How To Reduce Your Baby’s Separation Anxiety
April 29, 2019
Especially as a working mum, it can be quite heartbreaking when it comes to leaving your child with a babysitter or family member, while they bawl at the sight of you walking away. It’s important to remember, however, that as heartbreaking as it may sound, separation anxiety in babies is quite normal (particularly between 10 and 18 months). It still must be managed however, to maintain a healthy parent-child relationship. So here are some steps you can take to manage your child’s separation anxiety.
Use your baby’s 6 to 8 month age period to introduce any family member, babysitters or nannies. They will be most friendly and open to a new face during this time. Separation anxiety is likely to set in later so getting them comfortable with their babysitters before this is a smart move. This way they will be able to settle down faster when you leave. Equip your babysitter or relative with a baby tula Australia so that she can have the baby nestled close to her if he doesn’t stop crying. This also comes in handy if you’ve left chores to be done and the baby can’t be left alone.
Your baby is beginning to understand the meaning of permanence- that people can still exist even when not in your direct field of vision. This is great! But it also means he can get pretty upset when you go somewhere without him. Your best course of action is to practice leaving him alone for a few minutes each day (as long as there’s no danger) to show him/her that you’ll always come back. When you have relatives over, you can leave your child with a family member for small periods of time- at least an hour so that you can start small and build your way up, while your baby adjusts to your schedule.
Think of it this way, all children would want their mum to be there for them when they’re not feeling great. So pick out when to leave- make sure the baby is in a good mood, has been well fed and is ready to sleep by the time the babysitter arrives.
While it might seem like a good idea to slip out of the house unnoticed and avoid saying goodbye, it’s healthier long-term to practice saying goodbye to your baby first. Give them a proper kiss and promise them you’ll be back soon. If you’re dropping your baby off at daycare, then may sure to give them a keepsake (a beloved toy or soft blanket) that they can keep by their side to ease their anxiety.
Have your sitter arrive at least 30 minutes before you have to leave. Set out all his favorite toys. Then the two of you can work on getting your child immersed in playtime and his toys. By the time you’re set to leave, the baby will be so distracted that you can get away with a quick goodbye and no tears!
Once you leave the house, don’t return until you’re supposed to. So make sure you have everything before you leave because going in and out of your house will cruelly confuse your child.
Use these simple steps to reduce your baby’s separation anxiety. With time, they should show some improvement!