Object Permanence

Posted by: Josanne Verhoof in

The so-called object permanence starts around the eighth month of your little one’s life. You may have noticed that your little one is not looking for a toy or object that is hidden. According to the pedagogue Piaget, this behavior means that the children do not yet understand that a person or object will continue to exist if he can no longer see it. In other words, for young babies, out of sight, out of mind. The process of developing object permanence takes several years before they fully master it.

Real Fear

During the development of object permanence, your child is currently developing the realization that objects and people continue to exist, even though they are not able to see them. This can trigger fears in your little one. Which are also real fears for him. It is important that you acknowledge and name his feelings. You can help your little one step by step by playing peekaboo, for example. By constantly appearing behind your hands, your little one learns that you will continue to exist. Also practice by occasionally walking out of sight and slowly building up the time. Calm your little one immediately if he gets upset and offers the comfort he needs.

Separation Anxiety

Babies have peaks of separation anxiety after 12 months when they stand, walk and climb. Those physical milestones make them more likely to wake up at night, at least temporarily, and the cognitive milestones associated with them make them more aware of strangers, places, and changes. The thought of being left alone can be overwhelming, and anxiety can arise as a result. You often see that the children start using behavior in order to be able to practice with what happens to the environment, to learn from it. So, if I start crying, will mommy and daddy come back? And do they really do this every time? Also 10 times in a row? In short, it is important to give your little one the security he needs, while continuing to offer the boundaries that he also asks for. Try to create sleep associations that make them feel safe and secure, which can help comfort them as soon as separation anxiety increases, such as a structural bedtime ritual where you take a little longer to cuddle, read a book or sing a song . The more you stick to a fixed structure, the more predictability you create, the safer it feels for your child. Most little ones completely outgrow separation anxiety by the time they are a year or two. When developing object permanence, you can playfully see how your little one goes through this process.

It is therefore important that you help your little one step by step to develop his object permanence in a playful way, while acknowledging the fears and tensions he experiences. Would you like to receive concrete tips & tricks for this and that we personally monitor you through daily coaching? View the half moon and full moon consultations!


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