Baby is growing

Key stages of baby’s social and emotional development over the first 12 months

As they grow up, baby will learn to develop their relationships with others, which means learning to express their feelings, control them and take other people’s feelings into consideration. A long journey that baby will undertake at their own pace. Periods are given as guidelines only.

1st month

At this age, baby can only communicate by crying. This is how they express sadness, anger and also joy! They will also begin to look into the eyes of people who are speaking to them.

2nd month

Baby learns to calm themselves down, for example by sucking their thumb or by trying to find their dummy with their eyes. They also begin to smile to people they recognise.

3rd month

Baby’s repertoire is expanding! They can smile, giggle and make little noises, vocalisations and other burbling sounds! They are also able to move their head to follow a moving person or object.

4th month

Baby begins to express their personality! They get angry when they don’t get what they want and breathe noisily to express their impatience. They also discover new sounds and have fun blowing bubbles or clicking their tongue.

5th month

Baby can anticipate events: if you approach them speaking in a gentle voice, they will hold up their arms for you to carry them. They also start to memorise certain recurrent actions and might well try and push you away if you approach them with a view to blowing their nose!

6th month

Baby gives solitude a go and is able to play by themselves without the intervention of an adult. They increasingly understand other people’s emotions through their facial expression and the intonation of their voice.

7th month

Baby understands the terms most frequently used on a daily basis: he is able to look at his mother in response to the question “where is mummy?” and moves in response to hearing the word “milk”. They also recognise their name when they are called!

9th month

Baby intentionally points at objects that they would like with their finger and wants to participate in social relationships. They play the clown to make those close to them laugh and clap and won’t hesitate to repeat the action when they see the positive response they get.

8th month

Baby begins to make affectionate gestures when someone says “give a kiss” or “stroke gently” to them. On the other hand, they are entering into the phase when they like to pull hair, push and bite. It is also the period during which baby develops a fear of strangers and becomes aware that they sometimes miss their mother.

10th month

Baby has a new pastime: copying everything they see! Their parents’ noises and expressions, and also the neighbour’s barking dog or the “choo choo” of a train as it goes by!

12th month

At this stage, baby likes to show that they know the daily routine by trying to help. This is also the stage when they begin to move around to music!

11th month

The “no” period: baby has understood what “no” means! And they are going to use it at every possible opportunity. A refusal to eat, to have a rest, to come closer when called… Baby understands authority and is contesting it.

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