Observe the infant when a stranger picks him up.
When the child is comfortable and happily playing, have an unfamiliar (or less familiar) person approach the child and try to pick him up.
When approached by a stranger the infant shows distress and may cry and turn to a familiar adult to be picked up.
Reassure parents that separation distress and stranger anxiety are normal. These emotions indicate that the child recognizes familiar and unfamiliar people and has formed an attachment to the parent. This is a good thing. Children need to know that they can count on their parents to be close, to return when they have to leave, and to keep them safe. Encourage parents to handle separation quickly and confidently and not show distress themselves (even though they may feel it!) The parent needs to reassure the child of their return, give a hug and a kiss then leave, so as not to prolong the distress.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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