|mi bebe at 8 months|
Caught on cam! Mi bebe refuses her very own grandmommy (yes, my MIL). This is a clear manifestation of stranger anxiety. Stranger anxiety is a condition wherein young children is distressed with the presence of unfamiliar people. These unfamiliar people may simply mean people living outside the premise of their own home, irregardless if they are a family member or a close family friend. Babies tend to be more selective about who to hold them, play with them or even touch them. Babies can begin to develop this as early as 6 months and may last up to toodlerhood. At this time, babies are beginning to gain knowledge that all people are not the same. Again, this is another good sign of mental development, only if taken positively. Mi bebe started to acquire this at around 8 months and I'm glad to report that she is starting to overcome this situation. I am thankful that relatives like her grandmommy supports and understands her.
How to help babies overcome stranger anxiety:
- Don't pressure your baby (and don't feel pressured as well). Allow your baby to be familiar with new faces and situation in their own pace, don't push them to be sociable all at once. Forcing them will make them feel more uncomfortable and would increase their anxiety.
- Don't ignore baby's distress. What their feeling during these situations are real. Parents should address the upset immediately but without making too big a deal out of it. Parents should provide reassurance by giving lots of affection either by hugging and/or kissing. They should also make it a point to be available when babies are faced with new people.
- Warn your relatives and friends of the situation. These people are most often than not most excited to be with your baby and might feel bad and take it personally if the baby refused to be with them. They must be told to give time and space for your baby to warm-up. Also, teach them techniques on how to approach your baby. They can offer favorite or familiar toys (and wait for the baby to accept it).
- Start introducing or exposing your baby at an early age. Try to make your baby accustomed to meeting new people. Showing pictures of long-distanced relatives is also a good way to familiarize your baby.