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Girl Talk: Grandma's Rejection

Q. My baby giggles and coos away happily with everyone except my own mother. My mom is clearly crushed by the rejection, but my daughter simply won't have anything to do with her. Is there anything I can do?

A.
Two words: not really. You can't force your daughter to cozy up to your mom any more than you can make her like getting her bath. She may be small, but she knows what makes her happy  -- and it ain't your mother. Pushing her on your baby will only turn resistance into a full-blown boycott.

It'll be difficult to figure out exactly what's putting your little girl off, but have you considered known baby repellents like too much perfume, stinky hair spray, itchy clothes, a loud voice, or bad breath? Or maybe your mom is just so eager to pick up her granddaughter that she reaches out before your baby knows what's happening, which confuses and upsets her. Whatever it is, one thing is certain: Your baby isn't old enough to know that this nice lady is a blood relative who paved the way for her existence. If the turnoff isn't obvious, then your mom will have to wait it out.

The good news, according to a friend who endured the same problem, is that because you love your mom (you do, right?), your daughter will, too. It just takes time. Meanwhile, it can't hurt to feed your baby a steady diet of "Who loves Grandma? I do!" And before handing her over, make sure she is rested, full, and changed  -- Nana will have a much harder time winning over an already cranky baby.

For a while, this will be a frustrating situation, but eventually your daughter will warm up. One day she may even climb into Grandma's lap. Then it will be your mom's turn to cry  -- tears of joy, that is.

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