What makes children very scared of strangers?
My one-year-old boy has had stranger anxiety since he was seven months old. He'd scream and cry if a "stranger" - that includes relatives who only visit once in a while - tries to come close to him or pick him up. And even after removing him from the situation, he can't stop crying for a long time. Especially if it's a repeated visit to a place he's already been to and cried.
His cousin, on the other hand, is wary of strangers, but after a short time he will voluntarily go to them. He's two months younger, but I'm comparing their behaviors at the same ages. Well, not really comparing in a detrimental way; I just want to know what it is that affects babies' behavior towards strangers. If it's just nature or nurture too.
Neither of them have been going to day care or having play dates because of the pandemic. They both have one set of grandparents who visit often, who they're comfortable with.
The cousin has one older sibling. But almost no exposure to public spaces or random people other than hospitals. My son has no siblings. He goes out for walks every day, observing people at the park is his favorite thing to do. He even waves hi to strangers (from whom there is no danger of being picked up).
If it's nurture, what can we do to make him less scared?