19 answers

Do Babies Really Need Lot of Interaction with Other Babies?

My son is 4 months old. We had actually registered him in a daycare which is very good but wont be sending him there atleast for one year as he was born early.
Here is the reason I am asking this question - My family thinks it's better to send kids to daycare as they will get a chance to interact with other kids and that's better for their development than staying at home alone with a nanny all day. Also , most of our family/friends are yet to have babies, so I don't think we will be able to get him to interact with lot of kids his age. Esp with winter round the corner, I don't think it will be a good idea to join mom-baby groups anytime soon..I am worried about germs,RSV ... long story! But the question is how much interaction is needed for babies? I will make sure to have our friends over on weekends so that his parents aren't the only people he will know.

We understand daycare can make him sick all the time and as much as we dont want him to get fall ill , we dont want him be become a loner too. Can babies get bored that young? What activities did you do with your baby esp during long , boring winter months that could help with his development? I am planning on daycare for him next summer but will have a nanny at home until then.

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Featured Answers

No. Babies love looking at other babies faces, but they don't interact or play cooperatively together till they are about 3 or 4 yrs old. A non breakable mirror will be great entertainment for a baby and have a lot fewer germs. My son started daycare at 3 months (when maternity leave finished) and he caught everything. As a baby he didn't care about playing with other kids.

3 moms found this helpful

Looks like I am the odd one out here in my opinion. If the question was you versus daycare, then no, they don't need daycare, but if it is nanny versus daycare, I see the benefits of daycare. They get to interact with lots of adults and kids. They may not NEED this, but I think it is very beneficial. Plus, if one teacher is sick, there are other teachers to fill in. If a teacher has to go to the bathroom, take a lunch break, etc., there is someone to fill in. Also, it is easier on the child to start now, rather than at 1.5 (if you are planning on sending him anyway), as he will know everyone already and you won't have to transition to it.
Part of my opinion could be because I haven't even found a babysitter that I am happy with, that I can't imagine finding a nanny.

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More Answers

No. And, the immune system of a baby is not fully developed yet at this time.

Babies, do not 'play' interactively. They do what is called "parallel play." Look it up online.

Also important at this age is 'bonding' with the parent. This ALSO aides in the development of a baby....

ALSO, babies, do get over stimulated very easily and quickly... and then over-tired. So, usually 'activities' for babies are short. They are not like an older child that has all day activities. And babies also nap a lot.... which is also important for development and growth.

AND, depending on what you are doing, a baby is more prone to getting sick... and whether or not baby is getting vaccinations, they can get sick.
Then, just having normal daily activities with a baby, even if it is just with you and doing errands, is exposing them to contagions.... but also building their immunity too.

You don't have to worry about 'interaction' for your child yet. He is so young. When he is a Toddler, say about 2-3 years old... then at that point, a child does benefit from socialization. More so. Per their developmental age-juncture and age-stage.

Your thoughts on it is perfectly fine. YOU are the Mom. Do as you see best for your baby... and in light of winter time coming up and the usual seasonal illnesses that arise. ie: Flu etc.
When my kids were the age or your baby... I too, during seasonal illness times.... I CHOOSE what and where to take them, to prevent serious illness.

He will NOT be a "Loner." He is only 4 months old. He will not get 'bored.' At this age. Babies, amuse themselves as well. ANYTHING is stimulation for them. Even a bath.
Having a Nanny for him is perfectly fine. And then that way, you can tell the Nanny what/how/when as far as what you want for your baby and/or his schedule/naps/routines.

Don't worry about it. He is so young. I have 2 kids... who are 4 and 7 years old. They did not have a sense of 'boredom' until about 3 years old.
Per their development.... and personality.

Babies, do NOT have to be constantly amused. They do get tired/over-stimulated and also just hanging out is 'learning' for them. ANYTHING in their environment, is 'stimulation' for them. Even if just watching you clean house.

your son is so young. Don't feel pressured.

all the best,

3 moms found this helpful

Nope--babies just need and want their mommies!

3 moms found this helpful

No. Babies love looking at other babies faces, but they don't interact or play cooperatively together till they are about 3 or 4 yrs old. A non breakable mirror will be great entertainment for a baby and have a lot fewer germs. My son started daycare at 3 months (when maternity leave finished) and he caught everything. As a baby he didn't care about playing with other kids.

3 moms found this helpful

They don't need it. They need family interaction. God put babies in families, which provide all they need socially. Daycares were only invented so that mothers could work away from their homes. Before about 30 years ago, it was unheard of to send a baby to a daycare. Even 30 years ago, it was unusual for a child that age to be in the care of someone other than his mother. Daycares started for the preschool age, and even then it was not hugely used. Today, we are all backwards, thinking that they "need" it. Hogwash. If anything, it gives them a harder time attaching closely in relationships. It is more of a handicap for kids than a blessing.

2 moms found this helpful

I don't see a need for it. My son if finally just NOW playing with other children and he just turned 3. Technically parallel play is how toddlers are playing with other children since they're side by side, but there isn't much interaction. I don't think a child will be harmed in a social aspect by not being around other kids that young. I wouldn't worry about it until he's at least preschool age.

2 moms found this helpful

My kids never went to daycare but from what I've heard the providers are taking care of all these babies so not giving a whole lot of one on one attention right? Your baby is only 4 months old and needs that one on one attention even if it's from your nanny. If I was given the choice I would choose a nanny at this age without a doubt.

Good luck with your decision!

2 moms found this helpful

Babies don't need babies, they thrive on adult interaction, once they realize that we are there and know that their bodies stop where ours start!

Children do enjoy the company of other children, but not until they get quite a bit older. You should really not have to think about this much until preschool age, as little ones do just fine with adult company until they are walking and talking, in the preschool years. If you don't introduce peers until 18 mo to two years or even a little later, they will still be fine.

Loners are loners by temrament, it is hard wired. You do not have to worry either way, you cannot stunt his development or keep him from being as he is going to be anyway. At the baby stage you can enrich his enviornment, and make sure all that his physical and emotional needs are met and that he is happy, rested, healthy and stimulated. Most good adult care for babies and infants do that quite well without another baby around.

He has plenty of time to be in day care with other children in the preschool years and beyond. Right now, you should do what is more comforting to you. If you can afford a nanny, he sure would be exposed to fewer illnesses, which could be very important to a premie, even once they are home. He will not suffer any developmental loss by being without other children as an infant.


1 mom found this helpful

nope babies don't really need interaction with each other.
My oldest was pretty much only around one other little one when she was a baby and that was closer to a year old and it was only a couple of times. She is the most social kid around now.
Babies don't really need entertaining. a couple of toys on a quilt spread on the floor is just fine for them. Maybe shaking the toys a few times to show them what they do, putting them just out of reach to encourage them to move towards the toy.
Too much stimulation is bad. Many parent's over schedule even their infants , babies play they don't do activities.

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