Monday, October 27, 2008

Stranger Anxiety-Parents and Babies Both Get It

Some new parents don't want anyone to hold their baby. We understand this. It's a primal urge, perhaps, to want to protect your child from strangers and even the smell of someone else's cologne on your infant can raise hackles on the back of your neck. But other parents aren't uptight about the baby making the rounds and going from one admirer's arms to another, which is their prerogative as well, and which makes for easy family gatherings and a more relaxed mom and dad.

Once the baby gets bigger, he starts to have opinions about who's holding him. He starts to associate love and safety with mom and dad and gets anxious around strangers. Most experts agree that this is a sign of healthy attachment the baby has for his caregiver. So when your son starts to squawk when you hand him over to a fawning admirer, know it's because he feels safer with you than anyone else in the world (and don't force him to remain in someone else's arms, which will just make the anxiety worse).


Surfer Jay said...

I recently read about this in my Child Development class. And I can't wait. Really. I'm the parent that cringes when people pass around my baby. Well not with my family, but with hers, go figure.

Anonymous said...

Maybe there's a reason -- in-laws can be really trying and horrible to deal with and though you are stuck with them it makes sense to want to protect your baby from it, you know?