As Veronika navigates the “stranger danger” phase, a very normal developmental step for babies, I’m thinking a lot lately about the best way to introduce her to new family and friends. This week, she even did drop-off day care which was excellent practice!
When we entered the facility, I first held her in my arms so she could see the caregivers from a safe place. I pointed out toys that were familiar and that she likes best from home. At the top of her list these days: an “exersaucer” or anything musical.
Her face did crumble when she was handed off into the caregiver’s arms, but I returned to hear that she had been “totally chill” and calm!
She was happily sitting on the caregiver’s lap, involved in a storytime for the bigger kids. These kinds of gentle first hellos make a big difference and I’m glad I’m tackling “stranger danger” early instead of letting it linger.
Here are a few other tricks, whether you’re placing your child in a day care setting or inviting people over to the house.
Encourage guests to get down to your baby’s level. I sit Veronika down in her favorite play area and let her get busy, pointing out a few favorite toys.
Pretty soon, she’s not only playing happily but also engaging shyly with visitors.
She does a lot of looking to me, as if to say, “Is this ok mom?”. Make sure to reassure your little one with smiles.
In no time at all, there was a happy storytime taking place, her back turned to me, clearly at ease.