14 months old

Body Inside & Out   |   Age: 1 year 1 month

14 months old

It’s not just your baby’s vocabulary, body, and brain that are growing in your baby’s fourteenth month - her emotional range is growing, too. When she was born, she may only have had three moods, two of which were “hungry” and “asleep,” but these days, her range has expanded by quite a lot.

At this point, your baby has probably started to develop a sense of fairness. If you and your family have started to talk to your baby about sharing, it may not have sunk in enough that she actually wants anyone else touching her toys, but a 2012 study published in Infancy suggests that ideas about a fair distribution of the things that count as assets in your baby’s worldview - toys - may have started to make an impact on how she thinks.

Another emotional response that might make it into your home around now are the first signs of empathy in your baby - she might cry or show signs of distress if she is around someone who is crying, angry, or visibly upset. More than that, though, your baby’s growing understanding of the world means that emotions she has had for a while start to emerge for more sophisticated reasons. A good example of this is the fear that comes along with separation anxiety. While many children have moved past separation anxiety by this point, for many others, it might actually become worse. This is because, while children generally have a pretty strong understanding of object permanence at this point, it’s also the time when they start to attach very strongly to parents and caregivers.

your baby’s big feelings will probably continue to have a big impact on your baby’s second year right up until she starts to figure out how to manage them. That could take some time - there are plenty of adults who still have trouble managing their emotions. You can help your baby figure out how to get a better handle on hers by talking to her about feelings, both her own and other people’s. This will give her the words for how she’s feeling, which is the first step towards being able to talk about her feelings, but it will also start to give her better tools for thinking about other people’s feelings, which is a great way for her to exercise her emerging empathy.



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