Younger Infant: Relationships With Other Children

One infant pulls another infants shirt as he leans forward.

Ever notice how when one infant starts to cry, other infants nearby cry too? No, it’s not your imagination. It happens.

Though, these sympathy cries threaten to overwork eardrums, they can be a good sign.

When infants cry upon hearing others cry, it shows they’re making progress toward developing relationships with other children.

Below are some other examples of progress and some quick tips to support it.


Age: 0-8 Months
Domain: Social Emotional Development
Sub-domain: Relationships With Other Children


Progress and Support

Younger infants show progress in this area when they

  • attempt to watch other children,
  • cry after hearing other infants cry,
  • make vocal noises when other children are around,
  • mimic other children,
  • smile quietly if they hear someone softly speak their name,
  • mirror facial expressions of others.

Use these quick tips to support progress:

  • tell the child what other infants may be feeling as they react to different situations,
  • as you hold the infant and observe other children close by, use their names while you narrate their behavior (“Jade just rolled over, Tamara turned around”),
  • provide plenty of opportunities for play with other infants,
  • talk about what others are feeling using facial expressions as examples of feelings.

I bet your tips on this could benefit others. Please share.


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.