Anti-Social Baby?

My child is a bit wary.  He’s suspicious of new people and surroundings.  He’s a bit of a scaredy-cat.  He doesn’t like lots of loud noises or voices and can be a bit clingy and cranky when we’re out and about.

At home, however, he is quite different.  He loves his room.  He can tear it apart within minutes – pulling books and toys off the shelves.  Throwing blocks and other brightly coloured plastic items on the floor or across the room, all while babbling very loudly.  He’s happy at home!  He’s happy looking out of his window.  He’s happy to look for birds, trucks and, sometimes, even horses.  He’s happy crawling from room to room and hiding behind his cupboard to play peek-a-boo.

He’s not had very much opportunity to be around other babies and children.  We do meet friends of course – but not as regularly as I think is necessary.  And the mums with babies his age have other friends with kids, which I do not.  (I’m not a complete loser, it’s just that most of my friends are single!)  And we are still, 6 months later, wait-listed for the (I say ‘the’ because it’s the only one) playgroup.

When we do go out, we go out after 4.30pm – because it’s much cooler then.  Usually at about 5.30 – 6pm, he starts getting clingy and cranky.  He takes the toys the other children have – not because he wants them, but because he doesn’t want anyone else to have them.  He doesn’t smile all the time (he has his off-days, I guess) and two mums have said, ‘He’s not very happy when he’s not at home, is he?’  And they know, because they’ve been over for a playdate before.  I just kind of shrug it off.

Three weeks ago we went to a birthday party.  We spent one hour in traffic getting there.  Baby was not happy.  He was, I think, still getting over the shock of his own birthday party.  This was a joint party – so there were 50 kids ranging from 6 months to about 9 years, it was outdoors, the music was loud, it was chaos and my baby was not happy.

He wouldn’t let me go.  He wouldn’t smile at many people and he wasn’t interested in the balloons, face-painter or bouncy castle when we got there (he relaxed after about thirty minutes and enjoyed the slide).  We saw a mum with her baby (who he knows).  She talked to him a bit.  He just stared at her.  

And she said (to my boy), ‘Are we feeling a little anti-social again today?’  

I wasn’t sure if I heard her correctly, but I actually knew I had.  And I didn’t know what to say.  I found myself mumbling something about the traffic and him being tired.

I KNOW he needs to get out more.  I KNOW he needs to spend more time with other children.  I KNOW he needs to get used to other environments.  I KNOW he won’t always be a scaredy-cat.  

But I also KNOW that you don’t call a baby (especially someone else’s baby) anti-social.  WTF!

I felt a little hurt.  And I started feeling a little guilty (as always).  Have I made the most out of the options we have?  Should I be making more of an effort to get Vinay out and about – and not to see just adults?  Will he always be clingy and cranky in new environments?  What will happen when he starts nursery at 18 months?

Is this a phase?  Will it get better?  Is this his personality?  Is it a confidence issue?  Will he prefer to spend time in his own company as he gets older?  

Should I be worrying this much?


8 thoughts on “Anti-Social Baby?

  1. I’m sure he’ll grow out of it… But so what if he prefers his own company when he’s older? And honestly – after the traffic getting to that party – I didn’t want to talk to or smile at anyone either…

  2. I’m quite happy for him to be who he’s going to be. But got irritated yesterday when fil said we needed to make him tough’. I said, ‘He’s only a baby and he’ll be who he’s going to be.’ He wasn’t too pleased. And N just rolled his eyes at me.

  3. What a cheek! Babies are NOT antiscial; your baby is NOT anti-social! Babies don’t even tend to interact with their peers until they are much older and all babies develop at different rates so will do this at different times. Your baby sounds just like both of mine. My daughter never went to groups etc and I knew nobody with kids at the time. My son, however, has been to groups and nursery and I know other mums but he was still the same. At 18 months he will be more ready for nursery and will need a little more interaction. I think in the early days, baby groups are more for mums than babies. Take him if you want to but if you’re both happy being together by yourselves there’s nothing wrong with that at all!XxX

  4. I do like being at home, actually. It’s such a nice change to being at school from 6.30am – 4pm! And I’m usually quite happy to spend time on my own. I know you’re right – I’m forever telling my in-laws that he’ll do things when he’s ready and not before and that all babies are different! I have to just drum it into my own head now!Thanks for commenting :)X

  5. I’m surprised you didn’t whack her in the face with a dirty nappy for being so antisocial herself! Some people just prefer their own company – not surprising if she is the alternative!

  6. How rude.There is nothing wrong with your son. Sounds like he is experiencing separation anxiety which is normal at this age. Dont worry about your child being ‘clingy’ – totally normal – he’s still a little, little baby. With all your love and reassurance he will grow into a confident and independent little person. No such thing as an anti social baby!!! How rude. Anyway babies don’t learn to really socialise properly with other children until they are at least three years old. Until then they play ‘along side each other’. My little one does not like loud noises either …..

  7. <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN"> <html><head> <meta content="text/html; charset=utf-8" http-equiv="Content-Type"> </head>It’s funny, because everything you’ve said makes perfect sense. It’s exactly what I would say to someone else in my place. But because it was said about *my* baby, it’s a different story!<br/>Thank you for reading and commenting :)<p>Sent from my BlackBerry?? smartphone provided by Airtel Nigeria.</p></html>

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