Is your baby afraid of strangers or being too clingy?

Is your baby afraid of strangers or being too clingy? – English

Heading: Is your baby afraid of strangers or being too clingy?

Scene: Visitors paying a visit to the baby, baby’s parents and grandmother.The baby cried initially, then gradually allows the visitors to get closer and contact her with the company of her caregivers.

Narrator: At around 6 months of age, babies would have established an intimate relationship with their parents or caregivers. By this time they may also feel uneasy and scared when meeting strangers.

Mom: Don’t be afraid. Mummy is right here.

Subheading: Mixing with strangers gradually

Dad: So sorry. She is afraid of strangers recently. Please give her some time to warm up

Narrator: Babies’ responses to strangers vary. Be sensitive to your baby’s reactions towards strangers. If she is anxious, don’t make her interact with them right away. Staying by her side to ensure her that she is safe and let her be familiar with the visitor gradually.

Scene: Baby crying when mother stays away from her. Mother then tidies up the house next to her then gradually move farther.

Sub-heading: Enhancing sense of security

Narrator: Starting from around 6 months old, your baby likes to stay close with you and may get clingy. You can place your baby in a safe spot around you. Keep talking to her. If she settles well you may talk less. Move farther away from her if she doesn’t look for you. With your patience and time, using this gradual approach helps your baby feel secure.

Sub-heading: Entrusting to a familiar babysitter

Scene: Parents bring baby to the grandma’s place. They give comforters to grandma and wait till baby settles down before they leave.

Narrator: At times, you may need to leave your baby to a babysitter. Find a reliable babysitter who is familiar to your baby. Prepare a hanky or toys which your baby is attached to and leave them by her side as comforters. If your baby has not warmed up with the babysitter, stay for a little longer until she settles down before you leave. Always say goodbye to your baby when you leave, don’t sneak out because your baby will feel insecure if you disappear suddenly. Don’t push your baby away if she clings to you upon separation you should hand it to the babysitter calmly and firmly. Fear of strangers and separation anxiety unnatural phenomena during the course of a child’s development. These fears however will disappear gradually when babies are around 18 months old.

Your child may still be anxious and fearful when being away from you at 1 year old. Children react differently to their parents’ departure. Some of them may not let their parents go while some may only have mild reactions. Nevertheless, you should feel relieved as the anxiety of your child will commonly disappear by around 18 months of age.

As a parent, you can alleviate your child’s separation anxiety through daily practice:

  • When your child walk away from you, you can wait for a short while (a few seconds) before you go to check on her quietly. This can help your child to get used to not having you in sight. However, the practice should be supported by home safety measures.
  • When you have to leave your child, instead of sneaking out, always say good bye and tell her when you will be back, e.g. you can tell her you will be back after her nap time.
  • Your child will feel more secure when she has some familiar daily objects to cling to in an unfamiliar environment. Let your child take her hanky or a favourite stuffed toy with her before leaving her with the nursery or the babysitter.