My toddler is really shy!

Extremely shy toddler

I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve been told Β “I can’t believe how quiet she is” or “Does she speak much at home?” …Shy toddler issues? Guys, you have no idea.

Do you have a really shy toddler? Here's what it means and how you can help them overcome it

My daughter refuses to talk or play in public. It’s frustrating because at home I’m lucky if she stops to take a breather. Any of you mums already saying “Omg me too”?

Well H is 3 in August and she’s been this way pretty much since she was able to communicate.

The real H

H at home oozes confidence, personality, capability, shes a really chatty, funny, little lady. Yet once we step into a social setting It’s like she clams up and refuses to talk, play or even move at times! When she was a bit younger I wasn’t as bothered by it because I thought she would grow out of it, but now that she can communicate well, I can’t understand why she would rather miss out on activities that she loves to do just because other people are around.

Family and friends

You know the kids who’ve never met you before but don’t mind if you squeeze their cheeks admiring their cuteness. H is not one of those kids, not just with people she doesn’t know, but with close family and friends too. She will make you work hard for a smile for sure. It takes a lot of consistency for her to be able to relax and some days she may reciprocate better than others, lulling you into a false sense of security. I say this because by the next time you come round you could be right back to square one.

Play centres

I thought okay maybe she doesn’t want to be fussed with by family members that we don’t see from one month to the next, but surely if I take her to socialise in setting that interests her then she’ll be fine. If I take her to a play centre and It’s fairly empty, then yes she will play. However, as soon as another kid comes over she gets nervous and moves onto something else. I don’t get it because she loves children, wherever we go shes always saying “look mummy there’s kids!”. I simply tell her that she doesn’t have to walk away because another kid wants to play with her, that she should join in, because I know that’s what she would really like to do.

Is it just me or do you find it saddening as parent in this type of environment too? where all you see is kids running around and wonder why you’re child just wants to stand still the majority of the time.


We recently went to my friends daughters 5th Birthday party. There was a bouncy castle in the garden and I thought today is the day as she promised me that she was going to join in. Their were kids of all ages there, many of which wanted to take H under their wing. She attempted the bouncy castle 4 times. I say attempted because as soon as she was on, she was off just as quick. For the rest of the day she stayed next to me and spoke quietly enough so only I could hear her.

As we left the party she slipped into her usual self, jumping around saying she had fun. She didn’t do anything which I would define as fun but she seemed to have enjoyed herself nonetheless just watching the other kids play. She proceeded to say, “mummy I want to go on the bouncy castle”. Something she always does, when were almost back home.

Nevertheless research suggests that It’s pretty normal

According to Baby Centre’s expert advice shyness at this age is quite normal and is simply a personality trait, not a fault. Your child may have always been this way like H, which is normal. They may usually be really outgoing and have now become a little more withdrawn, this is also normal. Children go through a second phase of stranger anxiety between the ages of 2 & 4. They become cautious of people they don’t know as well as learning to think before they act instead of vice versa.

I’ve acknowledged that H is simply timid by nature. She has always been really cautious & hesitant in all aspects of her life including being a late walker. She likes to watch what’s going on around her and assess the situation rather than diving in which I’ve learnt isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However I do still softly encouraging her to mix because once she comes out of her shell, then there will be no stopping her.

Nursery is helping

I am excited to say that I am beginning to see a change in H! Coupled with the activities I do with her, she started nursery 4 months ago and I feel that it has given her a confidence boost. She loves getting ready to go, then comes home telling me what she did and who she played with. The staff have said that she still isn’t saying much but she is slowly starting to communicate with them. I never thought it would take her this long I must admit, but I know that she loves going and they’re doing their best to encourage her.

It’s helped with communication outside of nursery too. Some family & friends who she refused to speak to before, now have a really good relationship with her, which is just amazing to see. I know that as she continues to get older and can communicate better, she will gain more and more confidence too. So if you were reading this like “Yes! I’m glad I’m not the only one” then rest assured that It’s not necessarily a bad thing that you have a shy toddler. It’s very normal and with gentle encouragement and patience your kids will become more social too!


Do you have a really shy toddler? what do you do to try bring them out of their shell? I would love to hear your stories, so feel free to comment below for a chat! Also If you enjoyed this post then please share it with your friends using the buttons below. I’d really appreciate it.


Thanks guys, until next week.


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17 thoughts on “My toddler is really shy!”

  • My bf was a very shy kid according to him and his parents but one would never know that now. He is an introvert at heart but has absolutely no social problems and very often people think of him as the soul of the party when he chooses to be. Just thought I’d mention this as his parents did nothing to cause this, sometimes kids just can be chickens πŸ™‚
    Hope the toddler goes on being very special πŸ™‚

    • Hey Aleksandra, thanks for the comment! It’s funny that you say “according to him”. I’m certain when I tell my daughter how shy she was when she was little she will think I’m telling fibs too! haha x

  • My daughter was the same way. Being around strangers seemed physically painful. Like you, we took her in as many situations as we could to get her past it. Our daughter is still quiet around new people, but she’s much better!

  • I’ve been told that I was a very shy child and used to like to be with my mum or dad and just watch the world go round. I grew out of it one day and although I still like my alone time you’d never guess it from me now πŸ˜› xx

    Sophia x

    • Hey Sophia, thanks for the comment! Sounds like you were just warning your parents for what was to come πŸ˜‰ x

  • I loved reading this blog post! My sister and I have a mommy blog together and she actually just wrote about this exact thing but from her own perspective because she was exactly THAT child! So I loved how you described it from the parent side and view of it all! I am going to send my sister the link to this, she absolutely needs to read it! Very well written!!!!
    Ella recently posted…Breakthrough: the power of accepting the stillness withinMy Profile

    • Hey Ella! Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I love your post too! I do often wonder what’s going through my daughters head when were in such situations, so it was very insightful for me to to read it from your sisters point of view. Keep up the great work on your blog! x

  • When I read about your daughter it felt as if you were describing me when I was a kid. This was me in every way from refusing to speak or even look at people but a cheerful child at home perfectly feeling fine with the way things were. People also made comments and were wondering if I even knew how to talk. My sister actually read your post first and told me that I must read your post since it reflects so much of my childhood days. I just wanted to say that I think you are wonderful for being there for her giving gentle encouragement but giving her the time she probably needs. Thank you for writing about this and help other parents with shy children to feel like this is normal too.
    Malia recently posted…Breakthrough: the power of accepting the stillness withinMy Profile

    • Hey Malia! I just said to your sister how insightful it was to hear a similar story from a different point of view. Well done you for being the super mamma you are today! I’m glad you enjoyed this post and thank you so much for your lovely words of encouragement. Keep up the great work on your blog! x

    • Hey Mary! Your daughter sounds like a real sweetie. Glad she’s found something she enjoys to help with her confidence πŸ™‚

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