Safe Sleep: Separation Anxiety
For as long as your baby has known, you have always been by his or her side. It is hard for your baby to understand those moments, especially when he or she is going to sleep, where you are no longer next to him or her. This is known as separation anxiety, and may start to appear in your baby during the second half of their first year. Your baby may wake up and cry in the middle of the night because of this. There are many ways you can comfort your baby through their anxiety without breaking the Four Rules of Safe Sleep. Here are a few steps that can help:
- Always let your baby know, no matter what age, when you have to leave him or her. Do this in a matter-of-fact way, even when you are only stepping away for a moment. A simple “I’ll be right back” will become a safe clue that you will leave them for a little bit.
- By playing mirror games and peekaboo, you are helping your baby understand that you are able to go away and come back.
- Keep your baby’s attention on something else while you leave. This could be as simple as a new toy or a peekaboo game. Be sure to always say goodbye to your baby before you go, but leave as quickly as you can.
- Be sure to go out consistently on the same night if you do, and always use the same babysitter if at all possible. This will create a schedule and help your baby understand easier what is next.
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