Babies don’t socialize the way older kids do, but many moms schedule play dates anyway because they enjoy the interaction with other parents. Toddlers typically engage in “parallel play,” which means they play near each other—but separately. Truly meaningful interactions can start at 2 years old, so that’s a good time for play dates. Keep it small and short: one or two other kids, for 60 to 90 minutes. Your child may still act selfishly, refuse to share, and play on his own. That’s totally normal. But hanging out with other children helps lay the foundation for important skills like cooperation and manners. Leave the kids alone so they can learn how to play with each other, but stay close so you can step in if someone gets upset.