Motherhood

Toby at the Playground

My lovelies, how’s your week going? A few readers have asked for an updated Toby photo, so here he is at the playground down the street. We joke that he looks like a tourist in his camera sweatshirt and taxi legwarmers. :)

One sweet update: At nine months old, he’s started getting separation anxiety. He wants me around all the time, and when I leave the house (or even the room), he completely freaks out and dissolves into tears. I have to say, it’s pretty endearing (at least I know he loves me:). But if I’m working from home and need to go into the living room, I have to tiptoe by him and the babysitter with a pillow covering my head so he won’t see me! I feel like I’m in a Charlie Chaplin movie. Mamas, have your little ones gotten separation anxiety?

(Toby is wearing a sweatshirt from Smallable, a bike onesie from A Little Lark, striped wool pants from Mabo, taxi legwarmers and the welcome hat from Oeuf. Since most of his clothes so far have been gifts, he’s usually way better dressed that I am!)

  1. Your son son is the most adorable creature I’ve ever seen in my whole life!

  2. So sweet! This picture reminded me of when my kids were so tiny, just makes my heart melt a little :)

  3. Really adoring little Toby’s outfit- he’s such an angel!

  4. I remember watching a friend crawl across the living room to make it out of her house unseen by her toddler! So you’re not the only one with the stealth moves! :D
    He looks a lot like you in this pic!

  5. Pat says...

    you have a beautiful boy. kisses from Portugal!

  6. Susanbnyc says...

    Ahhh … we miss that playground so much. We lived accross the street w/ 2 kids a dog and the 2 of us in a STUDIO … that playground was our livingroom.

  7. So freakin’ cute! Nine months was one of my favorite baby stages with my Little Dude, who is now 17 months old. My son’s separation anxiety first appeared at 8 months and faded within a week. However, it peaked at 12 months, which I understand is common, and returns every now and again. I, too, work from home and have had to find stealth ways to move about the house. Now that he’s mobile, though, he knows how and where to find me. So, I’ve found the best way to conquer it is to let him know where I am if he needs me and/or occupy him with a super fun activity that is more desirable than seeing Mama in the immediate. His grandma usally takes him to the park or bakes with him.

  8. Hi Joanna,
    As a mother of a now 9 year old boy, I still remember when he went through “Separation Anxiety” around 9 months…it drove me crazy and seemed to last forever( I also have 2 daughters, one older and one younger and they never experienced this)and didn’t know how to handle it and probably didn’t do it very well at the time. We all survived and interestingly enough he is my child that still likes to hold my hand when we walk to school(no public kisses, though)but then walks into his classroom w/o even a wave goodbye.
    Working from home makes it more tricky, but hopefully the weather will finally get warmer here on the east coast and your sitter can start to take him out more and they can have fun exploring the neighborhoods. Dominic’s sitter took him everywhere and it made it so much easier for me. He and his sitter had a great time and developed such a special bond and I was able to get stuff done.
    So, sorry for the wordiness, but his clinging won’t last forever. So hang in there!

  9. I think the BIG problem is that you work from home and he is with his babysitter in the same apartment.
    I did a lot of baby sitting before I had my own kids and the worst is when the parents are at home – when the parents sad godby and whent away for the day or the weekend – I dident have any problem – and HE knows you are around, I´m sure and ofcourse you are his first chouse.
    You make sure the babysitter know that you are AT work from one time to another and if you dont just pop up and then leave again from time to time – He will get used to it at things will work out fine!!!

  10. Yes, my daughter gets separation anxiety… She is four and a half…
    It’s hard but all children are different, she will stretch her boundaries when she’s ready….
    Before I know it she’ll be dating etc. So… I’m just enjoying our time together…

  11. Oh my I adore that camera shirt and hat on him! He is a charmer for sure.

  12. Oh jeepers, my little guy is about two weeks younger than Toby and I definitely know what you’re talking about.

    Cute, cute, cute as a button that boy is!

    xo

    Heather

  13. I need a Toby warning, that boy gives me mad baby fever. xoxo

  14. those are the coolest leg warmers I’ve seen! These don’t exist in France either. I’d have to get some from Etsy. My little one hasn’t experienced separation anxiety (yet?) probably because I’ve been leaving him with the nanny every day since he’s five months old. Oh, and about the not crawling yet. I wouldn’t worry about it. He’ll probably go straight to walking – double trouble! :) xx

  15. Yup, he’s almost 18 months old now and i have to take a shower in the guest room where he can see thru the door, otherwise, total crying fit.

  16. Glenda says...

    love the pic of Toby. he’s adorable. yes, my daughter went through separation anxiety from a year and half until she turned three that i put her in pre-school twice a week and she did just fine.

  17. lol this is an adorable picture and story to match!

  18. Your baby is so adorable. Love to see his sweet face on your blog.

  19. j. says...

    My little one just turned a year but still has separation anxiety. I find that most of the time i can sneak away when she’s happily distracted with her dad however, there are other times when she loses it completely. In those times I do end up comforting her/bringing her with me etc… I find now too that when i leave the room briefly that I say “i’m right here Charlotte…” so she continues to hear my voice – sometimes that helps. Although on a positive note – her separation anxiety is getting better and only seems to really re-surface when she’s super tired. It’ll pass in time :)
    by the way – Toby is so super cute! :)
    jill

  20. Thank you so much for sharing! Those taxi legwarmers are to die for.

  21. Not to beat a dead horse but those taxi leg warmers are simply too cute :) How funny that you feel Toby dresses better than you :) He sure is a heart melter! xx Cat

  22. just today we talked about the subject separation .. beside writing a blog I work in a center for children and parents and there were 2 moms today discussing this today over at the coffe meetings for mums I organize It mostly starts after 6 months.. just the time when you think everything is going smooth haha Happily there are some things you can do to help the little ones ;)

  23. Your little man is adorable! I love the camera t-shirt and he is by far the cutest tourist ever! Also, I wanted to say great name. I named my all time favorite doll Toby when I was little, after the Toby in the “Wilderness Family” movies. Thanks for such a great blog!

  24. Hi Joanna,
    Toby is so cute!

    I need to take my little girl August (9 months old today!) to the playground! She’s had separation anxiety for a few weeks now and it’s intense! I can’t even go to the bathroom without her crying! And now that she has been crawling everywhere and trying to pull up on things, she’s been attached to my pants’ legs and doesn’t want to be anywhere else!

    How’s Toby sleeping now? August is trying to refuse naps – she just sits in her crib and plays or whines at us! (sigh) But she’s loving to eat and crawl around…what an amazing age, huh!
    -Ginny

    http://www.ginnycook.net

  25. Mega cute!!!

  26. Leslie says...

    Joanna,
    As a new mom, I absolutely love reading your posts on Toby and motherhood! I’ve been wanting to ask you how you handle childcare for Toby during the weekdays. Do you work from home with a baby-sitter? As the end of my maternity leave is on the horizon I’m trying to get as many perspectives as I can. Thanks again for sharing–your blog is one of my favorite daily reads!

  27. I am on my 3rd child, and like clockwork, at 6 months, she already has the separation anxiety kicking in like my other 3 did! So atleast Toby gave you a few months off from it;-) The good news is, the crying will cease and he will get over it eventually. He won’t be heading to junior high crying (however preschool and kindergarten are a different story;-)! At least you know you matter to him and he loves being around you!!

  28. ooohhhh he so sweet!! I love his style, my daughter is 6 months old now and I love dressing her in cute outfits, but here in chile they are not as stylish as in new york !!

  29. Sara UK says...

    I can’t remember how I found it now but I love your blog. As someone who is hoping to start a family soon, i’ve loved that you’ve allowed us to see your journey with Toby from birth to growing into the incredible cuteness that he is. I’m all for freedom of speech but it incenses me that someone feels they have the right to criticise your parenting choices under the guise of ‘anonymous’. Where’s the love in that!? Ps..In some weird turn of fate, that EggWatchers site you posted the other day was created by a friend of mine here in the UK. She was well chuffed when i told her. The internet is a small (but massive) world!

  30. those taxi warmers are super cute

  31. Toby is so charming and stylish!
    he resembles to a perfect porcelain doll with his beautiful skin, eyebrows and eyes:)
    Those rosy cheeks are the only indicators that he’s a real baby :)
    i feel like smooching him :))
    have a great day-it’s mid day already here in Strasbourg :)

  32. i’m fairly certain that this is the park near my sister’s apartment. when we visit, we spend every morning and most afternoons here.

  33. You post such a nice article.I love Toby’s Taxi legwarmers.It looking really cool.He is a well dress kid.

  34. oh i love toby’s bobo choses camera shirt !!
    i want to wear the same…

    i hate to advertise, but i started blogging for Little FrenchTrotters in paris, you may like it…

    have a beautiful end of week !

  35. I am in love with this cute little camera t-shirt! Adorable!!

  36. Joanna! My Mia is 2 and 8 month right now and she’s still got it, but it’s better now. There was a time when I couldn’t do anything without her on me. I had to go and do everything. But I thing that this is babies need and right to demend from us these kind of things… To be honest I see now that babies are really growing out of some behaviours in a time. For example – Mia now can stand the fact and to be honest she doesn’t even look at me when I go for shopping. 2 months later it was something I would never believe she will do it :) So… take Toby’s time :) :)

    Thanks for your great post!!! :)
    xo

  37. oh wow Jo, he has got so big! Such a beautiful boy you have there!

    cannot wait to have kids one day!

    thanks for the update

    x

  38. My son is 2.5 and STILL has separation anxiety! It is slowly getting better, but he is such a mamma’s boy. I think it is the special bond mom’s have with their son’s….but cherish it! Before you know it, you will embarrass them :)

  39. your boy gets cuter and cuter!! Those cheeks!! I have no advice to give as I do not have children yet but please do share when you figure out a “solution” since your insights will come in handy eventually:) xoxo

  40. Anonymous says...

    Here, where I live, in Hungary, it is absolutely unimagineable that you leave such a little baby for a babysitter. Most mums stay at home for 2-3- years, and no, they do not get lot of money for it (150 dollars for a month!) but we do it so. Kids are much more important that a job. And no, we are not a rich country, one salary is absolutly not enough for a whole family, but this is how we di it.

  41. My son who will be 2 in 2 months (it goes by too fast!) had separation anxiety big time with me. He still gets a tad upset when it is time for me to go but its nothing like it used to be (tears, not letting go of me, you get it) I always would explain to me him that mommy has to leave but will come back. Even we he was young I would do this. Now when I am away he will say to whomever he is with “Mommy be right back, mommy at store” Its really cute. The best part is coming home and having him run into my arms. Parenthood is the greatest! When the separation anxiety got really bad and it started I would get frusterated I would remind myself that their childhood is so short lived and to enjoy even the tough moments because someday I will miss them. Soon he will be running off without a look back when he sees his friends….waaaaa!!!!

  42. What a little muffin! So adorable.

  43. This is so darn cute… I can wait on having a baby for so many reasons… but playing dress up is not one of them! Love!

    Hope you’re doing wonderful :)
    B.

    That Girl in Pearls

  44. lucy says...

    unbelievably cute!! xxxx

  45. What cute legwarmers!

  46. Ah, he is so adorable! My 4 month old doesn’t have separation anxiety yet, but it’ll probably hit. There’s always some new dilemma with a baby, right?;)

  47. So adorable. And super stylish. I wonder if I could get away with a onesie… :p

  48. OMG you kid is precious!

  49. Anonymous says...

    Oh, what a sweet baby you have! Toby is growing so fast, thank you for posting this new photo of him!

    And, I second the reader who asked about Alex’s version of the birth story!

  50. aaaaw that’s so sweet. but i remember how it feels! when my daughter, sophia started doing that, i tried not to carry her all the time.
    my hubby works all day so when he comes home, i just let him carry her after he’s rested of course. he loves it anyway. we also got a lot of visits from family so i just let them carry her. so pretty much, i just let her get used to other people.
    now she’s three and all excited to go to school hopefully in march – yikes! it’s my turn to have separation anxiety!
    love reading your blog! hugs and kisses to toby,
    lots of love, ayan

  51. Very cute, I wish it was warm enough to go to the park! My son is 8 months and major separation anxiety, I can only leave the room when he is not looking! I can’t do much for myself with that and him starting to crawl.

  52. That boys got style!

    My baby (now 15 months) never had separation anxiety, kinda wish he did though,I came home saturday and walked in the room all excited and he looked at my and looked away and kept on playing, like no biggie, your home. I don’t think he missed me a bit. :(

  53. Adorable outfit! Thanks for including the links.

    For what it’s worth, my little man (now 3, sob) went through separation anxiety HARD at 9 months. Like you, I kinda liked it. :). He outgrew it eventually (took a few months) and now is more independent than ever. And now Dad is in the running for his favorite. I think I still have a small lead. :)

    So enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. It does go by fast.
    Xo

  54. My sweet 3 year old just decided to develop seperation anxiety. It is oh so awful. But a little part of me takes great delight in knowing that she needs me!

  55. Yes – and my daughter still does now at 11 months. :) Distraction is the key for me right now and encouraging her to explore more on her own, now that she is beginning to move around a bit. It’s so interesting to see what stages they go through – sometimes just for a few days and other times for months! It is wonderful to be loved so much. :)

  56. Can’t even handle the leg warmers!! Too cute

  57. Our 6 month old doesn’t have it yet, but we can see it coming. Good luck. He’s beautiful!

  58. how adorable!

    I have a soon to be 1 year old and he is most definitely suffering from some separation anxiety. I’ve found the best thing is to make a point of letting him play (safely) and discover things on his own for a bit each day and also trying to leave him with daddy, a neighbor, babysitter, whomever… a few times a week so although I leave and he’s not happy about that, he knows that I do always come back.

    It’s hard, for sure, but so sweet and short lived!

  59. Anonymous says...

    Joanna, are any of your recommendations paid for, or compensated? I was looking for your compensation disclosure policy and didn’t see one. Does this mean you buy all the stuff that you recommend?

    Thanks, and I love the Little Lark clothes! So cute (and some are even on sale!)

  60. So nice to see him getting older. He looks so much like both of you!

  61. those taxi legwarmers have got to be the cutest thing ever… well, except for toby himself of course. he is a well-dressed little kiddo.

  62. This outfit is hysterical in the best way possible. I love the shirt! Kids clothes are the best these days!

  63. Cutey cute cute! I have to warn you that the separation anxiety returns at around 15-16 months. My daughter who just turned 16 months clings to me all the time. It’s sweet but I’m also doing the Charlie Chaplin walk a lot too!!! LOL.

  64. What a darling little man!
    I have found the separation anxiety is really bad at two years old — my girl wants mama – all the time. I love it. And the guilt kills me when I need to leave.

  65. omg, i absolutley LOVE his camera shirt! he is one styling lil man! as a photographer, i must say i totally approve of the shirt ;) haha. i can’t wait till my husband and i are ready to have a kid, then i get to buy lil camera printed tees and rocking’ baby converse sneakers to dress my lil one(s) in! :)

  66. Anonymous says...

    Joanna, I hate to be an alarmist, but do you really want to let your darling Toby play in a public sandbox in NY? I’ve read awful, scary things about them, and have suggested to my daughter who also lives in NYC that she may not want her son to play in one. So many other great things to do at playgrounds, you might want to skip the sandbox, especially when he gets to the age where he’s putting everything in his mouth. Just sayin’…..

  67. Yes! Both of my little ones had major cases of S.A.

    J who just turned one still has it.

    I don’t mind though, because it is endearing!

  68. He’s totally styling Joanna! My little one only just started showing separation anxiety-he’s going to be 2 on March 18th. He does the same things Toby is doing:-)

  69. They ALL get separation anxiety. He looks darling.

  70. Joanna, welcome in the club!!! My almost 5 YEARS OLD boy is still asking for me every 2-3 minutes for different reasons. I cannot say it is still separation anxiety, but I would say it might be control anxiety..
    Federica

  71. hello!
    Daniel (10 months old) had the separation anxiety, but we started to play “hide-and-find” (I don´t know the best word in English) and when I have to leave the babysitter start to do something really interesting to him (usually something not allowed). Now, it´s better. I hope I could help you.

    PS- Sorry for my poor English.

    http://www.amenidadeseafins.blogspot.com

  72. Such a cutie! I love his outfit! :) and …yes, my 7 month old just started to get separation anxiety, it is so sad, but so cute at the same time.

  73. Oh my goodness Hes so CUTE!!!


    Pearl

  74. He’s so sweet!

  75. So cute! My kids never went through that phase. They do quite the opposite, actually. Whenever I come to pick them up from the sitter, they freak out and hide! Maybe if you give Toby a little brother or sister, he’ll always have a bud :-) Just sayin’

  76. Oh my gosh, so cute! And I laughed out loud when I get to the end of your post, because I’d been thinking “Dang this kid looks more put together than I do!” (True story.)

    Hope you’re having a nice week!

    XO laura marie

  77. oh these taxi leg warmers are to die for i’m getting some for my nephew :)

  78. mm yes. my two and a half year old son is going through a phase where he tends to get suddenly quite shy around new people — i’m so enjoying being his safe place. toby is so sweet, and i definitely know the feeling of the baby being better dressed than me :)

  79. When is Alex posting his version of the birth story?

  80. No separation anxiety yet, but Owen is not quite 6 months yet. Hmmm, he will be about 10 months old when I leave him for a weekend with dad so I can attend a wedding in LA. Oh dear.

  81. Toby is so cute and what a little boy he is! My Lucas is 10 months and has those Mabo pants and Bobo Choses camera sweatshirt too. Too funny. He doesn’t really get separation anxiety (kind of sad for me in a way?) or at least not yet.

  82. Anonymous says...

    He is adorable! Separation anxiety is so sweet. Luckily, they can be distracted and get over it. What a handsome boy you have.

  83. holy moly. he is adorable!! My little one never went through separation anxiety, but I think it’s because she started having sleepovers at her grandparents house at 2 months old.

  84. a toby outfit post!!! a cup of jo is turning into a streetstyle blog! ;)

    greetings from berlin, máni.

  85. Nine months already? I feel like just yesterday you were on your honeymoon! Most of the children I babysit cry when their parents leave the house. It is heartbreaking, but they forget about it moments later. Hopefully little Toby will outgrow it sooner than later.

    Have a lovely day.

    Amanda

  86. Those cheeks! You must kiss them about 1000 times a day.

    I am laughing so hard over the image of you with a pillow covering your head. Hilarious.

    My kiddo goes through the separation anxiety phase every few months. I try to give him some extra love and then go about my usual business. This week he is super sick and super clingy. I know he loves me but sometimes the love feels oppressive; especially when it is accompanied by a lot of germs. I know, I am the worst mother ever.

  87. Sara says...

    Those leg warmers are adorable!

    9 months is right on mark, and it’s a good thing, it shows he’s securely attached to you. :)

  88. love those legwarmers!!

  89. He’s getting so big!!! That little shirt is sooo cute.

    -michelle

  90. He has to be one of the cutest babies I’ve ever seen!

  91. What a little cutie, he has the best eyebrows I’ve ever seen on a baby.

  92. Yes! My 8-month-old daughter has just begun her foray into separation anxiety. I am learning to master the army crawl/ducking/tiptoeing maneuvers very quickly.

    Toby is adorable!

  93. gosh, he’s cute. i love his eye brows!

  94. OMG…he is so adorable and he is growing so fast! You can really see how much he grew since the last time you posted his photos. Btw:Look at those legwarmers:) Such a cutie!! Have a lovely afternoon, Joanna

  95. Anonymous says...

    Ha, those legwarmers are great! I’m not a mother yet, but every baby I’ve ever been around has had separation anxiety around the 9 month mark. It usually goes away in a few months. I love your positive outlook on it! But I’m sure you’ll be glad once it has passed. :)

    -Erica in Iowa

  96. He’s already brimming with style. I love those rosy cheeks! Makes me want to kiss them!

  97. yes, we LOVE those legwarmers, they are the best :)

  98. The Taxi legwarmers are just adorable!!! Awww he’s too cute!! That’s cool that he loves his momma but that must be nerve wracking for you!! I hope someone here can give you some advice!!

    Melanie’s Randomness

  99. Joanna, I love Toby’s taxi legwarmers! They are so sweet. What a great gift idea for all the adorable babies in my life. Thanks for sharing!