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Mum and baby looking at each other How to cope with separation anxiety

How to cope with separation anxiety

January 5, 2023

Many parents have a hard time trying to cope with their babies’ separation anxiety. When it’s time to leave your baby for the first time, your instinct as a mother takes over. Even if you’re only leaving your baby for an hour, you might start to think about things like, “Would my baby be safe?” or “What if something happens and I’m not there?” or “Is my baby sad right now?”

Even though your baby is safe, you can’t help but feel like your heart is breaking into tiny pieces because you don’t know what’s going on with your baby every minute. Still, leaving your baby for the first time and helping him or her get over the fear of being alone is good for both of you. We consulted the parenting brand, Nuby to get their top tips on how to overcome separation anxiety

The earlier you overcome it, the better

It is normal for young children between the ages of six months and three years to worry about being alone. Most of the time, it goes away after that, but if your child’s symptoms keep coming back, it could affect him or her for a long time. The earlier you start getting them used to you leaving, the easier it will be for them to get used to it and get over any separation anxiety they might have. As a parent, you might also have some kind of separation anxiety, so it’s important to leave your baby for the first time in the right way.

Take your time

Grandma and baby laying down separation anxiety You don’t have to go on a trip right away when you leave your baby for the first time. This will be hard on both of you. Instead, get used to being apart slowly. At first, you might set aside two hours to leave them with their grandparents in your house. It’s best to leave them with someone they know and in a place they’re used to the first few times. This will help them deal with the shock of being alone. Later, you can start leaving your baby with a nanny or a child care provider while you’re away.

After the first time, you can slowly start to leave them for longer periods of time. You can even leave them for a night or two with their grandparents or nanny. The better you get at it, the more you do it.

Don’t keep feeling bad

When you first leave your baby, you might feel bad. But, just like in a lot of other parts of life, guilt is not a good thing to feel. Even though it’s totally reasonable to feel bad about leaving your child with someone else, try not to let it get to you.

It’s something you need to get over because it will help you and your partner have a healthy relationship instead of one where you depend on each other. You’re teaching your baby to trust you but not to depend on you for everything. In hindsight, you’re learning that your child is an individual who will grow up and spend more time away from you than an hour-long coffee break. So, it’s best to start the process as soon as possible.

Tell people what to do

Babies each have their own schedules. This is what they’re used to, whether they like to have a snack right before bed to help them fall asleep or be read their favourite bedtime story. Your babysitter might do something different, so it’s important to tell them exactly what your baby’s routine is. This will help your baby calm down and make sure they don’t have to deal with anything new or scary.

Bring a comforter or favourite toy or blanket

happy baby with toys Before you leave, pack a bag with things your babysitter will need to take care of your newborn. Be sure to include a comforter, or favourite toy, or blanket. Even though you, their main source of comfort, aren’t there, your babysitter can use their physical comforts to make them feel better. Your baby might like to cuddle or play with a certain toy, or they might like to be tucked into their cosy sleeping bag for a newborn.

Prepare these things ahead of time so that your baby can feel safe in a new place if he or she needs to.

Don’t sneak away

It’s important to ease your baby into the temporary separation. This is true both when your babysitter comes to your house and when you leave. Spend some time getting your baby used to the babysitter while you’re still there. This could be a childminder, a nanny, or even your parents.

Don’t just sneak away when you’re leaving. Instead, kiss your baby and say goodbye. Your babysitter will then get their attention right away, which should stop them from crying. It’s also best if your babysitter gets the baby right away, so that the baby feels safe in their hands and the two of them can get along well.

 

It can be scary to leave your baby for the first time, but it’s an important part of growing up. Practicing healthy separation from a young age will help your child grow into a self-sufficient individual. For more information about separation anxiety, check out the NHS website here.

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