Many parents report separation anxiety in the baby from ages year to 18 months of age.
Separation anxiety is a normal phase of child development. Older Babies enjoy their new physical freedom and independence, but still need and cling to, the parents for emotional security and happiness.
Child psychologist explain the bond between baby and parent its most intense in a train 12–18 months. Many parents are concerned about their babies separation anxiety and wonder what to do about it.
By 12 months many months have returned to work and the baby is either with the childminder or nursery during the day. This is when babies experience significant change in their daily routine. Childcare can influence sleeping patterns, as some babies are at nursery, with the childminder, grandparents, or a mixture of all three. Therefore, consistency and repetition, with everyone following the same sleep routines, are essential for continuity. Some parents noticed that the baby prefers to be with one parent more than the other; from my experience it is usually mummy, but not always; it is the parent that the baby communicates with emotionally and understands them the most. This can be upsetting for the other parent, but it is a perfectly normal phase of child development and as your child matures their preferences change.
Babies need quality relaxation time just to destress and chill before bedtime. Babies and toddlers have the same emotions as adults; they can feel frustrated when they cannot do what they want or have what they want; easily become overtired and fractious. In addition the confusion and frustration is compounded by the fact children do not have rational thought until they are over two years old.
To reduce separation anxiety
- Encourage as much age related independence as is appropriate; self feeding
- Establish independent cot play time every day; perhaps while you’re having a shower in the morning. Let your child sit in the cot with toys and teddies every morning.
- Discuss with nursery or the childminder how they settle your little one for Day naps. Keep to the same sleep routine.
- If you have had a busy day and rush in from work with your toddler under your arm; relax and spend some quality time together. Go up to the nursery and sit in the cosy corner for 10 to 15 minutes; read and play together. Quality time with your baby/toddler makes positive, secure children with happy, long lasting memories. Setting aside 20 minutes of quality time it’s all that is needed to ensure you and your baby/toddler have a good night sleep.
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