Your Baby's Social And Emotional Development
It's very hard to say which is more exciting - watching your baby develop physical skills, or watching their social and emotional development.
While both are thrilling, social and emotional skills are often more subtle. This is especially true in the months before your baby begins talking.
In this article, we’ll take a brief look at social and emotional development from birth throughout the first year of baby’s life. Keep in mind that these developmental milestones are only rough estimates. If your baby isn’t precisely on track, it’s no reason to worry. Speak to your GP or public health nurse if you’re truly concerned. Be sure to remember, however, that every child develops at a very different rate.
Birth to 3 months
The very first social and emotional development you’re likely to notice in your baby is staring at faces. Faces captivate a child from a very early age. You’ll also notice that she will quickly learn to recognise your voice and the voices of others who are present in her life on a regular basis.
Some babies begin to smile and laugh during the very first month of life, while others take up to four months. However, there’s a very good chance that during the first three months you’ll experience the joy of seeing your baby smile and hearing her laugh for the very first time. Often these responses are spontaneous, but in some cases they are triggered by the sight or sound of a favourite person.
Your baby will also begin to make sounds during this time period, most likely simple “ooh” noises, as she recognizes her ability to vocalize.
4 to 6 months
Smiling and laughing are probably happening on a wonderfully regular basis by now. Your baby will respond with facial expressions and babble when you talk to her, so be sure to engage her as much as possible to foster this new skill.
She may begin to recognize his own name and possibly respond to it, and quickly-developing children might even begin stringing together syllables into nonsense words such as “ba-ba”. Once a child begins this, non-stop jabbering is usually very close behind.
At this age, your baby may also begin to show signs of separation anxiety, becoming agitated or uncomfortable when you are not holding her or at least within sight.
7 to 9 months
During this time period, you may notice your baby beginning to experience some stranger anxiety. When around unfamiliar people, she may cry or fuss until somebody familiar enters the picture. She might also begin to realise when people are leaving and wave goodbye if prompted.
Even more endearing, your child might utter her first words during this stage. You very well might hear her call you by “mama” or “dada”. As she begins to interact more, she might begin to enjoy games such as peek-a-boo.
10 to 12 months
As your child approaches her first birthday, she’ll most likely be waving goodbye and addressing her parents as “mama” and “dada” on a regular basis. She might even be adding a few other words to her vocabulary. She’ll greatly enjoy interactive games and initiate them whenever possible. She’ll also likely begin to indicate what she wants by pointing, and will understand simple commands such as “no”.
This is an exciting time in the social and emotional development of your baby, so be sure to engage her as much as you can in order to foster her emerging skills and give her confidence.