The science of
Early Learning

Your Baby's Emotions

The part of the brain responsible for processing emotions is one of the first to develop after birth.

For the first few weeks, your baby's emotional state will be fairly black-and-white - she'll either be happy or unhappy.

By 3 months, experience will have made her emotions more nuanced. As the frontal lobe of her brain grows from 6 months, your baby will begin to show a variety of emotional and social responses.


Your baby will begin to make sense of his feelings in relation to his surroundings. As a result, your baby's sounds will begin to become more nuanced. Instead of simply crying, he may find another way to get your attention and so communicate his feelings.

Stranger anxiety:

Towards the end of the first year your baby may begin to show a fear of strangers. As the frontal lobe of the brain continues to develop, your baby's experiences through the anxiety stage influence his social abilities in later life, helping to determine whether he is a shy or outgoing person. Frequent and positive social interactions cause synapses to fire in ways that help to hardwire emotional and social intelligence.

Next up, your baby's senses....