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Infant Separation Anxiety: 
4 Tips to Soothe Your Nervous Baby 

Your baby may be experiencing infant separation anxiety if he or she clings to you when you try to leave the room or refuses to calm down until you hold them in your arms.  

Despite what you've heard, this is totally normal behavior.

In fact, separation anxiety proves you're doing a great job at parenting and that the bond with your child is strong and healthy.


Infant separation anxietyInfant separation anxiety proves you're doing a great job at parenting and the bond between you and your child is strong and healthy.
Infant separation anxietyInfant separation anxiety proves you're doing a great job at parenting and the bond between you and your child is strong and healthy.

Image Credit: Pixabay


Reasons for Infant Separation Anxiety

Here are a few reasons your baby may be experiencing separation anxiety.

-Your child's brain is developing.  Babies are smart and will quickly realize their actions impact the people around them.  i.e. "If I cry, mommy will pick me up!"

-Your baby has formed an emotional attachment to you. Babies will quickly associate feelings of love and security with their parents.  

Don't be alarmed if your baby doesn't show signs of separation anxiety; it doesn't mean that something is wrong.  Babies have their own unique personalities.   But also be aware that separation anxiety could crop up in todderhood. 

4 Tips to Ease Infant Separation Anxiety 

1. Pay No Attention to Independence Teaching

Lots of parenting advice will teach you to resist the natural urge to hold and comfort your child.  After all, babies should learn to be more independent.  They should be able to play quietly by themselves and not need constant parental contact. Right?  

Well, this is fine for older kids and teenagers, not so much for babies.

While encouraging independence is necessary, it's more important to let your baby know that you'll be there for them. 

If your child cries, go ahead and pick him or her up.  Doing this will continue to communicate the language of acceptance and comfort between the both of you.

2. Play Games

Babies who experience separation anxiety feel that their security and safety are being threatened. But games like peek-a-boo helps your child better understand that you wouldn't be gone forever and will eventually return.

3. Slowly Introduce your Baby to Other People

There will come a time when you'll have to leave your baby with other people, such as daycare or babysitters. This is especially true if you're a working parent.

Start slowly by introducing your baby to these caregivers.  

Begin with short visitation times  with you, the child and the caregiver. Start with 10 minutes, then move up to 15 minutes, a half an hour, 1 hour.  If you feel more time is needed to make the transition easier, please do so.  Follow your gut. 

Use your gut instinct on selecting baby sitter for your child. If someone doesn't connect with your child, or if you're plain uncomfortable follow your gut. Hire someone else you feel comfortable with. 

4. Say Goodbye with Positivity and Encouragement

The first few goodbyes between you and baby will be very difficult-for both of you. Explain to your child that you have to leave, but will be back soon.

This may seem silly because your baby wouldn't be able to understand the words you're saying. Don't let this stop you.

Don't sneak away without saying goodbye.  You may think that sneaking out is easier than saying goodbye, but this can increase your baby's anxiety.

The same is true of prolonged goodbyes. The longer you stay around after saying goodbye, the more painful the situation becomes.

Allow your child to begin to understand the connection between the words goodbye and you leaving.  But with the assurance that you will return.

What to do if your child is crying when you're about to leave? 

Provide positive preparation.

Gently rub your infant's back while saying soothing, positive and encouraging things like:

"Mommy/Daddy loves you."

"I have to leave, but I'll be back soon, I love you.

Give your baby a kiss, and leave the room with a reassuring smile. 

A reassuring smile translates that everything is fine. Kids are very smart. Even at such a young age, babies can pick up on negative emotions.

Separation anxiety can be hard on you and your partner. Fortunately, this is a phase that will pass with time. 

Bottom line is  this. You are doing the best you can. Don't be too hard on your self. As I said in the beginning, infant separation anxiety is healthy and shows that there's a strong, loving bond between you and your child.

Additional Resource:

Attachment Parenting-Helps you achieve an even deeper bond with your baby. 

I hope this article helps you on your journey towards better mental health.

Bright Skies Are Ahead,




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Week 1

This first installment focuses on the link between exercise, diet and good mental health.

Week 2

I'll talk about the importance of using relaxation techniques to lift your mood and calm your nerves, which in turn improves mental health. 

Week 3

This week all about using self-esteem to improve mental health and overall well-being. 

Week 4

This final week presents ways to reduce social media usage. Studies show that over consumption of social media contributes to anxiety and depression.

Click here to start this free e-course!




Week 1

This first installment focuses on the link between exercise, diet and good mental health.

Week 2

I'll talk about the importance of using relaxation techniques to lift your mood and calm your nerves, which in turn improves mental health. 

Week 3

This week all about using self-esteem to improve mental health and overall well-being. 

Week 4

This final week presents ways to reduce social media usage. Studies show that over consumption of social media contributes to anxiety and depression.

Click here to start this free e-course!