Saturday, March 13, 2010

As a caregiver, how can I meet an infant's emotional needs?

From: emma

Subject: meet the emotional and social needs of infants

Question: Hi M Kay,
As a carers how can I meet the emotional and social needs of infants aged between 6 and 12 months while they are in care

Please, can you tell me the social and emotional characteristics of infants in everyday language that parents will understand? And the strategies and practices used to foster infant’s emotional wellbeing?

Thank you for your help M Kay, I will appreciate that


Regard Emma


Answer: Dear Emma,

Meeting the emotional needs of infants and toddlers is fairly easy. They need to be recognized when they are communicating with eye contact, touch and responsiveness. I highly encourage you to visit a website www.talarais.org which has a developmental chart for children and talks about what they need.

There are books which teach feeling words by showing feeling faces and I encourage parents to start young with these type of books and games. Infant massage, sign language and other great resources are all supports which assist infants and toddler to develop emotionally. As for their social needs most infants and toddlers do not really socialize until they are around age 3. Up to this point they do what is called parallel play. They play next to each other and even mimic each other how reciprocal play doesn't really occur until around age 3.

Feel free to peruse prior postings to find more tips! If you are looking for reading materials I support Dr. Barry T Brazelton's work and Dr. Sears.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller

1. CAREGIVING of BABIES and TODDLERS
These are books on topics that support attachment and bonding. As well as provide support for caregiving.