Do babies need "friends"?

[deleted account] ( 4 moms have responded )

This may be a strange question, but I've been wondering about it lately. My husband and I live abroad, thousands of miles away from either of our families. We have local friends, of course, and some of them have children, but the reality is, we don't meet face-to-face with them very often. People work hard in this country and what free time there is is usually spent with family.

Our son is almost 9mo. I'm on maternity leave, and my husband works a great deal from home, so luckily our baby gets a lot of interaction with both parents. My mother was here for a month when he was 2mo. He's met some of our friends and their children (he has stranger anxiety, though). He gets cooed over by shop clerks and the neighbourhood ladies in the park, etc. He "skypes" with his grandparents. :)

So while he sees people (we don't keep him in a dungeon), he doesn't see anyone on a regular enough basis to know them.

Do you think babies under 1yo need "friends"? Playdates with other babies, time away from parents with a relative/babysitter, etc.? What is your experience?


Elfrieda - posted on 05/31/2011




I don't think it's necessary for the baby. Maybe for the parents...

I have three women with babies 9 months to 2 years that I visit probably at least once a week. (not all of them, but I go visit one of them at least once a week) I call them up and say, "My baby wants to play with your baby, are you home?" but really what I mean is that I want to chat with an adult for a while and have my baby (who is 17 months) entertained by another creature besides me. Also it helps him learn to be gentle, and to learn skills like walking. Mostly it's for me, with side benefits for him!

I hope you can make some friends who are on maternity leave or staying at home, too. It sure helps. But to answer your question, no, I think a baby under a year doesn't need any socialization other than parents and friendly adults you meet on your daily rounds.

Jennifer - posted on 05/31/2011




I think as long as you are taking him places to socialize (like you said the park) or kiddie gym, then he will be fine. He doesn't need one or two specific friends, just a chance to learn how to interact with those closer to his age. As far as time away from you, he'll get plenty of that later on. There's no need for him to be in a daycare or with a babysitter for his sake. If you need the time though, by all means go for it. Being a mommy is a tough job and you need a break every now and then.

Katherine - posted on 05/31/2011




Sure. I took my daughter to play groups to socialize. She had tons of fun and it was really good for her socially to play with other kids.

[deleted account]

My first had no time away or other baby friends until she was a year&a half.I put her into daycare for 2days a week.She was perfectly fine.No separation issues going to daycare.Shes a very independent, happy child.Shes six now.


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