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Separation anxiety

Separation anxiety

This is the age when you can’t go out of the room without your baby getting worried. It’s time to start playing a lot of peek-a-boo.

Have you noticed how your baby gets quite frantic and sobs if you go out of the room? This is the first sign of separation anxiety. Many babies begin to show signs of it around the age of six or seven months, and this anxiety can come and go throughout the toddler years. Separation anxiety often peaks at around 12 to 18 months, and usually disappears by the age of two or two and a half.

But to some degree, the severity of their separation anxiety is influenced by their personality – some children will find being left behind particularly hard, while others sail through this stage virtually unruffled.
So although your baby is getting older, they seem to need you more and more. Everything’s fine while you’re nearby, but as soon as you disappear from sight a minor crisis occurs. When you disappear, your child thinks you no longer exist – a really unbearable feeling but it’s not harmful. And sometimes mum really does need to go into another room.

To make separation easier, try the following:
• Talk to your baby while you’re out of sight.
• Play a lot of peek-a-boo, frequently.
• Reassure your little one that there’s no danger. Don’t make a big deal out of their anxiety. You only went into another room – and you’re coming back. Let them know it’s completely normal for mums and dads to disappear now and then, and that they come back quite soon.
• Radiate calm and reassurance. Act normally.
• Lavish your little one with love and hugs and fill them up with reassurance on their more anxious days.
• Let your baby shadow you, following you everywhere if they want.
Smile when your child makes a move away from you. Encourage her to explore her surroundings. But don’t push things. Let them know that you’re nearby and that everything’s fine.

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