Socialising is an important skill for your baby to develop even if she is just a few months old. It plays an important part in her overall development and lays the foundation for her behaviour and the kind of person she will grow up to be. It’s important for you to keep track of whether your one year old’s social skills are developing the way they should. Here are some social milestones you need to look out for.
- Recognising familiar faces: After the first few months, your baby will begin to recognise familiar people, faces and things. Though this will initially include only his parents, he will gradually begin to recognise his siblings, grandparents and other relatives or friends, if they are regular visitors. But if he one isn't paying attention to anyone around him by the time he turns one, then that’s definitely a red flag.
- Growing responsiveness: Your infant will become more responsive to what you say or do. Make a funny face, she will laugh at you; talk to her in a stern voice, she will look at you with a puzzled expression. She will also respond positively when you touch her and will listen attentively when her name is called. But if your baby is not responding to sounds, light and people normally, you need to take note.
- Attempting communication and interaction: At this stage, your baby will begin to attempt basic communication. His vocabulary will include sounds like maa, paa or dada. He will try to communicate by stringing syllables together. And although he may fail, it will be adorable to watch him try! If he can’t get through to you, he will try to interact using gestures or by showing his emotions. He will also respond to some basic questions and try do what you ask him to.
- Expressing emotions: Your baby’s smile will turn into laughter and giggles by the end of one year. She will become more expressive, as she still won’t be able to articulate exactly what she wants to. So, if she cries the next time her toy is lost, don’t think she is making a fuss; she is just expressing her displeasure in the only way she can. But if she is inconsolable, especially during the night, and doesn’t seem to calm down, then check with your paediatrician.
- Showing separation anxiety: As the bond between you and your child grows stronger, he’ll find it tougher to bear any separation from you. This is known as separation anxiety and is very common in infants aged 8–14 months. He will also be extremely wary of unfamiliar faces and might throw a huge tantrum the minute you leave him to do something else. Though you would need a lot of patience to handle this, you can take heart from the fact that your baby loves you and needs your company!
The social development of your baby forms the foundation for her emotional development as well. Therefore, it is extremely important for you to keep track of her social milestones to ensure that she is developing as she should.
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