Should I be exposing my baby to more people?
August 8, 2014 7:14 AM Subscribe
My baby is about to turn 7 months old. Due to various factors, he does not get a huge amount of exposure to people that aren't me and his dad. Compared with pretty much all of the other babies we've encountered, he is very reserved when out in public and meeting other people (eg. does not smile, makes very little "happy" or "contented" noise, etc.). I'm a little worried that I'm not socialising him properly. Reality check needed.
posted by catch as catch can to Human Relations (27 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
We don't live near to either set of grandparents, so he sees one set maybe every couple of months, and the other every couple of weeks on Skype. We have loads of friends with similarly aged babies, but I see them maybe every couple of weeks. Even his time with his dad is somewhat limited because of dad's working hours -- he gets most of his daddy time in at the weekends.
When he is with either of us, he is a very chatty, smiley little kid, laughs a lot when bounced, tickled, hung upside down, etc. We read and sing to him every day, and I do my best to engage in a running narration of the day so that he gets exposed to as much language as possible. We used to go to quite a few little classes and mummy meetups, but once his napping became more established, I didn't feel comfortable forcing him to skip or cut short his sleeping time to go to those sorts of activities. I'm also a little bit introverted, and big group settings are not my forte, so the fact that I wasn't really enjoying those activities made it easier to rationalise not forcing ourselves to go to them. We go out for lots of walks, so he's seeing others (although his push chair is still facing me rather than out into the world), but not necessarily engaging with them.
Whenever we meet up with other be-babied friends, I find myself feeling sad and jealous at how friendly and outgoing their children are: full of smiles, babbling away, seeming very content to engage with relative strangers. My son, on the other hand, spends a lot of his time ranging from quiet watchfulness to seeming almost overwhelmed with the activity and people around him. I know it's probably not helpful to engage in any comparisons, but it's difficult not to sometimes.
Should I be putting more effort into exposing him to more people in one-on-one or small group settings? Could this just be his personality? Should I chill out and continue as I have been? I would love to hear from any parents whose babies are/were similar, and how and whether you've changed things up in an attempt to help them be less reserved.