Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | April 22, 2010

stranger anxiety?

Night time sleep has been unpredictable again. The last few night have been rough, but I guess this is how it goes. One step forward, two steps back. She will usually sleep for 3 to 4 hours once a night, then has been waking up every hour after that.

And here is something new – she is terrified of my father in law. She will go from completely happy and smiley to heart breaking wailing when he looks at her or tries to hold her! I feel awful for him. I don’t know why she is so scared of him. He is a big guy with a deep voice, glasses and a beard, so maybe that is it. The only guy she sees often is S. FIL had been sick off and on during February and March so there was a period of about 6 weeks where she didn’t see him at all because we didn’t want her exposed to whatever he had. So, in that sense, he is kind of a stranger to her. How do we deal with this? She cries sometimes with MIL too, but it is really bad with FIL.

She will be 4 months tomorrow. That’s too early for stranger anxiety, isn’t it? It is hard because the in laws are our only resource for babysitting. All of my family are 2,000 miles away. S’s family is very small and he is not close with most of them anyway. The last time I left Birdie with the in laws so I could go to a physical therapy appointment, she apparently screamed for 45 minutes until they gave her the emergency bottle of formula in the diaper bag. By the time I got back, an hour after I left, she had finally fallen asleep, probably from exhaustion. Shortly after this, she started crying anytime she saw FIL. Could that experience have made her fear him? I feel like I can’t leave her with them if it is going to be so upsetting for her. Instead, I have been trying to create situations where they are around her with me there, so she can get more comfortable with them.

I don’t want Birdie to be scared of people, especially not her only local grandparents. I was a very shy child, so perhaps it is genetic, but I want to expose her to new people and situations without overwhelming her. How do it do that?



  1. Hang in there. It is a phase she will go through here and there. The MORE time he spends with her and you and talking around her she will learn to be ok around him. It’s really nothing personal although it is hard. Annika went through that with the only person around me that can watch her and she is now fine. I just kept taking her around them and letting them pick her up and ease into the rhythm of the situation. Then when they had her I tried to be out of her line of sight for a few minutes and she is now all smiles with her. It’s hard but she will learn in time to be ok with him. The more you keep her AWAY from him the longer it will be for her to get use to him and to learn he is ok.

    Good luck. Hang in there. It gets better…I promise 🙂

  2. hmmmm….i’m going to be checking back for responses to this question as i have NO CLUE!!!

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