It’s never too early to talk about feelings with your infant. As mentioned in this week’s milestones blog Roman is screaming with intent – he screams if he is mad, if he is excited, or simply if he wants attention!
If your child is upset, tell them. “Awww Roman are you upset because your toy fell out of your stroller?… Let’s pick it up! ” When you insert a “because” in there you are giving them the words as to why they are upset. Yes, they are too young to understand cause and effect language such as “because”, “but”, and “so”, but the earlier you start with this type of language the better! The vocabulary will be ingrained in their head.
Many children will stretch out their arms and legs to show they are excited and laugh or scream. Make sure to tell your child how they are feeling. For example, you can say “Roman that is so exciting… daddy just came home from work! Let’s say hi and give him a hug and kiss!”. This reiterates the fact that the specific situation makes them very happy and assigns words to how they are feeling.
Infants vocalize in order to get attention – “all eyes on me mommy!”. To assign feelings you can say “Ohhhh Roman you want us to pay attention”. Of course we will! Say “mama”! At 4 months they will not be saying “mama”, but as long as you begin labeling yourselves he can start to pair the word with the person.