My son doesn't mind if someone else holds him. Should he have more stranger anxiety?
My 8 1/2 month old son doesn't mind if a stranger holds him. Are babies suppose to go through stranger anxiety? Is it okay that it doesn't bother him? He went through a stage not to long ago where he didn't like men holding him except his father, but as far as someone he doesn't know holding him, he doesn't get upset. He looks around for me and his dad as if to make sure we are still there but he doesn't cry or get upset.
While it is true that most children experience some form of stranger anxiety, not all children do. And, more importantly, the way in which children manifest anxiety may vary. Some children may stare warily at new faces while other children strongly protest and cry when near or held by someone new. Although stranger anxiety begins for many children between 6-9 months, some children develop anxiety early in their second year. Thus, your son sounds quite typical and "on track."
If, and when, you son develops more significant stranger anxiety, you can help ease the process by not pressuring him to socialize with new people (allow him to go at his own pace), informing friends and relatives ahead of time, and reassure your son as he struggles with the anxiety and discomfort of coping with new people. This seems like a scary prospect to him. Validate and reassure.
L. Compian, Ph.D.