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3-6 Months Old: Social Devlopment

by Damaria Senne
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On of the most important social tools is language. This is how your baby will learn to communicate with the world. Experts believe that babies have an easier time than adults when it comes to learning language. At first, babies are capable of hearing the sounds of many different languages. If they are not used, the connections in the brain for sounds of other languages become weaker while the connections for the language they are hearing grow stronger. Babbling sounds usually appear at the end of the third month. Those "oohs" and "ahhhs" are called cooing. When she adds consonants to these vowel sounds, she will choose "p," "b," and "m" most frequently. The amount of time a baby spends babbling increases each month. Soon, the cooing sounds like syllables strung together. These, along with other baby sounds like gurgles and laughing aloud, are the beginnings of her first words, phrases, and sentences. She will be listening more intently to sounds. Grunts, growls, and complaints will express her displeasure.

To help your child acquire skills, which she will use when meeting new people and situations, introduce her baby toys to her one at a time, allowing time for her to get to know each one. Wait a few days or longer before you introduce another one.

Respond to your baby during periods when he is feeling alert and social. Maintain eye contact while playing with her. Respond to her smiles and cooing noises, smiling, nodding, touching, talking, and listening to her while she tries to communicate. Observe your baby and try to "read" the signals he is sending you. However, recognize that your baby may physically and emotionally tire of one activity. Stop and change activities, giving her a chance to communicate when he is ready.

Damaria Senne is a freelance writer based in Phokeng, South Africa. Her work has been published in regional and national magazines in South Africa, as well as online magazines. She writes about parenting, work-at-home, career and women's issues.

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