Re: Why does my baby cry whenever someone else holds him? When will this end?
Though it may be a relief for you when someone else wants to hold baby or watch him for a couple of hours, for baby, the prospect is terrifying. Welcome to separation anxiety, also interchangeable with stranger anxiety. Your friends and family will take it a little personally (“Why doesn’t baby like me?”). The thing for everyone to remember is that baby is just going through a phase and it’ll pass. (Today he’s nervous about being without you. Come grade school, he’ll be nervous being seen with you.) The height of separation anxiety is 12 to 18 months, but it can rear its ugly head as early as six or seven months.
So how do you deal? Start by warming baby up to your leaving. Have the caretaker come 30 minutes before you’re due to leave so they can get to play with baby in your presence. This will show baby you trust the person and that he should feel comfortable too. Try some trial runs. First, leave the house for an hour and gradually increase how long you’re away so baby gets used to it in increments. Always say good-bye when you leave. Don’t prolong your gestures or show that it’s just as hard for you. Make it short, sweet, and to the point: “Bye honey, I’ll see you in a couple of hours.” All of these steps will help build baby’s confidence. As tempting and convenient as it may be to sneak out the back door while baby isn’t looking, in the long run, it’ll just increase baby’s anxiety if he doesn’t know where you went or when you’ll be back.