|

Separation Anxiety

What's Your Hurry?

Q-tip

If your baby has a security blanket, a special stuffed animal, or another object that makes him feel safe, by all means let him bring it to day care or have it available when the sitter arrives (and when you leave). Don't ever tease him about it or discourage his use of it. Just because your baby needs something else to feel safe, especially when you're not around, doesn't mean that you haven't done your part to nurture his sense of security. On the contrary, your baby wouldn't be able to take advantage of such a substitute if you hadn't given him a sense of security.

With any new sitter or day-care situation, give your baby time to get used to the idea before running off and "abandoning" him. Ideally, you will be leaving him with someone he knows. Arrange to have the sitter arrive at least 15 minutes early (paid, of course), or even better, have the sitter come for one or two visits while you're both there before you leave him or her alone with your baby.

In a day-care situation, plan to stay for at least half an hour on the first few days and perhaps even the entire first day. Again, try to arrange for you and your baby to have paid extended visits to the site before he has to go it alone. Then, on his first days, give your baby the opportunity and the encouragement to get involved in some activity before you go.

For both your baby's sake and your own, start small. Ease your baby into longer separations by first going on short outings: perhaps a half-hour or hour apart (or even as little as 15 minutes). This process allows both you and your baby to build trust in his caregiver in small stages. Then gradually extend your time apart until you reach the amount of time you'll regularly need.

When it comes time to go, don't try to sneak out of the house (or the day-care center). If you do, your baby will never know when you're leaving, and he may become more clingy than ever-even in situations when you're not going anywhere.

Make good-byes short, sweet, and predictable. Strive to create a parting ritual similar to your bedtime ritual. Don't insist that he stop crying before you leave. (Think what power that gives him.) Smile, offer reassuring words, give him a hug and a kiss, let him know you'll miss him, and then go already. Your baby relies on you to determine whether everything is safe, so he needs to see that you have confidence that everything will be all right. That's why warmth and smiles at parting are so important.



More on: Babies

|

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Bringing Up Baby © 1997 by Kevin Osborn. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

get ready for school!

We’ve got your
shopping list,
lunch menu,
and more.

GO

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Tips for Reading Aloud to Babies & Toddlers
The AAP advises reading aloud to babies and toddlers because it boosts brain power and has many other benefits. Get some tips for making the most of story time with your tot!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

How to Survive Summer Boredom
When the kids are home all day, every day, summer boredom strikes hard and fast. Learn the best summer boredom busters and tips for surviving until September.

12 Birthday Party Favors that Won't Get Thrown Away
The next time you're planning a birthday, forgo the penny candy and cheap toys. Send your guests home with one of these fun and creative party favor ideas!