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Separation Anxiety

Why Do Parents Need Breaks From Their Children?

When a baby enters the family, the dynamics of the home goes through much radical change. Many times a couple can get lost, as husband and wife now become “Mom” and “Dad.” It is common for parents, mothers especially, to feel as if they have lost their identity. Outside interests and hobbies get put aside as caregivers focus their time and attention on their new child.

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It is important for parents to take small breaks from their baby. Breaks can give tired caregivers something to look forward to. Breaks also help to keep stress levels under control--for both the parents and the child. Babies are tuned in to their caregiver’s emotions. A stressed, tired and upset mother can make for a cranky, restless and unhappy baby.

Breaks can consist of simply having someone watch a baby while a caregiver catches up on much needed sleep--to a routine night out on the weekends for parents. Breaks could also include the baby going to a Mother’s Day Out/Daycare program for a few hours each week.

No matter the type of break it is, it is important that caregivers take one on occasion to keep their mental health at optimal levels.

How Do I Leave My Baby When He/She Is Crying?

Separation anxiety is demonstrated when a child becomes clingy, cries or even screams when they are left with another caregiver. This is common, and a natural form of development in children. It is a sign that the child is maturing mentally and emotionally.

To help ease your child through the separation, you should remember that he or she will take clues from you. If infants sense that their caregivers are undecided about whether or not they should be left, they will feel insecure. If your infant sees that you are happy, friendly and secure with the individual they are being placed with, he or she will come to see that there is no reason to be fearful.

You should stay a few minutes with the child before you leave. You can use this time to chat with the caregiver and to play with your child and a toy. When it comes time to leave, you should never prolong the good-bye. This will only aggravate the situation and make it harder on the child. Give your child a smile, a hug and a kiss then go.

When you first leave your child, you should start slow. You can increase the amount of time your child is with another caregiver as you both become more comfortable with the process. With time, you will come to see how having a break benefits both the child and the caregivers.

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