My husband and I recently got the chance to have a much needed date night. My in-laws offered to watch the kids at their house, and gifted us some awesome theater tickets.
Since I work outside the home and use full-time childcare, I thought we had this business of separation anxiety worked out by now.
We arrived a couple of hours early so Rowan could get used to the surroundings, but when I handed him off to his grandmother, he screamed, wailed, and cried. I tried to go out and not think about it. I told myself he would be fine once I left.
But he wasn't. He cried for (literally) hours. I don't think I'll be going out again anytime soon, but if I do, I'm going to try and use some of these strategies for helping babies deal with separation anxiety.
1. Use more than one caregiver. Even when your child is still an infant, introduce them to a few babysitters or relatives so they get used to other voices, faces, and surroundings. This can help to minimize anxiety later when we are not with them.
2. Make a quick exit. When you tell your baby it's time to go -- you HAVE to go. You can't stick around to make sure they are alright or try to explain that you will be back shortly. (I know, this is easier said than done.)
3. Be positive. You may not feel like smiling while your precious baby is turning into a puddle right before your eyes, but if you look sad and woeful, your baby will know and mimic your emotions.
4. Don't sneak out. It's tempting to run out and try to avoid feeling like you've just caused a major meltdown, but it's important for your baby to see you go. It helps them to make the connection and feel secure in knowing that when you leave, you always come back.
What do you do to ease separation anxiety with your baby? What makes it easier for you or them?
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