Separation anxiety is a stage that begins when babies start to comprehend that people and things exist even when they are not present. It is basically a concept known as object permanence. Most infants or toddlers express their feeling of anxiety and get upset at being separated from parents. It is indeed frustrating for both parents and kids. However, the good news is that such a feeling will pass and with the help of a few strategies, you can make it less stressful. Here are some of the common questions raised by new mothers on separation anxiety.
- When is separation anxiety commonly developing in a child?
Babies begin to show the signs as early as 6 months. However, for some babies, it starts between 10 to 18 months. As the children turn 2, it tends to ease up. It mostly occurs when you leave your baby to rejoin office or your business. Babies also experience the signs of separation anxiety during the night when they are tucked in the crib and you are sleeping in the next room. When babies are around 24 months old, this feeling eases and kids are easier to manage.
- How can I help my kid as a mother to cope with it?
Well, there are many things you could do as a mother to help your baby tackle separation anxiety. If the need arises that you have to leave your baby, always try to leave him with people he is familiar with like a grandmother, grandfather or aunt. Although your baby may continue to protest, eventually he will learn to adjust when he is surrounded with known people. But, if you have to leave your baby with a caretaker, you should ensure that he is being taken care of in your presence in the initial days. Fix a time when you have to say a goodbye to your baby daily. This helps your baby to get used to the routine that is predictable.
- How can I prepare my child for separation?
Gradually, allow your child to get accustomed to the idea. You may leave your child with a caretaker or a family member, but it’s important to follow some of the suggestions. It becomes a lot easier for your child to accept your absence, especially if he is the one initiating a separation. For instance, let your baby crawl off to the other room independently and give it a break for a few minutes before you go to him. It is always best if you tell your child; you are going to work and would have to leave the room. Also, assure your child that you will be back soon. This way, your baby will understand that things will be okay in your absence and you will come back to him. Remember to make it a point to tell your child that you have to leave home for work or shopping and would be back before the day ends. Most parents leave their homes without letting the child know which makes separation anxiety tougher to deal with.