Younger Infant: Trust and Emotional Security

Women holding infant up smiling while the two look at each other.

Trust and emotional security are important parts of social emotional development for infants. Healthy relationships are the cornerstone for progress in this domain. At this stage, infants will bond with familiar adults and begin to show caution around strangers.

Age: 0-8 Months
Domain: Social Emotional Development
Sub-domain: Trust and Emotional Security

Progress and Support

Younger infants show progress when they

  • study your face,
  • follow you with their eyes as you move around a room,
  • avoid eye contact with strangers,
  • coo and smile when cuddled by a caregiver they’ve bonded with,
  • look at a caregiver they’ve bonded with when they are hungry, tired, or upset.

You support development when you

  • comfort children by speaking, singing, snuggling, and hugging,
  • reassure infants by using a soft gentle voice and holding them when they are scared or upset,
  • respond to infant’s cues for what they need.

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.