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Category: Journal Article Reviews

Developing Social Skills 0-3 months

I recently read the most brilliant article by Ruth Feldman (full reference at the bottom). It talked about the synchrony between a mothers rhythm and her baby’s rhythm. This early synchrony is the foundation for building the babies biological rhythms which then later influence their ability to self regulate and socialise with others. The development of shared timing was described as follows:

  • Third trimester: Biological rhythms start emerging; matching of heart rate, breathing etc.
  • Birth; mother learns to read and adapt to the baby’s cues, setting foundation for stress to calm timing
  • 3-6 months;  patterns of synchrony between mother and child are temporally matched i.e neurones in the brain fire at same time (I am pretty sure thats what the article meant! I really need that neuroscience degree)
  • 6-9 months; baby starts to separate from mothers biological rhythms and learns to give and take in interactions
  • 1 year+; baby begins to understand symbols, words and non verbal reciprocal interactions.

It is amazing to learn the impact rhythm and calming having in the early years to prepare the nervous system to cope with stress and socially later in life. Knowing that a baby’s rhythm synchronises with their mothers, highlights the importance of supporting mothers to be calm and relaxed from as early as the third trimester in pregnancy. It is also important that the mothers and fathers in our community receive support to learn how to respond to their child’s cues, so as to build on those moments of interaction. From the article I have pulled out their top 5 ways of encouraging social skills in babies aged 0 – 3 months. The article is well worth the read. Enjoy!


Feldman, R. (2007) Parent-infant synchrony and the construction of shared timing; physiological precursors, developmental outcomes, and risk conditions. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 48;3 pg 329-358.

Developing Social Skills0-3 months