How Long Will My Baby Be Anxious Around Strangers?

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Your baby, until the age of six months roughly, will often be content with being held by relatives and family friends. She can even smile and play once you place her in someone else’s arms. But between seven and nine months, she’ll commence to resist people other than you and may cry when someone else is playful with her or reach for you when someone else tries to hold her. During this stage, your baby can even feel anxious about her grandparents and familiar babysitters. Such reactions, which are a normal element of a baby’s development, be a consequence of her growing awareness of the world. Your baby recognizes you as special and different, and views you with pleasure.

Because she’s good feelings about you, she wants to be with you and isn’t as comfortable with other people. Also, babies genuinely believe that something exists only so long as they can see it. Therefore, once you go out of sight, your baby may feel anxious and cry. When she’s back in your arms, she feels happy and safe.

This developmental stage could be difficult because it sometimes causes embarrassment and makes it hard to simply accept assistance with child care. A relative or friend, offering to take care of your baby, may feel rejected by your baby’s anxious cries. Some adults blame the parents, saying, “You’ve spoiled her by holding her so much!”

When your baby enters this developmental stage, it’s helpful to consider that anxiety about strangers and separation is normal. It isn’t essential to force her to go to other people—she’ll soon do that willingly. Just try to meet up her needs, and if you want to, have others talk to her and play with her when you hold her. You are able to reveal to individuals who, when you understand their feelings of frustration and rejection, you understand your baby is acting as most babies her age do.

During this stage, many babies have trouble separating from their parents at day care or whenever a babysitter comes. Explain the problem to your caregiver, and let her know your baby may need extra holding and comforting. If your baby cries as you go, additionally you could find it hard to separate. Have your caregiver try to distract her. Call right after leaving to make sure that all is certainly going well.

At times you may be tempted to leave while your baby is distracted and unaware that you’re going. While this eliminates the initial rush of tears, she may react with surprise and fear when she discovers you’ve left. It’s always better to state a fast good-bye.

You’ll know your baby’s concern with strangers and separation is lessening once you see her reach for someone other than you, and once you see her go happily to someone who’s reaching for her. As this stage passes, she’ll yet again feel more comfortable and content with others.

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