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How do I help my toddler cope with separation anxiety when I need to go to work or run errands?

Hi everyone,

I am a mom to a 2-year-old toddler who seems to be going through a tough time coping with separation anxiety. Every time I need to leave the house for work or run errands, my little one becomes extremely upset and clings onto me with tears in his eyes. It breaks my heart to see him like this, and I am not sure how to help him cope with these emotions.

I have tried reassuring him that I will be back soon, leaving him with familiar and trusted caregivers, and giving him a special toy or blanket to comfort him, but nothing seems to be working. I am worried that his separation anxiety will continue to escalate, and it will become a hindrance to his growth and development.

Any advice or tips on how I can help my toddler cope with separation anxiety would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for your help!

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Hey there,

I also had to cope with handling separation anxiety in my 2-year-old toddler, and I found that communication was key. I began explaining to my child what was going to happen during the day and all the fun things that he would get to do with his babysitter. This did not just distract him but also kept him excited for his day with the sitter.

Another important thing that helped was making a goodbye and hello ritual. We would say goodbye with a hug and a kiss, and we had a special handshake for when I returned home. This helped him know that I had not forgotten about him while I was outside, and it also made him feel special.

Additionally, it might help if you practice leaving them with someone for short periods. This may be a significant change for your child, so it is good you get him used to the idea slowly. Start by leaving them with a babysitter for 20-30 minutes while you go outside.

Finally, I found that incentivizing obeying the babysitter helped. For instance, I promised my little one that I would take him out on the weekend if he let the babysitter take care of him without fuss.

In conclusion, like it has been said, patience is essential when helping your child cope with separation anxiety, so take it one step at a time. With time and consistency, they will adjust, and It will become more manageable.


Hi everyone,

I have a 4-year-old son who has been struggling with separation anxiety for a while now. One thing that worked for me is making sure he's well-rested and well-fed before I leave. A child who is tired or hungry is more likely to become clingy and upset when you leave.

Another thing that could help is setting up a routine for when you come back. A routine could help ease the transition from being with the caregiver to returning to you. For example, when I get back from work, I usually have a snack waiting for my son, and then we spend time together talking about our day or playing a game.

One other thing that has helped us over time is distraction. When it's time for me to leave, I let him know in advance, and we try to distract ourselves with a book or puzzle. Sometimes, I play his favorite song and dance with him, and that works too in creating an excellent mood before I leave.

It's important to note that all children are different, and what works for one may not work for another. It's okay to try out different techniques and see what your child responds to best. Finally, show them love and reassure them that you'll be back soon.


Hello everyone,

I have a 3-year-old daughter, and I understand how hard it can be to deal with separation anxiety. One thing that helped me out is giving my little one a task to focus on when I'm gone. Children like having responsibilities, and it can give them a sense of purpose.

For example, my daughter loves taking care of our pet bunny, so when I leave, I ask her to help me feed him, water his hay, and check-in on him throughout the day. That way, she feels like she has something to do and gets absorbed in taking care of the bunny. By the time I'm back, she's happy to show me all the things they did together.

I also found that distraction works well, especially if it's something that they enjoy doing. For instance, if your child loves painting, you could buy a set of paints and paper, and they can paint while you're gone. This will keep them occupied and not worrying about when you're coming back.

It's important to remember that separation anxiety is normal, and it's a phase that most kids go through. So, be patient with your little one, and eventually, they will become more comfortable with your absence. Also, be sure to reassure them that you love them and will always come home to them.


Hey all,

I have a 2-year-old son whom I've been struggling with when it comes to separation anxiety. One technique that has helped us a lot is involving my son in the farewells. I let him assist me in getting my stuff together like my keys, bag, and lunch. By doing this, he feels involved and remains occupied until it's time for me to go.

Also, having a familiar face around really helps him calm down. What I mean is that I try to ensure that the same babysitter or caregiver is present every time I have to leave. A stable and familiar environment could make it easier on him.

Another thing that has worked for us is the power of distraction. Whenever it's time for me to leave, I play his favorite cartoons or sing songs with him that I know he likes. This helps redirect his focus and puts him in a happy mood.

In conclusion, it's important to understand that separation anxiety can be challenging for both you and your child. Be calm, be comforting, and make sure to continue reassuring them that you will always be there for them. Taking one day at a time and finding what works for you and your child will make all the difference.


Hi everyone,

I am a father of a 5-year-old son, and I can completely relate to the challenges of separation anxiety. One thing that worked for us was establishing a good-bye routine that involved a special way of saying goodbye. In our case, we give each other a high-five and a fist bump before I leave. It's a fun and interactive way to say farewell, and it helps him understand that I won't be gone forever.

Another technique that has helped us is communicating and involving him in the process. Before leaving the house, I tell him about the plans for the day and who will be taking care of him while I am away. It keeps him in the loop and helps him feel more secure when I'm not around.

Also, we have found that playing games and engaging in fun activities that can help distract him are beneficial. For example, we might play a game of hide-and-seek or create an art project that we can finish when I return.

Lastly, it's important to give your child enough time to adjust to the caregiver. If possible, we suggest having a trial period where you gradually leave your child with the caregiver for short periods, then slowly increase the duration over time. This helps them to get used to the new environment and develop a relationship with the caregiver.

In conclusion, dealing with separation anxiety can be challenging, but with time, patience and a bit of creativity, it's manageable. Remember that every child is different, so find what works best for you and your child. Don't hesitate to seek help if you feel like your child is experiencing severe anxiety that is impeding their daily routine.


Hi there,

I had a similar experience with my 3-year-old son who had severe separation anxiety when I had to leave him to go to work or run errands. It was tough for both of us, and I felt a lot of guilt leaving him behind while he cried inconsolably.

What worked for me was gradually increasing the time I spent apart from him. For example, I would leave him with a trusted caregiver for short periods, like an hour or two, and slowly work up to longer durations. I also found that creating a goodbye routine helped ease his anxiety. We would say our goodbyes, give each other a big hug and a kiss, and I would reassure him that I would be back soon.

Another thing that helped was distracting him with fun activities before I left. We would play his favorite game or read a book together, and then I would slowly transition to leaving. I would also leave him with a favorite toy or something I knew he would enjoy playing with to keep him occupied.

Most importantly, I learned to be patient and understanding while he adjusted to being apart from me. It took time, but eventually, he was able to cope with my absences without getting too upset.

I hope these tips help and best of luck to you and your little one!


Hi everyone,

I can definitely relate to what you're all going through. When my daughter was around 1 year old, I had to start working full-time, and she would get extremely upset any time I left her. It was tough for both of us, but I found that consistency and establishing a routine helped her cope with separation anxiety.

I made sure to stick to a schedule when it came to dropping her off and picking her up from the caregiver's house. For instance, we always left after breakfast, and I always returned before dinner time. It gave her a sense of predictability and comfort knowing when I would be back.

Also, I prepared her in advance if there was a particular day that I'd be gone for more extended periods. I would let her know what to expect, and it helped soothe her anxieties. It also made me feel better knowing she was prepared.

Lastly, I would highly recommend leaving your child with a familiar object that reminds them of home, such as their favorite toy, blanket, or pillow. It acts as a source of comfort to them, which may ease their worries about being left alone.

Overall, consistency, routine, and a familiar object really helped my daughter cope with separation anxiety. It's essential to remember that every child is different, and it may take time to find the right approach. Keep trying different techniques until you find one that works best for you and your child.



I have a 3-year-old daughter, and just like many of you, we've had our fair share of struggles with separation anxiety. One solution that has worked for us is gradually getting her used to leaving us by starting with short intervals.

Initially, we would go out for a short walk or leave her for a few minutes with a trusted caregiver, then gradually increase the duration over time. We found this approach very effective in helping her cope with our absence.

Another thing that has helped is setting expectations by using a visual schedule. We have a chart that outlines all our daily activities, including the times we come and go. This helps her understand when we need to be away and when we will be back.

Lastly, I recommend finding an engaging activity or toy that your child can enjoy while you're away. For example, you can have a special art project waiting for them to do with their caregiver or special toy that they only get to play with while you're gone.

In conclusion, separation anxiety is a normal phase that almost all children go through, and it can be challenging to deal with as a parent. The best way to ease separation anxiety is through patience, persistence, and love. Try different techniques and find what works for you and your child!

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