Baby's First Year
- Baby's First Year
- Parenting Resources
- Families: Nebraska's Future
- Search this Site
- Your Local Extension Office
Programs are available throughout Nebraska to help meet the needs of families and children
Fear of Strangers is Normal
Around 8 months, many babies show fear or wariness of people they don't know well. As baby can move around more, he can become separated from you. This can be scary, so baby clings to you more and avoids strangers. Baby is becoming aware of people he does and doesn't know.
Baby may need more reassurance while away from you, especially when he is tired, bored or frustrated. A pacifier, blanket, stuffed toy or thumb may help baby feel more secure.
Crying and trying to get away from an unfamiliar person are less common behaviors than neutral reactions, such as a serious, watchful stare. Some babies even look at the new person, then look away a few times before warming up and smiling.
Grandparents or friends may have a hard time understanding why baby gets upset when they see or pick him up. Take it slowly. Don't just hand baby to someone he doesn't know. Hold baby while he gets to know the person. Have a "stranger" offer baby a favorite toy. Let baby make new friends at her own pace.
More Parenting & Family Resources:
Photo Credit - USDA Photo