Your baby can see no more than a few centimeters from their face. So it’s safe to say that you are the apple of their eye.
Infants depend on their innate senses to recognize things around them. Be it through sight, touch, smell, taste, or hearing — babies sense it all. From the time you pick them up, swaddle them, and put them to sleep, they begin to understand the pattern — perhaps why they make a fuss if they don’t see or hear you for longer than a few minutes. To them, that’s out of the ordinary. They are even aware of how breast milk smells like. And why wouldn’t they? That’s their staple meal for quite some time (1).
All of this may feel overwhelming. But what adds to it is the separation anxiety that makes you wonder, “Does my baby miss me when I’m not around?”
There’s no reason to worry about it!
Many new moms happen to notice that their calm and happy babies turn fussy soon as you leave the room. You see, in the initial stage of development, your baby doesn’t instantly sense it when you are not around. They take their own sweet time to figure it out and make peace with it. But gradually, as they grow older, they cry and get all fussy because they start feeling a huge void when they don’t have you around. As their senses develop, they tend to miss you more. Moreover, babies start having separation anxiety and like the sense of security that you can provide them (2).
They’re just growing up.
Your baby missing you in your absence is a natural tendency. And as they grow older, their senses evolve, and they start understanding the difference between you leaving for a short time or extended hours. Again, this could be if they see you walk out of the room, can’t hear you after a while, or just don’t feel your touch. As they start becoming conscious of what’s around them, they recognize your presence and hence yearn for you if you aren’t in the expected territory.
This phase will eventually fade away.
There’s no need to panic. Your baby will get used to this after some time. You will start noticing a shift in their behavior, especially in the first year.
Once you have regular visitors, you will see your baby transition into someone who loves spending time with others, but on some days, you are all they will need. And not having you around will leave them in tears. Babies desire their parents’ complete attention initially, and as they are introduced to other material things, they delve into them and stay engaged. It depends on your parenting approach and your will to help them feel more secure when you are nowhere to be seen.
If your little one misses the heck out of you and brings the house down, find alternative ways to help your kid feel safe in your absence. Plan play dates with other children, take him for walks and introduce him to more people, and most importantly, be there to see how it goes! This will give your baby the strength to interact with new people when you have somewhere else to be.
Here’s what you can do to help them be at ease!
- Keep Calm
No matter how your baby reacts when you return, don’t let the signs of stress or anxiety be seen. Your baby will pick up on your every mood, and it will make them more upset, to say the least. So keep calm when you try to console your child.
- Boost Your Baby’s Confidence
Before leaving the room, comfort your baby and let it be known that everything will be fine. So that when you’re back, you can reiterate the same. Eventually, your baby will start responding positively.
- Do Give Your Baby Some Space
Your baby needs to learn to live without you by their side 24/7. So make sure you do leave the room and notice the reactions. This will help build a strong coping mechanism that will ensure that your child gets comfortable with you leaving for a certain amount of time.
- Be Strong
If you don’t tend to stay away for a short while because you’re worried your baby will miss you, your toddler will take more time to get used to you stepping away for whenever needed.
- Pamper Your Baby Once You Get Back
Shower your babywith all the attention, soon as you are back. Your warm smile and cuddles will be soothing each time and will offer them solace.
We all want our babies to think of us and miss our presence. But that shouldn’t turn into an unhealthy pattern that increases their separation anxiety or leaves you with an overly scared infant. So, for the betterment of their health and yours, finding a balance between the dos and don’ts will help put things in perspective when you need to step away from your munchkin for a little while.