Dealing with Baby's Fears
Around 8 months of age, many babies show fear or wariness of people they dont know well. As baby becomes more mobile, he can become separated from you. This can be scary, so baby may cling to you more and avoid strangers. Baby is becoming aware of people he does and doesnt know.
When away from you, baby may need more reassurance. A pacifier, blanket, stuffed toy, favorite stories or music may help baby feel more secure, especially when she is tired, bored or frustrated.
Crying and trying to get away from an unfamiliar person are less common behaviors than neutral reactions, such as a serious, watchful stare. Some babies even look at the new person, then look away a few times before warming up or smiling.
Grandparents or friends may have a hard time understanding why baby gets upset when they try to pick him up. Take it slowly and hold baby yourself while she gets to know someone new. Let baby make new friends at her own pace.
When baby can stand up alone and starts taking steps, he sees many new things and some of them are scary. Some toddlers become afraid of heights and will no longer climb down from a chair, even though they have done it before. Loud noises, such as the vacuum cleaner or an alarm clock may frighten your child. Taking a bath in the big bath tub can also be frightening.
Dont laugh at these fears. They are just as real to your child as your fears are to you. Comfort your child, then encourage him to explore the thing he is afraid of, if you can do so safely. For example, let him touch the turned-off vacuum.
With your help and guidance, your child will grow out of these fears.
Reference: GH 6121 "DevelopmentDuring the First 3 Years" University of Missouri Extension