Separation Anxiety is a natural part of development. This is the stage when your child starts to notice that things and people still exist when they can’t see them.
Do all children suffer from separation anxiety?
Most children experience some degree of separation anxiety between the ages of 7 – 18 months. This stage usually passes at around two years of age.
How will I know if my baby is suffering from separation anxiety?
When a baby experiences normal separation anxiety they may do any one (or a number of) the following:
Cry when their main carers are out of sight
Display a preference for only one of the main carers
Display a fear of people new to them
Wake at night crying for the care giver
Are easy to comfort by the main carer giver
Remember all babies are different and some babies may experience this anxiety more intensely.
Supporting the transition
It is perfectly natural for all children regardless of age to experience separation anxiety in the first few weeks of joining an early learning and care service. There are many ways in which you can help your child to adjust to the transition of being separated from you:
Talk about your child’s day, children like routine this will help your child to know what to expect.
Stay positive – your child will notice this and it will help him/her to feel that this a good place to be.
When you drop him/her off, calmly assure her that you will return at the end of the day. Keep your goodbyes short and sweet. Don’t linger, as that will only make the separation more difficult for both you and your child.
Wait until your child is busy and can be easily distracted before you leave, maybe the carer can use their favourite toy to distract them as you say goodbye.
Remember to always say goodbye and say when you will return. Telling him/her when you will be back is important, you want to ensure that trust is built from the first time you leave your child.
Don’t extend your goodbyes longer than you need to, your child may cry at first when you leave, this is normal. If you get upset yourself try not to show it in front of your child, link in with the caregiver while you are away and you are likely to hear that the tears from your child were over quickly.
For more informataion on how to support your child to manage separation anxiety, visit the Tusla parenting 24 seven link below: