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Separation Anxiety and Sleeping

Between the ages of six months and two years, your child’s sleep patterns may be disturbed by separation anxiety. A baby or toddler may wake several times during the night and call out for his parents. An older toddler may try to climb out of his crib or plead to sleep in your bed. He isn’t being naughty or manipulative. This is a normal stage in his emotional development, and parents should take a loving and consistent approach. Make it clear that he should stay in his bed, but do reassure and comfort him each time he wakes during the night. During the day, no matter how young your child is, let him know when you are leaving. Even if you’ll only be gone for a minute, make sure to say, “I’ll be right back.” Also, play peek-a-boo and other hide-and-seek games. This will help him understand that even though you may go away, you always come back.

​The above script is part of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) radio series 'A Minute for Kids,' which airs weekdays on WBBM-AM in Chicago, IL.
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