Stress-Free Separation

You are window-shopping at the mall when you turn around to find that your baby, snuggled up in his stroller just moments ago, has disappeared. Panic-stricken, you go into a frenzy searching for him. The possibility of never seeing your baby again is terrifying.

This is how your baby feels every time you “disappear” and leave him with someone else. Your baby, particularly from 6 to 7 months onwards, is so attached to you that not having you around even for a little while can result in great anxiety.


  • Pack what you need the night before, so that you will not need to rush the next morning.
  • Tell your baby what is going to happen, even if she may be too young to understand.
  • Try not to leave your baby when he is tired, hungry or sick as this is probably when she is at her most temperamental. Pick a time when she is happiest and most receptive.


  • If the caregiver is not a familiar relative, introduce your baby to her and give them some time to get them accustomed to each other.
  • Stay with your baby during the first few visits. This gives her a chance to see that the caregiver is someone you trust.
  • On the actual day, avoid rushing and never try to sneak off when your baby is not looking.
  • Reassure your baby that you will be coming back but avoid prolonged, emotional goodbyes.
  • Make sure you give the caregiver specific details of your baby’s sleeping and eating patterns. The consistency in routine will make it easier for baby.
  • Bring your baby’s favourite toys or comfort pillow along to give her a sense of security.
  • Try to keep the parting times consistent so that your baby can get used to the fact that you will not be around at a particular time.
  • Make up for lost time with cuddles, hugs and kisses when you are reunited with your baby.

‘Stranger anxiety’ is when your baby bursts into tears or becomes clingy whenever encountering someone for the first time. Avoid putting your baby into the arms of people she does not know. The indirect, gradual approach is best: talk to the person with your baby around. Let her size up this new stranger. Initiate introductions only when your baby is more familiar with the person.

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