29 answers

4 Month Old Cries When 'Strangers' Hold Her and Is Sensitive to Loud Noises...

Has anyone gone through this? Is this a stage? My daughter is 4 months old and seems to cry around 'new' people or 'strangers' -- that includes my sister who we see quite a bit. My daughter is super aware of her surroundings and KNOWS what is going on. She seems to startle easily to loud noises, etc, too. I notice she is mostly this way when the house is full of people, or we are at someone else's house. When it's just a few of us, she seems much better, but still leary of 'others'. I don't know if it's something I've done, or just her personality, but both my husband and I are very outgoing social people, so I'm not sure where she would get this? Does anyone have any suggestions?? Overall, she is a funloving, adorable, well-behaved baby that sleeps GREAT too! BUt this social anxiety makes me sad/nervous, frustrated...

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for your responses! You were all so helpful and positive!! I really appreciate it!.. I just wanted to let you all know that my little girl is much better as of late.. She is still a little skiddish of strangers, but we give her time to 'warm up' by slowly introducing them and having them be around her for a while without picking her up and she does just fine! She's getting better and better! Just the other day all of my nephews were over... 4 under the age of 3 and they were yelling and jumping and playing and she was just fine!! Yay!!! I know stranger anxiety comes and goes so I will know now to just ease into everything and she will be fine... Phew! God bless!!

Featured Answers

Abbie went through this......she DEFINTIELY outgrew it! Just keep exposing her to others. Good Luck.

Hi S.! My daughter was the exact same way at that age. She actually would never even go to men, including my husband (her Dad). She would also get all worked up when there was too much going on around her and preferred things to be quiet (very sensitive to noise)! Luckily it is just a stage and my daughter is VERY outgoing now. She is still sensitive to loud noises, but seems to be fine with it. I would just say that it is a stage and she will grow out of it before you know it. Right now she prefers Just Mom. . .enjoy it because that doesn't last:)

Yes and it is NORMAL. Babies are suppose to be attached to certain people they see on a regular basis. The crying when the baby is around strangers is a instinct that they are born with.....it is a good thing!

More Answers

Hello:
My name is J. and I went through this same thing with my daughter. She is now 5 years old and has been diagnosed with sensory integration dysfunction. It is more common than most would think and is easily corrected. I am not saying this is what your daughter has, but it sounds exactly like what we went through. I am not sure the age at which they can determine, but our diagnosis came through an occupational therapist that specializes in sensory integration. It took us so long to discover this because most family doctors and only a few peditricians are up on the occupational side of things. Good Luck!! It really is an easy fix and my daughter loves her therapist. We have only been with the program for a few months and already they are reducing her time in the office and she will most likely been done with therapy by summer.
I just read some of the other responses and I have to say that while it is normal for some babies to shy away from certain people at times, but the loud noise is what makes me think there is more to it than a phase. Please take the time to type sensory integration dysfunction into your browser and read up on the subject. I have two children and my son went through the phase part of what everyone is talking about...what my daughter went through was very different from that...only you will be able to tell the difference...and a trained professional of course. Good luck to you.

1 mom found this helpful

Pick up some good books on baby develpment, every child will vary according to thier temperament. We had one that really did have a problem with this, it started at this age and it continued into childhood, but you can't really tell at this stage if she will outgrow it and she is just a very sensitive baby (Brazelton calls them quiet babies, I think.)

Look into the watch me grow program, it is free through the state of Ohio (www.ohio.gov) They will send someone to your home to track her development and give you information about what may or may not be typical development and give you suggestions for what you can do to help her grow.

M.

i have two kids one is four and one is almost 2 my first child goes to anyone, stranger or not. my second one will go to no one. he would not go to my husbands family at all and is just now a little bit going to them. i think it is just a personality trait. he is slowly growing more sociable. but you know there are others ( strangers) he will go right up to. it is only certain people he gets wield around.

Hi S.!

You have a quite a bit of responses, and out of the ones I have read, I have not seen anything regarding infant temperaments researched and studied in psychology and child development. Experts divide babies temperaments into three main categories: easy going, slow to warm up, and difficult.

Babies with easy temperaments are usually in good moods, adjust easily and quickly to new situations and changes in routine, and usually eat on a regular schedule. Easy babies react very mildly when hungry or have some form of discomfort. These babies are usually able to find ways to soothe or calm themselves down when they become fussy.

Babies with slow-to-warm-up temperaments basically seem shy. They need more time than easy babies to warm up to new people and experiences. Slow-to-warm-up babies sometimes even reject or withdraw from anything or anybody new. Instead of being active and forthright, they are usually cautious, and will watch situations first. These babies can quickly become overstimulated.

Babies with difficult temperaments are always in some form of constant physical activity; they may even seem restless at times. They are usually easily distracted and respond vigorously to hunger and other discomforts, with very loud and intense crying. At times, difficult babies are very hard to soothe when they're fussy, and have difficulty soothing themselves.

There's TONS of research on these temperaments, and books upon books about what it means for your child, and what you can do to help your child. Good luck!

It is completely normal for your baby to cry around strangers, especially if she is very aware. My daughter started to be aware of strangers and cried for my sister also. We found that if my sister talked to my daughter and she could only hear her voice (not look at her face. My sister covered her own face), my daughter was happy and calm. She recognized her voice and was fine. But when she was looking at my sister's face and hearing her voice, she would cry. We figured out that my daughter was confused because my sister looked like me but didn't sound like me. So when she looked at her and heard a voice that wasn't mine, it scared her. When she heard my sister's voice which she recognized and didn't look at my sister, she was fine.
This was just a phase and she grew out of in within a few weeks or month.

Sounds like normal development to me. Sometime between 4 and 6 months, babies learn about "object permanance" - that is, they realize that something still exists when they can't see it. So separation anxiety sets in... they now know that mommy and/or daddy are somewhere even though they can't see them - and they want them. This is the time they start to have a preference for mommy and daddy, too and you stranger anxiety. It doens't have much to do with personality - it's just a phase most babies go through. My son is extremely outgoing (age 5) but around 4-8 months he screamed if anyone but me held him. My daughter (now 2) is pretty shy and quiet and when she was 4-8 months she definately prefered daddy over anyone else but she never screamed about it.

This is pretty normal for this age. She is starting to develop more of a sense of self - her world is getting a little bigger and she is just wanting to feel secure. Some little ones are just alot more sensitive, and that is ok. Don't push the issue too much for now, but get involved in playgroups or activities that you can do together, and with other babies - story times at the library, or a music/movement class for infants. She'll be just fine!

Hi S.! My daughter was the exact same way at that age. She actually would never even go to men, including my husband (her Dad). She would also get all worked up when there was too much going on around her and preferred things to be quiet (very sensitive to noise)! Luckily it is just a stage and my daughter is VERY outgoing now. She is still sensitive to loud noises, but seems to be fine with it. I would just say that it is a stage and she will grow out of it before you know it. Right now she prefers Just Mom. . .enjoy it because that doesn't last:)

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