Sprouts Development Do you see me? - Sprouts Development

Sprouts Child Development Blog

Do you see me?

Post by: Lesley Gudgel 

Everyone plays an important role (even strangers) in a baby’s social development – here’s why!

I walked out of the grocery store, glanced across the parking lot in his direction and noticed he was looking at me.  His big brown eyes sparkled when I returned his gaze and smiled at him! He was sitting in his Mommy’s shopping cart perched up high where he had a different view of the world around him.  I’m guessing he was about to celebrate his first birthday.  I put my groceries in the car and turned around to put my cart away; he was still intently watching me, so I couldn’t resist…I went closer to say hello to him.

This could have been just a passing encounter with a cute baby, after all I am a grandmother who notices all babies, but this was different.  I have no idea how long he had been watching me before I noticed, but he was definitely the one who began the interaction between us.  He was working hard to engage me, a total stranger and it worked!  He wasn’t old enough yet to walk or talk, but he was instinctively developing his personal-social skills.  No one had taught him how to interact with others; he was just interested in the world and people around him.  I happened to notice and was honored to participate in this developmental accomplishment!

At birth children have most of the brain cells, or neurons, they will need for a lifetime of learning.  However, brain cells are not yet linked with the complex networks needed for mature thought processes to take place.  In their early years a young child’s brain cells form connections, or synapses, very rapidly. Positive interactions and experiences with others significantly stimulate a baby’s brain and cause new connections to form neural pathways and strengthen existing ones.

So, the next time you’re standing in line at the check-out counter or eating at a restaurant and a baby tries to get your attention, give it to them. You’re participating in some very important work!

 

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