Separation anxiety is one of the main causes of sleep disorders and is a very common issue that I deal with. Children live in the present and don’t have a concept of time so when we leave (even for a few minutes) they can worry that we are not coming back. This can be very distressing for them and can lead to more clinginess and insecurities especially when they wake at night and we are not there. Here are a few suggestions that can help combat separation anxiety:
- Introduce a comforter/cuddly toy or blanket for them to cuddle when we are not available.
- Lots of extra attention in the daytime including hugs and cuddles. Close physical contact helps to make your child feel loved and secure.
- Put up photos of mummy/daddy next to their bed.
- Keep your routine consistent especially your bedtime routine. This really helps a child to feel settled and secure.
- Communicate with your child. Let them know if you’re going out. Always say goodbye and that you will be back soon.
- Frequently leave the room they are in but let them know you’re just popping to the kitchen etc. Make noise (whistling etc) so they can hear you and know you’re close by even though they can’t see you.
More tips at www.savvysleepcoach.co.uk