Encouraging Your Baby’s Social Skills
Do you hear laughter coming from the nursery? Between the ages of 4 and 6 months, your child may begin to laugh, squeal, and coo when talked to. While all children progress at different rates, this is often a very social age for babies as they become more aware of their surroundings and other people.
You can encourage social skills by adopting these habits:
• Repeat sounds and smile when your baby makes sounds.
• Make funny faces or sounds or blow on your baby’s belly to encourage laughter. Laugh when your baby laughs.
• Talk to and imitate your baby during feeding, dressing, changing, and bath times.
• Dance with your baby and do other rhythmic movements.
• Read books to your baby and point out pictures.
• Show your baby his or her reflection in a mirror.
• Take your baby outside to see new things and people.
This is also the age when babies begin to understand the concept of “object permanence”—the idea that an object is present even when it cannot be seen, like a block hidden under a blanket. You can teach your baby this awareness by playing peek-a-boo games.
Also during play time, encourage reaching and grasping by placing safe toys near your child. Spend time on the floor playing with your child every day, and always make time for cuddling, especially if your baby is unhappy.
Online Medical Reviewer:
Date Last Reviewed: 4/2/2010
© 2000-2018 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
- Acquired Hypothyroidism in Children
- Graves Disease in Children
- Appendectomy for Children
- Babies' Warning Signs
- Babying Your Baby’s Skin
- Basics About Your Newborn’s Body
- Boost Verbal and Play Skills in Your 1-Year-Old
- BPA and Baby Bottles: Should You Be Concerned?
- Break Bad Sleep Habits
- Breastfeeding Best Bet Against Baby Allergies
- Building Baby’s Brain
- Cecostomy for Children
- Childhood Immunizations: Get the Facts
- Computed Tomography (CT) Abdominal Scan for Children
- Dental Care for Infants
- Does My Baby Have an Ear Infection?
- Flu Shots Urged for Young Children
- High-Risk Newborns and Low Milk Production
- How to Choose the Right Pediatrician
- How to Soothe Your Teething Baby
- How to Use Pacifiers Safely
- Is Organic Food Right for Your Baby?
- Is Your Baby Getting Enough Milk?
- Jaundice Is Not Unusual
- Keep Your Kids Safe with Immunizations
- Lack of Sleep Can Harm a Child’s Health
- Make Baby’s Bedtime Safe and Sound
- Pacifiers May Protect Against SIDS
- Playing It Safe: The Whole Toy Story
- Reach Out and Touch Your Baby
- Special Concerns for International Travel While Nursing
- Survive Your Little One's First Flight
- Swaddled Babies Sleep Better
- When It’s Time to See the Pediatric Ophthalmologist
- When Should You Stop Breastfeeding?
- Your Child's First Dental Visit
- Your Child’s Vaccines: Get the Facts