Soothing Separation Anxiety

The months before your baby’s first birthday are a key time in her emotional development. Between the ages of 10 and 12 months, babies become much more aware of other people, as well as themselves. They may be afraid of strangers and experience separation anxiety—the fear of being separated from a parent, whether or not the parent is actually leaving the child’s presence. This is generally resolved by the age of 24 months.

This is an important part of your baby’s relationship with you. You can boost your child’s confidence with these steps:

  • While your baby plays in a safe area, walk away for short periods. This will teach your child that you always come back.

  • Introduce your baby to new people and things gradually.

  • Hold and cuddle your baby often. At bedtime, maintain a routine of cuddling, rocking, and soothing.

  • Respond if your baby awakens and cries at night, but avoid turning on the light or picking up or holding your baby. Limit your interactions to soothing talk and patting, telling your baby it is time for sleep.


Online Medical Reviewer: Florence Desrosiers, MD

Date Last Reviewed: 4/2/2010

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