Dealing with separation anxiety

Filed under: Development/Milestones: Babies, Childcare

Being separated from your baby can be traumatic for both of you. If your baby screams every time you leave the room you have to ask yourself: Is this normal? Will it ever end? What occurs is separation anxiety, a normal developmental phase for babies (and for some mothers, I suspect!).

Between the ages of 8 to 14 months, your baby will begin to notice when you aren't there. The crying will start begins when you leave, even if it's just for a few minutes. This stage doesn't last for long and usually goes away during the last half of your baby's second year. It can nevertheless be hard on you. You may feel like you are hurting your child and feel guilty. Remember that this is a normal phase of development, and it shows you that your baby's love for you is immense. You are the person your baby has bonded with the most and loves you deeply and dearly.You can learn to cope separation anxiety. Here are some tips to help you get through the phase.
  • The best time to leave your baby is after feedings or naps.
  • If your baby is sick, try to stay with her as much as possible as separation anxiety may be worse when your child doesn't feel well.
  • Don't make a fuss about leaving. Give your baby a quick kiss and hug goodbye. Have your caregiver distract your baby with a toy or a book, then leave quickly.
  • Don't go back after you've left. Tears are short-lived. Your baby will cry for only a few minutes. Returning may make the separation harder for you and your baby.
  • Try short practice sessions. Before you leave the room, tell your child where you are going and that you'll be back. When you leave the room and your baby starts to cry, call his name from the next room to provide reassurance that you haven't left for good.
  • If you have to leave your child with a new babysitter or in new day care center, play with the baby for a few minutes before leaving.
  • Keep separations as infrequent as possible.
  • Leave your baby with someone she knows, such as a relative or close family friend.
Some children have trouble being separated from parents at bedtime. Cuddle with your baby as much as possible before bedtime. If your child cries after you leave the room, comfort your baby, but don't stay until he or she falls asleep. Your child will outgrow separation anxiety. Whether you ever adapt to the problem may be another story. Any of you have any suggests about occurring with the phase?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.