As a young parent, you probably can’t imagine parting ways with your newborn even for a few hours. While those few first months you will be able to tend to your baby day and night,, the time will come when you will have to get back to work. After all, those diapers and formula are not going to pay for themselves. You know how hard separating from your baby will be – just imagine how hard it will be for them. However, this is quite a normal and healthy process, one that all babies go through. The only thing you can do is find some useful tips to help you reduce separation anxiety in babies, which we are more than happy to give!
Find a babysitter
Babies and toddlers depend on their parents for everything. From eating and drinking to bathing and falling asleep, a parent is on the job 24/7. In case you know that the time when you won’t be able to be next to your baby at all hours is approaching, it is the right time to ask for help. When looking for a person to tend to your child, it goes without saying that your first choice should be a family member. If you leave your baby with a person he/she is already familiar with, such as a grandparent, they won’t be as anxious.
But, contrary to the popular belief, not all grandparents sit around at home and take care of their grandchildren. Some are young and vivacious and don’t feel like spending 8 hours every day looking after a baby – which is perfectly fine. If that is the case, and you can’t find another family member to take care of your baby while you are not home, it’s time to look for professionals.
Gradually introduce the babysitter in order to reduce separation anxiety in babies
You wouldn’t feel comfortable being stuck with a person you don’t know for hours, would you? Well, it is no different with babies. You have had months to bond with your newborn, and it was easy for you since you already have a bond that cannot be broken. But if you want to bring in a third person in your baby’s life, it’s best to do it gradually. Let your baby get to know the new babysitter a few times while you are present. Besides, this will also be helpful for you, as you will have a chance to witness what the babysitter is like. Knowing that your baby is safe will give you some peace of mind, and you know how important that is.
Leave when your baby is in a good mood
The timing is everything in life! Whatever we do and whichever decision we make, we always make sure that it is at the right time. We pick the right time to move our family across the state, we try to calculate when to make a large investment, and we ponder exactly at what moment to put our kids in daycare. Leaving for work while your baby is susceptible to experiencing separation anxiety should be no different. We know that you work from 9 AM and that you already have to be out the door at 8 AM. If that is the case, get up earlier than usual, and make sure you feed your baby and spend some time with him/her. They will handle you leaving much better if all of their needs have been taken care of.
Never forget to say goodbye
A lot of parents think they will reduce separation anxiety in babies by sneaking out of the house in the morning. Nothing could be farther from the truth. You should always, without an exception, kiss and hug your baby goodbye. Not only will it help them feel loved, but they will also get to see you leave and not feel like you just disappeared. Also, don’t forget to mention when you will be back, as that will give your baby something to look forward to. Sure, they may not be able to tell time just yet, but babies are more perceptive than you think.
Once you leave, don’t come back
You have already said your goodbyes and left through the doors. But you realized you forgot your keys, so you come back, the baby sees you and starts crying all over again. The opposite of reducing anxiety in babies will happen – they will just get more anxious since they will be confused and won’t know what’s going on.
To prevent that from happening, make sure you double check everything before leaving. It’s wise to plan out your day in advance or pack your purse for tomorrow. This is not something that will take up too much of your time since it’s not exactly as if you are planning on moving for a job, but it will help you avoid the unpleasant situation we described a minute ago.
Prepare everything for leaving, and make sure you don’t have to walk through those doors right after you left.
Other useful tips
- Don’t suddenly leave your child with someone for 3 or more hours if you have never separated before.
- Try to practice leaving by letting your baby spend a few minutes alone in the room.
- To reduce separation anxiety in babies, you need to follow a routine. Always leave and come back at the same time (at least try to).
You won’t be able to make the separation anxiety completely go away. We, here at The Baby Sleep Site®, know the developmental process and its stages, so we know that this is something every baby has to go through. But what you can do is reduce separation anxiety in babies. And all you need for achieving that you have read in the last five minutes or so!