Separation Anxiety

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is a normal part of development. Infants from around four to six months of age are able to distinguish between familiar and unfamiliar situations. They are also beginning to learn “object permanence”, meaning that they know things exist in their environment even when they are not observed. This period of development usually peaks between ten and eighteen months and then fades during the last half of the second year.

This can be a stressful and emotional time for families. Often mixed emotions are felt by parents as they transition through this stage. They may feel more of a sense of attachment or bonding with their child. They may also feel frustrated or anxious when having to leave their child.

Anxiety around strangers is often one of the first signs that are noted. Your child may even begin to cry or shy away from familiar faces of relatives or sitters. They often become clingy and may resist leaving the familiarity of your arms. Although this stage of development can be stressful, the predictable anxieties are evidence of a healthy relationship with you. The following link, Emotional and Social Development: 8 to 12 months,  has some helpful tips for your family on coping with these developmental transitions

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