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It's common for babies to go through periods of 'clinginess' as they grow; it's rarely a serious issue, but you can help them to get through these stages. Your likely to see stages of clinginess between 6 - 18 months. At one level it can be quite flattering that your baby seeks protection from you by clutching onto your leg, but it can also become difficult for you! Clinginess usually relates to 'separation anxiety', a fear in your baby that you are about to abandon them. This could be when you meet with a group of friends, or when you are about to leave your baby by walking out of the room, or dropping them off at nursery.
Your baby's understanding of the world is evolving constantly, and early on they believe that if you are not in sight, then you do not exist. As adults, this is a difficult view to comprehend and sympathise with, but babies really do have a self centered view of the world, where if it can't be seen, it doesn't exist. You can help to change your baby's perception of the world by playing simple games like hide and seek and by practicing 'goodbye', leave the room, and then come straight back in again. Peekaboo is a variant of hide and seek and also helps your child make sense of the world.
When you do have to leave your babies, don't sneak off and abandon them, say 'goodbye' properly and build trust so that they associate 'goodbye' with a promise that you'll return. Talk to them and explain that you are going but that you will be back for them. Even if your baby is too young to talk, he or she will be learning to understand what you say and they will begin to learn what you are saying to them. Separation anxiety is rarely a problem but if you are worried about your baby and how they cling, then do speak to health visitor or GP for reassurance - there are plenty of professionals who will be able to help you.
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