Being Afraid of Strangers is Normal at this Age

Parenting September 27, 2008 Print Friendly and PDF

Parenting Tips for Your 7 Month Old Baby


One of the most important things that babies do is become attached to their parents and other important adults in their lives. You’ll know that your baby is getting attached when he starts to cry when you leave. This does not mean that your baby is spoiled. It’s a sign of attachment. This will set the foundation for healthy relationships throughout his life.

Around 7 months of age, babies may start to respond differently to the people they know and the people they don’t. Your baby will talk, coo, and laugh with the people he sees every day. But when a stranger, perhaps even a grandparent, picks up your baby, he may be quiet or even scream.

This is normal. It’s a sign that your baby is picking up on the differences in people. Your baby is learning that not everyone is the same. He is likely to accept new people after he has spent some time with them and knows he can trust them.

Your baby is learning about good and bad feelings. Help him by talking about emotions. Say, “You fell over and are crying. You feel bad. Let me help you up. Now, you’re feeling better.” Learning about our emotions takes a long time. The first steps begin right now.

Your child’s tears may be hard to take. It will pull at your heartstrings to see your little one feeling such pain. But tears are a sign of healthy emotional growth. Your baby is reacting the same way you would when you trip over a bump in the sidewalk, fall down, and get drenched in the rain — all on an empty stomach.

Tears can be good medicine — they help us relieve tension, reduce stress, and get us ready to bounce back to feeling better in a short period of time. Tears help us deal with bumps in the road.

Learn more about Your 7 Month Old Baby from Just In Time Parenting. You can also go to our Resource Links for additional information on child care and development.

Note to Parents: When reading this newsletter, remember: Every baby is different. Children may do things earlier or later than described here. This newsletter gives equal space and time to both sexes. If he or she is used, we are talking about all babies.
References: These materials were adapted by authors from Extension Just in Time Parenting Newsletters in California, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Tennessee, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Wisconsin.


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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.