Approved by the What’s Up Moms Medical Advisory Board
Because your baby is brilliant, she is well on her way to discovering object permanence — the understanding that things and people continue to exist even when you can’t see them — which is very mature (of course!) yet also kind of scary to her, because at some point in the next couple of months it means that some separation anxiety may kick in.
Separation anxiety is a drag because you’ll no longer be able to just pass baby around at social gatherings for everyone to gush over; she’ll really prefer her parents over everyone else and will make this known. Loudly. And it can actually be legitimately stressful; hearing her cry when you leave her with a sitter or Grandma is enough to make any mom break out in a clammy sweat.
Trust us that this phase is not forever. And trust us that baby is OK.
Make sure baby has a special transitional object — a lovey, blanket, or plush toy — that she can clutch or suck or snuggle to provide familiarity and comfort. Yes, this thing will soon be the bane of your existence — perpetually damp and/or rancid and/or threadbare — but that’s just as it should be. Always have a backup lovey on hand (and be sure to throw it into the mix from time to time to wear it in as babies can smell a dupe from a mile away.)
Help quell baby’s separation anxiety by practicing predictability in all your daily routines. Create specific rituals around mealtimes, bath time and bedtime. And create a goodbye ritual — maybe a song or countdown or phrase that you use consistently. Whatever you do, don’t try to trick baby by sneaking out without a proper goodbye. It’s important that she see you go — so save your suave ghosting for parties.