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Your toddler now
At 13 months, many toddlers have full-blown separation anxiety. Yours may become upset when you leave her, even with friends or family members she sees relatively often. The intensity of her attachment to you is hard to resist – and she'll probably never be as unquestioningly devoted to you again.
On the other hand, kids this age can be very, very clingy and you may find yourself wishing your child was a little less focused on you. There's nothing more guilt inducing than leaving your crying child with someone else when she wants only you. Five minutes after you leave, though, your little one's likely to have dried her tears and be perfectly happy.
Be as patient as you can during this tender time. Like all normal phases, it will pass. Separation anxiety typically peaks between 10 and 18 months and then gradually fades away.
When our daughter has a hard time settling down after we've put her in her crib, one of us sits in the glider rocker in her darkened room. When she starts throwing things out, I stick my hand in her crib to soothe her. I take my phone in, dim the screen, and catch up on personal e-mail and such. I pretty much ignore her unless she needs me to reach in, but just having me in there helps her. It's a nice opportunity for us both to unwind.
How to introduce solo play
It'll probably be quite a while before your child learns to entertain herself for an extended period (although some kids can do so now). You can start the learning process by encouraging her to play without your direct involvement occasionally.
Try showing your toddler how to play with a particular toy, then turning away for the few minutes that she may be absorbed with it. This helps teach her that she doesn't need your interaction or direction every second.
When she becomes restless or asks for your help, turn back to her and reengage her or introduce a new activity. Small increments of solo play help build confidence, too.
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