Stranger anxiety is a phenomenon experienced by babies, especially by the age of 1, at times kids show a strong preference for either of the parents at a certain age. In fact many a times such babies may view their grandparents as strangers. The only way to manage this situation is by comforting the baby at the time it is experiencing separation anxiety. Babies understand from the actions of their caregivers that the caregivers are about to leave. Hence, anxiety begins to build much before the caregiver leaves. Upset and crying during separation, these babies go through sleep difficulties.
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• Babies realize by the age of 8-9 months, who their primary caregiver is and develop an attachment with them
• Babies with a balanced and healthy attachment prefer being near their mother, because the mother is the person who helps them with their physical & emotional needs
• Although the baby might drift away from her to explore, they still look back at her face for assurance when they’re not sure about something. This phenomenon is called social referencing
Managing separation anxiety
• They are babies, their tears are short lived, avoid getting influenced by that
• Stay apart from them for short duration
• Early introduction of new people to the babies
• Try saying goodbye as a signal of availability
• Always leave when the baby is peaceful and feels good
• Avoid looking back
• Use distraction as a tool when moving apart from the baby
• Say goodbye and assure the baby to be back sooner to comfort it
At the age between 6 months to 1 year babies develop a familiarity with their caregivers. Hence, many a time they feel separation anxiety when their primary caregiver is absent. The baby in such a case becomes upset and cries in response to that separation. The caregiver should always tell the baby and leave assuring him or her that they will return soon that helps the baby soothe.
Stranger anxiety is a normal part of a kid’s development development. Parents should be aware and cautious when their babies are approached by unfamiliar people. However, a healthy balance needs to be carried to help the baby grow well.
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