About three months ago my husband and I took Baby Huru for a children’s birthday party. It had already been a long day as I had been on the 1 o’clock news and hadn’t had much rest the night before, but my gut also told me that the afternoon wasn’t going to be a hit with our baby because up until that point, he was sporadic when it came to when he would take to people and when he wouldn’t.
We were late to the party and hustled ourselves to the corner where the celebrations were taking place and as soon as we walked into the room, the ‘oooohs’ and ‘aaaahs’ directed to our baby began. It took two minutes, and he was in hysterics 😳 I sighed and thought, ‘it’s going to be a looong afternoon’. Nothing really soothed him. A bottle feed almost did the trick but after he was sufficiently full the crying began again. He napped for all of twenty minutes but the magician’s histrionics woke him up in a rage. No one could hold him. By the time two hours had elapsed we felt like we’d run a marathon and excused ourselves and that’s when I devised a plan to make hurt more social.
The next day I took him downstairs when all the children in the apartment block were playing under the watchful eyes of their nannies. It was the holidays so there was plenty of activity. The social experiment went something like this:
Day 1: I present Ethan to the friendly smiles and faces, he grimaces and whimpers and eventually cries. I walk around with him, soothing him, and bring him to people again. He’s grimacing but not crying. I decide 20 minutes is enough for day 1.
Day 2: I take Ethan downstairs at the same time and find the same group. He seems shy at first but as I inch him closer to everyone he begins to settle. I’m in awe…this is actually working! After some encouragement, comments like ‘it was the same with baby Moses and baby Christine’ remarks, I’m glad I’m making some headway and decide day 2 can end after 30 minutes.
Day 3: I’m not around so I leave strict instructions with nanny to carry on. The feedback is great! He agreed to be carried by at least four different people, he stared at other children and even reached out to one! Yay!
Day 4 to 8: He lets out a laugh when the guard does a dance for him. He’s carried by the other nannies. He connects with a few of the other babies. He’s ecstatic around everyone else. We’re at a good place! He’s socialising! 👯👯👯
Day 9 to date: Baby Huru now often reaches out and touches anyone who holds him, cries when you leave him alone even for a few minutes in the baby room, claps gleefully when people play with him and is intrigued by cars and nature. It’s been three months of patience, consistency, dedication and encouragement to get him to where he is at 9 months but now I’m so much more confident having people over at home or taking him out! I admit that I baby hogged him for a while. Many parents have told me they started socialising their babies as early as one month but I needed time. To gauge, to understand… I have no regrets. O course there’s occasions when he may get a bit cranky or be unsettled for one reason or another…I mean, he’s a baby, but he sure is on the right track as the pictures here show and his father and I couldn’t be prouder of his charming, friendly nature! How did YOU socialise your baby? Let me know in the comment section below!