How to Manage Separation Anxiety in Babies

Newborn Care

It’s late at night and you are busy taking care of your little one. You went to your baby’s room as you take your footsteps slowly and quietly. While you’re gently holding the baby and eventually placing him or her inside the crib, the baby suddenly responds to an impending separation as he began crying loudly and screaming endlessly. 

Today, we will know more about separation anxiety and how to manage it, helping your baby to sleep soundly at night without fuss.

Is separation anxiety normal?

As your baby grows, you will see some changes in his reaction. And it may lead you to be worried. However, it’s a sign that they grow up healthy. The thing you need to know is how to deal with it.

Understanding separation anxiety in babies

Separation anxiety is a natural outgrowth of object permanence, the knowledge that you don’t just vanish when you’re out of sight. Object permanence usually happens around 8 months of age, and separation anxiety starts later between 12 and 20 months. Then, it slowly fades as your child understands that you come back after each parting.

You will notice that your child suddenly balks when you introduce her to strangers. There are times that when someone familiar to her is also likely to trigger tears or tantrums. Each child reacts to separation anxiety in various ways. Some babies and toddlers can barely let their parents out of sight while others escape through this stage with occasional clinginess. 

There are many books or information that explain specific measures. However, first, keep in your mind that each child reacts in various ways.

But, the real issue here lies in your baby’s sleep problem as it appears to be a big separation for your child. At this moment he can anticipate how he will feel when he is all alone in his crib, and he lets you know by screaming at the top of his lungs that he hates your absence. 

This shows that your baby is powerfully attached to you and relies on you to keep him safe and secure. It may sound heartwarming to you but when the night comes, your bedtime struggle quickly makes you stressed and tired. 

Relieving your baby’s nighttime separation anxiety

We all know that you can’t avoid these situations but you can be skilled in solving this problem if you learn about some strategies that can help your baby chill out and sleep at night peacefully. In this section, we provide you an informative guide that will help you manage your baby’s separation anxiety at night.

Establish an efficient bedtime routine

First of all, it’s all about establishing an efficient bedtime routine as it reflects the specific needs of your little one. Having a routine is essential for children to master them because predictable patterns ease their anxieties at this stressful stage. So, now is the right time to create and stick with a plan.

Use his verbal skills

Take advantage of your child’s growing verbal skills when you’re preparing him for bedtime or other transition times. Try to use short, clear sentences and say the same words to your baby each night as bedtime approaches.

Cuddle him

Cuddle your baby while reading him a book to encourage him or her into sleep.

Avoid keeping him stay up late

Avoid keeping your child staying up very late at night as it disrupts the bedtime routine. Try to schedule your family time together wisely.

Give him some toys

When your baby finally reaches his or her toddler years, give your baby a stuffed toy like a teddy bear to his or her bed, incorporating the doll in your bedtime routine. For example, try to tell some bedtime stories to your child and then tuck him in as you say “Good night”. 

Change up the scenery of your baby

Try to change up the scenery of your baby. Move your child from the bouncer to your lap to the baby bath then back to the bouncer. Go outside for a walk and then come back in. Each new activity may work for only 10 minutes so try to mix it up. 

Summary

Separation anxiety occurs when your child responds in a panic to your departure. This shows to be a normal developmental milestone and it depends on each of the babies. Therefore, if you’re a new mother, establish a plan and take some necessary actions like what was mentioned in this article to soothe and calm your baby and bring him or her to sleep. 

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