How to Get Your Shy Infant to Open Up?
Updated: Apr 1
Each infant is born with his or her own way of approaching the world. Some infants are naturally more comfortable in new situations and jump right into interacting with others. On the other hand, some infants are shy and slow to warm up.
As parents, some of us may feel impatient when our infants are shy and uncomfortable in new situations. We want our children to thrive and do well in social situations. More importantly, we want our children to grow up making friends and having healthy social relationships. However, it is important that you do not stress or force your infant!
Today, we explore the signs that signal that you infant is shy as well as how you as a parent may support your shy infant!
Signs That Your Infant is Shy
To support your shy infant, you first have to be able to identify a shy infant. Here are some common signs that may signal that your infant is shy and may be slow to warm up.
1) Your baby or infant may tend to cling to his or her caregiver, especially when it is time to part and say goodbye for a little while.
2) Your baby or infant only wants to be cuddled by only a few special, trusted people. They often cry when an unfamiliar person tries to carry them.
3) Your baby or infant commonly cries in social situations, or physically try to avoid social interaction by hiding his or her head, moving or turning away, or shutting his or her eyes to avoid eye contact.
4) Infant care students might refuse to talk when unfamiliar people try to speak to him or her. Instead, he or she might immediately stand and hide behind a parent to avoid interaction with unfamiliar people.
5) In social activities such as games with other infants or children, he or she may avoid joining in and instead observe from a distance.
6) Your baby or infant is reluctant to try new things.
Supporting Your Shy Infant
Look out for patterns
To understand and alter your child’s behaviours, it is important for you to observe and learn certain patterns in his or her behaviours.
To start the ball rolling, you may choose to ask yourself these questions:
- Are there some settings at which your infant is especially shy? Or is your child shy in all settings?
- Is your infant more cautious around certain people? Or is your child shy towards all?
- Is your child more shy during certain times of the day?
- Is your child only shy when there are certain activities involved that feature a lot of sounds and movements?
Infants who are shy often benefit from structured play and activities. Structured play acts as a stepping stone to help infants transition to playing with others. Because structured play is often predictable, it can also help to make your infant feel safe, secure, and confident—all of which are important to help them to open up to others!
Arrange play dates
Many shy kids feel more at ease when there is just one other person involved in an interaction. So, before bringing your infant out on larger play groups, arrange one-to-one play dates to give your infant a chance to practice social interaction and social skills! Who knows, your infant may find his or her first best friend!
Read your infant books about friendships
Stories are a great way to expose your infant to experiences that may be new and unfamiliar to him or her. Sharing and reading stories about friendships, family and adventures can educate your child about the importance and value of friendship and the importance of opening up to others in order to foster these meaningful relationships!
Change takes time. Instead of being impatient and expecting to see a change overnight, understand that change is gradual. With the right amount of effort and guidance, you will see that your infant will grow, develop, and learn. Take pride in their efforts and notice little changes. Be sure not to be stingy with your praises!
Keep in mind that shy behaviour is normal in babies and children. Each infant is special, with a unique way of seeing the world. As such, some children are naturally more shy than others. Follow the tips that were explored in this article to help to identify as well as support your shy infant!
For parents living in the Tampines, Nurture Infant House has had 20 years of experience in caring for your beloved children.
Click here to learn more about our infant care centre!
Feel free to WhatApp us at 96664141 for more enquiries.