5-Month, Second Week (22weeks old)
How your baby’s growing
Your baby may start showing signs of one of his first major emotional milestones – stranger anxiety. He may become clingy and anxious around new (and even familiar!) people and may cry if a stranger suddenly approaches him.
Keep this in mind when you’re around people he doesn’t know, and try not to be embarrassed when he cries in someone else’s arms – just take him back and calm him down by holding him yourself. Tell your friends and family to approach your little one with slow gentle movements.
A case of stranger anxiety doesn’t mean you have to avoid new faces. Your baby will benefit from getting used to being around people other than you and your husband. Just remember that he needs your patience and understanding to get through this very important stage of development.
How your life’s changing
When you were pregnant, you may have worried about whether your baby would bond with you. And now you find that the two of you are so tight, your baby howls with protest if anybody else comes near – even your husband, to his dismay. When your baby rejects anyone else, it can be hard on that person, and it means more work for you. That’s why getting used to other people is an important part of your baby’s socialisation.
A strong, lasting bond grows through regular day-to-day interactions, so encourage Dad to get involved in even the most basic baby care tasks, like changing nappies, massaging, bathing and feeding. Get him to carry your baby around when he’s going about his day, and fit in playtime, too. Keep your distance at first so your baby can’t hear or smell you. Divide baby care chores so your husband handles the daily bath or the bedtime routine every evening.
Expose your baby to friends and family, too. A daily walk to the park in his pram to the park will give you a chance to meet other new mums and your baby a chance to see new faces. Try holding your baby while the other person talks and plays with him. Then hand him over to the other person and stay close. Eventually, leave briefly and come back. Repeat this step, making the interval you’re away longer and longer.
Parent tip: calming your upset baby
“When our baby daughter is upset, we make funny sounds or do something silly to make her laugh. She soon forgets what’s troubling her!” — Akshita