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Home > My Child > Ages and Stages > Birth to 6 Months > Social Development

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Social Development: Birth to 6 months

Social Development means being able to make friends and get along with others, to work as part of a team and be a good leader, all of which are built on self-confidence, cooperation and trust.

Emerging Skills
  • Respond to a familiar voice, for instance by turning their heads towards the voice
  • Imitate facial expressions
  • Respond to their own mirror image
  • Smile at others
  • 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 face-to-face contact and respond to their baby's facial expressions
  • Make eye contact
  • Return their baby's smiles
  • Child Will:
  • Explore your face and expressions
  • Feel that you are responding to his needs
  • Be more alert and enjoy the interaction
  • Learn that he can count on you

  • Parents Can:
  • Sing to their baby
  • Talk to their baby during daily diapering and feeding routines
  • Child Will:
  • Become familiar with the voices of those who care for her most often
  • Try to imitate some of the sounds she hears
  • Take comfort in the songs and sounds she knows
  • Feel safe and secure with a familiar voice

  • Play

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

    Parents Can:
  • Mimic and exaggerate their baby's facial expressions (for example, a big smile and wide eyes)
  • Child Will:
  • Love to look at your face and respond with smiles
  • Imitate your expressions

  • Parents Can:
  • Use high and low pitch voices along with facial expressions
  • Child Will:
  • Be more interested in interacting
  • Respond with more enthusiasm (for example, kicking her legs and waving her arms)

  • Parents Can:
  • Get down on the floor lying next to their baby to talk, read a book or sing to their baby
  • Child Will:
  • Respond to your voice
  • Enjoy sharing an activity
  • Be entertained and engaged

  • Teach

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

    Parents Can:
  • Recognize the signs or signals their baby may use to show when he likes or dislikes an experience, and respond appropriately.
  • Child Will:
  • Feel he is being responded to
  • Feel cared for
  • Feel secure
  • Try to respond more often knowing someone is watching for his signals
  • Begin to remember which signals an adult pays attention to, and use them more often

  • Parents Can:
  • Have face-to-face conversations with their baby, by telling her what is happening at the change table or looking at pictures hanging on the walls or even what they plan to make for dinner.
  • Pause, observe and respond appropriately to their baby's reaction
  • Child Will:
  • Try to mimic your sounds or gestures
  • Respond to you – hoping that you will respond back
  • Become engaged in a conversation

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

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