The first time you leave a child with another caregiver can be emotional for both you and the child.
It can be difficult to leave when your infant cries and clings to you. It is important to remember that a little separation anxiety is actually a good thing. It means the child has developed strong attachments and relationships with the parents. The anxiety will fade as the child grows and understands that the parents/caregivers are coming back, but it can resurge in the midst of change or certain seasons of life.
This is all normal, but there are things you can do to help ease the process of parting:
- Stay with your child until they are familiar with a new place or person.
- Reassure your child you will be back.
- Tell them when you will be back (after naptime, at dinnertime, etc.) and be on time.
- Leave a favorite blanket or other “lovey” for comfort.
- Avoid leaving when your child is hungry, tired, or sick.
- Never tease or scold a child for being upset and do not sneak away.
These tips and more can be found at www.illinoisearlylearning.org/tipsheets/sepanxiety.