The Social Toddler

My Baby is One, Now on to Socialization

By now you have done all of the perfect party planning. Your smash cake was a success and you made it through the first year of life with your little one. Congratulations! Now what do you expect?

For many Moms, once the first year of life is complete parenting becomes more relaxed. You no longer obsessively google everything about your baby. Okay, maybe you still do. I’m guilty as charged!

After your baby turns one there are many more developmental milestones to follow. Socialization is a very important one that often gets overlooked but can influence many other developmental milestones with you child.

Socialization is important for every toddler because it builds the foundation on which many behavioral milestones and issues are established. Teaching good behavior and social skills prepares your child for emotional relationships with other people down the road. Have you ever heard that someone wasn’t held much as a baby? Perhaps you heard this as an excuse for someone’s distant behavior. According to Katherine Harmon, associate editor for Scientific American, “There’s research that shows babies like to be imitated. We interact with babies much differently than we interact with peers. We tend to imitate behavior back to them in an exaggerated way, which is exactly what babies need, and it helps them learn about their own emotional experience. Seeing it reflected back helps them understand themselves at a very basic perceptual understanding.” Without a strong emotional foundation, emotional development may be delayed in babies.

Emotional Development Milestones

Now that you understand how important socialization is to the emotional development of your little one, let’s discuss signs to look for to ensure your baby is on the right track. Answer yes/no to the following questions:

  • Is your baby shy or nervous around strangers?
  • Does you baby like to share with others?
  • Does your baby have favorite belongings or people?
  • Does your baby show fear in certain situations?
  • Does your baby make sounds to get your attention?

If you answered no to any of these questions, there may be a developmental milestone that your child isn’t hitting. However, there isn’t cause for alarm yet. Every baby develops at a different rate. If you are concerned that your child isn’t becoming as emotionally developed as they need to be, do not hesitate to contact your child’s pediatrician to rule out any underlying issues.

Ways to Help Your Child Socialize

There are many ways in which you can help your child socialize to become an emotionally balanced individual. They are:

  • Joining a Mom’s play-date group. There are so many advantages to your child being around other children. Since babies like to imitate others, once they see a baby behaving a certain way, they may follow suit. This is especially true of babies with older siblings and babies in daycare.
  • Go to a library children’s circle. Again, this exposes your baby to other children their age which will help them see what behavior is socially acceptable
  • Play and talk with your baby
  • Allow your baby to go on errands with you

What are some ways you socialize your baby as a stay at home or working Mom? Let us know in the comments below!

Author: Tracy Harper

Thanks so much for checking out my blog! My name is Tracy Harper and I am a working Mom, from the foothills of North Carolina. I love to go thrift store shopping, create projects for around the house, follow God’s callings for me, and to enjoy life. I’m glad you are joining me on this journey to share all things about my hectic life with you. Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter for awesome projects and life inspiration.

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2 thoughts on “The Social Toddler”

  1. I love the ideas on how to socialize your child. I’m a stay at home mom, so socialization is a bit tricky for me at times. I feel MOPS helps.

  2. I have looked into that, but unfortunately, there isn’t a group local to my area. And they always meet while I am working :-(.

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