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Child Development Topics..

You are here : home > Child Development > Social Behaviour > Is Your Baby Shy?

Is Your Baby Shy?

Is Your Baby Shy?

Does your infant prefer to be alone mostly? Is he too shy? Read on to find if your baby is an introvert.

Meenal from Mumbai wonders if her baby is shy. Whenever she brings guests home, her eleven-month-old tends to move away or cover his head with the nearest object. She wonders if shyness is inherited, as she was quite shy herself in her childhood and did not enjoy dealing with new people, places, and things.


Shyness in babies is common but Meenal's child could possibly be an introvert, or a person who is constantly preoccupied with his own thoughts and feelings, and finds it difficult to interact with new people or adjust to different situations and places. Both, introversion and shyness, are traits of normal behaviour that usually occurs when babies are exposed to an overwhelming social experience, such as the presence of many strangers.

Reading the Behaviour of Introverted Babies

Introverts can be recognised by their withdrawn, reserved behaviour. It is estimated that 30 percent of the world consists of introverts. Most people are a mix of introverted and extroverted in behaviour (extroverts or extraverts are more sociable and enjoy the company of other people).

The behaviour of introverted babies almost appears to say:

  • "Let me get out of here": Introverted babies can be identified easily when they move away from strangers, bright lights, sounds, etc. In marked contrast, extroverts enjoy being held even by people other than their parents.

  • "Do not enter my space": Some introverts do not like other people entering 'their territory' or touching their bodies and toys. Extroverts, on the other hand, enjoy the presence of playmates, young or old.

  • "Let me be alone": Many babies prefer solitude or playing only with people whom they recognise.

  • "Who are you?": Introverts, often, stare intensely at an unfamiliar face. This is their way of taking people on their own terms.

Why is My Baby Shy?

The reasons for shyness and introversion are not properly understood. Here are some possible causes:

  • Researchers believe that shyness is an inherited behaviour. However, your baby's eventual personality is affected by several other factors other than genetics.

  • When introverts find their surroundings too overwhelming, such as a loud party or a bright room, they tend to withdraw, helping them gain a sense of control.

  • Nature provides all infants with a natural aloofness towards unfamiliar people. Babies recognise faces at an early age, and are only comfortable with people they know, for example, their parents.

How Do I Help My Introverted Toddler?

If your child is introverted, it does not mean that he is unsociable or abnormal. It only means he is different. In fact, many famous and successful people were introverts. However, there are certain things you can do to help your child feel comfortable:

Avoid force and negative reinforcement

Maybe your baby does not like to do something or be with someone, but do not use force. Avoid frowning, criticising, shouting, or any negative approach when your child does not do what you want him to do. Use positive methods instead by rewarding good behaviour. For example, smile or praise your child when he shares his favourite toys with others.

Socialise with as many people as possible

It is important that your child does not develop anxiety or acute discomfort in the presence of others as he grows up. From an early age, encourage your child to play with different children and people. A playschool or any place where different children play in the same room is ideal. Be with your child initially, and use toys to lure your child into playing with other children. Do not worry if he still does not socialise.

Encourage people to respect his space

Introverts take time to be comfortable with a new person. Hence, encourage guests to hold him only when he wants it. The toddler may not tolerate the guest touching his toys, food, or clothes. Once your child is used to the new person, he will be friendly on his own terms.

Teach by example

Children learn a lot from their parents just by observing them. Are you too jittery, anxious, or extremely shy? Develop your own self-confidence.

Avoid sensory overload

Some children like to do one thing at a time. Keep your baby away from bright lights, noise, traffic, loud parties, etc. as far as possible.

Introversion is not a disorder, and hence do not worry. What is important is that your child develops a healthy self-esteem and feels comfortable in the presence of others as he grows up.

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Srijan.7 years ago
Many kids are shy when small. gradually they open up when they make friends and interact with peers in school. Parental initiative can help shy kids to open up.
jonaki.7 years ago
My baby happens to be a shy one and I used to be worried with this nature of hers but then i came across a blog where a person called Granny Nanny had given a solution regarding this issue. I hope it to be very helpful I hope you do too.
chitra.9 years ago
my son is 3 years old. He dont like to speak and play with new peoples. We take him for interaction for nursery admission he is not ready to speak with teachers because of that he didn't get admission in any school till what should we do to change his this behaviour. He is very intelligent.
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