Socialisation is an important part of life that has the power to open doors, allows us to make new friends and generally communicate with one and other, but do you remember when you first began to socialise? The chances are that you don’t because, believe it or not, babies begin to socialise from the very first month in this world.
Of course, newborns aren’t going to come out of the womb and ask “how’s it going, mum and dad?”, they socialise in their own unique way. Babies will experiment by making different faces at you, even attempting to mimic some of your gestures. This is part of what allows parents and baby to bond together.
When Should I Introduce Baby to Other Babies?
There isn’t really a definitive age where you should or shouldn’t as babies are social creatures from the very beginning. However, we would recommend bonding with the baby for a month or two before going on to actively socialise, whether that is by attending groups or nursery.
From two months old, the baby will have just managed this smiling lark, so you just know they are going to put on the charm offensive when they are out and about, and everyone is going to fall in love with them. It will serve you well, as a parent, to get baby used to interact with others their own age at such an early age, hopefully helping their social skills to develop and aiding them later on in life.
Socialising With Other Cultures
If you have the opportunity for baby to socialise with other cultures then 100% go for it. No one is born racist and much of the prejudice is fear of the unknown – by familiarising baby with other cultures at such a young age, they will develop a greater understanding that will serve them well through school and adult life.
Babies, children and adults all learn best through personal experiences. When it comes to learning about other cultures and faith, socialising and learning first-hand will always beat listening to a religious studies teacher giving a lecture on why Muslims give Zakat – of course, if you are interested in learning why you can find out more here.
When Can I Take Baby to Nursery?
Many nurseries accept babies from the age of three months old, although some will also offer care from just after birth. Full-time care is generally available from 18-24 months of age when, at this point, your baby will have a range of autonomy skills – beginning to walk and talk, as well as playing with other children.
While many have the option of becoming a stay at home mum, therefore meaning they do not have to rely on childcare, many cannot – or simply do not want to – give up work from the moment they become a parent. In the United Kingdom, nursery ratios mean that there must be at least one qualified practitioner per three babies in a room in order to give the child the required amount of attention.
Many parents, particularly of young babies, prefer one on one childcare, which is perfectly fine. When the baby, though, becomes a little older and more active, a nursery setting with other children is certainly the better choice to help develop social skills.
Of course, all children are different and no one knows them half as well as the parents. Some take a little longer to develop their social skills, while others could probably lead a conversation (if they could talk, of course).
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.