Like adults, babies also have different emotions and contrary to grown ups’ knowledge, studies suggest that babies are not actually clean sheet of paper that only grasps basic emotions-happiness, sadness, and anger. Studies show that way before they learn to utter words, they already feel frustration, jealousy, and empathy.
As a parent, you play an important role on your baby’s emotional development-whether he/she grows up to be a happy child or a very angry one. It is your job to help your baby to a healthy emotional start.
Here is a timeline of your baby’s emotional development:
The newborn’s emotional development begins with crying since the time of his birth. Newborns cry in order to communicate their needs. At birth, babies cry when their hungry and quiet when their full. You will notice that the crying varies depending on your baby’s needs.
At this stage, your newborn also knows how to smile-the one that appears on his first month, which is instinctive and the second one that appears in his second month, which is a reaction to an external stimulus like a familiar face, usually the mother’s face.
During this time, your baby starts to utter coos and goos and imitate sounds he hears from people. Anger and distress are also evident at this time.
During his 4th month, your baby can now follow and react to movements, objects, and bright colors. He now turns towards sounds he hears and watches people’s faces. Your baby now also has the ability to return your smile.
Now that your baby is almost one year old, he smiles and laughs when looking at you and exchanges smiles, loving faces and other cute expressions with you. Your baby also has the ability to exchange gestures such as reaching, giving, and taking. In other words, you can now enjoy more playtime with your little one.
At this point, your tot can now use gestures to communicate his needs through showing, reaching, waving, and pointing. At this stage, your child is ready to play peek-a-boo and patty cake. He can now make sounds like “ba”, “da”, “ga”, and “na” and immediately turns whenever someone calls his name.
It is important to pay attention to these emotional milestones your baby is showing as these developments can help you give the baby care your child needs. Emotional intelligence plays a big role on your child’s development and fostering a positive environment in order for him to learn to express and manage his feelings accordingly.