Stranger Anxiety in a 3 Month Old?

Updated on September 19, 2006
C.B. asks from Philadelphia, PA
7 answers

Hi. We have now 4 month old daughter who seemed to develop terrible stranger anxiety at about 3 months. At about that time as well we went to visit both sets of parents on 2 different weekends. She would not let anyone hold her except her dad and I - would not even let people touch or or sometimes make eye contact. If they did she would launch into a screaming fit that lasted 8-9 one day! I thought this was supposed to happen a bit later, and I am worried that something is not quite right. Any thoughts?

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answers from Rochester on

Hi C., my daughter was 4 months old when she developed stranger anxiety and I was the only one that could hold her. She wouldn't even let her own father hold her! Basically, anyone that she didn't see from the time she got up until the time she went to bed was a stranger to her.

Your daughter's memory isn't developed enough to decipher between relatives she sees every weekend and strangers. Give it a couple of months and you will probably start noticing a difference. When my daughter hit the 9 month mark is when the anxiety deminished. It's not really a bad thing, except that if you want to go out on a "date" with your hubby it's not going to be full fledged date because your little one will be there. :-)



answers from York on

Hi. I just wanted to say that I don't think that this is abnormal. My youngest was very particular about people almost from day one. She is now 15 mos, and still has some anxiety around some people, but she is 10 times better. I noticed that she likes certain people, and others she still screams at. When she was still a neborn if my mother wore her glasses, that would set her off. So, maybe there is something that scares her off. We learned to not push people on her. Now that she older, she is not quite anxious. But, I find that sometimes when older ladies kinda get in her face, she does still get upset. Let your daughter get used to other people's smells and voices before you try to hand her over to someone she does not know. I hope this helps.



answers from Allentown on

You are not alone. My daughter was the same way. She started at 2 months old and it lasted till she was almost 2 years old!! She will be 3 years old on the 8th of October. It took a really long time. She feared people she didn't know. When I would take her to my job she would cry as soon as she walked in! I hated it but there was nothing I could do. Amazingly enough she did not fear you if you were in costume! We took her to Disney land at 15 months old and she ran right into the big Gorilla's arms from Jungle book (I have pictures to prove it) Mickey, Minnie, Donald, not a problem. Santa on the other hand was cause he looked human. It made us so happy to see her greet strangers (in costume) that we took her back at 18months old and at two years old. She's finally over the crying but acts shy instead. Hang in there.



answers from Chattanooga on

my 3 yr old still runs from strangers it will pass as everything does in time



answers from Philadelphia on

My daughter went through that phase for a little while, but after we started taking her around our family more, she became familiar with their faces and got over it. Try not to isolate your daughter from seeing new faces, and comfort her and let her know that these people are now going to harm her. NO, NO, NO I am not saying to take her around complete strangers, but try to take her around your family and friends more so she can get used to other people besides you two. Also try to get away from her for a few hours every week (both of you). Leave her with your parents or friends that you trust and feel have A LOT of patience. Of course, she may cry for a little bit, but once she gets the routine, she'll be okay. Good luck!



answers from Pittsburgh on

My daughter had the same problem. She is now nine months old and no longer experiences this. I found during the 4-6 month timeframe that I needed to limit the number of people that were new to her at one time to prevent her from screaming all day.



answers from Atlanta on

I say it is the sign of a very smart child!! But I am a bit bias, my 4 month old was the same way, as was her 3 year old sister ( who is very bright and perfectly healthy).

S. ;)

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