A lifelong process

Our daily lives are filled with moments of separating and reuniting. Walking out of the living room where your baby is playing in his playpen and returning a minute later from the kitchen with his bottle, going out for an evening or a weekend afternoon and leaving your baby with your spouse or a sitter, and falling asleep every night and waking up in the morning are but a few examples of the times we say hello and goodbye. Yet, with the practice we get, learning to separate and reunite is not a task we ever fully master. Instead it is a process—a part of being human that we keep learning throughout our lives. By providing your baby with support for his early "hellos" and "goodbyes," you are laying the groundwork for the many separations and reunions that will be part of his life.

Never leave your baby without saying goodbye

Prepare your baby for your leaving

Develop patterns and rituals for the beginning and end of the day and try to stick to them

Work with your baby's caregiver to make "hellos" and "goodbyes" easier for everyone

Whenever possible, allow yourself a little time at your baby's child care in both morning and evening to help bridge the transitions

Keep your caregiver informed about your baby, and about anything out of the ordinary that's going on at home

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