Separation Anxiety and Attachment in Infants and Toddlers


This topical guide will introduce you to important books, videos, and information resources available from the EI Clearinghouse and other sources.

Contact us via online form or by phone (1-877-275-3227) to request a resource listed below (or ask your local public librarian). Note that some videos may be viewed online, and journal titles will take you to the publisher’s homepage.

child clinging to parent's arm


Anxiety Relief for Kids
Flynn Bridget Walker & Michael A Tompkins
Written by a psychologist and expert in childhood anxiety, this book offers proven effective cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure skills you can use at home, in social settings, or anywhere anxiety takes hold.
Call#: BF 723 .A5 W35 2017
Also available as an eBook 

Attached at the Heart: 8 Proven Parenting Principles for Raising Connected and Compassionate Children
Barbara Nicholson and Lysa Parker
iUniverse, Inc., 2009
This book, by the founders of Attached Parenting International, is a comprehensive look at attachment parenting, from an overview of attachment theory and child development research to strategies for everyday situations.
Call#: WS 105.5 .C3 N624 2009

The Attachment Connection: Parenting a Secure and Confident Child Using the Science of Attachment Theory
Ruth Newton
New Harbinger, 2008
This book shows how paying attention to the emotional needs of your child, particularly during the first five years of development, can help him or her grow up happy, secure, and confident.
Call#: BF 723 .A75 N565 2008

The Birth to Five Book: Confident Childrearing Right from the Start
Brenda Nixon
Revell, 2009
This all-purpose book provides parents with advice on how to encourage healthy development in many areas, including attachment and separation.
Call#: WS 105.5 .C3 .N736 2009

Bye-Bye Time = Momento de la despedida
Elizabeth Verdick
Free Spirit Publishing, 2017
This bilingual English-Spanish book for children teaches transition rituals and self-soothing techniques to help children manage separation anxiety.
Call#: BB 7 .V548bbt 2017

“Don’t Get So Upset!:” Help Young Children Manage Their Feelings by Understanding Your Own: A Guide for Caregivers.
Tamar Jacobson.
Redleaf Press, 2008
This book shows caregivers how to get in touch with their own emotions so they can better help children with theirs. Information includes emotional development, early childhood behavior management strategies, and self-reflection.
Call#: WS 105.5 .E5 J17d 2008

Everyday Goodbyes: Starting School and Early Care: A Guide to the Separation Process
Nancy Balaban
Teachers College Press, 2006
In this book, Balaban helps parents and teachers understand why children can take time to adjust to separation and what they can do to ease transitions.
Call#: LB 1132 .B171e 2006

How to Parent Your Anxious Toddler
Natasha Daniels
Jessica Kingsley, 2016
This book demystifies the difficult behaviors of anxious toddlers, offering tried-and-tested practical solutions to common parenting dilemmas. Each chapter provides a real life example and new and effective parenting approaches to help parents tackle everyday difficulties and build up their child’s resilience, independence, and coping mechanisms.
Call#: BF 723 .A5 D36 2016

I Go to Child Care
Jillian Ritter
Jillian Ritter, 2015
This children’s book helps young children be better prepared for child care.
Call#: PZ 7 .R5142 2015

Mama’s Gloves
Mike Huber
Redleaf Lane, 2014
This children’s book tells the story of Esteban and how he manages his separation anxiety while at school, knowing that his mother always comes back.
Call#: PZ 7 .H8624mg 2014

The Simple Guide to Attachment Difficulties in Children
Betsy De Theirry, et al.
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2019
Much more than just a simple introduction to the subject of attachment, this book is also full of advice and practical ideas you can try.
Only available as an eBook 

Touchpoints Birth to Three: Your Child’s Emotional and Behavioral Development
T. Berry Brazelton
Da Capo, 2006
This text offers parents advice on numerous topics related to emotional and behavioral development in infants and toddlers.
Call#: WS 105 .B827bir 2006


A Place of Our Own: Early Childhood Solutions: Behavior and Emotions
111 min; DVD
PBS, 2008
This series explores how parents and caregivers can better support the social and emotional development of young children and addresses separation anxiety.
Call#: WS 113 .P697 2008

Attachment Relationships: Nurturing Healthy Bonds
29 min; DVD
Learning Seed, 2010
This video follows the process of a child forming healthy attachments from birth to age 2.
Call#: WS 105.5 .F2 .A883

Preschoolers: Social & Emotional Development
23 min; DVD
Magna Systems, 2008.
This program shows how preschoolers learn to play cooperatively, make friends and express emotions.
Call#: WS 105 .P928s 2008

To Be a Father
29 min; DVD
Parents Action for Children; 2005
This video, part of the I am Your Child Video Series with host Ray Romano, provides information on how fathering begins even before birth, how dads can connect with their children right from the start, what fathers can do to foster a close relationships with their children even when they live miles apart and how fathers can overcome the challenges of parenting under special circumstances, like separation and divorce.
Call#: HQ 756 .T627d 2005


Early Childhood Today, 19(3), 33-35
Development: Ages & Stages—Helping Children Manage Fears
Carla Poole, et al. (2004)
This article presents ways that parents can help children at different ages and stages to manage their fears, including separation.

Young Children, 58(1), 88-94
Peekaboo Power: To Ease Separation and Build Secure Relationships
Joanne M. Szamreta. (2003)
This article describes how peekaboo games can be used with toddlers and in play-group settings to support development and autonomy.

Young Children, 61(1), 14-20
Easing the Separation Process for Infants, Toddlers, and Families
Nancy Balaban. (2006)
This article provides an overview of attachment theory and how it relates to separation anxiety, bonding, and development.

Web Resources

How I Feel (EIC)
A parent-friendly tip sheet created by the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse. Also available in Spanish.

How to Ease Your Child’s Separation Anxiety
This article from the American Academy of Pediatrics provides facts on separation anxiety and tips to improve transitions for young children.

Separation Anxiety and Children with Special Needs (EIC)
A parent-friendly tip sheet created by the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse. Also available in Spanish.

Please Don’t Go! Separation Anxiety and Children (IEL)
It is often hard for a parent or other loved one to leave a young child who cries and clings. The child is experiencing separation anxiety. Children may not understand when loved ones will be back. Also available in Spanish and Polish.

Separation Anxiety (Mayo Clinic)
The Mayo Clinic Web site provides a summary of the causes of separation anxiety and what parents can do to ease this feeling in children.

Related Resource(s)