Has your little one arrived in your life already? Or are you waiting for that big day and planning ahead already? Do you wonder how you can help your little one be strong, both emotionally and socially? Social emotional development in infants is important.
It is never too early for your infant to start learning about his surroundings. As a parent, there is a lot you can help with.
Here are ten simple and effective ways for social emotional development in infants :
1. Talk About Your Day:
We start with one of the social development activities for infants.Your infant is never too young to be spoken to.
- Talk to your infant about what you are doing, even as you breastfeed or massage your infant.
- Talk about simple things like how you love your little one, about what book you are reading, about where papa or a sibling is and anything else.
- Tell your infant about what you see outside, the birds that are singing, the doorbell that rang, who came to visit and anything that may be happening.
2. Look Into Her Eyes:
Make sure you make eye contact every time you speak to your infant.
- Look into those eyes as much as you can.
- Even as you practice the steps mentioned in the previous step, make eye contact. It will tell your infant that you are talking to her. She will gradually learn the importance of looking at people while talking to them.
- Your constant contact with your little one in this manner will also give her self-confidence, even though she will not realize it yet.
- As you look at her, she will look right back at you. It will be the first step of bonding between your infant and you.
3. Help Her Find An Emotional Bond:
Find a stuffed toy or sleep toy that is appropriate for your infant.
- Keep the toy in your infant’s crib or sleeping area.
- Newborn babies often find it difficult to sleep as they keep opening their grasp and get startled in the process. Help your infant find emotional strength in a toy that she can clutch to bed.
- Put her in the crib and place her fingers around the toy. Show it to her and tell her it’s her goodnight buddy.
- Your infant will gradually start getting comfort in the toy and sleep better.
[ Read: Newborn Baby Activities ]
4. Respond To Her Cries:
Parenting experts differ on this one, but it is important you show your infant you are always there for her.
- Come to your infant the moment she cries. In case she was sleeping and is suddenly crying, peep in to see if she will fall back to sleep again.
- If she still cries, come over and pat her. Soothe her by making shh noises and telling her you are there.
- Pick her up if required and keep her well-supported. Hold her gently and rock her back and forth. Sway or bounce her, taking cues from her crying and comfort.
5. Respond To Her Speaking:
It is true that your infant won’t be able to speak in the literal sense for the first few months. However, the sounds she makes are her way of entering the world of speaking.
- Give importance to the small cooing sounds she makes.
- Always respond to her and speak to her in answer. Look into her eyes while you do so.
- Talk to her in response as if you understood everything she said. Nod, move your hands and make different facial expressions.
6. Show Her The World:
Take your infant outdoors as often as possible.
- Ask your pediatrician when it is a good time to start taking your infant out.
- Show her people and animals and flowers.
- If she meets neighbors, show her how to greet them. She will gradually start recognizing people this way.
7. Introduce Her To Other Babies:
If there is a park near where you live, take her there.
- Show her how other babies play.
- Point out the actions they do and the swings and other things she sees in the park.
- Once she can get down, let her crawl or sit on a mat.
8. Respect Her Feelings:
Learn cues from your infant’s responses. This one is one of the good emotional development activities for infants.
- Sometimes, your infant may be unusually fussy and your best efforts may seem to make it worse.
- Give her time and take a break.
- Let her be on her own if she wants and see if she can settle down on her.
- Be around in case she wants you and will allow it. Do not pick her up if she tries to wiggle away.
9. Help Dispel Separation Anxiety:
Your infant will face a lot of separation anxiety in the coming months, especially each time she does not see you.
- Show her that even though you may not always be in front of her, you are always near.
- Play simple peekaboo games with her, using a sheet, your hands, or just going behind the door and peeping.
- Stand up in front of her, walk away a few steps out of the room and tell her ‘mamma is going. Mamma will be back.’ Give it a few seconds and come back inside with a smile. Tell her ‘mamma is back.’
Stand with your infant in front of a mirror.
- Point out the baby and tell her ‘baby’.
- Point out the different body parts and tell your infant what each body part is called.
[ Read: Ways To Make Your Baby Laugh ]
Bonding emotionally and socially with your infant is a lot of fun. It will help you understand your little one better and also make her better prepared to handle the world and her emotions. Take cues from your infant and be there for her at all times.
How did you develop a bond with your infant? Did you play any games with her? What activities were her favorite? Do share your tips with other mothers here.
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