Monday, May 22, 2017

Social Emotional Development: First 9 Months

Social Emotional Development: Ages 0-3 months, 3-6 months and 6-9 months

Babies start to develop relationships with the people around them right from birth, but the process of learning to communicate, share, and interact with others takes many years to develop. Developing the ability to control your emotions and behavior is also a long process. Children will continue to develop their social-emotional skills well into their teenage years, or even young adulthood.

The following are some of the typical developmental milestones for children 0-3 months of age:
  • See clearly within 13 inches from her face
  • Be comforted by a familiar adult
  • Respond positively to touch
  • Quiet when picked up
  • Listen to voices
  • Smile and show pleasure in response to social stimulation
The following are some of the typical developmental milestones for children 3-6 months of age:
  • Give warm smiles and laughs
  • Recognize faces
  • Cry when upset and seek comfort
  • Show excitement by waving arms and legs
  • Notice a difference between two people based on the way they look, sound, or feel
  • Smile at self in the mirror
  • Enjoy looking at other babies
  • Pay attention to own name
  • Laugh aloud
The following are some of the typical developmental milestones for children 6-9 months of age:
  • Express several different clear emotions
  • Play games like Peek-a-boo
  • Show displeasure at the loss of a toy
  • Respond to you when you talk or make gestures
  • Start to understand your different emotions (i.e. your baby might frown when you speak in an angry tone of voice)
  • Show more comfort around familiar people, and anxiety around strangers
  • Possibly comfort self by sucking thumb, or holding a special toy or blanket
Red Flags:
  • Not responding to sounds
  • Not smiling or responding to you the way you expect
  • Avoids close contact or cuddling
  • Is inconsolable at night
  • Cannot seem to self-soothe or calm self
  • Your child has no interest in games like peek-a-boo
If you notice any of these by the time your baby is 8-9 months old, you may want to talk to your doctor or another health professional such as a mental health clinician, a speech-language pathologist, or an occupational therapist.

Read our other article on the first year of development.


Post by Isa Salvador, LCSW, IMH-E III, CCYT