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3-6 Months: Emotional Development

Damaria Senne


The part of your baby's brain that will eventually help her to manage and control her emotions undergoes a growth spurt. She begins to enjoy socializing with others and has a strong interest in looking at human faces. Experts believe that facial cues help her connect with the world around her and to make important emotional attachments to caring adults, especially her parents. Your baby learns that her actions, such as smiling and cooing or crying and fussiness, bring emotional reactions from the adults around him.

"To help your child's emotional development, play word games with her, and make sounds together. Encourage her to babble by mimicking her favourite sounds,' says Michele Carelse of Feelgood Counseling. 'Engage her in conversations, even if she doesn't understanding what your words mean. Sing and read for her, and show your delight with her squeals, giggles, chortles and gurgles. Respond to her when she imitates you and others."

"Play with your child in front of a mirror,' says Rene Brummage of Mothers and Miracles. 'This will not only give her a better grasp of who she is, but encourages positive emotional development about the person she sees in the mirror."

Your baby also learns some internal controls, such as how to handle the normal distress and excitement that come from such daily routines as bathtime, playtime, and feeding. The experiences she has with you every day will help her begin to develop other emotions in the next few months, including feelings of happiness, sadness, excitement and anger.

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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hannah Sep 24, 2009 02:31:00 PM ET

I think this is a very very good web site as it is helping me through my gcse in child care thanks !!! :)

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