Your Social Baby – A Bonding Dance

Social interactions between a parent and baby has been described as ‘turn-taking’, a ‘back and forth bonding dance’, a ‘two-way street’ and ‘serve and return’. Preverbal babies communicate by looking, touching, smiling and babbling. When babies sit independently, they expand their expressive communication repertoire to include postures and gestures.

The timing of these back and forth sequences depend on how parents interact with their baby.  A few questions to consider:

  • Do you watch for your baby’s subtle communication cues?
  • Is your baby attentive to your facial expressions?
  • Does your baby listen attentively to your vocalizing?
  • Do you pause and wait for your baby’s response?

If a mother relates to her baby as an active participant in these social interactions and takes a ‘wait and see approach to what her baby is doing’, her baby may reveal a longer sequence of responses and keep the interaction or vocal game going.

How will this information change your interactions with your baby?  Your comments are important.  We look forward to hearing from you.


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