When your baby loves and needs you 24/7 when do you have time for yourself
During the first few months of life, your baby depends on you for everything. From feeding to changing, bathing to dressing, everything comes down to “mommy and me” in their world. However, there comes a point when your child should start exploring their new world, and encouraging independent play is an important part of their development. However, some babies feel separation anxiety the minute they’re away from their parents, even when their mom and dad are just in the other room. Though you don’t want to hear your baby cry, you also don’t want to wear them as a permanent attachment for the rest of their lives. What’s a parent to do?
Separation anxiety and fear of strangers is a natural response that most babies start to feel near the end of their first year. During this time, your baby loves you too much they may be more clingy than normal. Even the most social of babies who used to love being passed around and held by everyone can sometimes change their mind for a month or two, seeking out their parents at every turn. While this may be difficult to deal with, there are things you can do as a parent to encourage independence in your baby. While raising a confident, self-sufficient child won’t happen in a day, over time you can help develop their sense of self so they’re assured enough to begin exploring their world independently.
1) Think about your body language.
It’s only natural that you might be apprehensive about your baby starting to crawl around and explore, but your body language might be reinforcing fear in your child. For example, your child will generally look to you for reassurance as he or she moves around a room. If you lunge for them every time they make a sound, you’re actually telling your child that there’s something to worry about. Babies are very adept at picking up on these signals. Conveying a “nothing to worry about,” relaxed attitude will help your child look at exploration and independent time positively.
2) Invest in some “alone time” gadgets.
Getting your baby to play on their own encourages and stimulates their imagination and builds their confidence. However, getting them into the zone may prove difficult. Try using a baby swing with some favorite toys for them to grab at attached, or a baby play yard to encourage some alone time, or invest in one of the fun bouncers for babies. Try getting your child to give them a go while you are still in clear view, and then slowly move them further away day by day. A gradual process is always better for a baby, as it allows them to get used to the idea of mommy and daddy being off somewhere else.
3) Try to keep your mood calm.
Like noting your body language, babies are very adept at picking up on your various moods. Mothers who breastfeed when angry about something oftentimes find that their child has a harder time latching on and digesting her milk, so it’s little wonder that would translate to other activities as well. Even if you’re slightly anxious about your baby exploring, give them signs that they’re doing the right thing and actively encourage them by maintaining a relaxed posture and facial expressions.
4) Be prepared for an occasional return to clinginess.
It may feel like a setback, but every once in awhile even the babies who are grabbing on to their independence with both hands need their mommy or daddy for reassurance. Be patient with your child when this happens, and give them all the love and cuddles they need. Doing so will not reinforce the clingy behavior to return, rather it will let a baby know that their parents will always be there when it all becomes a bit much.
5) Greet strangers in the right way.
Fear of strangers or people they haven’t met yet is a very real problem for children just about to reach their first year. They may become shy or want to cling on to a parent when someone new enters the house. Greet new people with a face that says “I’m glad to see you.” Try hugging them and showing your baby there’s nothing to be afraid of. By doing so, you set an example that “this person is okay, and you can trust them.”
Getting your child to let go and explore their world on their own is important for their overall development, as well as their confidence. By encouraging independent play and activities, your child’s brain will develop faster as they learn about a world away from mommy and daddy. Remain calm and relaxed, and your child is sure to see the fun side of being on their own.
With four kids of her own, writer Melanie Fleury knows what it feels like to be pulled in many different directions. She has found that using fun bouncers for babies or special toys that only come out when she needs a short break are great ways to take a moment unglued from her favorite little ones.Thanks Melanie for this great article on when your baby loves you too much! As parents our first response is to watch over them constantly and your baby loves the much needed attention, Finding time for yourself is also important.
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