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Can you make a 6 month old more social? Have I broken him already?!

(15 Posts)
Playitagainsam Thu 10-Dec-15 15:02:54

My DS is our second (3 year old DD) and is at home most days mid-week, frequently doesn't even leave the house. Me and OH are working and he's looked after by grandparents, and because of nursery runs etc. for his sister and logistics with naps/feeds/work etc etc he never goes to baby groups etc. Whenever we go out together at the weekend, if a stranger comes near him he bursts into tears. Even at home if someone comes to visit he's gotten upset - and that's before they even try to get close to him. Have we made him like this because he only really spends his time at home with close family during the week? His sister was not keen on strangers either in spite of going to baby groups/NCT meet ups etc. but he seems to be even worse - he really sobs!
We've been given advice to make him go to people to get him used to it even if he gets upset - but he gets SO upset that it's really not fun for the person holding him....and it feels a bit mean too!
My DD has maintained her dislike of strangers right from when she was tiny. Is this just his personality too or is it because we've not got him out and about enough? Have we broken him already? Anyone else experienced this?

NeedsAMousekatool Thu 10-Dec-15 15:04:50

He's 6 months old. He doesn't need to be social. He needs to feel safe with people he knows and loves. Stop passing him around, it doesn't benefit him, keep him close and when he feels safe and secure he will explore in his own time.

dementedpixie Thu 10-Dec-15 15:06:01

I am sure it is a natural stage - stranger anxiety. Closely followed by separation anxiety

VagueIdeas Thu 10-Dec-15 15:07:36

Neither of my children were going to baby groups at six months. Groups are really just for parental socialising at that age, not babies!

LaContessaDiPlump Thu 10-Dec-15 15:08:54

I know people who clung to their mum's skirts throughout childhood and are happy outgoing gregarious sorts now (and live at a respectable distance from their mums).

Do not panic, your son is fine grin

Akire Thu 10-Dec-15 15:10:55

He's 6m old he dosnt need to be made to go to other people. He will be fine in his own time. By all means don't afford social situations where he might get upset over Christmas for example but just offer reassurance next to family and friends rather than forcing him on to their laps

GoldPlatedBacon Thu 10-Dec-15 15:22:40

My dd is 5 months. We've been going to baby groups since she was 2 months. She very rarely smiles at anyone other than me and DP. She just gives people a dirty look grin so in my experience play groups aren't resulting in a social child!

Playitagainsam Thu 10-Dec-15 15:48:38

Thanks everyone. I have had people rolling their eyes ('well meaning' family members typically) when he gets upset, implying that we've somehow smothered him and turned him into a softie. I do ignore the advice to just pass him to people, it's no fun for anyone, but I do worry that he cries as soon as he clocks a stranger. It makes social situations a little awkward! But I'm glad you all think it's normal, there are so many things to stress over and I totally thought I'd be less stressed the 2nd time around.

neolara Thu 10-Dec-15 15:52:21

It's very normal. My dd2 had massive stranger and separation anxiety from about 5 months to 2 1/2. I had to carry her pretty much everywhere. At 6 she is pretty much the most outgoing child I know. I think the keeping her close and reducing the stress helped. Don't worry about the eye rolling.

NeedsAMousekatool Thu 10-Dec-15 18:56:58

The eye rollers can get fucked.

Booboostwo Thu 10-Dec-15 19:51:31

DD was like that right from birth. I couldn't give her to anyone else without her screaming blue murder (really distressed, not just grumbly). Even DH had to work at being able to hold her for short periods of time. Very weird and I am sure I didn't contribute to it as I was relaxed about it all.

DS was the most laid back baby, would go with anyone anywhere but I got really fed up of hearing how it was because I was more relaxed with my second one. Bollocks - they have their own personalities right from birth.

whatsoever Thu 10-Dec-15 21:42:57

Sounds like personality not socialising to me. And nothing wrong with it either! 6 months old is teeny tiny. Think I'd have rather stuck to people I knew and loved at 6 months.

I say this as the mother of a a baby who would happily go to anyone. However my niece of the same age wouldn't, she just wanted her mum and I know my SIL must have got fed up of the comparison being made as there was absolutely nothing wrong with my niece's preference. If anything, she is the more sociable with strangers now age 3.

LittlePixieMa Thu 10-Dec-15 21:51:12

My DS is 6 months old, we do all the baby groups etc, but he still being held by others. My inlaws are devastated as they really want to have him for a few hours, but he has a total meltdown. He's tiny so I'm not worried, I'm sure he'll grow out of it xx

Paintedhandprints Thu 10-Dec-15 21:55:33

6mo is very very young. I'm guessing this is light hearted? My ds, in comparison, will go to anyone and run off without a backward glance. We don't do many baby/toddler groups because they seem to fall on his nap time. I'm actually a bit worried he has no sense of stranger danger!

WelliesTheyAreWonderful Fri 11-Dec-15 00:23:15

It's totally normal at this age. What's more important is his confidence in you and as a pp mentioned, his feelings of safety. Don't push him to get used to strangers, let him explore this when he feels confident it's safe to do it. Apparently I was horrendous when held by anyone other than close family at this age but as a toddler and child was nosy so much preferred speaking to new people than my boring old parents! DS is 6 months and just showing signs of being more comfortable around people other than me, DH and DM. He went through a stage of crying if someone else held him, I just took him back whenever that happened, even though it attracted those eye rolls!

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