The Social World of Your Newborn Baby
When you look at your baby, you worry if his physical and cognitive development are in order. But does he have social skills as well? What if we tell you your baby is a social being from an early age?
While it differs across babies, research has conclusively proven some social skills that infants possess at a very early age. This list may surprise you!
1. They like people who use baby-friendly language
No, we don’t necessarily mean baby-talk. However, if you use infant-directed speech while communicating with babies, chances are they will be friendlier toward you. This means you need to slow, a bit rhythmic and repeat more than in usual conversation.
2. They recognise your voice and how you look
After all those months of listening to your voice from the womb, your baby now knows your voice very well. Not just that, he can also recognize your features, though his vision will be blurry and limited in range for the first few months. So, if Mamma is part of a social gathering, your baby is likelier to participate!
3. They like it when you make eye contact– except when they are overstimulated
Like perfect social creatures, babies like it when you make eye contact. They will stare into your eyes, and if you look happy, they will love it all the more. Babies tend to break eye contact, however, when they are tired or have had too much for the moment.
4. When people around them are sad, they hate it too
This is yet another social skill that babies have right from the beginning. They prefer happy, animated faces around them. If you look glum or are too quiet, your baby will also turn fussy and upset.
5. They understand facial expressions quite well
This may sound surprising but research has proved it to be true. Right from an early age, babies can discriminate between facial expressions. They know when you’re happy and when you’re in the doldrums.
6. They are attuned to the feelings of others and know when you’re upset
An extension of the previous pointer, this skill also indicates that babies are quite nice, social human beings! If they perceive sadness around them, they will try and put up little shows such as grinning or cooing to lift the spirits. They have a sense of empathy from the outset.
Does your bundle of joy also display the above skills? If not, don’t fret. Every child develops at a different pace. In the meantime, talk and play with your baby as much as you can, and also let friends and family members spend some time with him – without making him cranky. With time, your baby will blossom into a socially adept young child!