Social-emotional development from 1 to 2 years old

Bub’s emotional life takes a big leap at this time because the emotional and memory parts of their brain have grown more.

Bub’s attachment to parents/carers grows stronger and these relationships help bub feel safe to explore and be more independent.

Bub starts to know they are a separate person, so bub may really fret when parents/carers leave.

Be friendly, playful and sensitive with bub:

  • to keep stress hormones low in bub’s brain
  • to calm bub down when the carer leaves.

Let bub play alone and do things for themselves because:

  • this encourages bub to explore
  • bub can try things out and return to the parents/carers for comfort
  • bub will learn to entertain themselves.

Yarn with bub about feelings:

  • having a name for feelings keeps bub calm
  • bub feels safe to express fears.
Published — 01 April 2019 Last updated — 01 April 2019

Want personalised tips and activities?

Complete these short questions to get personalised tips and activities to see how simple and easy it can be.

Get started
01 / 05

What is your relationship with the child?


What best describes your location?


If you had a spare moment, what would you most likely do with the child?


And finally…

Do you speak another language at home apart from English?
Are you of Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander descent?
Does the child need additional support with their development or learning?
Now we know a little more about the content that might interest you we’ve compiled it into a handy page for you.