An Infant’s Distress At Seeing An Unfamiliar Person Is Called
All babies are born with a natural fear of strangers, and this fear manifests itself in a variety of ways. An infant’s distress at seeing an unfamiliar person is a normal response to a new environment or situation. This distress, which can range from mild to intense, is called stranger anxiety.
Stranger anxiety usually begins to appear when a baby is around 6-8 months old. Babies may show signs of distress when a stranger walks into the room, such as whimpering, crying, or hiding their face in their caregiver’s arms. They may also arch their back or cling to their caregiver. This fear of strangers is an important part of development and generally peaks at around 18 months of age. However, some babies may be more fearful than others and may take longer to warm up to unfamiliar people.
It is important to be understanding and supportive when a baby is showing signs of distress at the sight of a stranger. Some ways to help infants feel safe and comfortable around strangers include:
- Introducing the infant to the stranger slowly and gradually, rather than suddenly.
- Giving the baby time to warm up to the stranger and offering words of comfort.
- Allowing the infant to remain close to their caregiver if they wish.
- Being patient and allowing the infant to explore the stranger’s features at their own pace.
- Using a quiet, pleasant voice when speaking to the infant.
Stranger anxiety is a normal and natural part of infant development. With patience, understanding, and support, most infants will eventually become more comfortable around unfamiliar people.