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.

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.
posted by catch as catch can to Human Relations (27 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
My first was exactly like yours. Reserved, shy, etc. And also not socialized. No daycare, barely any friends, no family. He's 4 now and still reserved, but that's just who he is. His younger brother is 9 mos now. Same background, no family around, etc. From birth basically he has been the most outgoing smiley friendly baby. Zero separation anxiety. We joke that if a stranger kidapped him he would just happily go join a new family.

My point here is that sometimes it's just their personality! We ended up putting the older in preschool a few months early to help him socialize, and that really helped him come out of his shell, but we sensed he was ready to take on that challenge. I don't know if it would work with a baby, certainly don't put him in daycare to "socialize" him this young. The best thing you can give a shy and reserved child is a very strong foundation of "this is family, we are always here, and we love you." When they get older, they will use that foundation to learn to fly independently.
posted by katypickle at 7:25 AM on August 8, 2014 [13 favorites]

Hmm. Do you do anything like, take him along when you're just running errands or something? Like, you go to get groceries and he's there with you? That's exposing him to people right there, too.

If you're doing that, then maybe he just is reserved, and that's okay; I apparently was also like that when I was a wee little thing, and still kinda am. Some people in social situations are kind of like the people who ease their way into a swimming pool rather than jumping in with a bang. Give us time to ease into things, and we're fine.

If you're not bringing him along when you go get groceries or do laundry or whatever, you may want to start. Because even if it's just the checkout girl, it's still an exposure to people and human interaction.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:26 AM on August 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

You will get a lot of advice based on anecdote - there is no scientifically validated "right" answer to this.

In my opinion we are very focused on "socializing" babies in this culture although there is dubious evidence that these socializing activities have long-term benefit. While getting your baby more used to other people might help him be more outgoing, it also might increase his overwhelm and shyness. Much of this stuff seems to be about innate temperament.

The right approach here seems to me to be, do you want to spend more time socializing with him? When you do that, does it work for both of you? When you and he feel less stressed, all things will go better. So do what feels good and right, and don't worry about socializing him "enough". You're not raising him in a cave - he will be around vast numbers of other people, many more than our ancestors ever would have been - and there's no rush on timeline.
posted by latkes at 7:26 AM on August 8, 2014

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.

The parents of those other babies are just as worried as you are about plenty of other things. Baby Catch is just fine.
posted by Etrigan at 7:29 AM on August 8, 2014 [5 favorites]

I also wanted to add that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being an introvert. There are a ton of articles around to help you raise an introverted child, and sometimes the worst thing you can do is force an introvert to be outgoing, it will backfire. Take your cues from your baby. You will know when he's ready to be gently nudged towards taking on social challenges. My introverted 4 year old is amazingly friendly one-on-one after a slightly longer "warming up" period with people he likes. He is still not into big groups and he hates being the center of attention (cries when we sing Happy Birthday...) but that's ok. I don't blame him at all.
posted by katypickle at 7:30 AM on August 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

I wouldn't worry about it. It's not like he has to go to cocktail parties. He's seven months old.

He may be introverted, like you. I think those are inherited traits. It's nothing to be ashamed of or feel bad about if he is in fact introverted. I'm pretty introverted and spent most of my life feeling like a freak about it (thanks lots, mom and dad).

My daughter is more extroverted. I could tell she was more extroverted the day I met her in the hospital -- just some quality, I can't explain it. Genetic roll of the dice, maybe.

although his push chair is still facing me rather than out into the world

I'd probably switch that. The world is interesting.

Without making a Thing about it, look for low key, low pressure fun things you can do that are informal and around others, either hanging with your friends and their kids or going to reading time at the library or whatever. But seriously don't worry so much about it. People are all different. If he turns out to be a little shy, that's okay. Plenty of people are a little shy and still fantastic people.

He'll meet more and more people and have more experiences naturally, starting with preschool, most likely.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:32 AM on August 8, 2014 [3 favorites]

This is probably not as much under your control as you think. It's very possible that even with constant exposure to lots of people, your baby would act the same way.

Our kiddo got lots of exposure (and still does) to a wide variety of kids and people and still prefers to play with his dad or with 1-2 friends at most. Or alone. He's 8 and it seems to be a built-in trait. We worried! But he is perfectly fine, although there has been some awkwardness when people expect him to be outgoing and he isn't. But this is something that happened to both of us as children, so it would be a bit unfair for us to assume it's something that must be changed. You are an introvert. Your child may be too. That's perfectly ok. Focus on teaching him the skills he needs when he's ready, such as how to handle crowds, overcome shyness a little, find places to feel safe while still participating, that you learned as a kid/adult. In the meantime, if wants to stay in your lap/hide from other children, let him. If he doesn't smile for strangers, it's ok; he'll smile when he's ready.

7 months is also really little, and a lot will happen in the next few years. Your kid could surprise you. But again, that probably won't be because of something you do, but because of something they already have.

My biggest concern at this age is that you are getting all the socialization/support you need. Being alone with a tiny baby all day can be hard, even for an introvert. Take him outside when you want, but for your sake, not his. He needs a happy mom more than he needs socialization with other babies.
posted by emjaybee at 7:34 AM on August 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

sometimes the worst thing you can do is force an introvert to be outgoing, it will backfire.

I want to emphasize this also. My parents did this to me. It sucked so much I can't begin to tell you. I felt so 'wrong' my entire childhood, its especially bad because it's a thing that is absolutely everywhere so there were like a bazillion opportunities to make me feel like crap and I was painfully aware that being smiley and friendly was something a girl should be, something intrinsic to my success at being a girl, and that my mother saw my outgoing, feminine, girly-girl cousin as the ideal of what a daughter should be.

So loving my kid exactly as she is and making sure she knows it has been one of my highest priorities as a parent.

I don't mean to imply you're doing anything wrong or not doing that yourself---I am clearly just still pissed off at my parents about it.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:40 AM on August 8, 2014 [10 favorites]

I was this kid (two introverted parents).

I got out of it OK, but I wish they had done it differently. Not at seven months, but absolutely at two or three or four.

I feel like having closely supervised and directed socialising with other kids is a way of priming them with a kind of "social toolbox", before the time when they end up in the playground with their only social compass being other five year old children.

If you are able to supervise their social activity, you can get a handle on how the little one manages social situations - maybe they could use some intervention to help them make friends, or to help them not be bullied, or to help them not bully the other kids. Or maybe they are fine on their own. But I'm convinced that fixing a teeny tiny social skills issue with a toddler has a potential to head off all kinds of major drama down the line.

For a start, if Mum and Dad insist on something, the "correct" thing to do is What You're Told. But learning when and how to NOT do what you're told is a vital skill for anyone, and I'm pretty sure it's easier to learn if you start out as a kid, with the full support of a parent right there, telling the bigger kid that they can't have your toy.

Being an introverted kid is fine, but if anything that means they have MORE need of learning good social skills, not less!
posted by emilyw at 7:41 AM on August 8, 2014 [6 favorites]

I'm another one who feels this is probably more about who your child is rather than something you are doing. My husband and I are both fairly introverted, but social. First son would go bananas if he wasn't out and about in the world smiling and jabbering at everyone from the time he was about 3 months old. It was nothing we did to make him that way, it was just the guy he is. At 5 he still needs lots of time with other people, never meets a stranger and gets bonkers if he doesn't have a chance to socialize with people at least a little every day. His younger sister (10 months) is a slightly toned down version of this. I really don't think we fostered this, because if we had our preference his dad and I are generally pretty happy having a quiet day at home.

Your child is going to socialize throughout his life and you can support him in developing his own style of doing just that. If he's someone who prefers having just a few really close relationships, that's great! It's kind of amazing to see how much of this stuff comes already wired in us right from the beginning.
posted by goggie at 7:59 AM on August 8, 2014

I'm an introvert. So is my almost two-year-old. I do wish he was friendlier with others and more outgoing, but eh, in the grand scheme of things that's a small problem to have. I do try to get some socializing in via play group and music classes, and it might help a bit, but he is who he is. Growing up an introvert, I would have died if my parents forced me to be more social than I was comfortable with.
posted by Safiya at 8:01 AM on August 8, 2014

Also keep in mind that babies that little in daycare don't even play with each other yet. It isn't until after a year that they even do much more than play NEXT to each other. You are also heading into the separation anxiety stage. When baby becomes more mobile, it is in baby's best interest to be wary of other people - being mobile causes more interactions with more people and not all of those people are "safe".

You say your baby plays and giggles and babbles with you and your partner. That's great! Sounds like baby is reaching the steps he needs to.
posted by jillithd at 8:10 AM on August 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

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.).

We schlepped H everywhere while he was in the snap&go carrier (basically till mo 6) and he was exposed to LOTS of people. Bars, restaurants, parks. Want to hold him? Sure here you go. He never went through a stranger anxiety phase, so unless it's going to come on in month 21 it's not happening.

He was - and is - nevertheless a very reserved kid prone to SeriousFace. My wife and I would discuss the fact that he seemed to have two modes: very serious and laughing like a fool.

I think some kids are just like that. There is unquestionably - in my mind - value in exposing kiddos to different things and people. But I don't think you're seeing a personality impacted by it.
posted by phearlez at 8:32 AM on August 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

He's still very very young, and separation anxiety/stranger anxiety does pop up around your baby's age for some babies. You are most definitely NOT harming him, it sounds like you're doing everything you can to respond to him and expose him to language and people, and he sounds perfectly healthy and happy.

My son (3 years) loves being around people (sometimes) but doesn't always want to interact with them directly, he is usually slow to warm up, doesn't really want to make friends with other kids his age at the playground (he loves the adults), etc. I fretted when he was a baby/toddler too because he would get overwhelmed with classes/mama groups or even a friend of mine at home visiting nevermind a big family gathering. He went through a phase where he was happy visiting his grandparents or the mall or toystore but any other large social gathering type situation (like christmas party at a family friend's house) resulted in huge meltdowns and tantrums that I was encouraged to "wait out". "Waiting out" meant subjecting everyone to 20-30 minutes of hysterical crying and then him begging us to go home every 5 minutes, it was terrible and left us both completely frazzled. I decided to respect him and opt out of those situations until he was ready, some people made me feel like I was spoiling him but babies/toddlers have so little control over their daily situations I didn't feel bad at all about "letting him have his way". As soon as we got back in the car he'd be back to his happy, chatty self again. FWIW I had little success with classes or places he couldn't run around, but as soon as he could walk he loved playgrounds, indoor playgrounds, malls, so that's what we stuck with. He was more overwhelmed with people in his house or us going into a friend's house if it wasn't part of his daily routine (he's been looked after Mon-Fri by his grandparents since he was 6 months old).

Since near his 3rd birthday he's been so much more open to new experiences, he does really well if I tell him an hour or two before an event (or the night before for a big event like a birthday) what's happening and who's going to be there, but after an hour or so he still tends to want to go home or get outside or get some sort of space, but he can understand having to wait and he doesn't lose it, he can pick out a toy to bring (which helps a lot), and I focus on some fun aspect of the event to help motivate him to deal with the parts he doesn't like. When we have friends over he'll be slow to warm or may ignore them/hide but when they leave he's like "where did our friends go?". He's had meltdowns where we've had to leave friend's houses but he'll ask to go back a few minutes later or the next day so I know with time he'll get better at managing these events. Anything out of his ordinary routine takes some adjusting, even the indoor playgrounds at first were hard because he had to take his shoes off and couldn't bring his toys in so we had some meltdowns with that too it usually just took a few rough times for the next time to be great (as long as it wasn't too crowded). He says "Hi, my name is X" to our neighbours and random friendly-looking people on the street now, he'll even chat away to people about seeing an airplane or a flower sometimes now if the person is especially child-friendly. He's similarly more adventurous with food and other outings lately (like the library, which was a bit of a disaster just a few months ago). It's hard because sometimes I'll want/need a trip outside and he'll make it really clear he just wants to stay home, sometimes showing him a picture of the playground or store or friend I'm talking about visiting helps, sometimes he just really and truly wants some quiet at home time, and because I work outside the home and he's outside the home all week too I try to respect that and go out separately if I really want/need to.

As a kid I was very loud and boisterous around my family and close friends, but as soon as I was somewhere new or with a stranger I would shut down a bit and was more self conscious. Remembering how I felt as a kid has helped me be respectful and compassionate to my son. I think the big thing I do right is I try to model composure, confidence, and friendliness towards people, I encourage him to do the same, but if he tells me he's not ready I don't put any pressure or shaming/pushy tactics. He'll get where he's going in his own time. My mom did the same for me (I stayed home instead of going to junior kindergarten), and I did just fine once I was ready.

So yeah, I think it's a trait thing and you should try not to compare your baby to other people's babies (hard, I know!). There are more extroverts than introverts/sensitives in the world. Try to do outings that YOU want to do, occasionally, because you need to get out and do things but don't worry so much about his exposure to other babies and people just for his sake. Focus on the upside of having such a thoughtful and perceptive baby, he is discerning and aware and probably more mature in those respects than other babies. Once he can talk you'll be amazed at what he's noticing that other people (even you) miss. Give him lots of time to get used to more structured settings and don't worry if he's not ready for a few years, but when you notice he's in a more open phase try to insert a new activity or routine if it's what you want, one step forward, two steps back. :)
posted by lafemma at 9:17 AM on August 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

7 months is really young. Socialization is really about school readiness, which you are years away from, and may not be an issue for your kid even if he has a more reserved personality.

It may help to think about what your goals are here. If you're concerned about appropriate social development, by all means you should discuss that with your pediatrician, but at his age that is entirely about the relationship between him and his caregiver(s). Smiling, making eye contact, responding to his name, etc. All things you can work on at home.

If your goal is "grows up to play well with other kids," I'd suggest waiting a few years to see what shakes out. My very, VERY reserved son hit a point at about 18 months when we just sort of knew he was ready to be around other kids/people more. He was getting restless and bored at home, wanting to go out a lot, etc. So we put him in a playschool 3 days/week and he loves it there. He doesn't have "friends" or even play much with the other kids, because that's just not how he is, but he has learned to go along with the routine and is very well-behaved in the group setting.

Basically, a normally developing child can be anywhere on a huge spectrum with stuff like this. Your son may never be the type to have a lot of friends. (I wasn't.) Would you be okay with that? At what point would you want to encourage more group activities and why? These are good things to think about from a parenting perspective, but nothing to lose sleep over at this point.
posted by annekate at 9:21 AM on August 8, 2014

I have a very extroverted 1.5 year old. Set her down in a big room with 150 strangers and she starts running from person to person, waving merrily and shouting "hiiiii!!!"

When she was 7 months old though, she didn't engage all that much with other people - she'd smile or maybe babble some, but she also would stare at them like a deer in the headlights. At 7 months old she wasn't really able to "play" with other kids or engage much with people in general. She just didn't have the communication/physical skills to do so. Still, I feel like her extroversion was just always a part of her and that nothing I did made her the way she is.

I do think getting babies out and about is a good thing for moms and for babies, but I also think that personality is the major factor in your situation and that your baby is not going to change who he is even if he goes on play dates every day. And that's ok!
posted by treehorn+bunny at 10:16 AM on August 8, 2014 [3 favorites]

I have a 7-month-old, too. I'm the first of my entire close and extended network of IRL friends to have a kid, so for a long time our son had never seen any other babies. His father and I are both introverts.

We take our son everywhere with us - I think at this point we probably spend at least 50% of our time out of the house. Taking him to businesses of various sorts exposes him to a lot of brief interactions with strangers, and now that we take him to the playground regularly so he can crawl around and climb stuff, he's finally (just in the last 3-4 weeks) been seeing other babies. We started showing up at the playground at regular times and we have now met 3 other families with similarly-aged babies. So, our son now sees several other babies regularly and sees young children of all ages quite frequently.

At home, he's like your son - full of smiles and giggles, very goofy. At the playground with the other babies, he's still reserved. I think he's definitely more reserved than any of the other babies we've met so far; he doesn't smile at our new friends for a good 15 minutes each day, and after that he only smiles at people he's see before OR people doing something especially entertaining. For the first 15 minutes or so he crawls in and out of my lap, burying his face and snuggling for a while until he feels brave enough to venture out. But if we've been at a playground for 30 minutes, he'll be steaming away towards a playstructure at high speed without looking back! He still doesn't interact with strangers like he does with us, but with time, he's getting to know the other families and babies more and more.

I don't think any of this is NECESSARY, but it's been cool to see him learn from the other babies. One of them is 2 months older and babbles more; after he's been around her a while he babbles more too. And two of the other babies seem to be learning how to pull up from him.
posted by Cygnet at 10:23 AM on August 8, 2014 [3 favorites]

Sounds like my current 2.5-year-old. He would have nothing to do with anyone except for me when he was a baby. He hated being held by almost anyone else and he was not very engaging. I was worried for a little bit, mostly because his older sister was the complete opposite at that age - she was such a smiley happy baby and really loved the attention she got from people. He would even be like this around my husband! And also around grandparents/aunts/uncles he saw a lot.

Honestly, I think it was just a personality thing for him and not a sign of anything else. Once he turned 2 he was way more engaging and outgoing with strangers and relatives alike. Now he will say "hello" to the supermarket cashier and make googly eyes at waitresses, but I still think he is a little more introverted than his older sister. Sometimes he takes a little bit of time to warm up to people. And that's OK - it's just who he is.
posted by sutel at 10:24 AM on August 8, 2014

Enjoy your baby! I don't think you need to socialize at that age for the baby's sake. Later on that might change.

7 months old can be too young to tell personality-wise. I have the flip story: My kid, I swear, was sad at 9 months when I got sick and we missed a few regular mom-baby things. I joked that he was going to be the world's biggest extrovert. At 8 yrs old he is definitely an introvert who loves people. He hates being left out of things, goes to them, gets completely burned out and needs a day at home to recover.

If you are finding yourself worrying though, maybe pick one of the be-babied friends and hang out every other week with them or something. If nothing else, this will give you another child to watch as s/he goes through phases so you start to see how things come and go. I was in a moms group of about 8 kids. My child was the first to bite others and I was appalled and horrified. After 4 months I learned that every kid had done something (thrown, hit, spit, bit, shoved off the step....) and realized mine was not an axe murderer in training, or at least not the only does help a bit to have a tribe. But it is not something you need to do for your baby just yet IMO. Just your daily life will provide some opportunities.
posted by warriorqueen at 10:25 AM on August 8, 2014

I agree with others that it sounds like you may have an introverted baby. Keep in mind that western cultures (I see you live in the UK) tend to value being outgoing and talkative over being quiet and reserved, while some cultures value just the opposite. Being reserved is not necessarily a bad thing, even if our culture tries to tell us it is. You may be interested in reading Quiet by Susan Cain; it has a chapter on parenting introverted children.
posted by Librarypt at 10:34 AM on August 8, 2014

Thanks for the reassurance from everyone that this is not something we need to change our routine to "fix." If it wasn't clear in the original question, my worry was more that I'm not providing him with necessary opportunities to grow used to other people, and less that he absolutely needs to be friendly with everyone. It sounds like I can carry on as normal and we'll see how his personality continues to shake out as we go. I haven't marked any comment as best answer -- they're all collectively the answer I needed! Thanks again, y'all.
posted by catch as catch can at 11:07 AM on August 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am an introvert who was very sheltered as a child and did not get much socialization outside of my immediate family (father, mother, 2 siblings).

This means I've spent a significant portion of my life stressing over how to interact with other human begins that aren't family. The nuances of communication one learns and cultivates by interacting with many other kinds of people growing up were absent. Sure I learned tolerance, empathy, how to converse, ect., but I didn't learn how to apply any of that to strangers. It was a very isolating experience to be a kid in elementary, middle, high school and not really understand things like 'friendships' and 'hanging out'.

That said, I wish I had received more socialization as a child. Not because I think it would've made me extroverted - but because it would've gave me the experience and tools to navigate the world as an introvert. Even if it was infrequent, more positive socialization in general would've made a world of difference in developing the social confidence needed to deal with suddenly going from only interacting with my immediate family, to spending entire days with nothing but complete strangers (ie school).

Another way to look at it...Your puppy may not grow up to like strangers very much (for any number of reasons), but if socialized at a young age, he/she probably won't turn into a puddle of anxiety/fear when exposed to them. This is because socialization will have made the experience common, sprinkled in some positive reinforcement, and most importantly, fostered tolerance/acceptance.
posted by stubbehtail at 11:46 AM on August 8, 2014 [4 favorites]

My kid has been going to daycare for almost a year and she sounds about as shy and reserved as yours. It's just how she is. Don't sweat it!
posted by town of cats at 12:44 PM on August 8, 2014

It's true that this is personality, but it's also true that kids benefit from socialization. There will come a point in the next year when your baby will become interested in other kids. This will be fairly obvious when it happens, so you can worry about it then. For now, being a baby is plenty stimulating!

As for classes -- I did them because I wanted to meet other moms and mg baby loved them. If these don't apply to you, don't sweat it. But do suggest joining a local email list or discussion board so you can hear about other babies and vent together, as you'll soon realize that normal is a very wide range, and that all babies are weird/unreasonable/hilarious at one point or another.
posted by snickerdoodle at 7:04 PM on August 8, 2014

When my oldest was a baby, our close friends had a baby around the same age. Neither baby spent a lot of time with lots of people; mostly just parents, and a few close friends. Their personalities were SO DIFFERENT. We joked that my kid was a Snuggler Class Baby, and her kid was an Explorer Class Baby. Once, we were hanging out somewhere, and her baby crawled off her lap and around the corner. Mine sat there, watching his friend crawl away like she was completely nuts. Now, at 3.5, they've evened out a bit. She snuggles more; mine talks to unfamiliar people and acquaintances. She's still more extroverted, and probably always will be. Not a big deal.

We have had to work with our kid a bit: when he became old enough to talk, he started doing things like refusing to go to the playground equipment when there are more than a couple kids on it. If you ask him why, he says, "There are too many kids. I'm afraid of the kids." So we work on that. If an unfamiliar kid comes up to him and tries to play, he usually just freezes and looks at the ground. We've been working on this -- saying hello, giving it a shot even though he's scared, and being okay walking away if it's not what he wanted. And he's getting better -- he talks to adults just fine, but kids are a challenge that we're working on. But that's stuff that came out when he was about 2.5. It took a long time for us to understand who he was and what exactly was going on. Yours probably will, too.
posted by linettasky at 7:35 PM on August 8, 2014

My mom me took me everywhere and I saw everyone and was very shy and quiet. (Still am). My brothers got out much less and are both pretty sociable.
posted by shownomercy at 7:39 PM on August 8, 2014

I agree 100% about introversion/extroversion, but if you did want to try a slightly different approach - without making a huge effort to attend particular activities - you could try carrying him in a sling when you go out instead of using the pushchair. This would put your baby almost at eye level with anyone you see or talk to whilst out and about, while still allowing him to be close enough to you to feel safe. I carry my five-month-old everywhere, and often find I'm standing in a queue or on the bus or something when someone will start conversing with her because she's been grinning at them. Of course, I may just have a little extrovert in the making, but being up higher does give her the opportunity to observe social interactions more closely, and I'm convinced she feels more involved in things. (I'm an introvert too, btw!)
posted by raspberry-ripple at 1:06 AM on August 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

« Older Forging my own path - freelancing instead of a day...   |   Moving from print to web design — helping someone... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.