Infant Separation Anxiety – Tips for Parents

As parents, there are moments when your babies only want to be in your presence. However, there are times when you will have to go away and at this stage some babies go through infant separation anxiety. Oftentimes infants cry, fuss and even throw tantrum in a bid to get the parents to stay, when it is unsuccessful then anxiety occurs in the infant.

Why Anxiety in Infants Occur

The main reason for infants becoming anxious is usually due to the absence of their caregivers from their immediate presence. Babies at six months old are able to identify themselves separate from their caregivers or parents and as such are able to tell when mommy or daddy is away from them, this often result in crying as they do not know that even though the parents are away from them they will return and that their parents have left them in capable hands and all their needs will be met.

Game Playing

Playing games such as peek-a-boo can help the infant realise that although the parents go away they will come back. Therefore playing games that will help the infant realise that although things disappear they will come back and this in turn helps the child to know that it is okay for their parents to go away.

Desist from Slinking Out

When parents sneak out, this worsens separation anxiety in infants, therefore it would be best if the parents wave bye or kiss their babies before they leave.

Verbal Communication

Whilst the baby or infant may not be able to verbalise their concerns they understand what you are saying and once you explain to them what you are going to do and that you will be back it cements that you will be back and that you are leaving someone to care for them that you know will treat them as you have.

Diversions

Ensuring that you create distractions for your babies prior to you leaving is a good way of eliminating the crying. This can be done through saying bye to the infant and allowing the infant to start activities with the caregiver so they would not realise your absence.

Children outgrow infant separation anxiety as they get older because they now understand that their caregivers or parents will return for them. It is likely that they will outgrow this kind of anxiety by age 2 ½ to 3 years of age.