It is very common for children to experience separation anxiety around the age of two, often earlier. It needn't just be for long separations either - leaving them for a nap could do the trick. Don't worry, this is a normal stage of development and as with everything else - this too shall pass.
Here are some tips to help you through this stage:
- Build up the separation. Don't go straight in with an hour with someone they don't know very well. Just start with 5 minutes with a familiar face while you're in the other room. You need to build up their trust that you will always come back.
- Don't show your emotions at leaving them. We all know the first time leaving your baby at nursery can be a toughie, but don't show them how you're feeling - put on a brave face and they'll get the message that there is nothing to worry about.
- If they're old enough to understand, make a plan for later. Tell them, what you'll make for dinner later at home or what book you will read after bath time. This will reinforce the message that you are coming back. It is important that you follow through with these promises.
- Let them take a favourite toy. Something that smells familiar will be comforting.