It’s very common for parents to experience baby blues when they have to leave their little ones even for a short moment. What goes unnoticed, however, is that babies experience the same separation anxiety like their parents!
As your infant’s grasp of things and curiosity progress, their sense of object permanence develops as well. This causes separation anxiety when they realize that their primary caregiver has moved out of their sight. This could worsen when they’re hungry, sleepy, sick, or doing anything that they are used to doing with you. This could worsen when they’re hungry, sleepy, sick, or doing anything that they are used to doing with you.
Separation anxiety may develop in children as young as 8 months old and may last until they’re toddlers. While some kids get over the initial distress pretty quickly, some babies have a hard time being separated from their parents.
It’s important to note that these anxieties are a normal part of their emotional development, and are completely unavoidable. The best thing a parent can do is to help their children cope with their separation anxiety.
If you’re one of the parents who’s having trouble managing your baby’s anxiety, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best ways to help ease your baby’s separation anxiety.
#1 Don’t Prolong Goodbyes
While you should not sneak out on your baby, it is also important to know that prolonging goodbyes will make your little one both clingy and emotional. Have the caregiver distract your child with fun activities such as playing with musical and interactive toys like a xylophone or a piano. Since children are fond of music and sound-producing paraphernalia, they will be too absorbed to even give a second thought to your leaving.
#2 Introduce Fun Activities
There is nothing more fulfilling and engaging for a child than exciting fun activities! Introducing indoor toys like trampolines will keep your baby occupied while you take your leave. Trust me, your infant will be having too much fun to be anxious about you leaving their sight.
#3 Help the Baby Thrive in Your Absence
Let your little one get to know other people by letting them spend time with other kids and relatives! Have family members babysit your child so your baby can get used to being watched and taken care of by other people. Here’s a tip: drop them off at their grandparents’ house, I heard they’re good at spoiling kids!
#4 Leave Them Something They’re Familiar With
It may be a pillow, a stuffed toy, or their favorite blanket! This helps your child feel safe when they’re in a new environment or when their parents are not in sight. Because your child is also only starting to develop a sense of permanence, having something familiar next to them will help make this period easier for your baby.
#5 Read stories to them
If your child is old enough to understand fables and fairytales, it is good practice to tell your kid stories about characters who share the same fears as them. It may help them to not feel alone when you eventually leave them.
On the other hand, if your precious one is still an infant, your voice will help them stay calm; making it easier for both parent and child to separate.
#6 Outdoors Activities with Friends
Getting to know other kids your child’s age helps them grow accustomed to having other people around. One way to do this is by allowing your toddler to do outdoor activities, like sharing his/her kid’s wooden workbench, with the neighbouring kids. Your child may still throw tantrums when you leave their sight, but the presence of their playmates will help ease their anxiety.
#7 Keep Your Promise
One thing that I have noticed with kids is that they never forget your promises. So, if you promise to be back after nap time, you better be back when your child starts to rouse! Keeping your promises will help build trust and understanding between you and your child, which will help ease their anxieties.
#8 Develop a Routine
A notable routine will help ease your baby’s separation anxiety. Coming back home to your baby regularly right after nap time or just before meals will create a reliable pattern. This will help them understand that you’ll be right next to them when they need you. Take in mind, though, that once this routine is broken, your child’s anxieties may worsen.
#9 Cuddle and Comfort the Baby When You Reconnect
As soon as you return from your absence, spend time cuddling and showing affection to your child! Cuddling will help to reduce the buildup of anxiety from your spontaneous absence. This will also give them something to look forward to when you are away and will assure them that you will be back whenever you leave.
Separation anxiety is never easy for both the parent and child–but when you, the parent, make conscious efforts and preparations, it will only be a matter of time until your child’s worries (and yours as well!) disappear.