How to curb baby clinginess

Separation anxiety can be stressful for you and your baby. Check out our dos and don'ts to help you break the barrier


Do start small

“If you baby’s happily engaged with a toy, leave the room but keep singing or talking so he knows you’re close by. And if he crawls after a toy, don’t follow, so he’ll learn he’s safe even though you’re not beside him,” says Elizabeth Pantley, author of The No-Cry Separation Anxiety Solution.

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Do stay calm

“No matter how drained you are by your baby’s inability to let anyone else care for him, try to stay in control. Separation anxiety is typically a short-lived phase,” says Dr Richard Woolfson, child psychologist.

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Do be cheerful

“He’s very sensitive to your presence and as a result, your baby reacts the moment you disappear from vision. When you tell him you’ll be back in a moment, say it with a smile so he’ll begin to feel trust,” advises Dr Woolfson.

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Do trust your childcare

“It’s important to have confidence in your childcare provider. Remember, they’ll be well qualified and practised in making babies feel happy,” explains Sue Atkins, parenting coach.

There are vital reasons why your baby seems to constantly demand your attention.

Do persevere

“If you avoid temporary separations because of your baby’s clinginess, you’ll never have any time on your own. He may crawl after you and appear at your ankles; it’s his way of telling you, ‘You’re not going anywhere without me’. He needs your encouragement to let go,” says Dr Woolfson.

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