Best Way to Help Your Baby Deal with Separation and Stranger Anxiety

As your baby enters the second half of his first year, you’ll see him become more sociable and he’ll reward everyone with big smiles and gurgles. Being exposed to lots of friendly faces will allow him to relax in other people’s company, and help deal with the inevitable onset of separation and stranger anxiety in the next few months.

Separation and stranger anxiety

From around seven months onwards, and probably for some time to come, your sociable and outgoing baby may become more clingy and be wary of people he doesn’t know well. He may be reluctant to be left with anyone other than you, and even new settings may upset him. While some are more affected than others, all babies go through separation and stranger anxiety. It’s a major emotional milestone and shows that your baby is growing up. For the first time he can tell the difference between familiar and unfamiliar situations. He’s also beginning to realize that you and he are different people.

Baby Stranger Anxiety Best Way to Help Your Baby Deal with Separation and Stranger Anxiety

How to help

When your baby wraps his arms lightly around you, you will melt. But when he refuses to be put clown and cries as if his heart will break if you leave the room, you may feel overwhelmed by his intense feelings. Try to remember that this is a stage that will pass.

  •  Take it in stages. Gradually realizing that you always come back when you say you will help your baby: if you need to pop into another room, tell him where you’re going and that you won’t be- a minute – if he cries, call to let him know you’re- on your way back. Also allow your baby to crawl into other rooms to give him the confidence to explore places on his own, but always follow close behind him to make sure that he slays sale.
  •  Meeting new people. Don’t force your baby to be friendly – let him make eye contact in his own time. Even family members whom your baby hasn’t seen for a few days may upset him without intending to.
  •  Giving advance warning. When you know you have to go out, always tell your baby a little while in advance (but never more than 10 or 15 minutes beforehand or he’ll forget!). This way he’ll know what to expect rather than worry that you might leave him any time.
  • Getting acquainted with a caregiver. If you have arranged for your baby to be looked after by a caregiver or babysitter, give him time to become familiar with their face and begin to respond and form an attachment to them while you are still in the same room.
  •  Act calmly. When it’s time to leave-, give your baby a hug and a kiss goodbye and go without a fuss. If you took calm and happy, your baby will feel reassured. If your baby cries, tell him you know he’ll miss you, and you’ll miss him too, but you will be back shortly. Waving out of the window is a good distraction.
  •  Try not to worry. Chances are that even if your baby is in floods of tears when you leave him, within a few minutes of your departure he’ll be engaged with the person caring for him. Rather than spending your time away worrying and feeling guilty, make a quick phone call home or peep back through the window to reassure yourself that your baby is fine.

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