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 SkillsBe attached to a special toy or blanketSleep for longer periodsDevelop separation anxiety and want to be with their caregiver all of the timeLook to their caregiver for reassurance in new or unfamiliar situationsExpress a variety of emotions, such as, fear, anger, dislike and happiness.Display stranger anxiety, peeking at 8 to 9 months
Find out more about What to Expect from your baby, 6 to 12 months.
Parents Can:Watch to see what helps their baby self-sooth, and encourage this behaviourAllow their baby to attach to a special toy or blanket
Child Will:Use a special blanket or toy as a way of comforting himselfLearn to cope with his emotionsUse his blanket to feel safe and secure
Parents Can:Consistently respond to their baby's bids for attention and 'calls' for help
Child Will:Learn that she can depend on you when she needs helpLearn that others are available for emotional supportFeel loved and secure
Parents Can:Call to their baby when in another room, to give him reassurance that they are close by
Child Will:Understand that you will return after a brief separationDevelop a sense of trust and security
Parents Can:Use everyday routines such as feeding, bathing or diapering as a time to play, for example, gentle tickles, peek-a-boo or finger plays
Child Will:Feel reassured about what to expect and will enjoy responding to your emotionsSeek your attention more in order to play more
Parents Can:Provide a safe play space for their baby, such as on the floor. Get down and join the play
Child Will:Try to engage you using gestures and soundsCommunicate the activities she likes or dislikes with gestures, for example, reaching towards a toy she likes and pushing away a toy she dislikes
Parents Can:Provide opportunities for them and their baby to spend time with other babies
Child Will:Enjoy the company of other babiesTry to communicate to other babiesTry to engage other babies with sounds or gestures
Parents Can:Go slowly with their baby, and not force her to go to someone she is not sure of or doesn't know
Child Will:Need time to warm up to a strangerApproach someone new on her terms, for example, offering a person a toy and then taking it back or bringing out lots of toys so the attention goes to the toys rather than on the baby
Parents Can:Give names to common actions and describe everyday routines
Child Will:Start to recognize certain words or make associations between words and eventsTry to mimic the sounds you makeRespond to your voice
Parents Can:Create a routine for times when they have to be away from their babyKeep comfort toys or objects within close reachLeave their baby with a familiar person
Child Will:Look to other people who are familiar for reassurance and comfortExpress emotions that demonstrate her attachment to you
Parents Can:Create routines for all regularly occurring events, such as diapering, bedtime, feeding or play timeInform their baby about events, for example, "I need to change your diaper. Let's take your toy to the change table"
Child Will:Begin to learn what is happening nextFeel respected as an individualFeel safe and secure