Stranger Anxiety..HELP..

Zojoho - posted on 03/26/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Holly will be 6 m.o. next Wednesday, and has already developed "Stranger Anxiety", something of which my elder 2 children never really had.
It's been really bad this week (since last Sat. afternoon/night) where if anyone picks her up or cuddles her, she freaks out and starts screaming at the top of her lungs as if she's panicked.
Holly goes to baby group every week and is fine to sit there and play with the other little babies in her group as long as she can see me or hear me..but none of the other mum's can touch her.
Does anyone have any advice for me on how to deal with this?? She used to be such a confident and social little girl (up to 5.5 m.o.) and had no problems with other people holding her.

I did ring the Parenthelp Line last night and they told me not to do "pass the parcel" thing so to speak with her with other people..and to take it slow and go off of Holly's cues. It's just so distressing for us both.

Mwah..
Kyley.

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4 Comments

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Joy - posted on 03/28/2009

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Hi, my baby is just over 5 months and I think is going through the same "stranger anxiety" stage as your baby Holly. It's only recently that she has been like this, she was fine and happy to be held by one or more strangers prior to this. Anyway, into the 5th month we had a few parties to attend to on 3 different weekends and the first time was a surprise and big shock for me (as it was for her) as I didn't expect her to start screaming her lungs out every time someone came over to say hello or try to touch her. It was, as you say, very distressing for the both of us as well as her daddy. I just had to walk her away from everyone and away from the noise to try and calm her down. The last party we went to was even worse as people couldn't seem to understand why she was distressed and just kept coming over and telling me that she needed to be around people more so that she could get used to it. I found these comments quite annoying as it was obvious bubs was not happy to be in this situation. I, too am looking for advice on this and hope that it is just a passing phase for her.

Zojoho - posted on 03/27/2009

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Quoting Maryam:

My son is 5 months old and we don't have this problem, but then, I don't like people who are not family holding him anyway. He does tend to stare with no expression at people he doesnt know, and smiles at people he does know.

It seems like good advice from the Help Line. Is this an issue because you're needing him to stay with a babysitter?


Hi Maryam,



I'm looking at studying Children's Services whilst I'm at home, and one of the courses that I need to do, is a 2 day Seniors First Aid course. The course starts at 8.30am, and finishes at 5pm on both days.



My Hubby is the Manager of a business so leaves here at 7am and doesn't return until almost 6pm each day..so I am looking at having to put poor lil' Holly into Daycare just for those 2 days (I have no family to look after her) and I honestly don't think she will cope with the "strange" people. Whilst the Carer's aren't strange to me, as I've been going to that centre for the past 4.5 yrs with my elder 2 children, they are foreign to Holly..even tho, most of them have cuddled her in the past few months.



I am trying to convince Hubby to take those 2 days off so that Holly doesn't have to go there..but am still awaiting his decision.



I really don't want to push Holly into things that she's not ready for..she's such a different little character to Zo & Jordy..she's more of a "Mummy's girl" whilst Z & J were quite happy to go to anyone who would talk or cuddle them - even now LOL.



I'm really at a loss as to my options here.xx

Melissa - posted on 03/27/2009

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I was told this type of sensitivity was something you are either born with, or you aren't. I think the advice the helpline gave you is pretty good. Kids who are shy around strangers and may have anxiety just need some space sometimes I think. I think we just have to be patient with them and try to make them feel comfortable.

Maryam - posted on 03/27/2009

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My son is 5 months old and we don't have this problem, but then, I don't like people who are not family holding him anyway. He does tend to stare with no expression at people he doesnt know, and smiles at people he does know.



It seems like good advice from the Help Line. Is this an issue because you're needing him to stay with a babysitter?

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