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My baby is afraid of strangers and it's making me depressed!

My daughter is 9 months old. She is a very pretty baby, and she attracts a lot of attention from strangers. Usually, my daughter is friendly and doesn't mind the attention.

But, for the past week or so, she has been showing signs of stranger anxiety. If a person she doesn't know gets too close to her, she freaks out and starts crying. Since she is my first child, this is all new to me.

I feel terrible, because I don't want people to think that she's an unfriendly baby. And I don't want people to start shying away from her because they are afraid she'll cry. She is already very sheltered because I am her primary caregiver, and I don't really have any friends or family in this area, so I don't want to keep her from being around other people. She needs to learn to be around others.

But, I don't want to "force" her to be sociable either. I grew up shy, and I know how it feels.

Any advice? I'm feeling depressed

 
Fallaya

Asked by Fallaya at 1:03 PM on Apr. 2, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 19 (7,539 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • My daughter is a yr now but at that age she used to do the SAME thing, it used to be really bad, we went to visit my mother who lives 10 hrs away and she wouldnt even walk around there apt, or let alone let them hold her all she wanted was me or her father! you cant really do much about it. She is just now understanding that there are other ppl in the world besides the ppl she sees everyday and that might just scare her a bit lol. But my daughter is 1 now and she says Hi to everyone she comes in contact with =) its just a stage they go through and she will grown outta it! Good Luck!!
    3greatkids751

    Answer by 3greatkids751 at 1:41 PM on Apr. 2, 2009

  • At this age is when stranger anxiety starts. I have a 9 month old and she does this too. They know who they know and the others freak them out. Totally normal...nothing you can do about it except make her feel secure around those she doesn't know.
    mamaada

    Answer by mamaada at 1:06 PM on Apr. 2, 2009

  • It's probably just a phase. She'll get over it. I wouldn't force it either.
    Rachel24517

    Answer by Rachel24517 at 1:06 PM on Apr. 2, 2009

  • I'd just say give it time which is probably not what you want to hear. BUT When my son was born my hubby was in the Navy and we lived far from any family or friends so his first year was quite sheltered. He would cry int he grocery store when the cashiers would say hi. He's now 12 and you'd never know it!! It'll pass, they'll get used to people in time. And remember a little shyness from strangers isn't so bad..you can never know who you are really talking to when it comes to strangers.
    danni33

    Answer by danni33 at 1:08 PM on Apr. 2, 2009

  • This is perfectly appropriate for her age. Every kid does it to some degree.
    JennRN09

    Answer by JennRN09 at 1:08 PM on Apr. 2, 2009

  • If all baby cries about is looking at other people and is great otherwise, you are one lucky mama.
    Give her a break and when she's in her stroller have her facing you to keep her calm. Also, maybe she's starting a cold and this is just how this time it's coming about.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:09 PM on Apr. 2, 2009

  • yeah its just a phase. My mom said I went through it when I was a baby too...I wouldn't let ANYONE except her hold me. And like danni33 said...its not such a bad thing for a child to be afraid of strangers...maybe if more kids were bad things wouldn't happen to so many of them.
    Ash9724

    Answer by Ash9724 at 1:25 PM on Apr. 2, 2009

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