14 answers

Baby Have Strange Anxiety with Grandma.

My 6 months old baby every time that is close to my husband's mother cry and scream without stopping, her face gets red and she seems like having a stroke or something like that!!!! Things get worse when my mother in law carries her. Baby does not stop even when my husband holds her again.

The baby usually has strange anxiety with people but she just cry for a minute and when the other person talks to her, make faces, or we hold her again she stops and gets happy.

My mother arrived two weeks ago and the baby made her a bad face for like and hour and after a couple of hours they were playing together.

When my mother in law arrived from Colombia we took the baby to see her and everything was perfect, but she never came to our house to visit the baby, so I went to her house a couple of times and the baby was ok, she came to our house 1 night because we wanted to go out and that’s when the problem started: the baby did not stop crying and screaming, so we didn’t go out. After that I had a fight with her (for other reasons) but not in front of the baby, and my husband is taking the baby to her house without me and the problem is getting worse!!! My baby cries since she is in the door of the house!!!

Now my husband is feeling bad because the baby is ok with my mom and not with his mom and this is causing a major problem in our relationship!!!!

I really don’t know how to handle the problem!!!! Please help me!!!!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks everybody for all the answers!!! They really helped me and my MIL to understand that it is normal for babies at this age to go through this process.
We have a party last Saturday and the baby was great with me on her side, she cried at the beginning but since I was the one holding her and everybody was just playing with her and making her faces, etc., the baby calmed herself.
We are definitely give her time to adjust to the family!!!!!

Featured Answers

my son did the same thing with my mom- and she took care of him while i worked since he was 3 months. around 6 months old, same thing, hated my mom, loved my dad. she didn't take it personally, she just respected his space and he eventually warmed up to her. now he LOVES going over there- both my parents are spanish as well and they speak spanish to my son, so maybe the language change scared him a little bit- or maybe it was just one of those things. if mother in law has anxiety about making him cry, he may pick up on it too.

More Answers

If the grandma has dogs or other animals there may be ticks or fleas that bite the baby. Have the baby ever stayed at anyone else's home while you went out for as long as grandma's visit?
If the baby did not then you don't really know if its just grandma. The baby may be having a bad memory of just missing you so much and that could be with anyone.

Grandma could spend more time around you and the baby in your home, not holding him or her but just letting the baby get used to her in your surrounding. The baby also misses the baby stuff and the music and whatever else you do. They like repetition and familiar things. Grandma should have some of the same music in her house along with other familiar things to the baby. Grandma feels stressed too assure her it's okay and help her to relax around the baby. It is okay to take it slow. My babies got over that eventually.

For whatever reasons, your baby is not comfortable with grandma. It doesn't mean that Grandma is bad, or that something is wrong with the baby. At 6 months, she is very capable of recognizing different people and the situation. She may associate seeing grandma with mommy is leaving.

Respect your baby's cues. She is not comfortable. Respect that and invite grandma to cuddle and play with the baby when you are there and just need a break. Perhaps, you can relax and read, while grandma cuddles baby. If she gets upset, you are there to comfort and hold her. Over time, she will learn that grandma is fun, loving and kind and that mommy doesn't always leave when I see her.
The tough part is that she will learn it, when she is ready. There is nothing you can do to push the situation along. The more you ignore her protests, the more she will associate negative feelings with grandma. And you don't want that. Allow her to gradual grow comfortable with grandma.

respect her emotions.


Wow, I want to say that your baby has seperation anxiety from you first of all. Your baby now associates your mom in law with the anxiety & cries then gets her way to come back to you or home. I am not sure of this but once your baby sees if she cries with this person mommy appears. If you can get a chance take your baby to a happy place like swings,park or chucky cheese and have Mom in law come then try to hold her while you are still there in eye shot. MIL holds 2 min & you come back & so on. Make sure yor not at MILs house & get your self a book or call Dr. for advise. Good Luck

All 3 of my children have experienced separation anxiety even with my family members whom they've been in contact with since birth. It happens but it doesn't last forever. This anxiety is real for your daughter and you need to not force you child to "relax" in the arms of someone she is clearly not comfortable with. You're mother in law and husband need to understand that at 6 months, your daughter is not screaming because she's decided that she simply doesn't like her grandma. She is crying because she only wants you. Don't push your child to someone she clearly doesn't want to go to. Your mother in law needs to approach your baby slowly and if your daughter resists being picked up by her, then she needs to leave her alone. She can interact with her grand-daughter without picking her up. This phase will pass in no time at all.

I truly believe that in situations like this where the behavior is impossible to explain, there is likely to be some anxiety from a previous lifetime that is coming through. If you are open to but unfamiliar with this concept, I recommend the books of Dr. Brian Weiss. All of his books are available in Spanish and he is quite popular in South America. Perhaps your husband and mother-in-law would be less hurt if they could see it this way!
: )

That happened to my first born and my mother! It was very strange. I would try to leave my daughter at my mothers house for her to babysit for a while so we can go out to dinner and it was non stop crying from the moment we left until we returned. On one occasion she had to go to the neightbors house to get help from her since she had a daughter one year older than mine. needless to say, we could never leave her at my mothers house. I can't explain it. When she got older, 1 yeard old or so, it didn't happened again.
Be patient, keep trying. I know how bad it makes someone feel. And you don't want your husband to feel badly about his mother and his daughter. This too shall pass.

Sounds like the baby is associating being separated from you with grandma. From personal experiences with my own children, I would suggest a couple things to try. One is just to leave her with grandma and not come back in. Then after 15 or 20 minutes, don't go in because if she did stop crying it's likely to make her start again. Just call and ask how she's doing and only go in and get her if she is still crying. The other thing would be to spend more time at her house with your baby and give her time to adjust to being there with you. It may take awhile, but eventually she will get comfortable with grandma because she has had you with her. Then after she seems okay, try leaving her there. And if she cries at first, try the first method I suggested.

Dear P.,
Good Morning! You may have to ask grandma to change her bath soap & perfumes. Preferably no perfume when she is coming over to see your baby!My nice was the same way with certain people, including her mother. When I suggested she change the bath soap and quit wearing perfumes, the baby was totally happy being held by her mommy! Good luck & may God bless you all!
Kathy N.

Your situation sounds frustrating. Children are very funny like this and its hard because when they can't really communicate what they're feeling to us. I agree with everyone else. Your child may associate something with your mother-in-law: leaving mommy, her perfume, gma talks loud, gma is more "strict" than mom and dad, grandma not easy on the eyes, it could be ANYTHING!

Your mother-in-law has to be sensitive to the baby and understand that it's not personal. Since the baby isn't old enough to be doing it out of spite. It may be a phase and take some time.

My take is to always make the child feel safe and comfortable. I personally never tell my children to give so-and-so a hug or kiss. Like when meeting new people or seeing family members. Even if it is me or dad or grandma, grandpa, etc. Developing stranger danger, protecting themselves, and knowing appropriate contact at an early age is very important.

How often is your mom around your baby? Does she spend more time with your mom than his? My son is like that too,he doesn't want my parents but wants my husbands. Its very hard and frustrating for both of us and my parents. They are coming around alot more and doing things with him, he is starting to warm up to them. Your baby is 6 months old and has plenty of time to bond, but my son is 2 and half years old and they are trying real hard to be in his life and he is still unsure of them. Try leaving her with his mother and walk out the door and sit in the car and call her on the phone in 5 min and see if she got your baby to calm down and if not then tell her to call you when the baby is calm or if she can't do anything then go back in if its been a while, but i am sure she can get her mind off of being mad with toys or a reading a book or if the baby likes a little bath his mother can do what she likes so the baby can feel a bond with her. Good Luck and let us know what happens

Strangely enough I had the same problem with my first born (when he was a baby) and my mother in law. Anytime she would come near him when he was a baby he would become hysterical and cry and cry with noone being able to console him. We think what made him cry or scared was her voice. My mother in law has a very strong harsh voive as well as very masculine facial features so we think that he was scared of her.

By the time he was a little over a year old he began to slowly interact with her and now he loves her beyond words.

Don't know if this is your situation but hope this helps. See if you can pinpoint if there is something that scares him around your mother in law. Feel free to share my story with your husband and maybe there's something he notices your baby react to when he takes him to visit his mother.

I totally agree with Tina B. and Kathy W. My daughter used to cry pretty much the whole time we used to leave her with my ILs (when she was a bit younger than your daughter) because my husband wanted a regular Thursday night date night. It was stressful for her and for me and I soon put a stop to it. Instead of going out at night, I invited my ILs to come and visit us instead. I didn't force the issue and let her spend lots of time with them with me around. Things improved as she got older. At 2 years old, she LOVES her grandparents now! This is a phase and will eventually pass. You don't need to force it.

my son did the same thing with my mom- and she took care of him while i worked since he was 3 months. around 6 months old, same thing, hated my mom, loved my dad. she didn't take it personally, she just respected his space and he eventually warmed up to her. now he LOVES going over there- both my parents are spanish as well and they speak spanish to my son, so maybe the language change scared him a little bit- or maybe it was just one of those things. if mother in law has anxiety about making him cry, he may pick up on it too.

Wow, it seems that something is going wrong here. Maybe it is not that important, but something negative has been created in your baby's mind or perception towards the granma. Maybe she speaks too loud and scares your baby. I'm telling you this because when my baby was about 4 or 5 months of age he didn't like my mom singing a specific song. He began to cry every time she sang that song.
Have you notice the way your mother in lay treats him? Is she nice, with a low voice tone? Because maybe this has to be with his reaction.
This should not be a problem between you people. Remember he is just a baby and they react in different ways depending on their own mood, so I believe you as adults should not give too much importance to this situation. Any way you can keep an eye on your mother in law attitude towards your baby, just in case.

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