Understanding Emotional Development of Infants
By Skylar Koontz and Koryn Kalusniak
Six Different Emotions a Baby Experience:
- Sadness - Very young babies express discomfort or unhappiness by crying
- Interest - Babies watch their mothers very closely. Often this is the first sign of interest in babies
- Joy - Babies show joy by smiling, perhaps in response to an adult who is making funny faces at them
- Disgust - Babies begin to show their dislikes very clearly
- Anger - Babies show anger by crying. Signs of anger may appear as early as three to six months of age
- Fear - Babies show fear by startling, turning away, and screaming, especially in response to strangers.
Roles of Attachment in a Baby's Emotional Development:
Attachment are crucial, or essential to the healthy emotional development of an infant. An attachment is a bond to his or her main caregiver. A healthy attachment helps a baby develop trust, self-esteem, and social and emotional skills.
- Building Attachment Through Touch - Infants have a basic need for physical contact. They need to be held and cuddled. Touch helps build trust and affection between a baby and a caregiver. Being held or massaged helps to soothe crying babies. The baby is learning that the parents or caregiver will be there when needed.
- Building Attachment Through Constant Care - Caregivers need to try to be consistent in their care and responses toward an infant. If schedules change often, or if caregivers are patient and loving at times and impatient and harsh at other times, babies have difficulty building trust.
Temperament Affects a Baby's Social Development:
Temperament is another key factor in a baby's emotional development. Temperament is a person's unique emotional makeup. Each person is born with a unique temperament. Babies should not be punished for their temperament actions because they cannot change them. Every baby is different and every parent should learn to adapt to their reactions to a child's specific traits.
Emotional Climate of the Home can Affect the Babies Development:
Babies are very sensitive to the feelings of people around them. Long before they know the meanings to words, they are influenced by adults' emotions, tone of voice, gestures, and facial expressions. It is important for all parents to find ways of releasing negative feelings away from their children. Dealing with challenging feelings can help parents find the patience to create a caring environment. Every parents needs someone who can give them emotional support.