I am not joking when I say that it must be so hard to be an infant. Not traumatizing. Just hard. Think about it. You are born a clean slate. New and precious but with no knowledge of the world around you beyond the scent of your mama. A newborn has no idea what to expect next or who will be coming along to
invade his personal space smile and coo at him next. Unfamiliar scents, voices, noises and surroundings can send a new baby into a tailspin. So they attach to their people. Parents and grandparents become a loving embrace of security in a completely unpredictable world.
Then it happens. The dreaded time in every parent and child's first year. We either have to go back to work, or we just need a break. Either way, we need to leave our sweet baby with someone they do not know and separation anxiety rears its ugly ugly (did I mention ugly?), head. Ugh. It's heartbreaking.
Separation anxiety usually shows itself between 7 and 18 months. But some babies struggle with it earlier and/or later than that. It is one of those awful milestones, ya know like teething. All babes go through it but some easier than others. In a year filled with the sweetest of milestones, this one just bites.
I happened upon this really great tip list over at Just the Facts Baby. Of the 12 tips, these 3 listed are my favorites because of the reminders that your baby is not spoiled or manipulating you. Separation anxiety is normal and your baby's fear is very real. Proceed with gentleness.
1. Allow your baby to be a baby. It's perfectly okay for your baby to be attached to you. It's evidence that the bond you've worked so hard to create is holding. So politely ignore those who tell you otherwise.
2. Don't worry about spoiling her with love. Since quite the opposite will happen.
3. Don't sneak away when you have to leave her. It may seem easier than dealing with a tearful goodbye, but it will just cause her constant worry that you're going to disappear without warning at any given moment. The result? Even more clinginess and diminished trust in your relationship.
For more tips, head over here for the rest of the list!
Did your baby go through separation anxiety? How did you cope?
image © iStock/ stphillips