My baby niece hates my guts!

So what’s it gonna take? I look at her and she cries! I pick her up and she starts screaming in my face.

It seems like she hates me! I’m her uncle and held her when she was born! That was only 3 months ago and after not seeing her for 6 weeks she thinks I’m the devil!

So fellow doper parents (and uncles and aunts) how does one resolve this? She’s over for 4 days and I need to make amends! Does bribing work? Sock puppets? DO I NEED TO SUPPORT BUSH?! :smiley:

It’s the strangest thing. My GF can hold her and feed her without any trouble but when I touch her she starts to squirm and cry! Do I smell or something?

Is there something about your appearance that is different from what she sees normally? My husband’s job requires him to be clean shaven at all times, so if a man tried to hold her who had facial hair, she’d freak out. That was the only thing that really bothered her. Do you talk loudly to her? Maybe you just need to pull out the I heart Bush shirt and be done with me. :slight_smile:

Hmm, that could be it. I’m trying to grow a beard (although it’s mostly thin evenly spaced hairs on my chin 1/16 inch long…damn my asian blood!).

OK, I’m going to shave tonight. I don’t talk loudly with her and I love “petting” her head. I’m really trying to be a good uncle but she’s screaming anytime I’m near her!

I think she’s used to seeing her grand parents on her dad’s side (my sister lives with her BF and his parents) so maybe black facial hair is “scary” for her.

If that doesn’t work I’m getting a mask!

I know this sounds goofy, but try to smell like her mom. Put one of her sweaters over you or something. They can be very scent-oriented at that age. Also, the beard thing has been known to be a problem to some kids (although most little ones seem to LIKE my husband’s big beard). Also, if you’re a big guy, try being seated when you interact with her.

According to evil, malicious rumors spread by my parents, there were only 3 people who could come near me when I was a baby - my mother, my father, and my maternal grandmother. Anyone else touched me, and I’d scream bloody murder. No one else…not my aunts & uncles, not my cousins, not neighbors, not friends, no one - not even my other grandmother. Those 3 and no one else. These are people I remember liking as a child and many that still I like today - just apparently not during those first 12 or so months after being born.

But I grew out of it - and so will your niece. (Which isn’t exactly what you wanted to hear, I know).

Give it time. At three months, unless you’re with the kid every day, they can be quite suspicious of you. Especially if you don’t have girl bits.

Kids will open up a lot around 6-7 months, and by the time they toddle, you might not be able to get rid of them.

Vunderbob, experienced Dad.

I can’t be my size. My GF is the same height as I am (yeah, I’m pretty short for a guy). I guess it really is the lack of girly bits.

I’ll try feeding her tonight. Maybe the bribe of food might keep her from screaming her head off (while, at least while she’s sucking down a bottle of formula). How good is a baby’s sight? Would be recognise me with a hat on or something to change the shape of my face? Maybe a ninja mask? :smiley:

It’s kinda depressing being the only being rejected by a baby! :smiley:

Also, guys with booming voices can freak a baby out pretty bad. When you talk, try to control the “bigness” of your voice (if you HAVE a big voice).

I don’t know that babies have that good a memory at 4 - 5 months. I seem to recall that around 8 months or so they begin to distinguish familiar faces. However, the facial hair thing is different enough that it might be what’s upsetting her, especially if she doesn’t usually see people with beards.

One of mine mysteriously developed a fear of blond men with beards. She was used to seeing her uncle, who was dark haired and bearded, but one day in the supermarket she started screaming in terror for no apparent reason when she saw blond facial hair on a complete stranger. We went into the next aisle and she was fine, but every time she saw that guy she had a virtual panic attack.

A three month old baby’s sight is still developing so a lite growth of bread would not be boticable, but could be felt. Their sense of smell is another thing. Do you wear afterhsave, smoke or have any other body odors that she may not be use to? As suggested by above posters, using a shirt or sweater that her mom wore will indeed help. Also try not to be nervous, they can also sense that and it makes them uneasy, use slow calm movements when holding her and talk in a low calm voice.

I think glasses can scare the little ones, too, if they’re not used to seeing them.

It’s funny: my dad has a big beard and glasses, and he’s better with babies than anyone I’ve ever known. For some reason, they love him. He’s got a slow, soft voice, though, and a big belly that babies like to sleep on.

badmana, even if your niece is scared of you now, in three years I guarantee you’ll be the Beloved Cool Uncle who takes her to parks, tells her scary stories, and spoils her rotten. I wouldn’t worry about her baby-fears too much.

You know the thing is - you may never know why she’s afraid of you but it will pass. I have seen this happen with babies a lot. They will pick one person to be totally freaked out by but later on come to adore that same person.

I have kid cousins that I’m close to and when my cousin Anna was little she was totally scared of my husband. As an infant she would scream if she saw him and as a toddler she would follow him around at a distance but if he so much as looked at her she would retreat in hysterical panic. She had a morbid facination with him. One day she just toddled over and with big round eyes on his face at all times she crawled up into his lap and sat down to watch TV. It took him 5 minutes to slowly put him his arms around her he was so afraid of jinxing it and now they are inseperable. She’s 12 now. I tried asking her what was the deal with it back when she remembered it a little and she couldn’t explain it. Go figure.

If you’re nervous around her you may not be holding her as securely as she needs to be held. She just might not feel safe with you. Or it might be the way you hold her. Maybe she wants to be up on your shoulder or facing another way or something. Especially since you’re not a girl, she may not like being held across your body. Maybe try holding her with her feet facing you and her head in your hands, her body lying on your arms.

Or maybe she just needs to grow some and get used to you. She’ll get there.

Change your user name. Babies are afraid of loud noises, falling and just the barest suggestion of “Bad Man.”

Stop using her as a Frisbee.

Don’t sing the lumberjack song anymore or act out the Ministry of Silly Walks sketch.

Do let her play with your pearl necklace and dangly earrings. Yes, I know that you normally don’t wear them in public. Do it for the sake of the child.

She is probably the reincarnation of that prostitute you murdered a while back. So you are pretty much out of luck.

What are you talking about? That hooker ain’t dead, she’s in my…oh wait.
Actually, last night I made some head way with her. My sister was watching TV and she was trying to put my niece to sleep. My niece didn’t like being alone so she started making noise. With my sister in tow I tried to calm her down (I figure if she’s lonely maybe take me over being completely alone!).

Well, it sorta worked. She stopped crying and stared at me in that erie serious way babies do. I was able to make her smile even! I was even able to touch her!

Of course the magic went away and she started screaming a little later. Oh well, baby steps I say!

I wear no glasses, and normally don’t use any colone or aftershave. Some of my clothing might smell a little of cig smoke (I don’t smoke but I play poor in bars filled with it and my jacket just stinks of it for weeks!) so maybe she’s catching a little of that.

I also don’t have a deep voice and I can make embarrasing baby noises :smiley: I normally talk to her like I would a kitten.

Yeah, the holding part I have to practice on. I normally hold her as if she was radioactive. I really can’t wait until she can hold her head up by herself. I’d love to do the airplane thing with her (something I loved as a kid).

IME babies love beards and toddlers find them fascinating.

When my daughter was a newborn, she’s scream bloody murder if my husband held her, but she’d get quiet immediately if I took her. It broke his heart, but she grew out of it, and we have a mess of pictures of the two of them reading together and cuddling together and generally enjoying daddy-daughter time.

Who knows why kids are the way they are? Just be patient and before you know it, you’ll be posting here asking how to get her to leave you alone!