Separation Anxiety

MOMMY ON BOARD - Kristalle Marie Garcia-Kekert () - June 4, 2012 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - As early as 6 or 7 months old or normally between 10 and 18 months old, your child will start to show signs of separation anxiety. “Separation anxiety is a normal emotional stage of development, called ‘object permanence’ that starts when babies begin to understand that things and people exist even when they're not present” - a quote from

It is ever so natural that an innocent and defenseless baby would get upset if separated from the person looking after him. Some cultures believe that infants should rarely be separated during the first year of life, but others believe that this should be practiced at a very early age for preparation for the future. Either way is right, it is all about how you want your child to be raised.

What can you as a parent do about separation anxiety? You can (1) minimize the separation as much as you can, try to work around your own time and show that you are always within reach (2) the babysitter should be someone who your child is familiar with, as this will makes it easier for your baby to adjust during your absence (3) introduce your child to the new face, this might also make it simpler for him/her or (4) explain that leaving the house is no big deal, that you will be home again soon.

You may also start practicing at home, by giving your baby the opportunity to get used to the idea of separation. For instance, let your child crawl off to the next room by himself/herself (ensuring that this short trip is safe unsupervised) and follow him/her a few minutes later. Another way is for you to leave the room and explain to your child that you will be back, then come back after a minute or two. Remember that once you leave and say goodbye (even for just a few short minutes), don't prolong your goodbyes and don't make repeated trips back and forth. This will only make it harder for your child and he/she might cry even more. In short, you are only confusing the child.

Another separation anxiety happens to be during bedtime but spending some extra time with your child by cuddling, reading or even singing can ease this. Some others, which I completely agree with, would never co-sleep with this child. This practice is done from birth onwards, to make your child understand that his/her bed is his/her bed. Sleeping on their own beds is a fantastic practice that makes it easy for your baby to fall asleep on their own.

As all babies have different personalities, bear in mind that this might work for others and not for some. The great thing is that separation anxiety normally eases when your child reaches 24 months old.

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