WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
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.