we have an 18 month old kid and he has huge excitement of exploring everything he can get his hands on or play with anything. May it be food to eat or my laptop or mobile or TV remote.

For the last 9 months, he stayed with only two of us but now we have moved to our parents' house and he mostly sticks with us. I believe this habit of not going to other members of our family will go away, but following us while I am going to office or while me or my wife are going to toilet either of us leaving room; he starts crying badly that we did we leave him alone. This is we are finding it hard to explain to him that we have just gone to the other room and not leaving him, we are also finding it hard to stop him from playing with food we eat.

  • 1
    So what's the question here?
    – Becuzz
    Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 12:43

1 Answer 1


These things you are describing (getting into/exploring everything, separation anxiety when a parent leaves the room, playing with food) are totally normal 18-month old behaviors.

For now, keep things that are unsafe or too fragile for him to play with out of sight-- you can teach him boundaries about what not to play with over time, but at this age his impulse control is low, so removing the temptation is far more effective then reasoning or discipline until he gets a little older.

Playing with food is just a part of his intense exploration and learning, and you have options of how to deal with it. You can take a strict line, you can just ignore and wait for him to outgrow it, or something in between. I usually indulge it, but if he starts to become disruptively messy I mildly remind him that "Food is for your plate and your mouth, not the floor/your hair/the chair" and remove his plate. If he asks for more food I give it back unless he goes back to making a big mess.

Separation anxiety is one of those things that you mainly just wait for it to pass, and offer as much reassurance as possible. It's pretty common for it to flare up after moving to a new home, since the child may feel less secure in new surroundings, or be unsure if you going through that door is just the next room, or 'really leaving'. Just tell him in a kind, simple way that you aren't leaving right now, just going to another room, or tell him honestly if you are leaving for a while. Say something like, "I am going to work now, but I will be back at dinner time". Say goodbye to him and don't try to sneak out, which can make him more insecure. Whoever is staying with him should comfort him and remind him that you will be back soon, and take his concern seriously with kindness, then help him return to play. Don't get angry or impatient with him when he cries about being separated from parents; It's just a developmental phase and trying to punish him for this will do no good and could make it worse.

He will bond with other members of the family soon enough, and that may also help him be calm when you leave.

  • in our previous home while either me or my wife go out of house or go to washroom , he will cry! so this habit if crying while we parents move out was already there before we move to parents house Commented Jan 3, 2019 at 12:41
  • My son does the same thing and is just a bit older-- although moving can make it more intense, almost all babies have separation anxiety. You may notice that it will go away and then come back again several times as he grows. This is a pretty good explanation, better than mine I think: healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/toddler/Pages/…
    – Meg
    Commented Jan 3, 2019 at 16:57
  • I think you did not understood my reply in the previous comment Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 15:26
  • Perhaps not... Do you mean that your son was upset when being separated from his parents (even if by only one room), even before you moved houses? If so, I still think this is normal, and a combination of reassurance, letting him know what is happening in simple words, and waiting for him to grow up a bit will improve the situation.
    – Meg
    Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 15:41

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