Separation anxiety becomes a fact of life at around 6 months. It's a totally normal and healthy stage. Babies learn about leaving before they learn about coming back, so they're understandably upset to see their parents disappear. American Baby Magazine Senior Lifestyle Editor, Jessica Hartshorn, discusses strategies to help ease your baby's separation anxiety when you go out.
Practice makes perfect. Once your chid gets the idea that you go and you come back, the anxiety starts to melt away.
Don't leave your baby with a total stranger. When you introduce a new sitter, have her come early to play with your child while you're still home. This let's your baby know that you're comfortable with this person so he can trust her too.
Lay out an exit plan. Sneaking away might seem like the easy way out, but if your baby looks around and you're not there, she starts to think that you could disappear at any time. So, come up with a goodbye ritual.
Babies take there emotional cues from their parents, so be cheerful and firm. If you hesitate or express regret, your child may think he has something to fear. Let go of your own stress by taking a few deep breaths and remember that separation anxiety usually affects the parent more than the child.
When you return take time for a sweet reunion by greeting your child with a smile. Then, join your baby where she is emotionally and physically.
For more information on easing your baby's anxiety and other parenting tips, click here.
Jessica Hartshorn & Erika Wortham
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