Stranger Danger…

Published March 10, 2013 by jessicalynndunning

David is calling Briana’s new tendency to freak out when anyone (other than people she knows really well) hold her as her “Stranger Danger Anxiety.” When I mentioned it to her doctor the other day, he actually said that this was a good thing developmentally, because it shows the ability to recognize people and such like that. Apparently this is something that babies don’t normally start to do until they are about six months old. So, Briana is an early bloomer…could’ve waited on this one though!

We went to visit my dad and grandma today (Bri’s Papa and G.G.) and Briana started to scream every time my dad tried to hold her. G.G. never even really tried, because Mama (ME) was worried that Bri would freak out again. My dad was really good about it, but I felt really bad, because I am sure it hurt his feelings, even if he would never admit it.

I told them that I want to have them over to our place so that Briana can be re-introduced to them on her home turf. I don’t know if that will help or not, but my theory is that if she is surrounded by familiarity, it won’t be so scary to hang out with “new” people.

The other frustrating thing is that they shouldn’t really be “strangers.” She has been around them quite a bit. But man, I’m telling you! The last couple of weeks have been terrible for anyone other than mom, dad, or “Uncle A.J.” (our roommate, who is also Bri’s godfather).

I think it’s my fault. I hardly ever leave the apartment. I mean, we take her to David’s parents house, to my parents house, and to the occasional restaurant. So I feel like she is never around people. *sigh* I am turning my daughter into a hermit! Now that the weather is nicer, I am going to try to get out more. And I have been thinking about trying to find a “mommy group” in the area so that at least once or twice a week (or month or however often they get together), Briana can be around other babies and I can be around adults.

In all seriousness, since I don’t leave the apartment super often during the day, we have a pretty set routine…wake up, diaper change, bottle, playtime, nap, repeat, etc. So when I go anywhere, she gets all mad that her routine is messed up. I don’t suppose there is really a way around that. But how do I deal with that once we do start going out more? I can’t always leave the apartment at the same time when we do go out, right? How do you work a babies routine around random excursions out of the house without ending up with a baby who is freaking out?

Ah, stupid questions from a new mom. Try not to point and laugh too much while you tell me how ridiculous I am. I just don’t want to upset her every day…but I also realize I can’t stay in the apartment all the time. I mean, we plan on taking her to Disney World in September…she kind of has to be okay with days that are slightly out of the ordinary. 🙂 And people…she has to be okay with people. *sigh* I’m terrible. My depression and lack of a want/need to get out has messed up my child! Gah!

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4 comments on “Stranger Danger…

  • No, nothing you have done has messed up your child!
    Yes, you are right: have the grandparents at your house, so she is on her home turf.
    And, unfortunately, you will have to plan outings very carefully, and do it during her “playtime”, when she is neither hungry nor tired. (And no, she doesn’t need to get out every day. Maybe for a short walk, just to see the sun.)

    P.S. – It’s a phase. It’ll pass.

    • Thanks for your input. We’re working on getting out of the apartment more. We live in a rainy area, so it’s been tough to get her out of doors, but we did take her to the park earlier this week and she seemed to really enjoy that. Still working on her not freaking out with everyone, but one step at a time!

  • Agreed with Little Duckies that it’s a phase. All babies go through the Stranger Danger.
    I think it’s a great idea to bring her out more. I think the more they are out and about around people, the easier it is for them. You also won’t know how she is till you do that with some things. I think this is important as a training of sorts for your trip.

    WHen we brought Cailyn the first time she was 9 months old. We did a sit down meal everyday and she was fine. She was use to going out to eat, because Gram and I brought her out for lunch at least once a week.

    She slept in her stroller that the back went down in, every afternoon. I never had to go back to the room for nap time. Which was great. I mean, I usually do take a break, but I didn’t HAVE to. Now I am not saying this will work for all babies. Some will sleep and others won’t. But you won’t know what kind of baby you have until you try it out.

    I have found in my talks with mommies, and myself the runnning theme seems to be that you have to kind of train your baby. An example I have to give is vacuuming. There are lots of moms who vacuum while their babies are sleeping and it’s no problem. Others can’t. Most (not all) most moms agree this is due to whether their baby was brought up with that noise.

    So my idea with all these thoughts is….bring Briana out and about, around loud noises, people, scary characters if you can (think Chuck E Cheese, amusement park with characters), during nap times, during meal times. See what you come up with. Prepare her for your trip of sorts. Of course, this will help you determine how she is about things, but it will also end up training her in some way too. It may help, it may not. But at least you tried.

    PS…I think reintroducing her to her grandparents on her home turf is a great idea. Once that happens and she is comfortable…then start bringing her over again to their turf. Don’t get stuck in the rut of not bringing her bc she isn’t comfortable. I know it’s hard as a mom, but part of your job is to make it possible for her to go places, and still feel comfortable bc mom is there and will be there for her regardless.

    Good luck to you Jess, don’t feel bad. This too will pass.

    • Thanks for the suggestions! We’re trying to work on the stuff you mentioned. 🙂 I told David we should go to Chuck E Cheese and he grimaced at me. I haven’t been there since I was 12, so I can’t honestly say I remember much about it other than their pizza is terrible! But he did think your suggestion to try her out with characters in costume was good, and I pointed out Chuck E Cheese was the easiest to get to from our house. 🙂

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