BEE SOCIABLE – HIVE’S PHILOSOPHY OF BABY SOCIALISATION THROUGH THE FIRST YEAR
Parents are under pressure to “socialise” their baby almost as soon as they are born. By the end of babys’ first year, experiences have wired your babys’ brain to expect that the world is either safe and kind or unsafe and unpredictable. This means they will approach the world with either confidence and trust or caution and mistrust.
You are the God of their universe, creating the environment and providing the very first human bond. It’s exciting to know you have the power to deeply affect their life long mental health and happiness.
Under 3 months
The first thing baby needs to know is “Are you there?” and “will you come when I need you?” During this time, come every time they seem to need you. Comfort is a need. You cannot “spoil” a baby under 3 months.
Suitable socialisation at this age is mostly you, your partner and/or the stable, close family members who support you as a parent. Social Outings include activities with other parents and are mostly for you. You are in control of gentle, sensory activities and can withdraw when baby has had enough. You can meet babies’ physical needs wherever you are.
Baby carriers, muslin style blankets, holding baby tight to your chest and covered prams help you shield baby when you know they need it.
3 to 6 months
Babies’ next question is “What can I expect to happen?” Routine is King. But the clock is not. Do things in time, not on time. The sequence of what happens, what happens first, next and after will be as familiar as you can make it.
Eat. Play. Sleep. This order is best to keep feeding out of the sleep routine.
A song, a particular spoon or book, the same rhyme or prayer, all give your baby a trigger for each of these activities that help them predict and settle into a routine. With you close by, being left alone on the floor increases independence.
It’s good for you and baby for baby to have time alone with some of those stable, close family members. Social Outings are still for you but include seeing other babies, and children. Join in noisier, happy activities such as music and dancing. Take baby to exercise, either on you or in the pram.
You are still babys world. Baby needs you (or their carer) in close call to feel safe.
6 to 12 months
The questions that need to be answered for baby in these months are “what happens when I do this?” and “Are you still there when I can’t see you?” Consistency is key. Respond deliberately to increase or decrease behaviours. Every time. Whatever gets the big reaction will be the behaviour that is repeated. There is no “good” or “bad” just “exciting” and “boring”
Distraction is King. Instead of getting grumpy or saying “no” (so interesting) repeatedly removing their hand (what a lovely game) simply silently remove baby or the object and move them on to something else. (Boring…oh something new)
As their playmate, we constantly add to their ideas of how to play with objects now, so that, as a toddler, they can entertain themselves longer.
Social Outings are terribly exciting with opportunities to see how other people react to baby. Activities are more for baby and you. They include safe spaces and objects to experiment with where baby is free to explore. Activities where everyone does the same thing at the same time such as making music or lap bounces become enchanting. They love being flung in the air or strapped on a bike, collecting data for when they eventually move for themselves.
Separation anxiety from 8 months is common, due to the growing ability to understand you still exist even when they can’t see you. Mood swings stem from the possibility that “mummy is gone forever!” or “mummy is off having fun without me!” Deliberate activities that cement object permanence (mummy will always come back) will help. Play peekaboo, in boxes and tunnels, move around objects.
You are their anchor. Baby needs to know you are there, even when you are not.
So, in the end…
Under 12 months, socialisation is best with you or a trusted, attached carer, right alongside, to give your child a trusting, confident head start.
Hive is the perfect place to begin their social journey. Alongside new, lifetime friends, each week you will gather ideas and songs to meet your child in play. We provide the security of knowing activities are clean, tailored to babys’ age and fun and exciting for both of you.
Come Bee sociable.