Baby’s Emotional Development

Month 1

• Makes eye contact
• Cries for help
• Responds to parents’ smiles and voices

Month 2

• Begins to develop a social smile
• Enjoys playing with other people and may cry when play stops
• Prefers looking at people rather than objects
• Studies faces
• Gurgles and coos in response to sounds around her
• First begins to express anger

Month 3

• Starts a “conversation” by smiling at you and gurgling to get your attention
• Smiles back when you smile at him. The big smile involves his whole body — hands open wide, arms lift up, legs move
• Can imitate some movements and facial expressions

Month 4

• Is intrigued by children. Will turn toward children’s voices in person or on TV
• Laughs when tickled and when interacting with others
• Cries if play is disrupted

Month 5

• Becomes increasingly assertive
• Can differentiate between family members (parents and siblings) and strangers
• Likes to play during meals

Month 6

• May quickly tire of a toy but will never tire of your attention
• Temperament becomes increasingly apparent. You’ll see whether she tends to be easygoing or easily upset; gentle or active
• Recognizes his own name
• Coos for pleasure and cries with displeasure
• Can make noises like grunts and squeals; clicks his tongue

Month 7

• Starts to understand the meaning of “no”
• Enjoys social interaction
• Expresses anger more strongly
• Tries to mimic adult sounds

Month 8

• Can differentiate between familiar and unfamiliar
• May become shy or anxious with strangers
• Cries in frustration when he can’t reach a toy or do something he wants to do

Month 9

• Imitates gestures that other people make
• Looks at correct picture when an image is named
• Smiles and kisses own image in the mirror
• Likes to play near parent (i.e., in kitchen while Mom is cooking)
• May be more sensitive to the presence of other children

Month 10

• Separation anxiety may begin
• Self-esteem begins to develop
• Responds to positive recognition such as clapping
• Becomes cautious of heights
• Shows moods such as sad, happy, and angry

Month 11

• Tries to gain approval and avoid disapproval
• Can be uncooperative

Month 12

• May have temper tantrums
• Can fluctuate between being cooperative and uncooperative
• Shows a developing sense of humor
• May cling to parents or one parent in particular


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