Developing human relationships is an important aspect of life and these interactions start from the very early stages.
Child psychologists argue that from birth children need to feel a sense of belonging and safety from their parents and family. This initial security will then help them to feel comfortable when forming positive friendship bonds later in life.
Some experts believe that children's ability to socialise is intrinsic, whilst others believe that it is a skill that can be learned and developed. If this second argument is true, social skills can be learned and developed and the more opportunities your child has to develop that skill, the more natural and enhanced it will become. Therefore, the more opportunities babies and toddlers are given to socially interact, the more comfortable and confident they will become in forming relationships with others.
Gaining the confidence of interacting with children of the same age will also prepare children for when they start at nursery or school. Socialisation also helps children to become less anxious about being separated from their parents which makes the transfer into day care an easier process for them. If your child is used to being at home with you for the majority of the first few years of their life you may meet some resistance to leaving them for a school day!
Socialising with other babies and toddlers is an important part of learning. Joining local baby and toddler groups and even kids birthday parties will all add to your childs social skills.
This US article describes typical socialisation milestones for babies and how to help your child develop social skills.