Leaving Your Baby at Home: 4 Tips to Reduce Separation Anxiety

The average maternity leave length in the OECD countries is 18 weeks, and in the majority of cases, mothers get paid about half their salary for this time (Business Insider). This means that you will need to start coming up with coping strategies for separation anxiety quite soon after the baby is born. You’ll need to use tech, clever day planning, and games to get through this.

Top 4 Tips on How to Cope with Baby Separation Anxiety

1.      Ease into the separation

Start with playing peek-a-boo when your baby is barely days old and keep doing your best to teach the child that separation is normal. You also need to do your best to learn the same thing. Therefore, you have to make a conscious effort to leave the child out of your sight for a short period of time every day.

Including other people into this will be a great help. You should try setting up a schedule of babysitting with your spouse, relatives, or friends who help you care for the child. This will also give you an opportunity to have a few hours to yourself, which is essential for a mother’s mental and physical wellbeing.

2.      Install a nanny camera

One of the main reasons why a mother’s separation anxiety is so great is the fear that something might happen to your baby and you aren’t there. The best way to curb that feeling is to have an opportunity to see your baby anytime. That’s exactly why you should research the best nanny cams. These devices will also enable you to literally keep an eye on the nanny you hire so you can make sure that they take good care of your child.

However, be sure to control yourself so you don’t spend your whole day gazing at the video feed. You should create a personal schedule for checking in on your baby and stick to keeping those ‘sessions’ short.

3.      Organize your work

It will be much easier to focus on the work (thus shifting your focus away from the baby) if it’s neatly organized so you know exactly what to do and when. Spend a couple of days before you return to the office by sorting through your workload and creating a plan. You can use project management or planning apps like Trello or Todoist to create a detailed schedule for your first days at work.

Then, keep up with the detailed planning so it becomes a part of your routine. Not only will it help reduce separation anxiety. But this will also help improve your productivity at work.

4.      Keep your social connections with colleagues active

Stay in touch with friends from work during your maternal leave. This will ease the transition back into the office and generally help reduce your stress.

It will be best to set up regular meetings with them and you might even visit the office with your baby for a few hours if it’s allowed. Overall, you should aim to make as many positive associations with your work as possible both for yourself and the infant.

Coping with Separation Anxiety When You Return to Work: Final Thoughts

Dealing with separation is never easy, but it will get better with time if you stick to a routine and ensure your baby is 100% safe. However, if you feel yourself struggling with this issue, you should consider counseling. Your anxiety might set off the baby and result in them developing SAD (separation anxiety disorder). Research indicates that this condition increases the risk of developing mental health issues later in life. Therefore, you need to control yourself and keep an eye on the baby’s own anxiety levels at all times. Avoid feeding into each other’s stress and seek help if the situation doesn’t improve.

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