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Comfort, Play & Teach: A Positive Approach to Parenting™ helps you encourage your child's social, emotional and intellectual development.
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Emotional Development: Birth to 6 months

Emotional Development means developing a full range of emotions, from sad to happy to angry, and learning to handle them appropriately. This leads to deeper qualities – sympathy, caring, resilience, self-esteem, assertiveness and being able to rise to life's challenges.

Emerging Skills
  • Become attached to their caregivers
  • Develop self-calming skills (for example, begin to quiet down on their own after being upset)
  • Show a number of different emotions
  • Be comforted by a familiar person when upset
  • Begin to develop an attachment to a special blanket or toy
  • Find out more about What to Expect from your baby, birth to six months.


    Through the comfort and responsiveness of an adult, babies will learn how to handle their emotions and how to seek help when needed.

    Parents Can:
  • Make eye-to-eye contact with their baby
  • Child Will:
  • Become familiar with your face
  • Try to mimic some of your facial expressions
  • Respond to your face with smiles

  • Parents Can:
  • Be aware of their baby's cues that tell them what she likes or dislikes
  • Respond to their baby's cues consistently and appropriately
  • Child Will:
  • Feel secure
  • Feel her needs are being met
  • Communicate to you more often knowing that you understand her cues

  • Parents Can:
  • Respond quickly and sensitively to their baby's crying or discomfort
  • Child Will:
  • Feel his needs are being met
  • Feel secure
  • Learn that you will respond when he tries to communicate
  • Begin to quiet down on his own after being upset

  • Parents Can:
  • Praise their baby
  • Respond with positive encouragement during interactions (such as, "Good reaching, I know you can do it!")
  • Child Will:
  • Feel loved
  • Develop a positive sense of self

  • Play

    Through opportunities for play, babies will experience joyful, free, spontaneous moments of fun while also learning about themselves and others.

    Parents Can:
  • Respect their baby's choice to stop interactions
  • Interpret their baby's choice to stop as a signal that he has had all stimulation he can handle
  • Child Will:
  • Begin to feel he has some power over things in his environment
  • Begin to understand that his feelings are important and valued
  • Become attached to you
  • Enjoy spending time with you

  • Parents Can:
  • Sing action songs, such as "Head and Shoulders" or "Wheels on the Bus" with their baby
  • Child Will:
  • Become familiar with the tune and movements
  • Anticipate your actions
  • Enjoy face-to-face play time with you

  • Parents Can:
  • Make simple noise shakers from water bottles or film canisters. Shake the objects in front of and to both sides of their baby's head, encouraging head turning and eye movements to follow the noise
  • Child Will:
  • Respond to the sound with eye movements and head turning
  • Express her like or dislike of the activity

  • Teach

    Through routines, and emotionally and physically safe and secure environments, babies can learn how to think, solve problems and communicate.

    Parents Can:
  • Be consistent with routines and responses
  • Child Will:
  • Learn to predict what comes next
  • Feel secure

  • Parents Can:
  • Be responsive to their baby's feelings, labelling emotions and mimicking joyful expressions
  • Child Will:
  • Begin to show a number of different emotions
  • Respond to your reactions

  • Parents Can:
  • Talk to their baby during daily routines describing what they are doing (for example, "Mommy is taking off your wet diaper and putting on a clean diaper.") Use their baby's name often as they talk with him
  • Child Will:
  • Be engaged by the sound of your voice
  • Become familiar with his name
  • Respond to your voice with cooing and gurgling sounds

  • Parents Can:
  • Be aware of the toys or objects that comfort their baby, such as a soft blanket, teddy or soother. Make the special object available whenever their baby is distressed
  • Child Will:
  • Begin to develop self-calming skills
  • Feel secure
  • Understand that her feelings count

  • Social Development: Birth to 6 months
    Intellectual Development: Birth to 6 months
    Intellectual Development - Language: Birth to 6 months

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