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Baby Besties: The First Friendship

By Jeana Lee Tahnk

There is nothing quite like seeing two babies interact and check out each other. Whether they stare at each other, pat each other down or just drool together, these first encounters are baby's first step toward making friends.

My first two kids had "insta-friends" thanks to daycare. Being surrounded all day with other adorable droolers and playmates certainly provided them with plenty of stimulation and socialization. We lucked out because many of the friendships my kids formed in daycare are ones they have to this day. I also have the same group of friends that I've had since the first grade. Not to date myself but, wow, that was a long time ago.

Since baby No. 3 doesn't go to daycare, she doesn't have constant access to that peer group, which is why I proactively pursue other opportunities for her to meet other babies. Whether it's through playing with other tots on the playground or attending baby classes for music or gym, she gets socialized in other ways. And let's not forget the undivided attention she gets from her big brother and sister.

The other day, my baby went to an open gym session for babies, where there was another little girl about her age. The two of them were drawn to each other, and it was clear that even babies have a sense of who they can connect with. These two little girls spent about five minutes sitting across from each other, exploring each other's hair and staring at each other's faces. It was beyond adorable and a sure sign that she's found a great friend for future play dates.

Babies also love being out and about. Since day one my baby has loved being outside. There is so much to look at and explore, not to mention the grass and sticks she tries to put in her mouth. Having that outside stimulation and seeing who's swinging next to her in the bucket swing at the playground can be another way to introduce new faces.

If you have friends with little kids, invite them over for play dates and you'll see how much babies enjoy observing the habits of other children. I am always looking for new babies to introduce my daughter to, because even at eight months, you never know how long-lasting a new friendship can be.



Read More by Jeana Lee Tahnk

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