How to Deal With Stranger Anxiety in Babies and Young Children
Stranger anxiety is an uncomfortable reaction that many babies and young children experience when a new person comes into their life. It is a normal stage of development. If you notice that your child is showing signs of stranger anxiety, seek professional help as soon as possible.
When a baby or toddler exhibits stranger anxiety, they may cry or show other distressing signs. They may be reluctant to play with a stranger, or they might refuse to let a caregiver hold them.
The duration and intensity of stranger anxiety is different for each child. Children will generally outgrow the disorder within a few years. But some children will need more time to develop coping strategies.
If your child’s fear of strangers is too strong, it can prevent them from attending childcare or playing with peers. You should seek the advice of a pediatrician or a psychiatrist. These professionals can examine your child and determine if the behavior is a sign of an anxiety disorder or if it’s just natural.
Stranger anxiety is an adaptive response that is part of a child’s cognitive development. It helps them learn about their environment and how to trust their instincts. As the child ages, they will become less afraid of strangers.
While a child’s stranger anxiety is an adaptive behavior, it can be frustrating for parents. During this phase, it’s important to be patient with your baby or toddler. Attempting to force your child to interact with a stranger can only increase their fear.