You used to leave your baby with loved ones or other trusted child care providers with a kiss on the cheek and a quick wave goodbye. Now, however, your goodbyes trigger tears and clingy behavior. What's going on?

Separation anxiety is a normal stage of development for infants and toddlers. Frustrating as it may be, it's actually an emotional milestone that generally begins at 8 to 9 months of age. Your child is starting to understand that there's only one of you — and you still exist even when you aren't in sight.

Separation anxiety usually fades by age 24 months. In the meantime, say goodbye gently and reassure your child that you'll return soon. Separation anxiety rarely requires medical treatment.

May 30, 2015