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TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 3497
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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My baby girl aged 2 years and 6 months does not react well

Customer Question

My baby girl aged 2 years and 6 months does not react well to strangers especially male and those that have large disposition. A friend of mine who is quite large did the "crawling with fingers" and this scared her. Since then she will not go to his house or be near him. she gets really scared and her heart beats ++ and her cheeks flush. Everytime she sees a large person she gets the same reaction. Also whenever she feels "stressed" she has to drink milk thro the bottle and my wife has to stay with her - it brings her comfort. The problem is that she wakes up 3 to 4 times at night to drink milk. She also gets very angry in the night and wants the milk "now". When she is in public and people come up to her she shies away and will stare at them and not say a word. Otherwise she has an excellent vocabulary and speaks full sentences and communicates with us very well. We have a younger 16 month baby. The older one has taken to "hitting" the younger one but this has decreased recently.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 5 years ago.
She is going through some stranger anxiety which is normal and the best that you can do while comforting her is to let r know that she is safe. You can also let people know before they approach her to understand that she is going through this and so they can greet her but not approach and touch her. To a two year old we are all large and assuming and it can be scary. If someone comes to your home or your go to theirs the adults can sit on the floor to take a less frightening position.
In terms of the seems like you as the parents need to slowly start weaning her from this night time feeding. All two year olds are demanding but it is up to you to set the boundaries. The days that you begin weaning and dealing with her frustrations will not be easy and i know that, but it needs to be done as she does not "need" the milk and she is looking for that comfort. What other ways does she find comfort? Toys, blankie, etc that you can give to her when she goes down for sleep? This transition is not an easy one and I have gone through it myself but you will all be better for it once you get through this tough space.
The hitting of the younger one and her feeling angry toward her is also normal as she feels jealousy, but again it is up to you to set the boundary. "No hitting, hitting hurts. If you hit again you will sit in the naughty area." She then stays in the naughty area for two more than that and with NO interaction or engagement from anyone.
Let me know your thoughts.