Social-emotional development

Birth-age 2


  • The quality and intensity of emotional reactions
  • Passivity, activity patterns and irritability affect temperament
  • Passivity: how actively involved a child is with his or her surroundings
  • Irritability: the tendency to be distressed
  • Activity patterns: movement


  • Strong emotional connection that develops between people
  • Most infants become attached to small groups of people early in life
  • Infants know they can depend on the people they become attached to
  • Separation anxiety is when a baby doesn't want or becomes distressed when a caregiver is leaving or leaves

Changes over time

  • As a caregiver, your actions affect how children change
  • If you meet children s needs and goals they will learn to trust and care for others

Birth-3 months

  • Newborns do not have very refined emotions
  • General excitement and distress are really the only emotions shown
  • Distress is shown by crying
  • Excitement is shown by smiling or wiggling
  • Usually no tears when the child cries

3-6 months

  • Children respond to people with smiles and laughter
  • They start to notice other babies
  • Crying is still used to show distress
  • Tears begin to appear
  • Children start to use different cries

6-12 months

  • They become actively involved with other caregivers
  • They make sounds in reply to others
  • Begin to develop fear
  • Developed attachment to their caregivers
  • May cry to show anger
  • Separation anxiety starts to show

12-24 months

  • Begin to show general anxiety
  • Become more interested in exploring
  • More interest in other children
  • Play next to other children but not with them
  • Self-awareness
  • Toddlers are proud and happy when they do things for themselves
  • may become frustrated

By: Reghan Polimeni