As your child’s first birthday rapidly approaches you tend to notice not only physical changes, but more importantly his/her personality. The things you used to do in the past like (use the restroom while in their swing, or change the load of laundry while they sit in the play saucer) becomes quite trouble-some. Your child’s new reaction to such events is now crying out or screaming. These are the beginning signs of separation anxiety. Please DO NOT become alarmed! This is all a part of your child’s emotional development.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is very common for your child to have stages of clinginess and then independence. This has often been referred to as “the first adolescent” because it represents your child’s emotional struggle with growing up and leaving you. Research states that the peak for separation anxiety is between 10-18 months. You will see it fade out by the end of the second year.
Helpful tips to get you and your child through this emotional period:
- Reassurance, reassurance
- Communicate with your child; let your child know you are going and that “you will be back.”
- Try your best and find a compassionate caregiver. For first time mothers this can be a very heart breaking transition period. So, by having a knowledgeable and sensitive caregiver can make this transition process easy on you both
- Spend time with your child at their daycare center or babysitters house. This will make for an easy transition. Talk with your employer; maybe you can go in a few hours late one week, just to give you the opportunity to spend time with your child at their daycare.
To be fair every child is different. Some children may do well with just a big hug and kiss and others may have full blown dramatic outbursts. However, please remember try not to get frustrated and think this is something that you’re doing wrong. This is all NORMAL and like my mother-in-law always says to me “this too shall pass.”