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"Mommy, Don't Go!"

Around this time, your social butterfly may start feeling fearful around strangers. She may even be wary of people she's met before but doesn't see often (sorry, Grandma!). So what can you do to make social mixers less stressful?

Stay home for introductions. Your baby will do much better around strangers that she meets in a familiar place.

Remain in view or keep in touch. Hold your baby or stay close by and within her line of vision. She'll feel safer if she's able to see or feel you.

Tell newcomers to keep their distance. Babies are less leery of visitors if they approach gradually from a distance. It also helps if adoring fans fight their impulse to tickle or scoop up unwilling participants.

If your shrinking violet remains frightened, don't push her to be friendly. Stranger anxiety varies in length and intensity from one baby to another, but the good news is that  -- either way  -- your little wallflower won't be one for long. Her stranger anxiety will lessen over time.