Older Infant: Self-Regulation

Older infant drinking from bottle.

Self-regulation is an important part of social emotional development for infants. Healthy relationships are the cornerstone for progress in this domain. At this stage, children begin to understand limitations, start to show an ability to manage own behavior, become increasingly independent, and even develop stress management techniques.


Age: 8-18 Months
Domain: Social Emotional Development
Sub-domain: Self-Regulation


Progress and Support

Older infants show progress when they

  • play with toys they like to alleviate stress,
  • use hand to hold bottle during feedings,
  • begin to understand the word “no” and say it to self at times,
  • play quietly alone when waking from nap.

You support development when you

  • talk to the child about what you are doing now and and what you will be doing,
  • begin to establish routine and talk to child about it,
  • use the child’s name often and describe what she is doing,
  • encourage or discourage actions appropriately when a child looks to you for approval.

Resources: Minnesota’s Early Childhood Indicators of Progress, 2007

Author: Nate McCallister

Nate McCallister started with SonShine Learning Center in 2003 as a preschool teacher. Today, he works as the organization’s director of operations and is the site director at the Luther location. He earned a bachelor’s degree in technical communication and professional writing from Metropolitan State University and studied early childhood education at St. Paul College.