Socio-Emotional Development In Infants

Read Chapter 9 and do the corresponding Study Guide.

PREZI: Emotional & Social Development in Infants

When finished, work on the Babies Documentary: Socio-Emotional Connection Written Response.


The process of learning to recognize and express one’s feelings and learning to establish one’s identity and individuality.

Milestones:  Chart from textbook and research others to add.

First days

Pleasure/ Satisfaction – baby is quiet

Pain/ Discomfort/ Distress – baby cries

2 months

Delight – smiles in response to something/someone

4-5 months

Anger (at objects or people)- may throw or push something away

Disgust – demonstrates dislike through facial expression/body language

6 months

Fear – can now recognize a threatening situation

7-8 months

Elation (high spirits)

8 months

Stranger Anxiety – baby cries

9 months

Affection – for providers of security and care


The process of learning to interact with others and to express oneself to others.

Milestones:  Chart signs of Social Development from textbook and research others to add.

Social development follows a predictable pattern.  The following list is a general guideline that indicates typical development for babies in their first year – this is not a checklist.

First days

Responds to voices: calm/soothing voices will quiet a baby vs. harsh/loud voices will upset a baby

1 month

Stops crying when lifted or touched; responds positively to familiar person

2 months

Smiles at people and follows with eyes

3 months

Turns head in response to a voice; wants companionship

4 months

Laughs out loud; looks to others for entertainment

5 months

Increased interest in family members other than parents; cries when left alone; babbles to toys, dolls, stuffed animals, or themselves.

6 months

Understands self as a separate person; seeks attachment/emotional bond (first social relationship); loves company and attention; enjoys playing games like peek-a-boo

7 months

Prefers parents over other family members or strangers

8 months

Prefers company (to be in a room with other people); can move around to do so

9-10 months

Socially involved; enjoys constant attention and interaction

11-12 months

Friendly and happy; sensitive to, can influence, and adjust to other’s emotions

At 1 year

Center of attention ; plays games with family members; tolerant of strangers

“Attachment” – See journal response below.

1. Harry Harlow’s Studies: Overview with Narration


2.  Harry Harlow’s Studies: Documented Experiments

Through three experiments, Harry Harlow shows that infant rhesus monkeys will appear to form an affectionate bond with soft, cloth surrogate mothers that offered no food but not with wire surrogate mothers that provided a food source but are less pleasant to touch.


3.  Extra Clip: Koko the Gorilla and All Ball the Kitten (Attachment /Bonding)


Response:  After watching these clips, reflect on the following in a written response.  Discuss your observations and understandings of Harlow’s 3 experiments in relation to what you’ve learned about Social and Emotional Development in infants.  Include the following topics: fear; attachment; physical contact; nourishment; security; confidence; interaction; long term effects.
CONNECTION:  “As a baby develops emotionally, his or her feelings about self become an integral part of the baby’s relationships with other people.”