how to get my child comfortable with other people?

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Hannah - posted on 02/07/2010

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I agree with the slow, gentle approach. I wouldn't like to be abandoned by my friends and left with strangers or people I don't trust.
My daughter sometimes bursts out in tears when she meets someone new or different or someone she hasn't seen for a little while. It's worse if she's tired or hungry.
I usually sit down with the visitor and chat in a relaxed fashion and let my daughter play with her toys and observe the visitor from my lap. I make sure they don't get "in her face" - you know the way some people like to put their face really close to a baby's face and tickle their cheek? That's overwhelming for her. Over time, when my daughter is clearly comfortable with the visitor, they can play with her and hold her with her facing out from their body and facing towards me so I'm still in her sight. If she gets upset, I tell her that it's all OK and nothing to worry about but if she doesn't calm down, I'll take her back to my lap.

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Becca - posted on 02/07/2010

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This behaviour is VERY normal at this age. It means she's hit a milestone in her brain development and is now able to recognize that you are a seperate person from her and are able to leave. Don't force her to go to other people she is not familiar with as this will just stress her. You have to take the time to let her become familiar with other people before you pass her over to them. I agree with Mary, take it very slow and make sure that you smile at her and keep your body language relaxed if she seems nervous. She will now start to check with how you are reacting to situations to make sure things are okay and is less likely to feel comfortable if you frown or look tense. Also give her lots of praise and encouragement when she does seperate from you even if it just for a few moments at first. Remember at this age seperation anxiety is very powerful and seperating from you is a big deal for her even if it doesn't seem that way to you.

Blackwood - posted on 02/07/2010

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Baby steps all the way. Have them come over for dinner and all sit at the table, You beside your little one. All play on the floor together. Maybe when all is well, go throw in a load of laundry, make some tea and come back to her. I know that children will go through a "mommy stage". Best wishes

Emily - posted on 02/06/2010

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Totally agree with Mary. Just take baby steps with it. Have someone else hold your baby while you are right there.. if baby gets fussy, allow the baby to come back to you. Next time, increase the time a little bit or leave the room for awhile. It does not help to force them by leaving them alone for extended periods without mom. They gain the confidence by knowing that they can go right back to you if they need it. Over time, you should be able to increase the time baby is away from you. Also, some babies are just clingier to mom than others just due to their personalities. Be sensitive to what your baby needs.

Mary - posted on 02/06/2010

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ABSOLUTELY DO NOT FORCE YOUR CHILD. It is very important for your child to trust you. If you leave her for the weekend she may stop screaming but it will most likely be because she has given up. Prolonged screaming bathes the brain in cortisol, the stress horomone which is detrimental to brain development. The best thing you can do is to have people over and around. If she is playing on the floor they can sit in the room and talk with you so she can begin to see you trust them. She may eventually go to them on her own if they are around enough. Also tell her everything you are going to do so she can begin to anticipate what is going to happen. For example when grandma is coming over let her know ahead of time. Give it some time of her getting to know them before you expect her to be OK with someone holding her. You wouldn't want someone you don't know holding you would you. I know it is hard when you feel like you never get a break but hang in there.

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go away for the weekend. leave your child with someone you trust who can handle alot of screaming. it's easier to do it when they are younger.

Arielle - posted on 02/06/2010

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i have the same problem my dautgher wont go to any1 but me. my husband got deployed when she was 4 months and she wont go to no 1 but me. when my mom or my mother-in-law would try to come get her and pick her up she would cry and cry until i come get her. i no im no help but i just say keep trying to get her to sit with other ppl. my mom and mother-in-law keep trying to get my daughter and sometimes she will sit with them for a few mins but thats it. i know it drives my crazy, bc i dont get a break cause i am a stay at home mom. so i am gonna keep tryingbc i do need a break

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