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Age by Age Guide to Your Baby's Social Development

by Alison Wood | May 21, 2013 12:00 AM
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It's hard to imagine that your wrinkled newborn will develop his personality and actually begin interacting with people, but it happens sooner than many parents expect. It only takes a few weeks and your baby begins to respond to your loving touches and affectionate words with his very own affirmation of love -- a smile.

0 - 3 months

This is one of the first signs that your baby is beginning to socialize with others. He or she will also begin experimenting with different faces that will make you and other onlookers giggle. Your baby may also begin developing certain cries to let you know he is hungry, tired or dirty. This will be a way that you and your little one can communicate and connect.

Also, during the first few months of life your little one will be making lots of eye contact. Sometimes he may look past you so as not to be so overwhelmed by the direct eye contact. There are so many things your little one is taking in that he or she can become quickly over stimulated.

3 Months

By three months of age your bambino will be able to coo and laugh. These giggles will keep you performing your silliest acts just so you can see your infant's eyes light up with joy and hear his laughter bounce off the walls in your home. Pat-a-cake and other sing-song rhymes will keep your tiny one entertained during three to six months of age.

6 Months

Around six months of age many more opportunities will open themselves to your relationship. Now your baby can hug you and show affection in many ways. He will also begin communicating with family, friends and even strangers at the grocery store. People may stop and comment on your beautiful baby and he may just return them a little smile and squeal. Some babies really begin to steal the show at this age with chubby cheeks and endless smiles.

To increase social development at this age consider inviting a friend over with another little one. Watch them interact as they share toys, sit or crawl together. Most likely the new friends will begin imitating each other's actions, facial expressions and sounds. It's great entertainment!

8 months

As your bambino enters his eight month of life he may begin to show signs of separation anxiety. Before he barely noticed your exit when you left him at grandma's or a babysitter's house. But now, all systems are in panic mode when mommy leaves the room. Your baby is communicating his desire for your constant presence as well as the fear of the unknown. Even though it is difficult to leave your little one, sometimes it is necessary; such as a doctor's appointment, funeral or other situation that a baby's presence makes the situation more difficult. In such cases, calmly let your little one know you will be back and you love them. Bring them a special surprise or treat and smother them with hugs and kisses on your return. No, your infant will not understand all your words, but he will understand your tone of voice and reassuring hugs.

1 year

At age one your bundle is now becoming a toddler! He is able to toddle around and discover even more things. He will definitely become more independent, and at the same time may become extremely clingy.

Toddlers become even clingier when parents are busy and get caught up with everyday happenings. Take care to set aside time everyday for just social interaction with your little one. This does not include diaper changes or feedings. This is just simple fellowship time between parent and child. Many times clinginess becomes less and less as the parent spends more one-on-one time with the child.

During this age bracket, your child may also begin to show signs of selfishness and unwillingness to share. He may throw fits if another guest plays with his favorite toy. Take this opportunity to teach your little one that sharing is necessary to build friendships. He needs to begin learning, even now, that guests should be treated in a polite manner.

Confronting the attitude of selfishness now will pave the way for easier days ahead. As your tiny tyke grows, so does his personality. Some little ones are natural givers, others are natural takers. Teach your tiny tot to be hospitable to guests.

At every age your little bundle is growing and developing at fast rates. As a parent, you have the power to use this time of growth to benefit your child. Concentrate on helping him progress further with socialization by teaching him kindness, patience, love and interaction. It's not easy to be consistent with this type of training, but it pays off in the end!

Alison Wood is a stay-at-home mom of six and freelance writer and blogger. She enjoys raising her six children and desires to share her experiences to help other mothers.

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