My five-month-old is dealing with “stranger anxiety,” but towards family members, he doesn’t usually see often. We can go out in public to restaurants and stores, and he is totally fine. However, when he sees my in-laws, he will scream and cry and becomes inconsolable. I try to be sensitive to him, and I do not force him to be held by any of them or interact if he’s upset. I do try to give him some space. However, they seem to be uncomfortable and upset about it. He’s been doing this since he was four months old. Any tips on how to help him feel more comfortable around them? Also, how long does this phase typically last?
Tell them to get over it. U cant force a child to hug someone they dont want to
The problem lies with them for being upset with what an infant does. Stand your ground.
Babies sense evil? Lol. I pass mine off on purpose to family I trust. So she doesn’t freak. Rarely does so when she does I do pay attention
Tell them to see him more!
My son is 2 and only just liking people
Try spending more time together
Does the baby only react like that with them?
My daughter did that to my mom for a few weeks. She sees her weekly but was just a short lived faze. Honestly its a good thing that your kid is starting to be wary of people he doesnt really know. If they are so upset about it they should come around more often. So your child knows them as family, not as strangers.
My son is turning 1 in 5 days and he still does that and has bad stranger anxiety which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. My son does is to ALL of my family members and any stranger. He is only okay with mom dad brother and sister … sometimes he’s fine with my mom but other times he freaks out with her too… I’m sure our little babes will grow out of that. Tell them to give him time. My son is like this because i dont really see my family very often for him to feel that comfortable. Mommy will always be the safe haven. Good luck
See him more… Video chats are a thing… I don’t force my kids to be held by ppl, that’s not fair to them.
I don’t have any tips but I totally understand how that is. All three of mine have been like that. My oldest son was about 3 when he stopped being like that. My 2 1/2 year old and 1 year old still do this. I have never forced them to be held or hug anyone. They just stop when they are ready. Good luck with the in-laws.
My 2 yr old is like that stil altho he doesn’t get upset but he puts his head down n won’t talk 2 no1 he will go off and play but he won’t talk them but wil wave bye and get upset wen we have 2 go x
They need to grow up.
Video chat is a great option if you can’t see them more until the baby gets used to them xx
Babies pick up on bad vibes as cliche as it sounds, and he must be picking up on something from them he doesn’t like. Don’t force him. Have them approach him little by little and let him get familiar if that doesn’t work then they’re just gonna have to let him come to them in his own time. My 9 month old is the same way. Doesn’t know his paternal grandparents and cries when his grandpa tries hold him. They laugh it off but I can tel by the sound of his cries it’s really hurting him. Can’t stand those baby’s cries! Lol good luck!
I hate it when they do that. Show up once every 6 weeks, but get offended when the kids don’t jump right into their arms?
He’ll come around eventually. Your job is to worry about advocating for your son not ppl who are offended by babies not liking them. It’s early but starting reading about consent and children. Your child should never feel like he has to hug, be held or kissed by anyone.
If they dont want him to act like that towards them, then they need to come around more often and ease into it. Not outright just try to take him. My daughter was like that with my in laws too, we dont get to see them a lot since we all work different schedules, but my MIL has found a trick to get my girl to interact with her. She will sit in the floor at a small distance and talk to her at first, then start offering up toys and showing her how to play with them and her dogs. After about an hour or so, my daughter will let her pick her up and hold her for a little while. Shes much older than your son though, shes 16 months now. But shes been working at this for months too. It takes a little while, but eventually your son will get used to them. Dont force it, just let it come naturally.
I have children who are older and I don’t force them to hug or interact with anyone they don’t want to. I’m not going to teach them to give up their space just to please others. We don’t do that as adults, So why do we expect our kids to do it?
My daughter’s 2.5 and still is this way
Take him around more often or have them come over. Then maybe he’ll get used to them.
Don’t let them stress your child out by forcing it. Try explaining to them that they need to spend more time with him so he will know who they are. They need to just be patient with him and wait till he is comfortable with them before pushing the issue. He just needs to get to know them
Have the in laws/family come around more often or go for a visit. The more he interacts and sees family, the less shy he will be around them. He’s also still really young. I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Taking my daughter to the park to swing and to the library for story time has really helped socially, for the both of us. Might help for y’all
Adults who get offended by babies are insecure and self absorbed.
They are the adults. If they want a relationship with their grandchild, the effort has to come from them. That means putting in the time.
Your son will warm up when he’s ready. You are wise not to force anything as that would most likely impede the process.
Good for you mom.
People saying “babies know when people are bad” and etc. Yeah yeah, that’s irrelevant. My kids get stranger danger anxiety towards my mom and other folks and my mom is one of the kindest people I know. So that’s enough of that. It’s just a very normal and healthy stage they go through, pediatricians will even ask for milestone purposes if your baby is experiencing “stranger danger” yet. Just let your in laws know it’s nothing personal, and that you just dont want to force your child to do anything they dont want to do and cause any trauma or serious upset and leave it at that. Set your child down and allow them to roam, after being around them for an hour or two the child may warm up.
Maybe they’re just assholes and he sees it…lol
My nephew is kind of like that with me, but I’m not a super fun kid person. I usually bribe him with snacks. Boy loves to eat.
Yeah listen to your baby
My kid is 17 months and is still like this. Some kids go back and forth, some never change. No offense but your in laws sound petty for getting offended over something this natural and common.
My son was held by my mother in law once. Everytime she came near…he screamed at the top of his lungs. Babies just know. They pick up on alot of things we do not. Advocate for your son and that’s all you can do. All babies do not wish to be held by others and that’s where respecting his body autonomy starts
Is there some kind of smell from them, smoking that he’s not used To or something else on them.? I’ve know people to have these melted wax smells in their home that they get on their clothing and it’s very overwhelming. ? Just a thought.?
My son was that way until recently and he’s now two
To my children, I’m their savior in any room. If they’re uncomfortable or just don’t want to go to someone, I don’t make them. They HAVE to say hello and goodbye to most everyone but I don’t make them sit with someone just because that someone insists or gets upset.
Just think if you were in your child’s shoes you would also be uncomfortable, he doesn’t know they well enough (seeing them everyday or other day) for them to be grabbing him and trying to hold him immediately. My little one didn’t start this phase till after 1 and we’re dealing with it now, I don’t make her stay in someone’s arms if she looks or acts uncomfortable, usually after a few minutes and realizing who they are she will go to them. Since your child is only 4 months old I would say just have them sit by you, or play with him on the floor rather than holding him just to get him used to their faces! Then try holding later on in the visit.
My oldest great grand girl will still not come near me. Makes me want to hid from everyone
Poor kiddos only 5 months old don’t force baby or do anything they want the stranger anxiety to be gotten over come around more often
I know this is a weird question but do they wear glasses or have facial hair? My youngest was scared of people with glasses from birth basically. She would cry and cry until they took them off she was fine. One of my close friends was usually bare faced but grew facial hair and she didnt like that at all either. Even when she realized it was him she still was upset about the hair lol. Maybe its something simple like that though.
It’s totally normal for baby’s age. Just say sorry and tell them why. He doesn’t see you much and has stranger danger. It’s a phase
The less time spent with him the more he won’t be comfortable but at the same time. Encourage him that it’s ok
Time and they need to be around more. My oldest (now 9) used to be TERRIFIED of my dad. He is a tall man with full beard and long hair and just rough backwoods man. She would cry if he looked at her lol. He felt bad at first but then realized he just wasn’t seeing her enough. By the time she was 3 he was seeing her 2-3 times a week and she loved every second. Sometimes he would just come over and watch movies with us or play with her sister and just hang out. Not pushing her but just being there. Then one day she melted his heart and climbed up on his lap to watch tv. From then on they have been close! Your in-laws will just have to give him his time and keep being involved.
My 9 year old has been like that her entire life, she didn’t even warm up to her dad until like 2 years old. Still now, she shys away from family and friends until after awhile when she feels more comfortable. I have no advice and kind of a negative story there. Sorry. But I have just told everyone to understand her personality and be patient with her.
That’s ok. It’s his choice. Never force them.
They must accept the childa space, my one granddaughter was like that never forced anything when she got to about 13 things changed today she tells me that she really loves me so much. Tell them children also need to be respected.
Feeling the bad engery
Tell they if they were around more it probably wouldn’t be a problem
Let your 5 month old have their way
Mines 6 months and is doing the same thing! He doesn’t cry but will just stare at them and looks for me or daddy
My 2.5 year old son is very shy and at times does have stranger anxiety. He does not want anyone touching/coming close to him. It takes him a bit to warm up to people. Just give him time and interact but not touch or anything until he is comfortable
My three older did the same thing my now 1 year old has done that for a long time and still does I don’t force her to go to people she don’t know and if she don’t want to be around some one I won’t make her be around the people I listen to my girls. I wouldn’t make him be held by them or be around them, he will chose when he is comfortable to be held or be around them. My daughter did the same thing with her grandma she didn’t like her grandma she would cry all the time now she won’t leave her grandma alone. Just listen to ur baby.
Don’t force that child to not trust his \ her instincts, grandparents will have to get over it.
Interact with them while holding him, shake their hand, give a hug, smile and chat or let them gently hold his hand without forcing it. I agree it’s dumb for them to be offended and definitely don’t force him. I think trying to involve them and they can come around more too!? They could try sitting on the floor with and play with him to get familiarized. My e more of a relationship needs built and if they want to be close with him they need to put forth the effort.
I don’t force my 2 year old she started doing that around the same age now she has her days where she will be best friends with family then the next be best friends with them
He’s 5 months old. They’re being ridiculous. Let him be a baby.
My nephew did this to my dad (grandpa) We thought it was funny cuz if he seen my mom he was ok then once he saw my dad he would cry. My parents started to come around more… the more they saw him the less he did it. Took a while tho.
Honestly? I hope your in laws have never had or ever have a real problem. this is ridiculous hes a baby for crying out loud!!
Took my son a year to let my dad hug him when he met my dad at 2.5 now they are very close
Maybe you should put a blanket down on the floor and they get down on his level. Don’t force any touching. Let it come naturally.
My daughter was 4 before she didn’t cry when my brother spoke to her. She was a child that did not like people to approach her. If they left her alone she usually would warm up to them but if you didn’t she would cry every time she was near you. So talk to them ahead of time and ask that they don’t reach for him and go about their business. He might just see that it is ok and will warm up to them.
My only tip is to keep giving your child his space.
My kids did the same thing with one set of grandparents because they didn’t see them very often. They did grow out of it. It just took time.
They’re grown ass people who cares what they’re feeling over a small child’s behavior. ETA holy crap I just realized this is a 5 month old not a five year old. Give me a freaking break. It’s totally normal to not want them to hold him. Several of my kids didn’t want anything to do with anyone besides me for a few years.
My son would cry every time he saw my dad for like 4 months, and it did hurt his feelings. He wasn’t mad at the baby but he wanted his grand son to like him. We just kept bringing him around my dad and the more he saw him he just got comfortable. I didn’t make him interact with my dad just be in the same room and he adjusted eventually.
I don’t make my child uncomfortable by being around someone they are unfamiliar with family or not. They need to give him space to warm up to them and them being offended about it is purely rediculous
My 2 year old is the same way. Always has been. It hurts my family’s feelings but they understand and don’t get mad.
He will out grow it.
He’s a baby omg if they’re butthurt now wait til hes 3 and tells you he doesn’t wanna be around you:joy:
Tell them to grow up and get over it. Are they gonna also get offended when the same child doesn’t want to hug/kiss them? It’s called BODILY AUTONOMY and kid’s have a choice of who holds them, kisses them and so on.
The child will grow older and get over that. For now they need to get over it
It’s the age mostly. I live with my mum and my kids still wouldn’t let her hold them at that age and that lasted a few months with the youngest😅
They need to get over it and take into consideration that he is a BABY and it’s ridiculous that they are offended. Don’t push him he will eventually come around my 3 year old has just recently in the last 6 months starting to want to do things with Daddy.
Either it’s the baby or you. My daughter went through that but not with family. Talk to her
There’s really nothing that they can do except accept it. He’ll either outgrow it or he won’t but you shouldn’t force it if he’s uncomfortable.
Uh they just gotta make the effort to be around more. Let the kid know them. My kids can only tolerate being around my folks for 4 hrs maximum before they’re ready to come home and they’re both almost 10. My siblings and parents hate it but at the same time they’ve visited my kids maybe 5 times since they were born. They always expect us to visit which doesn’t happen often. If they want the child to know them they gotta make themselves known. Simple.
The only thing that will help is if they are around more my kids are 5 and 3 and still need warm up time around family we don’t see often. You can’t and shouldn’t force it because it is ok for him to be that way just support him people are scary
Maybe he knows something u dont…
Spend more time or leave him for an hour occasionally? Print photos of them and look at them daily?
It’s a phase and all you can do it comfort and support your son. Always choose your babies needs over the emotions of adults. He just needs mama right now and that’s ok.
Not sure what the situation is with your in-laws but if they are not going to be around your LO as much as possible, than they can’t get mad. I have family members on both mine and my SO’s side that don’t make an effort to see my daughter much and then try and scoop her up when they do see her and she freaks out. They try and blame it on me but I’m like “um, she doesn’t know who you are. Sorry”
Have them come around more often and let him engage with them first
Try holding him and just sitting near them or in the same room and then as he feels more comfortable move closer to them and have them talk to him and interact but not touch. Just takes time. They have to put in an effort also and maybe come to your house in his comfort zone. My kids always did better in our home with it.
I agree with most of these comments.Babys are smart…They need to be the ones to make the effort!! They are the adults and they shouldn’t make you as a parent feel bad about it…
My second daughter wouldn’t let any one hold her but me and my mother& sister! Not even my husband her dad! Nope she would scream!From the time she was newborn til bout a year old! She out grew it! She was just not a friendly baby!
It can take awhile my daughter was the same way with most of her relatives. Until your child feels safe around them. If they want that then they need to visit and just sit on the floor and play with with the toys. Sooner or later the kid will go around them even if it’s just to get the toys…lol
My son refused to be held or talk to one half of my in laws from the moment he was able to walk until this summer… he will be 5 in a few weeks. We didn’t force him, we didn’t stress about it and he was able to decide the time was right for him and now he’s all over my in laws and talking away. I personally think you’ve got to let them do it when they feel comfortable to do so.
If they want the child comfortable with them then THEY need to make more of an effort to see and be around him more. Its not your responsibility.
And that is the best advice people are giving you is let the child come to you. I work at a daycare and I do this all the time. I just start playing with toys building something with myself and next you know I six kids running up to me
Tell them to chill. I don’t see my great grandchild as often as the others do. I have never forced my self on him. He is 2 1/2 now and will come to me and talk to me.
Omg a 5 month old with anxiety really…check with your pediatrician! Its completely Normal behavior. If they haven’t been around your family members much, they won’t go near them. Its called clinging to mom and dad not anxiety.
My kids didn’t like baby talk, and subtle voice changes would put them off people! Also smells they didn’t like perfume ,cologne, smoke. Let your child decide where he is most comfortable.
I think Rayann Blady & Nessa Campbell already said it nothing else needs to be explained
My kids did that also but to their other grandma who refused to come see them because it just cost her too much and it would be cheaper for me to pack up 2 babies who were twins and drive 2 hours to see her for like 15 minutes because she had 30 cats in a one bedroom apartment and one of the twins are allergic to cats. Tell me how its cheaper for me to load kids up and drive 2 hours and have to get a hotel room but if she came to us she didnt have to spend anything but gas to get to us. Now I have 3 kids and she still acts the same says I would do anything for my grandbabies but refused to come up for baptisms first communion and christmas programs and sport games.
Hes a BABY and if they aren’t around often, they won’t know them! Smh does this really need explained to ur in laws?! If they aren’t around EVERYDAY, of course kid is gonna be nervous around them til they r older and can recognize them. Tell them if they r offended baby doesn’t know them, they could always visit more thru the year! Babies r uncomfortable around ppl they dnt know! U have to work thru it!!
I had a nephew that is stand-offing to me. He sees me about 3 times a year. Instead of holding him or forcing him to come to me, I let him decide on his own to come to me. ( later on we found out that he was acting this way because he could not see my eyes. I get terrible migraine and have to wear sunglasses inside at times). He outgrew his shyness with me and I now get hugs when I go we see each other. It’s a stage that all children go through. It will pass. They just need to be patient. My daughter and son went through this. When someone would insist on holding them I would let them. As soon as the other person holding my child found out my kids would cry and want me they gave them back to me because no one wants to make a happy baby cry.
It took my daughter 6 months to warm up to her grandpa when she was a baby. 2 years to warm up to a family friend. 3 years to warm up to her uncle. 5 years to warm up to her great grandpa. It is fine for them to play strange. My daughter is just finally starting to grow out of it.
There is nothing you can do about it. You can’t force him to want them to hold him. It’s the same way when I see people forcing kids to sit with Santa or the Easter Bunny. And forcing kids to be held by someone related or not set up situations molestation.
Babies are smart I wouldnt care if he never overcomes this
Babies know and feel when people spirits not right.
Top bad the baby just don’t like them because they are not around a lot give him time