What if a baby cries at new faces? Is this normal? And what can be done to stop it?

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My baby is 7 months old. He is terrified when going to new places and cries a lot when seeing new faces. I just want to know how I can settle him.

Thank you

How to Deal with Stranger Anxiety in Babies

When a baby cries at new faces, it is likely that he or she has a bit of stranger anxiety. A lot of babies go through this at around the age of 7-10 months, and it is a completely normal developmental phase. At this age, they are becoming more aware of their surroundings and also more aware of themselves as being a separate person from their mother. Scary! Add to that that they have really bonded with their nearest family or caregivers and are truly making a difference between “us” and “them”. “Them” are all these new people that your baby feels insecure about and doesn’t want to or dare to be near. 

So, stranger anxiety is a sign of development, nothing else!

Here are some tips on how to deal with the situation to help your baby:

  • If you feel at all tense or ashamed of your baby’s reactions, work on letting go of those negative feelings! Babies are very sensitive to our feelings – if you are nervous, your baby will feel even worse.
  • Realize that this is a natural and even positive reaction as it means that your baby is developing into a higher degree of self-awareness.
  • Go slowly with introducing your baby to strangers during this phase. Don’t ever push your baby into being held by someone that makes him or her scared.
  • Ease your baby into being comfortable around people by asking them to sit around your child but not engage with the child until he initiates to engage.
  • If possible, let your baby meet the same strangers several times so he or she can learn to feel secure around more and more people.
  • Try to be happy and smile around strangers to signal to your baby that everything is fine.
  • Remember that the more you respond to your baby’s needs to be with you and close to you right now, the sooner this phase will pass.

Thrusting your child into a stranger’s arms, hoping they will get used to the person, usually won’t work and is likely to be very counterproductive. Your baby will ease into being more social; don’t worry, just give him time!

I hope this helps!

More On Stranger Anxiety In Babies

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  1. Janet

    Mine did exactly the same thing.. She would even cry with family members she hasn’t seen for a few days! Don’t worry, it will get better.. It lasted a couple of months for our little one to feel comfortable with strangers again.. Indoors just make sure your baby is sitting with her toy/s so she can concentrate on that while getting used to her surroundings.. Gradually let people talk to her then pick her up. Outdoors.. since you can’t tell people to back off hehe make sure to let them know she does cry with strangers so please approach her slowly :-) Hope this helps!!