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How can I help my baby overcome separation anxiety?



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between four and seven months babies

begin to understand object permanence

meaning they know that mom and dad are

the most constant thing in their life

and if you are not in the same room with

them they'll recognize that and you may

just be in the kitchen or in the next

room but they don't have a concept of

time and so for all they know you're

gone forever so if you leave they cry

and this is normal an actual separation

anxiety usually starts for most babies

between eight months of age and their

first birthday and this is when they may

have a really hard time being apart from

mom or dad and so it's it's normal it's

a normal part of development and you can

take comfort in the fact that they have

a healthy bond with you but it is good

for you to look for opportunities to

leave them in the care of someone else

even if this isn't something you have to

do on a regular basis it's good for them

to get used to being without you and

it's good for you to get out and do

other things for yourself if you do

anticipate having to leave your baby

with someone on a regular basis like if

you're going back to work or something

try to do it before your baby's 8 months

of age because eight months to a year is

when they become most aware of it and it

will make it a little bit harder but

rest assured that if you've found a

trusted caregiver you can leave your

baby in their care and your baby is only

going to cry for a few minutes in most

cases after you've left you're the one

who may be feeling more guilt and you

may be dwelling on it a lot more than

the child is after you've left it's

important to develop a ritual when

you're leaving your baby with someone

something that's calming and comforting

and have confidence in your child when

you talk to them use positive

expressions and a happy voice and tell

them that you'll be coming back and they

will learn to trust you as you do that

time and time again and on the other end

of things after you've left distraction

is key so if there are comforting items

that you can leave with the caregiver so

that they can use those as distraction

methods after you've left that may help

the transition go a little more smoothly

and if at all possible try to not leave

your baby with someone when they're

really tired or really hungry because

all of their emotions are just

heightened at those times anyway look

for opportunities between the ages of

four and seven months and

to let your baby learn that you're going

to come back and you can just do this at

home you know you don't even have to

leave them in the care of someone else

but just leave them after they've been

fed and changed in love you can leave

them in like a playpen or a safe

contained area while you go in another

room and maybe fold some laundry or do

some dishes but you can still keep an

eye on them

they may cry for a couple of minutes

when they can't see you but it's even

better if you can see them so that you

know that they're okay

let them cry for a couple of minutes and

learn how to self-soothe and to distract

themselves and to move on from the fact

that they're anxious about you not being

there and just as I said earlier about

coming back after you leave them the

care of someone else they'll begin to

learn that when you leave the room you

come back and they only learn this

through experience if you feel like you

have a newborn that's struggling with

separation anxiety

it isn't due to traditional separation

anxiety but it is normal for a baby to

cry when you place them down because

they love you they want you to hold them

and it's comforting to them but it's not

realistic to hold your baby all the time

there are some things that you have to

get done so you have a couple of options

one is just like I said before feeding

changing loving them and putting them in

like a playpen in the same room that

you're in while you get a few things

done if they cry and you know that

they're just crying because they they

want you then it's okay to let them cry

while you finish up the things that you

need to attend to you also have the

option of using raps or wearing your

baby as a lot of people put it and these

are super handy and helpful I use one

with one of my babies that seem to be a

little more needy than my first and I

was able to get a lot of things done

while I wore him and he was close to my

chest and as happy as a clam to be with

me while I vacuumed and did dishes and

did things around the house so there's

also that option but just be sure that

if your baby's falling asleep that you

put them down and don't have them sleep

on your chest with the wrap around you

because that doing that has been

associated with some injury or harm to

the baby another good thing that you can

start doing with young babies and

continue to do it with them as they get

older is peekaboo and it sounds so

simple and silly to an adult you cover

up your face and of course you know

you're still there but they literally

don't know you're

there and so it's a surprise to them

every time they see your face but they

do learn that you come back that's part

of teaching them that so you can play it

with them when they're little and

continue as they get older when they do

get older and you're leaving them places

like say for example my son will go to

daycare a few days a week and I was

always tell him once he was old enough

to understand that I was going to come

back after lunchtime naptime and playing

outside so he knew I'd come pick him up

after he played outside which was around

4:30 but he doesn't understand 4:30 so

you need to talk about it in terms that

the child will understand and believe me

they'll hold you to it so you need to

keep your promises as well that's part

of helping them to learn to trust you

that you'll come back when you say if

you have more specific questions or

concerns about it or you've noticed that

your child is having nightmares or just

full-on meltdowns no matter what you're

doing when you leave or they seem to be

disturbed about being left with certain

people then you should investigate and

under some circumstances like they're

having nightmares or you're noticing

behavioral changes talk with your

pediatrician and they can ask you more

specific questions and based on their

knowledge of your circumstances give you

tailored information and advice about it

if you have more questions in the future

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