Infant Social Development Activities

By Marisa Swanson
Parents can help babies develop socially.
Parents can help babies develop socially.

Social development in children starts when they are infants and continues throughout childhood. Infant Social Development is a term used to describe the process of an infant's need for and ability to communicate with other people. A healthy development of socialization is crucial to your child's ability to trust, develop confidence and efficiently use her language skills. Parents are able to encourage their infant's social development through activities that will foster an environment of trust and stability for the child to become comfortable and proficient at relating to others.

Attention

Spend time holding, touching and talking to your baby.
Spend time holding, touching and talking to your baby.

One of the ways that you can engender trust and a feeling of security in your baby is to pay her attention. Some parents believe that acknowledging crying too often will spoil the child. This is not true for babies under 1 year old. In the first months, a baby cries from genuine need and discomfort, and you should not ignore him. Also, you should smile and talk to your baby often. The more a baby is spoken to, the better chance she has of developing proper language skills. Touch your baby often, physical contact is in important for people of all ages. Make eye contact often. Get the father involved, have him hold, touch and talk to baby. Pick your baby up when he reaches out to you with his arms.

Encouragement

To boost confidence, make a fuss over little things. When you see that your baby is starting to understand language and be more self-aware ask her things like, "Where is your hand?" and become visibly excited when she shows you. While dressing your baby you can say something like, "put your foot here" and give praise when the baby does so. Other things to acknowledge with positive reinforcement is when the baby learns to feed himself and roll over. If you continue this behavior until the child is ready for daycare or pre-school, he will be better equipped to handle time on his own due to his confidence. Another way to help the baby become more aware of herself is to let her play with a mirror. A hand-held mirror will do, so will placing the baby under or in front of a mirror. Even before the baby knows its his reflection, he will enjoy watching it.

Exposure

You should not keep your baby inside away from the outside world. The baby's language and hearing development depends on having a variety of stimulating experiences. Take your baby to the park, the zoo, museums and even the grocery store. Take your baby on visits to relatives and if you're able schedule play-dates so she is around other babies.