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Separation anxiety is a good sign
March 03, 2024

Did you remember to download the 'Choosing Daycare' guide?

Dear Reader,

If you're new to KidEcology, welcome! I’m Anya Dunham, a scientist with a PhD in Biology and a mom to three young kids, two in elementary school and a preschooler. I created KidEcology to carefully bring together the science of baby’s first year, to find the answers to questions that are too complex to google.

Today, I want to share with you a brief perspective shift on separation anxiety, something most babies begin showing in the second half of their first year.

We call it ‘anxiety’ but it’s actually a testament to your baby’s bond with you and a sign of immense learning and growing!

Around 7-9 months, babies develop:

• Focused attachment (“I know who brings me love, safety, and nourishment”)

• Understanding of object permanence (“That person with big glasses is still in the kitchen although I cannot see them”)

• Advanced ability to detect patterns and anticipate events (“Mommy has her coat on so she must be leaving”)

These cognitive leaps expand your baby’s world, but also make it appear more uncertain, so they might hold on to their safe base more tightly. In addition, babies at this age are gaining, or are about to gain, mobility. Stranger and separation anxiety might serve as a safety net that keeps them closer to parents and trusted caregivers.

Separation anxiety, unwillingness to go into a relative’s arms, or difficulties at daycare drop off are all normal. This stage is challenging, but in a sense it’s a milestone worth celebrating – and not something you need to “fix”, work on, or apologize for ♡

You’ll find this and much more (with references to all the studies!) in my award-wining book, Baby Ecology. Today, and for the next 6 days, get Baby Ecology eBook at 50% off ($4.99 USD) on Smashwords to celebrate the 2024 Read an Ebook Week!

And here are a few new articles you might enjoy:
What if 'best' parenting techniques don't work?
A lesser-known way to build connection with your child (updated with new studies)
A mirror in the playroom: is it necessary?

Wishing you smooth transitions,


P.S. If you have any questions, ideas, feedback, or just want to say hi, please press Reply! I respond to every email personally ♡

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