It’s always tough to leave your little one behind, but it’s bound to happen sooner or later. When this time does come, it’s only natural that your child will experience what is called separation anxiety. It is common for your child to want to hold on to you, beg you to stay, or to even cry.
On a good note, separation anxiety will improve with age, and will be less of an issue as time goes on. For now, if the two of you are trying to cope and get through it, here are some tips that might help both of you.
Practice short periods of time: The first step you want to take is to practice leaving your child. Start out small and with short periods of time by just running to get your groceries and to run quick errands. This will teach them that you are always going to come back.
Time it right: Children tend to be more ornery when they are tired and hungry. Try to time leaving them with someone once they’ve already napped and after they just ate.
Don’t give in: It’s only normal for us to feel bad and to stall when they are begging us to stay, but you need to be firm and say I will be back, and then just leave. Stalling only makes things worse and brings on more tears.
Familiar surroundings and faces: Try to keep their surroundings somewhat familiar. Bring their favorite blanket, toys, and their favorite snacks so they feel more comfortable and at home even when they’re not.
Also, try and keep the same people watching them. Don’t drop them off at a new sitter’s house each time. Keep the sitters limited to family and friends when you can.
Say goodbye: Have a goodbye ritual. This will help them know what to expect. Whether you give a hug and a kiss and say “I’ll be back in a few.” Or, you wave goodbye and blow a kiss, they will feel better about you leaving. Children don’t like those surprises; they like to know what’s going to happen. So, make sure you’re consistent with how you say goodbye.
Although it’s hard to say goodbye to your children, you have to remember that you’re not really saying “goodbye”, you’re saying “see you later”. You will be back, and that is something they will need to learn on their own.
This is a guest post written by Lauren Dzuris. Lauren runs FindMyCarSeat, an Infant Car Seat website that can help new parents find a great car seat, while giving them tips, and advice on everything from pregnancy to parenting.