As the baby begins exploring the environment with scooting and crawling, watch his reaction when he approaches a new item such as stairs.
If the infant does not independently move away from the adult, the adult can move the infant to a new area for exploration (stairs, a cupboard, on a sofa).
As the infant explores, he will look back at the adult’s face to see the adult’s emotional expression. If the adult is smiling he will continue exploration. If the adult looks angry or frustrated, the infant will stop and think before proceeding, and may move toward the adult.
Help early childhood educators and parents understand that children at this level are learning who they can trust, what is safe, and how adults feel about what they are doing by reading their facial expressions. Positive expression means keep going. Negative expression means what you are doing may not be good. Infants want to stay within eye contact. If adults are too wary infants do not explore as much.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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