Have you noticed that all of a sudden when you drop your little one off at childcare he or she won’t stop crying? Your child used to be so easy-going and now they’re shouting at the top of their lungs! What’s going on?
This is a common phase that babies of a certain age go through. Between the ages of 4-12 months old, most babies experience separation anxiety.
Soon your baby will learn that you still exist even if you walk out of the room. In the mean time, I wrote a few tips to help ease your child’s temporary separation anxiety.
4. Goodbye Routine
We all find comfort in familiarity. Children are no different- they like structure. When they can predict what is going to happen, they feel more safe and secure. They’re able to prepare themselves for the outcome.
You could say, “Mommy and Daddy are going to leave after in five minutes, after we sing this song together.” You could sing, Eskimo kiss, or play “this little piggy went to the market,” on their toes.
Use your imagination when coming up with a goodbye routine for your baby!
3. Reminder Object
Give your baby something that reminds them of you that they can interact with while you’re gone. They’ll feel closer to you, which may comfort them and ease the tears.
Make sure this object is baby proof (AKA no sharp edges or choking hazards.) It could be a blanket, stuffed animal, doll, or an item that they associate with you. As long as they can hug it, it’s fair game!
2. Calm Response
Have you ever noticed that your baby picks up on your reactions? When they tripped they got up and smiled! It was only until they saw your shocked and scared face that they burst into tears.
Babies love to mirror their caregiver’s response. Don’t freak out when your baby responds to your departure with tears. React in a calm way. Reassure your child that you love them and you’ll be back soon.
It can be emotional to leave your baby at childcare or in the hands of a babysitter. Let yourself move through your emotions in a healthy way. What are your favorite coping skills? Do you like to chat on the phone, work out, get your nails done, or meditate?
Make sure to get enough rest and nourishment so you can do your best. Give yourself permission to feel all of the turbulent emotions that may come with your baby’s separation anxiety.
I hope these tips on how to ease your baby’s separation anxiety prove to be useful! It can be heartbreaking to see your beloved baby so sad.
Remember, it’s completely normal! All babies go through this phase. It will pass, just don’t forget to take care of yourself every step of the way.
Thanks for reading my blog, moms! Practice these tips the next time you have to say goodbye to your little one.