Your child needs to grow and develop independence, obviously. The right time to start is when they are mobile, so after the “in-arms” phase. We remember from the past posts that a child can only become independent after passing the stage of complete dependency on the caregiver. From birth and till they start creeping or crawling they need “in-arms” experience which is vital to their development. I always say that infant needs to be in contact with mother 24/7; it’s needed for his psycho-emotional development, his heart rate, his breathing, his body temperature, hormonal state and immune system to function efficiently. You can read about it in the previous articles. Moving on to the stage of independence.
At some point, mother needs to organize her absences from the child to allow him transition to independence. It’s important to do it right, and not to overdo it)) The child starts to stand at about 6-8 months. At this age – early social adaptation in the group occurs. This adaptation takes place in the absence of his mother. And, accordingly, in the absence of breastfeeding, so the child learns to spend some time without mommy’s breasts=)) I can say that it is an approximate scheme, depending on your particular situation. For example, I started organizing my absences past nine months of age of my daughter. In general, though, these are the right time frames for duration and frequency of your absences; by “right” I mean they are biologically appropriate to your child’s age and his development.
Here are some of the rules to organize your absence from home:
A child can be left alone with the person to whom you absolutely trust;
- The first planned absences should take place when the child is awake; you cannot leave your baby asleep;
- During your absence, the child must drink water and eat adult food;
- Home absences during day naps start – from 9 months. The first 1-2 times, you can return to the spillage of the child, it is very delight;
- When return – let him nurse right away. Even if it’s only for 1 minute. Then sit down with the kid at the table to eat;
- By 10 months, the child can be away from you for 4-5 hours. It is important that the time absences coincided with daylight hours. As soon as it gets dark, hurry home.
- At one year a child can spend without a mother, not be bored or remember about mother – about 6-7 hours. If it’s longer – he starts to miss you.
- As the child grows up duration of absences increases. At 1.5 years it is 9-10 hours.
- Frequency of absences – at least 3 times a week, but not more than 5.
- Nightly absences may begin at the child’s age of 1.6-1.8 years. It is the beginning of the night absences that can trigger your period to come back;
- Absences first “day-night-day” – at 1,9-2 years. Duration of 2-3 days – 2.3 years and 2.5 years – 1 week.
Breasts will react calmly, without engorgement, if you believe a child is safe. If you are worried – there is likely to be a big “tide” of milk. If so, you can hand-express until a feeling of relief. And, of course, ask yourself – “How come I’m so worried?” Perhaps it is over exaggerated.
Competent organization of absences gives you the opportunity to take care of your needs and the family, keeping the internal balance.
Mom who stays home with the child, have to be very creative and come up with a lot of kid activities, to distract attention from herself. There is a chance that the child might eat worse and sleep anxiously. But this is only a possibility, and it will depend on how the life of mom and a toddler is organized at home, and on the number of nursings.
Give the child the opportunity to become independent!
Sincerely yours, Your Motherhood and Attachment Parenting Coach