Watching their bottom lip start quivering and the tears well up in your little one's eyes when you leave for work is heartbreaking, but going through the same tantrum reaction when you step out to go to the bathroom for less than two minutes is just the worst.
These are all signs of separation anxiety, and the good news is, your child isn't crazy. It's just part of their normal development.
"They think you've gone for good," parenting coach Sue Atkins said. "Whether you're in the kitchen, in the next bedroom, or at the office, it's all the same to your young toddler. You've disappeared, and your child will do whatever he or she can to prevent this from happening."
So if you're dealing with total meltdowns when you need a few minutes alone in the bathroom, or when you drop your baby off at school, here are a few tips experts suggest to help your child (and you) deal with separation anxiety.
1. Don't sneak out
It's tempting to do this, because it feels like you are saving your baby unnecessary concern, but in the long run, child psychotherapist Katie Hurley said this can create more stress for your child later on.
"Acknowledge your child's feelings and normalize his worries," Hurley said. "It's perfectly natural to feel a little bit scared, and a little bit of empathy can help your child feel safe and understood."
"It's very important to make sure that you return when you have promised to," Atkin outlines. "This is critical - this is how your child will develop the confidence that he or she can make it through the time apart. So don't let them down - it will frighten them."
Several fun kids books address separation anxiety. Hurley recommends reading "Llama Llama Misses Mama" by Anna Dewdney or "The Kissing Hand" by Audrey Penn with your child.
More than anything, remember that this era will pass. You're not forever going to be prying away frantic hands from your legs, and your child will be OK when you leave to run an errand - no matter how much it seems right now that they won't.
Amberlee is the content manager for FamilyShare.com and earned a degree in journalism. She creates beautiful things with her experience in writing, graphic design, photography, video and music. She loves her family, the outdoors, baby foxes and podcasts.