Very young children have no understanding of death – nor do they have the words to express their feelings. They are aware of their mother’s absence, notice changes in people, routines and in the emotions of caregivers and siblings. Their grief and anxiety can manifest itself in a number of ways: they may cry more, be hard to console, have trouble sleeping, rock, thrash, suck, bite or experience indigestion or illness. Grieving infants are more at risk for separation anxiety and attachment issues.
How to Help
Babies need lots of physical contact for reassurance. Ensure they get plenty of holding, cuddling and attention. Try to maintain their routines as much as possible and be gentle and patient with them.