Preferring One Parent

It’s not uncommon for young children to cling to their primary caregiver after spending the day together. Transitions in care are difficult for some children.

If you primarily care for your child, and you find he is apprehensive to go to your spouse or partner at the end of the day, try to assist him in welcoming the other parent when he or she comes home.

  • You can say at the appropriate time, for example, “Daddy [or Mommy] is coming home soon.” Do this a few times so it won’t be a surprise when your partner does come through the door.
  • You can then begin doing this together. Maybe you can give your partner a hug together, or invite him or her to join both of you as you read a story.
  • When your toddler begins to engage with your partner, try to step back and move out of sight.

With patience and time, your toddler will associate your partner’s coming home with pleasure, rather than with a fear of separation from you.

See also ...

•  Getting your child comfortable with other caregivers

•  Easing your toddler's separation anxiety

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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