Emotional and Social Development of Infants: 1-3month

As your child grows, the way you communicate with each other will change according to his needs and desires. Day by day, you will notice that he has about three different levels of needs, each reflecting different aspects of his personality 

1.When the need is urgent, such as hunger or pain, he will notify you in his own unique way, possibly through screaming, loud crying, or expressing despair through body language. Over time, you will learn to recognize these signals promptly, even soothing him before he is aware of his own needs.

2.If the child sleeps quietly or entertains himself when awake, it indicates that all his needs have been met. This is a good opportunity for you to rest or attend to other matters. His solitary play also provides you with a great opportunity to observe him from a distance, watching how he develops many important new skills, such as reaching for objects, following moving objects with his eyes, or manipulating his hands. These skills create conditions for the baby to learn self-soothing: the ability to self-soothe helps him calm down and eventually sleep through the night peacefully. Learning these skills is even more important for babies who cry a lot and are difficult to soothe.

3.Every day, there are times when all of the child's needs seem to have been met, yet he continues to fuss intermittently. He may start off calm, then suddenly become fussy, irritable, or engage in aimless movements, with this fussiness recurring. He may not even be clear about what he wants. Many methods can help calm him down: playing games with him, talking to him, singing, gently rocking him, or walking around while holding him may all be effective. Simply changing his environment or allowing him to vent his frustrations might also work. You may also find that although a certain method temporarily calms him down, he quickly becomes more agitated, needing more attention. Although dealing with this fussiness can be challenging, both of you can learn more about each other through it. You will discover what kind of gentle rocking he likes, what facial expressions or sounds he enjoys, and what he likes to look at. He will also learn what methods elicit a response from you, how hard you try to make him happy, and where your limits are.

However, when your child is inconsolable, you may feel extremely frustrated or even angry. At such times, the best course of action is to gently place him back in his crib and take a short break yourself. You must resist any thoughts of shaking or hitting the child. Shaking a child is dangerous and can cause serious harm. Shaken baby syndrome is a globally persistent form of child abuse. If your child's fussiness becomes a long-term issue for you, discuss it in detail with a pediatrician; they can provide you with techniques to deal with this problem. Share these new soothing techniques with other caregivers; they may also experience similar frustrations when unable to calm the child.

Over time, the child's urgent needs will decrease as he becomes capable of playing alone for long periods. This is partly because you learn to anticipate and address many of his issues in advance, and partly because his nervous system is maturing, enabling him to better handle daily stresses. As his physical control improves, he can entertain himself and self-soothe, and the troubles he encounters will diminish.

In the first few months, there's no need to worry about spoiling the child. Observe him carefully and respond to him immediately when he needs you. You may not be able to calm him down every time, but letting him know how much you care about him will never be harmful. In fact, before the child reaches six months of age, the quicker and more patiently you soothe a fussy child, the less demanding he will be as he grows older. At such a young age, he needs constant reassurance to feel secure and to develop trust in you. Helping him build this sense of security now is laying the foundation for his confidence and trust, allowing him to gradually let go of your hand and become a strong and independent individual.