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My baby is extremely sensitive to new surroundings and people

Hi Betty,
My baby Sophie is 5 months and 4 weeks old and she is extremely sensitive to new surroundings and people. I am having enormous difficulty attending my weekly Mother`s Group. Sophie only lasts about 10 minutes before she starts crying (really crying as though she is in pain). The only thing that calms her is removing her completely from the situation which defeats the purpose of going to Mother`s Group. I try gradually bringing her back to the group but as soon as I get there (if not before) she starts to cry again. I have tried taking her play mat and toys for familiarity but doesn`t seem to make any difference. I really don`t want to give up as it is often the only social contact I have during the week. Should I keep persisting or should I accept her personality as it is? Is it likely to get better or am I putting her through it for nothing?

Answer: Dear Helen, This is really difficult to deal with and I remember the isolation of being a new parent (and counting the weeks of my firstborn - its really cute!), and how important Mother`s Group was. Can I ask you to read the prior comments and focus on calming your own self down. I cant imagine why Sophie would be unsettled at Mother`s Group. Can I ask if you are starting to feel anxious about her reactions. If so see what you can do to calm and settle these feelings in yourself so that you can then calm and settle Sophie. Go to another room and really calm Sophie and yourself down - block out what is happening at Mother`s Group and focus on the two of you only. Be aware of your thoughts entering your mind and gently let them move on whilst you really try to calm down. I am emphasing this strategy as I am thinking that your anxiety is creating a reaction in Sophie....let me know how you go... Betty
Answered: 08 Nov 2007