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Your baby starts adapting to her new world from the day she is born. She will begin to cry, smile and use several facial expressions to communicate and express her feelings to you. She will begin to interact with you and other family members and establish physical as well as emotional relationships with family and friends. All these are a part of social and emotional development.
Your baby will begin to smile and get her first facial expressions around the first month. Later, from two to three months, she will start making other facial expressions and sounds to gain your attention. She will slowly start playing with you and other family members. She will begin to express likes and dislikes and feelings towards certain people. Her irritation and mood swings will also be quite prominent in the first six months.
Here’s a set of social development activities that you should practise with your baby
1. Respond to His Needs Quickly
Responding immediately to your baby’s expressions and needs increases trust and builds security. It will also boost his confidence to express himself freely without fear.
2. Increase Self Awareness with A Mirror Activity
Self-awareness plays an important role in boosting social development among babies. Place a mirror in front of your baby and you and point out the similarities in body parts. Your baby gets a sense of realization of himself and the similarity he shares with you. He will also keenly observe his emotions. This will boost his confidence and make him feel he is among all of you in this world.
3. Do Not Allow Fear of Strangers
At around five to six months, your baby will recognize those who are familiar to her, and will fear those whom she has never seen. To reduce her apprehension, play introduction games with the new people she sees. A consistent approach to making her meet a new person will help her gain familiarity and trust for that person. However, make sure she is well fed and well rested before you start.
4. Understand That Your Baby is Unique
To understand your baby completely, it is important to be aware of his nature, traits and behavioural style. Each baby responds differently to situations. A shy baby will take some time to mingle with others, whereas an extrovert baby will take no time to approach new people. Some babies are fussy and require more attention, whereas some babies do not fuss and are easily satisfied. It is important to embrace your baby’s personality completely to help him gain confidence socially.
5. Reduce Separation Anxiety Through Hide and Seek
Your baby starts fearing separation anxiety when she realizes that you can walk away from her. She will feel insecure and let down. You can reduce this fear by introducing simple games that will keep her distracted and occupied. You can also trick her into games like hide and seek, where she understands that there will be a period of separation that will follow. Such games will increase self-realization of being occupied in her own company and will reduce the fear of being alone.
Social development comprise self-confidence, self-awareness and trust. They are extremely important for your baby to develop his social skills and be a part of society. Always encourage your little one in social activities that you feel will be necessary for him to cope in the real world.