WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP

Your Baby & Toddler - - Toddler -

HURRY! Dur­ing the baby phase it’s best to keep the time you are sep­a­rated to a min­i­mum. If you can­not do this (like when you have to go to work) it’s im­por­tant to leave your baby in the care of some­one you trust to pro­vide the best pos­si­ble care.

ROU­TINE PRO­VIDES SE­CU­RITY Put your child at ease (by promis­ing them that you will come back), be con­sis­tent (keep your prom­ises) and es­tab­lish a pre­dictable rou­tine in the house­hold.

BIT BY BIT If you leave your baby with some­one re­li­able ev­ery now and then be­fore she starts show­ing signs of sep­a­ra­tion anx­i­ety she will get used to stay­ing with some­one other than your­self from time to time.

SCHED­ULE TIME APART AF­TER NAPS AND

FEEDINGS Ba­bies ex­pe­ri­ence sep­a­ra­tion anx­i­ety much more when they are tired and hun­gry.

ONE PRI­MARY CARE­GIVER Eas­ier said than done, but try not to have too many dif­fer­ent care­givers dur­ing the baby and tod­dler years. Prac­tise spend­ing short in­ter­vals and dis­tances apart.

PRAISE HER FOR HAV­ING ‘COPED’ with spend­ing time apart from you. If your baby goes ex­plor­ing another part of the house on her own, wait a few min­utes be­fore you go to fetch her. This will boost her sense of in­de­pen­dence. If she has a bad case of sep­a­ra­tion anx­i­ety, keep her in her own en­vi­ron­ment as much as pos­si­ble. Let a child­min­der come to watch her at your home if pos­si­ble.

FA­MIL­IARISE A NEW EN­VI­RON­MENT Al­low your child to be­come ac­cus­tomed to a new en­vi­ron­ment in your pres­ence be­fore you just leave her there. Al­low her to take her favourite toy with her.

DON’T LINGER Don’t pro­long hav­ing to leave her by lin­ger­ing around and pro­long­ing the good­bye. This will only add to her anx­i­ety and make her even more clingy. Tell her that you are leav­ing and as­sure her that you will come back. But never sneak off with­out say­ing good­bye.

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