Growth & Development

Social/Emotional Development

Normal Development:

  • Smile at themselves in the mirror (3–12 months)
  • Bang objects together while playing (4–8 months)
  • Can show fear (8–12 months)
  • Likes certain people/toys more than others (8–12 months)
  • Imitates people during play (8–12 months)
  • Becomes more shy or nervous with strangers (8–13 months)
  • Begins to look to others’ reactions before acting (this is called social referencing) (8–15 months)
  • Looks at your responses to their behavior (8–15 months)
  • Want to be with their main caregiver above others (8–15 months)

What You Can Do:

  • When your baby seems excited about something, show that you are too! (For example, “Oh look at that dog! He’s so big!”)
  • When your baby seems scared of a stranger, use your voice to reassure him or her. Introduce your baby to the person (if appropriate) and show them that the stranger is ok.
  • If your baby cries when you leave, reassure him or her that you will be back and that the person staying will take good care of them

 

Our Advice

  • Fighting with other people in front of babies causes them to be frightened about the world around them.
  • Reassure and comfort your baby when you are in a situation that is making them nervous.
  • Try to change how you parent your baby to match with their mood in different situations.

 

Try not to compare yourself to other parents, or your baby to other babies. Every family is different.

Content created in partnership with
Seedlings Group