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Social and Emotional Development in Babies

Afric. Am. mom looking at baby smiling

Your baby will go through many changes in terms of social and emotional development during his first year of life.

Although he started out as a sleepy newborn baby, he will soon be alert, responsive, and interested in interacting with the people around him. Each month, you will notice your baby reaching social milestones such as becoming interested in conversation, breaking into his first social smile, developing ways to communicate with you, imitating others, showing jealousy if you give attention to another baby, and eventually anxiety around strangers.

This section describes some of the milestones in social development that your baby will reach during his first year of life. It is important to keep in mind, however, that every baby develops at his own pace, and that the ages listed are not set in stone. Also, this page describes development of the healthy baby who was born at full term. A baby who was born prematurely would meet these milestones a bit later than a full term baby.

Joanne Cummings, PhD, CPsych