Your baby often expresses and learns about emotions through play. Here are some play ideas for helping your child express his feelings and explore the world around him.
Baby emotions and play
Babies are generally good at telling you what they need – for example, ‘I’m hungry – feed me!’ But they’re only just starting to learn about emotions and how to express them.
Play is the natural way that babies and children learn and develop, and play gives them a chance to explore and express their feelings.
And that’s where you come in. Through play with your baby, you can help your baby learn to communicate emotions.
Play with your baby is all about back-and-forth interactions with you – it’s not about toys or things. Just making faces with you is a game for your baby. And as you gaze into each other’s eyes, you build your relationship too.
What to expect from baby emotions
Your baby is likely to:
Play ideas to encourage baby emotions
Play is one of the best ways for young children to find out about and express their feelings.
Here are some play ideas to help your baby explore and express emotions:
Although play is important for learning and development, it’s mostly about having fun! If it isn’t fun, it isn’t play. So it’s a good idea to follow your baby’s lead when it comes to play – sometimes he might be too tired to play or prefer to play quietly.
Worried about baby emotions? When to seek help
Children grow and develop at different rates. In general, the key moments in development happen in the same order, but the age they happen might vary for each child, even for children in the same family.
If your baby has reached 18 months and shows no sign of separation anxiety, or has no preference for familiar faces, you might want to have her checked out by a health professional.
You might also want to seek advice if:
What’s ‘normal’ can vary a lot. If you’re concerned about any aspect of your baby’s development, it’s a good idea to visit a health professional like your General Practitioner (GP) or paediatrician.
Play is a great relationship builder. Spending time playing with your child sends a simple message – you are important to me. Help your child learn about who she is and where she fits in the world.