Parenting Resources

Helping Infants Learn to Take Initiative

Infants by 3 months of age have found their hands, can play with their hands and place them in their mouths, so they can begin self-soothing at this age (if not sooner). Certainly by 6 -7 months of age infants are able to sit and play with toys, so they are capable of entertaining themselves.

This means you must begin making a pivotal change in your approach to parenting when infants are 6 – 12 months of age.

  1. Allow your infant the opportunity and time to play alone for short periods of time.
  2. Encourage this behavior by smiling and talking to your infant when he is playing independently.
  3. Encourage your infant when she is trying something new. “Try to reach the toy. Keep going. You can do it.”
  4. Allow your toddler to fall down and calmly encourage him to get up and try again.

Although you are still responsible for meeting most of your infant’s needs, you should view your infant as more capable and begin allowing your infant the opportunity to accomplish some things for herself.