Nurturing Independence at Age 1

As 1-year-olds become more aware of themselves as individuals, their urge to control their own actions and expand their abilities intensifies. At the same time, they’re also hesitant about being away from you for too long.

So your little one may seem fiercely independent 1 minute and overly clingy the next—and it’s all a normal part of development and growth in this second year.

You can encourage your toddler’s independence by inviting him to help with a task (picking up his toys and putting them into a basket, for example) and by brief separations (which allow you to take a break and your toddler to get used to being without you temporarily).

Your child may cry as you leave her with another caregiver, but this will typically be short-lived. Separation anxiety is also a normal part of toddlerhood, and one that’s probably more upsetting to parents than to the child. These tips will help ease the process.

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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