babies crying mum life parenting preventing parental burnout separation anxiety starting childcare starting school Sep 19, 2023
Mum overwhelmed holding her crying baby with separation anxiety nxiety

As a registered childcare provider, I understand how normal separation anxiety is for little ones. I expect it, but for parents who may never have experienced this before, it can be upsetting.

You know dropping your baby to childcare is a normal part of life, but your baby may not because it’s unfamiliar to them.

What is Separation Anxiety?

As you are the one who has always tended to your child’s needs, they’ve come to rely on you for security and safety. This trust is a good sign of your attachment to one another. It’s the bond you share. It’s also why they become clingy and upset when you are not around.

As they grow, they find it upsetting to discover they aren’t a part of you; they are separate beings.

As soon as your baby learns, they are independent of you; they become needy. This makes them wary of strangers when you aren’t around, causing them to feel anxious.

What Causes Separation Anxiety?

Separation anxiety typically occurs between the ages of 6 months and 3 years.

Although since the pandemic, children of all ages are experiencing it at some point. Babies born during the pandemic had little social interaction and spent all their time with their parents. This has made transitioning to a world full of unfamiliar people daunting, especially when starting childcare or school for the first time.

Separation anxiety makes sense from an evolutionary perspective. Long ago, parents carried their babies everywhere to protect them from wild predators.

As babies grew more independent, crying helped keep them safe from threats and alerted their mother to any danger. It was a great survival mode. But today, Sabre-tooth tigers aren’t a threat, so many fears or worries are outdated reactions. 

Although, if you’ve ever lost your child in the supermarket, you’ll know that hearing them crying out from the bread aisle is a much-needed sound.

We will share some ways to help your child cope with separation anxiety in our next blog or check out the Autumn issue of mums & tots magazine for the full article. You can get free reading access using the referral link below to Magzter


Much love, Em x

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