Your Baby

Social Studies

Your new little citizen is already establishing himself within the world! Watch when he participates in celebrations — from birthdays to parades to fireworks displays. He may be afraid of the fire truck siren or gasp when he sees his first firework light up the sky, but no matter what his reaction, he’s learning about himself and how he fits into the bigger cultural picture.

He’s also beginning to understand routines and respond to your guidance about his behavior. Did you give him the red ball instead of the blue train? He might throw a fit when he doesn’t get what he wants. But with your gentle encouragement and help, he’s learning how to express his wants and needs more appropriately.

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My World Is Both Safe and Exciting.

Take your baby to a parade or a birthday party and watch as she absorbs all the sights and sounds that go with it! She’s fully focused on watching what unfolds. And she’s beginning to understand that she’s a unique individual. The unfamiliar sights and sounds of a celebration may excite or scare her — and either reaction is perfectly appropriate — but she knows she can always rely on her most trusted adults to keep her safe and secure! (Pro tip: that’s you!)

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

Do you feel welcome in the classroom? Is your participation encouraged? An inclusive environment is a healthy environment, and little minds need to learn about the importance of self, family and culture! The best way to do this is by welcoming all families to share their cultures in the classroom.

I Understand Your Expectations.

Understanding the functions of a larger society begins at home. From blankies to bath time, your baby gains comfort in the routines, objects and people that are most familiar to him. He might enjoy an exciting day at the park, but when the activities end, he knows he’ll be secure at home with you — his favorite adult! And when you guide his behavior — whether it’s encouraging toothless smiles or soothing crocodile tears — he understands and responds.

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

When a little one needs redirection, listen to how it is provided. A simple, “Georgia, please stop throwing the blocks” helps establish classroom boundaries and behaviors. And notice, too, whether babies are provided with ample time to adjust to schedule changes. A teacher who says, “After we eat lunch, we are going to read a book” is one who respects babies' need to understand and anticipate their classroom activities.

My World Is Filled with Amazing Things.

Roll a ball to your baby and ask her to roll it back. She’s beginning to discover that she can use her body to make things happen. Her interest in her world, especially the nearest things, is growing exponentially. From the things in her home — furniture, toys, spoons — to the things in her outside world — trees, grass, rocks — your baby is exploring and learning her world. The best part is seeing that sense of wonder and amazement that exploration develops!

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

Notice whether little ones are asked to help in their daily routines. When a caregiver says, “Mary, would you please bring me a tissue…,” does Mary know what to do? Great! That means she has an understanding of her physical environment and feels comfortable in it.

I Know What I Like.

His eyes light up when you walk into the room. He kicks his tiny feet in excitement when you hand him his favorite blankie. He reaches for and wiggles his way toward his favorite musical toy. Your baby is learning who he loves and trusts, and he recognizes the things that matter most to him as well!

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

Babies don’t always enjoy change. When a little one expresses a desire for a whole apple instead of sliced bananas, are his wishes respected and acknowledged — even if they can’t be honored? “I know you wanted apples, but you don’t have enough teeth yet for apples. Right now, you can have bananas or pears.”

I Know What I Want.

Does she bang on her high chair tray to get your attention? Squeal her excitement when you’re preparing her food? Cry in distress when you walk out of the room? Although she’s still little, she knows what she wants and needs — and she isn’t shy about expressing that to you! Your continued interactions help her establish who she is within her world. They also encourage her to continue asking for what she needs.

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

When babies make their needs known, do caregivers respond with compassion, patience and support? “Yes, Josiah, I will help you with your drawing.” Mutual respect is a critical component of quality care.

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.