Between six and nine months, you'll really start to notice your baby's social and emotional development. Your baby will express joy through laughter and seek your attention. Here's what else you can expect.
Social and Emotional Milestones
Your baby will reach many fun and important social and emotional milestones. He or she will likely:
- Play social games, such as peekaboo or patty cake.
- Want to be included in activities with people.
- Point to things for a reason.
- Seek attention.
- Show strong feelings about likes and dislikes.
- Not want to be away from you or other caregivers.
- Show fear (possibly by crying) if scared.
Play and Activity
You can help nurture your baby’s social and emotional development by continuing to respond when your baby wants help or attention sticking to regular routines.
You can also:
- Model good manners: use “please” and “thank you.”
- Play “seeking” games to help your baby understand he is not part of you: "Where’s the puppy?" or "Where’s Daddy?"
- Play with your baby and invite others to play too.
- Join a playgroup for parents and babies.
- Follow your baby’s lead. Let your child decide what to do.
- Go slowly. Help your baby approach new people at her own pace.
- Have your baby eat at the table with you and others.
- Continue to breastfeed.
- Smile at your baby - chances are good that your baby will smile back!
- Hold and comfort your baby, especially when he is upset, sick or hurt.
Other Social and Emotional Milestones
Between six and nine months your baby may also:
- Show fear of strangers.
- Begin mimicking, such as sticking out her tongue.
- Exert control. For example, your baby may show you a toy but won’t give it to you.
- Learn to protect himself and his belongings.
- Refuse to do some things. For example, push a spoon away during feeding time.
- Focus when doing something, ignoring other things that are going on.
- Look worried about loud noises, such as vacuum cleaners, loud stern voices, or banging.
- Show clear likes or dislikes for certain people, objects, or places.
- Be sensitive to other children and perhaps cry if they cry.
- React to other people’s moods. If you are sad, your baby may cry. If you are happy, your baby may laugh along with you.
Resources & Links:
Leap BC’s guide Move with Me from Birth to Three
HealthLink BC: Emotional and Social Development, Ages 1 to 12 Months
BC Healthy Child Development Alliance Social & Emotional Development in the Early Years resources