The 8-month crisis

What is this crisis all about?

  • While it is painful for him, separation anxiety is a sign of the correct mental development of your baby : he is simply beginning to understand that he and his mother are two different people and that he can thus be separated from her. It's an important step towards becoming independent, but this sudden awareness is also very distressing… When you are away from him, your baby fears losing you forever because he is not able to imagine that you are going to come back: anything outside of his field of vision simply does not exist to him. In addition, he does not yet have a notion of time:  an absence of only a few minutes can seem like an eternity to him. The feeling of abandonment he feels when you move away from him can thus be very strong.
  • This "crisis" is also a sign that your child is learning the difference between people close to him and other people. He distinguishes the intimate and reassuring family circle from the potentially threatening outside world.
  • The intensity of separation anxiety varies greatly from one child to another, and some babies do not even seem to experience it : they remain sociable and are quite happy to continue being held by one person or another. If this is the case with your baby, do not worry! Separation anxiety is not an obligatory phase : each baby has his or her own character and develops in their own special way. Hence, very often, babies used to living in a group (such as a nursery) may find it easier to get through this phase.


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