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Emotional and Social Development in Babies: Birth to Three Months

The first three months of a baby’s life are a remarkable period of social and emotional development. By understanding and supporting their emotional needs during this crucial stage, we contribute to the growth of confident, emotionally secure, and socially adept individuals in the years to come.

Some of the major Emotional and Social Milestones to watch out for include: 

  • Developing a social smile
  • Holding your gaze 
  • Imitating movements and facial expressions
  • Generally becoming more communicative with their face and body 


Social Smile

As your baby discovers the ability to move their lips, they also discover they can communicate with you through this action. This gives them another avenue (other than crying) by which they can express themselves! It’s an exciting time for you both.


Holding Your Gaze

When your baby looks at you, it may often feel like they are looking behind you rather than making eye contact. Don’t worry! This is completely normal. Your baby is exhibiting control over where they look and helps keep them from getting overwhelmed by all sensations at once: eye contact, physical contact, and the sound of your voice.



By three months old, your baby will start utilizing their body, their smile, and their small gurgles to communicate with you intentionally. They may start the conversation or respond to you, usually using their whole body to do so – a wide smile might be paired with lifted arms and open hands. It’s important to respond to their communication attempts enthusiastically! By smiling back, engaging, or talking to them, you will encourage them and let them know that you care and can be trusted.This will help form a positive relationship between you and them, as well as help build their self-esteem.


Imitating Movements and Facial Expressions

Your baby is curious! With their newfound skills, they will start paying more attention to their environment and the actions going on around them. They will start to observe the behaviors of siblings and take an interest in playtime activities. They will probably even mirror what you do – stick out your tongue and see if they reciprocate! 

It’s truly an exciting time as your baby starts to display more and more new behaviors. You should be proud! Take time to enjoy this stage – it will be over before you know it!

For questions or any other concerns, Augusta Pediatrics can be reached at (706) 868-0389. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only. 


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