We all know it: emotions. We wake up with it and go to bed with it. We feel a variety of emotions throughout the day, based on the situation around us and how we feel about it. Emotions influence our actions and send a message to the outside world. It is therefore important to be familiar with emotions and to know how to deal with them. But did you know that this starts at birth? The emotional development starts at day one and grows slowly with you. As you read this, it may well be that your little one is busy expanding his or her world. Depending on their age, they will become increasingly aware of their own emotions and those of their caregivers. In this blog we take you through the emotional development of your child: how does it start and what can you expect?
In the belly
Even before the baby comes into the world, it sympathizes with you. The baby learns from the inside how you feel and what is happening outside the tummy. They share to some extent the same emotions that you experience and respond to loud noises outside the abdomen. The emotions you feel, and so do they, can have an effect on the baby after birth. So it is important to pay close attention to your feelings and to your mental health.
The first few months
There he/she is: your newborn baby! In the first weeks, very little happens and they mostly sleep, but that doesn't mean they don't have emotions yet. Babies are able to have basic emotions. In the beginning it will be a matter of satisfaction/dissatisfaction, but in the second month emotions such as happiness, joy and sadness will be added. They expressed their feelings directly when they are present. This can cause your little one to suddenly cry, or the very first smile appears on their face. Emotions guided your baby in doings. They are not yet able to regulate it.
When your baby reaches three months of age, the actions of others will affect their emotions. Babies may smile or show their satisfaction in response to something you do or to his or her toys. They will also imitate people around them by imitating sounds. They are fascinated by their own voice and yours.
Months 4 - 6
In the second quarter of the first year of life, your baby will communicate more and more – and better. They let you know when they want to be picked up by raising their arms. Also, the emotions become more intense as time goes by; the difference between positive and negative emotions will increase. In addition, the interest in the emotions of others increases. Your little one will try to mimic the emotions and facial expressions of others.
The responsiveness continues to grow; the baby reacts to the emotions of you and of others around him. For example, they can become sad when you are angry, and look away when you are sad. Actions also affect the baby's mood – for example, your baby will cry when you stop playing.
At month five, your baby will start laughing. Furthermore, they expand their emotions with anger and frustration. Both emotions will be visible on the face. It's good to remember that babies don't mean anything personally, but simply live "in the moment." Everything they do is in response to a situation.
Babies also begin to like or dislike certain things or situations. They may react negatively to food they don't like, or get frustrated when they want to do something they can't do yet.
When month six arrives, your baby may be going through mood swings – they can get cranky from one minute to the next. Fortunately, there are also plenty of positive milestones this month: Babies will stick out their tongues and divide their attention. This allows them to pay attention to more than one person and follow your gaze. You also have a chance that they turn their heads when you call them by name.
Month 7 – 9
During this period, your baby gets another new emotion: fear. Babies can now react anxiously when a stranger approaches them or when you disappear from view. This is because babies are able to separate acquaintances from strangers at this stage. For example, they attach themselves to a selection of people they prefer to stay close to. As a result, your baby may no longer want to sit on the neighbor's lap, although it used to be different. This is also referred to as 'ambiguity'. Another word for this is 'fear of strangers'.
This can be a difficult period for you as a parent, because it becomes difficult to go somewhere. Because another development that comes after the loneliness is separation anxiety. Babies realize that they and you are not one. In other words: they acquire a consciousness of their own.
When you disappear from view, your baby may suddenly start crying. Your baby does not understand that you end