Separation Anxiety in Children

Separation anxiety occurs as babies begin to understand their own selfhood—or understand that they are a separate person from their primary caregiver. At the same time, the concept of object permanence emerges—which is when children learn that something still exists when it is not seen or heard. As babies begin to understand that they can be separated from their primary caregiver, they do not understand that their caregiver will return, nor do they have a concept of time. This, in turn, causes a normal and healthy anxious reaction. Separation anxiety typically onsets around 8 months of age and increased until 13-15 months, when it begins to decline. ...from Wikipedia

Fast Facts:

  • In many cases, the child is fine within a few minutes of the parent(s) leaving.
  • When it occurs in a child over age 6 years, is excessive, and lasts longer than four weeks, the child may have separation anxiety disorder.
  • Most healthy babies and toddlers exhibit separation anxiety as part of normal development.