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Home > My Child > Ages and Stages > 6 to 12 Months > Social Development

My Child
Social Development: 6 to 12 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
  • Crave attention – they believe the world revolves around them
  • Seek comfort when distressed
  • Recognize the word "no"
  • Begin to develop a sense of self – seeing themselves as separate from their caregiver
  • Be able to solicit or "call out" for a parent's attention or help
  • Engage in simple games, such as peek-a-boo
  • Find out more about What to Expect from your baby, 6 to 12 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:
  • Call out to their baby in a fun voice if they are in another room, and then reunite with her
  • Sing a song about looking for their baby. For example, "Where is Mira, where is Mira, where are you, where are you? There you are, there you are and how do you do?"
  • Child Will:
  • Begin to develop a sense of self separate from you
  • Feel secure knowing that this hide-and-seek game always ends with being reunited with you
  • Begin to call out to you, or try to get the attention of the familiar voice she is hearing

  • Parents Can:
  • Describe feelings – put words to their baby's expression. For example, when your baby is crying say "Ling is feeling sad" and respond appropriately
  • Child Will:
  • Feel you are responding to her feelings
  • Begin to recognize some of the words used to describe her feelings
  • Feel comforted by your response

  • Play

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

    Parents Can:
  • Spend time with their baby, playing such social games as showing their baby his eyes, nose and mouth in a mirror, or doing action songs and finger plays with him on your lap.
  • Child Will:
  • Feel loved
  • Enjoy spending time with you
  • Begin to communicate non-verbally how he feels about the experience

  • Parents Can:
  • Provide a safe play space where their baby can crawl and explore
  • Child Will:
  • Feel secure as he explores his environment
  • Communicate his interest in objects in his environment by gazing or reaching

  • Parents Can:
  • Follow their baby's lead, rather than be the director of play time
  • Child Will:
  • Enjoy interacting and connecting with others
  • Feel her interest in a toy is being respected

  • Parents Can:
  • Use turn-taking games to interact with their baby (for example, rolling a ball back and forth; asking how big is baby and then stretching your baby's arms up when answering "so big!" or talking on a toy telephone)
  • Child Will:
  • Begin to observe sharing and turn-taking
  • Enjoy interacting with you
  • Start to use sounds and gestures to communicate

  • Teach

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

    Parents Can:
  • Play peek-a-boo games
  • Child Will:
  • Learn about turn-taking
  • Develop an understanding about the permanence of people and things (for instance, that they continue to exist even when out of sight)

  • Parents Can:
  • Talk to their baby about events (for example, "I need to change your diapers. Let's take your toy to the change table")
  • Child Will:
  • Feel respected
  • Learn about what is happening next
  • Develop a sense of routine

  • Parents Can:
  • Use cause and effect toys in play with their baby (for example, objects that make a noise, or change when squeezed, shaken or rolled)
  • Child Will:
  • Begin to understand that her actions have an impact on the world around her
  • Discover the consequences of her behaviour

  • Emotional Development: 6 to 12 months
    Intellectual Development: 6 to 12 months
    Intellectual Development - Language: 6 to 12 months

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