Thursday, September 6, 2012

7 Ways to Encourage Infant Social Development

As your baby grows, she will be changing a lot. She'll learn to hold up her head, sit up by herself, crawl, walk, and so much more. But she won't just be changing physically. She'll be growing mentally, emotionally, and socially as well. Your baby's need to interact with other people and to be accepted by others is just one of the steps in the direction of developing social skills. However, infant social development isn't possible without emotional and language skills. Here are seven ways that you can help to foster your baby's social development:
  1. Smile and talk to your baby - explain and describe your day-to-day activities and tasks.
  2. Touch your baby often.
  3. Encourage acceptance and approval by making eye contact often.
  4. Involve dad by letting him hold, talk to, and touch your baby.
  5. Pick up your baby when he reaches out with his arms.
  6. Encourage and boost confidence by making a fuss over little things your baby accomplishes, like asking "Where is your hand?" or telling him, "Put your foot here." Encourage and make a fuss when your child learns such things as feeding himself and using the potty successfully. This grows confidence, both in his own abilities and in others that support him. This means that by the time he reaches the age of about three, he is better able to cope with such things as nursery and other periods away from his main caretakers.
  7. Encourage self-discovery by letting him spend time in front of a mirror... your baby likes to watch and talk to the mirror image.
When your baby is an only child, it is important that his family socializes with others who have small children. They may be too small to join in play or even get down on the floor, but babies are keen observers and this helps your baby to discover that other small people exist, but he will also learn about such things as sharing and taking turns, such as when food or drink is passed around, when conversation takes place, or when people pause to allow others to speak. Some of these things can be very subtle, so the more often the baby is exposed to them, the better chance he has of learning the social skills he needs to become a positive member of the society in which he belongs.

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