My 4 1/2 month old has stranger anxiety with just about everyone but myself and my husband. With some people he'll scream if they try to hold him, while with others he will scream if they even look at him! I know this behaviour is "normal" for some babies at this age, but I was wondering when this generally subsides?

asked 31 Dec '09, 18:35

DazedandConfused's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%

According to the following article stranger anxiety can start around 3-6 months can last until about 2 years. Another article I read, said it would tend to peak between 12-15 months.

Our experience with our daugther is that it began around 4 months and she was anxious with everyone, including grandparents and her aunt whom she saw at least once a week. Eventually by about 6-9 months (I can't remember the exact month, things start to blur together quickly) she recognized familiar people and was okay with most people as long as mommy, daddy, or a familiar relative was close by. She still cried off and on at most strangers (especially those that would get in her face) or if there was a lot of unfamiliar people around until about 14 1/2 months. We found that she was more likely to burst into tears if people were overly excited, or paid too much attention to her. It was always best when everyone was calm, and let her warm up to them as her own pace.

Then one week it just went away almost suddenly. She's still shy and will likely always be but she doesn't burst into tears with strangers anymore.


answered 31 Dec '09, 19:05

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Tammy ♦♦
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edited 01 Jan '10, 19:54


+1 it was similar with us too. I totally agree with what the article says about "asking visitors to you home to ignore the infant" and "letting children come around to them" Also we have a theory that the excitement that an adult displays on seeing a baby can be so overwhelming that it could make the infant feel insecure and bring on a bout of crying, also the change of language and tone of voice too perhaps??

(01 Jan '10, 10:49) Emi

I completely agree Emi, we had the same experience. Our daughter was always less fearful of people that were calm, not overly excited and who just let her be and warm up to them. I edited my answer to add more of those details.

(01 Jan '10, 19:55) Tammy ♦♦

yes, our daughter was always crying with strangers, but soon got use to her Grandparents. It was getting better, and she would go to anyone as long as my husband or I were right there.
It was frustrating at Christmas though. She just turned a year old, and everyone at my parents house would get up in her face or try and pick her up, but she just wanted to walk around by herself. She was crying every couple of minutes it seemed. I would get her calmed down and she would want to get down and walk, and then someone would come along and get down in her face, and the crying would start again. Everyone was like, what is wrong with her? I said she is not use to this many people, 29 people at my parents for christmas. It was very crowded. I think just one of my sister's was the only one she would let hold her during the weekend. Everyone else she did not warm up to, since they were all in her face. Some of the kids she was ok with. She is use to being able to walk around my parents house without anyone in her way. She was much happier once everyone left, and she had her Grandparents to herself again.


answered 03 Jan '10, 07:02

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Betsy 1
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Asked: 31 Dec '09, 18:35

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Last updated: 03 Jan '10, 07:02

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