loved her “daddy & me time” up until a week ago. Like I said she has never acted like this with him before so I’m hoping it’s just a phase.

What can I do, because it’s breaking his heart and upsetting him that she wants nothing to do with him?

  • 3
    Mine were the same. It doesn’t last long in the grand scheme of things. Hang in there. Jul 19, 2018 at 21:37
  • 1
    Did her father recently change anything in his appearance? Grow a beard for example? Jul 20, 2018 at 6:55
  • No he hasn’t changed anything other than the fact that he might be a little bit more stressed than usual so I don’t know if she is sensing that and doesn’t like it Jul 20, 2018 at 19:47

1 Answer 1


The problem is likely not related to dad, but mostly to the fact that you left the room. You might find that if the baby is very distracted, like with a novel person or very fascinating toy, she might not be as upset about you leaving, and that could account for why leaving her with dad plus another person doesn't start the tears.

Developmentally, a one year old is pretty much at the peak of separation anxiety, as she is now aware that you are a person separate from herself, and can chose to move away from her or even leave her.

A description of your separation and return, repeated reassuringly, might help a little, but for the most part you can look for her to move past this stage in the coming few months. For now, try telling her "Mommy is going to go downstairs now, but I will be back in a short time." Then on your return, "I always come back for you, my dear!"

There's a pretty high chance that around the time that she has become confident and assured of your ability to leave and return reliably, she'll switch to panicking any time dad leaves the room, and then in the course of time, accept that he can leave and return as well. My 14 month old has just made the switch from "mom leaving me with dad is devastating" to "dad leaving me with mom is devastating" with a brief "no parent can leave the room without a meltdown" stage in the interim.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .