Separation Anxiety in Toddlers: How to Deal With It?

Separation Anxiety in Toddlers

The dilemma of separation anxiety is something a lot of parents have to deal with.

If your toddler cries or clings to you every time, you leave the room or head out of the door; then your toddler might be experiencing this anxiety.

At this early stage of their lives, kids don’t have any idea of timing, and they cannot comprehend this whole idea not to freak out when a parent leaves their side.

How to Deal With Separation Anxiety in Toddlers?

Some toddlers are good at handling goodbyes, but for some, they are filled with outbursts, screams, and tears.

Young kids have a very strong bonding with parents, and it is natural that when they grow up, they will be very hesitant in letting go of this feeling of security and fondness.

Parents are a symbol of security for the kids, and they find it difficult to stay away from them in such situations.

Although the phase of separation anxiety can take a long time to pass, there are few ways you can make it easier for your kid in different scenarios.

Recommended Read How To Get a Toddler To Stop Screaming?

  • Separation Anxiety in Toddlers Daycare and Babysitter

You can see separation anxiety manifest itself at a number of occasions, like dropping your kid off at daycare or leaving him with the babysitter.

Discipling a toddler and saying goodbye to him can be difficult.

By this age, toddlers start to understand that even when the parents are not around, they continue to exist.

In one of the books on this subject, the author suggests that you should play games like hiding and seek and peekaboo with your kid before leaving.

You can start by hiding for smaller durations of time before moving on.

This well is the kid believe that the mother will return shortly and it is just the game.

As for the time when you have to leave your toddler, you should inform her that a babysitter is coming to take care or that you would be taking her to the daycare.

At this point, the payment needs to keep the goodbye short, and not display any signs of anxiousness or keep returning for hugs. This will make the kid think that something is wrong.

Another way to is goodbyes is by turning this into a similar ritual.

Keeping It brief, you should follow the same pattern every day, which will turn it into a familiar transition for the toddler.

Another thing that you can do is to ask the babysitter or the lady at the daycare center to have some activity ready for your toddler as soon as you drop her off. The kid will get distracted by a game or a toy, which will distract her from the fact that the mother just left.

  • Around Other People

Being around unfamiliar faces and strangers in large gatherings can provide anxiety in your toddler.

Your kid will start to fear to lose you in the crowd. If you are at an unfamiliar place, you should avoid making your kid interact or play with other kids without you.

Give your kids some time to see if she develops an interest in playing with other kids there.

This will make it easier for your toddler to be comfortable at social gatherings in the future.

  • Separation Anxiety in Toddlers at Night Bedtime

Most toddlers get anxious when it is time for them to go to sleep at night.

As this is the longest stretch of time that they will have to experience every day without their parents.

You need to make sure that you establish some sort of a nice relaxing pattern for your toddler before sleep like reading stories or singing lullabies.


Child psychologists suggest that around the age of 16 to 20 months, kids start to gain more control of their bodies and start to perform functions like self-feeding and running.

With each new challenge, comes anxiety and stress.

All they need is the assurance that when mum leaves, she will always come back.

Child psychologists also suggest that you should not sneak out as it will intensify the separation anxiety in your kid.

Keep an eye on your toddler even when he is playing, in case he changes his mind or gets upset and wants to go back to mummy.

Also, at night, giving your kids something that they could hold onto as they go to sleep also greatly helps.

All in all, parents need to know how to deal with separation anxiety in toddlers.

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