Toddler and baby independence: 11 ways to promote

Toddler and baby independence: 11 ways to promote
August 18 08:41 2016

A baby’s independence is of much importance for his mental and physical growth and development. It is important that a baby starts to learn how to be on his own at a very early age. Raising an independent toddler is about letting go of the child so that he can roam off and learn about his environment and about himself. The mother needs to let go of her child and maintain an optimum distance while maintaining a connection at the same time.

It is difficult for a mother to let her child go just life that, a mother’s love is too strong and it does not allow her to remain calm when her child is not in front of her child but this ordeal is important if you want to raise a well-disciplined child.  Giving a toddler his independence is all about balance you have to walk a very fine line between being over restrictive and being negligent. If you cross that line, one way is risky for your toddler’s development while the other gives the toddler too much freedom from him to hurt himself or break something valuable.

As a parent you might feel confused and less knowledgeable to walk on that fine line but do not worry we have made a list on 11 ways you can use to promote your baby’s independence (ensuring his safety):

Play “out of sight” games

Playing games like peek-a-boo in which you hide gives the toddler a sense that even when you are not visible you still exist. This can be a valuable lesson taught to a toddler 9 months of age. You should try playing games like hiding behind the couch for him to find and others like that. This can mark the start of him surviving in your absence.

Help him by separating gradually

The best thing that can happen for a baby to develop a sense of identity is that the baby itself starts to separate from the mother and not the other way around. This gradual change decreases the chances of a child having disciplinary issues.

This gradual separation ensures that the baby-like characteristics that remain intact which force that child to take a part of his mother with him on an adventure for comfort and advice, whereas, the toddler-like characteristics encourage the child to be brave and feel more secure on his own.

The trouble arises when parents focus so much on giving their children independence that they forget the importance of dependence for a toddler. As parents, you should struggle to maintain the perfect balance between dependence and independence of your toddler.

Let him know

It can prove to be a healthy practice for sensitive toddlers to let them know of your absence. It will avoid any unexpected surprises and the child will feel safe. Before going away saying “Goodbye”, “See ya” or “Daddy’s going to work” should be adopted so that the toddler will know about your absence and not be scared or overwhelmed by your absence.

Be a facilitator

Sooner or later, a toddler will become independent. It is not your job to force his independence; rather your job is to become a facilitator of his independence. Your job, as a parent and a guardian, is to provide the safest environment for your child to roam off and explore. You should work on maintaining a safe connection while your toddler sets off his journey towards novelty.

Substituting voice contact

Say, your child is in another room and starts to panic and make a fuss, you should not rush off, and rather you should call out to him saying “Mama’s coming” or something of the sort.

Changing the methodology

In certain scenarios, it has been observed that a baby that was easy to roam off on his own develops into a toddler that is too sensitive to separate from his mother. At times like these, you should try not to force the separation on him, you’d rather think of more creative ways to have fun and relax with your toddler with you. It will not seem impossible if you get the knack for it.

Helping from afar

Sometimes when toddlers set off on their journeys they face problems and hurdles. At times like these, they may need your help but it is highly advised that you do not rush off to them; you should try to encourage them to get of the mess on their own. Try to give your toddler instructions and advice from far away and let them struggle. This will teach them self-dependence which can prove to be a valuable lesson.

Watch out for separation stress

There are times when an otherwise fearless toddler clings on to his mother more than usual. Try to find out what is wrong, he might be ill, you might be giving him less attention, he might feel lonely, etc. During such situations, you should try to honor his wishes and stay with him as much as possible. You should make him feel that you are always there for him so that he feels safe and secure.

Let him cuddle

It is important that you let your toddler stay with you, play with you and cuddle. This makes the connection with you stronger which is very important to maintain.


Encourage his relationships with other adults

Try to encourage his relationships with other adults such as aunts, grandparents, etc. This can be important especially for toddlers who are too shy. This will help him to separate from you and know that his is not alone.

Becoming interdependent

Becoming an independent toddler is only a part of the grooming the next stage is becoming interdependent. Basically, there are three stages, namely:


“You do it for me.”


“I do it myself.”


“We do it together.”


Independence is the most mature stage in a toddler’s life. It gives an important lesson i.e. One cannot do everything himself, one has to collaborate with others. Interdependence will teach him many lessons that will help him in his adult and professional life, such as teamwork, tolerating others, giving ideas, etc.


baby independence