17 month old cries in new settings with children

Tanya - posted on 05/04/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )

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17 month old cries sometimes in a new setting with kids if they get to close to him. He will cry mommy and want me to hug or hold him. It takes him a few minutes and then he is fine and wants to play. Is this normal? I worry about autism so much!! Thanks!

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Theresa - posted on 05/05/2011

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Very normal. Kids go through a stage between about 1 and 2 1/2 where they get separation anxiety. I think he's actually doing very well by only needing you right there for a few minutes. My daughter went through that around the 18 month age. She had gone to the church nursery since she was a baby, but suddenly would scream bloody murder if I tried to put her in there. It was the same people she had known since birth but she still hated it. Now she's 2 1/2 and is just starting to go back in to the nursery. So I think it's a stage that he'll grow out of, but it may get worse before it gets better. Just try your best to reassure him. Don't ever "sneak" away while he's playing. That'll just make him think that you're going to leave anytime a situation like that comes up. If you ever need to leave him with someone make sure you tell him that you have to go but you'll be back in a little while. That will help him be secure that you'll come back and you won't just disappear without him knowing ahead of time. I hope the made sense.

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MMMHM! My kid turned into VELCRO the minute we got to his first playdate. I had to sit in the floor with him on me and I played with the other kids. He started to warm up and relax after a little while. By the time we had gone to visit about three times...he would jump out of my arms before we got inside and take off playing. Velcro says that's normal...it's just a new environment. He just needs Mama to show him it's okay to relax and play with others.

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Sounds fairly normal. Some kids are outgoing and fearless. Others... not so much. Either way is perfectly fine.

Sabra - posted on 05/04/2011

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to me that just seems like he is a little bit shy. New environments with new people are a bit scary if he warms up to the idea after a few minutes I wouldn't rally worry about it.

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