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Girl Talk: Grandma Rejection

Q. My baby gurgles and coos away happily with everyone except my own mother. I've tried everything, and my mom is clearly crushed by the rejection, but my baby simply won't have anything to do with her. What can I do?

A. Two words: not much. 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 as you've pointed out, it ain't your mom. Pushing her on your baby will only turn resistance into a full-blown boycott.

It's nearly impossible to figure out what's putting your daughter off, but have you considered the obvious baby repellents: too much perfume, stinky hair spray, itchy clothes, a loud voice, or bad breath? If it's nothing detectable, then I'm afraid your mom will have to wait.

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

It may be frustrating for a while, but chances are your daughter will warm up to your mom, and one day she may even climb into Grandma's lap on her own. Then it will be your mom's turn to cry  -- tears of joy, that is.