Parents' Tips and Tricks

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Spotlight on Attachment

Date: November 3, 2014 Author: Bumpkins Team Categories: Parents' Tips and Tricks

games can help ease your child's attachement issues

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 19.28.38Are those blissful days of leaving your baby asleep in their Moses basket while you pop to make a hot drink long gone? Do you now dread needing to use the bathroom? For many parents, there comes a time when their baby cries each and every time they leave the room.

With hindsight this is just a short phase in their development, but whilst going through it, the continuous barrage of guilt-inducing wails can feel too much to cope with.

What is Attachment?

Attachment is defined as the essential foundation for long lasting relationships. For babies, attachment is their bond to their carer- be it mum, dad or another constant adult in their life. They cry, we respond, and through this they learn to trust that their needs will be met.

Why is it Important?

Attachment lays down the foundations for all future relationships and it is the quality of this attachment that is most important. Babies who feel secure with their parents learn to cope with stress better, are said to be more outgoing, confident and they develop well emotionally. A poor attachment in childhood can lead to behavioural or emotional issues and sadly, even depression.

Separation Anxiety

Between seven and twelve months old, your baby will have realised that they are a separate being to you. When you leave the room they understand you are gone and, because they have little concept of time, they are quite understandably worried by this. After all, you are their provider of food, warmth and love, their life line. If they can’t see you, how will they survive? This is termed Separation Anxiety and can be characterised by a clingier and generally whinier baby who gets upset when you aren’t in their line of sight.

How Can I Help?

Helping your baby through this milestone will take patience, there will be tears, sometimes from everyone! But hang in there and you will be rewarded with the return of your smiling happy soul, content to play and explore the world around them.

games can help ease your child's attachement issues

Try some games to support your little one through this stage, play peek-a-boo, behind your hands and then behind the door. Hide a beloved soft toy and exaggerate your joy on finding it, go on, put those acting talents to good use, your baby will love it even if it’s not Oscar worthy!

Most importantly keep goodbyes short, a quick kiss, hug and a “see you very soon” is best.

Whether you are in the throes of separation anxiety now, or have this stage to look forward to, read these 7 ways to cope and above all remember it is just a phase. It won’t last forever.

Don’t worry if your little one is unhappy to see you go the first time you leave them at a nursery settling in visit. At Bumpkins we are experts in childcare and we will ensure that your child’s (and your own) transition to nursery is a smooth one.

Photos – Upsilon Andromedae, Haylee Sherwood & Din Jimenez

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