How to Navigate Social Situations with Your Infant
Summer is coming and that means family get-togethers, cook outs, and beach days with friends. That also means a lot of new people being introduced to your baby. But oftentimes babies become overwhelmed in social situations, confused by all the new faces, sounds, and smells. Ignoring your child can lead to massive meltdowns and an abrupt end to your get-together. Use these tips to calm your overwhelmed baby and ensure you have a fun and social summer.
Oddly enough, infants can sense when their parents are stressed. If you are worried about taking your child to a large outing, they may sense that discomfort and project it. Take a couple moments before heading out the door to take deep breaths. Remind yourself that even if your child has a meltdown, you can always go home or remove yourself from the situation.
Focus on Naps and Food
Planning the day for a successful outing is the key to keeping the family happy. Don't schedule events during your child's normal nap times. Allow your child to adhere to his regular sleep and eating schedule. This will ensure you fend off crankiness and hunger, setting your child up for a successful event.
Ease into Crowds
It is natural for friends and family to want to meet or play with the new baby but it can be stressful for an infant. Try introducing your baby to just a few people at a time and make it a policy not to pass him around. While family and friends may be disappointed, don't allow your child to be passed from person to person unless they seem at ease in the situation.
Sometimes infants just need to be reassured in overwhelming situations. During your event, be sure to talk to your baby. Tell him what a great job he is doing meeting new people and how much fun you are having. This reassurance will convey that you feel comfortable in the situation and so should they.
Make it Brief
A day at the beach may sound relaxing but it can end it tears when your child has a fit. Rather than expecting your baby to be at their best for a full day, schedule brief trips to places, such as the beach, local fairs, or family member's houses. This will allow them to experience the new sights and sounds in short spans of time. Over time, you can stretch these trips into full days.
Find a Quiet Spot
Sometimes babies just need a few moments away from the excitement to continue on. When you get to a new place, scope out an out of the way place that you can get to if you sense your baby is overwhelmed. It should be quiet and away from crowds, like a spare bedroom in the hosts’ home. If you sense your infant becoming overwhelmed, make a quick exit and head to a cool, calm and quiet area free from stimulation.
By practicing good timing and arming yourself for social success, infants can be taken on long day trips and to exciting locales. Ease your infant and yourself into social situations to teach your child that these situations are temporary and fun rather than scary and overwhelming.
Guest blog by Michelle LaRowe of @eNannySource
With over 20 years of experience in the nanny world as an award-winning nanny, agency director, and parenting author, Michelle LaRowe is considered a leading industry expert. A mom herself, she loves to educate parents and nannies on the importance of quality in-home childcare. Find out more by visiting @eNannySource on Twitter.
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