Our 8 month old son started being aware and wary of strangers since he turned 7 months old. We've discovered that the way to get friendly with him is to approach him slowly. Interact with him from afar, get him to be interested in you, and then finally get closer. He might even come to you voluntarily, asking to be held. Takes no more than 20-30 mins for this whole process.
But my husband's father, in his excitement at meeting his grandchild after many months, picked him up as soon as he entered our house. My son didn't even have 5 seconds to register this new person. Naturally, he screamed and cried and then was handed back to us. Its been 5 days since this incident and we've tried lots of ways to get him to go to his grandpa.
- Playing from far off, trying to get closer slowly -> He's fine, and even curious about his grandpa as long as there's a distance between them. As soon as he gets closer, he expresses his displeasure/fear. Today, he even let his grandpa get close, but cried if he extended his arms to pick him up or hold him.
- Both the grandfather and one of us holding him together. -> cries
- My husband hugging his dad, trying to show our son that he can be trusted; he's a friend. -> no apparent affect
- The grandfather picking him up anyway, hoping he'll just suck it up and be ok with it -> This seems to have reset any progress made through the steps above.
What else can we try? Should we just keep trying 1-3 and let it take as long as it does? Should we give #4 another try or wait longer to see if he stops crying? We took him back in a minute the last time.
P.S: I did take a look at this question : 8-month old terrified of new caretakers but it doesn't apply to me because:
- We do know how to get our son acquainted with new people. But what do we do when those steps were tossed aside, and he's now scared of this one person?
- We do not NEED his grandfather for child care. So there's isn't an inconvenience or a time crunch.