Stranger anxiety

My baby doesn’t like strangers. Is that normal?

Stranger anxiety is normal in some babies and children and starts around four months of age. It generally settles in early childhood.

A) Describing stranger anxiety

Babies may start showing anxiety around strangers as early as four months of age. This is normal and shows that the baby can now recognize their regular caregivers and is concerned that other individuals might not be as safe. Breastfeeding can help calm babies in such uncomfortable situations.

Stranger anxiety gradually settles in early childhood.

Excessive stranger anxiety may be a sign that the child is more likely to be anxious later in childhood (Brooker 2013; van Hulle 2017).

Please see your health-care providers if you have any concerns.


Brooker RJ, Buss KA, Lemery-Chalfant K, et al. The development of stranger fear in infancy and toddlerhood: normative development, individual differences, antecedents, and outcomes. Dev Sci. 2013 Nov;16(6):864-78
van Hulle CA, Moore MN, Lemery-Chalfant K, et al. Infant stranger fear trajectories predict anxious behaviors and diurnal cortisol rhythm during childhood. Dev Psychopathol. 2017 Aug;29(3):1119-1130