Social development includes trust, self-image, self-confidence and the ability to share, cooperate and bond. This type of development is important for your baby and his later success in school and in friendships. During his first year of life, play and repetition are especially important for any type of development. Simple activities can help nurture his social skills.
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A game of peek-a-boo can help your baby develop socially, in more than one way. In addition to making eye contact and helping your baby smile and laugh, you can help her follow moving objects with her eyes. Additionally, you will be preparing her for the day when she discovers object permanence. When she is young, she doesn't realize that an object is still there, even if she does not see it. When she is an older baby, she will be able to understand object permanence. When you cover your face or head with your hands or a blanket, your baby can no longer see you. Uncover your face or head while saying “Peek-a-boo!” and your baby can begin to understand and trust that she will see you again -- even if you disappear.
Imitating your baby and giving him the opportunity to imitate you can help his social development. As you take turns imitating each other, your baby learns how to cooperate and participate in a social activity. It can also improve his self-image. When your baby makes a sound or facial expression, make eye contact with him and then imitate the sound or expression. Give your baby an opportunity to imitate you by making simple sounds and silly expressions.
Reading to Baby
Reading to your baby helps her understand language and build listening skills. It also allows her to hear different emotions and expressive sounds, which can help her to communicate later. Kids Health recommends setting aside time to read every day, such as before bedtime. Keep books handy at home and in the diaper bag. Try books made of cardboard or fabric if your baby likes to put everything in her mouth.
Bonding With Baby
One of the most efficient ways to help your baby’s social development is to spend time bonding with him. Simply engaging him in smiles can help his brain development. Displaying love and affection in the form of kisses, hugs and simple conversation can help build his trust and self-image. Set aside time each day to talk to your baby, hold him or sing him a song.