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Separation Anxiety

separation anxiety
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6 - 9 month olds



tired babySometime in the 7th, 8th or 9th months of age, most babies experience distress when one or both parents leave the room. Perhaps you are wondering why your child is suddenly clingy or becomes frightened when an unfamiliar person approaches her. This common occurrence is known as separation anxiety. It is perfectly normal and is no reflection of your parenting or your child’s personality. Your baby is reaching one of many milestones in emotional development. She is discovering that each object and person is unique and permanent. So, when you're not with her, she knows you are somewhere, but not with her, and this causes great distress. Later as she gets older, she will have memories of you and will know how to anticipate your reunion with her. For now, however, your baby lives in the present so every time you leave her sight , she fusses and cries. This may also carry over into sleep. Many children begin to awaken at night in search of you. Although this stage is short lived, it can last until about 18 months of age. Here are some suggestions that may help both you and your child.

   -   Try having the caregiver distract the baby, give a quick good-bye and leave. Most of the crying may be for your benefit, so don't worry. He'll stop after a few minutes.
   -   Scheduling your departure may help. Try leaving after he has napped and eaten. A rested baby with a full tummy is less likely to carry on for too long.
   -   While at home, try leaving the room as you go about your daily routines. (Of course, make sure your home is childproofed before leaving him unattended). Many children will crawl or trot behind you from room to room.
   -   Also, remember to return when you say you will. It is important for him to know you will be back and when.
   -   When introducing him to a new environment, take the time to let him get accustomed to his surroundings and the people or caregiver. Perhaps making short visits before actually dropping him off for an extended period.
   -   Before leaving your child with a new caregiver, bring along some items from home that are loved or familiar. Many children have a lovey or transitional object.
   -   Night time awakenings can be difficult. Try to wait before rushing into your child’s room. She may be able to comfort herself back to sleep. If this doesn't work, try entering the room and gently letting her know you are there. Do resist the temptation of picking her up. This could lead to a habit that is extremely difficult to break.


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6 - 9 month olds


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Separation Anxiety


 


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