For the next set of tips, I will describe effective ways to foster social development at different ages and stages. If you have a new baby, see the descriptive information that follows. If you know of someone else who has this age baby or will be having a baby very soon, please feel free to pass on this post. If you have an older child, still in the early childhood years from birth through age five, keep checking each Wednesday for information about the next age group. This series of posts on social skills will go on all the way up to age five.
Birth to Six Months
During most of the first six months, babies do not move around much. Wherever you put your baby, so your baby will stay, more or less. This means you almost always have a captive audience for continually providing all your love and respect. Keep your baby near you as much as possible so that you can easily involve him or her in the daily happenings. From this close range, your baby will be able to derive increasing amounts of security all day long and into the night. By providing loving care and protection almost non-stop, your baby will experience it almost non-stop too; and that is what is so very important.
It is very easy to think that whatever you do with your baby during these earliest months makes no difference. However, just the opposite is true. These experiences are truly formative and have effects that will last forever. The loving and respectful interactions that you provide with every passing moment teach your baby as he or she grows to continue to provide him or herself with this exact same kind of care. It will also prepare your baby for the future when he or she will need to know how to provide these same or similar experiences for his or her own children.
June! the Month of the Dads
Make sure the dad in your home knows that all of this guidance applies to him too. Here are some fun, simple and very important guidelines as you two get to know your baby.
1. Respond. Whenever you hear a coo, babble, or gurgle, respond back with the same sound. Do the same for all actions like smiles, hugs, or any other ways your baby reaches out to you.
Every baby born into the world expects that there are parents or caregivers there for taking care.
2. Explore. Introduce your baby to all kinds of new objects to explore.
You will probably find it natural to share in your baby’s excitement with these early experiences.
3. Take the lead. Do what comes naturally.
Parents have wonderful sounds that they make up and all kinds of interactions that they create, and their babies love all of them.
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