Stranger Danger

Every baby goes through a stranger danger phase.  It is completely normal for them to be unsure of their surroundings and not want to be near strangers.  It can take them time to warm up to others before showing their true personality.  Years of daycare, I’ve seen all types.  I’ve also seen the type of kiddos that seem to have zero stranger danger fear, they don’t know a stranger, in fact.  I hear that the mama’s of these types of kiddos are always a little more on edge.

Well, it turns out I have one that has extreme stranger danger.  Honestly, she always has.  When she was real little (just a few months old) and people would want to come over and hold her, she would have none of it.  She doesn’t go to Grandparents that she sees every few weeks, never has.  We have no babysitters aside from our day care provider and my sister who lives with us.  She doesn’t go to friends that come over once a week for wine.  It is fine if those people maybe want to sit 10 feet away from her, with us in her direct eye line, and then they can maybe speak a few words to her or push a truck her way.  They better not dare try to pick her up or touch her though.  We can’t leave her with anyone.

Please don’t tell me it is a phase.  It has always been like this.  13 months old and we can’t just drop her with a friend to watch her.  She will scream bloody murder until we come back.  No, there is no distracting her to calm her down.  The girl commits and doesn’t stop.  No, it isn’t because she gets a bad vibe off of them.  She has that vibe with everyone.  We can stay at my mom’s place for 3 days straight and maybe, just maybe, she will let her hold her for 30 seconds before protesting.

Here, hold my kid so I can eat.  Nope

Here, hold my kid so I can run to the bathroom.  Nope.

Here, let my kid come over for a play date.  Nope.

Here, go to the daycare at the gym so I can take a yoga class.  Nope.

You would think we were overly attached parents to our child with the way she acts.  She independently plays by herself just fine.  She goes to daycare just fine.  She will take off in the backyard on her own, exploring.  She has even started venturing to her room to play by herself without requesting us.  But the old lady saying hi to her at the grocery store requires full meltdown.

All of this, is tough.  Very tough.  Most friends and family don’t get it.  The ones that do are great about giving her some space.  Others, like my MIL, force themselves at her and it just creates a headache.  I don’t want to force her on anyone either.  The kid loses it.  It isn’t a game where she will get over it because she doesn’t.

Have any of you had this type of kid? It is tough.  Exhausting.  And it gives me anxiety.  We need to find a temporary babysitter while ours is out on maternity leave.  Even our current babysitter is scared to death of how she will act somewhere else.  I just keep thinking we will grow out of this but she hasn’t and doesn’t look like she is going to anytime soon.


15 thoughts on “Stranger Danger

  1. First, i cannot imagine hiw hard this would be for you! And i have absolutly no good suggestions.
    We have the exact opposite problem, baby MPB LOVES everyone! He prefers Mr. MPB and I, but ultimately will go with anyone. At this age it’s not a huge concern, but I know one day we will have to teach him that not all strangers are good.

  2. H is a happy middle of stranger danger and being ok with most people so unfortunately I don’t have any advice on it besides it will be something that you will have to stick it out through. 😦 Have you tried googling to see if anyone has had this problem before or if there are child raising sites (as much as I dislike them) who might have some tips? Do you belong to any facebook mom groups where you could ask moms of older kids if they have experienced this? If you don’t, I can always post, anonymously, in the one I belong to and get some tips for you. Let me know 🙂

    1. I have actually started researching a bit this morning. I mentioned it a bit to her pediatrician before and she said it is normal. Kids are on different scales. I do want to try and lighten the level of intensity a bit though. I’m not on Mom sites but have started chatting at a few people. It seems to just be a personality trait that same grow out of and some don’t. Yikes!

  3. This is a tough one! Let’s just say the grass isn’t greener :)! My son knows no stranger, which kind of sucks because he always engages with people when I don’t want to be bothered. I don’t have much to offer other than to continue maximizing on independent play with you out of her sight and allowing her to do lots of things by herself to help her feel comfortable and confident being alone. Hope this makes sense and helps, good luck mama!

    1. I know so many parents with the opposite problem, like you! Don’t blame ya for not always loving it either. What blows my mind is how incredibly independent she is while at home and in public. She is totally fine wandering the library or taking off in Barnes and Noble without me. It is the second a stranger comes along and she loses her shit. It is just so strange!

  4. My daughter is almost two and she is very friendly, she would go friends and family member with no hesitation even if she seeing that person for the first time. It scares me a bit, so I’m starting to keep her from going to everyone,
    I care not if someone is offended, just trying to teach her not to trust everyone. So now she looks at me to see if it’s OK before she goes, so it’s working.

  5. She just needs ‘uncle’ M to come over…she seemed to really like him hehe 😉 But in seriousness, that is TOUGH my friend. My niece is going through a bit of this right now, but slowly getting there (she is 11 months). I hope it starts to wane and others ‘get it’ because it has to be brutal for you at times. xoxo

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