Understand why your baby’s become clingy and cries when you leave.
Has your baby suddenly become clingy, crying whenever you’re out of her sight? Sometimes it only takes a step towards a door to set off the tears and wailing from your little one. This is most likely separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety starts when your baby’s around 6 months old, although it can be a few months either side.
It probably seems that only last week your baby was happy to be left at childcare or held by other people. But at some point before her first birthday, everything’s changed and she now won’t let you out of her sight.
There are several reasons why your baby cries when you leave her:
Separation anxiety is typically a short-lived phase.
For example, if your baby’s left with a childminder every morning, the chances are she’ll settle there within a fortnight. And even though she may be fully adjusted to staying with her current babysitter for an evening, she may be tearful and anxious when staying the next time with an unfamiliar sitter.
Your baby can show her worries about being separated from you in ways other than tears.
Your baby’s clinginess doesn’t mean she’ll have emotional difficulties later on. One study even found that children who take time to settle with child-carers are more alert, more curious and more assertive with their peers, once they feel at ease.
Dr Richard Woolfson, child psychologist
If she can’t crawl, she may try to follow you anyway.
Your baby could also be passive when experiencing separation anxiety. You might return from the kitchen to find her sitting inactively in the same position as you left her, as if she literally hasn’t moved.
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