Your Baby

Social Emotional

She notices other babies when you take her outside. She cries when she needs something from you. And she responds accordingly when you soothe her. Call her name and watch her little head swivel eagerly in your direction. Isn’t that the best feeling?

Your baby’s social and emotional health is every bit as important as her physical health. Today, she’s already developing the early skills that will allow her to become an independent person. She may respond to her own name to interacting with adults (and even show a little healthy wariness around strangers). She certainly expresses both her joy and distress. All of this means one big thing — your baby is laying the emotional and social groundwork for a happy, healthy future!

Multilingual Learning — Many Paths to Language Skills

I’m Learning Who I Am.

Did you pore over baby name books, searching for just the right one? Or have you always known he’d be named after your great Uncle Albert? You gave your baby a very special name, and he’s beginning to learn what that means! He turns his head when you call him, and he’s increasingly communicating what he needs with smiles or tears.

When he kicks his chubby legs and squeals his delight, he’s letting you know he’s happy and content. And that arched back and furrowed brow often means he’s in need of some comfort. When you provide him a loving place to express his emotions, he understands his world is a safe place.

Look for signs of learning at your child's care.

“Jason, are you sad today?” A caregiver’s concern is a necessary part of a healthy space. Calling babies by name and helping them describe their emotions is an important part of teaching self-knowledge. Watch, too, for how caregivers respond to babies’ expressed needs. You want to see concern, compassion and patience.

My Schedule Might Change, but I Can Adapt.

Whether you’re heading to day care, the grocery store, or a friend’s house, your baby is becoming more aware of her daily schedule and her common routines. Being able to anticipate and accept transitions in her schedule is a vital skill set – one that enables her to establish awareness and self-control.

But sometimes, the big world is just a little overwhelming for a little girl. She’ll let you know when she’s had enough! And when you respond to her distress with loving patience, not only are you teaching her that she’s safe and loved, you’re also teaching her healthy self-soothing techniques.

Look for signs of learning at your child's care.

There are times when teachers can’t meet all classroom needs at once, but it’s important to notice how those situations are handled. Do you hear something like, “I hear you, Jaylen, and I will be with you when I’m done with Olivia’s diaper. Why don’t you look at that book until I can help you?” That means self-soothing is encouraged and that babies’ needs are being met.

My Tears are Talking for Me.

Recognizing and responding to potential conflict is an important life skill. Although your baby may not be faced with a great deal of conflict at this juncture in his young life, he recognizes when things aren’t quite right. And he’s ready to tell you! When he feels threatened or uncomfortable, he’ll let you know by demonstrating his distress – through tears, sounds, or body language.

Look for signs of learning at your child's care.

When babies are in distress, they communicate with cries. It’s important for caregivers to respond with compassion. “What’s wrong, Aailyah? What can I help you with?” is the kind of communication that means babies are being heard — and supported.

My World is Full of Interesting People.

Is your baby wary of strangers? Eager to engage in “conversation” – which primarily consists of babbles and coos – with you and her most familiar loved ones? That’s because she’s building her early relationship skills! Although she still looks to you as her most secure base, she’s beginning to reach outside her comfort zone when exploring her environment. She’s fascinated by other children, but she is also starting to master skills in solitary play. All of these interactions are setting the stage for your baby to have a healthy, happy existence filled with meaningful relationships.

Look for signs of learning at your child's care.

Laughter, engagement, empathy, support... Are those things present in the classroom? The overall classroom dynamic is important. In a healthy classroom, babies and caregivers enjoy each others’ company. What's more, little voices are respectfully heard and acknowledged.

All children learn and grow at their own pace and in their own way. For more information about the skills and milestones for your child's age check out our developmental milestones resource page. If you continue to have concerns or questions please give us a call at 1-800-299-1627.