When you have been looking forward to being a grandparent, having your grandbaby be less than enthused can be heart-breaking. Babies are fickle. One visit, you may have a great bond. On the next visit, your grandbaby may want nothing to do with you. Another scenario is that your grandbaby never enjoys spending time with you. There are some things you can do to strengthen the bond between you and your grandbaby.
Don’t Take It Personally
It can be hard, but the most important thing you should do if you feel that your grandbaby doesn’t like you is to not take it personally. A baby will not have such strong feelings about someone who loves him. If he is unhappy in your presence, it has nothing to do with you as a person.
Understand Baby Stages
Babies go through many stages of development. Think back to when your child was a baby. There were probably times when they strongly favored one parent or caregiver over everyone else. There were also other times when being handed to a stranger would elicit tears.
It can be hard to accept that your grandbaby may view you as a stranger. When he is going through a stage where his fears make him cautious, he will have trouble trusting someone he doesn’t spend time with frequently.
The best thing about this stage that your grandbaby goes through is that it is just a stage. It will pass. Soon he will be more willing to spend time with you.
Look For Triggers
There may be a reason why your grandbaby may not feel comfortable around you. If you wear glasses, for example, and no one else he is around does, he may find that scary. If you are louder than his normal caregivers, he may feel uncomfortable. Anything different from what he is used to can create anxiety. This leads to crying and him not wanting to go to you. It does not mean he dislikes you.
Don’t Be Pushy
You may be tempted to insist on picking your grandbaby up and loving him. You may feel that if you feed him, rock him, or read him a story he will come around. The best thing you can do is not to push the issue. Spend time visiting with your child. Let your grandbaby observe and get comfortable without you forcing yourself on him.
Look For Opportunities To Bond
The more time you spend around your grandbaby, the more comfortable he will be. One way to help him become more content with you is to spend time with him. Offering your services as a babysitter to his parents will allow you to bond, without the distraction of his parents. With them temporarily out of the picture, you may find he is quite content with you. Don’t be surprised if he returns to indignant howls when they arrive to pick him up.
For best results when babysitting, maintain the schedule he is used to with his parents. It can be tempting to let him stay up late or cuddle him rather than put him down to sleep. Maintaining his routine as much as possible will be a comfort to him and allow him to relax.
Long-Distance Is Hard
If you live far enough away from your grandbaby that visits are infrequent, the relationship can be particularly challenging. You want to spend quality time with your grandbaby, but he doesn’t feel comfortable with you. The more you press the issue, the more agitated he becomes. If he is in an unfamiliar location, bonding is an even greater challenge.
As he gets older, you can bond over video chats, mailing postcards, and other fun activities. When he is a baby, there is less you can do. Remaining calm and reserved during visits allows him to come to you on his terms. You will find he warms up to you more quickly if you let things progress at his speed.