There are several things you can do to help your baby/toddler/pre-schooler through separation anxiety:
- Arrange a few visits with your new carer prior to their first day. Get your child familiar with their new environment and other children they will share their day with.
- Let your child get to know their new carer first. Forming a trust and close connected relationship is vital to their wellbeing. Your child will soon learn that in the absence of their parents, they will be loved and their individual needs will be met.
- Keep your routines consistent. Your child will know what to expect and feel security with this, making the transition from the home environment to the care environment a calm and natural one.
- Practice at home. If you are able, explain to your child ahead of time, without overdoing it, that they will be going to have fun at their new care place and you will come and pick them up later. Be prepared for your new routine. Try to make your mornings rush-free as this can add further anxiety. Time to wake up and be refreshed with a good breakfast will give your child a positive start for their day.
- Give your child time to get comfortable. Communication is key between yourself and your new carer. A supportive relationship will help ease your concerns as well as give priority to the well-being of your child.
- Always say goodbye. Don’t make goodbye’s too long. Keep them light, cheerful and positive.
- Once you leave, leave. Longer farewells will send signals to your child that you are anxious too, Children are very instinctual to the moods of their parents/family. Wave with a big smile (even if you are not feeling cheerful).
Mairangi Bay, North Shore