Helping Shy Babies
Sometime between 8 and 12 months, most babies develop an intense shyness around strangers. This anxiety typically peaks around 18 months before gradually decreasing. While it can make socializing difficult, it's actually a positive sign, since it means your child is forming a strong attachment to you. These tips can help your child feel more comfortable.
- Prepare your guests. Explain that your baby is skittish around strangers, and ask them to chat with you first and wait to make eye contact until your child has warmed up to them.
- Stay in sight. When strangers are around, make sure your baby can always see you or your spouse. This will prevent her from becoming frightened or overwhelmed.
- Use a favorite book or toy as a prop. Have your guest say, "Oh, here's your bear. Do you want to play with it?" This helps your baby focus on familiar things.
- See "strangers" through his eyes. Anyone your child doesn't come in contact with on a regular basis may scare him. Remember: Comfort your baby first, your guests later.